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Healthcare in Arkansas
3:51 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Beebe Defends Private Option Before Nation

Credit c-span.org

Governor Mike Beebe is expressing optimism that Arkansas’s plan to provide low-income residents with private health insurance using federal Medicaid dollars will be reapproved by the state legislature. Beebe is in our nation’s Capitol for a National Governor’s Association Conference. There, Arkansas’s private option alternative to Medicaid Expansion is receiving attention as state lawmakers here attempt to overcome a small minority who oppose the program.

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Local & Regional News
3:00 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Asa Hutchinson Files Paperwork To Run For Arkansas Governor

Asa Hutchinson taking the final step Monday in the Arkansas Capitol Rotunda to sign up to run for Governor.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson has formally entered the race for the gubernatorial nomination for Arkansas governor.

Hutchinson on Monday filed paperwork to make official his bid for the state's top office. He is running against Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman for the Republican nomination.

Former Congressman Mike Ross is the only announced Democratic candidate.

Hutchinson told reporters after filing that he's staying out the debate about whether Arkansas should renew its compromise Medicaid expansion.

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Local & Regional News
1:08 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Loretta Lynn To Take Part In 2014 Johnny Cash Music Festival

Country music legend Loretta Lynn is scheduled to perform during the 2014 Johnny Cash Music Festival at Arkansas State University.

ASU said Monday that Lynn will be joined by fellow Country Music Hall of Famers Reba McEntire and Bobby Bare at the event on Aug. 15. Singer and comedian Mark Lowry is to host the event at the Convocation Center on the ASU campus in Jonesboro.

Lynn - considered by many the "Queen of Country Music" - has hits dating back more than 50 years, including the biographical "Coal Miner's Daughter."

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Local & Regional News
11:30 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Three Of The Little Rock Nine Speaking This Week

Members of the Little Rock Nine pose in front of Central High in October 2009, in what would be their last gathering when all were alive.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Three of the nine students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957 are speaking in the area this week.

Two will be at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City Monday.  The university says Carlotta Walls LaNier and Terrence Roberts are scheduled to speak during an event titled "History Speaks: Little Rock Nine" on Monday.  The free event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the university's Hardeman Auditorium.

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Local & Regional News
4:48 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Gov. Beebe Touts Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative

Gov. Mike Beebe (D)
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

While the fate of the private option awaits another vote on Tuesday, some results of a different healthcare program in Arkansas – the Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative – are out.

In his weekly radio address Governor Mike Beebe said the plan has insurers pay for episodes of care rather than individual treatments or tests.

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Local & Regional News
4:31 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Arkansas Libertarian Party Holds Nominating Convention

Libertarian Candidate for Governor, Frank Gilbert

While the Democratic and Republican parties garner the vast majority of media attention, fund raising, and votes the Libertarian Party of Arkansas is busy organizing.

The party held its nominating convention in Little Rock February 21-23. After extensive signature gathering efforts the party is on the ballot statewide. Party Chairman Jessica Paxton said a number of candidates were nominated Saturday.

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Local & Regional News
4:33 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Tom Cotton and Congressional Budget Office Numbers

Fourth District Rep. Tom Cotton (R)
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

Republican Representative and Senate hopeful Tom Cotton delivered the Republican Party's weekly address and used the opportunity to tout the “true grit” of Arkansans while lambasting the policies of President Barack Obama.

In particular Cotton took aim at the Affordable Care Act.

“The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects Obamacare will cost the equivalent of at least two and half million full time jobs. What do we get for all of this pain? Obamacare will add trillions of new spending at a time of record debt,” said Cotton.

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Local & Regional News
2:20 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Pryor Jumps On Minimum Wage Hike Bandwagon

Former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker (l) listens as Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) endorses a petition drive to raise the state minimum wage to $8.50 an hour by 2017.
Credit David Wallace

The Give Arkansas A Raise Now (GARN) petition drive kicked off Saturday morning, and one of the first to add his signature was Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). 

"The bottom line is it's the right thing to do," said Pryor, who is embroiled in a heated re-election campaign with Congressman Tom Cotton (R-4th Dist.), his Republican challenger.

The ballot initiative would raise the state minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 an hour on January 1, 2015, to $8.00 an hour the following year and to $8.50 by January 1, 2017.

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Local & Regional News
5:23 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Law License Suspended For Hot Springs Attorney

Mug shot of Andrea Davis
Credit Garland Co. Sheriff's Office

The Arkansas Supreme Court has suspended the law license of Hot Springs attorney Andrea Davis, with whom Attorney General Dustin McDaniel admitted having an extramarital relationship.

A lawyer for Davis said Friday she won't contest the suspension for the time being and that her first priority is getting "her life in order."

Arkansas Business reports the interim suspension order didn't list a reason why she was disciplined.

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Local & Regional News
4:56 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Martha Shoffner Seeks Dismissal Of Corruption Charges

File photo of Martha Shoffner and her attorney leaving a court hearing in June 2013.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner is asking a federal judge to throw out corruption charges on which she is to be tried in a little over a week.

Shoffner faces trial March 3 on a 14-count extortion and bribery indictment, which accuses her of accepting $36,000 from a bond dealer in exchange for steering state business his way.

Shoffner asked Friday that the counts be thrown out on grounds that the allegations don't involve interstate commerce. Lawyers for Shoffner argue that to allow prosecution would "extend federal power beyond its proper bounds."

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