Local & Regional News http://ualrpublicradio.org en Private Option Cost Slightly Exceeding Projections; Officials Say Cost Will Decrease http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/private-option-cost-slightly-exceeding-projections-officials-say-cost-will-decrease <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">State health officials provided legislators with information Thursday on the cost of the private option which is exceeding projections by $24 a month per-person. Steven </span>Schramm<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, with the actuarial firm </span>Optimus<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> worked with the Department of Human Services on private option figures.</span></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 22:51:14 +0000 Jacob Kauffman 22307 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Private Option Cost Slightly Exceeding Projections; Officials Say Cost Will Decrease Four Injured After Lightning Strikes Near Gas Well http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/four-injured-after-lightning-strikes-near-gas-well <p>An energy company says four people are in stable condition after lightning struck near a natural gas well site in central Arkansas.</p><p>Southwestern Energy spokeswoman Christina Fowler said Thursday that four people were injured while working on the company's rig near Greenbrier. She says they stopped working for a time due to storm in the area.</p><p>After the crew decided the storm had passed and resumed working, Fowler said the lightning bolt struck.</p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 22:11:13 +0000 Associated Press 22303 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Voter ID Law http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/judge-strikes-down-arkansas-voter-id-law <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Arkansas’s 2013 Voter ID law was struck down Thursday by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox. The suit brought by the Pulaski County Election Commission only challenged one provision of the law but Judge Fox’s ruling went beyond the initial scope of the challenge by striking down the entirety of the act. Pulaski County Commissioner Chris Burks says he expected the ruling might go beyond the scope of the complaint. </span></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:58:19 +0000 Jacob Kauffman 22302 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Voter ID Law Senator Boozman Still In Recovery, Out Of ICU http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/senator-boozman-still-recovery-out-icu <p>Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas has been moved out of a hospital's intensive care unit and into a private room. The move comes two days after Boozman had unexpected heart surgery due to a tear in his aorta.</p><p>Boozman's office said Thursday that the senator has been in stable condition since surgery on Tuesday and is in recovery. Doctors diagnosed him with acute aortic dissection, a tear in the aorta, after his wife Cathy took him to the hospital when he suffered pain in his chest and shoulder.</p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:31:33 +0000 Associated Press 22295 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Board Rejects Request From Inmate Convicted Of Killing Police Officer http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/board-rejects-request-inmate-convicted-killing-police-officer <p>The Arkansas Pardon and Parole Board has denied a commutation request from a man convicted of killing a Pocahontas police officer.</p><p>The board announced Thursday that it rejected the commutation request of 55-year-old Dwight Sullinger.</p><p>He's serving life in prison after being convicted of the 1991 shooting death of Officer Scotty Bennett.&nbsp; Prosecutors say Sullinger shot Bennett as the officer approached Sullinger's home after Sullinger had called and asked Bennett to come to the home.</p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:27:55 +0000 Associated Press 22284 at http://ualrpublicradio.org AG: Supreme Court Ruling On Risperdal Increases Risk For Malpractice http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/ag-supreme-court-ruling-risperdal-increases-risk-malpractice <p></p><p>The Arkansas Supreme Court’s denial of a petition for rehearing in a case brought by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel could threaten all pending and future litigation in the state, McDaniel said Thursday.</p><p>Earlier this month, the state’s high court tossed a $1.2 billion judgment against Johnson &amp; Johnson in a Medicaid fraud case involving the drug Risperdal.&nbsp; Thursday justices refused a request by the Attorney General to reconsider.</p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:52:14 +0000 Roby Brock 22272 at http://ualrpublicradio.org AG: Supreme Court Ruling On Risperdal Increases Risk For Malpractice Osceola Sets Meeting On Big River Steel Bonds http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/osceola-sets-meeting-big-river-steel-bonds <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">The Osceola City Council has scheduled a meeting to discuss issuing $1.5 billion of economic development bonds for the Big River Steel mill.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mayor Dickie Kennemore says the council will meet May 5 to discuss issuing $1.5 billion in Act 9 bonds for the project. Kennemore tells The Jonesboro Sun that the city would not be liable in any way for the bonds.</span></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:02:00 +0000 Associated Press 22260 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Hearing Set On Proposed Norphlet-Smackover Merger http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/hearing-set-proposed-norphlet-smackover-merger <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">The Arkansas Board of Education is to consider the proposed consolidation of the Norphlet and Smackover school districts at its hearing next month in Little Rock.</p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:53:40 +0000 Associated Press 22259 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Hearing Set For Next Week On Arkansas Voter ID Lawsuit http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/hearing-set-next-week-arkansas-voter-id-lawsuit <p></p><p>An Arkansas judge has scheduled a hearing over a request to block the enforcement of the state's voter ID law in next month's primary.</p><p>Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on Wednesday scheduled a hearing for May 2 over the motion for a preliminary injunction against the new law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.</p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union and the Arkansas Public Law Center sued the state last week over the law, saying it violates Arkansas' constitution.</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:17:50 +0000 Associated Press 22244 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Hearing Set For Next Week On Arkansas Voter ID Lawsuit Sen. John Boozman Remains Hospitalized, Recovering From Heart Surgery http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/sen-john-boozman-remains-hospitalized-recovering-heart-surgery <p></p><p>U.S. Sen. John Boozman remains hospitalized in northwest Arkansas after having emergency heart surgery Tuesday.&nbsp; Additional details about his treatment were released Wednesday.</p><p>A spokesman says Boozman, 63, was taken to Mercy Hospital in Rogers by his wife Cathy after experiencing pain in his chest and shoulders. After several tests, Boozman was diagnosed with an acute aortic dissection, which involves a tear in the inner layer of a blood vessel branching off the heart, and was admitted for immediate surgery, which lasted several hours.</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:05:01 +0000 Michael Hibblen 22216 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Sen. John Boozman Remains Hospitalized, Recovering From Heart Surgery