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12:46 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Arkansas AG Rejects Proposed Marijuana Ballot Title

Credit npr.org

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected a proposal to ask voters to end a prohibition on marijuana.

McDaniel rejected the proposal this week, saying it contains ambiguities.

The proposal from Arkansans for Medical Cannabis calls for an amendment to the state Constitution that declares cannabis to be an agricultural commodity, medicinal product and intoxicant.

McDaniel's opinion says that group previously submitted three similar measures, which the attorney general's office rejected.

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Local & Regional News
10:35 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Arkansas Highway Officials End Work On I-40 Near Hazen; Continue Other Projects

Flashback: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - Drivers in stopped traffic near the White River Bridge on I-40 mill about for 5 hours, waiting for a major accident to be cleared.
Credit Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Interstate 40 between Little Rock and West Memphis has been the site of some major highway repair work and vehicle accidents, especially in the construction zone near the White River.

Randy Ort with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department says, after about 19 months road repair work, construction in that area will finally end this week.

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Local & Regional News
10:19 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Arkansas Ends Fiscal Year With $299.5M Surplus

Arkansas has ended its fiscal year with a nearly $300 million surplus.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reported Tuesday that the state's net available revenue for the fiscal year that ended Sunday was $5.02 billion.

The amount was $275.4 million higher than last year. Officials said revenues were above last year's and above their predictions, primarily because of an increase in individual income tax collections.

The department attributed the growth to residents shifting income into tax year 2012 to avoid higher federal income tax rates.

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Local & Regional News
6:12 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Arkansas Officials Hold Hearing On Insurance Expansion

Arkansas officials are holding a public hearing on the state's plan to use federal Medicaid money to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.

The Department of Human Services on Tuesday planned to hold a hearing on the "private option" plan to expand insurance coverage in the state.

Lawmakers approved the plan this year, but it still must get final clearance from the federal government.

The plan was touted as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment under the federal health care law.

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Local & Regional News
5:55 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Little Rock To Break Ground On Amphitheatre Renovations

The city of Little Rock's recreation department has scheduled a ground-breaking on a major renovation at a riverfront amphitheatre.

The West Amphitheatre is behind the Old State Capitol on the north side of LaHarpe Boulevard.

Improvements have already started with the recent planting of large oaks honoring late Little Rock architect Rick Redden, and at 12:45 p.m.

Tuesday a ground-breaking will be held to mark a new donation benefiting renovations.

The West Amphitheatre is a few blocks west of one behind the city's River Market. It will seat about 500 people.

Local & Regional News
5:51 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Arkansas Correction Official Quits; Replacement Named

After naming a new director for one of its agencies, the Arkansas Board of Corrections has had to make a correction.

Sheila Sharp takes over the Department of Community Correction on an interim basis July 8.

When the board approved her appointment Monday, it inadvertently left the word "interim" off of a resolution. The board will meet by telephone in the coming days to consider a corrected motion.

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Local & Regional News
6:43 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Saline County Sheriff Says He Made A 'Mistake'

Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington

The Saline County sheriff apologized to residents after being charged during the weekend on a complaint of public intoxication and refusal to submit to arrest.

Sheriff Bruce Pennington said Monday he had a couple of drinks on an empty stomach after working in his yard all day Saturday.

Police said they responded to a report of a "very intoxicated individual" who was getting into a vehicle outside a restaurant Saturday night, but Pennington said at a news conference he went to his car to send a text-message to a friend to seek a ride.

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Local & Regional News
2:51 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Amid Questions, Community Correction Chief Announces Retirement

David Eberhard
Credit Dept. of Community Correction

The head of the Arkansas Department of Community Correction announced Monday he is retiring, as his agency faces questions about a parolee who was charged in a Little Rock murder.

The Department of Community Correction says Director David Eberhard’s retirement is effective immediately.

Corrections board chairman Benny Magness says he doesn’t know whether the abrupt departure is related to criticism over the recent case of a man on parole who was arrested for a Little Rock killing.

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Local & Regional News
11:19 am
Mon July 1, 2013

For John Allison And Home Bancshares, Fifth Time’s The Charm

Home Bancshares chairman John Allison speaking with Roby Brock.
Credit Talk Business Arkansas

Tenacity and perseverance are two traits that successful entrepreneurs usually have in spades. Home Bancshares chairman John Allison certainly does and his bank’s acquisition last week of Jonesboro-based Liberty Bancshares for $280 million proves the point.

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Local & Regional News
10:56 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Girl, 6, Found Unresponsive At Lake Norfork Dies

The Baxter County Sheriff's Office says a 6-year-old Mountain Home girl has died after she was found submerged in Lake Norfork.

Sheriff John Montgomery says Frankie Lyn Tollen was found unresponsive Sunday afternoon in the Cranfield area of Lake Norfork.

The sheriff says the girl was pulled from the water and an off-duty emergency room employee who was at the beach performed CPR.

The girl was taken to a Mountain Home hospital, then transferred to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.

Montgomery says Frankie died at 5:45 a.m. Monday.

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