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4:52 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Dark Money and Arkansas Judicial Elections

Arkansas Bar Association Professional Ethics Committee Chair Brad Hendricks
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A cohort of around 100 legal professionals and onlookers Thursday spoke against what they see as the emerging presence of dark money in state judicial races. Speakers for the rally at the Capitol characterized the term "dark money" as campaign spending from out-of-state groups that do not reveal the source of their donors or their agendas.

On the steps of the Capitol the Chairman of the Arkansas Bar Association Professional Ethics Committee, Brad Hendricks, did not mince words when speaking to the harm of these groups in judicial elections.

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Local & Regional News
2:02 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Judge Strikes All Arkansas Bans On Gay Marriages, Allowing Them To Resume

An Arkansas judge has struck down all state laws preventing gay couples from marrying, expanding on his order finding such bans unconstitutional.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza clarified his ruling on Thursday, a day after the state Supreme Court noted that a prohibition on county clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples still stood. Piazza also denied the state's motion to suspend his decision.

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Local & Regional News
1:29 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Sen. Boozman Seeks More Info On Arkansas VA Centers

Arkansas U.S. Sen. John Boozman is asking Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki for more information on wait times that Arkansas veterans face to receive medical care at VA facilities.

Boozman is a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee but couldn't attend Thursday's hearing because he's recovering from heart surgery. In a letter, Boozman said a full analysis of the future of VA health care is needed.

Sen. Mark Pryor also said Thursday that the VA disability claims process needs "a complete overhaul."

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Local & Regional News
1:14 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

AG Again Asks Arkansas Judge To Suspend Gay Marriage Ruling

File photo of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel speaking in May 2013.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is again asking a judge to suspend his ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban.

McDaniel's office on Thursday asked Circuit Judge Chris Piazza to stay his ruling voiding the 2004 constitutional amendment and 1997 law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The state Supreme Court had effectively halted gay marriages performed in the wake of Piazza's ruling, noting that he didn't strike down a separate law barring clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Local & Regional News
11:07 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Lawyers For Gay Couples Want Broader Ruling

Attorneys for a group of same-sex couples are asking a judge to clarify that he intended to strike down all Arkansas laws prohibiting same-sex marriage when he voided the state's ban last week.

The attorneys on Thursday asked Circuit Judge Chris Piazza to expand his ruling, a day after the state's highest court noted that a law prohibiting clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples was still in effect.

Justices have declined to stay Piazza's ruling, which struck down a 2004 constitutional amendment and a 1997 law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

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Local & Regional News
10:52 am
Thu May 15, 2014

No More Changes To Birth Certificates After Ruling

Arkansas is no longer allowing gay couples to be listed as the parents on birth certificates after the state's high court said a prohibition on same-sex marriage licenses is still in effect.

A spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Health said Thursday it would no longer alter birth certificates for same-sex couples who sought to both be listed as parents after a judge voided the state's gay marriage ban.

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Local & Regional News
8:53 am
Thu May 15, 2014

UALR Selected For $1M Endowment

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been selected for a $1 million endowment to support scholarships for nontraditional college students who want to return to school to finish their education.

The Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco selected UALR for the endowment - the only institution in Arkansas to offer the Osher Re-Entry Scholars Program.

Local & Regional News
5:45 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Arkansas High Court Won't Stay Gay Marriage Ruling

A couple kisses while standing in line Monday at the Pulaski County Clerk's office for a marriage license.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected the state attorney general's request for a stay of a judge's ruling that overturned Arkansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The high court on Wednesday turned down the request from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that would have halted the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.

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Local & Regional News
5:12 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Arkansas and the National Climate Assessment

Credit climate.gov

The third National Climate Assessment was released last week and the congressionally mandated research, compiled by 13 agencies and 240 scientists, concludes a warming climate is and will be having negative consequences for Arkansas.

Jerry Hatfield, a director at the USDA’s National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment, said the effects aren’t just on personal comfort levels.

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Local & Regional News
5:09 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Judge Orders Tobacco Maker To Pay Arkansas Nearly $30 Million

A Canadian tobacco company has been ordered to pay Arkansas nearly $30 million for failing to set money aside in escrow in lieu of participating in the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

The state accused Grand River Enterprises of violating the law by not depositing money in escrow for its sales of Seneca cigarettes in 2005 and 2006.

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