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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.

Arkansas Children's Hospital
KATV-Channel 7

Arkansas reported more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases Tuesday and its hospitalizations surpassed 1,000 as Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was considering calling lawmakers back to the Capitol to revisit the state’s ban on schools requiring face masks.

The state Department of Health reported virus cases rose by 2,052 to 378,023 total since the pandemic began, and the number of people in the hospital due to COVID-19 grew by 45 to 1,025. The state reported 10 new COVID-19 deaths.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson walks into a press conference Monday where he announced his veto of legislation that would prohibit gender transition procedures from being performed on people under the age of 18. Lawmakers overrode the governor's veto Tuesday.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday he planned to meet with House and Senate leaders about growing calls to allow schools to require face masks as the state reported 23 more deaths from COVID-19.

The Republican governor said he planned to discuss the issue Tuesday with the GOP leaders of the state House and Senate, following calls from Democratic lawmakers and others to lift a state law banning mask mandates by state and local governments.

Cam Patterson UAMS
UAMS

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on Monday said it’s reached a new peak of COVID-19 patients at its hospital as a surge in coronavirus cases continued in the state.

UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson tweeted that the hospital had 66 COVID-19 patients, surpassing the record it reached in January when it had 63.

The Department of Health said the number of people hospitalized statewide with COVID-19 rose by 44 on Sunday to 919. The state’s COVID-19 cases rose by 1,022 and its deaths increased by six.

UAMS Medical Assistant Latondra Ford sticks a swab deep into the nose of a North Little Rock Police officer being tested for the coronavirus.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas’ coronavirus cases rose by nearly 2,000 on Friday as the state’s COVID-19 surge prompted the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to scale back its hospital visitor policy.

The Department of Health said the state’s virus cases rose by 1,987 to 372,313 total since the pandemic began. The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 22 to 871, with 328 in intensive care and 159 on ventilators.

The damaged section of the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River linking Arkansas and Tennessee. The Arkansas Department of Transportation called it a "significant fracture" that warranted shutting down the span until it's repaired.
Arkansas Department of Transportation

The Tennessee Department of Transportation now says it will likely be early August before the Interstate 40 bridge between Arkansas and Tennessee can reopen to traffic.

Contractors are working on phase 3 of the repairs that began after a crack was found in May in the Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River.

Transportation Commissioner Clay Bright previously said construction was expected to run into at least late July. The department said Friday it would have a more schedule information next week about reopening.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As U.S. regulators weigh giving the final stamp of approval for certain COVID-19 vaccines, governors in states hard hit by the pandemic hope the move will help persuade the many holdouts in their states to finally get the shot.

The governors of Arkansas and Ohio — where cases and hospitalizations are climbing — have appealed publicly in recent days for full approval, saying it would help combat vaccine hesitancy and could also clear the way for more businesses to require their employees to be inoculated.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A group of Democratic lawmakers in Arkansas, which has the nation’s highest COVID-19 rate, urged the governor and Republicans who control the Legislature on Thursday to lift the state’s ban on schools and government entities requiring people to wear masks.

The lawmakers from Little Rock and surrounding Pulaski County asked Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson to call a special session of the Legislature or for its GOP leaders to reconvene it themselves to consider the repeal.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking to reporters in his office last Wednesday expressed reservations about the near-total abortion ban because it didn't make exceptions for rape or incest.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked an Arkansas law banning nearly all abortions in the state while she hears a challenge to its constitutionality.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the law, which was set to take effect on July 28. The measure passed by the majority-Republican Legislature and signed by GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

The ban allows the procedure to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency and does not provide exceptions for those impregnated in an act of rape or incest.

Lines of cars with people being tested for COVID-19 stream through a garage at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on July 13, 2020. On Monday, hospitalizations reached a new high.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Public health researchers on Tuesday called the rapid rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Arkansas a “raging forest fire,” and the state’s top health official warned that he expects significant outbreaks in schools.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ campaign on Thursday said she has raised another $4.2 million for her bid for Arkansas governor.

Sanders’ campaign said the latest figures over the past three months mean she has raised $9 million total since launching her bid in January for the state’s top office. Sanders is running against Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for the Republican Party’s nomination.

