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Local & Regional News
11:49 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Two Killed In Fort Smith By Man Wielding Machete

Gregory Aaron Kinsey

A man with a machete hacked two people to death in western Arkansas and police arrested the suspect at his mother's home.

The Southwest Times Record reports the victims were outside a Fort Smith home when the suspect, 20-year-old Gregory Aaron Kinsey of Fort Smith, walked by and exchanged words with the men.

Witnesses told police the men confronted Kinsey, who attacked them with the machete.

Police have identified the victims as 32-year-old Nathan Young and 39-year-old Brandon Prince.

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Local & Regional News
11:23 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Former Arkansas Treasurer Pleads Not Guilty To Charges

Former Treasurer Martha Shoffner leaves the federal courthouse in Little Rock with her attorney Chuck Banks.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges accusing her of taking cash payments to steer state investments to a bond broker.

It was a brief hearing, with U.S. Magistrate Joe Volpe reading the 14 charges of extortion and bribery.

Her attorney Chuck Banks entered a plea of not guilty and requested a trial by jury.

Asked by the judge if that was her plea, Shoffner said “Yes, not guilty.”

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Local & Regional News
5:48 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Faulkner Co. Deputies Seize $700K Worth Of Drugs

Faulkner County sheriff's deputies seized 21 pounds of methamphetamine and two pounds of brown-powder heroin in a traffic stop.

Investigators revealed the bust on Wednesday, saying the drugs had a street value of $700,000.

The traffic stop occurred May 24, but law enforcement agencies commonly wait to announce a drug seizure to give investigators time to find more people connected to the shipment.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports deputies stopped the car on Interstate 40 at Mayflower.

Local & Regional News
7:46 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

How Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage Could Impact Arkansas

A demonstration in Little Rock for marriage equality on Wednesday.
Credit Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality

Listen to this story.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on two cases on gay marriage, many may be wondering how these rulings do or do not apply to Arkansas.

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Local & Regional News
7:36 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Former Treasurer Martha Shoffner To Have Court Arraignment

Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who is facing extortion and bribery charges, is to have an initial appearance Thursday morning in federal court in Little Rock.

In a court filing, Shoffner said she will plead not guilty.

A federal grand jury indicted Shoffner June 5th on 14 counts. She resigned last month after the FBI arrested her at her Newport home.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Volpe denied a request by Shoffner to waive her appearance at Thursday's arraignment.

She is accused of accepting cash payments to steer state investments to a bond broker.

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Local & Regional News
3:51 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Arkansas Department of Health Urges Caution in Extreme Heat

Credit uark.edu

With temperatures nearing 100, state health officials say people need to be extremely cautious when outdoors. Too much exposure can cause heat exhaustion and heat strokes.

Doctor Gary Wheeler with the Arkansas Department of Health says it’s important to pay attention to early signs of dehydration.

 “Particularly people who are outside working, they'll start to get muscle cramps and that kind of thing. They're probably losing sweat, losing salt, and they should recognize that's a problem and not just keep working through it," says Wheeler.

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Local & Regional News
3:25 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pryor And Boozman: Gay Marriage Ruling Won’t Change Arkansas Policy

L to R: Senators John Boozman and Mark Pryor

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision Wednesday that a federal same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional could impact public policy in Arkansas. 

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor supported the Defense of Marriage Act and says the high court’s ruling still recognizes that marriage contracts should be left up to individual states.

“Arkansas has made the determination that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Pryor said. “I support and respect the state’s decision and my personal belief that marriage is between a man and a woman has not changed.”

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Local & Regional News
1:29 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Arkansas Lottery Panel Approves Pay Raises

The Arkansas Lottery Commission has voted to give pay raises to its director and other employees.

The panel on Wednesday voted to give a 2 percent cost-of-living pay raise to its 82 employees and also give merit pay raises to those eligible based on their evaluations.

Director Bishop Woosley will receive a one-time payment of $4,248 this year as a 3 percent merit pay raise and will receive $2,832 next year as his cost-of-living adjustment The payments to Woosley are based on his maximum salary under state law, which is $141,603.

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Local & Regional News
1:26 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Underground Pollution Not Spreading At Whirlpool

Credit Arkansas Times

A consultant's report says a plume of underground pollution at the former Whirlpool Corp. factory in Fort Smith isn't spreading.

People living near the plant have sued Whirlpool over the contamination.

City Administrator Ray Gosack said Wednesday that the report only shows that the plume has been stable for the last year.

The Southwest Times Record reports trichloroethylene, or TCE, seeped into groundwater at the plant and spread to an adjacent neighborhood.

The chemical was used as a solvent and is now a known carcinogen.

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Local & Regional News
6:32 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Arkansas Lottery Panel To Vote On Pay Raises

The Arkansas Lottery Commission is voting whether to give pay raises to its director and other employees.

The commission is scheduled to meet by conference call on Wednesday to vote on whether to give cost-of-living and merit pay raises to Director Bishop Woosley, Internal Auditor Matt Brown and other employees of the games.

The commission met in a closed door session Monday to review Woosley and Brown's performance. Woosley, the former chief legal counsel for the games, was hired as the lottery's director last year.

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