Local & Regional News

Local & Regional News
2:31 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Sign-Ups Continue for State Medicaid Program

More than 58,000 Arkansans have enrolled for coverage under the state's newly expanded Medicaid program, according to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.  That's more than a quarter of the 250,000 candidates, who earn up to 138 percent of the poverty rate.

Eligible residents are also able to purchase subsidized insurance through a new health marketplace, which was established in October.

According to DHS spokeswoman Amy Webb, the latest numbers indicate a positive reaction from consumers.

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Local & Regional News
1:46 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Arkansas Supreme Court Reverses Order In Same-Sex Couple Visitation Case

The Arkansas Supreme Court has reversed a judge's decision barring a man's same-sex partner from staying overnight when his son visits.

In a split decision Thursday, the Supreme Court didn't address the issue of constitutionality but sent the case back to a Pulaski County judge to determine what's best for the child involved in John Moix's case.

The judge had ruled that Moix's partner cannot be present at his home when his son is visiting overnight, citing a policy of prohibiting unmarried cohabitation in the presence of a child.

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Local & Regional News
1:42 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Pulaski Clerk: Gay Marriage Lawsuit A State Issue

A county clerk says a federal lawsuit that challenges Arkansas' 2004 ban on same-sex marriages should be dismissed and the issue considered in state court .

Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane said in court papers filed Thursday that a lawsuit filed by three gay couples in July mimics one filed by 11 couples in state court.

Crane says that while the three couples raise federal constitutional issues, marriage licenses are matters of state law and that questions regarding them should be answered in a state court.

Local & Regional News
11:38 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Furniture Maker To Open Factory In Morrilton Creating 75 Jobs

75 jobs are being created with the opening of a furniture manufacturing plant in Morrilton.  Governor Mike Beebe took part in the announcement Thursday morning.

Vinh Long, which is based in Vietnam, says it will invest five million dollars to renovate an existing facility that had housed a Bosch factory.  The company supplies furniture and kitchen cabinets to Ikea and other retailers.

Hiring will begin in the spring, with the plant opening next the summer.

Company officials said Arkansas is a good location because it has a sustainable supply of raw materials.

Local & Regional News
11:22 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Tyson To Drop Oklahoma Hog Supplier After Abuse Video

Tyson Foods says it's ending a contract with a central Oklahoma farm after an animal rights group says it videotaped workers at the farm abusing hogs.

Mercy For Animals distributed images of workers striking pigs and slamming piglets onto a concrete floor.

In one portion of the tape, a worker is shown throwing a bowling ball at a pig, striking it in the head.

The animal rights group and Tyson have identified the farm as West Coast Farms in Henryetta, Okla.

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Local & Regional News
11:17 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Enrollees In Arkansas Medicaid Expansion Growing

The Arkansas Department of Human Services says more than a quarter of the 250,000 people eligible under the state's expanded Medicaid program have been enrolled for coverage.

The department says 62,698 people were enrolled in the expanded program as of Tuesday.

Arkansas is accepting the money allocated for Medicaid expansion under the federal health care law but is using it to buy private insurance for about 250,000 eligible low-income residents.

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Public Education
7:00 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Little Rock School District Presents Plans For 'High Ability' Academy

Officials from the Little Rock School District presented plans for a new '"High Ability" Academy at Geyer Springs Elementary School on Tuesday.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

This week the Little Rock School District has been presenting plans for “High Ability" and a "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy for middle and elementary students.

The plans would revamp the Geyer Springs Elementary and Forrest Heights Middle schools and allow gifted students from throughout the district to apply. Though plans have not yet been finalized, district officials have been answering questions from teachers and parents whose children may be affected by the changes.

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Local & Regional News
2:05 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Forecasters Expect Weekend Winter Weather in Northwest Arkansas

Freezing rain and sleet build on a side-view mirror last winter in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The National Weather Service has issued a forecast that calls for a possible mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow to enter parts of Arkansas this weekend.

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Local & Regional News
2:00 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Fort Smith Approves Bonds For Gerber Expansion, Creates Jobs

Fort Smith has approved the issuance of up to $150 million in industrial development revenue bonds for an expansion at Gerber Products Co.'s plant in the city.

Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman says the expansion will lead to 90 new jobs and increased production at the plant, which makes cereal.

Gerber will be responsible for making payments on the bonds - not the city.

Dingman says industrial revenue bonds will lead to lower property taxes for the project. The Fort Smith Board of Directors approved the bond ordinance on a 5-0 vote Tuesday.

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Race for Governor
1:57 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Hutchinson Talks About School Safety At Arkansas Event

File photo of Asa Hutchinson, speaking in Little Rock in May.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

Arkansas Republican gubernatorial hopeful and former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson says school safety should be a fundamental part of an adequate education for students.

Hutchinson made the comments Wednesday when he spoke to members of the National Lieutenant Governors Association during a gathering in Little Rock.

Hutchinson was named the head of a National Rifle Association committee studying ways to improve classroom safety after 20 children and six educators were fatally shot at a Connecticut school.

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