Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

Arkansas officials and a medical supply company want to toss out a lawsuit over the firm's claims the state misleadingly obtained an execution drug now that the prison system's supply of the drug has expired.

Attorneys for the state and McKesson Medical-Surgical, Inc. on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss the case over Arkansas' now-expired supply of vecuronium bromide, one of three drugs used in the state's lethal injection process. Arkansas' supply of the drug expired on March 1.

A newspaper says a former Arkansas lawmaker who became Jefferson County's chief administrative officer will resign after a federal prosecutor revealed the official had received $100,000 in bribes.

The Pine Bluff Commercial reported Monday that County Judge Henry "Hank" Wilkins IV sent a resignation letter to the governor, effective Thursday. In the letter, Wilkins said he was sorry his own actions made the resignation necessary.

Arkansas House Speaker-Designate Matthew Shepherd
KATV, Channel 7

Arkansas Speaker of the House-designate, Rep. Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, won’t take office until January 2019, but he’s already rolling up his sleeves to gear up for the transition.

Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Shepherd said he wants to find ways to optimize House members’ leadership roles and he’s keen on working with Gov. Asa Hutchinson to reduce the size of state government.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

An Arkansas judge who blocked the state from issuing its first licenses to grow medical marijuana has rejected an effort to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's application process for cultivation facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Friday rejected the state's argument that Naturalis Health, LLC, a company that unsuccessfully applied for a license, didn't have standing. Griffen also rejected the state's argument that it is immune from the lawsuit.

The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the capital murder conviction of a Texarkana woman serving life in prison for killing a woman in her square dancing club who was having an affair with her husband.

The high court ruled Thursday that there was enough evidence to support the jury's finding that 69-year-old Virginia Hyatt is responsible for the shooting death of Patricia Wheelington in December 2013.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced his plan to reorganize state government and reduce the number of cabinet-level agencies reporting directly to him by at least 50 percent.

The governor announced his plan following the conclusion of the fiscal session of the Arkansas Legislature Thursday, saying his administration has worked to maximize government efficiency since he first took office.

Central High School
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Hundreds of students at Little Rock’s Central High School walked out of class Wednesday in a show of solidarity with young people conducting similar demonstrations at schools across the nation and outside the White House.

At Central, students chanted slogans like “books not bullets” and “this is what democracy looks like,” while holding handmade signs that read things like “Never again,” “Central stands with Parkland,” and “Why are we still talking about this?”

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked the state from issuing licenses to five companies to grow medical marijuana in response to complaints about the state's process for reviewing applications for the facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday against the state, which had planned to formally issue cultivation licenses later that day. Griffen scheduled a hearing Friday on a request for a preliminary injunction against the state.

Cheryl May Arkansas School Safety Commission
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A panel tasked by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to make recommendations on how schools can try to prevent mass shootings has begun its work. On Tuesday, the Arkansas School Safety Commission held its first meeting. You can hear the report above.

Jeff Vanuga / Photo courtesy of USDA

A panel of the Arkansas House today approved a bill imposing limits on how and when people can raise challenges to farms that hold special permits to discharge liquid animal waste.

Rep. Jeff Wardlaw said the bill was needed to protect bankers who lend money to farmers.

The Republican lawmaker from Hermitage told the House Public Health Committee on Tuesday that allowing a series of lawsuits over issues raised in public comment periods put the farmers' investments at risk.

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