Harold Copenhaver
Talk Business & Politics

A co-chair of a task force on teacher health insurance says after this week’s special session, his group plans to study privatizing the troubled school benefits program.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Arkansas lawmakers are spreading out across two different parts of downtown as they gather for a special legislative session focused on teacher insurance, the lottery and prison overcrowding.

The House and Senate are set to convene Monday afternoon for the session, which legislative leaders hope to wrap up by early Wednesday morning.

The House will meet in the Old State House museum after renovations moved them out of their chamber. The Senate will remain at the state Capitol, located a mile away.

The city of Little Rock says it's extending the hours of its non-emergency line so residents can report the illegal use of fireworks.

The city said Monday that its 311 non-emergency line will have extended hours Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. until midnight. The city is asking residents to either call 311 or the police department's non-emergency line to report fireworks, rather than dialing 911.

The use of fireworks is outlawed within Little Rock city limits.

A hearing is planned for next week on proposed plans to renovate Arkansas Game and Fish Commission facilities near Mayflower that were damaged or destroyed by the April 27 tornado.

The Camp Robinson Special Use Area had featured a maintenance shed, clubhouse and dog training facilities in an area east of Mayflower and Lake Conway. The facilities sustained major damage in the EF4 twister that hit the area.

Franklin Elementary School Teacher Brittany Brooks
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas legislature is poised to attempt to push back this week against the rising cost of the health insurance program for public school employees. The Special Session beginning Monday is expected to last three days and was called after Governor Mike Beebe determined the proposed legislation had the needed support. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman takes a look at what changes might mean for schools and the people that work in them.

The following is the text of Governor Mike Beebe's Radio Address:

timothy buffington
Arkansas Dept. of Correction

A convicted killer who walked away from a work assignment at a prison in Pine Bluff remains on the loose after six days.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokeswoman Shea Wilson said Friday that 47-year-old Timothy Buffington is still at large.

Wilson says Buffington was doing yard and janitorial work at a house on the prison grounds - but outside the secure area - on Saturday when he broke into the house and took a shotgun and ammunition before disappearing. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says next week's special legislative session will also include a proposal to prohibit the lottery from adding monitor games such as keno.

Beebe on Friday added the effort to restrict the games to his proclamation calling lawmakers back to the Capitol for the special session. Beebe earlier this week called the special session, set to begin Monday, to focus on a looming hike in teacher health insurance premiums and prison overcrowding.

Hillary Clinton
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Hillary Clinton is in Little Rock, signing copies of her newest book, "Hard Choices."

Fans of the former secretary of state arrived as early as 3:30 a.m. Friday to wait in line at a Little Rock Wal-Mart for a chance to meet Clinton. Hundreds of people were in line when Clinton arrived midday, about 45 minutes past the scheduled start time.

Clinton's stop in Little Rock is one of a handful she's making to promote her memoir, which is about her four years at the State Department under President Barack Obama.

The Arkansas Department of Health says it's received several reports of people posing as fraudulent restaurant inspectors.

The health department says some restaurants have received phone calls from entities claiming to be state inspectors who want to schedule restaurant inspections. In some cases, restaurants were asked to call a certain telephone number.