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Debra Hale-Shelton

Stories by Debra

Sheriff dies after 1 month in office

updated: 01/26/2015 6:57 p.m. Discuss

Cleburne County Sheriff Richard Swain has died, less than a month after taking office. The county's Quorum Court quickly named Sgt. Bryon Rushing acting sheriff.

Maggio suit going to Jonesboro judge

posted: 01/22/2015 4:44 a.m. Discuss

A retired judge from Jonesboro will preside over the trial of a lawsuit against an ousted judge who has pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge, a former state senator and a nursing-home owner who contributes heavily to political campaigns.

Pipeline firms allowed tweaks on lab reports

updated: 01/21/2015 3:36 a.m. Discuss

A federal regulatory agency typically allows pipeline companies to make "minor" changes to laboratory reports on the causes of line accidents such as the one in Mayflower in 2013, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Lab accepted Exxon tweaks to pipe report

updated: 01/19/2015 10:48 p.m. Comment 1

Exxon Mobil successfully proposed numerous changes to a Texas laboratory's report on the cause of the Pegasus pipeline's 2013 rupture in Mayflower, even though the oil giant described the company as "independent," according to newly unsealed documents in a class-action lawsuit.

5 judges recuse from presiding in suit against Maggio, 2 others

posted: 01/15/2015 4:14 a.m. Comments 4

All five circuit judges in Faulkner County have signed an order recusing themselves from hearing a lawsuit against former colleague Michael Maggio and against an ex-state senator from Conway and a nursing-home owner who contributed to at least two of Maggio's recent campaigns.

Exxon's secrecy unjustified, says plaintiffs' memo

updated: 01/14/2015 3:22 a.m. Discuss

A federal judge should unseal at least two Exxon Mobil documents because the company "has worked an effective fraud upon the public" and has not justified the secrecy surrounding those documents and other information, attorneys for the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the oil giant argued in a new court filing.

Hearings to review re-sited crematory

updated: 01/12/2015 8:36 p.m. Comment 1

Opponents to a proposed crematorium in Pope County are getting more chances to speak against the plan now that public hearings have resumed.

Cities assess effects of chamber contract ruling

posted: 01/11/2015 2:35 a.m. Discuss

Officials across the state are unclear on the effect of a Pulaski County circuit judge’s ruling concerning the ways that at least two cities finance economic development.

Maggio pleads guilty to bribery

updated: 01/10/2015 2:40 a.m. Comments 2

Ousted Circuit Judge Michael Maggio pleaded guilty Friday to a felony bribery charge for lowering a Faulkner County jury's $5.2 million award in a negligence lawsuit to $1 million in exchange for thousands of dollars from a nursing-home owner, according to the federal plea agreement.

Baker resists call that he explain Maggio contact

posted: 01/07/2015 3:31 a.m. Discuss

Former state Sen. Gilbert Baker has objected to a request that he explain any communications he has had with former Judge Michael Maggio about a series of topics, including a lawsuit that resulted from a nursing-home patient's death and that led to a criminal investigation of contributions to Maggio's unsuccessful appeals court campaign.

Trial delayed in baby's death

posted: 01/06/2015 3:17 a.m. Discuss

A judge on Monday postponed until March the manslaughter trial of a Greenwood woman charged in the death last summer of her 10-month-old son in the Ouachita Mountains.

County chases comfort canine

posted: 01/02/2015 2:11 a.m. Discuss

CONWAY -- Molly is so gentle and relaxed that she falls asleep and snores -- loudly -- when she's in court.

Exxon seeks to bar pipeline files

posted: 12/31/2014 4:14 a.m. Discuss

Exxon Mobil said in a new court document that the proposed but abandoned Texas Access Pipeline would not have replaced the adjacent Pegasus pipeline, which ruptured in a Mayflower neighborhood last year.

Judicial immunity bars civil suit, Maggio says

posted: 12/30/2014 3:33 a.m. Comments 3

CONWAY -- Ousted Judge Michael Maggio contends judicial immunity in civil cases prohibits a lawsuit against him over his handling of a case involving a woman who died in one of businessman Michael Morton's nursing homes, court documents show.

Searcy prosecutor packs up office

posted: 12/27/2014 3:16 a.m. Discuss

SEARCY -- The walls in Prosecuting Attorney Chris Raff's small office are lined with certificates, pictures and newspaper front pages headlining some of his biggest -- and most sobering -- court cases.

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