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2:59 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Gov. Beebe Touts Private Option Despite Concerns In GAO Report

Gov. Mike Beebe speaking Wednesday at the Capitol.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe dismissed concerns over a report this week by the Government Accountability Office saying Arkansas’s private option plan will cost the federal government more than had been estimated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which approved the program.

Auditors had said the state’s alternative Medicaid expansion program will not be “revenue-neutral” compared to a standard Medicaid expansion under the federal healthcare law.

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Local & Regional News
12:48 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Mike Ross, Asa Hutchinson To Square Off In Televised Debate

Credit Talk Business & Politics

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchinson and Democratic rival Mike Ross are squaring off next week in a statewide televised debate.

Little Rock television station KARK announced Wednesday it will host a debate Sept. 19 between the two gubernatorial candidates.

The 7 p.m. debate will also be broadcast live on Fayetteville station KNWA and Texarkana TV station KTAL. The debate will also be replayed on stations in Memphis, Tennessee; El Dorado and Monroe, Louisiana; and Springfield, Missouri.

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Local & Regional News
12:43 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Big River Steel Gets Extension In Lawsuit Over Planned Mill

A judge is giving Big River Steel more time to respond to a federal lawsuit that seeks to stop the billion-dollar project from moving forward in northeast Arkansas.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes agreed Wednesday for a 28-day extension for the company to respond to the federal lawsuit filed by Nucor Steel. The lawsuit seeks to block Big River Steel from building its $1.3 billion steel mill south of Osceola and also seeks a revocation of the company's air permit issued by the state.

Local & Regional News
9:24 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Private Groups To Help Enrollment After Arkansas Lawmakers Stopped Help

An screenshot from healthcare.gov near its launch.
Credit healthcare.gov

A joint effort of non-governmental organizations under the name Arkansans For Coverage launched an effort Tuesday to help people enroll in health care plans made available through the Affordable Care Act. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is among five groups in the joint effort to assist with navigating the health insurance marketplace or exchange.

AACF Executive Director Rich Huddleston said a vote by the state legislature earlier this year blocking state-funded outreach efforts makes this effort necessary.

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Local & Regional News
9:02 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Arkansas Holding Annual Prescription Drug Summit

Credit Virginia Guard Public Affairs / flickr.com

More than 600 medical professionals, pharmacists, law enforcement officers and educators are gathering in Arkansas for the state's third annual summit on prescription drug abuse.
 
The summit is being held Wednesday at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock and includes discussions on residential treatment, prescription abuse trends, community response to drug abuse and other topics. The luncheon's keynote speaker will be Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who is president of the National Association of Attorneys General.
 

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Local & Regional News
6:55 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

UALR Hosts Forum on Race In Little Rock

Credit UALR

Civic and religious leaders from Little Rock spoke on racial inequality and conflict in the city at a forum Monday night at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.  The meeting was organized as a response to the recent shooting of teenager Michael Brown and subsequent civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Religious leaders at the event spoke to the crowd about their role in helping with reconciliation between the races. Assistant pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, Lindy Vogado, said primarily white congregations need to do more to raise consciousness about issues of race.

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Local & Regional News
6:18 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Arkansas's Congressional Delegation Touts Loan Extension For Unpaid Farmers

Arkansas Sec. of Agriculture Butch Calhoun
Credit aad.arkansas.gov / Arkansas Agriculture Department

A government loan extension for Arkansas farmers was touted Tuesday by Arkansas’s U.S. Representatives as needed assistance after a grain firm failed to pay farmers. The United States Department of Agriculture granted a 60 day extension on Farm Service Agency Marketing Assistance Loans used by east Arkansas farmers to plant crops.

Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Butch Calhoun said the collapse of Turner Grain Merchandising, a middleman for farmers and grain buyers, means farmers didn’t get the money from the grain brokerage to repay loans used in planting.

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Local & Regional News
6:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Republicans File Ethics Complaint Over James Lee Witt Report

James Lee Witt

Democratic congressional hopeful James Lee Witt's campaign says he's amending his financial disclosure statement to include an $850,000 Little Rock house he bought after Arkansas Republicans filed an ethics complaint over the matter.

The state GOP on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Witt for not including the house in a financial disclosure statement he filed last month.

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Local & Regional News
5:54 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Secretary Of State Asks Court To Dismiss Alcohol Sales Lawsuit

Credit Project Manhattan / Wikimedia Commons

Secretary of State Mark Martin is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit trying to block from the November ballot a proposal to expand alcohol sales to all 75 of the state's counties.

Martin's office on Tuesday responded to the lawsuit filed last week by Citizens for Local Rights, which argues the state used the wrong deadline for accepting petitions to place the alcohol measure on the November ballot. The group argues that the state should have used July 4 as the deadline, rather than July 7.

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Local & Regional News
3:44 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Lawsuits Filed To Get Hot Springs Water Project On The Ballot

The authors of two, identical rejected petitions over a water project have filed a Garland County lawsuit to force the initiative onto the November ballot.

The Sentinel-Record reports Greg Pritchett and Bob Driggers filed the suit against Hot Springs' city clerk and the Garland County Election Commission on Monday.

The identical petitions sought to have an ordinance placed on the ballot to direct Hot Springs officials to stop taking water from DeGray Lake and build a new water treatment plant.

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