Republican John Cooper has won a northeast Arkansas state Senate seat, giving Republicans an extra seat in the Legislature in a race that was viewed as an early bellwether for this year's general election.
Cooper defeated Democratic nominee Steve Rockwell and replaces Democratic state Sen. Paul Bookout.
Bookout resigned last year after he was fined by the Ethics Commission for spending thousands in campaign funds on personal items such as clothing and theater equipment.
Complete but unofficial reports showed Cooper winning 57 percent of the vote.
Primary care physicians who enrolled to be Patient Centered Medical Homes will start to see the benefits this month. The concept encourages doctors to treat chronic conditions and encourage prevention for their patients.
In return, the participating physicians receive financial support and 24/7 phone lines for patients, among other things. Medical Director for Arkansas Medicaid, William Golden, says enrollment has already exceeded expectations.
A federal judge has approved a settlement phasing out payments from the state to three Pulaski County school districts in the state's long-running desegregation lawsuit. Federal Judge D. Price Marshall said the settlement to the “exceedingly complex” case was “fair, adequate and reasonable” and noted how few objections there were in the case.
After the ruling, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel called the settlement “historic.”
The Arkansas Department of Health says young adults are being hit hard by this year's strain of influenza.
State health officials say seven of the state's 15 flu deaths so far this season occurred in people between the ages of 25 and 50. State epidemiologist Dr. Dirk Haselow says many of those people had no underlying medical conditions prior to falling ill.
Health officials are urging Arkansans to get vaccinated for the flu. Haselow says only one of the 15 people who died so far this season had received a flu vaccine.
The outcome of a special election Tuesday for a northeast Arkansas Senate seat could be a factor in the long-term viability of the state’s Medicaid expansion.
The race will determine whether Democrat Steve Rockwell or Republican John Cooper will serve the remainder of former state Senator Paul Bookout’s term. Bookout, a Democrat, vacated the post due to ethics violations.
Political analyst Jay Barth from Hendrix College says Bookout voted for the "private option" plan to expand Medicaid, a plan that will be under review by lawmakers during next month's fiscal session.
The finance department projects a 2% increase of about $95 million in general revenue, available for state agencies to spend in the upcoming fiscal year. The Legislative Council and Joint Budget Committee begin meetings Tuesday to discuss the current 2014 fiscal session and the 2015 budget which goes into affect July 1st.
Representative Duncan Baird, Joint Budget Committee Co-Chairman, says the Department of Human Services will join them Thursday to discuss Medicaid and the private option.
Members of the Arkansas National Guard aren’t getting paid due to multiple delays delegated by Congress. KUAR's Maggie Carroll spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Keith Moore of the National Guard.
They discussed how the delays are affecting the 10,000 Arkansan members of the National Guard and their families, as well as budgeting issues they are now facing. Click the audio clip above to hear their conversation.
With Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr stepping down next month over ethics violations, legislative leaders say there's growing support to change the law to keep his office vacant and avoid a special election to fill the post for just a few months.
Gov. Mike Beebe said Monday that he was still researching whether the law requires him to call a special election to fill the vacancy for Darr, a Republican who announced Friday he would step down Feb. 1.