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Social Issues

A proposal to erect a satanic monument on the Arkansas state Capitol grounds has advanced to a public hearing.

A subcommittee of the state Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission on Wednesday cleared the proposal by the Satanic Temple to build a Baphomet statue. A date has not been set for the public hearing, but a spokeswoman said it'll likely be held after this year's legislative session.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed on behalf of five people who say they were discriminated against while trying to take part in a Black Lives Matter demonstration at Elvis Presley's Graceland.

The protest coincided with an annual candlelight vigil held by fans at the singer's home on the Aug. 15 anniversary of his death.

Graceland owner, Elvis Presley Enterprises, and the city of Memphis are named in the complaint filed Wednesday.

pixabay.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee group of businesses is charging into the fiery debate over how to balance LGBT rights and religious conviction.

About 300 companies, from health-care giant HCA to FedEx, have joined under the moniker Tennessee Thrives to oppose religious objection and bathroom bills, like the one in North Carolina that has stirred a months-long uproar.

Companies in other GOP-led states have successfully voiced opposition under similar names: Georgia Prospers, Opportunity West Virginia, Missouri Competes.

LITTLE ROCK (AP) --A former U.S. senator who defended an impeached president and a former U.S. representative who helped draft articles of impeachment against another president are among the notable Arkansans who died during 2016.

Former governor and Sen. Dale Bumpers died New Year's Day at age 90 and former U.S. Rep. Ray Thornton died April 13 at age 87.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Opponents of an effort to build a Ten Commandments monument near Arkansas' Capitol urged a panel to reject the statue on grounds that it could bring lawsuits, while the lawmaker behind the display said Wednesday that the only decision remaining is where to install it.

The privately funded monument is, by law, allowed to be on Capitol grounds. But the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission must issue its recommendation on the monument's location and design to Secretary of State Mark Martin before he can approve it.

Dr. Joseph Linsk grew up on Atlantic Avenue in the uptown section of Atlantic City, N.J., in the early 1930s. It's an area where he's spent most of his life and where he practiced medicine starting in the 1940s, specializing in cancer and blood diseases.

Now 94 years old, the former hematologist and oncologist is failing in health, as he battles Parkinson's disease. This grave illness, however, is only one part of a perennial struggle Linsk faces. For more than 80 years, he has kept a secret. And it's one about which we're kindly requesting your help.

The months-long encampment of thousands of Native Americans at Standing Rock, to block the path of a U.S. Army acting to further the interests of extractive industries, seems both remarkable and routine in the history of American Indians.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman spoke with Dr. Daniel Littlefield, the Director of the Sequoyah National Research Center at UALR to put some context to the fight.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Working as an intern for the Delta Center for Economic Development at Arkansas State University years ago, Hannah Barnett developed a passion for writing grants for local organizations.

"I fell in love with the aspect of indirectly getting to help these people that need it, because I was helping them get money to do what they do," Barnett said.

In October 2016, when she was offered a position to coordinate the new Center for Non Profit and Small Town Support, she saw an opportunity to use her passion to help more people.

On Wednesday, for a second straight evening, demonstrators in Charlotte, N.C., protested the fatal shooting of a black man by police. Demonstrators threw objects at police and smashed car windows; officers in riot gear tried to disperse the protesters with tear gas and concussion grenades.

And there was a second shooting — city officials early on Thursday said one civilian shot another at the protests. At a press conference later in the day, Charlotte's police chief said that the department is investigating allegations that the man was shot by a police officer.

The police shooting of a man in Charlotte, N.C., sparked overnight protests and unrest. Protesters threw rocks at police, injuring 16 officers, while police wearing riot gear fired tear gas into the crowds. At one point, a major interstate was shut down as protesters set a fire and vandalized police cars.

Jonesboro Police Department

Recent fatal police shootings of 2 African American men, followed by violent retaliation by some against officers in Dallas & Baton Rouge has the nation on edge.

Black communities and law enforcement are struggling to find peace, unity, understanding, and trust with each other in cities affected by violence, even here in Arkansas:

“We already have a target," said Keithston Page.  "Not only being Black, but being a man, period, in this White man’s world."

Wikipedia.org

Officials for Jonesboro and Memphis are facing disciplinary action for posting  racially controversial messages on social media.

Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler was suspended for 2 weeks without pay  on Wednesday after sending a racially controversial tweet.

Pixabay

  Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler is to be reprimanded by Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin after a comment was released on Twitter that some say is racist.  

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

    A prayer vigil held last night for law enforcement and the Jonesboro community felt more like a worship service.

Crowley's Ridge Development Council

Poverty in Arkansas is an issue.  According to the TalkPoverty.com website, the state’s poverty rate was around 18% in 2015.  Some counties in the state have it worse than others. 

In Northeast Arkansas, Greene County’s poverty rate was below the state average, while St. Francis County exceeded the average at 27.7%.  With so many people living in poverty, something has to be done to correct it.  That is where the Crowley’s Ridge Development Council comes in. 

Pride Day at American Legion Post in Batesville

Jul 1, 2016

The American Legion post in Batesville held its first Pride Day celebration this week.  Social media buzz and a newspaper preview didn't turn out attendance, but as Arkansas Public Media's Bobby Ampezzan reports, the long-term plan is to swing public perception bit by bit.  Click on the Listen button to hear the story.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The names of those who lost their lives in a mass shooting in Orlando were read during a candlelight vigil at Arkansas State last night (Monday).  A light rain fell over a crowd of concerned citizens and members of Jonesboro’s LGBTQ community who mourned those who lost their lives early Sunday morning. 

Wikipedia.org

   In this congressional interview, Congressman Rick Crawford comments on the deadly Orlando shooting that killed 49 people and injured 53.  He tells about what the next steps need to be and whether the nation should address gun control laws.  He also talks he vote concerning a $70 billion Puetro Rico bill moving through Congress.  Listen to the entire interview by clicking the Listen button.

  Arkansas joins the rest of the nation in reacting to Sunday’s shooting massacre in Orlando, FL at a Gay nightclub.  Senator John Boozman (R-AR) called the shooting a form of radical Islamic terrorism and as an “attack on our freedoms.”

He said the country should “do whatever it takes to destroy ISIS using whatever means possible to protect Americans at home and abroad.” 

Here's Boozman's full official statement:

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