Arkansas Religion

10 commandments

Republican State Senator Jason Rapert says he has exceeded his fundraising goal to place a Ten Commandments monument on state capitol grounds.

Senator Rapert posted a video on Facebook to announce the construction effort has been gifted more than $18,600, over his $17,635 goal. Senator Rapert says the granite for the project has been ordered, and the statue will be built in the style of the Ten Commandments monument on capitol grounds in Texas.

10 commandments

A controversial effort to place a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Arkansas state Capitol is underway.

As of Thursday morning, nearly $1,000 had been raised through a funding campaign launched Wednesday.

Republican State Senator Jason Rapert is spearheading the effort to raise over $16,000 toward erecting the display. The non-profit American History and Heritage Foundation will sponsor the monument.

The Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission is awaiting one more submission before deciding when its next meeting will be, according to a letter sent from the secretary of state’s office to a man who says he wants to erect on the Capitol grounds a privately funded monument to the Hindu monkey god Lord Hanuman.

A federal judge has agreed to extend until March her order blocking Arkansas from enforcing new limits on the way the abortion pill is administered.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Monday granted the request by the state and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which is challenging the new limits. Baker had initially blocked the new law from taking effect until Jan. 14, and both sides had asked her to extend that order until March 14.

Fellowship Bible Church

An Oklahoma man has pleaded guilty to falsely reporting that there might be a bomb at a northwest Arkansas church.

Court documents show 51-year-old Allen Ward of Muskogee pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Fayetteville to one count of maliciously conveying false information. Ward admitted he called Bentonville police in October 2012 and said there might be a bomb at Fellowship Bible Church in Rogers.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A sentencing date was not immediately set.

A group rally against the bill at the Capitol today.
Nathan Vandiver

A federal judge is holding a hearing this week on an effort to block Arkansas' new law placing limits on the way the abortion pill is administered. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker scheduled a hearing for Wednesday afternoon in the lawsuit by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

The group has asked for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against the law, which requires abortion pill providers to follow guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

File photo: Former US Attorney Conner Eldridge formally launching his US Senate campaign from his family store in Augusta.
Arkansas Times

UPDATE: Sen. Boozman responded to a KUAR request about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the US. In a statement Boozman rejected rhetoric attacking Islam and called for tighter security.

"Our country has never had a religious test for who we accept as citizens and it never should. Trump’s proposal is not a serious plan and it goes against everything our country and party stand for.

baxter county nativity

Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass says there will be no Nativity scene or any secular holiday displays on the courthouse lawn this year.

Pendergrass announced the decision Wednesday in Mountain Home in response to a federal judge's ruling earlier this month that the Nativity display violates the Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks ruled that the county must either stop placing any religious seasonal displays on the property, or create a public forum allowing displays by all religions and viewpoints.

File photo: Attorney Cheryl Maples.

A same-sex couple seeking to amend their child’s birth certificate to include the non-biological mother has been denied by the Arkansas Department of Health despite a judge’s order. Following Monday's request to change documentation the attorney general's office filed a request for a stay on Tuesday with a notification of intent to appeal.

Just hours after Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Fox’s decision on Monday Marissa Pavan went with her spouse and attorney Cheryl Maples to the state’s vital records office.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox on Monday said three same-sex couples can ask the Arkansas Department of Health to change their children’s birth certificates to reflect both spouses’ names. A suit was brought in June following the US Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman spoke with the former Dean of the UALR Bowen School of Law, Professor John DiPippa, about the rights of non-biological parents.

KAUFFMAN: How does this tie into the benefits granted by the US Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage?