Arkansas Military

Arkansas lawmakers have given their final approval for a monument at the state Capitol in honor of families who have lost loved ones serving in the armed forces.

The House on Monday voted 96-0 for what's called the Gold Star Family Memorial Monument on the state Capitol grounds. The bill has passed the Senate and now heads to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's desk.

The design and placement of the proposed monument is pending before the state Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission.

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

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a bill giving a tax break to retired military veterans and imposing additional taxes on digital downloads, treats and unemployment benefits.

The $13 million exemption is intended to boost economic development. Its supporters hope veterans retire in Arkansas to begin second careers and say shifting the tax burden to others was necessary to make it happen.

Hoga
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is highlighting a week of events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

North Little Rock may seem an unlikely site of naval significance but those with the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum say it’s the only place in the U.S., other than Hawaii, where visitors can tour U.S. Navy ships present at the beginning and end of U.S. involvement in World War II. The museum claimed this distinction when it became home to the U.S. Navy Tugboat Hoga one year ago.

Command And Control
PBS

Screenings are planned around the state this coming weekend for the new documentary thriller Command & Control. It looks at the September 1980 accident at a Titan II Missile silo involving a nuclear weapon in the north Arkansas town of Damascus.

A worker doing routine maintenance on the missile dropped a socket from a wrench which fell, puncturing the rocket's fuel tank, causing it to leak. The film’s director, Robert Kenner, says the military was unprepared for the accident or how to respond, with those involved doing the best they could in the situation.

The U.S. Senate has approved a bill to name the post office in Perryville after an Arkansas native who was killed while he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

The post office would be named the Harold George Bennett Post Office under the proposal by U.S. Rep. French Hill and Sen. John Boozman.

The proposal now goes to the president for his signature.

Bennett was a native of the Thornburg community about 7 miles south of Perryville and was the first American prisoner of war killed in Vietnam when he was executed on June 25, 1965, after three escape attempts.

World War I Memorial Joseph Weishaar
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A native Arkansan is leading the design of a World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. On Thursday, 25-year-old Joseph Weishaar was honored for his role in the project during a ceremony at the Arkansas State Capitol that formally established a centennial commemoration committee for the state.

Weishaar is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture who today lives in Chicago, but is preparing to move to Washington to oversee the project.

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s was recently awarded a $198.7 million boost to a previous multimillion dollar contract that will enhance production on an anti-ballistic system that President Obama recently touted as a deterrent to North Korea’s nuclear threat.

Hot Springs will soon have a new Civil War museum that will focus on the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the 1861-1865 American conflict.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (bit.ly/1n4xqgu) that The Civil War Museum West is expected to open later this year and will feature a collection of artifacts, flags, photos and other items.

The museum will offer tours through 10 areas of various subjects about the war. Visitors will see collections of swords, guns, bullets, flags, and various other artifacts and Civil War relics.

Lockheed Martin’s Camden-based operations, which is awaiting final word on a bid protest for the $30 billion Joint Light Armored Vehicle contract that went to Oshkosh Defense, will take part in another multi-billion award that will deliver Patriot missiles to U.S. military forces and close allies, company officials said Tuesday.

The federal government is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority over a 2011 fire that destroyed 111 buildings at a World War II-era hospital complex in western Arkansas.

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