Some early Tuesday Arkansas headlines

Sen. Mark Pryor is among a group of lawmakers involved in negotiations over health insurance reform, and expresses guarded optimism. “There are no insurmountable obstacles,” Pryor said. “We continue to resolve outstanding issues. There are some, but they are resolvable.” One alternative is to lower the eligibility age for Medicare.

The Senate Ag. Committee, chaired by Senator Blanche Lincoln, will soon be hearing from medical experts pushing for more healthy and nutritious school lunches.

Sen. John McCain is scheduled to appear in Northwest Arkansas this weekend at a town hall meeting on health care reform.

A spokesman for an environmentalist group says a ruling that greenhouse gases threaten the public health is bad news for an energy company seeking a permit to build a new coal-fired power plant, but the company says the permitting process won’t be affected.

Michelle Duggar, star of the TLC reality show, 18 Kids and Counting, is hospitalized. Duggar, pregnant with her 19th child, was airlifted to Little Rock so she would be near an NICU unit in case she had to deliver early. Her baby is not due until the Spring. A TLC rep says it is gallstones.

The Department of Community Correction says one of its residents has died from apparent natural causes. The agency says 46-year-old Jehad Rashead d been receiving treatment since he was sentenced in June for fraudulent use of a credit card

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Willard Proctor apparently will represent himself before the Supreme Court next month, according to the executive director of the panel that is recommending he be removed from the bench.

According to Forbes, only Omaha is a better value than Little Rock in a ranking of 100 best-bang-for-the-buck cities. Housing values, taxes, employment and other factors add into the index.

Pine Bluff Mayor Carl Redus Jr.’s proposed 2010 budget shows city revenue for next year will decline by about $600,000, although officials do not expect any layoffs.

Money for police cars, street sweepers, sanitation equipment and parks usually found in North Little Rock’s budget are absent for 2010, according to a proposal Mayor Patrick Hays.

Drivers will use a new Mississippi River crossing on Highway 82 by summer. The Mississippi Department of Transportation awarded the final contract needed to complete the $284 million bridge.

Reuters reports that Mexico’s top retailer, Walmex, will buy Walmart Centroamerica, the main supermarket chain in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with 519 stores. Wal-Mart Stores owns 51% of Walmart Centroamerica and it has a controlling interest in publicly traded Walmex.

Some AT&T broadband Internet customers have claimed a legal victory in their fight over complaints that high-speed access didn’t perform as promised. The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court in 2005, is now certified as a class-action suit that could affect thousands of customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. DSL customers say the company did not match the speeds promised in its marketing.

A former guard at the Miller County Jail has been sentenced to five years in prison for bringing marihuana into the facility.

A number of reptiles, including an alligator, a diamondback rattlesnake and six pythons, were confiscated by the UA Police Department from a residence hall, resulting in a fine for two students from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The young entrepreneurs had a thriving reptile sales outlet.

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About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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