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Local & Regional News
2:45 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

New Arkansas Laws Taking Effect In 2014

Several new state laws passed by the Arkansas Legislature in 2013 went into effect Wednesday.

This New Year includes the introduction of some laws which provide tax breaks and phase in income and capital gains tax cuts . Act 1459 will gradually cut rates for all income tax brackets by one-tenth of one percent by 2015. It’s been estimated to reduce annual state revenue by $55 million by FY 2016.

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Arkansas Climate
1:11 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Annual Weather Report Shows 2013 Was A Cool Year for Arkansas

Debris from April storms caused widespread damage to buildings in Izard county last year.
Credit Associated Press

The year of 2013 was marked by cooler temperatures and normal amounts of  severe weather in Arkansas. That’s according to an annual report released by the National Weather Service. Although late snowfalls in the northwest, deadly flash flooding in the west, drought in the southeast and 34 tornadoes did enter the picture, Meteorologist John Lewis of the NWS says last year was relatively mild.

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Local & Regional News
7:51 am
Wed January 1, 2014

State GOP: Darr Should Quit If Charged Criminally

The chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party says Lt. Gov. Mark Darr is working to rebuild trust with the voters after admitting he was at fault in 11 campaign spending citations.

GOP Chairman Doyle Webb issued a statement Tuesday saying the party would call for Darr to leave office if he winds up facing criminal charges.

Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, is calling for Darr to leave office. Darr says through a spokeswoman that he has no intention of quitting.

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Local & Regional News
4:18 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Man Accused In Dispatcher's Death Freed On Bond

A man charged in the death of an Arkansas police dispatcher has been released on bond from the Garland County Jail. Kevin Duck was freed Tuesday after posting $150,000 bond.

After a Monday hearing, a judge reduced Duck's bond from $250,000, though Duck had asked the amount to be lowered to $50,000. Little Rock television station KTHV reported that Duck was released.

Local & Regional News
4:14 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Arkansas's Private Option Plan Ranked As Top Story Of 2013

Gov. Mike Beebe signs the private option proposal into law on April 23, 2013. The expansion of health insurance in Arkansas was ranked the top story of 2013.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas' unusual approach to expand health insurance for low-income residents by using Medicaid money for private coverage is the top story of 2013, as voted on by Associated Press members.

Coming in second is the Mayflower oil spill, while the quest to end Arkansas' desegregation payments is third.

The already-heated Senate race between U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton is fourth, and Clarksville's plan to arm some schoolteachers came in fifth.

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Local & Regional News
11:06 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Company Seeks To Retire Gas Pipeline In Arkansas

A Louisiana company wants to retire a segment of a 59-year-old natural-gas pipeline that runs near the site where ExxonMobil's Pegasus crude-oil pipeline ruptured in central Arkansas last spring.

But the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Enable Gas Transmission LLC of Shreveport wants to build a new line that will cross the Pegasus nearby.

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Local & Regional News
11:03 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Arkansas Governor Asks Lt. Gov. Darr To Quit Over Ethics Case

Gov. Mike Beebe speaking to reporters Tuesday at the Capitol, calling for Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's resignation for ethics violations.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Gov. Mike Beebe is calling on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to resign from office, after Darr admitted to misusing thousands of campaign and taxpayer dollars.

The state Ethics Commission found that Darr likely violated ethics rules by using the money for personal expenditures, while also collecting campaign contributions that exceed legal limits. In all, Darr has admitted to 11 violations, though he refuses to resign.

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Local & Regional News
7:42 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Spokesman: Beebe Expected To Ask Darr To Resign

A spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he expects the governor to ask Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to resign now that Darr has signed a settlement letter to pay $11,000 in fines to address complaints against him.

Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said Monday that he expects Beebe to request that Darr step aside given that Beebe was prepared to ask a state senator to step down in a separate ethics case last spring.

Local & Regional News
7:39 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Ethics Commission Proposes Fines To Ex-Lawmaker

A former state representative who pleaded guilty in 2012 to conspiring to commit election fraud in a scheme that included destroying ballots and for exchanging money and food for votes has accepted $2,500 in fines and letters of warning and of caution from the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

The offer to former Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum of Marion is in a letter dated Dec. 20 that was released Monday by the commission.

Phone calls to numbers listed for Hallum rang unanswered.

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Local & Regional News
7:30 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Arkansas Voter ID Law Goes Into Effect In January

Starting this New Year, Arkansan voters will be required to present photo identification at their polling places in order to cast a ballot. The Arkansas Legislature passed the photo id law earlier this year, following a trend set by other state houses around the country. Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane says some voters will need id as early the second week of January, when some elections are set to take place.

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