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Local & Regional News
9:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Beebe Proposing $6.3 Million For Prison Beds

Gov. Mike Beebe's office says it has found $6.3 million in the budget to fund up to 600 additional prison beds.

Beebe's office said Thursday that the additional funding will relieve some backup of state prisoners in county jails, assuming it wins approval in a special session.

The governor says he'll add items to a call for a special session if passage in the House and Senate is assured. Already, legislators are working to win a consensus on public school employee health insurance. A bill that would block the lottery from adding monitor games is also under discussion.

Local & Regional News
6:22 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Arkansas Ranks In Bottom Quartile Of AARP Scorecard

AARP logo
Credit aarp.org

Arkansas earned an overall ranking of 40th in a new study released by AARP ranking long-term services and support for older people. The state 

scored in the bottom quarter of states for each category of the five categories assessed. AARP associate state director for Arkansas, Herb Sanderson, says Arkansas needs to act now for the future.

“We’re on the front end of the aging baby boomers and our state’s aging population is going to increase by 40% by 2030. The current system is unsustainable,” he says.  

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Local & Regional News
6:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Ross and Hutchinson Differ over Non-Violent Offenders and the Minimum Wage

Asa Hutchinson, Mike Ross
Credit KUAR

Arkansas’s Democratic and Republican Gubernatorial rivals are still at odds over what to do about the number of inmates in state prisons. Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Ross traded remarks over alternative sentencing for non-violent offenders Thursday at the 80th convention of the Arkansas Municipal League.

Ross pushed for reducing the number of incarcerated non-violent drug offenders. Hutchinson characterized Ross’s plan as lenient on non-violent crime.

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Arkansas Prisons
4:56 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Study: Arkansas Prisoners Have Very Low Financial Literacy

A study out of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock says the financial literacy of prisoners exiting the Arkansas Department of Correction system is significantly lower than that of the state’s general public. The study also found the level of financial literacy was lower for non-white prisoners than for white prisoners.

You can read the full study here.

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Local & Regional News
9:20 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Arkansas AG Rejects Wording Of Open Primary Proposal

The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected the wording of a proposed ballot item that would allow top vote getters in primary elections, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office wrote Wednesday that the proposal would violate the First Amendment in that it would block political parties from freedom of association.

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Local & Regional News
9:16 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Opening Date Planned For New Conway Airport

Officials say Conway's new airport is set to open later this summer.

Airport manager Josh Zylks says Aug. 14 is the targeted opening date, though that may be pushed back because of recent rains. The new airport will be known as Cantrell Field and will be located in the Lollie Bottoms area of Conway.

City leaders had long talked about the need for a new airport, but the project was given more priority after a pilot crashed his plane into a home near Conway's current airport in 2007. The pilot was killed in the crash, along with a woman in the house.

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Local & Regional News
9:01 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Faulkner County To Request Temporary Circuit Judge

Mike Maggio

Leaders in Faulkner County say they'll ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to appoint a temporary judge to handle the caseload left by the vacancy of Circuit Judge Mike Maggio.

Earlier this year, the high court removed cases from Maggio's docket and assigned them to other judges amid investigations of ethics violations by Maggio. On Tuesday, the Faulkner County Circuit Court agreed to ask the Supreme Court to appoint a special judge on a permanent basis until the first of the year, when Troy Braswell takes over the Division II judgeship.

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Local & Regional News
5:55 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Dispute Over Accuracy of Anti-Hutchinson TV Ad

Screenshot of Democratic Governors Association Ad
Credit DGA

A non-partisan watchdog group is finding fault with a Democratic Governors Association-funded ad attacking former Republican congressman and Arkansas gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchinson. FactCheck.org, part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, says several claims made in a television ad criticizing Hutchinson for excessive spending as an undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security are misleading.

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Local & Regional News
3:50 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

French Hill Weighs in on Iraqi Intervention and the Minimum Wage

2nd Congressional Candidate Republican French Hill
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Republican congressional candidate French Hill said Wednesday he would support air strikes in Iraq if President Barack Obama finds them necessary. US officials confirmed Wednesday that the Iraqi government has asked for air support to fend off Sunni insurgents overrunning vast swaths of the country and threatening Baghdad.

Hill spoke with reporters following remarks to the Political Animals Club at the Governor’s Mansion.

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Local & Regional News
2:03 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Open Records and the State Legislature

A state representative says he's drafting a bill that would require government boards that go into closed session to record the proceedings and have them reviewed by a prosecutor to ensure they didn't discuss matters that should have been public.

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