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Talk Business Arkansas
5:04 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

2/7/14: Friday News Update

On this weeks update: Big honors for Arkansas business leaders; The governor continues his campaign for the private option; Mike Ross proposes a major overhaul to the state's income tax structure.

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Local & Regional News
4:39 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Martha Shoffner To Make Feb. 27 Court Appearance On New Charges

File photo of Martha Shoffner and her attorney leaving a court hearing in June 2013.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

  Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner is to make a court appearance later this month to answer a new indictment that charges her with improper spending from her campaign account.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday that Shoffner is to appear before a magistrate judge on Feb. 27.

Shoffner is scheduled for trial next month on charges she accepted cash payments from a broker to whom she steered state investments.

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Local & Regional News
2:56 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Arkansas House Speaker: No Vote On Lifting Fundraising Rule

Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter says a proposal to suspend a ban on fundraising during this year's legislative session will not go before representatives next week.

Carter on Friday said he didn't plan on convening the House for a caucus to consider allowing members to raise campaign money during the fiscal session. The House Rules Committee on Thursday recommended suspending the ban.

The House and Senate are set to convene Monday for a session focused primarily on the state's budget.

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Local & Regional News
1:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Schools In Central Arkansas Dismiss Early Due To Weather

The Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County Special school districts are dismissing classes early because of snow in the forecast for the afternoon.

The Little Rock School District will dismiss elementary schools at 1:15 p.m. and secondary schools at 2:30 p.m.

The Pulaski County Special School District says it will let out all students one hour before their regular dismissal times.

North Little Rock elementary schools will dismiss at noon. Middle schools will dismiss at 12:45 p.m. High schools will dismiss at 1:30 p.m.

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Local & Regional News
6:52 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner Faces New Charges

Martha Shoffner (D)
Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

Former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who resigned last year after an FBI investigation alleged she had been accepting bribes, was presented with new charges late Thursday afternoon. A federal grand jury is charging Shoffner with ten counts of mail fraud related to the misuse of campaign funds. 

These latest allegations are in addition to six counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion, and seven counts of receiving bribes - contained in pie boxes.

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Local & Regional News
5:48 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Gov. Mike Beebe Declares Emergency Because Of Wintry Weather

Gov. Mike Beebe says damage to private and public property during this week's winter weather was bad enough to qualify as an emergency.

The governor issued a proclamation Thursday suspending some purchasing laws so state agencies can aid local governments impacted by ice and snow that has fallen since the weekend. Arkansas' governors have power to issue emergency executive orders when warranted.

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Local & Regional News
3:44 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Helena To Undergo Economic Development

A store in downtown Helena
Credit Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Thursday marks the kick-off for the Riverside Renewal Project in Helena, Arkansas.

Southern Bancorp and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are partnering to revitalize downtown Helena by matching investments to eligible commercial or residential development projects up to $100,000.

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Local & Regional News
2:33 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Rep. Tim Griffin Considering Run For Arkansas Lt. Governor

Rep. Tim Griffin

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, who is stepping down at the end of his current term, says he is considering a run for lieutenant governor of Arkansas.

The 2nd district Republican had cited family concerns when he announced last year he would not run for re-election. In an interview with KUAR, Griffin said the lieutenant governor’s position would be ideal.

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Local & Regional News
12:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Entergy Working To Restore Power, But Says Linemen Safety Is Priority

Officials with Entergy Arkansas are confident that thousands of customers in the state, especially those in Prairie and Garland County, will have their power back on by Thursday night.

Spokeswoman Sally Graham said there are currently 3,000 linemen working in the extremely cold conditions.

She said the wind may cause the linemen to take more frequent breaks, which will slow down the restoration process. 

“We’ll continue to play safety first for our linemen and those working with us, as well as the public to restore power,” Graham said.

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Local & Regional News
12:46 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Arkansas Panel: Suspend Fundraising Ban In State House

An Arkansas House panel is recommending that the chamber suspend its ban on raising campaign funds during the upcoming legislative session.

The House Rules Committee on Thursday recommended that the chamber suspend a rule barring members from raising money from the fiscal session that begins Monday. Suspending the rule will require a two-thirds vote among members present before the House convenes.

The proposal replaces the panel's recommendation last week that the rule be changed to allow fundraising by candidates for federal office.

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