News

Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore (file photo).
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Voters in Arkansas's largest school district will get to decide Tuesday on a proposal to extend 12.4 mills of property tax for 14 years beyond the current expiration date in the year 2033. The issue has divided Little Rock's leaders. On one side: those who say the resulting $160 million in refinanced bond money would help bring the LRSD's facilities up to date.

Flooding
Twitter

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue took an aerial tour Sunday over flood-ravaged Northeast Arkansas. Perdue promised the federal government would provide resources to help residents and farmers put their lives back in order.

“The president asked me to come down and take a look … I was happy to do it,” Perdue said.

Three big topics on KUAR’s Week-In-Review Podcast:

-Record flooding in northern Arkansas prompts a big response to save lives and property. We talk with KASU reporter Johnathan Reaves about what he has seen and calls for improvements to the state’s levees after another failure leaves a town flooded.

-The Arkansas General Assembly hold a special session approving changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program and talking about impeaching Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen for demonstrating against the death penalty.

-And reaction to news that former evangelist Tony Alamo, convicted of sexually abusing children at his compound in southwest Arkansas, has died in prison. Sabrina McCormick with KTXK has been talking with many in southwest Arkansas, while we’ll air segments of a 1982 interview former KUAR news and program director Ron Breeding recorded with Alamo and his beliefs.

An Arkansas judge is asking a disciplinary panel to dismiss a complaint concerning his participation in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he blocked executions.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen is calling the investigation an effort to punish him for exercising his First Amendment rights. In a filing Friday he said the demonstration didn't violate any judicial rules and was constitutionally protected.

Federal prosecutors say three former Arkansas juvenile detention officers have been indicted for allegedly conspiring to assault at least four juvenile inmates.

Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick Harris announced Friday that a grand jury had indicted 26-year-old Will Ray, 47-year-old Thomas Farris and 42-year-old Jason Benton.

Investigators say the assaults took place at the White River Juvenile Detention Center in Batesville between 2012 and 2013.

Flooding Lawrence County Farms agriculture
Arkansas Farm Bureau / Twitter

At least 10 percent of Arkansas’ rice crop could be lost as historic floodwaters wash through northeast Arkansas and head south in the coming days. The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture estimates 100,000 rice acres have probably been destroyed or significantly impacted, and that number could rise dramatically by this weekend, U of A rice extension agronomist Dr. Jarrod Hardke told Talk Business & Politics.

Governor Asa Hutchinson sign into law Military retirees tax break
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed into law a plan to scale back the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion that would move 60,000 people off the program and impose a work requirement on some remaining participants.

Hutchinson's office said Thursday he signed into law legislation allowing the state to seek federal approval for the new restrictions to the program, which uses Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. More than 300,000 people are on the program, which was created in 2013 as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

Flooding Black River Pocahontas
KATV, Channel 7 News

As flood waters continue to rise in northeast Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson is sending additional manpower and resources to the area. It comes as an earthen levee for the Black River near Pocahontas is apparently no longer able to hold back the water.

Hutchinson told reporters Wednesday at the state Capitol that state emergency officials have identified nine levee breaches in Randolph County alone, and that three of those "appear to be categorized as major."

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam speaking to reporters after the inauguration of Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

On a 73- 13 vote Wednesday, the Arkansas House of Representatives implemented rules that specify the procedure for removing a public elected official from duty. The measure’s passage came after calls by conservative legislators to impeach Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.

The judge took part in an anti-death penalty demonstration just a few hours after issuing a ruling last month that temporarily blocked Arkansas’s scheduled executions.

Tony Alamo
KATV, Channel 7 News

Disgraced preacher Tony Alamo, who was convicted in Arkansas of sexually abusing girls he considered his wives, has died in a North Carolina prison. He was 82.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons says Alamo died Tuesday while in a federal prison hospital in Butner, North Carolina. Alamo was convicted in 2009 of taking underage girls across state lines for sex, including a 9-year-old. He was sentenced to 175 years in prison.

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