in Little Rock, AR
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Arkansas Democrat Gazette
121 E Capitol Ave
Little Rock, AR 72201 Directions
A Little Rock man believed he was asking an underage girl for sex earlier this week when he set up a meeting with a Dallas County sheriff&39s deputy, according to a release from the Pulaski County Sheriff&39s Office.
After a federal judge ruled that the Barack Obama-era health overhaul was invalid, President Donald Trump is looking to congressional leaders to come up with a replacement even as the White House says the current law will remain in place for now.
WASHINGTON Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is facing federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, will leave the administration at year&39s end, President Donald Trump said Saturday.
City officials said they recently decided to build a new City Hall on Municipal Drive between the fire and police stations because it&39s the most cost-effective option and will provide more space.
A south Arkansas paper mill must pay $600,000 in fines and spend $1.8 million on environmental projects and even more on facility upgrades to reduce air pollutants in a town full of residents complaining about their air quality, according to a consent decree filed Friday.
201 E Markham St
Little Rock, AR 72201 Directions
The Saturday open line, with some political odds and ends: The photo at top is the Democratic Party Leadership electedSaturday, including far right Michael John Gray, re-elected party chair over two challengers. Hes joined by Debi Council, John Unger, Teresa Gallegos, Dean Flanagan andNicole Hart. I dont have a photo, sorry to say, but Ryan Zinke, the scandal-enmeshed Interior secretary, apparently wouldnt quit until hed held his Christmas party with lobbyists and posed for photos wearing a Santa hat alongside a stuffed polar bear. Class act. Hes going to be succeeded by a carbon industry lobbyist. A gathering of a dozen or so people waving Trump and Confederate emblems assembled at the state Capitol today. I chose not to inquire further. Will save my annual visit to the Winter Solstice display until another day. Happy holidays yall.
Now that a judge in Texas has struck down the Affordable Care Act, youd think in-boxes would be full of Republican politician press releases cheering the decision, particularly Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a proud participant in the lawsuit. Crickets so far though Rutledge did distribute a picture of herself partying with Donald and Melania Trump when the news broke. SEE UPDATE The Affordable Care Act will continue in place while the case is appealed, we were assured by Trumps head of Medicare and Medicaid, Seema Verma. So no end to coverage of pre-existing conditions just yet. No end to the federal marketplace subsidies just yet. No end to extended family member coverage just yet. No end to required coverage provisions think birth control, for one. No end to the state-budget-inflating and community-hospital-saving Medicaid expansion. At least not just yet. But cmon guys. And by guys I mean Reps. French Hill, Steve Womack, Bruce Westerman and Rick Crawford and Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman. Where are the congratulatory news releases on a development youve encouraged for years by your votes and your political campaigns Or better yet, wheres a fix that authorizes the health insurance mandate and cleans up other obstacles the Republican Party has planted to universal health insurance coverage Its the time of year for goodwill toward all, right Poll after poll has said the American people are now solidly in favor of continuing the Affordable Care Act, which has dramatically redced the number of uninsured in America and preserved vital health services as a result. Sen. Joyce Elliott offered a good idea for Arkansas legislators. I did get a release from the American Medical Association. Todays decision is an unfortunate step backward for our health system that is contrary to overwhelming public sentiment to preserve pre-existing condition protections and other policies that have extended health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, said AMA president Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. It will destabilize health insurance coverage by rolling back federal policy to 2009. No one wants to go back to the days of 20 percent of the population uninsured and fewer patient protections, but this decision will move us in that direction. Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin ought to chime in, too. Huchinsonstax cut for millionaires depends on preserving the flow of Medicaid dollars to Arkansas. Griffin as a congressman shrieked louder than most about the evils of Obamacare. He should be happy now, right And people like French Hill who insisted pre-existing conditions would be covered and not just with meaningless expensive high-risk policies ought to be rolling up their sleeves and getting this mess fixed. Did the GOP really mean it when they said they wanted to protect people with pre-existing conditions Update: her partying done Rutledge weighs in with what has proved an empty promise from the GOP for years:Attorney General Leslie Rutledge U.S. District Court Judge Reed OConnor of Texas for agreeing with Arkansas, as part of a 20-state coalition, that the Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate are unconstitutional. The ruling is a big win for Arkansans, said Attorney General Rutledge. Without the individual mandate in place, Obamacare cannot be upheld and is unconstitutional. Now, it is time for Congress to increase options, lower costs and protect those with pre-existing conditions.
