Michael Hibblen

Replicas of two ships used by explorer Christopher Columbus, which led to the European colonization of the Americas, are to visit Arkansas in October and November. The replicas of Niña and Pinta are traveling together around the U.S. to help people learn more about the voyage in 1492 that led to the discovery of what was called the New World.

But a recent stop along Lake Ontario in north-central New York drew protests from Native Americans who say the ships only tell half of the story.

A study is to be completed by the end of summer on whether Arkansas should raise the speed limits on interstates in rural areas to 75-miles-per-hour.

One of the new state laws going into effect Tuesday, which was passed earlier this year by the Arkansas General Assembly, opens the possibility.

"It doesn’t mean we will go out and do it, it just enables us to," said Danny Straessle, spokesman for the department that on Tuesday will become known as the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

A fundraising campaign has been launched to create a permanent memorial in east Arkansas for Levon Helm. The legendary drummer and singer, who was best known for his work with The Band, grew up in the Phillips County community of Turkey Scratch, helping his family pick cotton.

Plans are to finish restoring the sharecropper's house his family lived in, which has been moved to the nearby town of Marvell. A statue of Helm is also to be completed and placed downtown.

Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined their Republican colleagues in voting to begin debate on repealing and possibly replacing the Affordable Care Act.

In written statements released after the vote Tuesday afternoon, both were cautious in their support with so much unknown about what will be presented. Boozman said it was "just the first step," while Cotton said he will be "carefully monitoring any legislative changes that are proposed."

Two other Republicans in the Senate voted against it, with Vice-President Mike Pence breaking a tie vote.

A controversial Ten Commandments monument was put on display this week at the Arkansas State Capitol, but less than 24 hours later it was destroyed.  We'll have an in-depth discussion about what happened to the monument.

Also this week we talk about Governor Hutchinson calling for changes to the healthcare bill that for now is stalled in the U.S. Senate. Lately there hasn't been much comment on the topic from Arkansas’s two senators.

The new Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas State Capitol was destroyed Wednesday less than 24 hours after it was unveiled. A spokesman for the Secretary of State's office says a driver intentionally sped toward the six foot tall granite tablet at about 4:45 a.m. and was immediately apprehended by Capitol Police.

To make it easier for military veterans to file claims or get other assistance, nine regional state offices have opened in Arkansas over the last two years. Governor Asa Hutchinson took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for the final Veterans Service Office which is located in Hope.

The offices were opened in an effort by the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs and the state Department of Workforce Services. The other offices are located in Fayetteville, Forrest City, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Monticello, Mountain Home and Russellville.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson made it official Tuesday, announcing that he is seeking a second term in office.

"I wanted to make clear what everybody suspected, I hope, and that is that I’m running for reelection. I’m honored to serve the people of our state. We’ve accomplished a lot," Hutchinson said in an interview with KUAR. "I’ve concentrated on economic development, job creation, had some success there, and want to continue to be able to serve."

Three big topics on KUAR’s Week-In-Review Podcast:

-Record flooding in northern Arkansas prompts a big response to save lives and property. We talk with KASU reporter Johnathan Reaves about what he has seen and calls for improvements to the state’s levees after another failure leaves a town flooded.

-The Arkansas General Assembly hold a special session approving changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program and talking about impeaching Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen for demonstrating against the death penalty.

-And reaction to news that former evangelist Tony Alamo, convicted of sexually abusing children at his compound in southwest Arkansas, has died in prison. Sabrina McCormick with KTXK has been talking with many in southwest Arkansas, while we’ll air segments of a 1982 interview former KUAR news and program director Ron Breeding recorded with Alamo and his beliefs.

Powerful thunderstorms in Arkansas are being blamed for several deaths as heavy rain caused flash flooding and strong winds brought down trees and power lines. By Sunday afternoon rain had moved out of the state and flood waters were beginning to recede, but Entergy Arkansas says it could be a few days before all power is restored.

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