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7:41 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Arkansas 188th Fighter Wing Delays Anniversary Celebration

The 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith, Ark., welcomed its transition from F-16s to A-10s April 14. Federal, state and local elected officials along joined unit members to say farwell to the F-16 (foreground) and hello to the A-10 (background).
Credit Master Sgt. Bob Oldham / U.S. Air Force

The 60th anniversary celebration of the Arkansas Air National Guard's 188th Fighter Wing has been delayed because of the federal government shutdown.

The celebration for current and former 188th members was set for Saturday, but officials decided to postpone the event until Nov. 2 because of the shutdown. 

Maj. Heath Allen tells the Southwest Times Record that it wasn't feasible to hold the event because of furloughs caused by the shutdown.

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Local & Regional News
5:56 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Crews To Change Parking Signage In River Market

The River Market District in downtown Little Rock.
Credit inarkansas.com

Little Rock officials say there won't be any parking tickets written for the 2-hour or pay-and-display areas in the River Market District as crews change signage there.

However, the city says parking meter violations in other areas of Little Rock still will be enforced. 

The city is in the process of installing a pay-and-display parking system in the River Market.

Parking enforcement workers in the River Market District will show drivers how to use the new payment system during the rest of the week.

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Local & Regional News
5:46 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Greers Ferry Dam To Mark 50th Anniversary

Greers Ferry Dam
Credit US Army Corps of Engineers

Former President Bill Clinton is to top the list of speakers at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Greers Ferry Dam.

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. Thursday and is expected to draw a large crowd. The Heber Springs Area Chamber of Commerce says an overflow parking lot will be opened at 9:30 a.m.

It's been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy stood at the dam and praised the programs of President Franklin Roosevelt as a way of bringing prosperity to the nation.

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Local & Regional News
6:27 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Arkansas AG Rejects Marijuana Legalization Measure

Credit npr.org

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has again rejected the wording of a proposed ballot measure aimed at legalizing marijuana in the state.

McDaniel on Wednesday cited several problems with the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment submitted by Marjorie LeClair of Shirley.

McDaniel must certify the proposed amendment before supporters can begin gathering the 78,133 signatures needed to place it on next year's ballot.

The proposal calls for repealing all state laws related to the cannabis plant.

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Local & Regional News
3:20 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

What Does The Government Shutdown Mean For University Research?

Researchers at the University of Arkansas say that, at least in the near term, their research can continue as usual despite a federal government shutdown.

Jim Rankin, vice provost for research and economic development at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, explains that while the research they do relies heavily on federal funding, the money is already there.

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Local & Regional News
3:09 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Arkansas Revenue Up In September

Arkansas finance officials say higher than expected income and sales tax collections pushed the state's revenue higher in September.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said Wednesday that the state's net available revenue last month totaled $522.8 million, which is $28.2 million above the same month last year and $16.3 million above forecast.

Arkansas' revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1 is $29.7 million higher than forecast.

The department said the September revenue was boosted by gains in all major categories of tax collections.

Local & Regional News
2:56 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Thousands of Arkansas Residents Confirm Private Option Enrollment

More than 55,000 Arkansans have opted to enroll in new healthcare covered under the private option law, according to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

The agency, which contacted more than 132,000 eligible households in September, will begin sending out letters this week that explain the enrollment process. Reports also indicate a total of 2,539 children were deemed uninsured and automatically enrolled in ARKids First.

The number of positive responses quashed initial uncertainty, according to DHS Communications Director Amy Webb.

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Local & Regional News
1:59 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

National Wildlife Refuges in Arkansas Closed By Government Shutdown

The White River National Wildlife Refuge is one of ten refuges closed by government shutdown.

The federal government shutdown also means the shutdown of all ten National Wildlife Refuges in Arkansas.

The closure prohibits fishing, hunting, camping, and other recreational activities on the federal lands and waters.

Keith Weaver is the project leader for the Central Arkansas National Wildlife Refuge complex. He says that a lengthy shutdown could have its consequences.

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Local & Regional News
10:50 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Robinson Expansion Passes Major Hurdle

Mark Abernathy at City Hall

Major plans for Robinson Auditorium were set into motion Monday night by the Little Rock Board of Directors. 

The Board cast a unanimous vote to hold an election for funding a nearly $70 million expansion and renovation of the auditorium. The funds come from an existing 2 percent hospitality tax created in 1980 to build the Statehouse Convention Center.

Tensions arose over two primary concerns. Is the benefit limited to downtown while the funding comes from everywhere? Was there enough notice given, particularly to those that would pay the tax?

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Local & Regional News
6:09 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Arkansas Exchange Board To Meet As Sign-up Continues

Arkansas Health Connector

The board for Arkansas' insurance exchange is meeting a day after the sign-up period began for the online marketplace that was created under the federal health care law.

The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Board of Directors planned to meet Wednesday morning at the University of Arkansas System's B. Alan Sugg Boardroom.

The 11-member board was created this year to oversee the operation of the online marketplace where about 500,000 Arkansans are expected to compare policies and purchase insurance under the health overhaul.

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