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Local & Regional News
5:42 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Arkansas AG Opposes Effort To Lift Stay In Gay Marriage Case

The Arkansas attorney general's office is asking a federal judge who struck down the state's gay marriage ban to not allow same-sex couples resume marrying.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office on Monday asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to not lift the stay she put on her ruling last year striking down a 2004 voter-approved amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Baker suspended her ruling while the state appealed, but the couples challenging the ban have asked her to lift that stay.

Local & Regional News
5:40 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Members Of Arkansas Task Force To Study Medicaid Plan Named

Twelve Republicans and four Democrats have been named to a legislative task force studying alternatives for covering the thousands of people currently on Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion.

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Senate President Jonathan Dismang on Monday named their members to the panel created last month to study the future of the state's "private option" program. Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

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Local & Regional News
3:10 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Hutchinson Names Johnny Key Education Head, Asks Leg. To Change Requirements

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former state Sen. Johnny Key at Monday's announcement.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson has named University of Arkansas System lobbyist Johnny Key as his pick to head the Arkansas Department of Education. The former Republican state Representative from Mountain Home would replace former Democratic Governor Mike Beebe's appointee Tony Wood.

However, Key does not meet the post’s minimum requirements of having 10 years of experience in teaching and holding a master’s degree. In a press conference at the Capitol Monday, Hutchinson said he wants the Legislature to re-write the qualifications to allow Key to become Education Commissioner.

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Local & Regional News
2:35 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

More Winter Weather Possible For Arkansas This Week

Another round of winter weather is expected this week in central Arkansas. Temperatures in the mid-50s are predicted for Tuesday, but then rain, sleet, and possibly more snow will likely arrive Wednesday night.

Marty Trexler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says significant accumulation is anticipated late Wednesday.

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Local & Regional News
12:18 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Arkansas Justices Ask For Higher Raises For Supreme Court

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Karen Baker complained that, with milieage allowance, Court of Appeals judges would make more than Supreme Court justices.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Two members of the Arkansas Supreme Court are urging a panel reviewing elected officials' salaries to give justices a higher pay raise than what's initially been recommended.

Justices Jo Hart and Karen Baker told the Independent Citizens Commission on Monday that justices deserve a higher pay raise because of their workload and in order to ensure the state's most talented lawyers are running for the court. They were among five people to speak at a public hearing on the commission's pay proposal.

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Local & Regional News
10:31 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Texarkana Airport Says Money Woes Endangers Regional Status

Texarkana Regional Airport
Credit www.txkairport.com/

The director of the Texarkana Regional Airport says its status as a commerical regional airport could be in danger.

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Local & Regional News
9:23 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Panel Holds Hearing On Plan To Raise Officials' Salaries

An Arkansas commission is holding a public hearing on its plan to more than double legislators' salaries and give substantial pay hikes to other elected officials.
 
The Independent Citizens Commission planned to hold the hearing Monday at the University of Arkansas Administration office in Little Rock. The seven-member commission called for the pay hikes in an initial review of salaries for the state's legislators, judges and constitutional officers.
 
The panel was created through a constitutional amendment voters approved in November.

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Local & Regional News
2:06 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Lawmakers Want Transparency, Accountability In Criminal Justice Reform

Sen. David Sanders discussing prisons on this week's edition of Talk Business & Politics.
Credit Talk Business & Politics

With state lawmakers gearing up for a continuation of their debate over changes to the state’s prison system, sentencing guidelines, and parole and probation protocol, there is a push for more transparency to the convoluted and complicated process of criminal justice.

Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Monday evening at 6:06 on KUAR, Sens. David Sanders and Jeremy Hutchinson and Rep. John Vines discussed what they see as problems and potential solutions to the challenge.

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Local & Regional News
10:21 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Gov. Hutchinson Celebrates Arkansas Black History Locations In Radio Address

Credit Office of the Governor

  The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Radio Address for the weekend of Feb. 27, 2015:

After recording this radio address today, I was supposed to attend an event in honor of Black History Month at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in downtown Little Rock.

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Local & Regional News
1:55 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Road Officials Work To Address Potholes After Snow Storms

Road Condition Map on idrivearkansas.com

Little Rock Public Works and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department are refocusing their attention from salt trucks to potholes following recent winter weather.

Although a specific weather event doesn’t create an instant pothole, Public Works Operations Coordinator Mark Jacobi said two weeks of snow and ice have contributed to some damage on area roadways.

"We like to try to repair them as fast as we can because what’s really bad is when the water finally soaks through underneath the asphalt and gets into the sub-base material,” Jacobi said.

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