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The Buffalo River
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A 180-day moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations – or CAFOs – in the Buffalo River Watershed is now in effect, for the third time.

Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture / Jo McDougall

Born in 1935, poet Jo McDougall grew up on a rice farm in the Arkansas Delta. She began writing at an early age, first publishing in her early twenties. Since then, she has published five poetry books and one memoir and has taught at universities in Arkansas and Kansas. In the Home of the Famous Dead, her book of collected poems, is out now from the University of Arkansas Press.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

A task force created by Governor Asa Hutchinson to review Arkansas's implementation of Common Core curriculum held its first all-day meeting Thursday to listen to several panelists of teachers, education officials, and academics, on the benefits and shortcomings of the nationally uniform curriculum, launched in 2009.

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Arkansas's U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, both Republicans, voted against the confirmation of Loretta Lynch to serve as U.S. attorney.

"I believe it would be irresponsible to confirm a successor whose approach is virtually indistinguishable from her predecessor,” said Boozman.

 

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports:

 

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is making a stop in Arkansas Thursday evening to headline a ticketed-event in Little Rock honoring the Pryor family. The visit comes on the heels of Hillary Clinton’s entrance into the 2016 presidential race.

http://tinyurl.com/d655snf

Officials say nearly 70 employees of the Pine Bluff School District will lose their jobs in an effort to save money following years of financial and enrollment declines.

The Pine Bluff School Board approved the elimination of 68 jobs at a Tuesday night meeting.

The layoffs are expected to provide the district's budget with an additional $3.1 million each year. Interim Superintendent T.C. Wallace Jr. said most of the layoffs are a result of the closure of two elementary schools.

The Arkansas Literary Festival, now in its 12th year, will draw thousands of people for a broad range of events at nearly two dozen venues around Little Rock. Beginning Thursday evening, it runs through Sunday, with the primary draw being  discussions with authors. A full rundown of events can be found here.

The mayor of Jonesboro has said a proposal from Arkansas State University students to add protections for gays and lesbians to the city's anti-discrimination policy is unnecessary.

The Jonesboro Sun reports Mayor Harold Perrin made his announcement Tuesday. He says the language in the city's personnel handbook is broad enough to cover all types of discrimination.

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

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he supports reinstating a moratorium on issuing any new permits for hog farms near the Buffalo National River.

Hutchinson in a statement released by his office Wednesday called for reinstating the 180-day moratorium on issuing permits for medium to large scale animal-feeding operations in the Buffalo River watershed. The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission is expected to vote Friday on reinstating the moratorium, which expired earlier this week.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin heads the Common Core task force.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A group put together by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to assess Common Core educational standards in Arkansas will hold its first public hearing Thursday in Little Rock.

Over the next two months, additional hearings will be held in eight other cities around the state to get public input and hear from educational leaders.

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