Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

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Local & Regional News
9:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Beebe Proposing $6.3 Million For Prison Beds

Gov. Mike Beebe's office says it has found $6.3 million in the budget to fund up to 600 additional prison beds.

Beebe's office said Thursday that the additional funding will relieve some backup of state prisoners in county jails, assuming it wins approval in a special session.

The governor says he'll add items to a call for a special session if passage in the House and Senate is assured. Already, legislators are working to win a consensus on public school employee health insurance. A bill that would block the lottery from adding monitor games is also under discussion.

Local & Regional News
9:20 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Arkansas AG Rejects Wording Of Open Primary Proposal

The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected the wording of a proposed ballot item that would allow top vote getters in primary elections, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office wrote Wednesday that the proposal would violate the First Amendment in that it would block political parties from freedom of association.

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Local & Regional News
9:16 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Opening Date Planned For New Conway Airport

Officials say Conway's new airport is set to open later this summer.

Airport manager Josh Zylks says Aug. 14 is the targeted opening date, though that may be pushed back because of recent rains. The new airport will be known as Cantrell Field and will be located in the Lollie Bottoms area of Conway.

City leaders had long talked about the need for a new airport, but the project was given more priority after a pilot crashed his plane into a home near Conway's current airport in 2007. The pilot was killed in the crash, along with a woman in the house.

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Local & Regional News
9:01 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Faulkner County To Request Temporary Circuit Judge

Mike Maggio

Leaders in Faulkner County say they'll ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to appoint a temporary judge to handle the caseload left by the vacancy of Circuit Judge Mike Maggio.

Earlier this year, the high court removed cases from Maggio's docket and assigned them to other judges amid investigations of ethics violations by Maggio. On Tuesday, the Faulkner County Circuit Court agreed to ask the Supreme Court to appoint a special judge on a permanent basis until the first of the year, when Troy Braswell takes over the Division II judgeship.

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Local & Regional News
2:03 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Open Records and the State Legislature

A state representative says he's drafting a bill that would require government boards that go into closed session to record the proceedings and have them reviewed by a prosecutor to ensure they didn't discuss matters that should have been public.

Local & Regional News
8:59 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum Sets Reading Club Events

The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott is to hold a reading event this summer that will include a retreat.

The center announced Tuesday that the event will have a theme centered on the "Lost Generation" of books by American writers who emerged after World War I. They group is closely identified with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, John Steinbeck and others.

Registration is $100, and that includes three novels and meals throughout the Sept. 5-7 retreat at the museum.

Local & Regional News
8:56 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Eye Teacher Insurance Fixes

Arkansas House and Senate leaders are counting votes for two bills aimed at addressing looming insurance increases for public school employees as they see whether there's enough support for a special session on the issue.

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Local & Regional News
9:07 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Volunteers Still Needed For Arkansas Tornado Help

Relief groups in Faulkner County say more volunteers are needed to continue with the cleanup efforts from the April 27 tornado.

Arkansas Dream Center Executive Director Drew Davis says 5 to 6 homes still need to be demolished, and about two dozen sites need extensive cleanup work. The EF4 tornado that hit Vilonia and Mayflower killed 15 people and caused extensive damage.

Local & Regional News
3:54 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Arkansas Governor Fundraising Numbers

Former Congressman Mike Ross is reporting having $1.6 million in the bank after winning the Democratic Party's nomination for Arkansas governor last month. Ross on Monday filed a fundraising report with the secretary of state's office that showed he raised nearly $194,000 between May 11 and May 31. The deadline to file final fundraising reports for the May 20 primary is June 30.

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Local & Regional News
9:01 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Hillshire Backs Away From Pinnacle Foods Offer

Hillshire Brands Co. is backing off of its offer to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc., a move that it needs to make in order for its $7.75 billion proposed deal with Tyson Foods to go through.

Tyson won a bidding war with Pilgrim's Pride earlier this month to buy Hillshire, maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs. The final offer from Tyson Foods Inc. ended up at $63 per share, but it was contingent on Hillshire not going through with its bid for Pinnacle Foods, which makes Birds Eye frozen vegetables.

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