Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

National Republican leaders are putting some pressure on Arkansas U.S. Senator John Boozman to ramp-up his election effort despite running in a favorable environment. National media outlets reported Thursday on closed-door conversations between Senate Republicans and Boozman over what some say is lackluster fundraising for an incumbent in a red state.

However, political scientist Greg Shufeldt at UALR thinks Boozman is still in a comfortable position.

Circuit Judge Wade Naramore

A Garland County judge pleads for immediate help in a 911 call made after he found his 18-month-old son inside a hot car.

On tapes of the call released Thursday, Circuit Judge Wade Naramore said his son was in the car too long, at one point saying "It's too late, I think he's dead." Naramore's son died July 24th from excessive heat after being left in the car.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Some Arkansas lawmakers are pushing for an end to sales taxes on donations to charity.  

A legislative committee Thursday reviewed a sales tax on some types of charitable gifts. 

Republican State Senator Alan Clark sponsored the study. Clark said he owns a hardware store and often can’t sell all his merchandise, including rugs and machine parts.

“You'd put them in the dollar bin and nobody was glad to take them. The Fire Department was glad to get them," he said.

"What's the state of Arkansas going to charge that retailer a sales tax for?” he asked.

A long-term highway bill appears to be headed to conference with all four Arkansas members of the U.S. House of Representatives voting with the majority to approve the bill. The 371-54 vote on HR 22 came Thursday morning after debate late Wednesday involving dozens of amendments for the bill.

jobs unemployment employment

More than 50,000 workers across the U.S. will join the unemployment line ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, but the good news is that employers are cutting fewer positions than a year ago, according to the latest layoff report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

A Florida retiree who is pushing for a rewrite of the U.S. Constitution has filed to run in the Democratic presidential primary in Arkansas next year.

James Valentine of Miami Beach filed paperwork at the state Capitol to seek the Democratic nomination in the state's March 1 primary. He's the fourth Democrat to file to run in the presidential primary next year.

Power Lines

The U.S. Department of Energy released its final environmental impact statement for the proposed Plains and Eastern Clean Line transmission project, a controversial $2 billion electric transmission line that proposes to deliver up to 3,500 megawatts of wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to communities in Arkansas, Tennessee and other states.


A form of telemedicine available in 49 other states is a good benefit for employees, said representatives of Walmart, J.B. Hunt, and America’s Car Mart. The Arkansas Medical Society and four state legislators, however, worry that the model will diminish the doctor-patient relationship.

Those for and against were testifying Wednesday (Nov. 4) before the State Medical Board Telemedicine Advisory Committee, which is preparing recommendations for the use of telemedicine. The committee will meet again before making its final report to the State Medical Board.

French Hill
Talk Business & Politics

Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill has filed for re-election to a congressional seat from central Arkansas' 2nd District.

Hill's campaign representatives and family filed his paperwork at the state Capitol on Wednesday, as the freshman congressman watched via FaceTime on his campaign chairwoman's mobile phone.

Hill, a former banking executive, was first elected to Congress last year. Former Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry has said she'll seek the Democratic nomination to unseat him, but hasn't filed yet.

Hillary Clinton
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton has filed paperwork to appear on the primary ballot next year in Arkansas, where she served 12 years as first lady.

Representatives of Clinton's presidential campaign filed the paperwork Wednesday at the state Capitol. Jordan Johnson, a Little Rock communications consultant and friend of the Clintons, filed the paperwork on Clinton's behalf.