Arkansas Department of Correction Director Ray Hobbs, Department of Community Corrections Director Sheila Sharp and Board of Corrections Chairman Benny Magness appear before a joint legislative committee Thursday
After introducing new parole enforcement guidelines meant to cut back on repeat violators, Arkansas experienced the highest one-year increase in the inmate population in its history, at 17.7 percent. State prison officials now are considering new strategies for reform reentry programs and house an influx of inmates.
Speaking before a joint Judiciary committee Thursday, State Department of Correction director Ray Hobbs said the influx of parole violators into the system over the last year is only part of the problem.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola says he's running for re-election this fall, saying he believes there's more progress to be done in economic development and other issues in Arkansas' most populous city.
Stodola on Thursday announced plans to seek a third term this fall. A former local prosecutor, Stodola was first elected mayor in 2006 and won re-election in 2010.
A flash flood watch has been issued in western and central Arkansas as a large storm system heads into the state.
The watch is in effect in western Arkansas Thursday morning and will go into effect in central Arkansas, including the Little Rock area, on Thursday evening.
The National Weather Service says widespread heavy rains are expected to affect the state from Thursday through Friday night. Forecasters say some areas in central Arkansas could see 3 to 5 inches of rain from Thursday night until Friday night.
Fuel efficiency, cost effectiveness, cleaner air are all benefits a handful of local officials are praising with the dawning of the Central Arkansas Transit Authority's new, soon to be introduced natural gas fleet.
CATA is being recognized for its efforts to convert its fleet of buses to use Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG, as a fuel. The conversion comes as city leaders increasingly talk up the benefits of bolstering public transportation in the area. The authority will be receiving 15 new CNG buses, starting next summer, says executive president Jarrod Varner.
The Arkansas Lottery Commission is pursuing some adjustments to its auditing process in an effort to retain some revenue. Numbers released Tuesday show the lottery’s revenue dropping for a second consecutive year resulting in nearly $9 million dollars less in scholarship funds.
Attorneys for two same-sex couples in Arkansas are asking a federal judge to issue an order striking down the state's gay marriage ban.
Lawyers for the couples filed a motion Wednesday for summary judgment, asking U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to issue an order striking down the state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage and any related laws as unconstitutional.
The couples filed the lawsuit last year against the state over the ban.
Attorney general hopeful Leslie Rutledge says she supports requiring more transparency for organizations spending money on Arkansas races after she won the Republican nomination in a contest where she was targeted heavily by two outside groups.
Speaking at the Political Animals Club on Wednesday, Rutledge said she'd support requiring any group that spends money on ads that mention candidates by name to disclose their spending and donors to the state. Rutledge said she wasn't pushing for such a change as part of a legislative package.