Arkansas Politics

Local & Regional News
12:16 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Group Calls on Pryor to Drop Opposition To Expanding Background Checks For Guns

A bus for the “No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence” campaign arrives in Little Rock.
Malcolm Glover KUAR

Advocates encouraging state and federal officials to support what they call "sensible gun laws" held a rally in downtown Little Rock Thursday.

The attendees included area residents, faith leaders, survivors of gun violence, and the family members of victims killed during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Bill Branham is a gun owner and an avid target shooter. He’s lived in Arkansas since 1972 and decided to participate in the event.

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Local & Regional News
11:23 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Former Arkansas Treasurer Pleads Not Guilty To Charges

Former Treasurer Martha Shoffner leaves the federal courthouse in Little Rock with her attorney Chuck Banks.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges accusing her of taking cash payments to steer state investments to a bond broker.

It was a brief hearing, with U.S. Magistrate Joe Volpe reading the 14 charges of extortion and bribery.

Her attorney Chuck Banks entered a plea of not guilty and requested a trial by jury.

Asked by the judge if that was her plea, Shoffner said “Yes, not guilty.”

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Local & Regional News
7:46 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

How Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage Could Impact Arkansas

A demonstration in Little Rock for marriage equality on Wednesday.
Credit Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality

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Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on two cases on gay marriage, many may be wondering how these rulings do or do not apply to Arkansas.

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Local & Regional News
3:25 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pryor And Boozman: Gay Marriage Ruling Won’t Change Arkansas Policy

L to R: Senators John Boozman and Mark Pryor

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision Wednesday that a federal same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional could impact public policy in Arkansas. 

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor supported the Defense of Marriage Act and says the high court’s ruling still recognizes that marriage contracts should be left up to individual states.

“Arkansas has made the determination that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Pryor said. “I support and respect the state’s decision and my personal belief that marriage is between a man and a woman has not changed.”

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Local & Regional News
10:50 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Filing: Shoffner Plans To Plead Not Guilty

Martha Shoffner
Credit Danny Johnston / AP Photo

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner says she plans to plead not guilty to charges she accepted cash payments from a bond broker to whom she steered state investments, but a federal judge says she can't skip a hearing to enter that plea. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Volpe denied Shoffner's request to waive her appearance at an arraignment hearing scheduled for later this week. Volpe's order was dated Friday, but wasn't entered into the court system until Monday.

Shoffner and her attorney said in a filing with the court that she planned to plead not guilty.

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Local & Regional News
6:23 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Former Lawmaker To Be Sentenced In Election Case

Hudson Hallum
Credit Danny Johnston / AP Photo

A former east Arkansas legislator convicted of conspiracy to commit election fraud is appearing in court to be sentenced. 

Former Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum on Thursday is scheduled to appear before a federal judge for sentencing. His father, Kent Hallum, is also set to appear before the judge in a separate sentencing hearing. 

Hallum pleaded guilty in September, along with his father and two campaign workers.

Prosecutors said Hallum bribed voters and used absentee ballots to commit fraud in the 2011 election for his seat.

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Local & Regional News
2:32 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Boozman Seeks More Transparency From NSA Spy Programs

U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas
Credit Russell Powell / AP

A new poll by the Washington Post and ABC News confirms findings from other media surveys that show a majority of Americans support the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. 

After attending classified meetings and a top secret briefing through the Appropriations Committee, U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says he’s pleased with recent public relations efforts by intelligence agencies. 

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Local & Regional News
6:02 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Arkansas Panel Reviewing Rules On Voter ID Law

An Arkansas panel is reviewing the rules for enforcing a new state law that will require voters to show photo identification at the polls before they can cast a ballot.

The state Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday was scheduled to review the rules for enforcing the state's voter ID law, which takes effect next year.

Poll workers are currently required to ask for identification, but voters can still cast a ballot if they don't show ID.

Local & Regional News
6:18 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Gun Control Group To Hold Rally In Little Rock

A gun control group is holding a rally in Little Rock to urge U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor to take another look at a measure expanding background checks for firearm sales.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is holding the rally Friday at Allsopp Park.

The event comes as the group is airing ads in Arkansas criticizing Pryor for voting against the background checks measure.

Immigration
5:36 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Local Non-Profit Opens Office, Helps Immigrants

As an immigration reform bill is expected to be debated and amended in the U.S. Senate this week, a local immigrant advocacy group is settling into its own office for the summer.

El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center assists families who need to navigate processes like getting proper medical care or other services.  

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