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Local & Regional News
9:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Five Former Tony Alamo Properties Put Up For Auction

Five properties formerly owned by Tony Alamo have been auctioned off to partially satisfy a civil judgment against the imprisoned evangelist.

About 40 people attended the public sale Thursday on the steps of the Miller County Courthouse. The Texarkana Gazette reports that the sale included four properties in Fouke: Alamo's personal residence, church, gymnasium and another property. A fifth property in Texarkana was also sold.

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Local & Regional News
7:41 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Republican Senate Candidate Tom Cotton Defends Vote Against Delta Agency

Republican Senate candidate Rep. Tom Cotton speaking Thursday evening from Washington via Skype to the Delta Regional Authority conference in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Republican Senate hopeful Tom Cotton is defending his vote to abolish a federal agency formed to assist the Mississippi River Delta, telling leaders from the region that taxpayers aren't getting a good return from its spending.

Cotton said Thursday he believes Arkansans aren't getting enough in exchange for the federal money that goes toward regional commissions like the Delta Regional Authority.

Cotton, a freshman congressman from south Arkansas, voted for a budget proposal that would have eliminated the DRA and other regional commissions.

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Local & Regional News
7:36 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Gov. Beebe Optimistic For Renewal Of Private Option In 2015

Governor Mike Beebe speaking Thursday evening to the Delta Grassroots Caucus in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Despite this week’s election defeat of a key supporter of Arkansas’s private option, the governor and a top legislative leader are hopeful the program will be renewed next year.

Speaking to the Delta Grassroots Caucus Thursday night, Gov. Mike Beebe said he believes arguments for the plan and the consequences of not taking federal money for the Medicaid expansion will sway lawmakers.

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Local & Regional News
3:55 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

17,000 Arkansans Newly Deemed Eligible for the Private Option

Approved Eligibility for Private Option by County
Credit Arkansas Department of Human Services / DHS

The number of Arkansans who have applied and been determined eligible for health insurance coverage through the private option grew by over 17,000 last month. Numbers released Thursday by the Department of Human Services show the state’s alternative to expanding the federally-run Medicaid plan continues to near enrollment goals.

DHS spokeswoman Amy Webb said the figures released cover the month of May.

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Local & Regional News
2:56 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Board Votes To Hire Tony Wood As Arkansas Education Commissioner

The Arkansas Board of Education has voted to hire Tony Wood as the new top official overseeing the state's public schools.

The board on Thursday approved Wood as the new Education Commissioner, replacing Tom Kimbrell as the department's top official.

Gov. Mike Beebe in May recommended Wood, currently the department's deputy commissioner, as the new chief. Wood will assume his new role July 1, the same day Kimbrell is set to take his new job as the Bryant School District's superintendent.

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Local & Regional News
1:30 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Arkansas GDP Growth Above US Average

Percent Change in Real GDP, 2013
Credit http://www.bea.gov/ / Bureau of Economic Analysis

Arkansas eclipsed the nation’s average GDP growth according to an annual report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis ranking 16th in the country. Arkansas’s gross domestic product for 2013 grew at 2.4 percent, while the U.S. average slowed from 2.5 percent in 2012 to 1.8 percent.

John Shelnutt with the state Department of Finance and Administration said mining unexpectedly joined agriculture and utilities as a significant area of growth.

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Local & Regional News
11:46 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Rohwer Projects On Japanese Americans During World War II Get National Grants

Entrance to the Rohwer camp that confined Japanese Americans during World War II.
Credit astate.edu

The National Park Service has awarded nearly a quarter-million dollars in grants to projects in Arkansas that help preserve and interpret sites that were used to confine Japanese Americans during World War II.

The grants announced Thursday are among $2.9 million awarded nationally. In Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock received a $220,000 grant for its cemetery conservation project at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Desha County. It held more than 8,000 Japanese Americans during the war.

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Local & Regional News
11:38 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Gubernatorial Candidate Ross Proposes Review Of State Regulations

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mike Ross is proposing a review of all Arkansas rules and regulations that have been in place longer than three years as part of a jobs plan he's unveiling.

Ross on Thursday detailed a 46-page economic development plan that he says will help create more and better-paying jobs in the state. Ross is running against fellow ex-congressman Asa Hutchinson in the November election for the state's top office.

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Local & Regional News
9:11 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Gov. Beebe & Rep. Cotton To Speak At Forum On Delta Issues

Gov. Mike Beebe and Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton are addressing members of the Delta Grassroots Caucus as the group begins a two-day conference.

Beebe is scheduled to speak to the group at the Clinton presidential library on Thursday about the state's "private option" Medicaid expansion. His address comes two days after an architect of the program lost his bid for a state Senate seat. Beebe is a Democrat serving his final term.

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Local & Regional News
5:37 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Senators Pryor And Boozman Back Proposal To Fix Veterans Care

Arkansas' two senators have voted for a bill making it easier for veterans enduing long wait times for VA medical care to receive treatment from local doctors instead. The vote comes a day after the state's House members voted for a similar measure.

Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman and Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor on Wednesday voted for the measure, which passed on a 93-3 vote.

The legislation would authorize about $35 billion over three years to pay for the outside care, hire hundreds of doctors and nurses and lease 26 new health facilities in 17 states and Puerto Rico.

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