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Local & Regional News
1:00 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Five Insurance Plans To Be Offered In 2015 Arkansas Marketplace

The Arkansas Insurance Department says five insurance companies have signed up to offer policies through the state's federally arranged marketplace during 2015.

The companies are Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Celtic Insurance Co., National Blue Cross Blue Shield Multi-State, QCH Health Plan Inc. and QualChoice Life and Health Insurance Co. Inc.

The Insurance Department said Wednesday that each plan must still be reviewed to determine whether they adequately meet the needs of would-be policy holders.

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Special Programming
12:23 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

KUAR Airs Special July 4 Weekend Programming

KUAR is offering special programming this Fourth of July holiday and weekend that will bring you the literary impact of lost fathers, an exploration of the right to vote in the United States and some of the best and most current investigative reporting you can find.

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Local & Regional News
10:48 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Arkansas Ends Fiscal Year With $78 Million Surplus

Arkansas' finance office says the state ended the fiscal year with a nearly $79 million budget surplus.

The Department of Finance and Administration reported Wednesday that the state's net available revenue for the fiscal year that ended June 30 totaled $5.02 billion. That's $4.5 million lower than the previous year, but $78.7 million higher than originally forecast.

The report means lawmakers will have more than $174 million in one-time money for various needs next year.

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Local & Regional News
7:55 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Arkansas-Based Tyson Foods Moving Forward With Hillshire Deal

Tyson Foods Inc. has signed a definitive deal to purchase Hillshire Brands Co. for $7.75 billion, two days after the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs was let out of its agreement to buy Pinnacle Foods.

Chicago-based Hillshire agreed to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc. for $4.23 billion in May. But then Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride got into a bidding war for Hillshire, with Hillshire accepting Tyson's $63 per share offer last month.

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Local & Regional News
7:42 am
Wed July 2, 2014

New Arkansas Tech President Takes Office

Arkansas Tech University now has a new president.

Robin Bowen took office Tuesday, becoming the 12th president of the university in Russellville. She succeeds Robert Brown, who retired Monday after serving 21 years.

In taking office, Bowen became the first female president of a public, four-year university in Arkansas. She was elected president in April by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees.

Local & Regional News
6:47 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Agency To Accept Applications For Shelter Rebates

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will soon begin accepting applications for its shelter rebate program.

To be eligible for the program, the agency says people have to have installed an above-ground safe room or in-ground shelter after Jan. 21, 1999. Applicants also must own their home at the time of their application.

Local & Regional News
5:59 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Arkansas Legislature Easily Passes School Employee Health Insurance, Prison, & Lottery Changes

Senator Larry Teague (D-Nashville)
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

The legislature wrapped up a special session just after midnight passing efforts to ease prison overcrowding, restrict monitor-based lottery games, and to make the health insurance program for public school employees closer to solvency.

The three day session largely went as expected with measures intending to avert looming problems passing both chambers with wide margins. Many lawmakers characterized the changes as incremental but needed.

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Local & Regional News
8:12 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

City Board Postpones Vote On Downtown Mapco Station

Little Rock residents will have to wait three more months to see if a Mapco station will go in at 3rd and Broadway.
Credit joslinsign.com

The crowd that converged on the Little Rock Board of Directors meeting Tuesday night will have to wait another three months to voice its opposition to the proposed Mapco gas station and convenience store at Broadway and Third Street downtown. 

The board voted to defer the matter at the request of the applicants, who reached out to City Director Lance Hines in a phone call earlier Tuesday.

Directors were to take up an ordinance to change the zoning of the area from urban use to commercial development.

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Local & Regional News
5:46 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Ceremony To Begin Renovations To Little Rock's Robinson Center Music Hall

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and Governor Mike Beebe join local leaders in using crow bars to rip up part of the stage at Robinson Center Music Hall.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and others used crow bars Tuesday to rip up part of the stage at Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center Music Hall, formally signifying the start of renovations to the venue.

The $68 million project will modernize the facility, which was built in 1939.  The work will improve its acoustics and seating, while enabling it to host any touring Broadway production.

Stodola said it has taken a lot of work to get to this point.

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Local & Regional News
4:55 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Tom Cotton Touts Endorsement Of National Federation Of Independent Businesses

Congressman Cotton speaking to reporters in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Congressman Cotton, the Republican challenger to incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, received the endorsement Tuesday of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a small business advocacy group.

Touting Cotton’s 100% voting record with the NFIB, the group’s state director, Sylvester Smith, said it was a natural endorsement.

“Tom Cotton has consistently supported Arkansas’s small, family businesses,” said Smith. “He listens to what our members have to say, and he’s done everything he can to create an environment where they can succeed.”

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