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Local & Regional News
2:40 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Heber Springs Mayor To Challenge 1st District Congressman Crawford

The mayor of Heber Springs says he will challenge a Republican congressman in the upcoming election.

Mayor Jackie McPherson said Thursday he will run against Rick Crawford for the 1st Congressional District seat in eastern Arkansas.

McPherson is a Democrat and cited Congress' lack of bipartisanship as one of his reasons running for the seat.

McPherson has been the mayor of Heber Springs for six years and previously served on the city's council for 12 years. He and his wife Vicki have three children.

Local & Regional News
12:37 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

ASU Breaks Ground on New Campus in Mexico

Credit asunews.astate.edu

The first steps toward Arkansas State University’s new 20,000 person campus located in Mexico began Thursday with a groundbreaking ceremony.

ASU officials and members of the Mexican government attended the festivities along with nearly 2,000 onlookers.

ASU’s Vice President for Strategic Communications and Economic Development Jeff Hankins said the campus, funded by private investors in Mexico, will in many ways mimic ASU.

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Local & Regional News
11:29 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Arkansas Senate OKs Bill Avoiding Special Election For Lt. Governor

The Arkansas Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would avoid a special election this year for the lieutenant governor's position left open by the resignation of Mark Darr.

The Senate voted 35-0 on Thursday in favor of the bill, which would enable Gov. Mike Beebe to not call a special election for the office within 10 months of the November election.

Darr resigned Feb. 1, and lawmakers hope to avoid a special election before the November general election that will fill the post. Lawmakers say holding a special election would cost $1 million.

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Local & Regional News
11:28 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Death Row Inmate Asks For New Penalty Hearing

A lawyer for the state is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to reverse a ruling from about two years ago in order to keep a death row inmate from getting a new sentencing hearing.

Terrick Nooner was sentenced to execution for the 1993 slaying of 22-year-old Scot Stobaugh at a Little Rock laundry.

Nooner's attorney, Josh Lee, argued Thursday before the high court that the trial jury indicated on a form that it didn't consider mitigating evidence in the sentencing phase.

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Local & Regional News
10:54 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Arkansas-Based Wal-Mart's 4Q Profit Falls 21 Percent

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is offering a profit outlook below Wall Street expectations as economic pressures weigh on its low-income shoppers around the world. The world's largest retailer also saw its fourth-quarter profit drop 21 percent.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., said Thursday that it earned $4.43 billion, or $1.36 per share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31. That compares with $5.6 billion, or $1.67 per share, a year earlier.

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Fiscal Legislative Session
7:29 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Private Option Again Fails To Pass, More Votes To Come

Foes of the private option present proposals to completely stop any further enrollment in the program. Governor Mike Beebe and House Speaker Davy Carter say the plan is politically unrealistic.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Arkansas Legislative leaders say they are finished negotiating new terms relating to the state’s private option alternative to Medicaid expansion, after the bill to appropriate funds for the program failed to get the needed votes to pass.

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Local & Regional News
5:52 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

No Changes To Arkansas Funding For Common Core

Arkansas legislators decided against changing the state's education funding bill to delay implementing a set of uniform benchmarks for reading, writing and math for three years.

State Rep. Randy Alexander, R-Fayetteville, proposed the modifications Wednesday in a committee hearing. He wants to bar the state and local districts from spending any public money on Common Core's implementation.

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Local & Regional News
5:46 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Arkansas AG Rejects Wording Of Marijuana Ballot Item

The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected the wording of a proposal for the November ballot that would legalize marijuana in the state.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office on Wednesday said the measure by Arkansans for Medical Cannabis contains ambiguities in its text.

McDaniel's office says it doesn't explain that passage would change the state constitution. Further, the office cites an ambiguity in a section covering how the state would regulate the sale of some marijuana.

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Local & Regional News
5:43 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Judge Excludes Some Evidence From Martha Shoffner Trial

Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

A federal judge has granted a request by former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner to exclude some evidence in her federal corruption trial next month.

Shoffner is to be tried starting March 3 on a 14-count bribery and extortion indictment.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes ruled that prosecutors can't introduce evidence from 10 new mail fraud charges added this month, for which Shoffner will be tried separately.

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Local & Regional News
5:37 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Harrison City Leaders Struggle To Lose Community's Racist Image

White patriots confront members of a race task force meeting in Harrison. (left to right) Task Force member Layne Ragsdale, Carolyn Cline, local Klan operator Thom Robb and Robb's grandson-in-law Freeland Dunscombe.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

The North Arkansas city of Harrison is taking steps to rebrand itself, but some so-called white patriots are working to mark the town as their territory.

The Ozarks community, roiled by race riots in the early 1900s, has become a magnet for organized hate groups. It also attracted international media attention last fall with a billboard many considered racist.

A local race task force wants to counter that image, but at a recent meeting were confronted by Klan leaders. Jacqueline Froelich with Fayetteville station KUAF has the story. You can hear her report above.

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