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Local & Regional News
5:17 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Court Ruling May Bring Change To Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Law

On Tuesday Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright ruled that Arkansas's criminal eviction law violates both the Arkansas and U.S. Constitutions. The order only applies to Pulaski County. The statute concerns the way in which landlords and tenants settle disputes over non-payment of rent and eviction proceedings.

KUAR's Chris Hickey spoke with attorney Jason Auer, part of a four person legal team which challenged the law.

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Local & Regional News
4:27 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Arkansas Write-In Candidates Face 90-Day Deadline Under Bill

Write-in candidates would be required to meet a 90-day deadline to notify state and local election officials that they are running, under a bill approved by an Arkansas House committee.

Proposed as a minor technical change, the bill instead caused several lawmakers Wednesday to question why write-in candidates had any restrictions at all.

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Local & Regional News
12:18 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Bill Filed In Arkansas To End Dual Observance Of Robert E. Lee & MLK Day

Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Credit Library of Congress

A bill filed in the legislature Wednesday seeks to end Arkansas’s official observance of Robert E. Lee’s birthday, which falls on the same date as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Republican Nate Bell, typically aligned with the conservative side of his party, filed the legislation removing the Confederate general’s birthday from the list of state holidays.

However, Bell said he does not personally think it is inappropriate to celebrate Confederates and civil rights leaders side by side.

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Local & Regional News
10:55 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Governor Hutchinson's $100 Million Tax Cut Advances, Includes Repeal Of 2013 Cut

Bill sponsor, Sen. Jonathan Dismang, speaking to reporters Wednesday morning at the Capitol.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s top priority this legislative session, a $100 million income tax cut, passed its first hurdle Wednesday in an amended form. The senate committee on Revenue and Taxation advanced the one percent cut for individuals earning between $21,000 and $75,000 a year. The full senate is expected to take up the measure Thursday.

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Local & Regional News
8:49 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Research Aimed At Treating Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are recruiting people for a study to find a solution to withdrawal symptoms suffered by opioid addicts going through detoxification. Chronic users of opioid drugs - including heroin and prescription painkillers - eventually develop a physiological dependence on them. When a user stops taking the drugs, flu-like withdrawal symptoms such as abdominal cramps, runny nose, nausea and vomiting can occur, leading many users to begin using the drugs again, researchers say.

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Local & Regional News
6:34 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Hutchinson Delays Budget To Answer Cost Of Tax Cuts & Future Of Private Option

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) talks about why he's moving back his budget plan in the Governor's Conference Room. Former Gov. Mike Beebe's portrait hangs above Hutchinson.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

For the second time since the Arkansas legislature convened, a little over a week ago, Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced he will move back a public rollout of his budget proposal.

Hutchinson said he is delaying the release of his budget until next Tuesday for two reasons, “because of the emphasis on the health care reform remarks on Thursday, and because I wanted to give the legislature some time to give me informal feedback.”

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Local & Regional News
5:07 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Boxing Champ Taylor Pleads Not Guilty To Gun, Drug Charges

Boxer Jermain Taylor has pleaded not guilty to accusations he pointed a gun at a man's head and threatened to shoot three small children in Little Rock, Arkansas.

But local media outlets report a judge revoked his bond Tuesday afternoon in a separate case from August involving a firearm and issued a warrant for his arrest. Prosecutors say the boxer's arrest this week is evidence he violated the terms of his release.

Online records of the Pulaski County jail show Taylor hasn't turned himself in yet to authorities.

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Local & Regional News
5:44 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Sides With Bearded Muslim Arkansas Inmate

U.S. Supreme Court justices

The Supreme Court is siding with a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas who sued for the right to grow a short beard for religious reasons.

The court's unanimous ruling Tuesday in a case about religious liberty stands in contrast to the Hobby Lobby case that bitterly divided the justices in June over whether family-owned corporations could mount religious objections to paying for women's contraceptives under the health care overhaul.

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Local & Regional News
3:10 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Arkansas Scholarship Winners Could Defer For 2 Years Under Bill

College students would be able to defer their state scholarships for up to two years for community service or family emergency under a bill passed by the Arkansas House.

The bill approved Tuesday allows the Arkansas Department of Higher Education to approve holds on Governor's Scholars and Governor's Distinguished Scholarships.

The department can hold a student's scholarship for military service, family or medical emergency or a commitment of community service.

Local & Regional News
10:35 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin Taking Job With National Communications Firm

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin is taking a job with a national communications and consulting firm in addition to his post as the state's No. 2 constitutional officer.

Purple Strategies announced Tuesday that the Republican ex-congressman would work for the firm as senior adviser for communications and growth strategies. Griffin was sworn in last week as lieutenant governor.

The company said Griffin will not work for its government affairs and lobbying subsidiary, Purple Advocacy, and he won't lobby at either the state or federal level.

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