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Local & Regional News
9:09 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Split On $1.1 Trillion Budget Bill

Arkansas' four congressmen have split on a $1.1 trillion spending bill for operating the federal government until just before next fall's election.

U.S. Reps. Tim Griffin and Steve Womack voted for the measure that passed the U.S. House Wednesday and provides money for virtually every federal agency. Reps. Tom Cotton and Rick Crawford voted against the measure. All four are Republicans.

The 1,582-page bill passed the House on a 359-67 vote. The measure eases many but not all of the automatic spending cuts that took effect last year.

Local & Regional News
7:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Plenty Of Young Arkansans Choose Private Option, says DHS

Some enrollees for Arkansas's 'Private Option' version of Medicaid Expansion found they were eligible after applying for coverage through the federally-run website, healthcare.gov.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services says a significant number of younger adults are enrolling in the state’s private option. It allows people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,850 for an individual) to receive subsidized private health coverage using federal money devoted to Medicaid. Andy Allison, state Medicaid director, says its no surprise younger people are qualifying for the private option, since they tend to earn less.

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Local & Regional News
5:55 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Little Rock Loses Direct Flights To Washington, Gets Non-Stop To New York

Credit Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

American Airlines, which is now merged with U.S. Airways, is discontinuing direct flights between Little Rock and Washington DC, but will soon begin non-stop service to another major airport.

In a statement Wednesday, a spokesman for Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport said officials worked hard to try and keep direct service to Reagan National, but circumstances worked against them.

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Local & Regional News
4:15 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Arkansas Gas Prices Continue To Drop

Gasoline prices are down in many parts of Arkansas, due to seasonal changes. In the Little Rock area, some stations are selling gas at $2.95 a gallon.

According to Mike Right with the AAA Auto Club, continuing price fluctuations are also driven by a glitch in the distribution system.

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Local & Regional News
3:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Crystal Bridges To Move A Frank Lloyd Wright House To Arkansas

The Bachman Wilson House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Somerset County, New Jersey.
Credit Flickr

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has purchased a house in New Jersey that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and plans to move it to the museum's grounds in northwest Arkansas.

The museum, founded by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. heiress Alice Walton, announced Wednesday it had acquired the Bachman Wilson House in Somerset County, N.J.

The house was built along the Millstone River and has been damaged by flooding, prompting the owners to seek a buyer to move the home to a suitable location.

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Local & Regional News
2:43 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Ross Raises $540,000 In Final Months of 2013 For Race For Governor

Mike Ross

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross has raised more than $540,000 in the final months of 2013 in his bid for Arkansas' top office.

The former congressman's campaign said Wednesday that he ended 2013 with $2.5 million cash on hand and had raised $3.65 million since announcing his bid in April.

Wednesday is the deadline for candidates to file their fundraising reports for the quarter that ended Dec. 31.

Ross is the only Democrat seeking the state's top office.

Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is barred by term limits from seeking re-election this year.

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Local & Regional News
2:23 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Special Election Bodes Ill For Arkansas Health Plan

A Republican takeover of a northeast Arkansas state Senate seat dims the prospects for continuing the state's compromise Medicaid expansion plan and could be a troubling early sign for Democrats who had hoped to rebound from recent losses at the polls.

Republican John Cooper's win in the special election Tuesday for the seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Paul Bookout over ethics violations gives Republicans a 22-13 majority in the Senate and takes away a key vote for the "private option" Medicaid expansion lawmakers approved last year.

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Local & Regional News
10:34 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Quapaw Tribe, Arkansas National Guard To Sign Agreement

The Quapaw Tribe and the Arkansas National Guard plan to sign an agreement to protect the tribe's cultural and historical resources.

The agreement will help the tribe protect and enhance sacred sites and resources of historical and cultural importance in the state of Arkansas. The Quapaw Tribe lived in Arkansas for hundreds of years prior to its statehood.

The tribe and the Arkansas National Guard will sign the agreement at a ceremony Wednesday at Downstream Casino Resort.

Local & Regional News
12:11 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Northeast Arkansas Voters Pick GOP Candidate For State Senate

John Cooper

Republican John Cooper has won a northeast Arkansas state Senate seat, giving Republicans an extra seat in the Legislature in a race that was viewed as an early bellwether for this year's general election.

Cooper defeated Democratic nominee Steve Rockwell and replaces Democratic state Sen. Paul Bookout.

Bookout resigned last year after he was fined by the Ethics Commission for spending thousands in campaign funds on personal items such as clothing and theater equipment.

Complete but unofficial reports showed Cooper winning 57 percent of the vote.

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Local & Regional News
4:05 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Part Two Of Payment Improvement Initiative Is Underway

Primary care physicians who enrolled to be Patient Centered Medical Homes will start to see the benefits this month. The concept encourages doctors to treat chronic conditions and encourage prevention for their patients.

In return, the participating physicians receive financial support and 24/7 phone lines for patients, among other things. Medical Director for Arkansas Medicaid, William Golden, says enrollment has already exceeded expectations.

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