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Local & Regional News
9:44 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Radio Address: Hutchinson Focuses On Prisons, New Package

Gov. Hutchinson announcing his three-pronged plan to alleviate prison overcrowding Wed.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

  The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio address for the weekend of Feb. 20, 2015:

If you picked up the newspaper the other day, you may have noticed this headline: “One killed, three injured in shooting….”

Like you, I’m tired of reading these stories. Public safety has always been a critical issue, but lately, because of crowding in our prisons and jails, public safety is on everyone’s mind. And stories like this one make us even more frustrated. How do we stop this cycle of violence?

It’s a fair question. It deserves an answer.

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Local & Regional News
5:09 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Arkansas State University President Opposes Highway Funding Bill

The president of the Arkansas State University System says a bill to compensate for dwindling highway maintenance and construction funding would be "catastrophic" for higher education in the state.

Charles Welch told the system Board of Trustees on Friday that he opposed the bill approved a day earlier by the House Public Transportation Committee.

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Local & Regional News
5:08 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Rep. Defends Ban On Local LGBT Anti-Discrimination Laws On Gay Radio Show

Rep. Charlie Collins appeared on KABF community radio to discuss a vote related to LGBT rights.
Credit facebook.com/biggayradioshow / KABF

Republican Representative Charlie Collins, who voted this month for a bill to ban cities and counties from enacting LGBT anti-discrimination laws, explained his vote for 30 minutes Friday on KABF’s “Big Gay Radio Show.” Collins told host H.L. Moody his vote was based on what he perceived as economic harms in a short-lived ordinance in Fayetteville. Collins said taking away local control was a difficult decision.

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Local & Regional News
3:45 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Remains Of Korean War Veteran Returned To Arkansas After 64 Years

Family photos of Cpl. C.G. Bolden, whose remains have been returned to Arkansas.
Credit KARK-TV 4/ ArkansasMatters.com

The remains of a U.S. Army soldier from Arkansas who disappeared during the Korean War have been returned to the state after more than 64 years.

The remains of Cpl. C.G. Bolden of Clinton arrived by plane Thursday in Little Rock.

Bolden disappeared in January 1951. His remains were among those in more than 200 boxes of remains returned to the United States by North Korea during the 1990s and were identified in December.

Funeral services for Bolden are scheduled for Saturday morning in Clinton at Roller McNutt Funeral Home.

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Local & Regional News
6:44 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Event Looks At Second Phase Of Integration Of Little Rock Public Schools

Dr. LaVerne Bell-Tolliver
Credit www.hisdreamourstories.com

While the history of the integration of the Little Rock School District is largely overshadowed by the 1957 crisis at Central High School, 25 young African-Americans also faced daunting challenges in following years when they desegregated the city’s junior high schools.

On Saturday, many will be sharing their stories, some for the first time publicly, as part of the celebration of African American history month.

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Local & Regional News
6:00 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Fluoridated Water Optional Under Bill Passed By Arkansas House

Average Fluoridation Levels By County (2006).
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fluoride in drinking water would no longer be required under a bill passed by the Arkansas House Thursday. Representative Jack Ladyman (R-Jonesboro) sponsored the legislation allowing local water authorities, serving over 5,000 people, to opt-out of a 2011 fluoride requirement. Ladyman questioned the validity of science that concludes fluoride is beneficial to dental health.

“All the science, the data, the studies related to the subject should be reviewed, studied, and vetted. I also believe that this vetting process should be made by the people at the local level,” said Ladyman.

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Local & Regional News
5:28 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Ground Broken On FedEx Little Rock Distribution Hub

FedEx representatives and local elected officials pose for photos and break ground for a new 300,000 square foot FedEx Ground shipping facility.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Local officials are heralding the arrival of a new 300,000 square foot Fed-Ex Ground facility on the outskirts of Little Rock. Amid a few remaining horse pastures and cattle ranches, a now-barren field in the Mabelvale neighborhood, will, by August 2016, give rise to the new shipping hub behemoth.

This expansion includes “job opportunities for the great workforce in the area and continued growth for FedEx Ground, ” according to Don Davis, Managing Director of the company's Mississippi Valley region.

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Local & Regional News
5:04 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Bill To Expand Felony Assault And Battery Charges To Addicted Mothers Advances

File photo of Rep. Nate Bell speaking last week before a House committee.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would define an unborn child as a person in the case felony assault and battery cases.

The new definition would allow prosecutors to try drug addicted mothers for harm against their infants. Rep. Nate Bell, R-Mena, sponsored the bill which he said is meant to give prosecutors extra tools.

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Local & Regional News
2:39 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Concealed Carry For Non-Church Affiliated Private Schools Advances

Rep. John Walker (D-Little Rock) in committee earlier this month.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A push in the Arkansas Legislature to increase the presence of guns on school campuses made an advancement Thursday. The House Education Committee approved a bill that would give all private schools the ability to allow concealed carry holders on their grounds.

Republican Representative Grant Hodges voted for the measure and said it was meant to clarify a 2013 law.

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Local & Regional News
2:25 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Lawmakers Order Schools To Teach Cursive Writing, Bill Goes To Governor

All that's needed to return cursive writing classes to Arkansas classrooms is a signature by Gov. Asa Hutchinson - and if he signs it, it will probably be in cursive.

The state Senate on Thursday gave final legislative approval to a bill requiring public schools to teach cursive to students by the end of the third grade.

The measure passed on a 30-1 vote. Sen. Bruce Maloch of Magnolia said he supports cursive classes but believes it's a matter for the Education Department, not lawmakers.

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