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Local & Regional News
5:07 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Arkansas's Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

An Arkansas judge has struck down the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled Friday that the 2004 amendment violates the rights of same-sex couples by defining marriage as allowable only between a man and a woman.

The ruling comes nearly a week after state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced he personally supports gay marriage rights but that he will continue to defend the constitutional ban in court.

McDaniel's office is expected to quickly appeal Piazza's ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Local & Regional News
11:51 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Storms Bring Down Trees, Cause Flooding In Arkansas

A mobile home that was knocked off its foundation near Russellville.
Credit KARK-TV

Cleanup is underway after storms moved through Arkansas Thursday night, bringing down trees and causing scattered power outages.

The National Weather Service is investigating whether a weak tornado touched down in the western part of the state.

“There was a mobile home in the Russellville area in Pope County that received some damage due to some high winds,” said Kathy Wright, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. There were no reports of injuries.

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Local & Regional News
11:23 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Bull Shoals Police Chief Indicted, Accused Of Excessive Force

The chief of the Bull Shoals Police Department has been indicted on a charge accusing him of using excessive force during the arrest of a resident.

U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge announced Friday that Daniel Sutterfield was charged with one count of deprivation of rights for allegedly using excessive force by kicking, stomping and using a stun gun on a resident who was under arrest.

Eldridge says Sutterfield also struck the resident with the butt of a shotgun after the resident was handcuffed.

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Local & Regional News
9:06 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Arkansas Literacy Councils Awarded Grant

A nearly quarter million dollar grant has been awarded to Arkansas Literacy Councils, Inc. to support its reading program.

The Corporation for National and Community Service awarded a one-year AmeriCorps grant of $249,895 to the nonprofit organization in Little Rock to support the Arkansas Reads program.

The funding is to support 40 AmeriCorps members who provide one-on-one basic literacy and English as a Second Language instruction to 725 economically disadvantaged adults.

Local & Regional News
9:04 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Downpour Causes Flooding In Western Arkansas

No injuries or deaths have been reported after more than a half-foot of rain inundated western Arkansas in a 24-hour period.

The National Weather Service says Mena received 5.68 inches of rain in a four-hour period Thursday with a daily total of more than 7 inches. The weather service says the relentless downpour caused creeks and streams to overflow and flooding over roads.

Several people had to be rescued from the high waters, and flash flood emergencies were issued until the rainfall ended Thursday night.

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Local & Regional News
5:10 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Lawmakers Want Another Cost Estimate Of Private Option

Arkansas Sen. Bryan King (left) and Rep. Joe Farrer speak at a press conference Thursday.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A group of Arkansas legislators who have opposed the private option say they’ll ask a legislative committee next month to authorize another analysis of the financial impact of the program.

Republican state Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest says he’s concerned that the program, which uses federal Medicaid money to buy private insurance for low income Arkansans, is on track to cost the state significantly more than had been projected.

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Local & Regional News
4:40 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Air Force Captain Charged With Child Pornography

The U.S. attorney's office says a captain at Little Rock Air Force Base has been indicted on counts of possession and distribution of child pornography.

Prosecutors said Thursday that 30-year-old Shane Padilla of Jacksonville was indicted Wednesday after being arrested in April.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer says Padilla was ordered to have no contact with minors. He also had to surrender his passport and pilot's license pending his trial.

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Local & Regional News
3:18 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

ExxonMobil Puts $125,000 in a Tornado Recovery Fund

Exxon Mobil Vice President of Operations Karen Tyrone
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Community Foundation on Thursday joined a growing list of organizations and government agencies  attempting to aid the recovery effort after last week’s tornado damage. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman reports.

From their office in Conway the non-profit’s President Heather Larkin announced plans to distribute grants to a myriad of organizations with the intent of supporting intermediate and long-term rebuilding.

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Local & Regional News
3:11 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Helena Ex-Officer's Drug Conviction Upheld

A former Helena-West Helena police lieutenant has lost an appeal of her convictions related to a federal drug trafficking and corruption investigation.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday turned away Marlene Kalb's arguments that there was insufficient evidence to convict her. Kalb was among dozens of people indicted as part of "Operation Delta Blues" in 2011.

Prosecutors accused police of protecting drug shipments moving through east Arkansas. Four other former law officers entered guilty pleas to various charges.

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Local & Regional News
12:10 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The EPA Adds Union County Site To Superfund List

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added a former oil refinery site in Union County to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

The EPA says the MacMillan Ring-Free Oil site is near a residential neighborhood and a school in Norphlet. It was used as a crude-oil refinery and as a maker of lubrication and asphalt products from 1929 to 1987. The site has been abandoned since 2007.

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