Little Rock

City of Little Rock

The city of Little Rock is pushing its curfew back a couple of hours for the weekend, with plans to lift it Monday morning.

The curfew, previously beginning at 8 p.m. is now from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

Speaking during a news conference on Friday, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. showed his appreciation for the peaceful protesters, and the protests themselves, which he called "very effective."

Police Car
KUAR News

Little Rock’s mayor is calling for an independent investigation of the Little Rock Police Department to determine "what, if any, corrective actions need to be taken," according to a news release.

The call for the investigation comes after three separate parties within the police department, including two assistance-chiefs, filed lawsuits against both Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey and the city of Little Rock.

A deer in the woods.
National Park Service

As the number of deer roaming within Little Rock city limits steadily increases to the point of posing health and safety risks to residents, the city’s Board of Directors will consider allowing an urban deer hunt. The method of wildlife control has been successfully employed in a handful of other cities in Arkansas.

Such hunts allow those with hunting licenses to pursue deer within the city by archery only. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Deer Program Coordinator Ralph Meeker will present three options for urban deer hunt programs to the board on Tuesday.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott , Jr. delivered his first State of the City address of his term Thursday at Horace Mann Arts and Science Magnet Middle School.

Scott began by thanking the city's Board of Directors and the citizens who elected him.

"Every day that I step foot in [City Hall], I do so with great humility knowing that the only reason that I'm there is because you shared my vision of unifying Little Rock," Scott said. "We did this together."

UA Little Rock

Little Rock's only four-year public research university is preparing to expand its presence in Arkansas's capital. 

A grand opening for UA Little Rock Downtown is set for Wednesday at noon at the center's location on President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock's River Market district. It will offer meeting space, faculty lectures and a series of extended education courses not for college credit. 

Frank Scott Jr. Transition Team
David Monteith / KUAR News

New Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has begun working to determine how best to achieve the goals he laid out during his campaign. On Monday, Scott convened the first meeting of his transition team which includes a board of directors and a team of advisors.

"What I hope will come out of this is a transition report that will serve as a playbook for my administration the next four years," Scott said.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola unveils the city's first "digital citizen engagement" kiosk. It provides wifi service and allows people to learn about area events and businesses, get directions, and take selfies.
David Monteith / KUAR News

Little Rock has decided to put a potential bike-sharing program on hold in favor of a different mode of transportation. The city released a request for proposals in November for the bike share program. The proposal said Phase One, which would have launched the beginning of a six-year program, would provide a minimum of 200 bikes in the downtown/River Market area for people to use.

Mike Laux Lloyd St. Clair Benjamin Crump No knock raids police
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

More people are coming forward saying they too have been victimized through the Little Rock Police Department’s practice of "no-knock" drug raids. On Tuesday, civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump and Mike Laux held a press conference that ran more than an hour and included 12 people sharing their experiences of officers using explosives to enter their homes.

Frank Scott Jr.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Two weeks before Little Rock Mayor-elect Frank Scott Jr. takes office, on Monday he announced the members of a transition team who will help him plan the city’s future. There will also be eight citizen-led subcommittees that will look at issues like education, economic development, public safety and quality of life.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A banking executive and former highway commissioner has become the first African-American elected to lead Arkansas' capital, six decades after it was the center of a school desegregation crisis.

Frank Scott defeated Baker Kurrus in Tuesday's runoff for Little Rock mayor. The 35-year-old Scott is a former adviser to former Gov. Mike Beebe and served on the state's Highway Commission.

The 64-year-old Kurrus, who is white, is an attorney and businessman.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Voters are casting ballots in an election that could result in Little Rock's first popularly elected black mayor,  six decades after Arkansas' capital city was the center of a school desegregation fight.

Frank Scott and Baker Kurrus are in Tuesday's runoff for the nonpartisan, open seat.

If Scott wins, he would be the first African American elected mayor of Little Rock, where divisions linger long after nine black students were escorted past an angry white mob into Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Little Rock Tech Park
Little Rock Regional Chamber

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority will soon unveil Phase II architect renderings on the city’s downtown startup village, a larger but unfinanced five-story planned development next to the current 38,000-square foot Phase I headquarters at the door step of Main Street.

Robinson Center
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A new permanent exhibit tells the history of Little Rock’s Robinson Center. The auditorium opened in 1939 and has hosted important events and performances over the decades. Two years ago it reopened after a $70 million renovation and expansion.

On Friday a curtain was dropped along a wall on the second floor unveiling the 50-foot long display, with a crowd responding with applause. At the start of the timeline is a nearly 10-foot tall photo of former Arkansas Governor and U.S. Senator Joe T. Robinson.

Kenton Buckner LRPD Little Rock POlice CHief
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The police chief for Little Rock, Arkansas, has been chosen to lead the Syracuse Police Department.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh has introduced Little Rock Police Department Chief Kenton Buckner during a news conference Friday morning at Syracuse City Hall.

Buckner has been police chief in Little Rock since 2014. He was chosen from among three finalists after an eight-month search to select a successor to Frank Fowler, who's retiring.

Attorney Benjamin Crump (center) with plaintiffs Roderick Talley (left) and Derrick Davis (right ) at KUAR Wednesday.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Three more people have been added to a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Little Rock Police Department. Roderick Talley, Juanglecio Boykins, Candice Caldwell, and Derrick Davis allege the narcotics unit’s use of no-knock search warrants violated their fourth amendment rights.

A Guide To The 2018 Little Rock Mayoral Race

Oct 19, 2018
The first mayoral forum on economic opportunity.
Michael Hibblen/KUAR News

The information in this guide is taken directly from the candidate’s answers to the moderator’s questions in five forums presented by The Central Arkansas Library System, The League of Women Voters of Pulaski County, American Association of University Women of Little Rock and KUAR 89.1 - UA Little Rock Public Radio.

