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Local & Regional News
2:04 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

NE Arkansas Call Center To Close, Eliminating 125 Jobs

A call center in Jonesboro is again closing its doors and laying off employees. StarTek said Tuesday that 125 people will lose their jobs as the facility shuts down completely on May 12.

Company marketing director Rosemary Hanratty says the Jonesboro call center performed well, but that StarTek decided to close it as part of a "strategic business decision."

StarTek previously ceased operations in northeast Arkansas in April 2012, but reopened several months later.

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Local Taxes
9:44 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Searcy Voters Approves Tax Hike For City Services

Searcy voters have approved a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund a variety of city services, including street and infrastructure improvements and payments into the police and fire retirement system.

According to unofficial results, about 64 percent of voters approved the tax increase during a special election Tuesday. The levy will increase the city's existing 0.5 percent sales tax to 1.5 percent for eight years. The Daily Citizen reports that the tax increase is expected to generate $51.2 million over eight years.

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The Metropolitan Opera
8:17 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Feb. 15: Die Frau ohne Schatten

A scene from Richard Strauss's "Die Frau ohne Schatten" with Johan Reuter as Barak, Ildikó Komlósi as the Nurse, Richard Paul Fink as the Messenger of Keikobad, and Christine Goerke as the Dyer's Wife.
Credit Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera

The 2013-14 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues Saturday, February 15 at noon on KLRE Classical 90.5 with an archival broadcast of Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten from last fall, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski and featuring two highly acclaimed performances from the leading sopranos: Anne Schwanewilms in her network broadcast debut as the Empress; and Christine Goerke, who has recently emerged as a major dramatic soprano, singing the role of the Dyer’s Wife.

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Local & Regional News
7:58 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Arkansas Senate Endorses Ballot Language Fix

The Arkansas Senate has endorsed the secretary of state's wording of three proposed constitutional amendments legislators have referred to voters, after questions were raised about who had the authority to prepare the ballot measures' language.

The Senate on Tuesday voted 25-8 to support the ballot titles and popular names selected by Secretary of State Mark Martin's office for the three proposals that the Legislature voted last year to put on the 2014 ballot.

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Local & Regional News
7:27 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Arkansas Forestry Commission Pilot Found Dead In Plane Wreckage

Credit Arkansas Forestry Commission

The search for missing Arkansas Forestry Commission Pilot Jake Harrell ended tragically Tuesday evening as Arkansas National Guardsmen, lowered by helicopter to the site of his wrecked plane, discovered the pilot did not survive.

The site of the plane crash was discovered late Tuesday afternoon after being spotted by a civil air patrol plane.

Spokeswoman Adriane Barnes said it’s still unclear why the plane crash occurred.

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Local & Regional News
6:55 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Measure To Arm Arkansas School Workers Fails In Senate

A proposal to allow Arkansas school districts to arm non-classroom employees as volunteer security guards has failed to win enough support to be considered by the state Senate.

The Senate voted 19-2 for a resolution allowing the bill by Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson to be introduced. The measure needed at least 24 votes to be considered during the fiscal session, intended to focus on budget issues.

Hutchinson's proposal would have allowed the state to issue security guard licenses to non-classroom employees who go through training.

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Arkansas General Assembly
6:35 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Fiscal Legislative Session: Day Two Happenings

The House floor after State Representatives convened Tuesday afternoon.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Arkansas Legislature convened for the second day of a month-long fiscal session Tuesday to consider state budgetary matters and other issues. Behind the scenes, lawmakers continue to plan possible changes to the state’s private option expansion of Medicaid in an effort to make reauthorizing funds for the program more palatable to many of the Legislature's conservative members. While House and Senate leaders were confident the program for low-income Arkansans can be reauthorized, House majority Leader Bruce Westerman told reporters that he didn't see that happening.

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Local & Regional News
5:03 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Plane Of Missing Ark. Forestry Commission Pilot Found

Crews with the Arkansas Forestry Commission coordinate search efforts earlier in the day Tuesday.
Credit Arkansas Forestry Commission

A week and a half after an Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot disappeared while flying a small plane looking for wildfires in western Arkansas, the plane has been found.

Just before 5 pm Tuesday, the commission released this statement:

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Local & Regional News
4:00 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Arkansas Students Improve On Advanced Placement Exams

Arkansas students have shown continued improvement in scores on Advanced Placement exams.

The College Board reports that 4,390 of Arkansas' 27,492 graduates in 2013, 16 percent, scored a 3, 4 or 5. A score of 3 or higher is general accepted for college credit.

The College Board's report says 12,670 Arkansas students took an AP exam during high school. The exams cover various subjects in math and science; English, history and social science; and arts and world languages.

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Local & Regional News
3:57 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Republican Governors Association Targets Mike Ross In New TV Ad

A national Republican group is targeting Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross with a new television ad that tries to paint the former Arkansas congressman as too closely aligned with President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Republican Governors Association announced Tuesday it would begin airing a 30-second spot around Arkansas criticizing Ross. The group said it was spending six figures on the spot, which was set to begin airing Tuesday.

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