A day after Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel generated headlines by saying that the state’s death penalty system is broken, he spoke with KUAR News Thursday about his hopes that this will spark a new debate in the coming weeks about what needs to be done by the state.
You can listen to the interview, aired during All Things Considered, above.
At the Arkansas Sheriffs Association convention Wednesday in Fort Smith, McDaniel pointed to roadblocks presented by endless litigation and the inability to get the drugs needed to carry out the procedure.
Arkansas is now ranked number two in the country for police officer fatalities, according to a report released Thursday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
The mid-year report, a joint venture with the nonprofit Concerns of Police Survivors, shows that six Arkansas officers have been killed in the line of duty since January 2013. Traffic accidents, drownings and work-related illnesses all contributed to the deaths.
National statistics also indicate a nine-percent increase from 2012, with 51 officers dead as of June 30.
State Economic Development officials say Hewlett Packard no longer fulfills a benchmark that allows them to receive the same incentives established when its Conway facility opened in 2010.
Grant Tennille, director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development, told KUAR News that after laying off 500 employees, HP no longer has the 1,000 workers at its service center which was a requirement for the computer company to receive its full-incentive package from the state.
He said the state will work with HP to determine how much money needs to be returned.
Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says Congress should reach a bipartisan solution to lowering student loan interest rates by tying them to U.S. Treasury rates, which are now at historic lows.
After interest rates for subsidized Stafford student loans doubled last week, Congress so far has not been able to reach an agreement to keep rates low for students applying for aid for the upcoming fall semester.
Boozman says tying rates to financial markets would be a better long term solution than a temporary extension of the loan rate subsidy.
The Arkansas lottery generated $89.1 million for college scholarships in the fiscal year that ended June 30, but that's about 10 percent less than projected in the budget the lottery proposed the year before.
Numbers released Wednesday show that gamblers bought almost $42 million less in scratch tickets for the fiscal year.
Because of revenue shortfalls, legislators this year altered the formula for scholarship awards, giving university freshmen $2,000, with the amount rising by $1,000 annually through their senior year.