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11:29 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Legislators Offer Takeaways From Gov. Hutchinson’s First Speech

Asa Hutchinson greets lawmakers as he walks in to the Arkansas House chamber Tuesday to take the oath of office.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers had plenty of positive comments after Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s speech to the 90th General Assembly. Hutchinson, who was sworn in as Arkansas’ 46th Governor on Tuesday, delivered a direct speech to a joint session of the legislature, touching on key issues that will be debated at the state Capitol for the next three months.

Those issues include tax cuts, education, health care, prisons, and much more.

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Local & Regional News
11:28 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Inauguration: Hutchinson Promises Growth By Tax Cuts, Some Offer Caution

Governor Asa Hutchinson shortly after being sworn in and about to give an inaugural address to the 90th General Assembly.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The transition to Republican control of the both the state legislature and every constitutional office is now complete. Asa Hutchinson took the oath of office to officially become Arkansas’s governor Tuesday and addressed onlookers at the Capitol.

Asa Hutchinson was welcomed into the House chamber with nearly two minutes of applause then sworn-in by Chief Justice Jim Hannah as the state’s 46th governor

HANNAH: Repeat after me, I “W” Asa Hutchinson.

HUTCHINSON: I “W” Asa Hutchinson.

HANNAH: Do solemnly swear.

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Local & Regional News
10:59 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Runoff Election To Be Held For Vacant Arkansas Senate Seat

Unofficial results from the Arkansas Secretary of State show a runoff will be needed to choose the lawmaker who will replace former Senate President Michael Lamoureux.

Greg Standridge and Stan Berry were the two highest vote-getters in Tuesday's primary. The Russellville Courier reports they will compete Feb. 10 for the District 16 seat because no candidate received a majority.

According to the state agency's website, Standridge received about 47.8 percent of the total 4,438 votes. Berry received about 41 percent of the vote, and Thomas Akin received about 11 percent.

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Local & Regional News
10:57 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Arkansas Farmers See Bountiful 2014

Arkansas growers set or tied state records for yields in six crops in 2014, exceeding the national average in per-acre yield in four categories.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2014 Crop Production Annual Survey released Monday, Arkansas growers set state records for cotton, corn for grain, all rice and long grain rice, soybeans and sweet potatoes. Average yields for corn, cotton, long grain rice and soybeans all exceeded national averages.

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Local & Regional News
7:14 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Panel Reviewing Salaries Of Arkansas Officials' To Meet

The Arkansas panel reviewing elected officials' salaries will soon meet for the first time since the Legislature convened for this year's session.

The Independent Citizens Commission will meet Wednesday morning in Little Rock, the first of two meetings this week.

The commission is expected to hear from several witnesses, including the state budget administrator and two judges.

Local & Regional News
6:52 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

SLIDESHOW: Former Cinema 150 Demolished In Little Rock

An excavator begins the demolition of the old UA Cinema 150 Tuesday.
Michael Hibblen KUAR News

It took workers using two excavators a little less than an hour to bring down the old Cinema 150 movie theater in Little Rock. The dome-shaped building at the corner of University and Asher Avenues ran many of the top films of its day.

Built in the late 1960s with a screen that curved at a 150 degree angle, it gave movies a big impact.  The theater was closed in 2003, considered functionally obsolete for having just one screen in an era of multiplexes. But it still had a very special place in the hearts of many who saw films there.

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Local & Regional News
3:05 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Asa Hutchinson Becomes 46th Arkansas Governor, Details Priorities

Asa Hutchinson prepares to address the Arkansas Legislature after being sworn in Tuesday.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Republican Asa Hutchinson has been sworn in as Arkansas' 46th governor. The ex-congressman and former federal Homeland Security official took the oath of office at the state Capitol Tuesday, succeeding Democrat Mike Beebe.

Hutchinson took office a day after lawmakers convened for the start of the 2015 session. He has said he wants lawmakers to move quickly on his campaign promise to cut taxes for the middle class by $100 million a year. He's also expected to announce later this month whether he'll supporting continuing the state's compromise Medicaid expansion. 

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Local & Regional News
1:01 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Special Election To Fill Vacant Arkansas State Senate Seat

A special election is being held to fill a vacant seat in the Arkansas state Senate.

Voters in Newton and Pope counties and parts of Boone, Carroll and Van Buren counties go to the polls Tuesday in the District 16 race. The seat is open because of the resignation of former Sen. Michael Lamoreux after he was named chief of staff for Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson.

Republicans Thomas Akin, Stan Berry and Greg Standridge are seeking the GOP nomination and that there are no Democrats on the ballot. A runoff, if needed, will be Feb. 10.

Local & Regional News
8:57 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Hutchinson To Give Inaugural Address As Arkansas Governor

Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

Asa Hutchinson will soon become Arkansas' 46th elected governor.

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Local & Regional News
5:00 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Opening Of Arkansas Legislature, Appointments & Private Option Speculation

Members of the state House of Representatives being sworn in on the 90th General Assembly's opening day.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The 90th session of the Arkansas legislature is officially underway at the state Capitol. Lawmakers were sworn-in Monday for a session that will tackle the state’s health insurance plan for over 200,00 lower income residents, over $100 million in tax cuts, prison overcrowding, the lottery, and abortion among others.

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