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Local & Regional News
4:52 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

ACLU of Arkansas Files Suit Against Voter ID Law

ACLU's Rita Sklar (stock photo)
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The state’s 2013 voter ID law is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Arkansas Public Law Center. The lawsuit argues the act presents an unconstitutional barrier to voting.

ACLU’s Executive Director Rita Sklar said the law targets populations with poor access to resources.

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Local & Regional News
3:17 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Lottery Commission Votes For Monitor-Style Games

The Arkansas Lottery Commission has voted to introduce monitor-style games in the state. The panel voted Wednesday, but also expressed concern that some legislators have indicated they're opposed to the games in which players use interactive video monitors to pick numbers and see quickly whether they have won.

The commission wants to reverse a slide in revenues and the monitor games, which could include keno and bingo, may be a way to boost the revenue which provides money for college scholarships.

Local & Regional News
2:17 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Interstate 49 To Run Through Western Arkansas, Connecting LA and MO

Credit Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

The state highway department is preparing for major construction in the western part of Arkansas, developing Interstate 49, that will run from New Orleans to Kansas City.

A few dozen other new highway projects are also part of the Connecting Arkansas program, which seeks to revitalize 31 highways around the state and is funded with a 10-year, half- cent sales tax that was approved by voters.

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Local & Regional News
8:43 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Judge Lets Conviction Of Arkansas Treasurer Stand

Martha Shoffner
Credit David Goins / KARK-TV

A federal judge has upheld the corruption conviction of Arkansas' former treasurer,
rejecting her request to have the case heard by state authorities.

Lawyers for Martha Shoffner said the Arkansas Ethics Commission - not federal jurors - should have addressed claims that she accepted $36,000 from a bond broker who did business with the state. A federal jury convicted Shoffner on March 11.

The defense team said the federal government wasn't harmed by Shoffner's actions and wanted U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes to dismiss the charges against her.

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Local & Regional News
8:24 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Ruling: Faulkner Judge Can Remain On Ballot

Another Arkansas judge has been ruled eligible for office after his candidacy was challenged because of a temporary license suspension.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Tuesday that Circuit Judge H.G. Foster is eligible for the ballot. Foster's candidacy had been challenged because his license was temporarily suspended because of late payment of annual dues.

State law says a person must be a licensed attorney for six years to be eligible for a judgeship.

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Local & Regional News
6:35 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Arkansans Critical of Corporate Tax Structure Rally at Capitol

Neal Sealy with Arkansas Community Organizations
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A loose affiliation of citizens, advocacy groups, and unions gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday, the last day to file taxes, condemning what they argue is a tax system favoring large corporations.

Justin Nickels, with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, criticized tax exemptions being granted to profitable corporations while cuts to social services are made.

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Local & Regional News
6:21 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Lottery Officials Comment on Declining Revenue, Solutions, and Scholarships

Arkansas Family Council's Jerry Cox, Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

State legislators heard reports from lottery officials Tuesday detailing below forecast sales, possible changes, and the effect on scholarships. Lottery Director Bishop Woosley said the commission is $5.8 million below forecast.

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Local & Regional News
4:06 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Little Rock Man Eager To See Finish Line This Year In Boston Marathon

Jeff Glasbrenner

As the city of Boston marks the anniversary of the marathon bombings, one Little Rock man who was part of the marathon last year is eager to go back and see the finish line.

KUAR's Karen Tricot Steward spoke to him by phone and has this report.

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Local & Regional News
1:34 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Historic Building In Downtown Little Rock To Become Hotel

Boyle Building on Main Street in Little Rock

The Chi family of Little Rock is announcing it will turn the century-old Boyle Building at the corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue into an Aloft Hotel.

The family already owns two hotels and several restaurants in Little Rock.

David Robinson, one of the partners for Main Street Lofts who until recently was the owner of Boyle Building, said the Chi Hotel Group purchased the building for $4.6 million.

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Local & Regional News
1:09 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Arkansas Herpetologist, University of Tulsa Researcher Find New Species

Ouachita Streambed Salamander (Eurycea subfluvicola).
Credit Dr Ronald M. Bonett / University of Tulsa

A salamander first discovered by a University of Tulsa doctoral student in 2011 is being hailed as a new species in an international journal for animal taxonomy.

Doctoral student Michael Steffen and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Herpetologist Kelly Irwin discovered the new species in May 2011 while studying genetic diversity of other salamanders in Lake Catherine State Park near Hot Springs, Ark.

The university says the latest issue of Zootaxa will feature the paper and provide details on the Ouachita Streambed Salamander.

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