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School board filings end; 2 districts to have races

July 10, 2014

When the filing period for local school board positions ended Tuesday, one person had filed for the open seat on the Benton School Board, the incumbent was the only one seeking the seat on the Bryant board, and both the Harmony Grove and Bauxite board incumbents had drawn challengers.

In Bauxite, Frank Torres is seeking another term, but he is being challenged by Ryan Jacks.

In the Harmony Grove district, Andy Kelloms and Jordan Abels are seeking the position Kelloms now holds.

Reward offered in death of endangered terns

July 10, 2014

LITTLE ROCK — An $8,500 reward has been offered for information on the deaths of several Interior least terns found on a small island in the Arkansas River.

The endangered birds are protected by federal and state endangered species regulations. They are found anywhere along the Arkansas River, from the Oklahoma state line to the Mississippi River. Their main nesting area is a section of the river from Clarksville downstream to Pine Bluff.

Wet/dry petition filed at clerk's office: alcohol push close to being on ballot

July 10, 2014

Our Community, Our Dollars has filed its initial petition bearing the signatures of nearly 26,000 individuals who indicate they want voters to decide Nov. 4 on whether retail alcohol sales should be legal in this county.

Saline County Clerk Doug Curtis said 2,888 pages of signatures were turned in to his office at approximately 4:10 p.m. Monday.

In the next 10 days, Curtis' staff will be reviewing the signatures to validate that they are from registered voters.

Statewide alcohol issue gains steam

July 10, 2014

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced Wednesday that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow retail alcohol sales statewide, has met the initial signature count requirement.

The amendment needed 78,133 signatures to appear on the November general election ballot.

The initial count performed by the Secretary of State's office reportedly exceeded 84,000. The office now will move to the signature verification process to determine how many of the signatures are those of registered voters.

Obama urgently asks for $3.7 billion for border crisis

July 9, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama appealed to Congress on Tuesday for $3.7 billion in emergency spending to deal with the immigration crisis on the nation's southern border, where unaccompanied children have been showing up by the thousands in a human drama that's causing a political storm in Washington and beyond.

Pryor campaign edits tornado video after complaint

July 9, 2014

LITTLE ROCK — Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's campaign said Tuesday it's removing portions of online videos that were shot on property destroyed in a deadly Arkansas tornado after its owner said he was misled about the footage's use.

Doug Boydston complained about the video featuring footage shot on the Mayflower RV property that was destroyed by a deadly tornado in April, saying he wasn't told it would be used as a political attack against Republican challenger and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton. Pryor's campaign denied that it misled Boydston.

Murphy Oil to build new HQ in El Dorado

July 9, 2014

EL DORADO — Construction is set to begin next month on Murphy Oil Corp.'s new headquarters in El Dorado.
Several former law offices and an abandoned house will be demolished to make room for the 860,000-square-foot headquarters. A company spokeswoman says construction is expected to be complete in September 2015.

The El Dorado News-Times reports the facility will include a two-story building with a lobby and general meeting rooms. That building will be connected to a five-story structure that will hold the company's offices.

UALR Benton Center to receive facelift

July 9, 2014

Expanding the UALR Benton Center reached a milestone as fundraising continues to build a new facility in Downtown Benton.

An announcement from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock notes that the Benton campus will begin a major facelift to the existing building and grounds this summer when its advisory board closes on a three-year capital campaign goal of $450,000.

“Fundraising is progressing right on schedule,” said John Young, the new Advisory Board chair.

Local family grows through adoption effort

July 9, 2014

Raising a family is difficult under the best of circumstances, but for Gina and Greg Grant, the difficulty is one they embrace.

Greg and Gina met in the spring of 2002 and dated two years before deciding to get married.

"We were kind of rushed into getting married because in mid-September we found out Greg had kidney cancer and needed to have surgery immediately," Gina said. "So we married a few short days after finding out this news."

Greg fully recovered from the disease and has had no recurring problems.

Garland Co. artist picked for Beebe portrait

July 8, 2014

LITTLE ROCK — A Garland County art instructor has been selected to paint the official gubernatorial portrait of outgoing Gov. Mike Beebe — the first time in 35 years that a new artist will produce the formal portrait.

Beebe said he and his wife, Ginger, chose Ovita Goolsby to paint the farewell portrait. The previous five portraits have been done by artist Nancy Harris, an Arkansas native who now lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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