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Immigrant Education Bill
5:50 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Arkansas Lawmaker To Change In-state Tuition Bill For Immigrants

State Senator Joyce Elliott of Little Rock

An Arkansas lawmaker says she's changing her proposal that would have extended cheaper in-state tuition rates to some immigrants who came to the United States illegally. 

Democratic Sen. Joyce Elliott has struggled to find support for the bill and said Tuesday that she'll amend it to leave it up to each institution to determine its criteria for extending in-state tuition.

The change will require the state Higher Education Coordinating Board to set up the rules for the in-state rates, and would require them to be consistent with state and federal law.

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Affordable Care Act
7:02 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

'Private Option' For Medicaid Expansion Will Get A Vote In Arkansas House

Rep. John Burris (R-Harrison) said to the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee Tuesday that the best option for Arkansans once the Affordable Care Act is fully in effect will be to have the "private option" of Medicaid insurance expansion in place.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The state House will get to vote on legislation that would allow the state to provide health insurance to roughly 250,000 low income Arkansans after the House public health committee advanced it Tuesday.

There was audible opposition to the voice vote, but the bill will make it to the full House, where it will need 51 votes for approval. However, it will also need a budget appropriation for full implementation and that takes a tougher 75 votes.

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Local & Regional News
6:15 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Remembering A Visit The Late Margaret Thatcher Made To Arkansas

As the world mourns the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, KUAR is looking back at a visit she made to Arkansas nearly 18 years ago.

Reporter Michael Hibblen covered the speech she gave at Harding University in Searcy in 1995 and has highlights of her remarks.

Thatcher’s visit came five years after she resigned as Prime Minister. She held that post longer than anyone else in the 20th century and was the only woman to serve as Britain’s Prime Minister.

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Local & Regional News
4:28 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Arkansas Bill Would End Grants For Planned Parenthood

A group rally against the bill at the Capitol today.
Credit Nathan Vandiver

The Arkansas Senate has approved legislation that would prohibit the state from awarding grants to abortion providers, a move aimed at cutting off money Planned Parenthood receives for sex education.

The Senate voted 19-11 Tuesday for the bill that would ban the state from awarding grants to abortion providers or entities that refer women to abortion providers. The proposal would not affect Medicaid money.

Planned Parenthood officials say the bill could affect doctors and entities such as rape crisis centers if they refer women to abortion providers.

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Local & Regional News
3:19 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Amtrak Announces Record Levels Of Ridership

Amtrak announced Tuesday that ridership is the highest it has ever been in the railroad’s history. October, December and January set individual records and in the past 6 months ridership has grown by one percent.

Spokesman Mark Magliani says they have been struggling with capacity issues, but are working to add stops and routes.

Clinton Airport Dedication
2:42 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Bill And Hillary Clinton Expected In Little Rock For Airport Dedication Ceremony

Clinton National Airport
Malcolm Glover KUAR

Construction crews are nearing completion of Phase I renovation efforts at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock.

This first stage of development costs about $67 million and included extensive renovations to the ticket lobby, a state-of-the-art baggage system, and renaming the airport to honor the legacy of the former president and the former secretary of state.

Airport Commission Chairman Kay Kelley Arnold says the Clintons are expected to attend the official dedication ceremony on May 3. 

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Health Insurance Expansion
7:17 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Eye Private Option As Medicaid Innovation

Republican Representative John Burris of Harrison told his colleagues in the Arkansas House on Monday that the state could be an example to other states of how to overhaul Medicaid if it approves a new private option of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The House met Monday specifically to discuss a bill that would allow the state to expand health coverage through private insurance for roughly 250,000 Arkansans who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level with federal money.

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Mayflower Oil Spill
6:45 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Animals Released Into Wild After Arkansas Oil Spill

Officials have released some animals back into the wild after they were rescued and cleaned up following an oil spill in central Arkansas.

Crews on Monday brought a pair of raccoons and several turtles to the Bell Slough State Wildlife Management Area near Mayflower.

Their release comes more than a week after an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured in Mayflower and spilled thousands of barrels of oil on March 29.

Oil spewed onto lawns and roadways and almost fouled nearby Lake Conway. No one was hurt, but the spill led authorities to evacuate more than 20 homes.

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Nuclear Safety
6:36 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Federal Inspectors Head To Arkansas Nuclear One

Arkansas Nuclear One

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is sending a team of inspectors to Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville to review an accident that killed one worker and injured eight others.

The accident occurred March 31 when a 550-ton piece of equipment fell as a lifting rig collapsed. Authorities say 24-year-old Wade Walters of Russellville was killed when the equipment fell on him.

The NRC says there was no release of radiation or danger to the public because of the accident.

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Local & Regional News
4:24 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Arkansas Senate OKs Unemployment Testing, Benefit Cut

The Arkansas Senate has approved proposals to cut the maximum unemployment benefits the state pays out and to subject some unemployment recipients to random drug testing.

The Senate voted 19-12 Monday and approved the bill by Republican Sen. Bart Hester of Cave City. It would cut the maximum weekly benefits Arkansas pays from $451 to $325.

Hester says the state's benefits are much higher than surrounding states, but Democrats criticized the move as unfair to unemployed workers.  

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