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Local & Regional News
4:37 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

LR Superintendent Assumes Interim Role After State Takeover Of District

Interim Superintendent Dexter Suggs speaks to reporters Thursday about the state takeover of the Little Rock School District.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Dexter Suggs has assumed his role as Interim Superintendent of the Little Rock School District following the State Board of Education’s decision to dissolve the local school board Wednesday.

In his first press conference since the state takeover, Suggs said he will move forward with plans for the district and  seek participation from those who spoke out against the state action.

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Local & Regional News
2:06 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Arkansas House Approves Governor's Tax Cut Proposal

The Arkansas House has approved Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposal to cut income taxes for the middle class by $102 million a year and repeal part of a 2013 capital gains tax break.

By a 95-2 vote, the House approved the proposal to cut income taxes by 1 percent for those making between $21,000 and $75,000 a year. The proposal heads back to the Senate for a final vote.

Local & Regional News
2:04 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Arkansas House Committee Approves Anti-Abortion Proposal

Rep. Julie Mayberry, sponsor of the bill, looks over the abortion legislation Thursday.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

An Arkansas House committee has approved a proposal that would require a doctor to be present when women take abortion-inducing medication.

The Public Health, Welfare, and Labor committee Thursday voted to send the bill to the House. It would prevent any instance of the medication being administered through telemedicine and require that doctors attempt to schedule a follow-up visit.

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Local & Regional News
11:08 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Three Tech Companies Locating In Downtown Conway, Creating 140 New Jobs

Three technology companies announced plans to locate new facilities in downtown Conway, investing $2.5 million and adding 140 new jobs.

Talk Business and Politics report Metova Inc., a mobile app development company; Big Cloud Analytics, a predictive analytics software company; and Eyenalyze, a Conway-based company that has developed innovative software for use in the food service sector; will invest a combined $2.5 million and create 140 new jobs.

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Local & Regional News
10:28 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Senate Votes To Continue 'Private Option,' Form Task Force

Sen. John Cooper, who ran against the private option last year, was among Republicans going along with the governor's request to continue the program through the end of 2016.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The Arkansas Senate has voted to continue the state's compromise Medicaid expansion for another year and create a task force to look at alternatives for the hundreds of thousands of low-income Arkansas residents receiving coverage through the program.

The Senate voted 29-2 Thursday to reauthorize the state's "private option," which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. The Senate also approved by a 27-7 vote the creation of a task force to look at alternatives and reforms to the state's Medicaid system.

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Local & Regional News
9:56 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Perry County Pharmacist Arrested On Federal Drug Charge

A bond hearing is scheduled for an Arkansas pharmacist who has been arrested for allegedly distributing controlled drugs illegally.

U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Thyer says Christopher Watson, a Perry County pharmacist, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of illegal distribution of a controlled substance. A bond hearing is scheduled for Watson Thursday afternoon.

Court records do not indicate Watson has entered a plea to the charge. His attorney, Frank Shaw, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

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Local & Regional News
6:45 am
Thu January 29, 2015

State Board Takes Leadership Of Little Rock Schools

Little Rock School Superintendent Dexter Suggs speaks to the State Board of Education Wednesday.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Arkansas State Board of Education approved a state takeover of the Little Rock School District with a five to four vote Wednesday after four hours of comments from community members overwhelmingly opposed to the takeover.

State Board member Vickie Saviers proposed the motion that leaves Superintendent Dr. Dexter Suggs in his job on an interim basis.

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Local & Regional News
6:37 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Wal-Mart Cuts About 50 Positions At Northwest Arkansas Headquarters

Wal-Mart has announced it will cut about 50 positions at its company headquarters in Bentonville.

KHOG-TV reports a company representative said Wednesday the layoffs will affect multiple departments and that no more are expected at this time.

In a statement, the retailer said it's common for individual departments to make adjustments around February, which is the start of the company's fiscal year, to better support their and the company's goals.

Wal-Mart says affected employees can apply for other positions within the company.

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Local & Regional News
4:16 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

State Board Of Education Votes To Take Over Little Rock Schools

State Board of Education member Jay Barth (second from left in background) lost a compromise for the school district's continued existence on a 4-4 vote when Chair Sam Ledbetter declined to break the tie.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

By a 5-4 vote, the Arkansas State Board of Education Wednesday approved a state takeover of the Little Rock School District. It came after an impassioned five hour meeting, that included comments from parents, students, state lawmakers and school officials overwhelmingly opposed to the takeover. 

Little Rock Superintendent Dexter Suggs, who has only been on the job a year and a half, asked the board for time to make changes, saying progress was being made. 

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Local & Regional News
12:56 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Legislative Committee Rejects Removing Lee From King Holiday

Rep. Charles Blake speaking in favor of the bill while members of Sons of Confederate Veterans look on.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The joint celebration of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. will continue in Arkansas. An effort in the Arkansas Legislature Wednesday to end the state holiday honoring both Lee and King on the same day failed on a voice vote after an onslaught of testimony from those lauding Lee’s legacy. The legislation in the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee would have allowed MLK Day to stand alone, while the Lee celebration would be incorporated into a new “Patrick Cleburne-Robert E.

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