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The federal government has told the state of Arkansas to give Medicaid beneficiaries more time to prove they are eligible for the program before terminating their coverage.

Federal Medicaid officials have requested the state extend a deadline for recipients to provide income verification from 10 days to 30.

Amy Webb, Spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requested the extended 30-day window Thursday night.

Average U.S. gas prices this week are at the lowest levels for this time of year since 2004 due to the steep decline in the cost of crude oil, according to AAA.

Gas prices have dropped recently despite ongoing refinery problems, and prices should continue to fall this autumn due to declining demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.53 per gallon, which is 12 cents less than a week ago and 90 cents less than a year ago. Pump prices are now 33 cents per gallon below the 2015 peak price reached on June 15.

Ben Carson
KARK-TV 4

Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson touted his biography and called for a more self-sufficient, less dependent America, which he said is an “exceptional country” that, 200 years after its founding, put men on the moon.

“There’s a whole lot of people trying to get in here, and nobody trying to escape,” he said in a speech on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol on Thursday.

The Arkansas Parole Board has adopted changes in which parole violators might not be automatically arrested for some violations.

The board announced Thursday that arrest warrants will be automatically issued for parole violators who are charged with a violent felony or sex-related crime or any crime involving use of a weapon. Arrest warrants will also be issued for parolees who evade supervision for 180 or more days.

Other requests for an arrest warrant will be reviewed by a parole board member as the board seeks to help reduce prison overcrowding.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Local advocates for public schools held a protest in front of the Little Rock School District’s headquarters Thursday to a call for a return to local control and an end to charter schools in the state.

Anika Whitfield with the Coalition to Reclaim Our Schools in the Little Rock School District said she believes the state takeover of the district and the increasing presence of charter schools in the state will negatively impact minority students.

Representatives from the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System say they've hired more staff, streamlined services and decreased wait times for specialty care by an average of 12 days per patient.

System officials held a media round table Thursday with representatives of the Little Rock Veterans Affairs Regional Office to discuss how both agencies are working to improve access to health care and benefits for the region's veterans. The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has required facilities across the country to reduce veteran wait times for those services.

Arkansas’ private option has reduced the state’s uninsured ranks, reduced uncompensated care, and strengthened the overall insurance marketplace serving other insurance recipients, a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says.

The report, released on Wednesday, drew on data and on interviews conducted in April and May with state officials, medical providers, insurance carriers and advocates. The foundation analyzes national and global health policies.

Big River Steel
Johnathan Reaves / KASU News

Big River Steel has pre-sold nearly a quarter of the steel it is expected to produce over the next seven years, the company’s CEO told a legislative committee Wednesday.

The Bald Knob police chief is encouraging local businesses to post "guns prohibited" signs to prevent residents from openly carrying weapons in public.

Police Chief Erek Balentine tells The Daily Citizen that he's not against people carrying guns, but believes that someone carrying a weapon into a store causes other customers to feel alarmed.

Richard Chambless was arrested for carrying a gun into a restaurant. He was found guilty Tuesday on charges of carrying a weapon and disorderly conduct.

The University of Central Arkansas is receiving a $3 million award to create an endowed faculty position that will focus on the trucking industry.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will present the award Thursday in a ceremony at the University of Central Arkansas. The money comes from the department's Arkansas Commercial Truck Safety and Education Program. The university submitted a proposal to create a named, chaired faculty position in its College of Business.

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