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A federal appeals court says it has received payment from the Arkansas Attorney General's Office one day after it threatened to dismiss the state's attempt to restore a gay marriage ban because of an outstanding $505 docketing fee.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals notified the state Jan. 7 that the money was due last Wednesday. The appeals court said Monday that Arkansas has two weeks to demonstrate why its appeal shouldn't be dropped.

The Central Arkansas Team Care for the Homeless plans to conduct a census count of the homeless population in central Arkansas.

The count of sheltered and unsheltered people will be conducted Tuesday night in four counties in the Little Rock area - Pulaski, Lonoke, Prairie, and Saline.

Volunteers plans to distribute flyers throughout the area identifying satellite locations where volunteers will be working.

The 2014 count conducted last January found there were 571 men, women and children comprising 489 households residing in shelters in six Arkansas counties.

The Arkansas House has voted to require write-in candidates to notify state and local election officials 90 days in advance if they plan to run for office.

Lawmakers voted 90-1 on Monday in favor of the bill, which was presented with a minor technical change.

Write-in candidates are already required to file paperwork in every county in which they're running in order for their votes to be counted. County clerks are not required to include ballot lines for write-in candidates without the filings.

Whitney Murph Hal Cook
Jayme Goad / KUAR News

The family of a Jacksonville man has filed a lawsuit against Arkansas Funeral Care and its owner LeRoy Wood. The suit, announced at a press conference Monday, alleges that Kenny Alton Smith’s funeral had to be done with a closed casket due to negligence by the funeral home staff.

When asked about the motivations behind the suit, Hal Cook, an attorney for the Smith family said, “I think they want to do the right thing. They want other people to come forward and be comforted and get some type of closure that they’re going to hopefully ultimately get.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $4.9 million in grants to 31 homeless housing and service programs in Arkansas.

The funding announced Monday is an increase of $184,118 over the previous year. HUD's Continuum of Care grants help agencies provide housing and support services to people and families experiencing homelessness.

Programs receiving the grants offer a variety of services including street outreach, client assessment and direct housing assistance.

A pair of researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will study how opioids are prescribed and dispensed by doctors and pharmacists.

The $538,781 grant by the National Insitute on Drug Abuse will cover three years' of study by Geoff Curran and Bradley Martin at the UAMS College of Pharmacy.

Opioids are pain relievers that include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone.

A House leader says Arkansas lawmakers are looking at changing Gov. Asa Hutchinson's tax cut package to restore part of a $21 million capital gains tax reduction that would otherwise be repealed.

House Revenue and Taxation Committee Chairman Joe Jett said Monday lawmakers are looking at the change as they try to move quickly on Hutchinson's proposal to cut income taxes 1 percent for those making between $21,000 and $75,000 a year. Jett said the panel could vote Tuesday on the legislation, which the Senate approved last week.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The week ahead in the Arkansas Legislature promises action on Governor Asa Hutchinson’s signature tax cut proposal, reaction to the governor’s Medicaid expansion plans, the reevaluation of celebrating a Confederate general on the same day as a civil rights icon, and the release of a state budget proposal.

The Arkansas Department of Health says 25 people have died from flu-related illness in the state so far this season.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Health Department released its weekly influenza report on Friday. Of the 25 deaths, officials say 19 of the victims were over age 65, four were 45 to 65 years old and two were between the ages of 25 and 44.

The Arkansas Department of Health tracks the flu for one calendar year starting on Sept. 28, as well as from September through March.

Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint against Attorney General Leslie Rutledge that accused her violating state law by appearing in an outside group's campaign ad last year.

Director Graham Sloan says the panel voted 4-0 on Friday to dismiss the complaint against Rutledge, a Republican who was sworn in last week as attorney general. Little Rock attorney and blogger Matt Campbell had filed the complaint against Rutledge over her appearance in a 30-second television spot by the Republican Attorneys General Association.

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