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Local & Regional News
12:39 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

University of Arkansas To Use Reserve Funds To Spike Deficit

The University of Arkansas says it will use reserve funds and money raised from private sources to wipe out the remainder of a $4.2 million deficit in the fundraising division's budget.

University officials said Thursday the division is in the middle of a major fundraising effort. As the school's endowment grows, a portion of the money will go to the fundraising division to balance its budget. The division will also repay the reserve fund.

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Local & Regional News
12:11 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Hearing Set For Defendant In Overthrow Plot Case

A man sentenced to die for killing an Arkansas family as part of a plot to establish a white supremacist nation in the Pacific Northwest is to argue before a federal judge that his trial attorney didn't do enough to try to spare his life.

In court papers filed in advance of Friday's hearing, Danny Lee argues that jurors were improperly given information about how he scored on a test that indicated he would be a danger to others in the future, even in prison. Lee argues the test has since been ruled invalid.

Local & Regional News
11:47 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Report: Lt. Gov. Darr Cited 'Carelessness' On Spending

File photo of Lt. Gov. Mark Darr entering a conference room last month to speak to the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

An investigative report from the Arkansas Ethics Commission says Lt. Gov. Mark Darr blamed "carelessness" on his part for the campaign finance violations that led to his planned resignation.

The commission on Thursday released the report surrounding the probe into Darr's campaign and office spending, a month after he agreed to an $11,000 fine for multiple ethics and campaign finance violations.

Darr, a Republican who was elected in 2010, earlier this month announced he would step down on Feb. 1 because of the violations.

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Local & Regional News
9:18 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Beebe Takes Aim At Opponents Of Medicaid Expansion

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is comparing ending the state's compromise Medicaid expansion that he backed to the insurance policy cancelations that many saw as the federal health care overhaul rolled out.

Speaking to the Political Animals Club on Wednesday, Beebe said halting the private option seems hypocritical since opponents of the expansion also complained about the widespread reports of policy cancelations from the federal health law last year.

Beebe later walked back the remarks, but said he believed the consequences would be similar.

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Local & Regional News
9:13 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Arkansas Governor Backs Bill Keeping Darr Office Vacant

Governor Mike Beebe
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he'd sign into law legislation that would allow him to avoid calling a special election to replace Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who is set to resign this week over campaign finance and ethics violations.

Beebe told reporters Wednesday that legislative leaders have shown him a draft bill that would give him the discretion on whether to call the special election for Darr. House and Senate leaders say they'd rather keep the office vacant, since the election will be in November. 

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Local & Regional News
9:10 am
Thu January 30, 2014

US Labor Deptartment Awards Grant For Arkansas Tornado aid

The U.S. Labor Department has given $702,741 to help Arkansas recover from tornadoes and severe storms that hit the state last May and June.

The agency said Wednesday the National Emergency Grant is being given to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, which can hire temporary employees to aid in the cleanup effort.

Labor officials say that, with money released earlier, the grant totals more than $1 million and should cover 61 positions.

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Local & Regional News
4:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

New Report Shows Home Sales Are Up In Arkansas

The number of homes sold in Arkansas is up. A report out Wednesday from the Arkansas Realtors Association says home sales are up by 17%, as compared with the same time last year.

Carolyn Cobb, Executive Broker with Coldwell Banker says People are able to sell homes for a bit of a profit and interest rates are down. But she doesn’t foresee too much changing over the next few months.

Cobb says last year’s average price for a home was just over $150,000.

Local & Regional News
1:34 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Little Rock Wastewater Utility Investigation Headed To Prosecutor; CEO Terminated

Little Rock Wastewater Utility's Administration Building in Little Rock.

Update: The Little Rock Wastewater Sanitary Sewer Committee has voted to terminate Reggie Corbitt, Chief Executive Officer of Little Rock Wastewater Utility. He had been on paid administrative leave since Dec. 10.

The results of an investigation by the Little Rock Police Department into questionable expenditures by the Little Rock Wastewater Utility will be sent to Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley, who will decide whether to file charges.

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Local & Regional News
1:23 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Cotton Only Arkansas Congressman To Oppose Farm Bill

Tom Cotton

Arkansas U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton was the only member of the state's all-Republican House delegation to vote against a nearly $100 billion-a-year farm bill passed by the House on Wednesday.

U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack all supported the measure, which passed the House on a 251-166 vote Wednesday.

Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, Womack said the farm bill begins the process of making "much-needed reforms to federal programs."

Cotton said earlier in the day that the farm bill didn't do enough to cut the food stamp program.

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Local & Regional News
1:21 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Arkansas Panel Recommends Fundraising Exception

An Arkansas House panel is recommending that two members running for Congress be allowed to raise campaign funds during next month's legislative session.

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday voted to recommend exempting candidates for federal office from a prohibition on raising money during the legislative session. The Legislature convenes its fiscal session Feb. 10.

State Reps. Bruce Westerman and Ann Clemmer are running for two congressional seats. Westerman had asked the panel whether the fundraising prohibition applies to federal candidates.

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