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Local & Regional News
6:45 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Changes Ahead For Mass Transit In Central Arkansas

Central Arkansas Transit buses in downtown Little Rock.
Credit David Monteith / KUAR News

Public transportation in the Little Rock area will undergo some major changes this summer. In July, 15 new buses with a noticeably different paint scheme will be added to the fleet as Central Arkansas Transit Authority, or CATA, becomes known as the Rock Region METRO.

The modern buses and new branding are part of a broader project known as Move Central Arkansas. Leading the effort is Executive Director and CEO Jarod Varner.

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Local & Regional News
6:18 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Immigration Policy Injunction Stirs Differing Opinions In Arkansas

A recent decision by a federal district judge in Texas to issue an injunction, blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration has drawn praise from Arkansas’s chief legal officer and criticism from one of the state’s leading immigrants’ rights groups.

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Local & Regional News
5:22 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

House Rejects Bill On Requirements To Create New School Districts

Rep. John Walker, a Democrat of Little Rock, who spoke against the bill, suggesting it would lead to new litigation.
Credit Arkansas House of Representatives

Legislation that would loosen requirements for creating new school districts in Arkansas failed Tuesday in the House of Representatives, but its backer says he’ll try again.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Lowery of Maumelle, where officials are studying options for leaving the Pulaski County Special School District. Sherwood is also considering creating its own district.

The proposal would reduce the number of students needed to form a new district from 4,000 to 2,500, which would be more in line with what those communities would have.

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Local & Regional News
4:52 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Couples Ask Arkansas High Court To Allow Gay Marriages To Resume

File photo of couples lined up last May on the first day that Pulaski County offered marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The couples challenging Arkansas' gay marriage ban are asking the state's highest court to lift its stay in the case and allow clerks to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

The couples on Tuesday asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to lift its stay of a Pulaski County judge's ruling that a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional. Justices suspended Judge Chris Piazza's ruling in May while they considered the appeal.

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Local & Regional News
2:03 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Arkansas Power Outages Near 5,000, Full Restoration Expected Wednesday

An Entergy lineman works on power lines in Arkadelphia.
Credit Entergy Arkansas / Twitter

Entergy Arkansas says the number of customers still without power after a winter storm moved across the state is now around 5,000. Most of the outages are in the southwest part of the state.

Entergy said some repairs may take until Wednesday because icy roads have made travel difficult and slowed work.

Entergy said more than 30,000 customers lost power during the storms, primarily due to ice-covered trees and limbs falling onto power lines.

The storm left icy roads that are blamed for at least one traffic death.

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Local & Regional News
1:52 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Committee Postpones Decision On Bill To End Life Prison Sentences For Minors

Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association President Larry Jegley speaks against the bill during a meeting Tuesday.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

The Arkansas House Judiciary Committee postponed a decision on a bill  Tuesday that would end life sentences without parole for crimes committed by juveniles.  The bill was pulled down for amendments following nearly two hours of discussion.

House Bill 1197 would end life without parole for individuals convicted of committing murder  before the age of 18 and allows for parole eligibility after a 20 year sentence if there was no intent to murder and 28 years for an intentional killing.

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Local & Regional News
1:50 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Arkansas House Panel OKs Rollback On Fluoride Requirement

Arkansas water providers would be able to opt out of providing cavity-fighting fluoride under a bill endorsed by a House panel.

The House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor voted 11-5 on Tuesday to support the move despite pushback from the state Department of Health and the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Opponents told lawmakers that allowing providers to remove fluoride would cause more cavities and increase health care costs.

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Local & Regional News
11:42 am
Tue February 17, 2015

‘100 Girls Of Code’ Opens Arkansas Chapter With Innovation Hub

Students from Lakewood Elementary School in North Little Rock visit the Innovation Hub last week.
Credit City of North Little Rock

“100 Girls of Code” officially is opening a local chapter in Arkansas. The initiative offers free workshops to females ages 12 to 18 to generate interest in computer science among girls. Each participant of the workshop learns computer-programming basics by building websites and video games.

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub has partnered with the organization to oversee the North Little Rock chapter.

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Local & Regional News
11:15 am
Tue February 17, 2015

14,000 Entergy Arkansas Customers Still Without Power

Entergy Arkansas says just more than 14,000 customers remain without power after a winter storm moved across the state.

Entergy said Tuesday that most will have power restored by 10 p.m. Tuesday, but some repairs may take until Wednesday.

The most outages, about 4,700, are in Montgomery County. More than 2,635 were without electricity in Clark County and about 2,550 were without power in Drew County following the Sunday night and Monday storms. The remaining outages were scattered statewide.

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Local & Regional News
5:39 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Arkansas State Offices In LR Area On 2 Hour Delay Tuesday

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is ordering state offices in the Little Rock metropolitan area to open two hours later for non-essential personnel Tuesday due to winter weather that hit the state.

The governor's office on Monday said the state's inclement weather would remain in effect Tuesday morning after snow, sleet and freezing rain hit most of the state.

Hutchinson's office says state employees outside central Arkansas should check with their supervisor for delays.

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