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Local & Regional News
7:52 am
Thu August 7, 2014

I-49 Bypass On Hold Near Arkansas-Missouri Border

Plans to connect highway traffic around Bella Vista have been indefinitely postponed after Missouri voters rejected an amendment to fund their state's portion of the project.

The measure was voted down on a statewide ballot Tuesday. The Interstate 49 bypass was defeated as part of a larger amendment to provide $540 million per year for Missouri highway and road construction through a statewide sales tax.

A Missouri engineer says the project was estimated to cost Arkansas taxpayers $150 million and Missouri taxpayers $50 million.

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Local & Regional News
6:31 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Public Hearings On Private Option Changes

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Credit arkansas.gov

Arkansas is holding two hearings on proposals to require participants in the state's compromise Medicaid expansion to contribute to health savings accounts and face new limits on emergency transportation.

The Department of Human Services on Thursday plans to hold its first hearing on the proposed changes, which are set to be submitted to the federal government next month.

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Local & Regional News
4:28 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Pre-Fire Tests Hot Springs' Majestic Showed Negligible Pollutants

Credit Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas

Documents from a December study show tests of rainwater runoff from the former Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs indicated little to no toxic content just 2 months before a building on the site was destroyed in a fire.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality says the former hotel’s owner, Garrison Hassenflu, arranged for testing of possible toxins in the area with the city just two months prior to the former hotel's partial destruction by fire.

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Local & Regional News
2:46 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Arkansas Judge To Be Suspended For Online Comments

Judge Mike Maggio

An Arkansas judge has agreed to never seek judicial office again in the state after admitting that he made inappropriate comments online, including the revelation of confidential details involving actress Charlize Theron's adoption of her son.

The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced Wednesday that Circuit Judge Mike Maggio has agreed to be suspended for the rest of the year with pay, then be removed from office. The state Supreme Court must approve the agreement.

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Local & Regional News
12:51 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Arkansas Officials Ask Courts To Suspend Gay Marriage Case

Arkansas officials are asking a federal judge and the state Supreme Court to suspend a case challenging the state's gay marriage ban while a similar suit is pending before the nation's highest court.

The attorney general's office on Wednesday asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to stay the proceedings in the lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples challenging the state's gay marriage ban. The filing notes that Utah has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold its gay marriage ban, which was struck down by a federal appeals panel in June.

Local & Regional News
6:24 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Whirlpool Testing For Toxic Chemical On Boys & Girls Club Land

File photo of the Whirlpool plant.
Credit Arkansas Times

Whirlpool Corp. is seeking additional testing for toxic chemicals in Fort Smith and the area Boys & Girls Club based on new contamination findings.

The Southwest Times Record reports Whirlpool spokesman Jeff Noel told youth club directors Tuesday that the company is seeking permission to test for trichloroethylene. The chemical is linked to increased cancer risks.

Noel says monitoring equipment has discovered the chemical in local groundwater but not soil. He says further testing is needed to determine if contaminants migrated under a road and onto the club property.

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Local & Regional News
3:57 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Little Rock Police Dog Escapes Pen, Bites Two Neighbors

Police in Little Rock say a police dog managed to escape his pen at a home in Saline County and bite two neighbors.

Sgt. Cassandra Davis says the dog apparently jumped a 6-foot-tall privacy fence on Monday and crossed the street where he bit the neighbors. The condition of the two victims was not released, but Davis says at least one was hospitalized.

Davis says the dog bite is being treated as a vicious dog bite and will not be allowed to leave his home for 10 days.

Local & Regional News
3:12 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Study: Arkansas Leads The Nation In Cutting Percentage Of Uninsured

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe

A new study shows Arkansas outpaced the rest of the United States in reducing the percentage of uninsured residents during the first half of 2014.

The Gallup report released Tuesday says the rate of uninsured adults fell from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent in Arkansas by the middle of this year.

"It’s nice for Arkansas to be number one in the nation in something really, really good," said Gov. Mike Beebe, reacting to the report.

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Local & Regional News
2:22 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

North Arkansas Police Chief Quits Law Enforcement Forever To Avoid Charges

Bull Shoals Police Chief Daniel Sutterfield is agreeing to resign from law enforcement forever in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping charges of excessive force. Josh Dooley with the Baxter Bulletin says the deal comes after a July trial and as a retrial date in Fayetteville nears.

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Local & Regional News
11:50 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Democrats Hit GOP Senate Candidate Cotton On Children's Hospital Vote

Senate Democrats' campaign arm is running an ad criticizing Republican Senate hopeful Tom Cotton for voting against funding pediatric research at an Arkansas children's hospital.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Tuesday began a $3.6 million ad buy against Cotton, who is to face Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in the fall.

In the ad, a former social worker at Arkansas Children's Hospital criticizes Cotton's vote against the National Institutes of Health establishing a National Pediatric Research Network. That research group includes the Arkansas campus.

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