Michael Hibblen

As states begin voting to determine who will represent each party in the November presidential election, researchers are studying the psychology of how voters decide who to support.

A lab at Harding University in Searcy has been surveying groups of people on how they respond to the image of candidates and how they listen to the content of what's said during speeches and debates.

Dr. Jeremiah Sullins, an assistant professor of psychology, said the project has two overarching questions that they're working to answer.

On this week's podcast, a look at Gov. Asa Hutchinson's push for one special session to address changes to Medicaid and highway funding, the Little Rock School District advancing plans for two new schools and a look back at the career of Arkansas political legend Dale Bumpers.

Two big stories lead this week's podcast: a task force agrees with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's push for changes to the state's Medicaid expansion plan and a look at how the state's congressional delegation voted on an omnibus bill funding the federal government through next September.

Rainfall over the weekend and on Monday has proven to be very beneficial in alleviating drought conditions in Arkansas, but officials say more is needed to completely remedy the situation.

"This rainfall will help ease the dry conditions across the state," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Goudsward. "We won't know the extent to which until about Wednesday when the new drought monitor is issued, but of course any precipitation will be beneficial and it looks like the south will see the best impacts of this rain."

Topping KUAR's Week-In-Review podcast is the legal drama playing out over the state's efforts to resume lethal injections in Arkansas. It's now up to the state Supreme Court to decide whether to weigh in.

The news staff also discusses the lawsuit filed by the Libertarian Party over the state's candidate filing deadline, the search for a new head of the Department of Human Services, an effort to fight obesity and education officials backtracking on statements made about standardized testing.

About 120,000 shoppers are predicted to visit the Outlets of Little Rock this weekend. The highly anticipated shopping center is set to open Friday alongside Bass Pro Shops near the interchange of interstates 30 and 430.

For months there has been a buzz as participating retailers have been announced. But it has taken decades for it to become a reality.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the 12 week abortion ban passed by the state legislature in 2013.

Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright found Act 301 unconstitutional in March 2014, with a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals later agreeing. The full 8th Circuit refused to consider the case.

Former President Bill Clinton will be back in Arkansas to speak Friday at the opening of a permanent installation at his presidential library which invokes the spirit of a young Jewish girl who hid with her family from the Nazis during World War II.

When a nearly $70 million renovation of Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center Music Hall is complete late next year, the venue will be able to host any touring Broadway production. And officials announced Monday that for the first time, Andrew Lloyd Webber's renowned Phantom of the Opera will be coming to town in March 2017. 

It's one of the shows that in the past couldn't be staged at Robinson because of its layout and loading limitations. But the extensive renovations underway right now will change that.

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