The Little Rock Zoo will kick off its annual "Boo at the Zoo" attraction this weekend to provide Halloween-themed entertainment to families in central Arkansas.
A longtime tradition, the event features live music, carousel rides, a haunted house and a safe trick-or-treating environment for children and teenagers. The all-ages celebration also has a number of new attractions this year, including an event in which kids can trick-or-treat for toys as an alternative to candy and other sugar-filled snacks.
Members of Arkansas's congressional delegation supported legislation to reopen the federal government and avoid a threatened national default.
The House voted 285-144 in support of the bill Wednesday night. Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack voted for the measure.
After the House vote, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he reluctantly supported it. It passed the U.S. Senate 81-18 on Wednesday night with the support of Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, according to the Senate's website.
The U.S. Senate is now preparing to vote on a deal that will end the government shutdown and extend the nation's borrowing authority, according to officials.
The deal, which has seen reluctant cooperation from both Republicans and Democrats, is aimed at funding the government through Jan. 15 and extending the debt ceiling until early February. The plan has offered almost no concessions to Republicans with the exception of minor specifics regarding those purchasing insurance under the new healthcare law.
Members of the Arkansas Legislature are expected to convene for a special session Thursday afternoon to address health insurance increases for the state’s public school employees.
Governor Mike Beebe will issue an official call for the special session later Wednesday.
A 50 percent hike in insurance premiums for public school employees was set to take effect January 1, if lawmakers were unable to rally enough votes in support of a short term fix that would cap premium increases at 10 percent.