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Thursday, July 31, 2014, 5:24 p.m.
Top Picks - Capture Arkansas

The week's top Arkansas stories

Scroll down to see 10 of the biggest and most-read Arkansas news stories from the past week.

    No. 10

    Truck downs wires, blocks U.S. 67/167 at rush hour

    U.S. 67/167 closed to traffic in both directions during rush hour Wednesday morning after a truck knocked power lines down across the highway.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 9

    New NLR elementary school first to open in districtwide overhaul

    For the first time in nearly 45 years, the North Little Rock School District will start this school year with the opening of a newly constructed school — a new Meadow Park Elementary to replace a building with the same name in the Prothro Junction area of the city.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 8

    Parents of Cotton, Pryor on stump to define sons

    Avis Cotton and Barbara Pryor both wear mementos near their hearts that remind them of their sons. For Barbara Pryor, it's a shiny silver antique broach shaped like a donkey that Mark Pryor and his brothers gave her decades ago.

    Fifty miles away in Dardanelle, sitting with her hands clasped around a red coffee cup at her kitchen table, Avis Cotton's small, metal, ribbon-shaped American flag pin almost blends into her blue shirt. The pin shows her support for her son and all the others who have fought for their country.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 7

    Base lockdown was a false alarm

    A lockdown of Little Rock Air Force Base that lasted more than four hours Wednesday was caused by a "case of mistaken identity," base spokesman Lt. Mallory Thornton said in a news release.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 6

    Police say bandwidth limits reach of cameras

    Little Rock police cameras positioned across the city last year in a $500,000 Internet-based surveillance network are yielding lower-quality footage because of bandwidth limitations.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 5

    Arkansas slips a notch in 2014 Kids Count study

    Arkansas dropped one spot nationally — from 40 to 41 — in this year's Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count study on children's well-being, though the state improved from last year's statistics in more categories than it declined in.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 4

    Jogger in hit-and-run dies; no leads yet, LR police say

    The Little Rock jogger struck by a vehicle near his midtown residence died late Tuesday, according to police. Barry Livingston, 76, was pronounced dead at a hospital by the state medical examiner, according to Little Rock Police Department spokesman Lt. Sidney Allen, just a day after Livingston was found lying in a roadside patch of grass near his home.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 3

    State OKs $1 satellite-lockup deal

    The state Board of Corrections unanimously approved a contract to house state prisoners in an unused Pulaski County satellite facility during a Monday morning conference call.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 2

    Clubs’ 5 a.m.-closing issue makes 2 directors detectives

    The Little Rock Board of Directors has been flirting with the idea of limiting private club hours to 2 a.m. since last fall. Most bars and clubs in the city already have to stop selling alcohol by 2 a.m., but there are 13 establishments that have permits from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division to serve alcohol until 5 a.m.
    [FULL STORY]

    No. 1

    Tolls on I-40 seen in study as a way to add more lanes

    Tolls could generate enough money to build an additional lane in each direction on the 110-mile section of Interstate 40 between North Little Rock and West Memphis, according to a study ordered by the Arkansas Highway Commission.
    [FULL STORY]

    July 12-18

      No. 10

      LR's Main Street corridor draws 2 more restaurants

      Two restaurants are planned for downtown Little Rock in the resurgent Main Street corridor. Chris Tanner, owner of Cheers in the Heights, said Thursday that he will open Samantha's Tap Room and Wood Grill in the Mann on Main building, possibly by the end of the year. Justin Patterson, owner of The Southern Gourmasian, a mobile restaurant, will make a home in the Sterling annex building at 219 W. Capitol Ave., he said.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 9

      Pine Bluff couple found dead in upscale neighborhood

      Jefferson County authorities are investigating the death of a couple whose bodies were found last Friday morning at a home in an upscale neighborhood just outside Pine Bluff.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 8

      Crystal Bridges exhibit taps 4 in state

      After nearly 1,000 studio visits across the country and hundreds of hours of interviews with largely undiscovered artists, officials at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art have chosen 102 artists for a first-of-its-kind exhibition — "State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now."
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 7

      Cottage-style design for new veterans home at NLR site unveiled

      Architects proposed Tuesday a cottage-style design for the new veterans home that will be built in North Little Rock. The first public presentation of the design comes two years after Cissy Rucker, director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, announced the closure of the Little Rock Veterans Home at 4701 W. Charles Bussey Ave., which had structural problems that would have cost more than $10 million to repair.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 6

      Texas ricin mailer sentenced to 18 years

      A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former actress to 18 years in prison for mailing letters containing ricin to President Barack Obama, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a Washington, D.C.-based gun-control advocate.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 5

