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Prosecution rests in Baker bribery case

Now the defense is up for accused briber and former state Republican Party chairman

State reports tax money still running strong in first month of new fiscal year

Money flow still strong.

Not all local leaders eager to make decision on school mask mandates

If lawmakers kick the authority to require masks in schools back to the local level, some school board members and administrators say they hope the state will supply guidelines to help them make the decision.

UPDATE: Coronavirus today: A drop in hospital number at least.

Drop of 18 in the hospital, but many new cases.

Legislature OKs governor's declaration of state of emergency

It took less than 20 minutes.
picture of Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore

Little Rock Board approves plan to spend $11.6 million in federal money, asks lawmakers to amend mask ban, sends library millage increase to voters

The Little Rock Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a resolution outlining $11.6 million in spending of federal relief dollars.
Photo of the I-40 bridge as seen from Memphis

With next I-40 bridge inspection a month away, ArDOT still lacks explanation for failure

Federal investigations are ongoing and concerns have been raised over the transportation agency’s lack of protocols and transparency.

UPDATE: Gilbert Baker bribery trial resumes with testimony about illegal campaign practices in Arkansas

The underbelly of Arkansas politics gets exposure under oath in federal court.
The U.S. courthouse in Little Rock

In testimony, lobbyists and former UCA president reveal reach of political fundraiser now on trial for bribery

The prosecutor asked Parks, a lobbyist, if he was aware that "straw" campaign contributions were illegal. He said he was. Was he aware that his action, specifically, was illegal? "Certainly it wasn’t one of my better decisions," he said.

The news roundup: Legislature about as bad as expected

Worse late than never, the Arkansas daily news roundup.

From the classroom: Marion School District asks for help from the legislature

A plea for local decision-making.

Arkansas legislature to meet: 'Pro-life'? You be the judge

The legislature will meet today. Will it help people? Doesn't look like it.

A squishy bill to reinstate mask requirements in some Arkansas schools sometimes, maybe, doesn't get far

A bill to allow local school boards to require masks in the classroom under extremely narrow circumstances doesn't make much progress on the first day of Arkansas's special legislative session.

Another conviction in neighborhood confrontation with two Black politicians

A second conviction in which Black politicians were told to leave a Little Rock neighborhood.

A can't lose proposition for vaccinations

Carrots and sticks in the push to get workers vaccinated.

LRSD Board votes to sue over mask ban

The Little Rock School District Board voted Wednesday to file a lawsuit challenging the state law that prohibits public mask mandates. Attorney Chris Heller of Friday, Eldredge & Clark, representing the district, said the Marion School District is likely to join the suit, which will be filed tomorrow.

Coronavirus today I: Governor calls special session to lift mask mandate ban on schools and to deny unemployment benefits to 69,000 Arkansans

Masks for schools and, oh by the way, financial punishment for 69,000 unemployed.

Legislative update: Mask ban bill has now been introduced

The session begins without introduction of a bill to amend the ban on mask mandates.

Up this morning: a bill to let anti-masker parents flee public schools and take their public dollars with them

Sen. Alan Clark will present a bill at the Arkansas Senate Education Committee this morning that would allow students who don't like a public school's mask policy to flee to private or home school on the state's dime.

Coronavirus today II: More bad numbers, except in vaccinations, where 30,000 doses were administered

The vaccinations have clearly moved up. That's good. If you're unemployed, the news isn't so good.

Senator proposes mask powers for school districts, but to allow parents to flee and take tax money with them, even to private or home schools

Using the pandemic as a cover, Sen. Alan Clark files a take-the-school-money-and-run bill.

UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson on concert crowds, COVID-19 and the live music scene

If there’s anyone well-situated to weigh in the question of how to navigate concerts (and social life) safely alongside the delta variant’s rampage through the South, we figure it’s Dr. Cam Patterson. Here’s what he had to say.

$498K awarded to Dreamland Ballroom from National Park Service

The Friends of Dreamland, the nonprofit dedicated to the restoration and rehabilitation of the Dreamland Ballroom in downtown Little Rock's historic West Ninth Street, was one of 53 recipients of the African American Civil Rights grant, established in 2016 and awarded each year "to help preserve sites and history related to the African American struggle for equality."

Busted hotel air conditioner botches opening of Ira Mittelman's new restaurant, Fork

After being open for only a few days, Mittelman posted to Facebook on July 10 that he was closing the dining room because of air conditioning problems. Nearly a month later, the hotel management hasn't fixed the air conditioner. Mittlelman said in a Facebook announcement today that he's going to look for another location.
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