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Local & Regional News
1:19 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Panel Asks Court To Block Voter ID Enforcement In Primary

A sign outside a Pulaski County polling location reminds voters to have a photo ID.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Pulaski County Election Commission and a group of four voters are asking Arkansas' highest court to prevent the state from enforcing a voter ID law in an upcoming election after it was struck down by a judge.

The commission on Tuesday asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to deny the state's request to stay Judge Tim Fox's ruling, which voided the new law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.

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Local & Regional News
1:16 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Federal Aid Approved For Victims Of Tornado In Faulkner County

Gov. Mike Beebe, alongside Faulkner County officials and political leaders, asking for quick approval of federal aid Monday in Mayflower.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

President Barack Obama has approved a major disaster declaration for an Arkansas county hit hardest by a tornado that killed 15 people.

Gov. Mike Beebe and the state's congressional delegation announced Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated Faulkner County a major disaster area.

Beebe had requested the federal aid on Monday, and the delegation earlier Tuesday asked the White House and FEMA to quickly approve the help.

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Local & Regional News
9:12 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Arkansas Storm Victims Offered Phone-Charging Site

Residents of central Arkansas who lost power during a tornado are being offered a chance to charge their electronic devices at mobile generators deployed near heavily damaged areas.

AT&T says it has set up a temporary cell tower near Mayflower and now has six sites set up as charging stations. The company reminds people that text messages go through quicker than phone calls when the call volume is heavy.

In Mayflower, the charging stations are at the high school and middle school.

In Vilonia, the stations are at City Hall and the Beryl Baptist Church.

Local & Regional News
9:07 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Storm Surveys Continuing For Arkansas Tornado

The National Weather Service is continuing its survey of the deadly tornado that struck Arkansas on Sunday.

Warning coordination meteorologist John Robinson says surveys of the storm track will continue Tuesday and Wednesday. Two forecasters also plan to fly the track with the Civil Air Patrol on Wednesday.

Robinson says the tornado is now considered at least an EF3 but a final rating isn't expected until late Wednesday.

Local & Regional News
8:42 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Arkansas Prison Phone Call Rates Too Steep, Say Advocates

File photo of prison inmates inside Cummins Prison in southeast Arkansas.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas Department of Corrections will soon decide on the future of inmate telephone services at its meeting on Tuesday. The Department’s current contract with Global Tel Link is expiring this year and advocates say the high rates charged for phone calls are unfair for inmates and their families.

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Local & Regional News
4:14 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Arkansas Election Board Seeks Stay Of Voter ID Ruling

The Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court for an emergency stay of a judge's ruling that found the state's new voter ID requirement as unconstitutional.

The board filed a request Monday asking justices to stay Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox's ruling that threw out the voter ID law, which the Legislature passed last year. Fox made the ruling in a case that focused on absentee ballots.

Early voting begins May 5 for the May 20 primary election.

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Local & Regional News
2:57 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Shelters Set Up For Residents After Tornado Damage

Credit redcross.org

For hundreds of residents the repercussions of Monday’s storm damage are still being contemplated as they use food, blankets, and cots provided by the Red Cross. Brigette Williams with Arkansas’s chapter of the Red Cross said six shelters are being used in Mayflower, Conway, and Vilonia.

She said they are continuing to take in those affected by the tornados, which has included a number of children.

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Local & Regional News
1:21 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

KUAR's Michael Hibblen Speaks with 'Here & Now' About Deadly Tornado in Arkansas

This photo provided by James Bryant shows tornado damage, Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Mayflower, Ark.
Credit James Bryant via AP

Three years after a tornado devastated the Little Rock suburb of Vilonia, its residents again huddled in storm cellars as the most powerful twister this year carved an 80-mile path of destruction through suburbs north of the state capital, killing at least 16 people.

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Local & Regional News
1:06 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Obama: FEMA Leader Craig Fugate Coming to Arkansas Amid Tornado Recovery Efforts

Craig Fugate of FEMA

President Barack Obama is sending his deepest condolences to those affected by a deadly tornado that ripped through Arkansas and has directed federal resources to the area.

The White House said Obama is sending Craig Fugate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, to Arkansas "to ensure the appropriate federal resources are being brought to bear to support the state and local efforts."

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Local & Regional News
12:23 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Search And Rescue Efforts Continue in Faulkner County

Faulkner County's attorney David Hogue

Update: Hogue says residents of Mayflower and Vilonia are now being allowed back into their towns as long as they bring a valid ID with them that proves they live there. He says the number of people confirmed dead in the county is now eleven.   

Search and rescue efforts continue in Faulkner County after last night's deadly tornadoes.

Faulkner County's attorney David Hogue says residents in Vilonia and Mayflower are not yet being allowed back into their neighborhoods.

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