      Plan for tech park draws opposition

      Some historic preservationists are upset that the preliminary site plan for Little Rock's future technology park calls for demolishing the old Worthen Bank building that houses KATV now, but park development officials say there's a chance the building won't have to be torn down.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 4

      Exxon: Can’t settle on cause of rupture

      Exxon Mobil has told federal regulators that it could not determine what sped the growth of decades-old cracks in its Pegasus pipeline, causing the line to rupture and spill crude oil into a Mayflower neighborhood last year. A pipeline safety consultant advising Central Arkansas Water countered Monday that he doesn't believe the oil giant's statement.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 3

      With no council, Fisher could lost its status as a city

      The Fisher City Council hasn't met since at least July 2012. If residents don't run for the open seats soon, the town of 223 people could lose its charter and be absorbed by the county.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 2

      I-30 bridge's rehab is revived as option

      Engineers working on an estimated $450 million project to ease congestion on the Interstate 30 corridor through North Little Rock and Little Rock have reversed course on a recent decision to replace the highway's bridge over the Arkansas River and now want to explore all potential options.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 1

      LR says ride-sharing service is illegal

      Little Rock's city attorney has sent a letter to ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft, which both recently began advertising for drivers here, informing them that the service is illegal and that they must abide by taxicab regulations if they want to operate in the city.
      [FULL STORY]

    July 4-11

      No. 10

      Rescue of veteran and dog

      When James Blanford hooks a leash to his dog, Rocky, he's not just preparing for a walk. The 35-year-old former Army sergeant is fighting back against a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis that ended his career and changed his life.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 9

      Restorers taking panes at Capitol

      Nathan Cathey and Lynn Fitzgerald are two of a handful of people at Soos Stained Glass Inc. restoring the panels of stained glass that make up the inner dome of the Capitol building's House chamber. Workers took out all 448 panels from the dome of the chamber and transferred them to the Soos workshop in North Little Rock, where they will be restored in the coming months.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 8

      Shots fired as teens removed from Harry Potter screening

      Shots rang out in Little Rock's River Market district Wednesday night after a group of "unruly" teenagers were removed by police from a free, outdoor showing of a Harry Potter film. There were no reports of injuries. The Little Rock Police Department said it started when officers escorted a large group of teenagers from the Movies in the Park screening of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the River Market Amphitheater "due to their unruly behavior." Multiple shots were fired. No arrests have been made.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 7

      LR man admits to killing cousin

      Joe Louis Wicker, a 41-year-old Little Rock man arrested with his slain cousin's ring in his pocket, admitted Monday to killing the beloved elementary school cafeteria worker, and accepted a 50-year prison sentence. The sentencing came almost three months after 56-year-old Debbie Jean Moore-Bush was found stabbed to death in her Tatum Street home.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 6

      Closing veterans home in LR cast some adrift

      There's no quick fix for the veterans displaced by the November 2012 closure of the Little Rock Veterans Home after inspectors estimated its structural problems would cost millions to fix.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 5

      26 schools given ‘distressed’ label

      The Arkansas Board of Education on Thursday classified 26 schools as academically distressed, the first time it has singled out individual campuses — rather than entire districts — for the designation, which carries sanctions. The board labeled the schools because fewer than half of their students scored at proficient or better levels on state Benchmark and End of Course exams over a three-year time period, 2011-13.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 4

      Parcel in core of LR choice for tech park

      The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board voted Wednesday to pursue property located in and adjacent to a downtown city block between Main and Scott streets off Capitol Avenue to become the home of the future tech park. The site includes KATV's studio and parking garage, the vacant building often referred to as the old Stephens building, the Exchange Bank building and its annex, the Mays, Byrd and Associates law firm, and five parking lots.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 3

      KILLER ON THE RUN: Escapee vanishes, town a bit jumpy

      Downtown Booneville remains quiet on a recent afternoon. Authorities, though, are keeping an eye on the area, searching for escaped prison inmate Timothy Buffington, who used to live in Booneville.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 2

      Signatures in to add alcohol, wage to ballot

      Groups supporting proposed ballot measures to allow statewide alcohol sales and raise Arkansas' minimum wage submitted signatures to the secretary of state's office Monday — the last day to do so to get on the ballot this year.
      [FULL STORY]

      No. 1

      THIS WAY TO $100: Secret benefactor has town hunting

      Someone in Osceloa, a town of 7,553, is hiding envelopes with $100 bills on historical properties and leaving clues to their whereabouts in the local newspaper. The person, who wants to remain anonymous and refers to himself only as "Pass it on Pete," has hidden five envelopes so far.
      [FULL STORY]

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