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Emergency LEARNS Act clause passes, Jeff Nichols talks Filmland 2023


Arkansas State Supreme Court approves emergency clause of LEARNS Act

The Arkansas State Supreme Court is giving approval to the passage of the emergency clause of the Arkansas LEARNS Act. Legislators passed the emergency clause at the same time they passed the act itself. Yesterday’s six-to-one ruling reversed an earlier ruling by a Pulaski County Circuit Judge. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement that the ruling is a historic victory for Arkansas parents, teachers and students.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ lectern purchase's legislative audit will begin soon

A legislative audit will begin soon over Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ purchase of a lectern. Yesterday, Republican Senator Jimmy Hickey presented his proposal to the committee on Joint Auditing. He asked the group to look at the governor's recent purchase of a $19,000 dollar lectern. The purchase was made with a state credit card but reimbursed by the Republican Party of Arkansas after the invoice was publicly requested. Sen. Hickey felt the timeline was a cause for concern.

Senator Hickey wanted the audit to clear up the lectern purchase for the public. The full joint auditing committee will vote on the proposal today.

The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation pledges $1 million to the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation is pledging $1 million dollars to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. The funds will support the Cancer Institute’s new Radiation Oncology Center. The center in Little Rock opened in July and accommodates three new linear accelerators that customize radiation delivery based on the type and stage of a patient’s cancer.

Filmland 2023

The 2023 edition of Filmland, hosted by the Arkansas Cinema Society features early chances to see feature films and opportunities to hear from experienced filmmakers. Jeff Nichols, an Arkansas-born director, will screen his latest movie The Bike Riders. He said an impetus for both the Filmland event in particular and the Arkansas Cinema Society in general is to foster a deeper enthusiasm for filmmaking in the state.

Kathryn Tucker, the executive director of the Arkansas Cinema Society, said since the first Filmland several years ago, understanding of the industry has improved in Arkansas.

Events tomorrow include a workshop with Nichols, who also directed the movies “Mud” and “Loving”, about directing at 1:30 p.m. at the Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock. At 4 p.m. tomorrow, Nichols will host a conversation with the chief film critic at Variety, also at Ron Robinson Theater. A full schedule can be found on their website.

Walmart moves forward with another company-owned milk plant

Walmart is moving ahead with plans to construct a second company-owned milk plant. The Bentonville-based retailer opened its first milk plant in Indiana in 2018. The company said the new facility will be in Valdosta, Georgia and ground will be broken later this year. Talk Business and Politics reports the plant is expected to open in 2025 and employ about 400 people.

Razorback soccer shuts out Florida

The tenth-ranked Razorback soccer team is now 6-and-1 in SEC play after last night’s 3-nil win over Florida in Fayetteville. Arkansas scored all three goals in the second half. The Razorbacks next play at LSU next Thursday.

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Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
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