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Local & Regional News
3:43 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Arkansas Revenue Numbers Above Forecast

Revenue numbers released Wednesday show collections over $43 million above forecast. John Shellnutt, an economist with the Department of Finance and Administration, said key areas showed significant change compared to the previous month and same time period last year.

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Local & Regional News
3:26 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Mike Ross Unveils Major Pre-K Proposal for Gubernatorial Campaign

Mike Ross reading to children at Fair Park Early Childhood Center
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Advocates of access to pre-K education gained a major supporter today when Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross announced his plan to offer pre-K to every four year old in the state. The Democratic hopeful’s $37 million a year plan would provide free pre-K by 2025 to all four year olds whose families make less than 300 percent of poverty, with reduced rates for families with higher incomes.

Ross said the state’s existing ABC program doesn’t have the capacity to serve the demand for early childhood education statewide

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Local & Regional News
9:18 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Prosecutor Clears Bald Knob Chief In Shooting

A prosecutor has cleared the Bald Knob police chief in a shooting that wounded a woman at a convenience store.

Prosecuting attorney Chris Raff says Chief Tim Sanford was justified in his use of force in the March 24 shooting of 34-year-old Amy Renee Collins of Cave City. Authorities say Sanford was investigating a reported stabbing when he
shot Collins after she allegedly ran toward him with a knife in her hand.

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Local & Regional News
8:55 am
Wed April 2, 2014

AG Rejects Wording On Arkansas Alcohol Ballot Item

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it legal to produce and sell alcohol in all 75 Arkansas counties will have to try again for approval of the wording of their ballot item.

The state attorney general's office on Tuesday rejected the wording of the proposed Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment.

The drive for the amendment is being organized by attorney David Couch.

Local & Regional News
5:33 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Wording Rejected For Proposed Ethics Reform Ballot Item

The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected the wording of a ballot proposal that would institute tougher ethics laws for state public officials.

The group Regnat Populus was told Tuesday that the phrasing of its ballot proposal contains ambiguities and can't be approved, as is. The group can try again.

Backers want to institute tighter regulations for campaign finance and lobbying.

Local & Regional News
4:20 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Mayors Honor Those Who Have Served Their Communities

Beau Cooper and Sherice Loftin are with GardenCorps.
Credit Kezia Nanda/KUAR News

People who volunteer to help their communities in central Arkansas were honored on the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service.

The ceremony took place in front of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith saluted Beau Cooper and Sherice Loftin from his city.

Cooper is a volunteer with GardenCorps, which cares for 19 gardens in the city.

He said he is happy to be giving back to his community by weeding and planning the gardens in North Little Rock.

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Local & Regional News
4:01 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Two Major Arkansas Catholic Hospitals Merge

Lady's Auxiliary at St. Vincent
Credit stvincenthealth.com

A hospital system merger worth a combined $700 million in revenue was announced Tuesday afternoon. Mercy Hospital in Hot Springs is becoming part of the Little Rock based St. Vincent Health System.

Peter Banko, the president of the system, said St. Vincent has been pursuing expansion since talks with UAMS faltered last summer.

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Local & Regional News
3:59 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Civil Rights Figure John Lewis To Speak At Little Rock Event

Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who will be speaking at this year's Arkansas Literary Festival.

The Arkansas Literary Festival scheduled for the end of the month will feature a talk by civil rights figure Rep. John Lewis, who is to discuss his graphic novel memoir.

The festival is to run April 24-27 in Little Rock, and Lewis is scheduled to speak on the closing day.

Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, took part in sit-ins and freedom rides during the civil rights movement.

His book, "March: Book One," is the first of three planned volumes. Andrew Aydin worked as co-writer with Lewis and it was drawn by North Little Rock artist Nate Powell.

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Local & Regional News
2:08 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Fellowship Program Aims to Curb Arkansas Brain Drain

Warwick Sabin
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The benefits of Arkansas’s investments in higher education are sometimes reaped by other states when graduates leave Arkansas to pursue careers elsewhere. This challenge is often referred to as brain-drain.

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Local & Regional News
12:22 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Director Named For Arkansas Health Insurance Exchange

The former director of Utah's health insurance exchange has been named director of the organization that's exploring whether to create a state-run insurance exchange in Arkansas.

Cheryl Smith will begin work next month for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace.

Arkansas has partnered with the federal government to run its exchange, but the state is exploring whether to establish its own state-run insurance marketplace.

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