October 22 is the start of early voting in Arkansas, and November 6 is when the residents of Little Rock will have a chance to elect a new mayor for the first time in 12 years.

The LRSD celebrating a topping out ceremony, a rite traditionally observed by builders when the last steel beam is placed on top of a structure.
Colton Faull / KUAR News

A milestone was celebrated Wednesday in the construction of the Little Rock Southwest High School. Officials with the Little Rock School District held a topping-out ceremony, which is a rite traditionally observed by builders when the last steel beam is placed on top of a structure.

The school, slated to open in 2020, will combine the student populations of J.A. Fair and McClellan high schools. Superintendent Michael Poore says the new faculty will help keep the district competitive.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock mayoral candidates Vincent Tollver, Frank Scott Jr., Baker Kurrus, Warwick Sabin and Glen Schwarz met Monday evening, October 15 at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock for a forum covering general topics.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A new poll conducted this week shows the race for Little Rock Mayor to be close and competitive among three of the five candidates with nearly one-third of the city’s voters still undecided on their choice less than a month before Election Day.

The Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll, commissioned by KATV Ch. 7, surveyed 498 likely Little Rock voters on Oct. 8-9, 2018. The survey used automated and live calls and has a margin of error of +/-4.4%.

Voters were asked about their choice for mayor based on how their names will appear on the ballot:

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock mayoral candidates Warwick Sabin, Glen Schwarz, Frank Scott Jr., Vincent Tolliver and Baker Kurrus met Monday evening, October 10, 2018 at Roosevelt Thompson Library in Little Rock for a forum with questions focused on education.

This is the fourth in a series of five forums with candidates for Little Rock Mayor on topics including economic opportunity, crime, infrastructure and education.

Daniel Breen / KUAR

Little Rock mayoral candidates Warwick Sabin, Glen Schwarz, Frank Scott Jr., Vincent Tolliver and Baker Kurrus met Monday evening, September 24 at Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library in Little Rock for a forum with questions focused on infrastructure. 

This is the third in a series of five forums with candidates for Little Rock Mayor on topics including economic opportunity, crime, infrastructure and education.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock mayoral candidates Warwick Sabin, Glen Schwarz, Frank Scott Jr., Vincent Tolliver and Baker Kurrus met Monday evening, September 10 at Dee Brown Library in Little Rock for a forum with questions focused on economic opportunity.

This is the first in a series of five forums with candidates for Little Rock Mayor on topics including economic opportunity, crime, infrastructure and education.

Baker Kurrus Little Rock School District LRSD
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

And then there were three — again.

On Monday Baker Kurrus announced he would seek the office of Little Rock Mayor, adding his name to the field that includes Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) and banker Frank Scott.

Kurrus said in a short statement provided to Talk Business & Politics:

I have decided to seek the office of Mayor of Little Rock, my hometown. I will be announcing my plans for the campaign and my ideas for our city on or shortly after June 1, 2018. I look forward to an exciting five months ahead.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola comparing the city to a glass of water half full.
YouTube

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola is calling for city infrastructure improvements, while likely candidates to challenge his reelection bid this fall say changes should have been made long before now. Stodola delivered his annual State of the City Address Wednesday, which covered everything from the fire department’s new International Accreditation Designation, to new bikeways and outdoor sculptures. 

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and potential candidates Frank Scott, Jr. and Warwick Sabin.
Arkansas Times

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit by the city of Little Rock that attempted to stop two potential candidates for mayor from using exploratory committees to raise money.

The city argued that Frank Scott, Jr. and Warwick Sabin should follow a city ordinance that prohibits raising campaign money until June. But the ordinance doesn’t mention exploratory committees for all but formally declared candidates like Sabin and Scott.

Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Frank Scott Jr., who has formed an exploratory committee to run for mayor of Little Rock, has filed a counter claim against an effort backed by Mayor Mark Stodola to stop Scott from raising funds. The city has filed suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court to stop Scott and Warwick Sabin from raising money with exploratory committees.

A city ordinance bars campaign fundraising until June 1st. But the Arkansas Ethics Commission has said exploratory committees are allowed. Scott suggests Mayor Stodola is trying to control the election process.

littlerock.gov

Both potential electoral challengers to Mayor Mark Stodola are firing back this week against a city-backed lawsuit to stop them from raising money through exploratory committees. Warwick Sabin moved on Tuesday (here and here) to dismiss the city’s suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Little Rock has had several drive-by shootings over the past week but police say recent ones don't seem to be random.

An 18-year-old was shot Thursday and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police spokesman Steve McClanahan told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that it appeared that the shooting was not random. He did not offer details.

Separately, police said an arrest was made in drive-by shooting Tuesday that injured a 7-year-old boy. McClanahan said it appeared the shooter was targeting a group of people - not the child.

Little Rock School District Announces Plans To Close or Repurpose Four Schools

Jan 17, 2017
Michael Poore Little Rock Superintendent
Jacob Kuaffman / KUAR News

Little Rock School Superintendent Mike Poore today announced the district’s latest plans for budget cuts in order to contend with a $37 million loss in state desegregation aid. The plan calls for the closure of Franklin and Wilson elementary schools, as well as the Woodruff Early Childhood Center.

Students attending the Hamilton Learning Academy would move to the Wilson campus. Poore announced that Carver Elementary, which had previously been considered for closure, will remain open.

When the City of Little Rock threw in with NextDoor two weeks ago there were already nearly 14,000 signed up. Since then, another 800 or so users have come aboard.

NextDoor is a private social network not unlike Facebook that allows users to follow both neighbors and news within their particular neighborhoods. Jennifer Godwin is the city’s communications manager and the point person for the outreach.

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