Michael Poore, superintendent for the Little Rock School District, announced in a video released Friday he will ask board members to consider filing a lawsuit against the state for banning mask mandates.
Little Rock School District / YouTube

Little Rock School Board members are being asked to consider filing a lawsuit against the state regarding a ban on mask mandates. Superintendent Michael Poore made the request in a video released Friday. He said Act 1002, which took effect Wednesday, is unconstitutional. It prohibits state and local government entities, including schools, from enforcing mask mandates.

While Gov. Asa Hutchinson has called for a special session of the Arkansas General Assembly to consider modifying or lifting the ban, Poore said he isn't confident lawmakers will make the right decision.

Former Arkansas Judge, Now Serving Prison Time, Testifies In Bribery Trial

Jul 30, 2021
Former Faulkner County Circuit Judge Michael Maggio in 2016 at the U.S. District Courthouse in Little Rock.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Nonprofit News Network

A nursing home magnate, one of Arkansas’s highest-ranking jurists and a former judge in shackles were among witnesses in the first week of the federal bribery trial of former lobbyist Gilbert Baker.

Prosecutors sought to weave an intricate tale of political ambition and greed while the defense focused on a key witness’ lack of credibility. Both sides struggled at times to jog witnesses’ memories of events that happened as far back as 2013 and 2014.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As Arkansas is experiencing a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases, with more than 2,800 new cases reported Thursday, kids are being impacted like never before in the pandemic. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was especially concerned about the increase in pediatric cases while announcing he was reinstating a public health emergency for the state.

Governor's Office

Arkansas’ governor is calling for a special legislative session to modify a new state law that bans state entities, including public schools, from implementing mask mandates because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday his intent to call a session to modify a recently-passed law so school boards would have the power to implement mask mandates, if they choose to do so. The announcement came the same day the state reported over 2,800 new cases.

flickr.com

A judge has ordered Arkansas to resume its participation in supplemental federal unemployment assistance that the state cut off to thousands of workers.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction ordering the state to seek federal approval to continue the payments.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson in May ordered the state’s Division of Workforce Services to end the state’s participation in the program after June 26. The federally funded additional benefits were scheduled to run through early September.

KARK-TV

Arkansas on Wednesday reported 1,703 new coronavirus cases as the number of people in the state hospitalized because of the virus continued to climb.

The Department of Health reported that the state’s cases since the pandemic began now totals 379,726. The state said 15,801 of those are active cases, meaning ones that don’t include people who have died or recovered.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 39 to 1,064 and deaths increased by 12 to 6,099. There are 386 COVID-19 patients in intensive care in the state, and 209 on ventilators.

A statue of U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright on the campus of the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
Chieko Hara / University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a resolution to leave the statue of former U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright where it is on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, but to provide “historical context” for the monument to the longtime leader.

Fulbright’s legacy has come under increased scrutiny in recent months.

KATV-Channel 7

A federal eviction moratorium that was put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will expire Saturday, leaving more than 1,300 Arkansas families who are waiting for state rental assistance in danger of losing their homes. The order was originally set to expire on June 30, but was extended through July to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Although the moratorium went into effect on September 1, the order didn’t slow landlords in serving eviction notices.

A crack discovered in a steel support beam underneath the Interstate 40 bridge between Arkansas and Tennessee forced its closure in May.
Arkansas Department of Transportation

The Interstate 40 bridge, linking Arkansas and Tennessee over the Mississippi River, is set to reopen next week. The Arkansas Department of Transportation announced Wednesday the eastbound lanes of I-40 will open at 6 a.m. on Monday, while the westbound lanes will open the following Friday.

According to Dave Parker with the department, the staggered opening of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge is mostly due to logistics.

Arkansas State Supreme Court Justice Testifies In Bribery Trial Of Former Lawmaker

Jul 28, 2021
File photo of Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood swearing in a witness during a hearing on Dec. 19, 2015.
KUAR News

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood testified Tuesday that she never talked with former Circuit Judge Michael Maggio about his decision to alter a jury’s award in a nursing home negligence case in 2013 — a ruling that led to Maggio’s imprisonment and to federal bribery charges against former lobbyist Gilbert Baker.

Wood’s testimony for the prosecution came near day’s end at Baker’s trial in U.S. District Court in Little Rock. She is to continue testifying Wednesday.

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