Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner is asking a federal judge to throw out corruption charges on which she is to be tried in a little over a week.
Shoffner faces trial March 3 on a 14-count extortion and bribery indictment, which accuses her of accepting $36,000 from a bond dealer in exchange for steering state business his way.
Shoffner asked Friday that the counts be thrown out on grounds that the allegations don't involve interstate commerce. Lawyers for Shoffner argue that to allow prosecution would "extend federal power beyond its proper bounds."
Little Rock-based Windstream Corp. is cutting 400 positions, equal to 3 percent of its workforce.
The company issued a news release Friday that says the cuts will improve its operational efficiency and save about $20 million per year. Windstream expects a first-quarter charge of between $9 million and $10 million to pay severance packages.
Windstream, which has 13,500 employees, says about 175 of the affected workers accepted buyouts.
For the fourth time in as many days, the Arkansas House of Representatives failed to pass a measure that would fund the private option, the state’s unique plan to provide hundreds of thousands of poor people with private health insurance. The funding bill failed on a 71 to 18 vote, with many members voting in absentia (Friday is normally a day off for legislators.
In what was expected to be a close but almost certain vote, the Arkansas State Senate passed the appropriation bill for the private option, the healthcare plan that extends coverage to poor residents. Later in the afternoon Thursday, the House of Representatives again fell short of passing the bill.