February 22, 2017

State News

Duck boats face increasing calls for improvements, bans

BOSTON -- With their festive, party-like ambiance and ability to travel on land and in water, duck boats have long been tourist attractions for sightseers around the U.S. But a string of deadly accidents has left the industry reeling, forced safety improvements and led some advocates to call for a total ban on the vehicles.

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Cases involving alleged drug theft at VA health facilities

Government data obtained by The Associated Press show that incidents of drug loss or theft at federal hospitals have jumped nearly tenfold since 2009 to 2,457 last year, spurred by widespread opioid abuse in the U.S. Federal authorities report that doctors, nurses or pharmacy staff -- mostly in the Department of Veterans Affairs health system -- had siphoned away controlled substances, while in other cases, drugs intended for patients simply disappeared.

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AP Exclusive: Drugs vanish at some VA hospitals

WASHINGTON -- Federal authorities are stepping up investigations at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers due to a sharp increase in opioid theft, missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by VA employees since 2009, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.

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Senate adds training requirement to gun bill

LITTLE ROCK -- The Arkansas Senate voted Thursday to require college and university employees who want to carry concealed handguns on campus to first undergo additional training, prompting a Republican lawmaker to expand the campus-carry proposal to allow some students and visitors to participate.

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Arkansas Senate OKs amendment asking voters to limit damages

LITTLE ROCK -- A plan to ask Arkansas voters to limit damages awarded in lawsuits and give the Legislature control over court rules was approved by the state Senate on Thursday, despite criticism from opponents who call the move an attempt by lawmakers to take over the judicial system.

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Arkansas House approves ban on 'sex-selection' abortions

LITTLE ROCK -- The Arkansas House voted Tuesday to impose fines and prison time on doctors who perform abortions that are based solely on whether the mother wants to have a boy or girl, moving the state closer toward adopting a "sex-selection" ban that opponents say is unconstitutional.

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Arkansas GOP lawmakers work on 'bathroom bill'

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas lawmakers said Tuesday they're working on a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people, despite warnings from the Republican governor that such a measure isn't needed and could harm the state.

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Effort to collect online taxes fails before panel

LITTLE ROCK -- An effort to collect Arkansas sales taxes from online retailers failed before a House committee on Tuesday, days after Amazon announced it would relent and begin charging the sales tax on its customers in the state.

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