Local & Regional News

Local & Regional News
3:58 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Heavy Rains Cause Arkansas River To Rise, Small Craft Advisory Issued

A tugboat pushes barges up the Arkansas River at Little Rock in this file photo from December 1, 2013. Commercial traffic is not being impacted by the small craft advisory.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a small craft advisory for the Arkansas River from Little Rock downstream.

The corps said Monday that heavy rains have caused flows in the river to rise, making strong currents and large debris a threat to pleasure craft. Small craft advisories are issued when flows exceed 70,000 cubic feet per second. 

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Local & Regional News
3:39 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Colette Honorable Resigns PSC For Federal Position, Beebe To Name Replacement

Colette Honorable
Credit Arkansas Times

Arkansas Public Service Commission chair Colette Honorable has officially resigned from her post and will be sworn in as early as this afternoon to her new role on powerful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Honorable was approved by the U.S. Senate before Christmas for the FERC position.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission," Honorable said in a statement.

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Local & Regional News
12:39 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Incoming Governor Names New Arkansas Prisons Chief

Wendy Kelly
Credit ADC

Incoming Gov. Asa Hutchinson has named a chief deputy of the Arkansas Department of Correction as the new head of the state's prison system.

Hutchinson on Monday announced that Wendy Kelley would serve as the department's director after Hutchinson takes office. Hutchinson is set to be sworn in as governor on Jan. 13.

Kelley is currently the department's chief deputy director, a post she has held since January 2014. Previously, she served as the deputy director for health and correctional programs from 2006 and 2013. She is replacing interim Director Larry Norris.

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Local & Regional News
11:27 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Legendary Arkansas Political Gathering Set For Saturday

The 72nd annual Gillett Coon Supper will take place on Saturday, Jan. 10 in the tiny southeast Arkansas hamlet.

The community and political event is typically a must-stop trip on the annual political circuit. Always in early January, it is usually the first post-holiday event for candidates and elected officials.

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Local & Regional News
10:49 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Corporate Tax Collections Put Arkansas $44 Million Ahead Nearing Tax Season

Halfway through the fiscal year Arkansas finance officials report revenue collections are $44 million dollars, or 1.7 percent, higher than expected. The Department of Finance and Administration report released Monday shows a drop in individual income and sales tax collections for the month, however corporate tax collections increased by $21 million.

DFA economist John Shelnutt cautioned higher than anticipated corporate tax collections are not expected to continue in the long-term.

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Local & Regional News
9:03 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Beebe Says He Hopes Lifting State's 'Swagger' Is His Legacy

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe successfully pushed to nearly eliminate the state's grocery tax over the past eight years, helped convince a Republican-led Legislature to embrace a key part of the president's health care law and enjoys an approval rating that's barely dipped below 70 percent since he took office in 2007.
 

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Local & Regional News
1:52 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

Arkansas Law Enforcement Agencies Look At Cost Of Body Cameras

Arkansas law enforcement officials say they would like to equip their officers with body cameras but that their cost may prevent it.

Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck says the cost of body cameras - more than $1,000 per camera - is a problem.

Cradduck says body cameras can help law enforcement in two ways. The Northwest Arkansas Times reports  cameras can clear a deputy of false allegations. Cameras can also provide evidence if a deputy abuses his authority.

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Local & Regional News
6:43 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Downtown Revitalization Project: Main Street Arkansas

A downtown revitalization program is helping Arkansas cities revive their business districts. Since 1984, Main Street Arkansas has worked with cities throughout the state, helping to fund and providing guidance on downtown revitalization projects. The organization says Main Street Arkansas cities have yielded a net gain of 3,907 jobs, 1,151 new businesses and 1,066 business expansions and relocations into downtowns to date. More than $145 million in investment funds has financed 3,272 facade renovations, rehabilitations and new construction projects.

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Local & Regional News
6:39 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Fayetteville Housing Authority Retirement

The executive director of the Fayetteville Housing Authority plans to retire next month after 28 years with the agency. Fredia Sawin began as a receptionist for the housing authority in the 1980s. She then managed the Section 8 program before replacing Bromo Wilson as executive director in 2003.  The housing authority helps provide shelter to poor, disabled and elderly residents. It operates four publicly subsidized housing complexes.

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Local & Regional News
9:33 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Beebe's Self-Review

Credit thecitywire.com

  The following is a transcript of Mike Beebe's final weekly radio address as governor of Arkansas:

When asked in recent interviews about my past eight years as Governor, I’ve said repeatedly that it’s been quite a ride. When you review the challenges we’ve faced and the strides we’ve made, it’s easy to see why.

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