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Local & Regional News
2:50 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

McDaniel Offers Settlement Proposal In Deseg Case

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is offering a $119 million settlement to three districts involved in a long-running school desegregation case.

In a letter Thursday, McDaniel said any settlement must involve the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County districts.

Arkansas pays about $70 million annually to the districts under a 1989 agreement. The offer was in response to a proposed settlement McDaniel recently received from Little Rock to phase out its payments in either a $297 million lump sum or $42.4 million a year for seven years.

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Local & Regional News
2:48 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

National Historic Sites Reopen Across Arkansas

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center.

Hundreds of federal employees who work at agencies across Arkansas returned to their jobs Thursday, after being furloughed.

Some workers, particularly those who oversee National Park Service sites in the state, had been off the job for 16 days due to the partial government shutdown.

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Local & Regional News
2:47 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Competing Bills Filed Over Arkansas School Money

Competing proposals have been filed in the state Legislature over the state's efforts to reclaim excess property tax revenues from a handful of Arkansas school districts.

Two bills were filed Thursday over the property tax issue, which is on the agenda for the special session Gov. Mike Beebe called to address a looming hike in teacher insurance rates.

Democratic Sen. Bruce Maloch filed a proposal backed by Beebe that would phase out the excess money eight districts receive from levying the state-mandated property tax millage. The money would go back to the state.

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Local & Regional News
12:17 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Zoo Offers Scares With Halloween Attraction

Credit LittleRockZoo.com

The Little Rock Zoo will kick off its annual "Boo at the Zoo" attraction this weekend to provide Halloween-themed entertainment to families in central Arkansas.

A longtime tradition, the event features live music, carousel rides, a haunted house and a safe trick-or-treating environment for children and teenagers. The all-ages celebration also has a number of new attractions this year, including an event in which kids can trick-or-treat for toys as an alternative to candy and other sugar-filled snacks. 

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Local & Regional News
10:47 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Arkansas Man Stopped After Taking Loaded School Bus

A man surrendered to police after taking a school bus in central Arkansas with 11 children aboard.

Jacksonville police spokeswoman April Kiser says the suspect got into the Pulaski County Special School District bus when it made a stop to pick up children Thursday morning. No one was hurt.

Kiser says the man, 22-year-old Nicholas John Miller, was armed with a knife and drove the bus several miles into Cabot as police pursued him.

Miller pulled over when he saw that police had dropped spike strips on the road.

Local & Regional News
5:58 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Arkansas Delegation Supports Bill To Reopen Government

U.S. Capitol

Members of Arkansas's congressional delegation supported legislation to reopen the federal government and avoid a threatened national default. 

The House voted 285-144 in support of the bill Wednesday night. Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack voted for the measure. 

After the House vote, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he reluctantly supported it. It passed the U.S. Senate 81-18 on Wednesday night with the support of Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, according to the Senate's website.

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Local & Regional News
7:13 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Hearing Set In Same-Sex Couples' Lawsuit In Arkansas

Credit flickr.com

A hearing has been set in a lawsuit brought by a group of same-sex couples challenging Arkansas' ban on gay marriage.

Online court records show that a hearing is scheduled for Dec. 12 in state court.

A group of same-sex couples filed the lawsuit against a number of county clerks and the head of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration this year.

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Local & Regional News
6:30 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Most of Arkansas' Congressional Delegation Support Government Reopening

All but one of the six members of Arkansas' congressional delegation say they plan to support legislation to reopen the federal government and avoid a threatened national default.

Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack plan to vote for the measure, as do Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman.

A spokeswoman for Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton said Wednesday that the congressman was still reviewing the measure.

Local & Regional News
6:26 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Preparing To Convene For Special Session

Gov. Mike Beebe speaking to reporters Wednesday at the Capitol.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas Legislature is to convene Thursday to begin a special session to try and avoid skyrocketing health insurance premiums for the state’s 47,000 public school employees.

In the short term, the plan calls for using $43 million from state surplus funds to avoid a 50 percent increase for insurance coverage that would take effect at the beginning of next year.

After initially not having enough lawmakers agreeing on a proposal, Wednesday Gov. Mike Beebe said some lawmakers had been swayed by changes in finding a long term solution.

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Local & Regional News
3:51 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Deal Passage Expected in U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate is now preparing to vote on a deal that will end the government shutdown and extend the nation's borrowing authority, according to officials.

The deal, which has seen reluctant cooperation from both Republicans and Democrats, is aimed at funding the government through Jan. 15 and extending the debt ceiling until early February. The plan has offered almost no concessions to Republicans with the exception of minor specifics regarding those purchasing insurance under the new healthcare law.

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