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Local & Regional News
3:19 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Jonesboro Police Chief Gets 30-Day Suspension For Comments About Reporter

Jonesboro's police chief is to serve a 30-day suspension and issue written apologies to The Jonesboro Sun and a former reporter at the paper for derogatory comments he made on Facebook.

Mayor Harold Perrin announced Friday that Chief Michael Yates would be suspended without pay and has to undergo additional training. Perrin also instructed the city attorney to review the police department's policies on releasing public information and to correct any deficiencies.

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Local & Regional News
12:15 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Gubernatorial Candidates Ross, Hutchinson Argue Over State Budget Planning

Credit Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas gubernatorial candidates Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross each say Governor Mike Beebe approves of their tax plans, though it was Ross who drew the endorsement from the fellow Democrat.

Hutchinson, the Republican nominee, said in a Friday forum that he stands by his plan for a $100 million cut in the state income tax for the middle class. Ross says that would result in a $60 million deficit, based on an estimated $40 million in 2016 revenue growth.

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Local & Regional News
10:53 am
Fri August 22, 2014

ASU Delays Opening Of Planned Campus In Mexico

Arkansas State University is delaying the target opening date of its new campus in Mexico until 2016.

The campus in Queretaro was initially scheduled to open in fall 2015, but university officials say they will push that back by one year.

Arkansas State Chancellor Tim Hudson says unexpected issues with infrastructure, such as water and electricity, prompted the delay. Hudson says Arkansas State's work on curriculum and student services remains on schedule.

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Local & Regional News
9:06 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Marijuana Plan

Credit npr.org

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the proposed wording for a prospective ballot item that would let voters decide whether to legalize marijuana in the state.

McDaniel's office on Thursday said the name and ballot title on the proposal sponsored by Rockie Barley of Malvern is ambiguous and has "misleading tendencies."

McDaniel says changes are needed to more fully and correctly summarize the proposal.

McDaniel has approved two other marijuana-related ballot proposals for the 2016 ballot.

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Local & Regional News
4:32 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

State Legislators Review Problems With 911 Systems In Arkansas

Lawmakers review issues with local 911 systems Thursday.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek

State lawmakers are looking into problems with 911 systems across Arkansas. On Thursday, a legislative committee reviewed technological and staffing discrepancies between county systems.

State Senator Missy Irvin from Mountian View said some 911 call centers are run by police or fire departments. Others are run by volunteers that can’t consistently track the locations of incoming callers.

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Local & Regional News
3:55 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Court Ends Part Of Arkansas Desegregation Lawsuit

A federal judge is ending a large part of an Arkansas desegregation case rooted in the Little Rock Central High School crisis of 1957.

The lawsuit was originally filed by a Little Rock school district in 1982. It said state policies were still creating racial imbalance despite changes made since nine black teenagers needed federal troops to enter Little Rock Central nearly six decades ago.

Arkansas went on to give three school districts more than $1 billion to promote integration.

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Local & Regional News
2:44 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

AG Candidate Steel Gives Legislative Agenda, Rutledge Criticizes Sex Offender Vote

Nate Steel (D-Nashville) in 2013 Regular Session
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Democratic nominee for attorney general Nate Steel unveiled Thursday what will be his legislative agenda if elected to the office. Steel’s package would eliminate parole for sex offenders, increase child-support collections through prison earnings and tax refunds, and expand drug courts and alternative sentencing for juveniles among other proposals.

The state representative from southwest Arkansas said it’s critical for the attorney general to present a plan to the part-time legislature.

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Local & Regional News
12:52 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Mitt Romney Casts Arkansas Senate Race As Way To Fight Obama

Republican senate candidate Tom Cotton and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak to reporters Thursday in North Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says unseating incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas is critical to the future of the nation.

Speaking to reporters in North Little Rock after headlining two fundraisers for Republican candidate Tom Cotton, he didn’t talk much about the candidates, but said it’s about the balance of power.

"This will make a difference. This could well be the race that determines who will have the majority in the Senate," Romney said.

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Local & Regional News
9:41 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Cleanup Continues At Site Of Arkansas Train Crash

Highway crews say cleanup operations at the site of a head-on train collision in northeastern Arkansas could keep a busy roadway closed into next week.

Two Union Pacific freight trains crashed Sunday morning near Hoxie. Two railroad workers died and another two were injured.

The accident occurred near U.S. 67, which remained closed Wednesday. Highway officials say the road could reopen this weekend, but with a chance it could be closed until Monday.

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Local & Regional News
9:39 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Jonesboro Paper Says Police Chief Bullied Reporter

The publisher of the Jonesboro Sun wants the city police chief to quit, saying the chief bullied one of the newspaper's reporters into quitting by making derogatory statements about her on Facebook.

In a story published Tuesday, Sun Publisher David Mosesso said Chief Michael Yates had maligned Sunshine Crump's character and was interfering with the Sun's ability to conduct its business.

Yates did not return a call from The Associated Press, but told the newspaper he was exercising his free speech rights.

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