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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 16:50:00

Saturday's open line, plus some political notes

The Saturday open line, with some political odds and ends:

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Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 08:35:19

Obamacare's ruin: Where are the boastful press releases from Arkansas Republicans?

Silence so far from Republican politicians such as Leslie Rutledge on achievement of their long-stated dream, death to the Affordable Care Act. Could that be because most people now understand what a good thing President Obama did with its passage? Update: Rutledge applauds and offers empty promise of coverage.

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Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 08:35:13

Entergy demolishes old power plant near Stamps

Entergy, the state's 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, it's been out of commission since 2013.

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Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 08:35:07

City Board to consider enriched retirement for retiring Mayor Mark Stodola

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 Stodola's 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.

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Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 08:34:00

Fake news: The Scott Walker photograph

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 wildly misleading chart (a factor that didn't get mentioned in the front-page D-G display.)

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018 - 20:27:00

Judge strikes down Obamacare

Thanks, Leslie, for helping screw Arkansas and poor, sick Arkansans.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 15:00:00

Hot Springs insurance executive pleads guilty to $3.5 million fraud scheme

U.S. Attorney DAK Keys has announced a guilty plea by former insurance executive, Berry Roland Bishop, 67, of Hot Springs in a bank fraud scheme involving more than $3.5 million.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 13:47:00

Friday: News headlines and open line

The week-ending open line and the day's video news roundup.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 13:25:00

Bank robbery suspect caught after cab getaway

A woman robbed the Arvest branch on Capitol Avenue in Little Rock this morning and after a witness saw a suspect get in a cab, police made an arrest of a cab passenger at a Conway convenience store.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 11:30:00

The Van’s search for a new warehouse not deterred by zoning issues

The Van began accepting donations on Monday, Dec. 3 to raise $35,000 to purchase and make repairs to a new warehouse property, but Reddin told the Times this morning that on Friday Dec. 7, he learned the new warehouse is not correctly zoned for the nonprofit's use.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 11:23:00

State board urged to study school waivers

The state Board of Education heard but didn't comment,today on a public call for a study of the granting of waivers from school standards, now widely available to all public schools.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 10:34:00

Another bad headline on crime in Little Rock

Another day another ranking that puts Little Rock among the most dangerous cities in the United States.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 09:02:00

Republican's legislation would protect ability to enlarge Little Rock School Board

Sen. Joyce Elliott calls my attention to legislation filed by Rep. Jim Sorvillo, the West Little Rock Republican, that would allow the expansion of the Little Rock School Board (currently non-existent with the district in state control) from seven to nine members.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 08:27:00

Hoxie candidate craps out in rolloff for Council seat

The sad story of Cliff Farmer, who didn't vote for himself in a runoff election for a seat on the Hoxie City Council that ended in a tie, was resolved Thursday by a roll of the dice. Farmer lost, rolling a four to Alderwoman Becky Linebaugh's six, the AP reports.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 08:21:00

Conway County envisions another dam bridge

The Morrilton Chamber of Commerce will soon announce results of a feasibility study to build a "Little Dam Bridge" over the Arkansas River Ormond Lock and Dam in Morrilton as a tourist attraction.

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 08:12:00

Appeals court blocks Trump rule aiming to curb birth control coverage, though not in Arkansas

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the Trump administration rule expanding the ability of employers to decline to include contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans by citing religious or simply moral grounds.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 18:13:00

State Board of Education's Diane Zook to move to reshape LRSD

State Board of Education member Diane Zook disclosed her wide-ranging plan to micromanage the Little Rock School District at a State Board meeting on Thursday. She sounds like she wants to be LRSD superintendent.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 17:27:00

State Board of Education wakes up to transparency; delays vote on waiving Teacher Fair Dismissal law in Pine Bluff

Although it was nowhere to be found on its agenda, the State Board of Education discussed waiving the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act for the Pine Bluff School District today, but ultimately postponed consideration to allow the public sufficient notice.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 16:33:00

Attorney General Rutledge asks Public Service Commission to review Entergy-Sierra Club settlement that would shutter coal-burning power plants in state

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who's long been an opponent of environmental protections, now wants to stand in the way of an agreement to shutter Arkansas's biggest contributors to climate change.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 15:56:00

Democratic lawmakers call for state Board of Education to maintain standards, deny waiver proposals

State Rep. Vivian Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) and state Rep.-elect Tippi McCullough (D-Little Rock) have released statements decrying expected moves by the State Board of Education to waive educational laws in the Little Rock and Pine Bluff school districts, both of which are under state control.

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