News

File photo. Tom Cotton campaigning in 2014.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Republicans will have a voice, at least two of them, at next week’s Republican National Convention. U.S. Senator Tom Cotton and Governor Asa Hutchinson revealed Wednesday they have been invited to speak in Cleveland, Ohio. The speakers list has not yet been released by convention staff or the campaign of the presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

File photo: Governor Asa Hutchinson in the Governor's Conference Room of the state Capitol.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is hoping Arkansas will resume executing death row inmates before January, when one of the three drugs used in the state’s lethal injection mixture will expire. 

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislature has given final approval to a rule allowing counselors to refer clients to another provider if they have religious objections to treating them. But critics say it could allow the denial of mental health services for LGBT people.

The Legislative Council's Rules and Regulations Subcommittee approved the proposal Tuesday by the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling, which regulates about 2,800 counselors and therapists in the state.

Arkansas says it has a new supply of a drug used for lethal injections that had expired last month, potentially clearing the way for the state to resume executions after a decade-long hiatus.

The state Department of Correction on Tuesday said it had received a supply of vecuronium bromide with an expiration date of March 1, 2018. The state's previous supply of the paralytic expired on June 30.

The announcement comes less than a month after the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a state law that keeps information about lethal injection drugs confidential.

Chris Masingill Delta Regional Authority
Talk Business & Politics

Local leaders in Arkansas are getting new training from the Delta Regional Authority and the International Economic Development Council to make better use of existing resources. A two-day conference in North Little Rock wrapped up Tuesday. It's one of 32 being held in the eight-state Delta region.

Chris Masingill, federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, says the workshops are part of an effort to get information out to officials about how to maximize local efforts in economic development.

Another baby is on the way for U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and his wife, Anna.

The Republican from Arkansas on Tuesday tweeted a photo of his 1-year-old son, Gabriel, with the caption: "BREAKING NEWS!" Gabriel is posed with a sign that says, "I'm getting a little brother for Christmas this year!"

Cotton and his wife married in March 2014, and Gabriel was born a year later.

Virginia Guard Public Affairs / flickr.com

Increased drug costs have caused the state’s five-year match for Arkansas Works to rise from $705 million to $730 million, legislators were told by a consultant Monday.

The Stephen Group told the Health Reform Legislative Task Force that the waiver the state is seeking from the federal Department of Health and Human Services includes a state match that has risen by $25.4 million. The total estimated cost of the program has increased from $9.04 billion to $9.35 billion from the initial waiver request. Most will be funded by the federal government.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

Amid the unrest over police-related shootings around the country and the attack on officers in Dallas, a central Arkansas judge is weighing in.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen says he has long seen the results of the nation’s criminal justice system, and spoke with KUAR’s Michael Hibblen.  You can hear the interview above.

MICHAEL HIBBLEN: Given everything that you've been seeing in the news and coming out, what are your thoughts at this point?

A new report says the Arkansas lottery enjoyed record-breaking sales over the past year that funded an increase in college scholarships in the state. 

The report released Monday to the Legislature's Lottery Oversight Committee says total ticket sales during the fiscal year that ended June 30 were $455.6 million, up 11.5 percent over fiscal 2015. Instant ticket sales were up $25 million over the prior year, and draw games were up more than $22 million.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin heads the Common Core task force.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin says he's seeking re-election in two years, becoming the second statewide official to announce his candidacy in the 2018 election.

The Republican lieutenant governor announced Monday he's running for re-election to the post. Griffin, a former congressman who represented central Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District, was elected lieutenant governor in 2014.

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