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10:57 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Little Rock Voters Back Robinson Makeover By Big Margin

Architect's vision of the renovated performance hall at Robinson Center.
Credit LittleRock.com

A massive renovation of Little Rock's venerable Robinson Center won the overwhelming approval of Little Rock voters Tuesday with more than 72 percent favoring the use of part of the city's hospitality tax to fund the $73.5 million project.

Turnout was light with only 6,988 of the approximately 114,000 eligible voters showing up at the polls. Supporters of the plan blamed sparse turnout on the harsh winter weather over the last week, but they were happy with the results.

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Local & Regional News
6:27 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Delta Authority Provides $175,000 To Education Program

The Delta Regional Authority has announced it will provide $175,000 to the STRIVE vocational education program in eastern Arkansas.

Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced the investment Tuesday with state and local officials in Marianna.

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Special Program
5:28 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

KUAR To Air Mandela Special Wednesday Evening

Nelson Mandela
Credit Photo courtesy of Mayibuye/Robben Island

KUAR will air Mandela: An Audio History on Wednesday, December 11, at 9 p.m.

The hour-long special radio program tells the story of the struggle against apartheid through rare sound recordings of Nelson Mandela himself, as well as those who fought with and against him.

Recognized as one of the most comprehensive oral histories of apartheid ever broadcast, the program weaves together first-person interviews with an unprecedented collection of rare archival recordings.

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Local & Regional News
2:44 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

The American Red Cross Encourages People To Donate Blood

Credit Arkansas Red Cross

The American Red Cross in Arkansas is encouraging people to donate blood throughout the holiday season.

More than 30 blood drives across the state were cancelled due to the recent ice storm, leaving the organization short by about 1,000 donors. Marci Manley, spokeswoman for the Red Cross, says historically the winter months are a tough time for collecting enough blood donations.

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Local & Regional News
1:35 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Repair Work On Ice-Damaged Little Rock Roads

The ice may be melting after the storm, but significant road damage it still being repaired. The City of Little Rock’s Public Works Department is working to fix potholes and ice issues around town.

Operations Manager Eric Petty says the lingering cold temperatures have made cleanup efforts difficult. He said Tuesday that the city is still cleaning up residential areas and potholes throughout the city.

Local & Regional News
1:05 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Ashdown Council Allows Mayor To Talk With About Deadly KCS Rail Crossings

A Kansas CIty Southern freight train passes through Ashdown in 2011.
Credit flickr

Ashdown city council members say Mayor Carroll McLarty can talk with Kansas City Southern railroad officials about plans to close some crossings in the city.

The railroad has suggested closing at least two of the town's crossings, where four people have died in train-vehicle accidents since 2009.

The Texarkana Gazette reported Tuesday that McLarty told council members that they owed it to the public to do so something.

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Local & Regional News
10:44 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Little Rock Police Work 124 Accidents On Slick Roads

Cars sliding on icy roadways on Sunday.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Little Rock police say they've worked 124 vehicle accidents since wintry weather hit the state last Friday.

The police department says 60 accidents involved damages of more than $1,000, while 64 accidents had damages estimated at less than $1,000.

Sleet and freezing rain shut down schools and many businesses for days.

On Tuesday, the first day that schools reopened in Pulaski County, traffic was slow-moving but roads were mostly clear, except for a few icy patches.

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Local & Regional News
8:20 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Voters Considering Bonds To Renovate Little Rock Music Hall

Robinson Center Music Hall
Credit Flickr

Voters in Little Rock are considering a proposal to pay for up to $73.5 million in renovations to the city's Robinson Center Music Hall.

Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The plan asks voters to dedicate a portion of the city's existing 2 percent restaurant and hotel tax to repay bonds for the project.

The tax had been used for the construction of the Statehouse Convention Center, and those bonds are about to be retired.

The music hall in downtown Little Rock was built in 1939 and hasn't had any major renovations.

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Local & Regional News
6:10 am
Tue December 10, 2013

In Aftermath Of Ice Storm, Debate Over Whether Power Lines Should Be Buried

Frank Burggraf, professor emeritus for the University of Arkansas, in front of an electrical substation in Fayetteville. He's a vocal advocate for burying power lines.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

As many as 60,000 homes and businesses in Arkansas were without power at one point this past weekend because of the winter storm.

Above-ground electrical transmission and distribution lines are vulnerable to failure from heavy wet snow, dense ice and high winds.

Some advocates say it’s time to move those lines underground.  But that is much more expensive and many utility customers don't want to pay higher electric bills.

Jacqueline Froelich with Fayetteville station KUAF has a look at the debate.  You can hear her report above.

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Local & Regional News
2:53 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Beebe Asks Electric Co-ops To Support Medicaid Expansion

File photo of Gov. Mike Beebe speaking in November.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Gov. Mike Beebe is asking Arkansas electric cooperative officials to support funding for the expansion of Medicaid in Arkansas that will be considered by lawmakers beginning in February.

Beebe spoke Monday at the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Directors Winter Conference in Little Rock. He said Arkansas' private option to expand Medicaid freed enough money for about $100 million in tax cuts during the last legislative session.

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