Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

David Monteith / KUAR News

Reducing the number of people in Arkansas prisons is one of the goals of gubernatorial candidate Jared Henderson.

Monday Henderson released his plan for reforming Arkansas’s criminal justice system to address what he calls the "epidemic of mass incarceration" in the state.

Under the Environmental Protection Agency's Regional Haze Rule, states that didn’t meet air quality and visibility goals risked triggering federal controls. But now, the EPA is steadily giving control back into the hands of states.

Arkansas's plan, which is awaiting final approval, calls for one of its largest coal-fired plants, the White Bluff plant in Redfield, to stop burning coal within the next ten years.

James Womack
Benton County Sheriff's Office

The son of an Arkansas congressman has been arrested on multiple drug and gun charges.

Benton County jail records show that 31-year-old James Phillip Womack was arrested Thursday night on 11 counts, including possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with intent to deliver.

Womack is being held without bond Friday. He is the son of Republican Rep. Steve Womack, who represents northwest Arkansas' 3rd Congressional District.

James Phillip Womack pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.

Jeremy Hutchinson
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The trial of former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, who is accused of using campaign funds for personal expenses, is being delayed until next year.

Online court records show U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker agreed Thursday to move the Republican's trial from Oct. 22 to July 8 in order to give the defense more time to prepare.

Prosecutors didn't object to the delay.

Hutchinson, who is the nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, resigned in August after being charged with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns.

He has pleaded not guilty.

marijuana
npr.org

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission on Thursday officially agreed to a pact with Boston-based Public Consulting Group to review and score 203 pot dispensary applications and then select up to 32 startup companies to kickstart the fledgling industry by fall.

Jon Woods
Arkansas Times

Former Arkansas state Sen. Jon Woods has reported to a federal prison in Texas to begin a more than 18-year prison sentence for bribery .

The Federal Bureau of Prisons website shows Woods is being held at a low-security facility in Fort Worth.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Woods arrived at the prison at 1 p.m. Wednesday, the deadline for him to report.

Picture of Uber's logo.
Image via Uber.

Arkansas will recieve $1.8 million in a settlement from the ride-sharing company Uber. The company's Chief Legal Officer Tony West said in a statement Uber has reached an agreement with attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

The Health Department continues to track cases of hepatitis A that have been occuring since February.

The incidents have forced some affected customers to get vaccinations after possible exposure.

But the Arkansas Department of Health's recent investigation into the cause of some 175 sick customers at JJ's Beer Garden and Brewing Co in Fayetteville doesn't appear to be related to the outbreaks of hepatitis A in the eastern part of the state.  That case was instead found to be related to norovirus. 

Reports this week from Supreme Court "Special Masters" split the fortunes of two popular ballot measures set to go before voters Nov. 6. 

The two voter-initiated proposals turned in the required number of petition signatures this summer to qualify for the midterm election ballot.

Personal income growth in Arkansas accelerated ahead of most of the nation in the second quarter as oversized earnings from the Natural State’s volatile farming sector boosted contributions to the net state earnings.

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