Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

Amidst increased attention to child welfare issues brought on by investigations of State Rep. Justin Harris's (R-West Fork) "rehoming" of his two adopted daughters, the Arkansas Department of Human Services held a rally at the State Capitol Friday to observe Child Abuse Awareness Month.

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A group representing downtown Little Rock's businesses is calling on Arkansas' governor to issue an order extending workplace anti-discrimination protections to gay and lesbian state employees.

 

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership's board of directors on Friday called on Gov. Asa Hutchinson to issue an order protecting employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Hutchinson, a Republican, had floated the idea last week as he called for changes to a religious objections measure.

 

The long will-she-or-won't-she charade is nearly over. A source with knowledge of Hillary Clinton's campaign plans tells NPR's Mara Liasson she will announce on Sunday that she's running for president.

But don't expect a big rally with thousands of cheering supporters. For her second run at the presidency, the former secretary of state and first lady is going small. Think Starbucks doing small batch coffee roasts.

One of the biggest names in American politics is out to prove she's taking nothing for granted.

Charnella King a parent of students in the to-be consolidated Hughes School District.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Hughes School District tried unsuccessfully on Thursday to become the first in the state to try to save itself from consolidation by utilizing a newly enacted law. After denying a waiver request the Arkansas Board of Education voted 7-1 to consolidate the schools into the West Memphis School District effective July 1st.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Arkansas lawmakers are set to return to the Capitol later this month to end this year's legislative session.

Legislative leaders on Thursday announced that lawmakers would return April 22 to formally adjourn the legislative session. The General Assembly recessed the session last week after a last-minute fight over a religious objections measure.

The adjournment will likely be quick and mostly ceremonial, since there aren't any vetoed bills that lawmakers are expected to attempt to override.

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing regarding the creation of a new school district in Jacksonville.

U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall has scheduled the hearing for April 17 at 10 a.m. Voters in November approved creation of the new district and separating from the Pulaski County Special School District.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has overturned the life without parole prison sentence of a man who was a juvenile when he was convicted of attempted capital murder.

The court on Thursday overturned the sentence given to Steven Wayne Bramlett and sent the case back to circuit court.

The 54-year-old Bramlett was 17 when he committed the crime. He was sentenced after pleading guilty in 1979 in Pope County.

 

Grid operator Southwest Power Pool (SPP) said Wednesday that it would cost up to $2.9 billion a year to develop a regional plan to comply with President Obama’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) that the federal Environmental Protection Agency is expected to hand down later this summer.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he plans to move quickly to appoint three special justices to hear a case before the state Supreme Court related to a challenge over the ban on same-sex marriage.

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