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Local & Regional News
3:28 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Arkansas AG Announces New School Safety Initiative

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced a school safety initiative as part of the state’s Special Investigations Division at a press conference Tuesday.

McDaniel said the program is to increase preparation for school shooting incidents around the state. He says teachers, law enforcement officers and first responders need to know what steps to take in a school emergency.

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Local & Regional News
3:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Gurdon Residents Happy About Company's $37 Million Investment

Southern Arkansas residents say they're optimistic about Georgia-Pacific's plan to invest $37 million at its lumber operations in Gurdon.

The company wants to expand its production capacity by about 60 percent. The mill's improvements will include installing a new continuous dry kiln and planer mill, among other infrastructure improvements.

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Arkansas Election 2014
10:56 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Candidates For Arkansas Treasurer Hope To Restore Credibility To Office

In the race for Arkansas Treasurer, the key priority repeated by the candidates is restoring credibility to the office after the corruption conviction of former Treasurer Martha Shoffner.  The three vying for the office spoke with KUAR News in advance of next month's election.

Democrat Karen Garcia touts her background.

"I am the professional accountant, not the professional politician in this race. I have 30 years of experience. I have personally been responsible for multi-million and billion dollar budgets," Garcia said.

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Local & Regional News
10:23 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Arkansas AG Doesn't Object To Expediting Same-Sex Marriage Case

File photo of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel in May 2013.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas attorney general's office says it doesn't object to the state's highest court moving quickly on a lawsuit challenging a gay marriage ban.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office on Tuesday told the Arkansas Supreme Court it doesn't object to a request by a group of same-sex couples challenging the ban to expedite the case before the high court.

The state is appealing a Pulaski County judge's ruling in May striking down a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

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Local & Regional News
10:18 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Arkansas Unemployment Rate Down To 6.2 Percent

State officials say Arkansas' unemployment rate dipped to 6.2 percent in September. That's down from 7.7 percent a year earlier.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says September's jobless rate dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point from August. The agency says the number of employed Arkansans rose by 4,500 last month in the first employment gain since March.

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Local & Regional News
8:30 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Searcy County Deputy Recovering After Shooting In Bakery

Authorities say a Searcy County deputy who was wounded in a shootout at a bakery in the Ozark Mountains has been released from the hospital.

Searcy County Sheriff Donald Ragland says Deputy Lang Holland is recovering at home after the shooting last week at Serenity Farm Bread in Leslie. Arkansas State Police say Holland was injured Friday after a man allegedly opened fire at the bakery.

Holland and a state police trooper returned fire and injured the man, who authorities identified as 75-year-old John Kolata.

Local & Regional News
6:35 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

New Poll Suggests Cotton Expanding Lead In Race For Senate

Sen. Mark Pryor and Rep. Tom Cotton

Republican Rep. Tom Cotton has stretched his lead against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, according to a new poll released by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College.

Q. In the race for U.S. Senate, the candidates are Democrat Senator Mark Pryor, Republican Congressman Tom Cotton, Libertarian Nathan LaFrance, and Green Party Candidate Mark Swaney. If the election for U.S. Senate were today, which candidate would you support?

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Local & Regional News
6:34 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Arkansas Community Corrections Proposes Nearly $9 Million In Reentry Funds

Prisoners play basketball near the Arkansas Correctional School in Pine Bluff.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Arkansas Community Corrections presented a proposal for transitional  centers for ex-offenders to a legislative joint committee Monday. The plan would provide 800 transitional beds statewide over two years at a total cost of nearly $9 million. 

Sheila Sharp of the Community Corrections said that could help ease prison crowding as it looks to release inmates and avoid recidivism.

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Local & Regional News
6:19 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Huckabee And Religion At Work To Lift All The GOP Candidates' Boats

Mike Huckabee (right) talks with Arkansas's GOP Chair Doyle Webb (left).
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Early voting began Monday and Republicans in Arkansas are hoping this is the year they finish putting a once-dominant Democratic Party to rest. Former Governor Mike Huckabee made a stop in Little Rock to rally the base. ---

“All you Baptists move to the front row," said Doyle Webb, the chair of the state’s Republican Party.

Webb opened up the rally of party faithful with time-tested conservative imagery, preaching to the choir.

“As with any event we always first go to our God and then pledge our allegiance. It’s always appropriate,” said Webb.

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Local & Regional News
5:21 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Early Voting Drawing Thousands For Arkansas Midterm Election

Thousands of Arkansas voters have begun casting their ballots early in a closely watched midterm election highlighted by an expensive U.S. Senate race that could determine which party controls that chamber next year.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said 21,094 people had cast a ballot by late afternoon Monday, the first day of early voting for the Nov. 4 election. Martin has predicted 51 percent of the state's nearly 1.7 million registered voters will vote in this year's election.

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