A former state representative who pleaded guilty in 2012 to conspiring to commit election fraud in a scheme that included destroying ballots and for exchanging money and food for votes has accepted $2,500 in fines and letters of warning and of caution from the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
The offer to former Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum of Marion is in a letter dated Dec. 20 that was released Monday by the commission.
Phone calls to numbers listed for Hallum rang unanswered.
Starting this New Year, Arkansan voters will be required to present photo identification at their polling places in order to cast a ballot. The Arkansas Legislature passed the photo id law earlier this year, following a trend set by other state houses around the country. Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane says some voters will need id as early the second week of January, when some elections are set to take place.
Cases of Influenza are widespread this year in Arkansas. Health officials say the virus has been spreading rapidly throughout the southeast.
Kerry Krell of the Arkansas Department of Health says the most prevalent strain this year is H1N1, which is known to affect young, healthy people more often than other strains. She says this season’s flu outbreak has shown a pattern of severity that should lead people to take precautions as it has already led to some fatalities in the state.
Little Rock Zoo officials say a giraffe named Jigsaw died after a weekend fight with another giraffe, named Mesi.. The body was taken to the state Livestock and Poultry Commission for examination. Jigsaw was 13 years old and had lived its entire life at the Little Rock Zoo.
Officials say Mesi was able to open a gate separating the two animals.The zoo said it was talking to the Species Survival Plan about what action to take in its giraffe program. Mesi did not suffer any major injuries. The surviving giraffe remains at the zoo.
Officials in southeast Arkansas are hoping the renovation of an industrial railroad line will help generate economic development in 2014. The rail line links Louisiana's Lake Providence port on the Mississippi River to the Union Pacific Railroad in McGehee.
Governor Mike Beebe (D) used his weekly radio address to call attention to child hunger in the state. Data from the US Department of Agriculture shows Arkansas as one of the top ten states facing food insecurity.
Governor Beebe said 24 percent of children in the state face uncertainty having enough to eat on a regular basis but the state has made progress.
“Through our summer feeding program this year, we fed 64 percent more people than we did in 2012. A total of 3.7 million meals were provided at more than 750 sites statewide,” said Beebe.
The Clinton Presidential Center has logged its 3 millionth visitor. Clinton's presidential library opened in 2009 and became an anchor for the redevelopment of downtown Little Rock.
On Friday, Diarmuid Coyle of Dublin, Ireland, became the 3 millionth person to go through the turnstiles at the center's museum. The center gave Coyle a signed copy of Clinton's autobiography, "My Life," free lunch at the center's restaurant, $100 for shopping at the Clinton Store and a one-year membership to the museum.
All six members of Arkansas' congressional delegation have sent letters to President Barack Obama and the Federal Emergency Management Agency supporting Gov. Mike Beebe's request for a disaster declaration. The lawmakers say the letter sent Friday supports Beebe's request for the declaration for 15 counties affected by a winter snow and ice storm from Dec. 5-8 that left one person dead.
The letters were sent by U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman and Representatives Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Tom Cotton and Steve Womack. Pryor is a Democrat, the other five are Republicans.