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Local & Regional News
3:22 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Voter ID Rules for Absentee Ballots Divide Arkansas Election Commissions

Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane
Credit pulaskiclerk.com

The new Voter ID law continues to be tested in special elections throughout the state and problems with absentee ballots are heading to court. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman has details.

The Pulaski County Election Commission and County Clerk Larry Crane are suing the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners over procedures governing absentee ballots submitted without a copy of an ID.

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Local & Regional News
1:50 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Children's Health in Arkansas: The Good And Bad News

A new report on the state of children's health in Arkansas highlights some big wins and some areas of concern.

It says more Arkansas children are likely to receive immunizations than they were seven years ago but notes children need better access to mental health services, more nutritious meals, and consistent health education.

The report is put together by a partnership of health care providers, state agencies, and other health organizations.

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Local & Regional News
7:51 am
Thu March 13, 2014

UCA Ex-Administrator Gets 3-Year Prison Sentence

Credit Faulkner County Sheriff's Office

A former University of Central Arkansas administrator remains free on bond pending an appeal after a jury convicted him of six counts of commercial burglary.

The jury in Van Buren County recommended Wednesday that former UCA chief of staff Jack Gillean serve three years in prison. Earlier in the day, the jury deliberated about an hour and a half before convicting Gillean on the felony counts.

Prosecutors accused Gillean of giving master keys to a student so the student could break into professors' offices to steal tests.

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Local & Regional News
5:09 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Pulaski Tech To Assess College's Financial Future After Voters Reject Tax Increase

Now that Pulaski County voters have overwhelmingly rejected a measure for a property tax increase to generate $11 million annually for Pulaski Technical College in Little Rock, the school's president says she will be assessing the college's financial future. 

Voters turned back the measure by a 3-to-1 margin.

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Local & Regional News
3:47 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

U.S. Attorney On What's Next In Shoffner Case

Martha Shoffner outside the Federal Courthouse
Credit David Goins / KARK-TV

The guilty jury verdict announced late Tuesday in the case of former Treasurer Martha Shoffner vindicated for some a year-long investigation. Shoffner was found guilty on all 14 counts of extortion and bribery and faces up to 20 years in prison. 

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer’s office sought the indictment and prosecuted the case. Thyer said the severity of Shoffner’s sentence is still being determined.

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Local & Regional News
1:23 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

$5 Billion Budget Bill and Fond Quips as Arkansas Legislature Nears Adjournment

Nate Bell, Charlie Collins, John Burris, and Duncain Baird laugh at jests directed toward colleagues.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The state legislature held its penultimate session Wednesday with each chamber approving each other’s version of the $5 billion budget bill known as the Revenue Stabilization Act. Members of the House informally commemorated the ending of the session by spending time roasting each other.

A remark by Republican David Branscum commented on the difficulty of picking up just a few votes to pass the private option.

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Local & Regional News
12:58 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Marshals Museum Opening Pushed Back To 2017; Lecture Series Announced

Rendering of U.S. Marshals Museum

Officials have delayed the opening of Fort Smith's $50 million U.S. Marshals Museum until 2017.

The U.S. Marshals Museum Board initially planned to open the museum in 2016, but museum president and CEO Jim Dunn says it will take longer to build the 50,000-square-foot building along the Arkansas River.

Groundbreaking for the facility is still set for Sept. 24.

Meanwhile, the museum says a gift from the widow of the late Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller will fund a three-year lecture series at the museum .

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Local & Regional News
12:45 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Former UCA Administrator Found Guilty In Test-Theft Case

Former UCA chief of staff Jack Gillean was charged with stealing tests from professors' offices.
Credit Faulkner County Sheriff's Office

Former University of Central Arkansas Chief of Staff Jack Gillean has been found guilty on all counts in his commercial burglary trial.

Gillean faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the six commercial burglary counts.

Prosecutors accused Gillean of knowingly providing his UCA master keys to a student so the student could steal tests from professors' offices.

Student Cameron Stark testified that Gillean gave him those master keys so he could steal tests in 2011 and 2012. The defense did not call any witnesses.

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Local & Regional News
6:26 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Highway Officials Say Lack Of Funding Part Of Reason For Winter Storm Back Up

AHTD Director Scott Bennett
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department faced scrutiny Tuesday after miles long, overnight traffic problems last week as a result of winter storms in east Arkansas.

A committee hearing was called after several state lawmakers and Governor Mike Beebe chastised the highway department’s response to the onslaught of sleet, ice, and snow that covered much of northeast Arkansas.

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Local & Regional News
5:53 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

New Numbers Released For Insurance Market Plan

Less than 50 percent of the Arkansans eligible to sign up for health care coverage under the nation's new marketplace have selected a plan.

A report released Tuesday by the federal government shows that of the 58,173 people who are eligible to pick a plan, about 27, 400 have done so during the marketplace's first five months.

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