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Local & Regional News
5:04 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Arkansas Senate Rejects Change For Ballot Issues

The Senate has rejected an effort to change the way signatures are verified during attempts to place  measures on the Arkansas ballot.  

By an 11-13 vote, the Senate defeated a proposal that would have appeared as a suggested constitutional amendment on next year's ballot.

The proposal would have required that at least 90 percent of the signatures submitted by ballot measure campaigns to be valid in order to have more time to circulate petitions.  

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Rabies Alert
4:01 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Arkansas Department Of Health Issues Rabies Alert For Skunks

Credit Flickr.com

State health officials are warning the public of an outbreak of rabies in Arkansas.

Over 60 rabid animals have been tested positive for rabies so far in 2013.

Most have been skunks, with three reported in Pulaski County.

Dr. Susan Weinstein, the state public health veterinarian, says the best way people can protect themselves is to vaccinate their dogs, cats, horses and livestock.

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Arkansas Power Company
3:40 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Entergy Arkansas' Integration Will Benefit Customers, Officials Say

Entergy Arkansas is integrating is transmission grid with a large regional power pool, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, or MISO.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission has given final approval for the transfer of its control to MISO, subject to continued compliance with the commission’s conditions.

Entergy Arkansas spokesman David Lewis says this will benefit its customers.

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Local & Regional News
12:29 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Arkansas Emerging From Bad Flu Season

Arkansas' current flu season has been among its worst in the last three decades, with 54 deaths and nearly 1,400 people requiring hospital stays.  

The state Department of Health says that, except for 2009, Arkansas has to go back to 1981 to see a higher death toll.

The four deaths among children this year is the highest since pediatric deaths were first monitored in 1980.  

Overall, doctors reported 21,495 positive tests for various types of influenza since Oct. 1.

Most cases appeared treatable with flu medications.  

Local & Regional News
12:24 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Arkansas House Delays Vote On 'Private Option'

Credit flickr.com

After planning to vote Friday on a bill to use federal Medicaid funds for a "private option," Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter said the chamber will wait until Monday.

Many lawmakers had said they wanted to take time to go back to their districts this weekend and talk with constituents before casting their votes.

75 of the 100 members of the Arkansas House would need to approve the bill.

The plan won support from most House members Thursday, but didn't get the 75-vote supermajority needed for an attached budget bill.

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Support For Storm Victims
10:31 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Arkansas Red Cross Assists Storm Recovery Efforts

Disaster Responders from the American Red Cross in Arkansas continue care to residents affected by the severe storm system.
Credit Arkansas Red Cross

As communities try to recover from Wednesday’s severe storms, lightning strikes, and high winds; the Arkansas Red Cross is providing extra support for residents. 

Brigette Williams with the Red Cross says they already have disaster response teams in Van Buren, Lincoln, and Izzard Counties. 

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Local & Regional News
3:58 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

House Approves Bill for Medicaid Expansion

Arkansas lawmakers have approved legislation to expand the state's Medicaid program though increasing residents covered by private insurance.

The vote outcome was 62-37 and one present, with only a majority required for passage. 

Rep. Josh Burris of Harrison serves as the bill's primary sponsor and argued that the legislation's proposed coverage also brings a subset of benefits that arrives with passing the bill. 

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Affordable Care Act
3:32 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Arkansas House OKs Medicaid 'Private Option,' Plan Still Needs Appropriation

Rep. John Burris (R-Harrison) said their are drastic costs to health care for Arkansas if lawmakers reject a plan to increase private health insurance in the state with federal Medicaid money.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

  The Arkansas House is expected to vote Friday on whether to let the state spend the money to implement the private option of health insurance expansion for low income Arkansans.

Thursday it approved one bill that sets up the plan, but the plan's appropriation is expected to be much harder to pass.

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Local & Regional News
1:57 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Crews Work To Restore Power After Severe Storms

Maintenance crews are working to restore power to multiple homes after severe weather swept through the state Wednesday evening, officials said Thursday.

The cold front produced a series of thunderstorms and tornadoes across several portions of Arkansas, leaving more than 10,000 residents without power. The outages were caused primarily by lightning and high winds that accompanied the storms, which subsided by Thursday morning.

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Local & Regional News
1:56 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Arkansas Death-Row Inmates Must Restart Challenge

Six death-row inmates must start anew in an Arkansas circuit court if they want to challenge new  procedures for executing prisoners.  

Arkansas' Supreme Court last year found the previous method unconstitutional, saying legislators ceded too much power to the Correction Department.

The Legislature approved a new plan last month and the inmates wanted justices to weigh in directly. The  court declined in an unsigned ruling Thursday.  

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