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Local & Regional News
12:05 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Building Up to Major Changes for Private Option

Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

State officials laid out their plans for implementing three new components to Arkansas's Private Option during a meeting of a legislative oversight committee Tuesday. Key changes to the government-purchased private health plan for low-income residents include extending co-pays to some of the poorest private option recipients.

Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson said changes set to begin in February 2015 bring the state into relatively uncharted territory, requiring federal approval.

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Local & Regional News
3:12 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Citing Unjust Regulations, Hair Braiders Sue Over Licensing Requirements

Shop owners Nivea Earl and Christine McLean, the two Arkansas plaintiffs in the lawsuit, give a hair braiding demonstration.

Arkansas is one of three states facing a lawsuit over the licensing requirements for African-style hair braiding.

The Virginia-based Institute for Justice has filed the lawsuit, saying the requirement that hair braiders get cosmetology licenses to practice is unjust and unreasonable.

Attorney Paul Avelar with the Institute says cosmetology courses violate a hair braider's right to economic freedom because it requires spending thousands of dollars on schooling that does not teach braiding or test on it.

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Local & Regional News
9:07 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Volunteers Still Needed For Arkansas Tornado Help

Relief groups in Faulkner County say more volunteers are needed to continue with the cleanup efforts from the April 27 tornado.

Arkansas Dream Center Executive Director Drew Davis says 5 to 6 homes still need to be demolished, and about two dozen sites need extensive cleanup work. The EF4 tornado that hit Vilonia and Mayflower killed 15 people and caused extensive damage.

Local & Regional News
4:30 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Buffalo National River Conservationists Push for Size Limits on Hog Farms

Inside C & H Hog Farms near Mount Judea
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission is considering a proposed permanent ban on future large-scale hog farms in the Buffalo National River watershed. The commission is taking public comments in Harrison Tuesday night over concerns waste run-off will pollute the National River.

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Local & Regional News
3:58 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

National Concerns Of Pollinator Decline, But Not In Arkansas

Credit www.forestcamping.com

Forestry officials in Arkansas this week are calling attention to the role of a vulnerable part of the ecosystem—pollinators. Park Planner Steve Duzan said three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators and they have a big impact on Arkansas agriculture. This makes pollinators like bees, butterflies and a host of other species an important part of the economy.

Hendrix College biologist Matt Moran said while pollinators face 35 percent population declines nationally, Arkansas has fared better than most states because of a large amount of forested land.

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Local & Regional News
3:54 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Arkansas Governor Fundraising Numbers

Former Congressman Mike Ross is reporting having $1.6 million in the bank after winning the Democratic Party's nomination for Arkansas governor last month. Ross on Monday filed a fundraising report with the secretary of state's office that showed he raised nearly $194,000 between May 11 and May 31. The deadline to file final fundraising reports for the May 20 primary is June 30.

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Local & Regional News
9:01 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Hillshire Backs Away From Pinnacle Foods Offer

Hillshire Brands Co. is backing off of its offer to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc., a move that it needs to make in order for its $7.75 billion proposed deal with Tyson Foods to go through.

Tyson won a bidding war with Pilgrim's Pride earlier this month to buy Hillshire, maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs. The final offer from Tyson Foods Inc. ended up at $63 per share, but it was contingent on Hillshire not going through with its bid for Pinnacle Foods, which makes Birds Eye frozen vegetables.

Local & Regional News
8:56 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Public Meeting Set On Buffalo River Hog Farm Rule

A public hearing is planned in Harrison on a proposed regulation that would ban large hog farms in the Buffalo River watershed.

The meeting is set for Tuesday evening in Harrison. The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission is considering a new regulation that would ban farms with 750-plus hogs weighing 55 pounds or more and farms with 3,000 or more hogs weighing less than 55 pounds.

Local & Regional News
3:11 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Hopes Of Saving Pine Bluff's Historic, But Crumbling Hotel Pines

The lobby of the Hotel Pines as it looks now after a rough winter.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A group of photographers is working to document a long-closed, historic hotel in Pine Bluff, while it's also being studied by architecture students. The hotel was once considered among the finest in Arkansas, but has been abandoned for nearly half a century and after a hard winter, the once grand structure is deteriorating fast.

The two story lobby with marble walls and plaster ornamentation is crumbling. The curved ceiling once featured stained glass, but that’s broken, allowing water to pour in.

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Local & Regional News
6:34 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Former President Clinton Makes the Case for Government Involvement in Delta

Former President Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton said the federal government is critical in developing the Mississippi delta region of the country. He spoke Friday to the annual meeting of the Delta Grassroots Caucus.

On Thursday Republican Senate hopeful Tom Cotton said he would abolish the Delta Regional Authority that Clinton had helped to create in 2000. Speaking via telephone Clinton made it clear he believes more government involvement, not less, is what the Delta needs.

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