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Local & Regional News
2:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Beebe Announces Plans For Special Session Of The Legislature

Gov. Mike Beebe (D) announces his call for a special session of the legislature at the Capitol.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Mike Beebe announced Tuesday he has called for  a special session of the legislature to mitigate prison overcrowding and increases in public school employee health insurance premiums. Proposed changes to the health insurance plan include removing nearly 4,000 part-time workers, reducing eligibility for spouses, and re-directing over $4.5 million in insurance related tax savings from school districts discretionary funds.

Governor Beebe said what comes out of the special session still won’t resolve fundamental problems with increasing premiums.

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Local & Regional News
1:41 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Group Asks Judge To Halt Enforcement Of Arkansas Voter ID Law

A sign at the entrance to a Little Rock polling site in March notifies voters to have a photo identification ready.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A civil liberties group is asking an Arkansas judge to block the state from enforcing its voter ID law, saying more than 1,000 people were disenfranchised during last month's primary election.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas asked Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on Tuesday to lift the stay on his ruling last month that it was unconstitutional to require voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.

Fox had stayed his ruling, allowing the requirement to stay in place during the May 20 primary and June 10 runoff election.

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Local & Regional News
11:00 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Escaped Arkansas Inmate Stole Shotgun, State Says

Timothy Buffington
Credit Arkansas Dept. of Correction

Arkansas prison officials say a convicted murderer who escaped custody stole a shotgun from a house on prison grounds.

The search continues Tuesday for Timothy Buffington, who's been missing since Saturday. He had trusty status at the Pine Bluff Unit that allowed him to do work without constant supervision.

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Local & Regional News
10:56 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Judge Sets Trial In Conway Police Officer's Death

Mug shot of Barry Strickland after his arrest in January 2013.
Credit Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

A judge has scheduled a December trial for a Bald Knob man charged with battery and driving while intoxicated in a traffic wreck that killed a Conway police officer.

Barry Strickland appeared in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Monday. He's charged in connection with the January 2013 death of Officer William McGary, who was struck and killed while directing traffic.

Faulkner County Circuit Judge Charles Clawson scheduled a Dec. 2 jury trial, though defense attorneys are asking for a change of venue.

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Arkansas Economy
5:59 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Ft. Smith Tops Economic Index Of Arkansas Cities

The city of Fort Smith is atop a latest ranking of the economic performance of Arkansas cities.

The Arkansas Tech Business Index tracks retail sales, construction, the housing market and unemployment rates of 16 Arkansas cities.

Ft. Smith beat out Bentonville, which had been atop previous months’ rankings in business activity. Mark Fusaro is an economist with Arkansas Tech and compiles the business index. He says Ft. Smith’s retail sales have always been strong.

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Local & Regional News
5:28 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Told Special Session Set For Next Week

House and Senate leaders have told lawmakers they'll convene next week for a special legislative session addressing teacher insurance premiums and prison overcrowding.

Gov. Mike Beebe's office said late Monday afternoon that it didn't have any official word whether he'd call a special session, but House and Senate members say they were told it would begin June 30 and run through July 2.

Beebe told reporters earlier Monday that chances are "pretty good" he'll call a special session to address those issues.

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Local & Regional News
5:23 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Defeated Democratic Candidate For Governor Endorses Republican Hutchinson

Democratic candidate for governor Lynette Bryant after an interview at KUAR in May.
Credit KUAR

A substitute teacher who lost to Mike Ross in last month's Democratic gubernatorial primary is backing Republican nominee Asa Hutchinson.

Hutchinson's campaign announced Monday that Lynette Bryant is endorsing the Republican in the November election.

Bryant lost the Democratic nomination to Ross in which she won about 16 percent of the vote in the May 20 primary.

Ross and Hutchinson are both former congressmen who handily dispatched lesser-known, underfunded rivals in the May 20 primary.

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Local & Regional News
2:53 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Attorney General Files Suit Against Chiropractic 'Runners'

Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Attorney General is announcing he’s filed a lawsuit regarding schemes over chiropractic services following automobile accidents. The suit is against central Arkansas businessman, Roger D. Pleasant, who is accused of hounding customers to specific chiropractic clinics. McDaniel says Pleasant and his employees received monetary “kickbacks” from the clinics in exchange. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel explains these people are called ‘chiropractic runners:’

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Arkansas Business Report
2:21 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

6/23/14: Arkansas Business Report

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Local & Regional News
10:28 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Gov. Beebe Headed To Europe For Trade Mission

Credit Governor's office

Gov. Mike Beebe is heading overseas for his third European trade mission in five years.

In a Talk Business & Politics interview, which aired Sunday morning at 9 a.m. on KATV Ch. 7, Beebe said he will travel to London, Paris and the Czech Republic beginning July 12.

“Hopefully, they won’t kill me like they did in the China trip a couple of years ago. We were eleven days in China, 13 days counting the travel times. We were in eight different hotels in eight different cities and provinces,” Beebe said.

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