Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Election vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A federal lawsuit alleges the voting system for some Arkansas judges violates black residents' rights by diluting the strength of the vote.

Lawyers for the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the lawsuit Tuesday. It says that because the state's seven Supreme Court judges are elected statewide instead of by district, the white voting bloc overpowers the votes of black Arkansas residents.

Missy Irvin
KARK-TV

The family of a former Arkansas lawmaker whose body was found at her home last week say they're saddened and angered by her death, and are confident authorities are using all their resources to solve her killing.

Dozens of Arkansas lawmakers and others gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to remember former state Sen. Linda Collins, whose death is being investigated as a homicide. The body of Collins, who went by Collins-Smith in the Legislature, was found June 4 outside her home in Pocahontas, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A disciplinary panel says Arkansas Supreme Court justices don't have to testify in an ethics hearing over a judge's participation in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he blocked the state from using a lethal injection drug.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission issued an order Friday granting justices' request to block their testimony in next week's hearing against Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.

Linda Collins-Smith
Arkansas Legislature

Authorities in Arkansas have confirmed that a body found outside the home of a former state legislator is hers and say they're investigating the case as a homicide.

Arkansas State Police said Thursday that the medical examiner confirmed former Sen. Linda Collins-Smith's body was found Tuesday outside her home in Pocahontas, about 130 miles northeast of Little Rock. Police didn't provide a cause of death for the 57-year-old lawmaker, but say they're treating the case as a homicide. Investigators haven't named any suspects in her death.

Linda Collins-Smith
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Authorities say human remains found outside the home of a former Arkansas lawmaker are those of a woman but that the condition of the body is preventing immediate identification.

The state GOP tweeted Tuesday night that 57-year-old former state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith had died.

State police say the remains were found Tuesday at Collins-Smith's home but cannot say that the remains are hers. Police are investigating the death as a homicide.

Flood Toad Suck Arkansas River
KATV-Channel 7

State emergency officials say the Arkansas River has topped two levees in Arkansas, where historic flooding has inundated some communities.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Emergency Management says flood waters overtopped a levee in Toad Suck, a community about 27 miles northwest of Little Rock. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the levee protects nearly 300 people.

A rendering of an expanded I-30 corridor in downtown Little Rock. 30 Crossing
Arkansas Department of Transportation

Several neighborhood groups and residents are asking a federal judge to halt a $1 billion plan to widen a highway connecting downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock.

The lawsuit filed Monday challenges the "30 Crossing" plan to widen and reconstruct roughly 7 miles of Interstates 30 and 40 in the cities' downtowns.

State Rep. Charles Blake (D-Little Rock) testifying to end the joint observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert E. Lee. (2015 file photo)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The top Democrat in Arkansas' House and the lawmaker who's pushed for removing the Confederate designation from the state's flag is stepping down from the Legislature.

Rep. Charles Blake said Thursday he's resigning from his seat representing a Little Rock district. Blake, who is the House minority leader, said his resignation will be effective Friday.

Blake said he's leaving for a new opportunity but declined to say what the new job will be.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' governor has released a plan to expand access to high-speed broadband communities with more than 500 residents by 2022.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday detailed the Arkansas State Broadband Plan , which is aimed at expanding access to high-speed internet to rural communities around the state. The plan includes calling for a state broadband office, which would be tasked with helping citizens, companies and municipalities use federal programs.

Pine Bluff tornado
Bill Wingand / KATV-TV

Forecasters have confirmed a small tornado touched down in central Arkansas, damaging two apartment complexes and injuring four people.

The National Weather Service said a twister with winds between 86 and 110 mph lasted for less than a minute Wednesday evening when it hit Pine Bluff.

Meteorologist Thomas Jones says the tornado was about 100 yards wide and traveled for only about a quarter of a mile, but still managed to damage the brick facing and roof of the apartments. Jones says at least two walls caved in.

Danny Lee at an arraignment hearing on Oct. 31, 1997 for the murders of members of a Russellville family. A federal judge Tuesday denied a request for a new trial.
The Russellville Courier

A federal judge in Little Rock has again denied an Oklahoma man's request for a new trial following his 1999 federal murder conviction and death sentence in Arkansas.

The request by Danny Lee to overturn his conviction in the deaths of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife and her 8-year-old daughter, and stealing guns and cash in a plot to establish a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest was rejected Tuesday.

Little Rock Police Officer Charles Starks shooting 30-year-old Bradley Blackshire on Feb. 22 near West 12th Street and South Rodney Parham Road.
Little Rock Police Department

Police in Little Rock, Arkansas, have fired a white officer who killed a black motorist by shooting at least 15 times through the windshield as the car was moving.

Police spokesman Michael Ford says Officer Charles Starks was terminated Monday. Prosecutors on April 19 declined to file charges in the death of 30-year-old Bradley Blackshire.

Police say Starks was responding to a call after a detective confirmed that the car Blackshire was driving was stolen. Video released of the Feb. 22 shooting showed Starks on the hood of the slowly moving car firing into the windshield.

Pulaski County Clerk Terri Hollingsworth
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

County officials across Arkansas have sent out notices to remind state residents who did not vote in the past election to update their ballot information.

The decision complies with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which permits people to register to vote while acquiring driver's licenses.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission
Facebook

Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas are set to begin around May 12 as cultivators plan to begin harvesting the plant in the coming days and regulators finish the approval process for state's first dispensaries.

Department of Finance and Administration Spokesman Scott Hardin said Friday the final decision for licensing Doctor's Orders RX in Hot Springs, which would be the state's first operational dispensary, will be made within the next two weeks.

Arkansas Works Governor Asa Hutchinson Work Requirement
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Trump administration is appealing recent rulings by a federal judge that blocked work requirements for some low-income people on Medicaid.

The rulings last month by Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., blocked work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky. The Arkansas requirements were already in effect, while in Kentucky they are a top priority for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

The Justice Department filed notice on Wednesday appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Pages