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5:58 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Arkansas Delegation Supports Bill To Reopen Government

U.S. Capitol

Members of Arkansas's congressional delegation supported legislation to reopen the federal government and avoid a threatened national default. 

The House voted 285-144 in support of the bill Wednesday night. Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack voted for the measure. 

After the House vote, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he reluctantly supported it. It passed the U.S. Senate 81-18 on Wednesday night with the support of Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, according to the Senate's website.

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Local & Regional News
7:13 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Hearing Set In Same-Sex Couples' Lawsuit In Arkansas

Credit flickr.com

A hearing has been set in a lawsuit brought by a group of same-sex couples challenging Arkansas' ban on gay marriage.

Online court records show that a hearing is scheduled for Dec. 12 in state court.

A group of same-sex couples filed the lawsuit against a number of county clerks and the head of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration this year.

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Local & Regional News
6:30 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Most of Arkansas' Congressional Delegation Support Government Reopening

All but one of the six members of Arkansas' congressional delegation say they plan to support legislation to reopen the federal government and avoid a threatened national default.

Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack plan to vote for the measure, as do Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman.

A spokeswoman for Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton said Wednesday that the congressman was still reviewing the measure.

Local & Regional News
6:26 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Preparing To Convene For Special Session

Gov. Mike Beebe speaking to reporters Wednesday at the Capitol.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas Legislature is to convene Thursday to begin a special session to try and avoid skyrocketing health insurance premiums for the state’s 47,000 public school employees.

In the short term, the plan calls for using $43 million from state surplus funds to avoid a 50 percent increase for insurance coverage that would take effect at the beginning of next year.

After initially not having enough lawmakers agreeing on a proposal, Wednesday Gov. Mike Beebe said some lawmakers had been swayed by changes in finding a long term solution.

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Local & Regional News
3:51 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Deal Passage Expected in U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate is now preparing to vote on a deal that will end the government shutdown and extend the nation's borrowing authority, according to officials.

The deal, which has seen reluctant cooperation from both Republicans and Democrats, is aimed at funding the government through Jan. 15 and extending the debt ceiling until early February. The plan has offered almost no concessions to Republicans with the exception of minor specifics regarding those purchasing insurance under the new healthcare law.

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Local & Regional News
2:09 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Fall Conference to Discuss Healthcare, Food Insecurity in Arkansas

State and region officials will attend a fall conference hosted by the Delta Grassroots Caucus to discuss a number of issues affecting Arkansans.

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Local & Regional News
1:41 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Shelter Feels Effects Of Shutdown

A domestic violence shelter in Arkansas says it's feeling the strain of the partial federal government shutdown.

Board members with a shelter called Women & Children First told reporters on Wednesday that the impasse is hurting their organization and a number of other groups that receive federal funding.

Meanwhile, in Washington, politicians were working Wednesday to end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Local & Regional News
10:40 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Beebe Says He'll Call Special Session On Teacher Insurance Fix

File photo of Gov. Mike Beebe.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Members of the Arkansas Legislature are expected to convene for a special session Thursday afternoon to address health insurance increases for the state’s public school employees. 

Governor Mike Beebe will issue an official call for the special session later Wednesday. 

A 50 percent hike in insurance premiums for public school employees was set to take effect January 1, if lawmakers were unable to rally enough votes in support of a short term fix that would cap premium increases at 10 percent.

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Local & Regional News
9:13 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Recycling Company To Add Up To 75 Jobs In Arkansas

An electronics recycling company says it will open a processing facility in Forrest City, creating up to 75 jobs.

AMT E-Waste Solutions says it will open an electronics waste processing facility in the former Forrest City Grocery warehouse on Scott Street.

The company says it will give residents a safe method to dispose of electronics, such as televisions, computers and cell phones.

Chief Operating Officer Matt Person says the company will focus on serving eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi.

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Local & Regional News
5:57 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Nuclear Plant Receives 235 Safety Violations In 13 Years

Arkansas Nuclear One

The Arkansas One nuclear power plant in Russellville experienced 234 lower-level and one higher-level safety violations between 2000 and 2012.

The violations were included in a congressional study expected to be released this month showing safety violations at nuclear plants across the country varies dramatically from region to region. 

Higher-level violations are more uniform across the regions. The Government Accountability Office report obtained by The Associated Press suggests inconsistent enforcement of regulations could be responsible.

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