Entergy, the states largest electric utility, yesterday used explosives to destroy the major parts of its closed Couch Plant near Stamps, which dated to 1943 and was designed to burn fuel oil or gas at two generating units. Named for power company founder Harvey Couch, its been out of commission since 2013.The company is modernizing its production, with new solar and gas-fired generating facilities and plans to take coal-burning plants out of commission if Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a defender of carbon pollution, cant stop it.Anyway, everybody loves some good explosion footage.
The Little Rock City Board agenda for its last meeting of the year Tuesday includes, as expected, a vote on an ordinance that will significantly sweeten retiring Mayor Mark Stodolas retirement and apply to future mayors as well. The agenda, however, carries no mention of resolution of his claim for an estimated $173,000 in pay for unused vacation and leave time.Rather than be paid according to benefits of a private plan to which he and the city contributed together about 30 percent of his $160,000 pay for 12 years, Stodola would under a proposed ordinance now get half pay $80,000 for life, plus an annual COLA equivalent to others in the citys defined benefit retirement plan, plus a spousal survivors benefit paid by the mayor. The defined benefit plan was instituted four years ago. Stodola didnt attempt to join it then. Normally you have to be in that plan 25 years to achieve the maximum benefit of half pay. Stodola will be in it about two weeks. The city will recoup its contributions, 17 percent of pay a year, toward defraying the added cost of improving Stodolas benefit reducing the cost to the city from almost $900,000 to about $500,000 to be paid out at $60,000 a year over 10 years. But Stodola will be able to keep his own contributions, apparently near $200,000, for rollover into another plan. Stodola, 69, also is entitled to benefits under the state public employee system plan for his years as a prosecuting attorney.City Manager Bruce Moore, who makes $189,000 and is covered by the pension plan, has said it makes sense to put the mayor now and in the future on an equal footing and that using the existing city pension plan is the most efficient way to do it. He and City Attorney Tom Carpenter also contend the state must pay Stodola half pay in any case because of a state statute on mayoral retirement. It has been noted that statute doesnt specifically apply to city manager cities such as Little Rock.City directors also raised questions last week about the Arkansas Times reporting that Stodola believes he is entitled to payment for unused vacation time because he is to be treated the same as the city manager, whose contract allows for accrued leave. Its all but unheard of for elected officials in Arkansas to accrue pay for unused time off. City directors,for example, have no such provision.Stodola contends hes due more than a years worth estimated recently by the city managers office at $173,000 because he so rarely took time off. Moores own contract was revised last week to protect time hed accrued as a deputy city manager and also to provide him with six months of pay should he leave for reasons other than termination for cause. One city director last week said that a payment for Stodola commensurate with whats allowed for others seemed fair. Several said the issue needed to be resolved, but it isnt specifically listed on the board agenda.The new mayoral administration and city board would do well to reconsider whats provided for the mayor in pay and benefits. Stripping leave time accrual would be a good place to start. If the pay and retirement benefit and city-paid insurance isnt good enough, dont run.The City Board will also consider the $269 million 2019 budget, which includes a bonus of up to $500 for non-uniform employees and renewal of the $300,000 annual corporate welfare payment to the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today put on its front page a photograph of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defending his approval of legislation diminishing the power of the incoming governor by means of a screwed-up chart a factor that didnt get mentioned in the front-page D-G display.Walker is getting universally mocked for use of the diagram meant to illustrate substantial overlap in gubernatorial powers before and after the new laws. A so-called Venn diagram should show measures exclusive to each component outside the