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4:39 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Arkansas Education Officials Announce Program To Increase Higher Ed Degrees

Arkansas education officials are announcing a program they say will help with Governor Mike Beebe’s initiative to double the number of Arkansans with college degrees by 2025.

Noting "some college is better than no college," education officials say they’ll use a grant from the Kresge Foundation to put a system in place so the state’s community colleges and universities can blend student information.

The idea is that associates degrees would be awarded to students who transferred to a university from a two-year college and have amassed enough credits for a diploma.

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Local & Regional News
2:38 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Pryor And Boozman Outline Immigration Priorities

People hold up signs at a pro-immigration reform rally in Washington, D.C.

With an immigration reform bill moving forward in the U.S. Senate, Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas says procedural votes Tuesday were just the first step in what will be a closely watched process. 

“If you look at the immigrant population in Arkansas, it’s about five percent and about 13 percent nationwide,” said Pryor. “However, we are one of the fastest growing states in terms of immigrant population. I think we’re fourth overall in the amount of growth we’re seeing in our immigrant population so this is an issue that’s becoming increasingly important to our state.”

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Local & Regional News
11:31 am
Wed June 12, 2013

VA Hospital Federal Credit Union's Former President Pleaded Guilty to Embezzlement

Credit littlerock.va.gov

The former President of the VA Hospital Federal Credit Union in Little Rock, pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of embezzlement.

Prosecutors say Karen York stole over $60,000 during the course of twelve years at the VA through a check kiting scheme and making false deposit entries.

The FBI defines check kiting as, "a scheme which artificially inflates bank account balances, in accounts that are under common control, for purposes of obtaining unauthorized use of bank funds, through the exchanging of checks between accounts.”

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Local & Regional News
7:54 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Sex Trafficking More Widespread in Arkansas Than Most Realize

Credit Polaris Project

Last week, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Christopher Thyer, announced that a Little Rock man, alleged to have been a pimp and trafficker, was convicted in federal court on one count of sex trafficking. 

It was a first for his district, saying "It had been there for quite some time, and the biggest reason some of these cases are coming forward is awareness." 

Thyer says awareness is on the rise, but many people don’t know that sex trafficking could be occurring in their area.

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Local & Regional News
5:57 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Repairs To Affect Interstates 40, 440 In Arkansas

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says bridge repair work and paving will affect traffic on Interstate 40 in eastern Arkansas and I-440 in North Little Rock.

The department says paving on the west end of the White River bridge on I-40 in Prairie County will require that westbound traffic be detoured from 3 a.m. until 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

Traffic is being detoured off I-40 at exit 202 to Briscoe and onto Arkansas 33, then US 70 before being allowed back onto the interstate at the Hazen exit - exit 193.

Local & Regional News
6:09 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Arkansas AG OKs Wording Of Medicaid Ballot Measure

The attorney general's office has approved the wording of a ballot measure that would allow voters to decide whether Arkansas can use federal Medicaid dollars to offer private insurance to thousands of low-income residents.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office on Tuesday certified the proposed referendum submitted by tea party activist Glenn Gallas on the "private option" law approved earlier this year. McDaniel's certification clears the way for supporters to start gathering the 46,880 signatures needed to place the measure on next year's ballot.

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Politics
5:58 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Highway Commissioner Enters Arkansas Lt. Governor Race

John Burkhalter
Credit Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

Arkansas Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter says he's running for lieutenant governor next year, opting out of a race for the state's top office.

Burkhalter on Tuesday announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for the state's No. 2 constitutional office.

Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry also announced Tuesday that she's running.

Burkhalter, 56, had been considering a run for governor.

Burkhalter is the president of Burkhalter Technologies, a North Little Rock construction company.

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Local & Regional News
5:53 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

23 Indicted In Western Arkansas For Drug Trafficking

Federal and state authorities say 23 people have been indicted on federal drug trafficking charges in western Arkansas.

US Attorney Conner Eldridge in Fort Smith announced the indictments Tuesday with officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security; Sebastian County Sheriff's Office; and police departments in Fort Smith and Van Buren.

Authorities say the crimes occurred in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and California.

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Politics
4:05 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Little Rock School Board President Enters Arkansas Lt. Governor Race

Dianne Curry

A second Democrat also entered the race for Arkansas Lieutenant Governor today: Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry.

If elected, the 59-year-old would be the first woman to serve in that post and the first African-American elected to statewide office. Curry says it’s time for more women, minorities, and working class people to be in state government.

She says she will focus on education, the workforce, the economy, and issues surrounding the health of Arkansans.  

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Local & Regional News
2:14 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Salvation Army and Little Rock Working to Help Homeless Beat the Heat This Summer

Credit www.uss.salvationarmy.org

The Salvation Army is coordinating with the city of Little Rock’s new Homeless Day Resource Center to provide relief from the heat this summer.

The Salvation Army’s Director of Public Relations Kathy Barbier said intense heat can mean an additional challenge for those without regular access to air conditioning and water.

"We are dealing with a vulnerable population, people who don't have resources and often have other underlying health issues. It's very important to be able to have a safe place where people can go and get out of the extreme heat," said Barbier

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