Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde has sent a letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs asking them to turn down a request from the Quapaw Tribe.

The tribe submitted an application asking that 160 acres of land adjacent to the Little Rock Port Authority's industrial park be given federal trust status. In his letter dated Monday, Hyde says the tribe has not demonstrated the need for federal designation with its plan to use the land for agriculture.

Residents of the unincorporated Arkansas community called Little Italy have filed a petition to become an official town.

The Little Italy Incorporation Task Force on Wednesday delivered the petition with 253 signatures to the Pulaski County Clerk. The group must have at least 200 qualified voters living within the boundary that is proposed for incorporation.

If enough signatures are verified, there will be a public hearing before the proposal goes to the Pulaski County judge.

South Arkansas Wood Pellet Mills Still On Schedule For 2016 Start

May 13, 2015

Two full-scale biomass plants in South Arkansas are still scheduled to come online by the end of 2016, just in time for the wood pellet market to gain steam in Europe as industrial power generators switch from coal to renewable fuels.

Top officials for both Highland Pellets LLC in Pine Bluff and Zilkha Biomass Energy in Monticello told Talk Business & Politics that their respective companies are moving forward with land acquisition, environmental permitting and other preparations for Arkansas’ first high-profile entries into the burgeoning renewable energy sector.

Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.
Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

The director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says federal funding for the state's highway projects will end May 31.

AHTD Director Scott Bennett said Tuesday that he's received a letter from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx that says the Federal Highway Administration will not be able to make payments of federal-aid funds to the states.

Bennett said highway officials were expecting the news unless Congress approved a highway funding program.

Larry Jegley
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

A state committee has voted to give Arkansas' full-time prosecutors a 23 percent pay raise.

gay marriage
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

A northwest Arkansas town's vote to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity could pave the way for a legal fight over a new state law that's criticized as anti-gay. 

A special legislative session planned later this month is raising hopes among some Arkansas Republican lawmakers that they'll get another chance to move up the state's presidential primary as part of a southeastern regional nominating contest.

gay marriage
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

A northwest Arkansas town known both for a 66-foot-tall Jesus statue and as a gay-friendly tourist destination is voting whether to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Eureka Springs voters are casting ballots Tuesday on whether to keep the expanded anti-discrimination protections adopted in February by the city council.

Has American English become homogenized? Have our regional ways of saying particular things — sometimes in very particular ways — receded into the past? Or do we talk as funny as ever?

Arkansans Feeling More Confident About Economy

May 12, 2015

Consumer confidence across the state has jumped more than ten points since October as Arkansans are increasingly optimistic about their overall economic situation, according to the latest Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey released Tuesday.

The current spring edition of the consumer sentiment index for Arkansas is 79.1, up from 68.1 in October and 67.4 in June 2014’s inaugural survey. The survey also includes consumers in Oklahoma and Missouri, including Greater Kansas City.