Salfalko / Creative Commons

Bobert Morris Levy, 54, was sentenced Friday to 20 years in federal prison for mail fraud and involuntary manslaughter. A federal grand jury had indicted Levy in August 2019 on 12 counts of wire fraud, 12 counts of mail fraud, four counts of making false statements in certain matters, and three counts of involuntary manslaughter. He entered a guilty plea in June 2020.

French Hill
Talk Business & Politics

As President Joe Biden spent his first full day as commander-in-chief, U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, said the nation is entering a new period with the opportunity for the president to bring people together by working in a bipartisan way.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

COVID-19 cases rose by 3,106 in Thursday’s report by the Arkansas Department of Health, well above the 2,491 on the previous Thursday. The increase ended four consecutive days in which confirmed and probable cases declined week over week.

The rise in new cases pushed the cumulative total to 279,220. The ADH also reported that confirmed and active cases rose by 227 to 20,618. The ADH also reported 68 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Thursday, down from 48 on Wednesday. Confirmed and probable deaths rose by 55 to 4,496.

Arkansas House

As week two of the Arkansas General Assembly Session wraps up, the rate of bills being considered will begin to increase, according to House leadership. 

Speaker Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, said House members have filed 220 pieces of legislation so far, while the state’s senators have filed 168 bills.

This past week, with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the House only met twice, while the Senate met Tuesday through Thursday.

Arkansas Senate

  

A bill that would require an Arkansas suicide prevention hotline to employ people who have experience working with veterans was passed by a state Senate committee Wednesday.

Under Senate Bill 27, the hotline, which is maintained by the Arkansas Department of Health, "shall ensure that the Suicide Prevention Hotline employs individuals who have experience working with veterans or are veterans." 

An electric vehicle charging station in Jacksonville, Florida. Arkansas will be launching a program next month that will lead to more than 200 charging stations being placed around the state.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Arkansas is launching two programs that will expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state. $2 million from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund is going toward providing more than 200 charging stations.

Becky Keogh, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment, says the grant will pay for infrastructure and incentivize private and public investments to leverage their funds.

Rep. Lanny Fite, seen here in May 2009 when he was Saline County Judge, has become the latest state legislator to test positive for the coronavirus.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Another Arkansas lawmaker has tested positive for the coronavirus. That's the third member of the Legislature to be infected since lawmakers convened this year's session last week.

Rep. Lanny Fite said Wednesday that he tested positive but has not had any symptoms. Fite said he is isolating at home and had already been quarantining since Rep. Milton Nicks tested positive last week. Fite sits next to Nicks in the House chamber.

At least 24 Arkansas lawmakers have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

One of the state’s constitutional officers tasked with redrawing Arkansas House and Senate districts has announced her picks to help with the task.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Tuesday former state Republican Party chair Doyle Webb will lead the effort, alongside former Republican state lawmakers Andy Davis and Doug House.

Arkansas Senate

Editor's Note: An earlier version of the story stated that all 27 votes for the bill came from Republicans, when one Democrat did vote for the bill. The story has been edited to reflect that vote. 

A bill that would establish a “Stand Your Ground” law in Arkansas was approved Tuesday by the state Senate and now advances to a House committee.

Senators voted 27-7 to pass the bill, with Republicans and one Democrat making up the 27 yes votes, while one Republican joined Democrats in voting no.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson shows a graph during Tuesday's press conference indicating a downward trend Arkansas has seen in recent days.
Governor's Office / YouTube

On a day U.S. COVID-19 deaths topped 400,000, new confirmed and probable cases in Arkansas continued a downward trend with 1,331 cases reported Tuesday, well below the 3,209 reported the previous Tuesday.

The Arkansas Department of Health also reported that confirmed and active cases fell by 1,854 to 20,940. Unfortunately, deaths rose by 43 to 4,386. The ADH also reported 50 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, down from 57 on Monday.

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