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Local & Regional News
2:20 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Pryor Jumps On Minimum Wage Hike Bandwagon

Former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker (l) listens as Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) endorses a petition drive to raise the state minimum wage to $8.50 an hour by 2017.
Credit David Wallace

The Give Arkansas A Raise Now (GARN) petition drive kicked off Saturday morning, and one of the first to add his signature was Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). 

"The bottom line is it's the right thing to do," said Pryor, who is embroiled in a heated re-election campaign with Congressman Tom Cotton (R-4th Dist.), his Republican challenger.

The ballot initiative would raise the state minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 an hour on January 1, 2015, to $8.00 an hour the following year and to $8.50 by January 1, 2017.

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Local & Regional News
5:23 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Law License Suspended For Hot Springs Attorney

Mug shot of Andrea Davis
Credit Garland Co. Sheriff's Office

The Arkansas Supreme Court has suspended the law license of Hot Springs attorney Andrea Davis, with whom Attorney General Dustin McDaniel admitted having an extramarital relationship.

A lawyer for Davis said Friday she won't contest the suspension for the time being and that her first priority is getting "her life in order."

Arkansas Business reports the interim suspension order didn't list a reason why she was disciplined.

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Local & Regional News
4:56 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Martha Shoffner Seeks Dismissal Of Corruption Charges

File photo of Martha Shoffner and her attorney leaving a court hearing in June 2013.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner is asking a federal judge to throw out corruption charges on which she is to be tried in a little over a week.

Shoffner faces trial March 3 on a 14-count extortion and bribery indictment, which accuses her of accepting $36,000 from a bond dealer in exchange for steering state business his way.

Shoffner asked Friday that the counts be thrown out on grounds that the allegations don't involve interstate commerce. Lawyers for Shoffner argue that to allow prosecution would "extend federal power beyond its proper bounds."

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Local & Regional News
2:36 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Arkansas-Based Windstream Announces Cut Of 400 Positions

Little Rock-based Windstream Corp. is cutting 400 positions, equal to 3 percent of its workforce.

The company issued a news release Friday that says the cuts will improve its operational efficiency and save about $20 million per year. Windstream expects a first-quarter charge of between $9 million and $10 million to pay severance packages.

Windstream, which has 13,500 employees, says about 175 of the affected workers accepted buyouts.

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Arkansas General Assembly
12:55 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Deadlock On Private Option Carrries On In Arkansas Legislature

For the fourth time in as many days, the Arkansas House of Representatives failed to pass a measure that would fund the private option, the state’s unique plan to provide hundreds of thousands of poor people with private health insurance.  The funding bill failed on a 71 to 18 vote, with many members voting in absentia (Friday is normally a day off for legislators.

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Local & Regional News
9:46 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Authorities Identify Man Killed In Newport Steel Plant Accident

Authorities have identified the worker killed at a Newport plant after a kettle of liquid steel spilled.

Jackson County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy James Brock says the accident occurred Wednesday afternoon at Arkansas Steel Associates.

Brock says 49-year-old Michael Earl Myers died when a cable carrying a kettle of molten steel broke, causing the liquid steel to spill. Another employee, who hasn't been identified, was injured.

The Daily Citizen reports that a memorial service for Myers is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Powell Funeral Chapel in Bald Knob.

Local & Regional News
9:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Vigil Set To Honor Little Rock Teen Killed In Shooting

Adrian Broadway
Credit KARK

A vigil is planned at a Little Rock high school to honor a 15-year-old girl fatally shot after a group of teens vandalized a car.

The vigil for Adrian Broadway is set for 4 p.m. Friday at McClellan High School, where she was a freshman.

Police say 48-year-old Willie Noble opened fire on a group of teenagers that he believed vandalized his car. Broadway was struck by gunfire and died at a Little Rock hospital.

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Arkansas General Assembly
8:38 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Private Option Passes In Senate, Just Misses In House

The Arkansas State Senate Chamber
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

In what was expected to be a close but almost certain vote, the Arkansas State Senate passed the appropriation bill for the private option, the healthcare plan that extends coverage to poor residents. Later in the afternoon Thursday, the House of Representatives again fell short of passing the bill.

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Local & Regional News
3:11 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Arkansas Senate Approves, House Rejects Private Option

Credit Arkansas.gov

Legislation to continue Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion has failed for a third time in the state House, despite winning approval in the Senate.

The House on Thursday afternoon voted 72-25 Thursday to reauthorize funding for the "private option," falling three votes shy of the 75 needed to keep the program alive.

It was the third failed vote in the House for the program, approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

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Local & Regional News
2:40 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Heber Springs Mayor To Challenge 1st District Congressman Crawford

The mayor of Heber Springs says he will challenge a Republican congressman in the upcoming election.

Mayor Jackie McPherson said Thursday he will run against Rick Crawford for the 1st Congressional District seat in eastern Arkansas.

McPherson is a Democrat and cited Congress' lack of bipartisanship as one of his reasons running for the seat.

McPherson has been the mayor of Heber Springs for six years and previously served on the city's council for 12 years. He and his wife Vicki have three children.

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