Participants in Issues That Matter: On the Ballot and in the Voting Booth.

In the latest Issues That Matter, a series of presentations by KUAR, the Central Arkansas Library System, and the League of Women Voters of Pulaski County, a discussion about statewide proposals to be decided by Arkansas voters in the November election. We also talked about Election Day concerns about voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This forum was streamed live online on Sept. 17, focusing on the three remaining proposals to be considered by Arkansas voters:

Little rock school district
KATV-Channel 7

The Little Rock teachers union says its members won't show up for in-person classes due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus in schools.

The Little Rock Education Association said Sunday its members are willing to teach classes virtually, but accused district administrators of not doing enough to prevent the virus's spread.

The superintendent of the state-controlled district said it was taking additional steps to ensure schools stay open for in-person instruction.

UAMS covid-19 coronavirus
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

For the second day in a row, new COVID-19 cases totaled more than 1,100, with the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases approaching 80,000, according to Friday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health.

The state reported 796 traditional PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 338 positives from antigen tests for a total of 1,134. The state reported 1,193 total cases on Thursday. The number of total cases as of Friday from PCR and antigen tests was 79,946, with the number of confirmed and probable deaths totaling 1,266.

Governor's Office / YouTube

The group tasked with disbursing the $1.25 billion Arkansas received from the CARES Act has approved new funds to go toward stabilizing the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

Members of the state CARES Act steering committee on Friday voted to approve the infusion of $165 million from the federal coronavirus bailout to the fund at a meeting held virtually. This comes as the panel faced a deadline of Sept. 30 to stabilize the fund, otherwise employers would have to pay an extra $10 per employee per year in taxes.

Nate Smith COVID-19
Governor's Office / YouTube

The number of new coronavirus cases reported in Arkansas Thursday was 1,193, with 1,030 of those being from the traditional PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test and 163 were positives from antigen tests, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Thursday’s report also included a rise in deaths, active cases and ventilator use. The number of people hospitalized fell.

As he did with Wednesday’s report of increased cases, Gov. Asa Hutchinson followed Thursday’s report by encouraging Arkansans to do more to contain the spread of the virus.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences UAMS
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Some doctors and hospitals have adopted new practices to encourage women in Arkansas to get breast cancer screenings. Dr. Ronda S. Henry-Tillman, a breast cancer surgeon at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, says fewer women are getting checked since Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued a directive on April 3 banning elective medical procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor's Office

The state’s CARES Act Steering committee has approved an additional list of items that that would be pre-approved for Arkansas’ cities and counties to use CARES funding for.

This approval comes after a meeting earlier in the month that authorized $150 million to be split evenly among the Arkansas Municipal League and the Association of Arkansas Counties.

Jay Barth
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Little Rock School District and the city announced Wednesday that four elementary schools will become part of a new “community schools” model. Little Rock Chief Education Officer Jay Barth made the announcement in a short video posted online. He also spoke with KUAR News about what’s planned. 


A researcher with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will use a $1.7 million grant to find new ways to treat a deadly blood disorder.

The grant from the National Cancer Institute is going to Dr. Jesus Delgado-Calle, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics at UAMS, who is studying ways to improve bone health to prevent or delay relapses in patients with multiple myeloma.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson shows a graph with the number of Arkansans hospitalized with COVID-19 since March.
Governor's Office

The rate of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continues to increase as Arkansas added 486 new confirmed cases Tuesday, bringing the cumulative total to 74,772. Of those cases, 6,188 are considered active, according to the state Department of Health.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased by 12 for a total of 459. 12 more people have died from the disease caused by the coronavirus, bringing the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 1,060.


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