Affordable Care Act
8:00 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

After Delay And Defeat, 'Private Option' Funding Bill To Get Another Vote In Arkansas House

Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters just after the private option vote failed that lawmakers might as well go home if they don't allow the plan to be implemented.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A vote on the budget bill that would let the state implement a plan to use federal Medicaid money to buy private insurance for low income Arkansans is expected again Tuesday morning after failing in the House by six votes Monday afternoon.

The bill was rejected 69 to 28 because, as a funding bill, it needed 75 votes to pass.

Speaker Davy Carter allowed a motion to adjourn immediately following the no vote. He says the House will vote again.

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Mayflower Oil Spill
7:22 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Ruptured Section of Oil Pipeline Removed From Mayflower

Workers on Sunday, April 7, working to clear the area around the pipeline so soil around it could be dug up.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

Workers on Monday removed a 52-foot section of a buried pipeline that ruptured last month in Mayflower, spilling more than 200,000 gallons of raw crude oil.

It’s being sent to an independent lab for analysis, said ExxonMobil spokeswoman Kim Jordan. “We want to learn the cause of the breach.”

Jordan was at the site, describing the process in a telephone interview with KUAR News as workers were cutting the pipe at safe distances from each end of the 22-foot gash.

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Spring Fund Drive
4:55 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Don't Monkey Around: Make An Early Pledge For Fund Drive

Don't monkey around! Make an early pledge to keep public radio alive and well! (We know this is an ape and not a monkey, but he's just so cute!)

Our spring on-air fund drive will be Monday, April 22, until Friday, April 26.

We hope you will make an early pledge to help us meet our goal of $140,000.

Forty percent of our annual operating budget comes from listeners like you!

Phone Volunteers Still Needed

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Arkansas's Pollen Count
3:41 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Expert Says Pollen Count High, Necessary In Central Arkansas

Pollen from a tree.

National weather experts are reporting a high pollen count for central Arkansas most of this week. Much of the pollen caked on cars, buildings, and streets has become a nuisance for area residents, especially those who have severe allergies. 

Jon Zawislak is a specialist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. He says pollen is a key component to the “circle of life.” 

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Local & Regional News
3:38 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Crews Removing Part Of Ruptured Oil Pipeline

Crews are working to cut and remove the damaged part of a pipeline that ruptured last month and spilled thousands of barrels of oil in central Arkansas.

Officials say the damaged part of ExxonMobil Pipeline Co.'s Pegasus pipeline will removed on Monday.

Part of the pipeline ruptured on March 29 and spilled an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil at Mayflower, about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock.

ExxonMobil and local officials say a 52-foot section of the pipeline will be cut and placed on a truck so it can be taken to a laboratory for testing.  

Local & Regional News
2:02 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Arkansas 'Private Option' Fails In House Vote

Supporters of the Medicaid expansion spending bill lined the stairway to the House in advance of the vote.
Credit Arkansas Times

A plan for Arkansas to use federal Medicaid funds to buy private insurance for low-income residents has failed to capture the supermajority needed to pass the state House.  

The House 69-28 Monday in favor of the bill, but supporters weren't able to reach the 75 votes needed for passage. 

Legislators can bring it up for another vote.  

The Legislature has already approved a bill setting up the program but a three-fourths majority of legislators in both the House and Senate need to approve an attached budget bill before it can be implemented.

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Highway Construction
10:14 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Construction Crews Close Lanes At Big Rock Interchange In Little Rock

I-430/I-630 Interchange in Little Rock
Credit Creative Form Liners, INC

Motorists traveling on Interstate 430 in west Little Rock should prepare for evening traffic delays, according to officials from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. 

For most of this week, work crews will be painting steel girders at the major construction site for the I-430 and I-630 Interchange, also known as the Big Rock Interchange. David Nilles with the highway department says there will be some lane closures. 

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Local & Regional News
7:48 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Services Set For Arkansas Journalist Bob McCord

Robert McCord

Services are set for longtime journalist Robert "Bob" McCord, who was a driving force behind establishment of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. 

McCord died Sunday at age 84. A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Lakewood United Methodist Church in North Little Rock. A reception at the church will follow the service.

McCord worked as an editor at both the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Gazette and for a decade owned the North Little Rock Times. He also wrote a column for the Arkansas Times from 1992 until 2006. 

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Final Week Of Legislative Session
7:26 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Big Week For Arkansas Legislators As Wrap-up Nears

Arkansas Capitol

Arkansas legislators are working to wrap up this year's session by Friday and they still have a variety of significant issues to address before they can go home. 

Lawmakers have to decide whether to extend health insurance to 250,000 people through the Medicaid program, finalize the state's $4.9 billion budget and vote on $125 million in state financing for a proposed steel mill in Osceola.

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Local & Regional News
5:28 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Organizations Linked To Alamo Seek Immunity From Lawsuit

Groups linked to convicted evangelist Tony Alamo want a judge to rule they are immune from being sued because they operate as charities.

The organizations are tied to Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and are being sued by seven women who claim they were physically and sexually abused by Alamo when they were children.

The case is to go to trial in January.

The lawsuit also names ministry-controlled businesses and high-ranking ministry members as defendants.

An attorney for the women says the defendants should have raised the immunity issue earlier.