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Local & Regional News
11:10 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Fort Smith Votes Down Pursuit Of Whirlpool Fines

Credit Arkansas Times

Leaders in Fort Smith have rejected a plan to use the city's nuisance laws to fine Whirlpool Corp. for contamination at a former plant site.

According to the Southwest Times Record, the Fort Smith Board of Directors voted 5-2 Tuesday to reject an attorney's officer to seek a fine against Whirlpool for contaminating soil and groundwater with the chemical trichloroethylene decades ago.

Whirlpool is working with state environmental officials on a cleanup plan for the site.

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University of Arkansas System
10:26 am
Wed February 19, 2014

New Chief For University Of Arkansas Press

Credit UAPress.com

The University of Arkansas Press has a new director.

Officials at the Fayetteville campus announced Tuesday that Mike Bieker is the new leader of the publishing house.

Former director Larry Malley retired in December.

Bieker moves up from his post as business manager and assistant director.

The UA Press focuses on publishing books about Arkansas and the broader academic community.

The University of Arkansas Press was founded in 1980 and was first led by poet Miller Williams. Bieker is the third director of the press in its 34 years.

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Arkansas General Assembly
8:56 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

More Votes On Private Option Expected

House Speaker Davy Carter (R, Cabot) speaks to reporters after the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services appropriation bill failed to get 75 votes for passage.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

 The Arkansas House of Representatives failed to reach a threshold of 75 votes to fund the state’s private option Tuesday. But as KUAR’s Chris Hickey reports, legislative leaders plan to continue to bring the bill up for a vote until the needed votes are secured.

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Local & Regional News
8:15 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Historic Majestic Hotel In Hot Springs Boarded Up

A vintage postcard of the Majestic Hotel in its early days.

The historic Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs is now boarded up.

The hotel complex closed in 2006 after operating for 124 years. City officials say the structure isn't habitable in its current condition and needed to be secured to keep people out.

The Majestic had been owned by the same company that owns the nearby Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa but was sold to Arc Arkansas, which planned to convert the property to apartments, with ground-floor retail. That plan never got off the ground.

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Local & Regional News
2:53 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Arkansas House Votes Against Compromise Medicaid Plan

Members of the Arkansas House at the start of Tuesday's session, before the vote over the private option.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

While it’s expected to get another vote Wednesday, the Arkansas House of Representatives voted against a bill Tuesday that would reauthorize funding for the so-called private option.

State Representative John Burris, a Republican from Harrison, spoke in favor of it, telling his colleagues it would be best to continue the program that uses federal Medicaid money to buy private insurance for low income residents.

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Local & Regional News
2:51 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

LR Man Charged With Killing Teen Says He Only Shot To Scare

Little Rock police say a man charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl told investigators he was just trying to scare some teenage vandals when he fired his pistol at their car.

Police say 48-year-old Willie Noble opened fire early Saturday after finding his car spattered with eggs, mayonnaise, toilet paper and leaves.

The driver fled to a convenience store. That's where police found Adrian Broadway with a gunshot wound to the head. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Local & Regional News
2:18 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Severe Weather In Eastern Arkansas On Thursday

The National Weather Service said severe weather, including the potential for damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, are likely on Thursday.

“It’s not entirely out of question to see some severe thunderstorms in central part of the state during the afternoon but primarily the bigger threats for severe weather is going to be in the eastern part of the state," said Meteorologist Charles Dalton.

He said it's due to warm temperatures and a strong frontal system that is coming to the state.

Local & Regional News
1:55 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Body Of Missing 9-Year-Old Hunter Found In South Arkansas

Authorities say a 9-year-old boy who didn't return after he went squirrel hunting in the south Arkansas woods has been found dead.

Union County Sheriff Mike McGough says the body of Hank Bollen of Magnolia was found late Tuesday morning near the border of Union and Columbia counties.

Shreveport, La., television station KSLA reports the boy had at least one gunshot wound, though authorities haven't said how that happened.

Local & Regional News
10:30 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Senator Changes Position On Private Option, Could Be Enough For Passage

A slice of drama was cut from the state capitol on Tuesday as a state senator previously opposed to the private option said she would now vote to fund it.

State Sen. Jane English (R-North Little Rock) got something in return, however. English, a long-time advocate for restructuring workforce education and training in Arkansas, said she has received support from fellow lawmakers and Gov. Mike Beebe to fundamentally alter programs tied to workforce investment.

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Local & Regional News
10:24 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Arkansas Lawmaker Warns Virginia Against Private Option

File photo of Arkansas House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A top state lawmaker from Arkansas is warning Virginia's legislators against accepting federal dollars intended for expanding Medicaid eligibility, saying his state has buyer's remorse after taking the money.

Leaders in the GOP-controlled Virginia House organized a news conference call Tuesday with Arkansas House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman.

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