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Local & Regional News
8:58 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Arkansas Agencies Lose Military-Issue Weapons

Credit wikipedia.org

More than a dozen Arkansas agencies have been temporarily suspended from a program that loans federal equipment to local and state law enforcement.

Arkansas agencies can apply for and receive military equipment, such as helicopters and rifles, from the U.S. Defense Department through a program operated by the state Law Enforcement Office. The program is more than 20 years old.

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Local & Regional News
10:55 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Up To 33 Bakken Oil Trains Cross Arkansas Each Week

Tanker cars, which often carry potentially hazardous oil.
Credit Rennett Stowe / Wikimedia Commons

Records on file with Arkansas' emergency managers show that as many as 33 trains carrying Bakken crude oil pass through the state in a given week.

Each train carries at least a million gallons - five times as much crude oil that spilled in Mayflower in March 2013.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, The Associated Press obtained correspondence railroads shared with the state in June. The railroads objected to the materials' release, but federal regulators said the information wasn't "security-sensitive."

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Local & Regional News
1:17 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

Vietnam War Project To Collect Stories Of Arkansas Veterans

The Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol
Credit vietvet.org

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is launching the Arkansas Vietnam War Project, with the hopes of documenting the stories of people who were in the war, or knew someone who was. The Center hopes to record oral histories as well as collect letters, photographs and diary entries from willing participants.

Brian Robertson is manager of the Research Services Division at the Butler Center and is leading the project. He says at the time of U.S. involvement, Arkansans largely supported the war effort.

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Local & Regional News
3:19 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Jonesboro Police Chief Gets 30-Day Suspension For Comments About Reporter

Jonesboro's police chief is to serve a 30-day suspension and issue written apologies to The Jonesboro Sun and a former reporter at the paper for derogatory comments he made on Facebook.

Mayor Harold Perrin announced Friday that Chief Michael Yates would be suspended without pay and has to undergo additional training. Perrin also instructed the city attorney to review the police department's policies on releasing public information and to correct any deficiencies.

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Local & Regional News
12:15 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Gubernatorial Candidates Ross, Hutchinson Argue Over State Budget Planning

Credit Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas gubernatorial candidates Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross each say Governor Mike Beebe approves of their tax plans, though it was Ross who drew the endorsement from the fellow Democrat.

Hutchinson, the Republican nominee, said in a Friday forum that he stands by his plan for a $100 million cut in the state income tax for the middle class. Ross says that would result in a $60 million deficit, based on an estimated $40 million in 2016 revenue growth.

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Local & Regional News
10:53 am
Fri August 22, 2014

ASU Delays Opening Of Planned Campus In Mexico

Arkansas State University is delaying the target opening date of its new campus in Mexico until 2016.

The campus in Queretaro was initially scheduled to open in fall 2015, but university officials say they will push that back by one year.

Arkansas State Chancellor Tim Hudson says unexpected issues with infrastructure, such as water and electricity, prompted the delay. Hudson says Arkansas State's work on curriculum and student services remains on schedule.

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Local & Regional News
9:06 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Marijuana Plan

Credit npr.org

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the proposed wording for a prospective ballot item that would let voters decide whether to legalize marijuana in the state.

McDaniel's office on Thursday said the name and ballot title on the proposal sponsored by Rockie Barley of Malvern is ambiguous and has "misleading tendencies."

McDaniel says changes are needed to more fully and correctly summarize the proposal.

McDaniel has approved two other marijuana-related ballot proposals for the 2016 ballot.

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Local & Regional News
4:32 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

State Legislators Review Problems With 911 Systems In Arkansas

Lawmakers review issues with local 911 systems Thursday.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek

State lawmakers are looking into problems with 911 systems across Arkansas. On Thursday, a legislative committee reviewed technological and staffing discrepancies between county systems.

State Senator Missy Irvin from Mountian View said some 911 call centers are run by police or fire departments. Others are run by volunteers that can’t consistently track the locations of incoming callers.

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Local & Regional News
3:55 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Court Ends Part Of Arkansas Desegregation Lawsuit

A federal judge is ending a large part of an Arkansas desegregation case rooted in the Little Rock Central High School crisis of 1957.

The lawsuit was originally filed by a Little Rock school district in 1982. It said state policies were still creating racial imbalance despite changes made since nine black teenagers needed federal troops to enter Little Rock Central nearly six decades ago.

Arkansas went on to give three school districts more than $1 billion to promote integration.

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Local & Regional News
2:44 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

AG Candidate Steel Gives Legislative Agenda, Rutledge Criticizes Sex Offender Vote

Nate Steel (D-Nashville) in 2013 Regular Session
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Democratic nominee for attorney general Nate Steel unveiled Thursday what will be his legislative agenda if elected to the office. Steel’s package would eliminate parole for sex offenders, increase child-support collections through prison earnings and tax refunds, and expand drug courts and alternative sentencing for juveniles among other proposals.

The state representative from southwest Arkansas said it’s critical for the attorney general to present a plan to the part-time legislature.

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