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Local & Regional News
12:43 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Boozman: Farm Bill Efforts Moving Forward

Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says efforts are underway to finalize provisions in the federal farm bill. A group of congressmen and senators are expected to meet Thursday to approve additional changes to the conference report.

“As you start putting ideas in the form of legal language, it takes time. Those ideas then have to be scored by the Office of Management and Budget. Hopefully we will get this thing wrapped up soon,” said Boozman.

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Local & Regional News
11:14 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Attorney: Paul Bookout Contributors Getting Cash Back

Paul Bookout

An attorney for former state Sen. Paul Bookout says the former lawmaker has begun refunding campaign contributions made by individuals to his 2012 re-election bid.

Bookout's attorney, Bill Stanley, says checks began going out late last month to campaign contributors. Bookout, a Democrat and former state Senate president, resigned Aug. 20.

The Arkansas Ethics Commission ruled that Bookout spent more than $53,000 from his re-election bid on clothing, home theater equipment and dozens of other personal items. He was fined $8,000 and reprimanded by the panel.

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Local & Regional News
7:54 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Freezing Rain, Sleet Possible In Parts Of Arkansas

Freezing rain and sleet are possible in parts of Arkansas as a wintry storm system makes its way through the state A winter weather advisory is in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday until noon Thursday for the northern two-thirds of Arkansas.

The National Weather Service says the system will begin as rain Wednesday morning before transitioning to a wintry mix. 

Forecasters say central Arkansas will likely see rain or sleet, while northern Arkansas is expected to see snow and sleet.

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Arkansas Real Estate
6:04 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Fewer November Home Sales In Arkansas, 2013 Good Overall

November 2013 wasn’t a very good month for home sales in Arkansas. The number of single family residences sold decreased by about two percent compared to the same period the previous year. Despite that drop, data still show that the total number of home sales last year had been outpacing 2012. Bob Walker, realtor for Coldwell Banker and past president of the Arkansas Realtors Association, says November 2013 was largely an anomaly and he expects home sale numbers to continue to rise.

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Local & Regional News
6:53 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Former University of Arkansas Officials Testify About Deficit At Hearing

Current and former University of Arkansas officials testify before the Joint Performance Review Committee Tuesday. From left to right, Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration Don Pederson, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Financial Affairs Jean Schook, Chancellor David Gearhart, former Vice-Chancellor of Advancement Brad Choate, former Associate Vice-Chancellor of University Relations John Diamond (behind Choate) and former Advancement Division Budget Director Joy Sharp.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

As Arkansas lawmakers probe a $4.19 million deficit at the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas, current and former officials testified Tuesday at the Capitol, offering contradictory accounts about who was at fault.

Former employees who were not allowed to testify at a hearing last month, got to give their side of the story to members of the Joint Performance Review Committee.

Brad Choate, who ran the University of Arkansas’s fundraising division, suggested there’s a “culture of cover up” by school officials.

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Local & Regional News
1:16 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Darr Says He Won't Step Down Over Ethics Violations

Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr

Arkansas Lieutenant Gov. Mark Darr says he won't resign despite calls that he quit or risk being impeached over ethics violations.

Darr said in a statement Tuesday he won't step down over complaints tied to his office and campaign spending. Darr last week agreed with Ethics Commission findings that he violated state ethics and campaign laws 11 times and agreed to $11,000 in fines.

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Local & Regional News
12:18 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Trial Delayed For Arkansas Parolee Charged With Murder

Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

The murder trial of an eight-time parole absconder is being delayed until April.

Darrell Dennis is charged with capital murder, kidnapping and aggravated robbery in the May 10 death of 18-year-old Forrest Abrams.

He was arrested less than 30 hours after being released from the Pulaski County jail where he was being held on an absconder warrant.

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Local & Regional News
11:34 am
Tue January 7, 2014

SEC: Arkansas Woman And Stepson Headed Ponzi Scheme

Federal prosecutors in North Carolina say an Arkansas woman and her stepson have reached an unspecified plea agreement on charges they helped operate an Internet Ponzi scheme with a North Carolina man.

The Times Record reports that 45-year-old Dawn Wright-Olivares and 31-year-old Daniel Olivares - both of Clarksville - are due in federal court in Charlotte, N.C., on Feb. 5 for a plea hearing.

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that the scheme took more than $850 million from more than 1 million investors worldwide during 2011 and 2012.

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Local & Regional News
9:52 am
Tue January 7, 2014

New Administrator At Fayetteville Veterans Home

A former nursing home owner is the new administrator of the Fayetteville Veterans Home.

The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs say Kriss Schaffer has been hired to replace Sarah Robinson.

Robinson was fired in November after a resident escaped the home. The veterans home was also cited four times in 2013 by the Office of Long Term Care - including once for neglect in the death of a patient and another time for the broken arm of a patient.

Local & Regional News
6:24 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Say Fix Needed For Ballot Measures

Arkansas Capitol

Arkansas legislators have asked the attorney general and secretary of state's offices to work together to clear the way for three measures they referred to appear on the November ballot after a new law left uncertain how the proposed amendments should be prepared.

A joint House and Senate committee on Monday asked the two offices to come up with a way to prepare the "popular name" for three proposed constitutional amendments the Legislature referred to voters last year. 

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