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Local & Regional News
6:09 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Arkansas AG OKs Wording Of Medicaid Ballot Measure

The attorney general's office has approved the wording of a ballot measure that would allow voters to decide whether Arkansas can use federal Medicaid dollars to offer private insurance to thousands of low-income residents.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office on Tuesday certified the proposed referendum submitted by tea party activist Glenn Gallas on the "private option" law approved earlier this year. McDaniel's certification clears the way for supporters to start gathering the 46,880 signatures needed to place the measure on next year's ballot.

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Politics
5:58 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Highway Commissioner Enters Arkansas Lt. Governor Race

John Burkhalter
Credit Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

Arkansas Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter says he's running for lieutenant governor next year, opting out of a race for the state's top office.

Burkhalter on Tuesday announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for the state's No. 2 constitutional office.

Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry also announced Tuesday that she's running.

Burkhalter, 56, had been considering a run for governor.

Burkhalter is the president of Burkhalter Technologies, a North Little Rock construction company.

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Local & Regional News
5:53 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

23 Indicted In Western Arkansas For Drug Trafficking

Federal and state authorities say 23 people have been indicted on federal drug trafficking charges in western Arkansas.

US Attorney Conner Eldridge in Fort Smith announced the indictments Tuesday with officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security; Sebastian County Sheriff's Office; and police departments in Fort Smith and Van Buren.

Authorities say the crimes occurred in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and California.

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Politics
4:05 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Little Rock School Board President Enters Arkansas Lt. Governor Race

Dianne Curry

A second Democrat also entered the race for Arkansas Lieutenant Governor today: Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry.

If elected, the 59-year-old would be the first woman to serve in that post and the first African-American elected to statewide office. Curry says it’s time for more women, minorities, and working class people to be in state government.

She says she will focus on education, the workforce, the economy, and issues surrounding the health of Arkansans.  

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Local & Regional News
2:14 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Salvation Army and Little Rock Working to Help Homeless Beat the Heat This Summer

Credit www.uss.salvationarmy.org

The Salvation Army is coordinating with the city of Little Rock’s new Homeless Day Resource Center to provide relief from the heat this summer.

The Salvation Army’s Director of Public Relations Kathy Barbier said intense heat can mean an additional challenge for those without regular access to air conditioning and water.

"We are dealing with a vulnerable population, people who don't have resources and often have other underlying health issues. It's very important to be able to have a safe place where people can go and get out of the extreme heat," said Barbier

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Local & Regional News
11:50 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Oaklawn Park Plans 58,000-Square-Foot Expansion

The Hot Springs Planning Commission is scheduled to vote this week on a 58,000-square-foot expansion of Oaklawn Park's gaming area.

Oaklawn General Manager Eric Jackson says the plan is separate from the racetrack's previous expansion, which was completed in May 2009.

Jackson tells the Sentinel-Record that Oaklawn has seen "organic growth" since the state legalized electronic gambling machines at racetracks in Hot Springs and West Memphis.

If the planning commission approves the site plan, work could begin next May.

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Local & Regional News
6:24 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Beebe To Attend Governors' Conference In Chicago

Governor Mike Beebe

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is traveling to Chicago to attend a policy conference with other Democratic governors.

Beebe on Tuesday planned to leave for the Democratic Governors Association's Regional Policy Conference.

The governor planned to return to Little Rock on Wednesday from the event, his office said. 

The conference's panels include discussions on revitalizing American manufacturing, preparing states for implementing the federal health care law and working with businesses to create jobs. 

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Local & Regional News
6:19 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Pre-trial Hearing Set For Accused Little Rock Officer

Little Rock Police

A pre-trial hearing is set for a former Little Rock police officer charged with manslaughter over the fatal shooting of a teenager who was suspected in a burglary.

Attorneys on Tuesday are to discuss various motions that are pending ahead of a trial that's scheduled next week for Josh Hastings. 

Hastings was fired in October after Chief Stuart Thomas concluded Hastings violated department policies related to a June 25 burglary and the Aug. 12 shooting death of 15-year-old Bobby Moore Jr. Hastings has pleaded not guilty.

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Local & Regional News
6:14 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Arkansas Senators Praise Farm Bill Passage

Arkansas' U.S. Senate delegation is praising the passage of a farm bill. The bill passed the Senate on Monday on a 66-27 vote. 

The five-year, half-trillion bill includes greater subsidies for rice farmers and more aid for purchasing crop insurance. 

Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor said the bill offers protections to farmers in the South and retains a catfish inspection program.

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Local & Regional News
5:56 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Highway Commissioner Burkhalter To Announce Campaign

Credit Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

Arkansas Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter says he will make an announcement Tuesday that will run for a statewide office, but isn't saying which one.

There has been a lot of speculation in recent months that Burkhalter is considering a run for the Democratic nomination for Governor.  Sitting Governor Mike Beebe is term-limited and can not run for re-election.

Burkhalter, who is also a small business owner and entrepreneur, has close ties to Beebe, as well as former President Bill Clinton.

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