Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

The Arkansas Supreme Court has struck down a city's ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but it stopped short of saying whether a state law aimed at prohibiting local LGBT protections is constitutional.

About 1 out of every 10 public school students in the United States right now is learning to speak English. They're called ELLs, for "English Language Learners."

There are nearly 5 million of them, and educating them — in English and all the other subjects and skills they'll need — is one of the biggest challenges in U.S. public education today.

Sen. Tom Cotton faced an angry reception at a town hall forum in the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks. The crowd of 2,200 people filled the Springdale High School auditorium to capacity Wednesday to pepper the conservative Arkansas Republican with questions about everything from immigration and health care reform to President Donald Trump's ties to Russia.

In the waning years of the Civil War, advertisements like this began appearing in newspapers around the country:

"INFORMATION WANTED By a mother concerning her children.

A state Senate committee has endorsed legislation requiring online retailers who don't collect Arkansas sales taxes to provide a list of purchases made by state residents.

The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on Wednesday advanced the House-passed proposal aimed at collecting millions of dollars that lawmakers say the state is missing out on from online purchases. It would require out-of-state companies without a physical presence in Arkansas to inform customers that they owe state sales taxes on their purchases.

Broadway Bridge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says the new U.S. Highway 70 Broadway Bridge will open to traffic next week. The Department says it was informed by the contractor Massman Construction Co. that the bridge will be ready at a time "yet to be determined" next week.

The Department is scheduling a “ceremonial first crossing” on Monday, February 27 at 3:30pm. The completion is nearly a month ahead of schedule for the $98.4 million project. The bridge has been closed since late September of last year.

From an AHTD press release:

Arkansas State University has suspended all fraternity and sorority social events until April 1 after a student was accused of raping a woman at a fraternity party.

The letter was sent out Tuesday by the university's Greek Life officials. The suspension includes "all registered social events, drop-ins, formals, semi-formals, date nights" or any other social events.

The university says it will host mandatory "risk-reduction" training sessions in March for fraternity and sorority members.

University of Central Arkansas.
www.uca.edu

An Arkansas Senate committee has advanced legislation that would allow people 25 and older to carry a concealed handgun on a college campus if they undergo certain training.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday endorsed and sent to the full Senate the revised bill that requires colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus.

A statue of Baphomet as a goat-headed figure flanked by two children could appear alongside the 10 Commandments at the state Capitol.
KFOR

A legal showdown could be brewing over whether a satanic monument should be allowed on the grounds of the Arkansas state Capitol.

Legislation now heads to the desk of Gov. Asa Hutchinson after the state Senate gave final approval Tuesday to the bill that would require any monuments to first be approved by the legislature before going to the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission. Current law allows proposals to come through either entity, though they ultimately need legislative authorization.

Third District Congressman Steve Womack met with constituents this morning in West Fork.

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