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Local & Regional News
5:58 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Arkansas Launches Online Insurance Marketplace

Arkansas Health Connector

Arkansas is set to launch its online marketplace for insurance under the federal health care law, with thousands of consumers expected to participate in the coming months.

Open enrollment is scheduled to begin Tuesday for the exchange, and state officials say they expect about 500,000 people to use it to compare policies and shop for plans. 

The state Insurance Department has not said how many people they expect to begin on the first day of open enrollment, which runs through March 31.

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Local & Regional News
5:49 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Manufacturing Growth To Aid Arkansas, Midwest Economy

Mid-America Business Conditions index

A new survey of business leaders in Arkansas and eight other Midwest and Plains states suggests that manufacturing growth will help fuel the regional economy through the end of the year.

The overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index climbed for a second straight month in September, rising to 54.8 from 53.8 in August. 

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says growth among durable-goods manufacturers more than offset some pullbacks among nondurable-goods producers and value-added service firms.

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Local & Regional News
5:48 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Southern Bancorp Awarded Funds For Rural Loans

Southern Bancorp

Southern Bancorp Bank of Little Rock has been awarded $1.3 million to increase its lending in rural communities it serves in Arkansas and Mississippi. 

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. 

Southern Bancorp Inc. CEO Darrin Williams says the bank is one of 11 Community Development Financial Institutions chosen for the award.

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Local & Regional News
6:31 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Arkansas Health Officials Answer Questions About New Insurance Marketplace

State health officials discuss the new Insurance Marketplace, during a forum at the Clinton School of Public Service.
Credit Jack Heinritz / KARN

A partial federal government shutdown will not delay efforts to implement Arkansas’s Health Insurance Marketplace, according to state health officials. 

On Tuesday, open enrollment begins for the new online Marketplace and Arkansans will have an opportunity to view and compare different insurance plans, set up a Marketplace account, and buy a plan that best suits their needs. 

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Local & Regional News
5:36 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Beebe Says Arkansas Can't Make Up Money Lost in Government Shutdown

Democratic Governor Mike Beebe
Credit Jacob Kauffman

State agencies are scrambling to plan their futures in the face of a government shutdown. Governor Mike Beebe and the heads of various state agencies met with members of the media Monday afternoon to discuss foreseeable ramifications in Arkansas. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman reports.

The Governor’s message for the state was clear: employees will be furloughed, services will be diminished, and the state can’t meet the costs of operations without federal funds. For now the particulars are still taking shape but for many the precarious state of their employment is already known.

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Federal Government Shutdown
2:01 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Governor Beebe: Federal Government Shutdown Would Hurt Arkansas

Governor Mike Beebe

Governor Mike Beebe says if the federal government shuts down, it will have dire consequences for Arkansas, leaving many without a paycheck and putting children at risk.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Beebe said:

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Local & Regional News
1:57 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Arkansas Council Rejects Contract To Promote Exchange

Arkansas lawmakers have rejected a $4.5 million contract to promote the state's insurance marketplace under the federal health care law, a day before signup begins.

A vote to review the contract for the insurance exchange failed Monday before the Arkansas Legislative Council on a 15-26 vote.

It was unclear whether Gov. Mike Beebe would move forward with the contract despite the panel's vote.

The contract called for spending federal money on television, radio and newspaper advertising as well as direct mail and billboards to promote the exchange.

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Local & Regional News
7:25 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Faulkner County Escapee Due In Court For Hearing

One of the three inmates who escaped the Faulkner County jail last month is due in court.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that 27-year-old Joel Vermillion is due in Faulkner County Circuit Court Monday for two pretrial hearings and a revocation hearing.

The pretrial hearings are on charges of forgery, possession with intent to sell drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and third-degree escape.

The revocation hearing is related to a 2012 charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

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Affordable Care Act & Arkansas
5:09 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Arkansas Prepares To Launch Insurance Market

Arkansas is preparing to implement a key part of the federal health care law with the launch of its online insurance marketplace.

Hundreds of agents, brokers and guides will be prepared Tuesday to help as the state launches its insurance exchange, an online marketplace where consumers can shop for coverage. State insurance officials last week announced the rates for the 71 plans offered by the four companies participating in the exchange.

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Mayflower Oil Spill
4:45 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Realtors Struggle In Wake Of Oil Leak At Mayflower

A residential street was a site of the Mayflower oil spill earlier this year.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

A real estate broker in Mayflower says efforts to buy and sell homes in Mayflower have been not been easy since an ExxonMobil Pegasus Pipeline ruptured in March and spilled thousands of barrels of oil in the town near Lake Conway.

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