The majority of Sanders’ contributions so far have come from out of state, while more than $3 million has come from nearly 9,000 Arkansas donors, her campaign said.

The University of Arkansas on Thursday said it has asked a former Razorback challenging U.S. Sen. John Boozman to change his ads over their unauthorized use of the school’s trademarks.

The school made the request after Jake Bequette launched his bid for the Republican Senate nomination with an online video touting his background playing for the Razorbacks and for the New England Patriots in the NFL. Boozman, a Republican, has held the seat since 2011.

Lines of cars with people being tested for COVID-19 stream through a garage at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on July 13, 2020. On Monday, hospitalizations reached a new high.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas reported more than 1,300 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday as the state’s hospitalizations with the coronavirus increased for the 15th day in a row.

The Department of Health said the state’s COVID-19 cases increased by 1,309 to 360,258 since the pandemic began. COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 41 to 647, and deaths increased by seven to 5,977.

KARK-TV

Arkansas reported its biggest one-day jump in COVID-19 cases in five months on Tuesday as the state remained atop the country in new cases per capita.

The Department of Health said the state’s cases rose by 1,476 to 358,949 since the pandemic began. It was the biggest one-day jump reported by the state since Feb. 5, when it added 1,824 cases.

UAMS covid-19 coronavirus
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas’ coronavirus hospitalizations increased by 68 over the weekend, the Department of Health said Monday as the state remained tops in the country in new cases.

The Department of Health said the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations now total 565. The state’s virus cases increased by 2,013 to 357,473 since the pandemic began. The department recently stopped reporting daily COVID-19 numbers on weekends, releasing the figures on Monday instead.

Little Rock School District students, educators and parents picketing outside Central High during a teacher strike.
Chris Banks

The Arkansas Board of Education on Thursday lifted the last remaining restrictions on the Little Rock School District, returning it fully to local control nearly six and a half years after a state takeover.

Arkansas took over the 21,000-student district in 2015 over lagging test scores at several schools, dissolving the local school board. The state in 2019 returned control to a new board that was elected in November, but kept some limits on its authority.

UAMS Medical Assistant Latondra Ford prepares to stick a swab into the nose of a man going through the hospital's drive-thru triage location on July 23.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas on Wednesday reported 1,000 coronavirus cases, its biggest one-day spike in nearly five months

The Department of Health reported the state’s virus cases now total 353,095 and its hospitalizations increased by 16 to 432. The state’s COVID-19 deaths rose by seven to 5,933.

Wednesday marked the biggest one-day jump in cases for Arkansas since the state reported 1,103 on Feb. 10.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley speaks Wednesday evening with family and friends of Hunter Brittain, who was shot and later died during a traffic stop earlier in the day.
KATV-Channel 7

An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a teenager during a traffic stop was fired Thursday after the sheriff said he did not activate his body camera until after the shooting took place.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said Sgt. Michael Davis was fired after it was discovered he didn’t follow the agency’s body camera policy in the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Hunter Brittain on June 23.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, seen here last October.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas reported its biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases in four months Wednesday, an increase the state’s governor said was being fueled by the delta variant of the virus.

The state reported 686 new virus cases, bringing its total since the pandemic began to 349,385. The state’s active cases, meaning those that don’t include people who have recovered or died from the virus, increased by 398 to 3,763.

The one-day increase in cases was the state’s highest since it reported 726 on Feb. 25.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley speaks Wednesday evening with family and friends of Hunter Brittain, who was shot and later died during a traffic stop earlier in the day.
KATV-Channel 7

An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a 17-year-old male during a traffic stop early Wednesday, but authorities aren’t saying what led to the fatal shooting.

The Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office said it has turned the investigation of the shooting that occurred at about 3 a.m. over to Arkansas State Police. State police say the circumstances of the traffic stop and what led to the deputy to fire his gun at Hunter Brittain “will be documented in the investigation.”

Brittain was driving the truck that was stopped by the deputy, state police said.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson provides new COVID-19 numbers in Arkansas during his weekly press briefing Tuesday.
Chris Banks / KUAR News

Arkansas on Tuesday reported 485 new coronavirus cases, its biggest one-day jump in more than three months.

