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Local & Regional News
3:24 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Eureka Springs Passes Anti-Discrimination Ordinance As Legislature Considers Ban

Sen. Bart Hester speaking on the floor of the Senate Monday.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

   

A bill that would prohibit cities and counties from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances not reflected in state law is now headed to the Arkansas House. It was passed Monday in the Senate by a vote of 24-8.

The bill’s introduction by Republican Sen. Bart Hester followed the passage, then repeal of a local ordinance in Fayetteville that included protections for people based on gender identification and sexual orientation.

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Arts Scene
12:47 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Annonymous 4 At Christ Church, UALR Theatre Perfomance Of Scotland Road

Anonymous 4
Credit anonymous4.com

Anonymous 4 will perform at Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock, Friday, February 13 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Ann talks with Marsha Genensky, the group's American music researcher, about this program, which focuses on songs of the American Civil War.

The UALR Department of Theatre Arts and Dance presents Scotland Road. Ann sits down with Jay Raphael to discuss the production.

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Local & Regional News
12:17 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Senate Panel Advances Bill To Abolish Lottery Commission

Sen. Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana speaks with reporters Tuesday about his proposal to abolish the Arkansas Lottery Commission.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

A proposal to abolish the independent commission running Arkansas' lottery and put the games under a state agency's control is heading to the Senate for a vote.

The Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday advanced legislation that would abolish the nine-member Lottery Commission and put the games under the state Department of Finance and Administration. Republican Sen. Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana said the change is needed to stabilize the lottery, which has seen sluggish ticket sales.

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Local & Regional News
7:15 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Anonymous Donation To Pay For Texarkana Body Cameras

A police body camera used by the North Little Rock department.
Credit Jayme Goad / KUAR News

An anonymous $10,000 donation will be used to purchase body cameras for the Texarkana, Texas, police department.

The Texarkana Gazette reports the city council on Monday approved placing the contribution in the police department's budget to buy the devices.

Chief Daniel Shiner says the money will help buy about 20 body cameras for officers.

The police department recently was contacted by a resident who wanted to donate the money specifically for the purchase of the body-worn audio and video devices.

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Local & Regional News
6:07 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Arkansas State Chamber Of Commerce Planning Workforce Push

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce is preparing a major campaign to call attention to the state’s workforce needs and opportunities, Talk Business & Politics reports. Meanwhile, legislators are preparing to consider a package of workforce-related bills.

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Local & Regional News
5:42 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Arkansas Senate Gives Final OK To Medicaid Task Force Bill

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed legislation continuing the state's compromise Medicaid expansion, while the Senate has given final approval to creating a task force to look at alternatives for covering those on the program.

A spokesman says Hutchinson signed the funding measure into law on Monday. The legislation reauthorizes the state's "private option" through June 30, 2016. Under the private option, Arkansas uses federal funds to buy private insurance for low-income residents.

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Local & Regional News
5:26 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Arkansas Senate Approves Bill Arming Teachers, School Staff

The Arkansas Senate has approved legislation aimed at clearing the way for districts to use teachers, administrators and other staff as armed guards and eliminating the regulatory panel that had resisted similar efforts in the past.

By a 33-1 vote, the Senate on Monday approved legislation abolishing the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and School Security Agencies. The measure, which now heads to the House, would put the board's duties under the Arkansas State Police.

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Local & Regional News
4:05 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

UAMS Annouces $1.3 Million Grants

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn speaking during Monday's announcement.
Credit Carmien Penny / KUAR News

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences announced it has received a total of $1.3 million in grants from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas. The largest of the three donations is worth $1 million and will establish a chair in primary care. The position will be a UAMS-wide chair, and not fixed within a specific college.

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Local & Regional News
3:26 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Arkansas Senate OKs Bill To Bar Anti-Discrimination Laws

Sen. Bart Hester at the podium, interacting with Sen. Linda Chesterfield (bottom left).
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The Arkansas Senate has approved legislation that would bar local governments from making it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Senate voted 24-8 on Monday to prohibit cities and counties from enacting ordinances that prohibit discrimination on a basis not contained in state law. If approved, the measure would make Arkansas the second state to enact such a restriction.

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Local & Regional News
2:58 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Visitor Finds Yellow Diamond At Arkansas State Park

A Louisiana man has found a 2.01-carat yellow diamond while searching for gems at an Arkansas state park.

The State Parks Division said Monday that Dean Filppula of Shreveport, Lousiana, found the jewel last week at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Officials say the light yellow stone is wedge-shaped and about the size of an English pea.

They say a nearly 38-acre search field at the Murfreesboro park had recently been plowed by staff, which loosened the soil.

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