Jacob Kauffman

Reporter / Anchor

Jacob Kauffman is a reporter for KUAR. During the legislative session, he wrote the online column Capitol Access. He has worked with the Arkansas Legislative Digest and is currently on the board of the MacArthur Military History Museum. 

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Local & Regional News
5:37 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Online-Only University Approved by UA System Trustees

UA System Campuses
Credit uasys.edu

A vote Thursday by the trustees of the University of Arkansas System approved plans to open an online-only university by the fall of 2015. Plans have been in the works since 2012 but officials now have the go ahead for more intensive planning for what is being called eVersity.

System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt said the funding for existing UA campuses and their online components will not be affected.

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Local & Regional News
12:57 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Amnesty Period for Arkansas Parole Absconders Nears a Close

Pulaski County Jail
Credit www.pcso.org

There is a little over a week remaining for parole absconders to take advantage of an amnesty period in Arkansas. Reforms to the system have created stricter penalties for those failing to report to probation officers after a repeat absconder was charged with committing a murder last year.

The Department of Community Correction is now working to address the cases of 2,000 people. Deputy Director Dina Tyler said there are typically two reasons for people to abscond.

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Local & Regional News
6:06 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Arkansas House Elects Speaker-designate

Speaker-designate Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia)
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Members of the legislature met for the final time Wednesday for the biennial fiscal session and looked forward selecting a new Speaker. 

After a whirlwind session dominated by the future of the private option, and a last minute override of a veto by Governor Beebe, granting the natural gas and oil industry a $5 million tax break, House Speaker Davy Carter lowered the gavel for the last time.

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Local & Regional News
5:48 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Legislature Overides Veto; $5 Million Tax Break for Natural Gas and Oil

Natural Gas Drilling Site
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The legislature acted on the final day of the fiscal session Wednesday to override a veto meant to halt a $5 million tax break for the natural gas and oil industries.

The sales tax exemption for sands used in fracking was inserted in a bill by a subcommittee but Governor Mike Beebe and others say that was not constitutional under the rules of the fiscal session. Republican Stephens Meeks represents some of the areas drilled for natural gas and said the move was in keeping with rules and will benefit the industry.

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Local & Regional News
12:05 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

University of Arkansas System Plans Online-Only University

UA System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt
Credit uasys.edu

The University of Arkansas System is pursuing creating an online-only university geared toward non-traditional students. 

The idea has been in the works since at least 2012 when the Board of Trustees for the UA System passed a resolution calling for an expansion of online education. Dr. Donald Bobbitt, President of the UA System, discussed his intentions to faculty leadership on Monday and is expected to make a formal proposal Thursday in Fort Smith.

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Local & Regional News
11:56 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Preview of the Last Day of the Fiscal Session

The Arkansas General Assembly is meeting Wednesday to close out the fiscal session that began in February.

Formal adjournment, known as sine die, will mark the close of a momentous fiscal session. The embattled private option barely scraped by, for another year at least, millions of dollars of surplus funding were allocated to prisons overcrowding after recent parole reforms, and battle lines for Republican primaries emerged.

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Local & Regional News
5:08 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

State Rep. Says Override of Fracking Veto Likely

Rep. Andy Davis (R)
Credit arkansashouse.org

The Arkansas General Assembly is meeting to sine die Wednesday, formally ending the fiscal session, but a veto issued by Governor Mike Beebe leaves at least one legislative item left to address.

The line-item veto is an objection to the widening of a sales tax exemption for equipment and machinery used in manufacturing. The extension newly defines sands used for fracking natural gas and oil as equipment.

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Local & Regional News
3:32 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Actor Jeff Bridges Brings Attention to Child Hunger in Arkansas

Actor Jeff Bridges and Share Our Strength CEO Bill Shore
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The actor known for True Grit and The Big Lebowski stopped by a Little Rock elementary school Monday to have breakfast with students and to talk about child hunger in America. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman covered the event featuring Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges.

After breakfast, students at Stephens Elementary gathered to take part in games promoting healthy foods while Jeff Bridges and leaders from a number of Arkansas hunger relief organizations mingled with teachers and onlookers.

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Local & Regional News
1:52 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Beebe Warns Wildfire Risk Increasing

Governor Mike Beebe
Credit Jacob Kauffman

The threat of wildfires is likely to increase in the coming weeks as temperatures rise and humidity decreases. Governor Mike Beebe noted in his weekly radio address Arkansas has experienced abnormally high amounts of wildfires recently.

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Local & Regional News
12:51 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Possibility of Snow Sunday in Arkansas

Credit www.weather.gov / NWS

While temperatures have been warming up lately the threat of winter weather is possible again this Sunday. Meteorologist Jeff Hood with the National Weather Service said heavy rainfall is possible for much of the state Saturday followed by cooler temperatures.

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