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Festivals & Events
9:52 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Conway Bank Drops Truck Giveaway At Festival

Credit arktimes.com

The popular "Stuck on a Truck" contest at Conway's annual Toad Suck Daze festival is off this year.

Centennial Bank, which sponsored the annual vehicle giveaway, announced Monday that it won't be bringing back the contest during this year's festival in May. The giveaway began in 2001 as "Hug a Bug" and has become a major attraction at the festival in downtown Conway.

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Politics & Healthcare
6:36 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

On First Day Of Fiscal Session, Where Do Arkansas Legislators Stand On Private Option?

Arkansas state Senators convened Monday for the beginning of the 3rd Legislative Fiscal Session held since 2008.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

Before lawmakers  milled about in the two legislative chambers,  state police color guards posted their flags and roll was called Monday, preparations for the month-long fiscal session had long been underway with months of hearings and reviews of budget proposals. The session will deal with those budget proposals for various state entities as put forward by Governor Mike Beebe. Members of the House and Senate must reach three-fourths majorities to approve them, amending certain sections along the way.

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Talk Business Arkansas
6:30 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

2/10/14: Talk Business Arkansas

On this week's edition of Talk Business & Politics: Gov. Mike Beebe is optimistic about the private option; The state's new business hall of famers -- Who are they and how did they make the cut? Also; the latest state revenue report; gambling numbers from Oaklawn and Southland; the session gears up on Monday and Speaker of the House Davy Carter joins Roby for a sit-down to explore what it might take to achieve the votes for the private option.

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Local & Regional News
5:42 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Break In Wintry Weather Helps Search For Arkansas Forestry Pilot

Search crews got a rare bit of clear weather and launched two aircraft to help in the search for an Arkansas forestry pilot who disappeared on Jan. 31.

More snow is in the forecast over the massive search area in western Arkansas. Before it moved in, an airplane and a state police helicopter flew over the rugged forestland as ground crews again fanned out to try to find Jake Harrell.

Officials say Harrell failed to check in the afternoon of Jan. 31 during what was to have been about a two-hour flight to look for wildfires.

Local & Regional News
5:12 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Bill Filed To Keep Arkansas Lt. Governor Post Empty

A bill aimed at avoiding a special election for the lieutenant governor's office following Mark Darr's resignation over ethics violations has been filed in the Senate.

Senate Republican Leader Eddie Joe Williams and Senate Democratic Leader Keith Ingram filed legislation Monday that would give the governor the choice to not call a special election within 10 months of the November general election.

Ingram said the cost of having a special election would be in the millions and added that it needed to be addressed in the fiscal session.

Local & Regional News
5:11 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Arkansas AG: No Extra Time For Absentees In New Law

Arkansas' attorney general says absentee voters who don't include proof of identification with their ballots shouldn't be given additional time to show their ID under a new state law.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said in an advisory opinion issued Monday a voter ID law approved last year didn't provide additional time for absentee voters who didn't submit proof of identity with their ballots.

The Republican-led Legislature approved the voter ID law last year, overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

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Local & Regional News
4:28 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Arkansas Panel Solicits Votes For State Promo Song

  The Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department is opening voting for selection of a song to promote the state.

Seven songs have been chosen as finalists in the competition, for which voting begins Monday and runs through Feb. 24. More than 230 people entered the competition.

People who want to vote can listen to the finalists at to www.arkansas.com/song-of-arkansas and vote on their choice.

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Local & Regional News
2:34 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Arkansas Legislature Begins Special Session, Private Option & Common Core Discussed

The Arkansas Senate convenes Monday afternoon at the state Capitol.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

Arkansas lawmakers have opened a legislative session that's expected to focus on the future of the state's compromise plan to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law.

The House and Senate convened Monday for the state's third-ever fiscal session. It's the third slimmed-down session focusing on the state's budget under a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2008 requiring the Legislature to meet and budget annually.

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Local & Regional News
2:29 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Martha Shoffner Seeks Separate Trial On New Charges

File photo of Martha Shoffner leaving a court hearing last June in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner is asking for a separate trial on new charges accusing her of improper spending from her campaign account.

Shoffner is scheduled for trial next month on charges she accepted cash payments from a broker to whom she allegedly steered state investments. But last week, federal prosecutors added 10 new mail-fraud charges against Shoffner, accusing her of misspending $9,800 in campaign money.

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Local & Regional News
10:44 am
Mon February 10, 2014

State Considers Blowing Up The Old Broadway Bridge

As planning continues for a new bridge connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock, engineers are looking at another issue: how to get rid of the old Broadway Bridge.

Highway officials say contractors will likely want to blow up the current bridge rather than dismantle it piece by piece.

The new bridge will be built at the same site as the old one over the Arkansas River connecting downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock.

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