Afghanistan
NPR News

The White House announced Thursday plans to send Afghanistan refugees to the states, with Arkansas set to receive 98 Afghans fleeing the country now ruled again by the Taliban. Of those, 49 are expected to arrive in Northwest Arkansas and 49 in central Arkansas.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas ranks near the top of other states and countries in the percentage of people in prisons, according to a report released this month by the Prison Policy Initiative. The organization also said the United States incarcerates more citizens per capita than any other country. The report says “every U.S. state relies too heavily on prisons and jails to respond to crime.”

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Little Rock voters rejected Mayor Frank Scott Jr.’s proposed one-cent sales tax increase by a nearly two-to-one margin yesterday.

Unofficial vote totals show just over 13,000 votes were cast against the tax increase. Just under 8,000 people voted in favor of it. Of the over 120,000 registered voters in the city, only around 21,000 ballots were cast in the election.

Governor's Office / YouTube

In his 200th press briefing since the pandemic began in Arkansas and on a day in which 36 more COVID-19 deaths were reported, Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday (Sept. 14) clarified his opposition to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates, saying mandates on businesses will “increase vaccine hesitancy.”

Arkansas Children's Hospital
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Scientists at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will continue studying the impacts of childhood obesity after the National Institutes of Health awarded $11.5 million in renewed funding to the ACRI Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention.

The grant will fund further improvements to the center’s existing research infrastructure and ensure development of more scientists with expertise in childhood obesity.

UAMS covid-19 coronavirus
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas reported 31 more COVID-19 deaths and 646 new cases Monday.

The Department of Health said the state’s death toll from the coronavirus since the pandemic began rose to 7,298. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said 12 of the newly reported deaths Monday were delayed reports from before the previous 24 hours.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations dipped slightly, by five to 1,113.

Arkansas ranks 15th in the country for new cases per capita, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A military medical team from outside the state is now working alongside medical professionals at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences providing much-needed assistance, officials say. The state-run hospital and medical school has been struggling with a staffing shortage amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Steppe Mette, chief executive officer for UAMS Medical Center, welcomed the 23-person Army team to the facility during a press conference Monday. It includes physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists.

A dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was shown to reporters at the Arkansas Department of Health on Dec. 14, 2020 just before the first doses were administered in the state.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas President and CEO Randy Zook says the business community’s reaction to a Biden executive order mandating vaccines has been "muted." He also said an upcoming legislative session to reform the tax code should include changes to the corporate income tax.

NBC News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday that that federal vaccination mandates announced by President Joe Biden last week hurt efforts to overcome the public’s resistance to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Republican governor has been notable in working to persuade reluctant Arkansas residents to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. But in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Hutchinson said that a comprehensive federal vaccination mandate “hardens the resistance.”

In a meeting on Zoom, Johnny Cash's daughter Tara Cash Schwoebel, sculptor Kevin Kreese and members of Arkansas Capitol Arts & Grounds Commission look at the latest mockup of Kreese's statue of Cash.
Zoom

Sculptors creating statues of Arkansas civil rights pioneer Daisy Bates and legendary singer Johnny Cash, which will represent the state in the U.S. Capitol, are working to finalize their designs so they can be submitted to federal officials for approval.

The Arkansas Capitol Arts & Grounds Commission met via Zoom Thursday with the artists selected to make the statues, discussing subtle changes that have been made or are being proposed to make them more accurate. Those involved have been studying old photos and films to consider any final modifications.

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