Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

 Craig Wigginton (left) and Abraham Davis mosques vandalism
KATV, Channel 7 News

Police say two Fort Smith men have been arrested for vandalizing mosques in the western Arkansas city.

Police on Tuesday said 19-year-old Craig Wigginton and 20-year-old Abraham Davis are being held on felony charges of first-degree criminal mischief and that more arrests are possible.

Sgt. Daniel Grubbs has said profanities, swastikas and phrases such as "Go Home" and "Go Back to Your Country" were painted on the Masjid Al Salam Mosque and the Fort Smith Islamic Center in October.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by Arkansas inmates to stop their executions over claims that their deaths would be "intolerably painful."

The nine inmates asked the justices to review an Arkansas Supreme Court decision upholding a law that keeps secret the source of the lethal injection drugs. Justices on Tuesday handed down decisions in the Arkansas case, plus several other death row cases nationwide.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she will ask Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set execution dates for the inmates whose appeals have been exhausted.

marijuana
npr.org

In a new survey, Arkansas voters made it clear they prefer the implementation of medical marijuana to allow for smoking cannabis and not waiting for federal law to allow for statewide usage.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll asked 440 Arkansas voters for their preferences on two debates occurring at the state legislature regarding medical marijuana’s implementation. Voters approved the measure last November by a 53-47% margin. In the latest survey conducted Tuesday, Feb. 14, voters were asked:

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A compromise struck between Gov. Asa Hutchinson and lawmakers would expand a plan allowing concealed handguns on college campuses to include some students and visitors, if they undergo training.

Supporters of the campus guns measure, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Hutchinson's office said Monday they support an amendment to legislation requiring colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns.

Former Arkansas Razorback and five-time NBA all-star Sidney Moncrief is one of 14 finalists for basketball’s hall of fame. El Sid, or Sid the Squid as he was once known, took the Razorbacks to the Final Four in the late 1970s before going on to play for a decade with the Milwaukee Bucks and a season with the Atlanta Hawks. The Milwaukee squad was routinely good but not as good as the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers of that era.

Donald Trump speaking at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

President Donald Trump’s popularity in Arkansas has not diminished since the November election despite national polling that suggests voter attitude shifts. Meanwhile, Arkansas voters still solidly approve of the job Gov. Asa Hutchinson is doing a little more than halfway through his first term.

On this week's podcast the KUAR news team digs into a few of the bigger issues facing the Arkansas Legislature, including guns on college campuses, a bathroom bill and its possible impact on tourism, and abortion restrictions that are advancing. We also talk about some non-legislative matters, including an effort to address crime in the state and details of this year's Johnny Cash Heritage Festival to be held this time in his boyhood hometown of Dyess.

KUAR's Chris Hickey discusses some of the top stories in Arkansas this week.

Governor Asa Hutchinson signed bill dinosaur
Governor's Office

It's a designation more than 65 million years in the making.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday signed a resolution designating the Arkansaurus fridayi as the state's official dinosaur. The move makes Arkansas the 10th state to have its own official dinosaur.

The dinosaur was first discovered in a gravel pit near Lockesburg in 1972 by Joe Friday, for whom it was named.

State Rep. Greg Leding proposed designating it as the state's official dinosaur at the encouragement of Mason Cypress Oury, a high school student in his district.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he's concerned about a draft proposal to use National Guard troops from Arkansas to round up unauthorized immigrants.

The Republican governor said Friday he hasn't had any contact from the Trump administration about a draft Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by The Associated Press calling for mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops from Arkansas and 10 other states.

A DHS official has described the document as a very early draft that was not seriously considered and never brought to the secretary for approval.

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