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Local & Regional News
5:59 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Arkansas Senators Split On Immigration Bill

Arkansas' U.S. senators have split on legislation that offers the chance at citizenship to the 11 million immigrants now living in the country unlawfully.

Democratic Senator Mark Pryor voted for the historic immigration bill on Thursday, while Republican Senator John Boozman voted against it.

The Senate approved the measure on a 68-32 vote. Pryor called the measure the "strongest border security bill in history" and praised the bipartisan vote for it.

Local & Regional News
9:31 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Arkansas Committee Discusses Differences Between Medicaid and Private Option

Some Arkansas lawmakers are concerned that private insurance in the state may take on characteristics of Medicaid with the implementation of the state's new private option of Medicaid expansion. State officials answered lawmakers questions Thursday at a joint meeting of the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committees about what the state's private option may look like.

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Local & Regional News
7:16 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Former Arkansas 911 Operator Was Fired From Prior Job

A Little Rock 911 operator who resigned after a woman died following a dispatching delay this year was fired from a previous dispatching job for poor performance.

Documents The Associated Press obtained Thursday show that Candace Middleton had been fired from her job working for the Little Rock suburb of Benton.

Middleton quit her job in Little Rock this month following the January death of 39-year-old Jinglei Yi.

Yi died shortly after calling 911 when she was trapped inside a vehicle in a pond.

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Local & Regional News
6:08 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Arkansas Group Seeks To Overturn Gay Marriage Ban

A group is asking the Arkansas attorney general's office to approve language for a ballot measure next year that would repeal the state's ban on gay marriage.

Arkansans for Equality on Thursday submitted a proposed constitutional amendment to the attorney general's office. The group's proposal would repeal an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that voters approved in 2004 to ban same-sex marriage.

The AG must certify the language of the proposal before the group can begin collecting the 78,133 signatures from registered voters needed to place it on the 2014 ballot.

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Local & Regional News
4:52 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Puppet Workshop Being Held At CALS Children's Library

A dragon puppet made by Jo Ann with elementary students.
Credit Jo Ann Kaminsky.com

Larger than life puppets can be created this weekend at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Children’s Library.

The workshop takes place Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.

Led by Jo Ann Kaminsky, a registered play therapist and Arkansas native, participants will work in groups on the giant puppets, building some with undulating bodies.

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Local & Regional News
3:27 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Democratic Groups To Run Ads Targetting Rep. Cotton

Democrats aren't waiting for freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton to announce whether he plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor next year.

Two political action committees said Thursday they plan to spend $270,000 on a television ad that attacks Cotton.

A Pryor campaign spokesman says he'd heard an ad may start running but wouldn't comment about it.

The groups Patriot Majority USA and Senate Majority PAC use the ad to criticize Cotton for seeking a national spotlight.

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Local & Regional News
12:16 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Group Calls on Pryor to Drop Opposition To Expanding Background Checks For Guns

A bus for the “No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence” campaign arrives in Little Rock.
Malcolm Glover KUAR

Advocates encouraging state and federal officials to support what they call "sensible gun laws" held a rally in downtown Little Rock Thursday.

The attendees included area residents, faith leaders, survivors of gun violence, and the family members of victims killed during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Bill Branham is a gun owner and an avid target shooter. He’s lived in Arkansas since 1972 and decided to participate in the event.

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Local & Regional News
11:54 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Arkansas Agencies Balk At Blueway Designation

Fears among landowners that designating the White River as a National Blueway could lead to new regulations or land seizures has prompted three Arkansas agencies to dampen their support for the label.  

The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas Waterways Commission said at a Wednesday legislative hearing that the Blueway designation could  hinder conservation work with landowners who don't want federal interference.  

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Local & Regional News
11:49 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Two Killed In Fort Smith By Man Wielding Machete

Gregory Aaron Kinsey

A man with a machete hacked two people to death in western Arkansas and police arrested the suspect at his mother's home.

The Southwest Times Record reports the victims were outside a Fort Smith home when the suspect, 20-year-old Gregory Aaron Kinsey of Fort Smith, walked by and exchanged words with the men.

Witnesses told police the men confronted Kinsey, who attacked them with the machete.

Police have identified the victims as 32-year-old Nathan Young and 39-year-old Brandon Prince.

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Local & Regional News
11:23 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Former Arkansas Treasurer Pleads Not Guilty To Charges

Former Treasurer Martha Shoffner leaves the federal courthouse in Little Rock with her attorney Chuck Banks.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges accusing her of taking cash payments to steer state investments to a bond broker.

It was a brief hearing, with U.S. Magistrate Joe Volpe reading the 14 charges of extortion and bribery.

Her attorney Chuck Banks entered a plea of not guilty and requested a trial by jury.

Asked by the judge if that was her plea, Shoffner said “Yes, not guilty.”

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