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Local & Regional News
4:54 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Four Men Charged With With The Armed Robbery Of Seven Restaurants And One Store

A joint investigation conducted by the Department of Justice and local police force arrested four Arkansans charged with robbing eight local restaurants and one store.

Two of the men have previous criminal records, and over $8,000 was stolen during the crimes. US Attorney Christopher Thyer says solving cases can be more effective when state and local entities work together. 

"All four defendants are currently in custody. During these robberies suspects were aggresive...lives were put in danger" said Thyer.

Local & Regional News
4:38 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Governor Beebe Names Nathaniel Smith State Health Director

Gov. Mike Beebe has named Nathaniel Smith as director and state health officer for the Arkansas Department of Health.

Beebe on Friday announced that he was naming Smith permanently to the position. Smith has been serving as interim director since February, when Paul Halverson left the post to take a job in Indiana. Halverson had served as director since 2005.

Beebe said in a news release that Smith had proven himself to be a steady and knowledgeable leader since taking over the post on an interim basis.

Local & Regional News
4:08 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Arkansas Health Care Plan Discussed in Washington D.C.

Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson
Credit healthy.arkansas.gov

Arkansas’s plan to expand health care coverage was at the center of a panel discussion in Washington DC Friday.

Arkansas’s approach toward implementing the Affordable Care Act by bypassing expanding Medicaid and instead providing premium subsidies for private plans is unique in the nation.

Dr. Joseph Thompson, Arkansas’s Surgeon General, said during the hearing, which was broadcasted by C-SPAN, that the state’s compromise approach was driven by a divided political climate.

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Maumelle Watershed
2:49 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Central Arkansas Water Hires Consultant To Assess Pipeline's Risk To Lake Maumelle

A consultant has been hired by Central Arkansas Water to assess possible vulnerabilities in the Maumelle Watershed caused by ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline.

Tectonic Engineering and Surveying Consultants was awarded a 160 thousand dollar contract to evaluate the consequences of the physical damage to the pipeline, which crosses through the watershed. The third party consultants are necessary to ensure the safety and integrity of the water supply. Central Arkansas Water Protection Manager John Tynan says the assessment will provide information still needed regarding the pipeline.

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Local & Regional News
2:13 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Arkansas Voters May See Multiple Marijuana Proposals

Credit npr.org

Arkansas voters could potentially see multiple attempts to legalize medical marijuana on the ballot next year. Two groups are vying to put similar proposed initiated acts before voters in 2014.

This week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel certified the popular name and ballot title of a proposal from Arkansans for Responsible Medicine. That organization plans to start gathering signatures in an attempt to qualify for a spot on next year's ballot.

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Local & Regional News
11:43 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Arkansas Utility OKs Study Of Pipeline's Risks

Central Arkansas Water has hired a consultant to study what risks an oil pipeline may have on the watershed of Lake Maumelle, which provides drinking water to 400,000 people in central Arkansas.

The utility's board voted Thursday to award a $160,000 contract to Tectonic Engineering and Surveying Consultants PC.

The study comes after ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline ruptured in Mayflower in March. The consultant will assess what vulnerabilities exist in the Lake Maumelle watershed.

Local & Regional News
6:04 am
Fri August 9, 2013

School Bus Safety Urged As Arkansas Students Return

The Arkansas Education Department is starting a program to urge motorists to be careful around school buses.

Classes resume this month across the state and the department is starting a campaign on Monday called, "Flashing Red, Kids Ahead."

The three-week campaign will emphasize that it is illegal for a driver to pass a stopped school buses whenever its red lights are flashing and students are loading or unloading.

Local & Regional News
3:19 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Coleman: Rival Asa Hutchinson's Tax Cut Plan 'Short-Sighted'

File photo of Curtis Coleman speaking in Little Rock in May.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Curtis Coleman is criticizing rival Asa Hutchinson's proposal to phase out Arkansas' income tax as "short-sighted," and says a broader look at the state's tax structure is needed.

Coleman told members of the Political Animals Club on Thursday that cutting the income tax isn't enough to make Arkansas competitive with surrounding states.

Coleman said he thinks cutting the state's corporate income tax and eliminating its capital gains tax are also necessary.

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Local & Regional News
3:10 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Arkansas Lottery Sued Over Stolen Tickets

A class action lawsuit by two Pulaski County residents claims the Arkansas Lottery misrepresented the number of prizes being awarded during a time period when a former lottery official was being investigated for allegedly stealing thousands of tickets.

Former security official Remmele Mazyck pleaded guilty last month in federal court to stealing nearly a half million dollars worth of promotional tickets, which he activated, then claimed the winning ones.

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Local & Regional News
2:47 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Flooding in NWA Destroys Bridges and Requires Rescues

Most of the damage was in Benton County.
Credit encyclopediaofarkansas.net

Some areas in north Arkansas lost residences, bridges, and electricity as a result of heavy rains and flooding Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. Much of the damage is limited to Benton County where the County Judge has declared it a disaster area.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Information Officer Tommy Jackson said multiple rescue efforts were needed.

“Those were around residences. There were some swift water, some successful swift water rescues, pulled off during the night and early morning in north Arkansas,” said Jackson.

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