Arkansas Civil Rights

An attorney for three-same sex couples who sued Arkansas to require both spouses be listed on children's birth certificates is asking the state's highest court to not block a judge's ruling striking down part of the state's birth certificate law.

Attorney Cheryl Maples on Thursday asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to deny the state's motion to stay Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox's ruling ordering the state to issue amended certificates to the couples.

Arkansas Local Officials Train In Community-Based Policing

Dec 2, 2015
Arkansas Municipal League

Community-based policing is a focus at this fall’s Arkansas Municipal League conference. About 750 municipal and county officials discussed “respect and understanding” in law enforcement on Wednesday in Springdale.

Whitnee Bullerwell  is the League’s spokesperson. She said a panel of police officers and mayors shared their experiences with improving community relationships.

"Offering advice on what they've done in the past in  making certain community-based policing is a priority and all demographics are taken into account and considered," she said. 

An Arkansas judge has struck down part of the state's law on birth certificates, a move that an attorney says clears the way for married same-sex couples to both be listed as parents.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox late Tuesday afternoon declared parts of the state's birth certificate law unconstitutional since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.

A Dover police supervisor says a black man whose jaw was broken after he was kicked in the head by a white officer was alert and belligerent shortly afterward.

Lt. Todd Case was the first witness called in the trial of Cpl. Thomas Webster IV, who is charged with felony assault. A police dash cam video shows Webster kicking Lateef Dickerson in August 2013 while Dickerson was on his hands and knees.

Dickerson was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken jaw. Webster's attorney says the officer's actions were justified in responding to reports of a man with a gun.

A discrimination/retaliation lawsuit filed Monday against the Fort Smith Police Department notes that the department has not promoted a black officer since 1988 and has not hired a black officer since 1995.

File photo: Attorney Cheryl Maples.
arktimes.com

A same-sex couple seeking to amend their child’s birth certificate to include the non-biological mother has been denied by the Arkansas Department of Health despite a judge’s order. Following Monday's request to change documentation the attorney general's office filed a request for a stay on Tuesday with a notification of intent to appeal.

Just hours after Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Fox’s decision on Monday Marissa Pavan went with her spouse and attorney Cheryl Maples to the state’s vital records office.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox.
courts.arkansas.gov

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox on Monday said three same-sex couples can ask the Arkansas Department of Health to change their children’s birth certificates to reflect both spouses’ names. A suit was brought in June following the US Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman spoke with the former Dean of the UALR Bowen School of Law, Professor John DiPippa, about the rights of non-biological parents.

KAUFFMAN: How does this tie into the benefits granted by the US Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage?

Milton Pitts Crenchaw
Butler Center For Arkansas Studios

Milton Pitts Crenchaw, a flight instructor who trained many of the U.S. military's Tuskegee Airmen, has died in Georgia. He was 96.

Crenchaw's daughter, Dolores Singleton, said he died Tuesday at Piedmont Henry Hospital near Atlanta after battling cardiovascular disease and pneumonia.

Singleton said her father, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, was among the last surviving instructors of the Tuskegee Airmen. They were the first African-Americans to fly combat airplanes in World War II.

A Confederate flag merged with the flag of the League of the South flag.
LOS

Tens of thousands of Southerners rallied this year in defense of an identity they believe is under assault: a veneration of a Confederate heritage. It’s difficult to parcel through just who comprises this movement but some say extremists within it are finding a voice.

L.T. Simes
KATV, Channel 7 News

Longtime Circuit Court Judge L.T. Simes II has died in a Missouri hospital. He was 65.

Brown's Home for Funerals in Helena-West Helena says Simes died Saturday at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Simes was first elected in the 1st Judicial District in 1996. He served until 2009 when he was suspended by the Arkansas Supreme Court for violating judicial rules. He was re-elected in 2010 and remained in that role until his death.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is considering whether the state can claim sovereign immunity after the Arkansas Board of Education’s January takeover of the Little Rock School District.

In March, the Supreme Court issued a stay in a Circuit Court case after Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen ruled against the state's claim that it has sovereign immunity.

Judge Wendell Griffen at Truthful Tuesday on the steps of the state Capitol in 2014.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Nearly a month has passed since Arkansas’s governor called faith-leaders together to fill in the gaps in the state’s criminal justice system and now a new call, a fundamental critique of the system is garnering attention at a different summit.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman has this conversation with Pastor Wendell Griffin, also a circuit court judge, who is on a panel for the 9th annual Civil Rights Summit and Community Festival on Saturday. Events are from 10-3 at the Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center in Little Rock.

Arkansas League of the South Chair R.G. Miller (right) in Batesville in 2015 working alongside the loosely defined heritage movement to restore a Confederate Flag on a courthouse lawn.
facebook.com

National attention over Confederate imagery has subsided in recent weeks but a victory for flag advocates in Arkansas emerged this month and a battle over Little Rock's Confederate Boulevard remains.

A force behind the successful resurrection of a Confederate-era flag on the Independence Courthouse lawn in Batesville earlier this month is thanking the participation of the secessionist League of the South, which hopes to create a white, Christian nation. 

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Hillary Clinton promised a plan to cap the rising costs of prescription drugs and praised her husband’s and President Obama’s administrations in a speech before a raucous crowd at Little Rock’s Philander Smith College Monday.

UPDATE: The Washington County Clerk's office reports that voters approved the anti-discrimination ordinance 52.8 percent to 47.2 percent. 14,593 ballots were cast out of 49,634 registered voters. 

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