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Local & Regional News
6:23 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Arkansas District Arming More Than 20 Teachers, Staff

When fall classes start in one Arkansas school district, more than 20 district employees will be walking the hallways carrying concealed weapons, making use of a little-known Arkansas law that allows licensed, armed security guards on campus.

After undergoing 53 hours of training, the teachers, administrators and other employees will be considered guards.

Clarksville, a community of 9,200 people about 100 miles northwest of Little Rock, isn't known for having dangerous schools.

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Local & Regional News
11:15 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Legal Battles Brew Over Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban; 8th Circuit Could Mean Uphill Battle

Becca and Tara Austin, two plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit regarding gay marriage.
Credit Karen Tricot Steward / KUAR

Legal battles are brewing over same-sex marriage in Arkansas.

The attorneys behind the complaints say they are energized by the U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, also known as the Windsor decision. They also point to other legal developments that have occurred since Arkansas’s Amendment 83 – defining marriage as between one man and one woman – was enacted in 2004.  

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Arkansas Wildlife
6:47 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Bat Disease Causing Fungus Found In State Park

Bat with White Nose Syndrome
Credit Microbe World / flickr.com

The latest discovery of a fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome in bats has some Arkansas wildlife officials worried about the potential harm to local bat populations.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed Monday that a sample of the fungus was found in a cave at Devil's Den State Park in Washington County, but officials say no bats in the area have shown symptoms of the disease. It's the second instance of the fungus showing up in Arkansas after samples were found at a privately owned cave in Baxter County.

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Local & Regional News
4:50 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Restoration Of Dome Underway At Arkansas Capitol

Credit Arkansas Business

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin says restoration of the state Capitol's interior dome is underway.

Martin announced the beginning of the project on Monday. He says a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council is funding the restoration.

Martin's office says work on the project will continue through the fall.

The dome's interior will be repainted to be as historically accurate as possible, dating back to the Capitol's original construction.

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Local & Regional News
3:52 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Arkansans Say Pope's Remarks Do Not Equal Acceptance of Homosexuality

Saint Edward's Catholic Church in downtown Little Rock.
Credit flickr.com

Pope Francis has generated some buzz because of comments on gays in the Catholic Church after his week long trip to Brazil. Francis said gays, including clergy, should be forgiven and integrated into society.

He said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Dr. John Sanders, Chair of Religious Studies at Hendrix College in Conway, says the comments are less about theology and more about tone.

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Local & Regional News
2:26 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Ex-Arkansas Deputy Pleads Guilty In Prostitution Case

Federal prosecutors say a former Garland County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to a prostitution-related charge.

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Local & Regional News
12:22 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Prosecutors Want Delay In Ex-LR Officer's Retrial

Josh Hastings
Credit Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Prosecutors are seeking a delay in the retrial of a former Little Rock police officer charged with manslaughter.

A ruling is pending with Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on a request to move the trial of ex-officer Josh Hastings to December.

A jury deadlocked after a June trial in which Hastings claimed he was justified in shooting 15-year-old Bobby Moore III, who was caught breaking into cars at a Little Rock apartment complex.

Hastings claims Moore tried to run him over.

Griffen set a retrial for September.

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Politics
11:52 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Bill Halter Drops Out Of Race For Governor

Bill Halter
Credit Arkansas Times

Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter is dropping out of the Democratic race for Arkansas governor next year. He made the announcement Monday in an email to supporters.

Spokesman Bud Jackson says the decision was made because Halter would have faced a tough challenge from former Congressman Mike Ross.

"When he first got in this race, it was only him and now we have a stronger candidate in Mike Ross who has done a better job in raising money and Bill decided he didn't want to put the party through a divisive primary and he would gracefully bow out," Jackson said.

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Local & Regional News
11:28 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Exxon Mobil Pipeline President Responds To Central Arkansas Concerns

A July 26, 2013 letter sent to Arkansas elected officials and representatives of Central Arkansas Water from Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. president Gary Pruessing suggests a commitment to more dialogue, but not to quick action as the pipeline company and local leaders exchange concerns in the aftermath of the Mayflower oil spill.

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Local & Regional News
10:53 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Arkansas Researchers Develop New Non-GMO Soybeans

Soybeans

Arkansas Scientists have developed two new soybean varieties that offer high yields.

Dr. Pengyin Chen, director of the Division of Agriculture's soybean breeding program, says the new soybeans are not genetically modified and can be timed for harvest after farmers have completed harvesting their rice crop.

“[The soybeans] are bred by using conventional classical breeding techniques, know as crossbreeding,” said Chen. “Basically, you cross two non-GMO, or conventional, soybean lines or varieties to develop new lines.”  

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