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Local & Regional News
3:24 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Department of Community Correction Innovates To Reduce Prison Population, Combat Recidivism

Arkansas's Department of Community Correction is developing new strategies for reducing recidivism and decreasing the state's overflowing prison population.

One plan includes releasing offenders into supervised transitional homes early.  On Monday, the legislature reviewed the Parole Board's procedures for releasing prisoners.

Dina Tyler, deputy director at the correction department said these transitional environments are necessary to help offenders leave prison and stay out.

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Local & Regional News
11:10 am
Mon November 10, 2014

UPDATE: Former Treasurer Martha Shoffner's Guilty Plea Rejected

Former Treasurer Martha Shoffner Walking Past The Press After Her Plea Hearing
Credit Colleen Mayo / KUAR

A federal judge has refused to accept a guilty plea from Arkansas' former state treasurer and instead sent her mail-fraud case to trial.

Martha Shoffner tried to plead guilty Monday to a charge accusing her of misspending campaign donations on personal items. But U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes rejected her plea, saying Shoffner didn't admit all elements of the crime.

Shoffner admitted using the campaign money for personal bills - but said that wasn't her intent when she accepted the donations.

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Local & Regional News
7:01 am
Sun November 9, 2014

Veterans Day Cookout Planned

ARVets, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the lives of veterans and their families, is joining forces with Arvest Bank to host Veterans Day cookouts at some of it banking locations in Arkansas.      Cookouts are planned on Tuesday at Arvest bank locations in Little Rock, Jacksonville, Conway and Hot Springs Village.      ARVets CEO Nicole Hart says that although the organizations have different missions, they have similar names and a shared commitment to bettering people's lives.

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Local & Regional News
6:48 am
Sun November 9, 2014

State Highway and Transportation Department To Host Job Fair

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department is looking for a few good truck drivers.      The agency is hosting a job fair in Little Rock on Nov. 14 that will focus on the district that includes Garland, Hot Spring, Lonoke, Prairie, Pulaski and Saline counties.      Agency Director Scott Bennett says the agency is in the process of hiring about 200 new employees statewide but has a critical immediate need for truck drivers in central Arkansas.

Local & Regional News
7:54 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

African American Community Forum Addresses Citizens' Rights, Police Use Of Force

Little Rock’s Police Chief, Kenton Buckner, spoke to a packed crowd of around 200 people at a community forum on racial profiling and citizens' rights Thursday night.

The town hall was sponsored by the National Bar Association, the W. Harold Flowers Law Society and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Black Law Students Association.

The evening’s panel included Benjamin Crump, attorney for the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, unarmed teens recently shot by police officers in Florida and Pamela Meanes, head of the National Bar Association.

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Local & Regional News
5:18 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Consistent Message Was Key, Say Cotton Campaign Staff

The Tom Cotton campaign says a consistent message and emphasis on personal history pushed the freshman Congressman ahead with many undecided Arkansas voters. Key members of the Republican Senator-elect's campaign staff spoke with reporters Friday, after a near 17 point victory for Cotton over Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. Brad Todd is media consultant for the Cotton Campaign. He says, from the time Cotton first announced his run, the campaign's internal polling showed numbers that never improved for Pryor.

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Local & Regional News
4:27 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

49 Percent Of Registered Voters Cast Ballots In Arkansas

Sec. of State Mark Martin (R)
Credit sos.arkansas.gov / Secretary of State's Office

The Arkansas Secretary of State's Office says nearly half of Arkansas' registered voters cast ballots in this year's general election. Secretary of State Mark Martin says about 49 percent of the state's 1.7 million voters cast ballots in the recent election.

That's up from the most recent midterm election in 2010, when 47.6 percent of Arkansas' 1.6 million registered voters participated. This year's numbers are slightly below Martin's projection of 51 percent voter turnout.

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Local & Regional News
4:24 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Republican Leadership Rift Developing In Arkansas Senate

Incoming state Senate President Jonathan Dismang is facing a challenge from a fellow Republican lawmaker who's mounting a late effort to lead the chamber next year. Republican Sen. Gary Stubblefield of Branch said Friday he is challenging Dismang's election as the head of the 35-member chamber for next year's session.

Dismang, a Republican from Beebe, was elected last year to be the Senate president for the 90th General Assembly. Stubblefield said he plans to ask the Republican caucus to back his bid for Senate president when it meets on Thursday.

Local & Regional News
3:25 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

The State House-elect Maneuvers For Committee Spots, Democrats Hold Half In Two

Arkansas State Representative David Branscum
Credit PBS NewsHour

The newly elected Arkansas legislature doesn’t officially convene until January but on Friday incoming House members came to Little Rock to lay the groundwork. The re-elected and newly-elected jockeyed for committee placements with Republicans gaining control of every standing committee but two. Democrats garnered an equal amount of seats as the newly expanded Republican majority on the Education Committee and Insurance and Commerce Committee.

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Local & Regional News
8:41 am
Fri November 7, 2014

House Members Meeting At State Capitol

Arkansas House members are preparing for next year's session days after Republicans expanded their majorities in both chambers of the Legislature in the midterm election. The House was set to caucus Friday morning at the state Capitol, with new members drawing for seniority and for seat selection. The House will also break up among their respective district caucuses for standing committee selection. The meetings come after Tuesday's election where Republicans swept all statewide and federal offices on the ballot and expanded their ranks in the state Legislature.

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