Arkansas Religion

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen taking part in an anti-death penalty demonstration in front of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion in April 2017.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An Arkansas judge disqualified from handling execution cases after participating in an anti-death penalty demonstration says his lawsuit against the state's highest court should be allowed to move forward.

Attorneys for Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen asked a federal court Tuesday to deny motions by state Supreme Court justices to dismiss his lawsuit challenging his disqualification.

An Arkansas man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually abusing children while working as a missionary in Haiti.

A U.S. Department of Justice news release says 36-year-old Daniel Pye was sentenced Wednesday. He was convicted in November of three counts of traveling in foreign commerce with the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

Ten Commandments
Max Brantley / Arkansas Times

In Arkansas commission has cleared the way for the installation of another Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol, months after a prior marker was destroyed by a man who crashed his car into the statue while livestreaming it on Facebook.

The Arkansas Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission signed off on the final design Tuesday. The monument will include four concrete posts for protection. It's expected to be installed in the coming weeks.

Ten Commandments
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Members of the Capitol Arts and Grounds Committee will be holding three hearings over the next two weeks to finalize changes to a new Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas State Capitol.

Ten Commandments
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A man charged with crashing his vehicle into Arkansas' Ten Commandments display nearly three years after he was accused of destroying a monument at Oklahoma's Capitol has been found mentally unfit to go to trial.

A Pulaski County judge on Thursday found Michael Tate Reed unfit to proceed and ordered him to be held by the state hospital for further evaluation. Judge Chris Piazza set a September 2018 hearing on Reed's mental status.

Jan Morgan in a photo posted to Facebook on August 18.
Facebook

A gun rights advocate who once declared her firing range "Muslim-free" says she's exploring challenging Arkansas' governor in the state's Republican primary next year.

Jan Morgan said Tuesday she's forming an exploratory committee and will travel around Arkansas as she considers whether to run against Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson next year. Hutchinson announced in May that he was seeking a second term.

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The Jewish Food and Cultural Festival, held annually in Little Rock, is taking a year off. The Jewish Federation of Arkansas voted to take time to review the festival and bring it back in two years, on April 14, 2019. JFA Director Marianne Tettlebaum made the announcement on Monday afternoon.

An Arkansas pastor who was recently at the helm of the Southern Baptist Convention has been picked to be president of the National Day of Prayer task force. Dr. Ronnie Floyd is charged with promoting the federally recognized day of prayer.

Floyd says he’ll push for multicultural participation and digital outreach to bolster the day. The Rogers pastor says the nation is at "an urgent hour" he hopes to spur on “the next Great Spiritual Awakening.” His vision for his tenure is outlined in a press release.

Attorneys for the state of Arkansas want a court to cancel subpoenas issued in the battle over a gay-rights ordinance in Fayetteville, saying they're too broad.

The state Supreme Court struck down Fayetteville's anti-discrimination ordinance this year, saying it violates state law, but justices didn't rule on whether law is constitutional because that question wasn't addressed in the lower court.

Ten 10 Commandments
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A prosecutor says he plans to charge a man accused of crashing his vehicle into a Ten Commandments monument outside the Arkansas Capitol with first-degree criminal mischief.

Larry Jegley told The Associated Press Monday that 32-year-old Michael Tate Reed faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the felony charge.

His attorney wasn't immediately available for comment.

Reed was arrested last month after Little Rock police say he intentionally drove into the monument, destroying it less than 24 hours after it was erected.

Ten 10 Commandments
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A Christian-themed movie studio has donated $25,000 toward replacing a Ten Commandments monument outside the Arkansas Capitol that was destroyed last month.

PureFlix Entertainment donated the funds Thursday toward the monument, which was destroyed by a man who smashed his vehicle into the granite display less than 24 hours after it was installed on the Capitol's grounds. PureFlix is the production studio for the movie "God's Not Dead" and its sequel, which was filmed in Little Rock in 2015.

Michael Tate Reed
Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

Bond is set at $100,000 bond for a 32-year-old man who police say intentionally smashed the Ten Commandments monument outside Arkansas' Capitol.

Michael Tate Reed appeared in court Thursday via video from the Pulaski County jail. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Reed made multiple outbursts and told public defender Peggy Egan he didn't need her services.

Reed was arrested on preliminary charges of first-degree criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and defacing an object of public respect.

Ten 10 Commandments
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The new Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas State Capitol was destroyed Wednesday less than 24 hours after it was unveiled. A spokesman for the Secretary of State's office says a driver intentionally sped toward the six foot tall granite tablet at about 4:45 a.m. and was immediately apprehended by Capitol Police.

The base of the 10 Commandments monument was installed earlier this month.
Wesley Brown / Talk Business & Politics

A tablet containing the 10 Commandments is being installed this morning on the grounds of the Arkansas Capitol building. Lawsuits have been promised from several entities contending the monument amounts to a state preference or endorsement of particular religious beliefs. The state Legislature approved the privately funded monument.

A wall of police officers stood between two groups of protestors at Riverside Park on the banks of the White River in Batesville on Saturday afternoon, as the groups hurled insult after insult at each other over race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation.

“Our position is that we are here to make sure everyone gets their voice, everybody has the right to free speech, and that nobody gets hurt,” said Police Chief Alan Cockrill.

Cockrill called in all available help, including auxiliary police officers, after news broke that the well-known Billy Roper, a local leader in the white nationalist movement, planned an anti-Sharia law rally at the pavilion at the 

park. 

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