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Local & Regional News
1:16 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Insect Could Threaten Arkansas Soybean Crops

The kudzu bug.
Credit Marlin E. Rice, Pioneer Seed

Soybean growers in Arkansas are preparing for a possible invasion by an insect that’s damaging crops throughout the South. 

The kudzu bug sucks sap from soybean plants, weakening and stunting the plant's  growth. The tiny flying insects have already caused up to 20 percent yield losses in some untreated soybean fields in North Carolina.

Gus Lorenz, with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture says stopping the pests can be difficult.

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Local & Regional News
7:20 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Consultant Reports Delivered On Proposed Steel Mill

Consultant reports on a proposed $1.1 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas have been delivered  to the Bureau of Legislative Research.  

House Speaker Davy Carter said Monday that he had not yet had time to analyze them - but said that the reports have been delivered indicates progress.  

The Legislature is being asked by Big River Steel to provide $125 million in state financing for the plant that's proposed in Osceola.  

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Arkansas Insurance Expansion
5:40 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Private Insurance Coverage Of Arkansans Could Cost Feds Less Than First Thought

Arkansas DHS Director John Selig and the state's Medicaid Director Andy Allison told reporters Monday that private insurance would cost only up to 15 percent more than Medicaid coverage for about 250,000 Arkansans earning 100-138 percent of the federal poverty level.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Expansion of health coverage under the so-called “private option” for insuring more Arkansans under the federal health care law may be less expensive than originally thought according to a new estimate.

John Selig, director of the state’s Department of Human Services says the study done with the Arkansas Insurance Department and consulting groups found that in Arkansas specifically, the cost of private insurance coverage would not be nearly as high when compared to Medicaid, as originally expected.

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Local & Regional News
5:20 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Each Arkansas Chamber To Work Toward $50M-$60M In Cuts

Credit Flickr.com

Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter says the House and Senate are working to develop between $50 million and $60 million in tax cuts in each chamber.

The House on Monday passed the first of its proposed tax reductions, one that would benefit poultry and catfish producers. Carter, a Republican from Cabot, says there are still no specifics available on what state spending will be cut.

Carter says the spending cuts have to be considered in light of Gov. Mike Beebe's proposed budget and potential future spending needs.

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Lawmakers Promote Aerospace And Aviation
3:49 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

State Senator Hutchinson Promotes Aerospace Industry Which Brings About 9,000 Jobs

Credit arkleg.state.ar.us

A bi-partisan group of state lawmakers wants to do more to promote the aviation industry in Arkansas.

Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson of Little Rock announced Monday the formation of the Aerospace and Aviation Caucus in Arkansas.

He notes that it’s the second largest industry in the state.

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Local & Regional News
2:32 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Arkansas Senate Delays Vote On Voter ID Requirement

A vote on legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls has been  delayed over questions about procedure.

The Senate on Monday delayed a vote on the voter ID legislation after a Democratic lawmaker questioned whether the Senate had previously approved the measure with the proper amount of votes.  

Similar concerns had come up in the House by Democrats who argued that the bill requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate.

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Inmates Recaptured
2:16 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Authorities Say Two Inmates Overpowered A Jailor To Escape From A Prison

Authorities say three inmates are back in custody after escaping from the Yell County Jail and will likely face additional charges.

Captain John Foster with the Sheriff’s Office said Bret Cooksey and Seth Chowning overpowered a jailer Sunday afternoon, attacked him and locked him in a cell.

They then used his key to release a female inmate, Jacqueline Stobaugh and escape from the facility.  

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Local & Regional News
12:50 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Sen. John McCain To Speak At Clinton School Friday

Credit Photo: mccain.senate.gov

Sen. John McCain is scheduled to speak this week at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of  Public Service.

The Republican from Arizona plans to discuss current affairs in the United States and abroad in his address Friday night in Little Rock.

McCain was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. He is serving his fifth term in the U.S.  Senate.

McCain won the Republican nomination for president in 2008 and lost to President Barack Obama in the general election.

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Local & Regional News
10:50 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Democratic Governor Candidate Bill Halter Rolls Out ‘Arkansas Promise’

Bill Halter discussing his proposal Sunday night.
Credit Talk Business Arkansas

Bill Halter, the only declared Democratic candidate for Arkansas Governor, previewed his first major policy plan of the 2014 campaign on Talk Business Arkansas Sunday night.

Halter will advocate for “The Arkansas Promise,” a college scholarship program that will provide full tuition for any Arkansas student who maintains a 2.5 grade point average and attends college in state. The scholarship match would equal tuition costs at the highest four-year public university in Arkansas.

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Arkansas Unemployment At 7.2%
10:08 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Unemployment Up In Arkansas

Arkansas Unemployment at 7.2 percent in January.

Officials with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services report a slight increase in the state’s unemployment rate. Department spokeswoman Kimberly Friedman says unemployment in Arkansas was up by one tenth of a percentage point from 7.1 percent in December to 7.2 percent in January. 

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