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Local & Regional News
9:11 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Gov. Beebe & Rep. Cotton To Speak At Forum On Delta Issues

Gov. Mike Beebe and Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton are addressing members of the Delta Grassroots Caucus as the group begins a two-day conference.

Beebe is scheduled to speak to the group at the Clinton presidential library on Thursday about the state's "private option" Medicaid expansion. His address comes two days after an architect of the program lost his bid for a state Senate seat. Beebe is a Democrat serving his final term.

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Local & Regional News
5:37 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Senators Pryor And Boozman Back Proposal To Fix Veterans Care

Arkansas' two senators have voted for a bill making it easier for veterans enduing long wait times for VA medical care to receive treatment from local doctors instead. The vote comes a day after the state's House members voted for a similar measure.

Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman and Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor on Wednesday voted for the measure, which passed on a 93-3 vote.

The legislation would authorize about $35 billion over three years to pay for the outside care, hire hundreds of doctors and nurses and lease 26 new health facilities in 17 states and Puerto Rico.

Local & Regional News
4:09 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

UA's Online-Only University's First Employees Start Work

Map of UA System Locations
Credit uasys.edu

The University of Arkansas System is pushing forward with plans to create an online-only university with three employees beginning work this week.

Their salaries come out of a $2 million General Improvement Funds dispersal from Governor Mike Beebe. The System’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Moore said they’re seeking to raise an additional $7 to $9 million from private sources and grants for start-up costs. But he  said there is no intent to seek additional funding under the state formula.

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Local & Regional News
3:49 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Representatives From Arkansas Express Concerns About Endangered Designation

Arkansas' four members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to the Secretary of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about their concerns with a proposal to classify the Northern Long-Eared bat as an endangered species.

Congressmen Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Steve Womack, and Tom Cotton say they sent the letter Wednesday to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.

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Local & Regional News
3:33 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Arkansas Tops Report of States that Would Be Affected by $10.10 Minimum Wage

Oxfam America Report
Credit http://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/Working-Poor-in-America-Oxfam-America-EMBARGOED-June11-2014.pdf

Arkansas has the highest percentage of workers in the nation that would be affected by raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour according to a report released Wednesday at over 25 percent. The international non-profit Oxfam America lists three of Arkansas’s four congressional districts among the top 25 in the country in the percentage of people likely to be affected. 

No Arkansas congressmen or congressional candidate has expressed support for the federal increase to $10.10 an hour.

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Local & Regional News
2:42 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Southern Baptist President: No Change On marriage Stance

The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention says the denomination won't relax its position on same-sex marriage and transgender identity, even as courts across the country strike down gay marriage bans and the group tries to bolster membership.

On Tuesday at their annual meeting in Baltimore, members of the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution opposing efforts by governments to "validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy."

Local & Regional News
2:28 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Ex-County Judge Pleads Guilty To Bribery Charge

A former Ouachita County judge has pleaded guilty to a bribery charge involving a Federal Emergency Management Agency contract to clean up debris following October 2009 storms in the county.

Court documents show that James Michael Hesterly entered the plea Wednesday as part of an agreement in which other charges against him were dropped.

Hesterly's attorney did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

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Local & Regional News
8:55 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Train Derailment Repairs Cause Detour In NE Arkansas

Parts of a northeast Arkansas highway will be closed through at least Friday as crews make repairs following last week's train derailment.

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Local & Regional News
8:53 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Hearing Set On Pulaski County Desegregation Plan

The Pulaski County School District and its patrons are asking a federal judge to approve a change to its desegregation plan to accommodate a $10 million plan to improve student achievement.

Wednesday's hearing comes as the district works to become officially desegregated, as the Little Rock and North Little Rock districts already have. The three districts have received more than $1 billion in special state desegregation aid since 1989 but have reached a settlement to end the payments.

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Local & Regional News
10:58 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Leslie Rutledge Defeats David Sterling For Republican AG Nomination

David Sterling and Leslie Rutledge during an interview last month at KUAR.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Tuesday’s Republican run-off election between Attorney General candidates Leslie Rutledge and David Sterling ended with Rutledge winning the nomination.

Unofficial election returns showed Rutledge with a 59% to 41% advantage.

Rutledge survived an onslaught of out-of-state spending from two third-party groups. Iowa-based American Future Fund spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the primary to promote Sterling’s candidacy, and in the run-off a D.C.-based group, Judicial Crisis Network, spent hundreds of thousands against Rutledge.

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