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Local & Regional News
12:30 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Judge Addresses Issues In Central Arkansas Desegregation Case

A federal judge says a panel that reviews magnet school programs for three central Arkansas school districts involved in a long-running desegregation battle will cease to exist this summer.

U.S. District Judge Price Marshall also said at a hearing Friday that he may dissolve the Office of Desegregation Monitoring.

The office has reviewed the racial balance of the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County Special school districts for decades. Its work would then be done by a court-appointed expert.

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Local & Regional News
5:52 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

National Weather Service's SkyWarn Program Trains Citizen Scientists

Volunteers at a recent Sky Warn meeting in Ozark, Arkansas.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

With an increase in the potential for severe weather in the Spring, the National Weather Service is holding training programs in Arkansas to educate citizens on how they can serve as severe weather spotters.

Jacqueline Froelich with Fayetteville station KUAF sat in on a training session on the Sky Warn program and has details on the valuable information it provides to forecasters.

Volunteers learn about seasonal trends, review past storms events, learn spotter safety, understanding how storms move and act, and how to securely position themselves outdoors.

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Local & Regional News
5:01 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Pulaski County School District Desegregation Efforts To Be Assessed In Court

Credit www.pcssd.org

The Pulaski County Special School District will be in court Friday to argue progress has been made in resolving long-running desegregation issues.

Since 2011, two of nine problem areas have been declared unitary and the district hopes to have two more ruled to be in compliance by federal Judge D. Price Marshall, Jr. Superintendent Jerry Guess said when the remaining desegregation obligations are resolved he expects the district to operate under the same conditions as the county’s other two districts.

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Local & Regional News
4:37 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Judge: No Pine Bluff Mayoral Election Until 2016

A circuit judge says Pine Bluff shouldn't have its mayoral election until 2016, ruling in favor with the city's mayor.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Thursday that Circuit Judge Ted Capehart granted a request by Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth to keep the city's election in 2016.

Hollingsworth was elected to a four-year term in 2012. She sued last month, after the Jefferson County Election Commission decided to add former Mayor Carl Redus to the May primary ballot for his old job.

Local & Regional News
4:34 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Tonadoes Possible As Severe Weather Develops

The Storm Prediction Center says a line of storms near the western Ozarks could develop tornadoes.

A tornado watch was in effect Thursday afternoon for western Arkansas, western Missouri and eastern Oklahoma.

A line of storms had developed, and forecasters said any thunderstorm that evolve by themselves should be watched for a possible tornado.

According to the severe storms forecasters, the atmosphere is ripe for weather to worsen away from the line of thunderstorms.

Local & Regional News
3:59 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Arkansas Has 74 Flu Deaths This Season, Worst In Recent History

Credit Connecticut Department of Public Health

As of Thursday, 74 people have died in Arkansas from flu-related ailments, making it the deadliest flu season in modern recorded history, according to the state Department of Health.  

“This was a very bad season, maybe our worst since 1919, since the 1918 Pandemic flu. We don’t know that for sure, because we don’t have great records for the first three or four decades of the 1900’s, but it’s certainly the worst on record. The worst on record that we’ve had good data on,” said Dr. Dirk Haselow, the state epidemiologist.

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Local & Regional News
10:38 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Arkansas Supreme Court Rules Utility Must Disclose Ratepayer's Info

The Arkansas Supreme Court says that a municipal utility cannot withhold a ratepayer's home address under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Justices on Thursday reversed a Monroe County judge's ruling that the Brinkley Water and Sewer Department was not required to release a ratepayer's home address in response to an open records request.

The utility had cited privacy concerns in withholding the ratepayer's address.

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Local & Regional News
9:29 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Ex-Senator Gilbert Baker Quits UCA Post

Former state Sen. Gilbert Baker has quit his job at the University of Central Arkansas.

The college said Wednesday that Baker had left his $132,000-job as the president's executive assistant. A reason wasn't given.

Baker's departure came the same day the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper in Little Rock reported that Baker's former political consultant, Don Thomas, had denied being involved with political action committees that donated money to a circuit judge under investigation. Two of the PACs list Thomas as an officer.

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Local & Regional News
9:26 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Author Charles Portis To Be Honored In Little Rock

"True Grit" author Charles Portis is being honored at a ceremony at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion. Portis will be awarded The Porter Prize lifetime achievement award Thursday night.

The Porter Prize is given out annually to an Arkansas writer, while the lifetime achievement award is handed out every five years.

Previous lifetime achievement award winners are novelist Donald Harington and poet Miller Williams.

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Local & Regional News
9:22 am
Thu April 3, 2014

2 Lawsuits Challenge Judicial Candidates In Conway

Two lawsuits have been filed challenging the eligibility of two people running for separate judgeships in Faulkner County.

The lawsuits allege that candidate Angela Byrd and current Circuit Judge H.G. Foster are ineligible for the ballot because both had their law licenses temporarily suspended for not paying annual state-bar fees.

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