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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 17:22:00

Meet the 2015 Arkansas Times Academic All-stars

We've just passed out plaques and checks at UALR to the 2015 Academic All-Star team — 19 of the 20 appear in the photo above. High grades and high test scores were typical, but the range of other interests was huge — from a state champion pole vaulter to an accordion play to a budding OBU-bound politician (who leans Democratic) to a prize-winning fiction writer.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 17:13:00

Discrimination suit cost Highway Department more than $600,000

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department paid more than $600,000 to defend and then settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by a former member of the highway police.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 16:43:00

Open line plus: News headlines; Tom Cotton's tiff with Iranian; a twist on religion protection

Open line. Video news roundup. Tom Cotton reverts to childhood, calls out Iranian foreign minister. Religious freedom law brings argument against anti-abortion law. And how about that new prohibition on local ordinances that favor classes not covered by law. Could be trouble for the North Little Rock senior center.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 14:26:00

Emails reveal friction between Milligan staffers

Treasurer's office outreach head David Singer's personnel record shows he was fired after a receiving series of prickly emails from Dennis Milligan's chief of staff, Jim Harris.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 14:20:00

Recognition for stars among Hall High's ESL students

In this week's Arkansas Times, we profile our 21st class of Academic All-Stars — 20 Arkansas high school seniors with undeniably remarkable scholastic achievements. Let's add a note of recognition for another group of other scholars who've accomplished impressive things: Students in the English as a Second Language program at Hall High.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 10:37:00

OK, maybe somebody in Texas IS nuttier than Mike Huckabee

Texas nuts — but I repeat myself — have drawn a serious response from the Texas governor with a theory that a military training exercise is about a hostile takeover of Texas.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 10:20:00

Prosecutors approved for 22.2 percent pay raise

The independent citizens commission that now sets pay for state elected officials today unanimously approved a 22.2 percent increase in authorized pay for most prosecutors from the $124,394 that was to take effect July 1 to $152,000, exactly what the prosecutors had requested.

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Today's headlines: Trump trims Pelosi travels

Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 09:33:00

Governor talks of realities of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion: Update

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is speaking this morning to his task force created to come up with some political cover for keeping the benefits of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion or otherwise pull a health care ranbit out of a hat that can cover a quarter-million Arkansans at no cost to the state.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 09:16:00

Hot Springs chooses state official for school superintendent; relates to state leadership

Mike Hernandez, the deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Education Department, was chosen Wednesday night to be the next superintendent of the Hot Springs School District. Hernandez's current presence in the state juob qualifies Johnny Key to hold the job of state education commissioner.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 09:04:00

Judge in Howard murder trial takes dismissal motions under consideration

ASHDOWN — Proceedings Wednesday in the murder trial of Tim Howard ended with Circuit Judge Charles Yeargan telling attorneys for both sides that overnight he would consider defense motions for dismissal and a mistrial, though he added he “probably” would not grant them.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 07:15:00

Marriage case is simple: Discriminate or don't

The same-sex marriage debate boils down to the simplest of alternatives for the U.S. Supreme Court — extend equal rights or validate discrimination, the latter of which the Arkansas governor, attorney general and legislature favor.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 07:00:00

Stodola: Still working on the River Trail gap

Mayor Mark Stodola insists he hasn't given up on an ambitious plan to complete the River Trail with an expensive bluff project behind the Dillard's headquarters on Cantrell Road.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 06:48:00

Waltons, of course, top listing of richest by state

Forbes has attempted to compile a list of the richest person in each state. Surprise: Jim Walton tops Arkansas with wealth conservatively estimated at $37.3 billion. His sister Alice tops Texas with $36.4 billion and his sister-in-law, Christy, tops Wyoming with $39.1 billion.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 06:31:00

Vandalism, poop threaten Big Dam Bridge hours and dog walking privilege

I learned from a bicycling blog, JBarCycling, that hours on the popular Big Dam Bridge may be curtailed because of vandalism and dogs could be banned because of inconsiderate owners.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 21:29:00

Milligan fires campaign treasurer and pronounces top aide cleared

State Treasurer Dennis Milligan has fired his campaign treasurer and demanded he turn over all campaign records. It's only the latest in a growing saga of dubious actions by the new Republican treasurer, who'd promised to restore integrity to the office.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 16:50:00

Midweek open line and news roundup

Here's the open line and daily news roundup.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 16:24:00

Two killed in Little Rock shootings

Little Rock Police Lt. Sidney Allen says two people were killed in unrelated shootings about 3:45 p.m. today.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 15:55:00

8th Circuit cancels hearing on Arkansas same-sex marriage case

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced today that it had canceled hearings scheduled May 12 on appeals from from four states, including Arkansas, of lower court decisions invalidating bans on same-sex marriage. It is awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court decision in similar cases from other circuits.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 15:39:00

Police dog sniffs out burglary suspects

Credit a Little Rock's K-9 unit with two collars in a burglary.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 14:04:00

Josh Duggar: In defense of discrimination

Want your head to hurt? Read this account of hate group leader Josh Duggar's appearance as a front man for the forces of discrimination yesterday outside U.S. Supreme Court arguments on same-sex marriage bans. In short: Discrimination is the Christian thing to do.

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