Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross is calling for gradually reducing Arkansas' income taxes, setting up a months-long debate with his chief Republican rival for the state's top office over their competing tax cut plans.
Ross on Wednesday unveiled a plan to adjust the state's income tax brackets to reduce the rate for thousands of taxpayers. He said his plan would eventually cost the state nearly $575 million.
The former congressman didn't give a timeline for cutting the taxes, saying he would do it as the state could afford the revenue loss.
Arkansas State University says a feasibility study it commissioned has confirmed that the northeast Arkansas region needs a medical school.
The university says that starting a medical school would help meet demand for primary care physicians in the Delta region. The study says opening the school would also have a $70 million economic impact.
ASU and the Delta Regional Authority signed a contract with consultant Tripp Umbach to study the feasibility of launching an osteopathic medical school at the university.
As of Wednesday morning, more than 200 people are searching for the missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot, Jake Harrell, who has been missing since Friday.
15 aircraft, including nine from the Civil Air Patrol, four from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, one from the State Police, and two from the National Guard are extending their search routes in the area south of Oden.
The television ad war in Arkansas' Senate race heated up on Wednesday, with Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and a conservative group spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on new spots airing statewide this week.
Pryor's campaign on Wednesday unveiled two new 30-second ads targeting Republican rival and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton. The spots will begin airing Thursday and are part of a six-figure ad buy that criticize Cotton for supporting a plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like system for future beneficiaries.
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses remain without electricity after wintry weather hit Arkansas.
Entergy Arkansas says about 38,000 customers were without power Wednesday morning. Garland County had the highest number of outages at more than 5,800. Crittenden County reported more than 4,100 outages and Conway County had about 3,300 outages. Cross County reported more than 3,100 outages.
Outages of more than 2,000 customers were reported in Mississippi, Montgomery and St. Francis counties.
Arkansas Human Services officials say the federal government can't prevent the state from ending a compromise Medicaid expansion plan that was approved last year and now is at risk of being defunded by the Legislature.
DHS officials told lawmakers on Tuesday that there's no time restriction for the state to end the "private option" that was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law.
Freezing rain and other wintery precipitation moving across Arkansas has brought hazardous road conditions, tens of thousands of power outages and numerous school closures.
Electric outages topped 40,000 Tuesday afternoon, as the last of a winter storm system dragged its tendrils across the state. Entergy Arkansas reported 36,765 customers without power and First Electric Cooperative had 3,237 customers in the dark.