shared part of the overlapping circles. Shared similarities should be listed there. Walker here managed to avoid listing the ways the Republican legislature handcuffed the new Democratic governor.The dictionary says a Venn diagramemploys closed curves and especially circles to represent logical relations between and operations on sets and the terms of propositions by the inclusion, exclusion, or intersection of the curves.Vox explains. Alas, it is not the case that Evers will enjoy the same powers as Walker. Voxs Tara Golshan detailed a few of the ways the legislation diminishes Everss authority, along with the authority of AG-elect Kaul relative to the outgoing Republican attorney general, Brad Schimel. Cut down the number of early voting days, limiting it to two weeks. This would likely draw legal challenges the proposal is very similar to a previous law that the courts struck down in 2016 for stifling votes for partisan gain. Give the legislature more power over the boards of certain commissions, like the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation WEDC, the states jobs-focused agency, which has come under a lot of scrutiny for giving the Taiwanese company Foxconn Technology Group $3 billion in tax breaks in exchange for their $10 billion factory an investment that even the states Legislative Bureau said the state wouldnt bring returns until after 2043. Evers said he wanted to get rid of WEDC altogether, as it has garnered a reputation for falling short of its jobs promise. Limit Everss abilities to change the states work requirement laws around food stamps and health care, giving the legislature oversight over any federal waivers the state has received. Walker pushed for Medicaid work requirement waivers and waivers to drug test food stamp recipients. Stop Wisconsins incoming attorney general from withdrawing the state from a federal lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, instead requiring legislative approval to do so. Unsurprisingly, the cuts to early voting, the move to strip Evers of economic powers, and other changes werent alluded to on Walkers chart.Among the Tweets mocking Walker was this one noted by Huffington Post:
KETS-TV 2 - PBS
350 S Donaghey Ave
Conway, AR 72034 Directions
High School football continues Dec. 7-8 on AETN Sports Read on for a schedule of matches for Arkansas Activities Association 2A-4A teams and to find out how to watch online after broadcast.
This month on Exploring Arkansas, meet bluegrass prodigy Mary Parker, check out Village Creek State Parks kayaking and fishing opportunities, visit Walnut Ridges Wings of Honor WWII Museum and investigate Y Citys boulder erratics. Its all coming up in a new episode Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 6:30 p.m.
AETN and PBS KIDS are inviting teachers and parents to discover resources that introduce little ones to coding, storytelling, and creative problem-solving As we celebrate Computer Science Education Week Dec. 3-9, see how you can inspire todays young learners to create their own interactive stories and games with the free PBS KIDS ScratchJr app.
Most people dont realize there are many methods used to hack passwords and abundantly more ways we make sensitive information exposed due to simple and commonly used passwords. Educators can learn how to protect themselves and their students through ArkansasIDEAS course Data Security Awareness: Module 2 Passwords beginning Dec. 1.
Join us to celebrate the life of late AETN Director Allen Weatherly as we dedicate the AETN atrium in his honor at a ceremony and reception Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m.
KTHV-TV 11 - CBS
720 S Izard St
Little Rock, AR 72201 Directions
The Conway Police Department assisted the Conway Fire Department as firefighters rescued people who were stuck on a firefighters rescued people.
The Benton Police Department said rescue was dispatched to The iPhone Guys, 1008 Military Road, at approximately 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.
The Central Arkansas Christmas Caravan has been held in Little Rock for 14 years now. Volunteers meet in a parking lot with clothing, toys, and food to hand out to the homeless or people who are in need.
Our fallen veterans were honored on Saturday, Dec. 15 with wreaths at the Little Rock National Cemetery.
Hundreds of Bikers from around Arkansas rode their bikes, or for Christmas sake sleighs, into Conway today for the 18th annual Conway Regional Toy Run.
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