Little Rock

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A commission that oversees building developments and land-use projects in around the state Capitol and Little Rock’s Governor’s Mansion neighborhood could be dissolved. The Arkansas legislature is considering special language to an appropriations bill that would end the Capitol Zoning District Commission and transfer its duties to the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola says the city is making progress in reducing crime, improving its economy, providing information to citizens and reaching out to underserved communities. 

The mayor delivered his annual state of the city address Thursday before a group of city officials, activists and community members. You can read a full transcript of the address here. You can also listen to it at the bottom of this page.

state board of education little rock school district takeover
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times


The Arkansas Board of Education will be deciding Thursday whether to review the expansion plans of two public charter schools in Little Rock. 

eStem Public Charter School and LISA Academy plan to expand their campuses by a combined 3,000 students. That has drawn opposition from some who see the potential expansion as harming efforts to improve academic achievement in the Little Rock School District.


City of Little Rock

A Little Rock Community Programs Advisory Committee is reviewing input for an updated Youth Master Plan this Thursday. 

The Community Programs office has held 30 community meetings to update its plan, first drafted 20 years ago, in an effort to fight crime and create opportunities for Little Rock youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods.  

British Broadcasting Corporation

The City of Little Rock is launching a five-year sewage-line upgrade, called Project Renew, to its 1,400 miles of municipal pipes.

Greg Ramon, CEO of Little Rock Wastewater, said certain neighborhoods, Leawood, Briarwood, and Wingate, are priorities for improvements. It is a routine upgrade to the systems to replace old pipes to Keep rain and groundwater out of homes, and avoid sewage backups.

“The goal is to provide a reliable, cost effective system that will meet the need today, as well as for future generations," he said.

The Little Rock Zoo has announced the death of its male orangutan.

The zoo said in a news release Monday that Rok died last week after failing to recover from anesthesia following a medical procedure. The zoo says the medical procedure included a dental evaluation and an echocardiogram to check for signs of heart disease.

The zoo says Rok was 30 and had lived at the zoo since 1988.

The zoo says the median life expectancy for orangutans in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums such as the Little Rock Zoo is just more than 28 years.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Little Rock Fire Department is now among a top tier of departments in the U.S, according to a company that assesses community fire prevention and readiness for insurance companies. 

The City of Little Rock's proposed 2016 budget includes increased training courses and municipal funds to replace previously grant-funded positions at the Little Rock Police and Fire Departments.

According to City Manager Bruce Moore, public safety is a priority for the city's more than $250 million budget next year. 

"We're ensuring we fill those positions as soon as they become vacant. On average we lose about 25 positions to retirements and transfers and so on," said Moore. 

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

A public comment period is drawing to a close on the proposed widening of Interstate 30 through Little Rock and North Little Rock, known as the "30 Crossing" project. Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department Officials are accepting public input through Sunday on the expansion, estimated to cost about 600 million dollars. 

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is reconsidering an 8-lane option in its proposed widening of Interstate 30 through Little Rock and North Little Rock.