Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

State Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs) and Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett presenting the governor's highway bill to a committee.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas highway officials are leaving open the possibility they'll take a road funding proposal to lawmakers in 2019 rather try to put it on the ballot next year. The move comes after the state's governor said he'll oppose any plan to take general revenue to fund road improvements.

A lobbyist and former Arkansas state representative who served on President Donald Trump's Commission on Election Integrity has died. His business partner, Melissa Moody, said Tuesday former Democratic state Rep. David Dunn of Forrest City died Monday during surgery to repair an aortic aneurism. He was 52.

Patients awaiting Arkansas's first-in-the-Bible-Belt medical marijuana program will have to demonstrate that other kind of patience.

The agency administering the program has announced that no licenses will be granted this year or perhaps even early next year.

The application period closed Sept. 18 with a surprise, says the Department of Finance and Administration’s Scott Hardin.

Data from Arkansas' Department of Finance and Administration show that most applications for medical marijuana distribution sites came in for Pulaski County, the state's most populous county, while the largest number of cultivation applications list Jefferson County.

AACF / AACF

President Trump is ending some federal insurance subsidies for people covered under the Affordable Care Act. KUAR’s David Monteith spoke with Marquita Little, Health Policy Director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, about what the cuts will mean for Arkansans’ access to healthcare.

DAVID MONTEITH: President Trump announced he’s cutting cost-sharing reductions, or subsidies for some people insured under the Affordable Care Act. Can you tell us what’s getting cut and who will be impacted?

Turkey Trot Yellville
Rose Hilliard

The Federal Aviation Administration says it will check to see whether any laws or regulations were broken when a low-flying pilot dropped live turkeys onto an Arkansas festival over the weekend.

The annual Yellville Turkey Trot in northern Arkansas has included a turkey drop for more than five decades, though sponsors in recent years have distanced themselves from the practice.

Several birds were dropped Saturday and then chased by festival-goers below.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock continues to move forward with exploring the idea of starting a football program, as well as a marching band.

The University says in a statement that it has selected the firm Convention Sports & Leisure of Plano, Texas, to conduct a football and marching band feasibility study.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether a football program and marching band would be a "fiscal and meaningful addition" to UA Little Rock and the central Arkansas community.

The Johnny Cash Heritage Festival in Dyess takes place Thursday through Saturday, October 19-21.  In this interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with the Director of the Arkansas State University Heritage Sites Dr. Ruth Hawkins to learn why this year's celebration of Johnny Cash turned from just a music festival to more of a symposium/music festival.  Click on the Listen button to hear more.  

French Hill
Talk Business & Politics

U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, wants to see a broader tax base as part of federal tax reform, and with few exceptions, he’s open to a review of many deductions to eliminate that could lower overall rates.

Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Hill said he supports keeping deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions, but beyond that he’s open-minded to changes.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it will let farmers keep spraying the weedkilling chemical dicamba on Monsanto's new dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. The decision is a victory for the biotech giant and the farmers who want to use the company's newest weedkilling technology.

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