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Local & Regional News
8:57 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Report: Conway Suspect Not Mentally Fit For Trial

A report from an Arkansas State Hospital psychologist has found that a man accused of shooting a woman in a Conway Wal-Mart is mentally unfit to stand trial.

A judge had ordered the mental evaluation for 30-year-old Myron Terrell, who is charged with attempted capital murder in the shooting that wounded a customer at the store. Authorities say Terrell was a maintenance worker at the store and he opened fire on the woman as she stood in the checkout line.

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Local & Regional News
8:47 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Stakeholders Meeting Planned On Carbon Rules

Environmental officials and utilities plan a public meeting to discuss new federal regulations designed to reduce the nation's carbon emissions.

Under the plan announced this month by President Barack Obama, Arkansas's goal is to cut emissions by nearly 45 percent by 2030. Arkansas gets about half its electricity from coal-fired power plants.

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Local & Regional News
6:11 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Thousands Of Square Dancers Converge On Little Rock For Annual Convention

Contra dancing, as shown on a video on the website of the 63rd National Square Dance Convention.

Nearly 4,000 square dancers and participants are converging on Little Rock for the 63rd National Square Dance Convention.  Some are traveling from as far away as Germany, Japan, Sweden, Great Britton, the Netherlands, Australia and the Philippians.

The opening ceremony is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Statehouse Convention Center.  Events will then take place there, at the Little Rock Marriott and Robinson Center through Saturday evening.

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Local & Regional News
6:08 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Burgundy Book: Business Community Optimistic, Income Flat, Luxury Sales Up

The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank
Credit federalreserveeducation.org

A federal report on economic conditions for much of Arkansas highlights optimism in the business community, unemployment levels below the national average, but stagnation in wages.

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Local & Regional News
3:22 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

UA Researcher Awarded Grant To Study Regenerating Skeletal Muscle

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a three-year grant to a University of Arkansas biomedical engineering researcher and his research team.

The $437,248 grant announced Tuesday to Jeffrey Wolchock and his team is to be used to help design and test a biomaterial that can regenerate damaged skeletal muscle.

Wolchock says living cells produce proteins and gels called extracellular matrix that support cell survival and tissue strength. In severe injuries the extracellular matrix doesn't function properly and can't initiate the healing process.

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Local & Regional News
2:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Beebe Announces Plans For Special Session Of The Legislature

Gov. Mike Beebe (D) announces his call for a special session of the legislature at the Capitol.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Mike Beebe announced Tuesday he has called for  a special session of the legislature to mitigate prison overcrowding and increases in public school employee health insurance premiums. Proposed changes to the health insurance plan include removing nearly 4,000 part-time workers, reducing eligibility for spouses, and re-directing over $4.5 million in insurance related tax savings from school districts discretionary funds.

Governor Beebe said what comes out of the special session still won’t resolve fundamental problems with increasing premiums.

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Local & Regional News
1:41 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Group Asks Judge To Halt Enforcement Of Arkansas Voter ID Law

A sign at the entrance to a Little Rock polling site in March notifies voters to have a photo identification ready.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A civil liberties group is asking an Arkansas judge to block the state from enforcing its voter ID law, saying more than 1,000 people were disenfranchised during last month's primary election.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas asked Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on Tuesday to lift the stay on his ruling last month that it was unconstitutional to require voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.

Fox had stayed his ruling, allowing the requirement to stay in place during the May 20 primary and June 10 runoff election.

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Local & Regional News
11:00 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Escaped Arkansas Inmate Stole Shotgun, State Says

Timothy Buffington
Credit Arkansas Dept. of Correction

Arkansas prison officials say a convicted murderer who escaped custody stole a shotgun from a house on prison grounds.

The search continues Tuesday for Timothy Buffington, who's been missing since Saturday. He had trusty status at the Pine Bluff Unit that allowed him to do work without constant supervision.

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Local & Regional News
10:56 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Judge Sets Trial In Conway Police Officer's Death

Mug shot of Barry Strickland after his arrest in January 2013.
Credit Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

A judge has scheduled a December trial for a Bald Knob man charged with battery and driving while intoxicated in a traffic wreck that killed a Conway police officer.

Barry Strickland appeared in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Monday. He's charged in connection with the January 2013 death of Officer William McGary, who was struck and killed while directing traffic.

Faulkner County Circuit Judge Charles Clawson scheduled a Dec. 2 jury trial, though defense attorneys are asking for a change of venue.

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Arkansas Economy
5:59 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Ft. Smith Tops Economic Index Of Arkansas Cities

The city of Fort Smith is atop a latest ranking of the economic performance of Arkansas cities.

The Arkansas Tech Business Index tracks retail sales, construction, the housing market and unemployment rates of 16 Arkansas cities.

Ft. Smith beat out Bentonville, which had been atop previous months’ rankings in business activity. Mark Fusaro is an economist with Arkansas Tech and compiles the business index. He says Ft. Smith’s retail sales have always been strong.

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