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Local & Regional News
2:04 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Arkansas AG Files Notice Of Appeal In Voter ID Case

A sign outside a Little Rock polling location in March.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' attorney general has filed a notice to challenge a state judge's ruling that found Arkansas' new voter ID law unconstitutional.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed notice Friday that his office would appeal Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox's ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court. A day earlier, Fox ruled the state's voter ID law was "void and unenforceable."

A spokesman for the attorney general says the state will ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to stay Fox's ruling.

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Local & Regional News
1:09 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Arkansas Panel Approves Steel Mill Air Permit

An environmental regulatory panel has issued an air quality permit for a planned $1.2 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas.

The Pollution Control and Ecology Commission approved the permit Friday for Big River Steel. Company CEO John Correnti says the commission's action opens the way for the mill to be financed and for construction to start.

Correnti says the site will have a peak of 2,000 construction workers over the two years it will take to build the site. The mill itself will have 545 employees.

Local & Regional News
9:04 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Arkansas At Moderate Risk Of Severe Weather Sunday

The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded the risk of severe weather expected in Arkansas on Sunday.

The center says a section of southwest Arkansas stretching into central Arkansas is now at a moderate risk of severe weather. Little Rock is on the northeast edge of the area most of risk, with forecasters predicting the worst weather in southwest Arkansas, northeast Texas and northwest Louisiana.

Local & Regional News
9:01 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Arkansas Panel To Vote On Steel Mill Air Permit

An environmental regulatory panel is to vote on whether to issue an air quality permit for the proposed $1.1 billion Big River Steel mill that backers want to build in northeast Arkansas.

The Pollution Control and Ecology Commission on Friday is to hear arguments from lawyers from steel business competitor Nucor, which is trying to block construction of the new mill.

An administrative law judge earlier rejected Nucor's challenge, but the permit still has to be approved by the commission for the plant to be built.

Local & Regional News
5:51 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Private Option Cost Slightly Exceeding Projections; Officials Say Cost Will Decrease

DHS Director John Selig, Director Division of Medical Services Andy Allison.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

State health officials provided legislators with information Thursday on the cost of the private option which is exceeding projections by $24 a month per-person. Steven Schramm, with the actuarial firm Optimus worked with the Department of Human Services on private option figures.

Schramm said the population of the private option has been two years older than projected and argued the $24 more a month per-person will come down in the future.

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Local & Regional News
5:11 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Four Injured After Lightning Strikes Near Gas Well

An energy company says four people are in stable condition after lightning struck near a natural gas well site in central Arkansas.

Southwestern Energy spokeswoman Christina Fowler said Thursday that four people were injured while working on the company's rig near Greenbrier. She says they stopped working for a time due to storm in the area.

After the crew decided the storm had passed and resumed working, Fowler said the lightning bolt struck.

Local & Regional News
4:58 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Voter ID Law

File photo of a sign outside a Little Rock polling site in March advising voters to have a photo ID.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas’s 2013 Voter ID law was struck down Thursday by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox. The suit brought by the Pulaski County Election Commission only challenged one provision of the law but Judge Fox’s ruling went beyond the initial scope of the challenge by striking down the entirety of the act. Pulaski County Commissioner Chris Burks says he expected the ruling might go beyond the scope of the complaint.

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Local & Regional News
3:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Senator Boozman Still In Recovery, Out Of ICU

Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas has been moved out of a hospital's intensive care unit and into a private room. The move comes two days after Boozman had unexpected heart surgery due to a tear in his aorta.

Boozman's office said Thursday that the senator has been in stable condition since surgery on Tuesday and is in recovery. Doctors diagnosed him with acute aortic dissection, a tear in the aorta, after his wife Cathy took him to the hospital when he suffered pain in his chest and shoulder.

Local & Regional News
3:27 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Board Rejects Request From Inmate Convicted Of Killing Police Officer

The Arkansas Pardon and Parole Board has denied a commutation request from a man convicted of killing a Pocahontas police officer.

The board announced Thursday that it rejected the commutation request of 55-year-old Dwight Sullinger.

He's serving life in prison after being convicted of the 1991 shooting death of Officer Scotty Bennett.  Prosecutors say Sullinger shot Bennett as the officer approached Sullinger's home after Sullinger had called and asked Bennett to come to the home.

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Local & Regional News
11:52 am
Thu April 24, 2014

AG: Supreme Court Ruling On Risperdal Increases Risk For Malpractice

File photo of Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Supreme Court’s denial of a petition for rehearing in a case brought by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel could threaten all pending and future litigation in the state, McDaniel said Thursday.

Earlier this month, the state’s high court tossed a $1.2 billion judgment against Johnson & Johnson in a Medicaid fraud case involving the drug Risperdal.  Thursday justices refused a request by the Attorney General to reconsider.

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