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Affordable Care Act
11:10 am
Tue April 23, 2013

'Private Option' Plan Now Law In Arkansas With Governor's Signature

Gov. Mike Beebe at a ceremony Tuesday to sign the 'private option' into law.
Credit Nathan Vandiver/ KUAR

Governor Mike Beebe on Tuesday signed into law a plan for federal Medicaid funds to be used to buy private health insurance for Arkansas adults who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

The Governor signed the bills that make up the state’s Private option expansion plan into law at a ceremony in his conference room at the state capitol.

“This is a victory for all of Arkansas in my opinion, and no one person or one group of people deserve all the credit for this,” Beebe said.

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Local & Regional News
11:06 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Arkansas Legislature Wraps Up 100-day Session

The Arkansas Legislature has wrapped up its regular session after giving final approval to a bill detailing the state's $4.9 billion budget.  

The House approved the Revenue Stabilization Act on a 77-15 vote Tuesday. The Senate approved the measure on a 28-6 vote.  

Both chambers gaveled out after approving the bill with plans to reconvene the session May 17 for a formal adjournment.  

The Revenue Stabilization Act sets the state's spending priorities based on expected revenues.  

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Private Option To Become Law
6:29 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Beebe To Sign 'Private Option' Plan Into Arkansas Law

Governor Mike Beebe

Gov. Mike Beebe is set to sign into law legislation that will allow Arkansas to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private health insurance for thousands of low-income residents. 

Beebe is expected Tuesday to sign into law bills setting up the "private option" program that supporters have touted as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion called for under the federal health care law.

The proposal would allow the state to purchase private insurance through an exchange set up through the law. The federal government must still approve Arkansas' plan.

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Police Investigate GOP Threats
6:25 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Arkansas Republican Lawmakers Face Security Concerns

Davy Carter
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas State Police say they have investigated threats against state legislators but found no reason to believe their safety was in jeopardy. House Speaker Davy Carter was one of the legislators threatened when he was targeted in a tweet. 

Carter said Monday that he never felt he was in physical danger but said the threat made him angry. Also Monday, the editor of the Benton County Republican Committee newsletter apologized for approving an article by her husband that discussed shooting legislators.

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Local & Regional News
6:19 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Authorities Seek Relatives After Grave Thefts In Pine Bluff

Graceland Cemetery in Pine Bluff.

Jefferson County authorities are searching for relatives of deceased military veterans whose metal plates were taken from the headstones of their graves. 

Sheriff's Maj. Lafayette Woods says 44-year-old Harold Law was arrested last week after trying to sell nine of the brass plates that are worth up to $2,000 each to a scrap metal dealer. Law's name was originally spelled Lawes by both sheriff's officials and by the jail's website.

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Pedestrians Safety
4:03 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Locals Say It's Dangerous To Walk Across South Main Street

Credit southsidemain.org

Little Rock officials are now focusing on South Main Street’s growth and the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists in that area.

All this month, officials are working to heighten awareness of the need to drivers to be safer.  KUAR’s Kezia Nanda visited the South Main and 15th St. Intersection.

The corner of South Main and 15th Street is where the Root Café, the Green Corner Store and Boulevard Bread are located. 

Laura Frankenstein works at the Green Corner Store and feels it’s dangerous to walk across Main Street.

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Local & Regional News
3:43 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Dismang Elected To Head Arkansas Senate in 2015

A Republican lawmaker who was one of the key supporters of a plan to use federal Medicaid money to  provide private insurance to thousands of low-income residents will lead the state Senate in the 2015 legislative session.  

Sen. Jonathan Dismang of Beebe was elected Monday to lead the 35-member Senate in the 90th General Assembly that begins in 2015.

Dismang was the only candidate running for the Senate president pro tem position.  

Dismang has served in the state Senate since 2011 and served a term in the House before then.

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State Budget
1:56 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Arkansas $4.9 Billion Budget Advances By Comfortable Majorities, Needs One More Vote

Credit flickr.com

Lawmakers in both the Arkansas House and Senate will wrap up with their final vote on the state’s budget on Tuesday. Each chamber voted on identical versions of the budget today Monday.

The state’s budget for its fiscal year that begins July 1st and ends June 30th of 2014 is 4.9 billion dollars and includes increases for the state’s Medicaid program and education, as well as a 2 percent cost of living raise for state employees. It passed by a vote of 80-15 in the House.

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Local & Regional News
12:47 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Court Rejects Appeal In Arkansas Triple Killing

Chevie Kehoe

A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal from a white supremacist who challenged his murder  conviction after his defense attorneys tried to pick a jury with as many black members as possible.  

Chevie Kehoe was sentenced to life in prison for the 1996 killings of an Arkansas family. His accomplice received a death sentence.  

Kehoe argues that he received ineffectual counsel because of his attorneys' jury-selection strategy.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Kehoe's conviction Monday.  

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Local & Regional News
12:38 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Arkansas GOP Newsletter Editor Apologizes For Content

The editor of the Benton County Republican Committee is apologizing for approving an article by her husband that mentioned the threat of shooting legislators who voted for the "private option" insurance expansion.

Leigh Nogy said Monday that her husband, Chris Nogy, didn't literally suggest murdering elected officials.

And she says she didn't perceive that his writing would bring such strong criticism from within and outside the Arkansas Republican Party.  

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