The Department of Health said it was the biggest one-day increase since the state reported 570 new cases on March 5. The state has had 346,180 cases since the pandemic began last year.

The state’s active cases, meaning ones that don’t include people who have died or recovered, rose by 251 to 2,570. The state’s COVID-19 deaths rose by eight to 5,884. Hospitalizations rose by four to 285.

Arkansas State Trooper Rodney Dunn approaches an SUV intentionally after causing it to crash on July 9, 2020.
Arkansas State Police

An Arkansas woman who says she was injured when a state trooper deliberately bumped into her SUV, causing it to flip, because she didn’t immediately pull over for a traffic stop is suing him and the agency.

An attorney for Janice Nicole Harper filed the lawsuit last month in Pulaski County against trooper Rodney Dunn, several of his supervisors and the Arkansas State Police, alleging negligence and excessive use of force.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touring the closed Interstate 40 bridge Thursday crossing the Mississippi River.
U.S. Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to Tennessee on Thursday to learn how the closure of the Interstate 40 bridge connecting that state and Arkansas has affected freight movement since it was shut down more than three weeks ago when a crack was found in the span.

An inspector general's report says poor oversight by an Arkansas veterans hospital allowed the errors of an impaired pathologist Robert Morris Levy to go undetected.
Washington County Jail

An Arkansas veterans hospital missed the errors made by a pathologist who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter while working impaired due to its poor oversight, according to an inspector general's report released Wednesday.

The report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general criticized the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, where Robert Morris Levy worked, for not having a “culture of accountability" that would have encouraged others to report his mistakes without fear of reprisals.

The damaged section of the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River linking Arkansas and Tennessee. The Arkansas Department of Transportation called it a "significant fracture" that warranted shutting down the span until it's repaired.
Arkansas Department of Transportation

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will visit the Interstate 40 bridge connecting Tennessee and Arkansas that’s been indefinitely closed after a crack was found in one of its steel beams.

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday announced that Buttigieg will visit Memphis on Thursday to see the bridge spanning the Mississippi River.

The bridge visit comes as President Biden is pushing for a major infrastructure package, while Republican senators want a more modest investment in roads, highways and other traditional public works projects.

Election early vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Two groups are asking an Arkansas judge to strike down several voting restrictions enacted this year that they say are unconstitutional.

The League of Women Voters of Arkansas and Arkansas United filed the lawsuit Wednesday challenging the election measures approved by the state's Republican legislature and governor. An historic number of voting restrictions has advanced in statehouses across the country this year.

The damaged section of the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River linking Arkansas and Tennessee. The Arkansas Department of Transportation called it a "significant fracture" that warranted shutting down the span until it's repaired.
Arkansas Department of Transportation

The U.S. Coast Guard has reopened traffic on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., after a three-day delay caused by a crack in an interstate bridge.

The I-40 bridge between Arkansas and Tennessee remains shut down to road traffic. The crack found Tuesday goes through a steel beam crucial for the bridge's integrity. More than 45 tug boats hauling about 700 barges had been idled along the river south and north of the bridge.

The eastern side of the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River Tuesday evening in West Memphis, Ark. with police blocking traffic and stranded trucks.
Arkansas Department of Transportation

The Interstate 40 bridge linking Arkansas and Tennessee was shut down Tuesday afternoon after authorities said they found a crack in the span.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation tweeted that it found the crack during a routine inspection of the bridge over the Mississippi River. The department said it was working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to ensure the bridge is safe before it reopens.

Dicamba damage
University of Arkansas

Arkansas lawmakers have approved a June 30 cutoff date for farmers to use the herbicide dicamba on soybeans and cotton.

A legislative panel on Thursday approved this year's Plant Board rules for the use of the herbicide.

The rules were approved hours after the state Supreme Court ordered removing half of the Plant Board’s members. Justices said a law that allows private groups to appoint nine members was unconstitutional.

Dicamba use has sparked disputes over complaints that it drifts onto and damages neighboring crops.

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