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Local & Regional News
3:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Beebe: Votes Short For Arkansas Teacher Insurance Fix

Gov. Beebe speaking to reporters at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Governor Mike Beebe says for now he won’t call a special session of the legislature to address a 50 percent hike in public school employee insurance premiums. As KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman reports Beebe says the votes from legislators just weren’t there.

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Local & Regional News
3:25 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

If Shutdown Doesn't End, Universities Have To Furlough Some Employees

As efforts continue in Washington to end the federal government shutdown, more furloughs are being announced in Arkansas. But some of the damage is being mitigated.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Chancellor Joel Anderson said in an email to employees Tuesday that after initially expecting to have to furlough 196 employees and students who are paid with federal funds, they have been able to find exceptions to the mandate and now only expect 46 to be furloughed.

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Local & Regional News
1:08 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Little Rock Schools Offer To Phase Out Desegregation Money

The Little Rock School District has proposed a settlement that would phase out the desegregation money it receives from the state, but Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the offer is a "non-starter."

McDaniel told lawmakers Tuesday that the district had recently made the offer to the state. The proposal was issued as the state is preparing to go to trial over its request to end the desegregation payments Little Rock and two other districts receive.

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Local & Regional News
12:05 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Thousands Of Arkansans Enroll In “Private Option” Health Insurance Program

Officials with the state’s Department of Human Services are releasing figures on the number of Arkansans who want to enroll in the “private option” health insurance program. 

According to data released Tuesday, after two weeks of enrollment efforts, over 56,000 adults have expressed an interest in joining the new program.

Amy Webb with DHS says these figures differ from enrollment numbers for the AR Health Connector web portal.

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Local & Regional News
12:00 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Arkansas Farmers Feel The Impact Of The Government Shutdown

An Arkansas farmer working with row crops.

As the federal government shutdown continues, farmers in the state are increasingly concerned that gridlock in Washington, D.C. could negatively impact Arkansas products. 

Growers and producers in the state are currently partnering with federal researchers on a variety of agricultural studies. 

Travis Justice is a senior economist with the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. He says farmers in state also rely heavily on data from the USDA, information that has not been updated since the shutdown. 

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Local & Regional News
6:28 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers To Discuss School Funding Issues

Arkansas Supreme Court Building

Arkansas lawmakers are set to discuss a state Supreme Court ruling that revives a lawsuit challenging the way the state funds education. 

The House and Senate Education committees planned to meet jointly Tuesday to discuss school funding issues such as transportation and school facilities. 

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Senior Assistant Attorney General Scott Richardson were scheduled to discuss pending litigation that could affect educational adequacy.

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Local & Regional News
6:18 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Receipts Not Printing From New Little Rock Parking Meters

Parking meters in downtown Little Rock's River Market District.
Credit Arkansas Times

The City of Little Rock isn't issuing tickets in the River Market area due to a software glitch that has kept payment receipts from printing.

The city says in a news release that the pay and display parking units in the River Market aren't printing payment receipts.

The manufacturer is sending a team to fix the problem. Parking Enforcement Administrator Jack Wrenn says that until then, the parking units have been turned off.

Therefore, he says Parking Enforcement is not issuing citations for people who fail to display a receipt.

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Local & Regional News
5:37 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Counting Votes On Teacher Insurance

Arkansas legislative leaders are counting votes to see if there's enough support for a package of bills that could be considered in a special session aimed at preventing teacher insurance rate hikes that are expected to hit thousands of teachers next year.

The chairmen of the House and Senate Education committees said Monday they hope to let Gov. Mike Beebe know by Tuesday whether there's enough support to pass the measures.

Beebe has said he won't call a special session unless there's consensus on the proposals.

Local & Regional News
5:34 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Nearly 600 Arkansas Employees Idled Due To Shutdown

Arkansas finance officials say nearly 600 state employees are on furlough because of the federal government shutdown, but say that number could change as they double check figures with individual agencies.

Richard Weiss, director of the state Department of Finance and Administration, on Monday said that 590 state employees whose positions are paid for with federal funds were idled because of the shutdown that began Oct. 1.

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Local & Regional News
6:28 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Mercy Health And CHI To Transfer Mercy Hot Springs

Mercy Health and Catholic Health Initiatives have signed a non-binding letter of intent to transfer ownership of Mercy Hot Springs hospital and physician clinic to CHI and its affiliate, St. Vincent Health System in Little Rock.

The agreement was signed Friday. The parties plan to complete the transaction by Dec. 31 once final terms are agreed to.

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