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5:53 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Tim Griffin Backs Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Ballot Change

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (right) alongside Gov. Asa Hutchinson at a press conference last month.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin is supporting a lawmaker's push for his office to no longer be a separate elected position and instead have the state's No. 2 constitutional officer appear on the ballot as the governor's running mate.

Griffin said Tuesday he supports a proposed constitutional amendment to have two people run jointly rather than appear separately on the ballot.

The proposal by Republican Rep. Julie Mayberry would take effect in the 2022 election if placed on the ballot next year and approved by voters.

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Local & Regional News
5:40 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Senate OKs Bill Relaxing Rules On Forming New Districts

The Arkansas Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill easing restrictions on the creation of new school districts.

By a 20-6 vote, the Senate approved and sent to the governor's desk a bill that would lower the amount of students a new district needs to splinter from an existing district. The legislation would lower the requirement from 4,000 students to 2,500.

Supporters of the measure say it would allow Maumelle or Sherwood to split from the Pulaski County Special school district after clearing state and federal hurdles.

Local & Regional News
4:59 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Searcy Police Chief Resigns; Home Searched By ATF

File photo of Searcy Police Chief Jeremy Clark, speaking to reporters in November 2014.
Credit KARK-TV 4/ ArkansasMatters.com

The Searcy police chief has resigned after his home was searched by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Searcy Mayor David Morris told reporters at a brief news conference Tuesday afternoon that Police Chief Jeremy Clark resigned, effective immediately. Morris said he can't comment further because of an ongoing investigation.

Clark did not return phone calls seeking comment. KATV-TV reports that Clark denied wrongdoing and said he's the subject of an arson investigation.

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Local & Regional News
1:38 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Arkansas Pump Prices Up Nearly 30 Cents Since Late January

Credit Brian Herzog / Flickr

All that it took to change the direction of pump prices and tighten the gasoline market across the U.S. was an earthquake-like explosion and fire at ExxonMobil’s sprawling refinery complex in southern California, the U.S. Energy Department said in its monthly refinery outage report on Feb. 27.

The report, produced by the Energy Information Administration, noted that unplanned refinery outages have noticeable effects on the nation’s fuel market, disrupting the supplies of gasoline and other distillates like diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene and jet fuel.

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Local & Regional News
1:22 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Group Touts Businesses Promoting LGBT Diversity As Fights Legislation

File photo of Human Rights Campaign state Director Kendra Johnson, speaking at a press conference at the Arkansas Capitol in July 2014.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A national group is touting more than 100 Arkansas businesses that it says are promoting diversity for gays and lesbians as it fights "conscience protection" legislation that critics say would justify discrimination.

The Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday unveiled an "Equality is Our Business" program that's aimed at advancing protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. HRC said 106 primarily small businesses had signed the pledge to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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Local & Regional News
1:16 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Arkansas House Panel Hears Anti-Abortion Proposals

Rep. Mary Bentley who sponsored legislation that would require abortion physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

An Arkansas House panel has supported a proposal for tougher abortion pill restrictions but failed to advance a bill that would increase requirements for abortion providers.

The bill approved Tuesday by the Health Committee would override local doctors and require abortion pill providers to follow dosage limits and other guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Local & Regional News
10:36 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Arkansas Revenues Driven Higher By Sales Taxes In February

The state’s revenue forecast looks rosier thanks to a strong month of sales tax collections in February. Monthly sales tax collections spiked 5.7% above last year and 5% above forecast to bring in $176.5 million for the month.

The increase boosted year-to-date net available general revenues to more than $3.338 billion, up $127.2 million or 4% above year ago levels. After eight months into the fiscal year, net available revenue is above forecast by $94.6 million or 2.9%.

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Local & Regional News
8:34 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Group To Tout Arkansas Businesses Promoting LGBT Diversity

A national group is touting Arkansas businesses that it says are promoting diversity for gays and lesbians as it fights "conscience protection" legislation that critics say would justify discrimination.
 
The Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday planned to announce its "Equality is Our Business" program at a news conference in North Little Rock. The group says the program is aimed at advancing protections in employment, housing and public accommodations.
 

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Local & Regional News
7:01 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Arkansas Immigrants Prepare As President's Executive Orders Remain In Limbo

Jenna Greer, Central Arkansas Organizer for the Arkansas United Community Coalition, gives a presentation at Hall High School in Little Rock.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Of the many immigrants thought to be in the United States illegaly, the Arkansas United Community Coalition estimates 60,000 of them are in Arkansas. Of those, they say half would likely benefit from President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration. The state is now one of 26 fighting the President in court, but the AUCC continues to ready immigrants in case the President’s orders take effect.

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Local & Regional News
6:05 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Guns On Campus Bill Passes Arkansas House, Heads To Senate

Rep. Charlie Collins, speaking with reporters last week, is sponsor of the bill.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

A bill passed in the Arkansas House of Representatives Monday would require public universities to allow faculty and staff with concealed carry permits to bring firearms on campus. It now heads to the Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville, said during debate that the proposal would serve as a deterrent to those considering committing a mass shooting.

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