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Local & Regional News
11:35 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Arkansas Supreme Court Faults Search, But Upholds Robbery Conviction

Arkansas' Supreme Court says police were wrong to barge into a bank robbery suspect's hotel room after receiving an anonymous tip, but it upheld the man's conviction because other evidence was so overwhelming.

Isaac Evans had wanted the court to reverse his conviction. Justices upheld his life sentence Thursday, saying eyewitness testimony was so strong that a nighttime police raid was a "harmless error."

The court said bank tellers and Evans' brother-in-law linked Evans to the February 2013 robbery at a Simmons Bank branch in Little Rock.

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Local & Regional News
10:41 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Arkansas Braces For More Winter Weather, Some Still Without Power

The number of power outages from a winter storm that struck Arkansas is now below 800 while another round of wintry weather moves toward the state.

Entergy Arkansas reports 15 customers without power Thursday morning, 13 in Clark County. South Central Arkansas Electric Co-op reported about 760 outages with more than 600 of those in Clark County.

The National Weather Service says temperatures Thursday would range from the 20s in the northeast to the low 40s in the southwest ahead of another winter storm.

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Arts Scene
10:00 am
Thu February 19, 2015

The DDG Trio, Linda Holzer

DDG Trio: Leanna Booze, Lorraine Duso Kitts, Beth Wheeler
Credit arkansassymphony.org

Ann speaks with the DDG Trio about its upcoming  performances in the ASO's River Rhapsodies series and with pianist Linda Holzer about her recent performance at UALR.

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Local & Regional News
5:32 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Governor Proposes $64 Million Prison Expansion And Reentry Plan

Governor Asa Hutchinson presents his three part plan to address prison overcrowding.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced a $64 million plan to address overcrowding at the state’s prisons. At a press conference Wednesday, Hutchinson said he would open nearly 800 prison beds, hire new probation and parole officers and create alternative sentencing and reentry programs for some of the state’s roughly 2,500 inmates held in county jails.

The governor described his plan as a mix between an investment in prison space and an effort to reduce the state’s recidivism rate of 43 percent. 

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Local & Regional News
5:02 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Bill Would Speed Up Timeline For Parole Revocation Hearings

As the Arkansas legislature works to tackle criminal justice issues and jail overcrowding in light of Governor Asa Hutchinson's latest proposals, legislators are continuing to offer their own ideas to help solve the problem. One proposal by State Rep. Marshall Wright (D-Forrest City) would require the Parole Board to hold a preliminary hearing within 48 hours of the arrest of a parolee and a full revocation hearing within 10 days of the arrest.

Wright says HB1371 would free up space in county jails where parolees often spend a long time waiting to go before a judge.

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Local & Regional News
4:43 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Lawyers To Judge: Drop Stay In Arkansas Gay Marriage Case

Couples lined up in Eureka Springs, Arkansas in this file photo from May 10, 2014. The town was the first place in Arkansas where same-sex marriage licenses were issued.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

Lawyers for gay couples challenging Arkansas' same-sex marriage ban want a federal judge to drop a stay she imposed while tossing the prohibition last year.

In a court filing Wednesday, the lawyers cite recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions to not grant stays in other states. They say U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker should let Arkansas clerks issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. They're asking Baker to give the state only five days to respond and then rule quickly.

A spokesman for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge did not have an immediate comment.

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Local & Regional News
1:23 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Arkansas House Panel Supports Disbanding State Lottery Commission

The days could be numbered for the independent commission running Arkansas' lottery.

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday supported a bill that would move responsibility for the games' operations from the Lottery Commission to a state agency. Proponents say the change could help prevent a decrease in revenue for college scholarships.

If the bill becomes law, the state Department of Finance and Administration would manage the lottery approved by voters in 2008. The governor would appoint a games director.

Local & Regional News
11:55 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Thousands In Arkansas Still Without Power After Winter Storm

Dozens of schools across Arkansas remained closed and thousands are still without power following a winter storm that crossed the state.

Schools statewide remained closed Wednesday after the storm that left roads icy and is blamed for at least one traffic death.

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas reports about 2,600 customers of South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative were without power Wednesday morning - about 1,600 of those in Clark County. And Entergy Arkansas reported about 1,500 outages.

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Local & Regional News
10:19 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Man Charged In Conway Police Officer's Death Died Of Pneumonia

Authorities say pneumonia resulting from mixed drug intoxication killed a man charged in the 2013 traffic death of a Conway police officer.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that Barry Strickland's death certificate says he had a mix of morphine, amphetamine, muscle relaxer, and anti-anxiety medications in his system when he was found dead at his parents' house in November.

Local & Regional News
8:28 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Gov. Hutchinson To Discuss Prison Overcrowding Proposals

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson plans to discuss proposals aimed at easing the overcrowding of thousands of state inmates at county jails.

Hutchinson planned a news conference Wednesday to discuss prison reform efforts, a major issue looming over the legislative session that began last month.

Hutchinson has said he's committed to finding money to open additional bed space for the inmates crowding local jails.

Corrections officials have said they need a 1,000-bed new prison, but legislative leaders say they've found little support for that proposal.

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