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Arkansas Poll shows low approval for Gov. Sanders


The 25th annual Arkansas Poll released

The 25th annual Arkansas Poll released yesterday reports an approval rating of Governor Sarah Hucakbee Sanders of 48%. This marks the lowest approval rating of an Arkansas governor in 20 years, dating back to her father, Mike Huckabee, in 2003. Other elected officials also received approval ratings below 50%: Senator John Boozman received a 40% approval rating, Senator Tom Cotton 42% and President Joe Biden’s job received a 33% approval rating. 36% of those polled indicated that the most important issue facing people in Arkansas is the economy for the 3rd consecutive year. In a press release, Arkansas Poll director and professor of political science at the University of Arkansas Janine Parry said a volatile economic and political environment is likely influencing some people’s general sense of well-being. You’ll hear a more expansive conversation about the findings of this poll on a future episode of Ozarks at Large.

Kansas judge blocks abortion restrictions

A Kansas state court judge is blocking a set of state laws restricting abortions provided by Planned Parenthood Great Plains. The restrictions forced providers of both medication and surgical abortion to convey false pro-life messaging to patients prior to care, claiming abortion increases the risk for future premature births and breast cancer. Arbitrary, State-imposed waiting periods and pro-life intake forms have also been blocked by the court ruling issued yesterday. Kansas voters in August 2022 approved a ballot measure legalizing access to safe abortion for pregnant people in that state and surrounding banned states, including Arkansas. The lawsuit was filed in June by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood on behalf of Kansas abortion providers, arguing the restrictions violate the state's constitutional rights to abortion as well as free speech.

New Benton County prosecuting attorney

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is appointing Joshua Robinson as Prosecuting Attorney for the Nineteenth West Judicial District, which is composed of Benton County. He replaces Nathan Smith and will serve until the end of 2024.

University of Arkansas Schola Cantorum gains national recognition

A pandemic-inspired performance by the University of Arkansas Schola Cantorum is receiving national recognition.

The Schola Cantorum’s version of the 1980s pop song “Take on Me” has been awarded third place for the 2023 American Prize in Virtual Performance. The video was conceptualized during the pandemic and students recorded their parts virtually and individually. Eventually, more than 500 clips were edited together for the final performance. The music was arranged, recorded and edited by Stephen Caldwell, associate professor of music. The video has received more than a quarter million views across social media platforms.

2023 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year

Schools in Van Buren and Little Rock are among the winners in the 2023 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year contest. Joshua Academy in Van Buren earned the award for best start-up school garden proposal, while Pinnacle View Middle School, Little Rock was named best Education-based school garden. Those honors come with $500 awards for the schools. Rena Elementary School in Van Buren will receive a $1,000 prize for winning the Champion of School Garden Sustainability award.

Arkansas Congressman for National Dyslexia Awareness Month

Arkansas Congressman Bruce Westerman is one of three members of the US House sponsoring legislation recognizing October as National Dyslexia Awareness Month. Congressman Westerman is also a sponsor of the bi-partisan 21st Century Dyslexia Act. Authors say the legislation works to incorporate the modern, scientific understanding of dyslexia into federal statute and prevent the harm unidentified dyslexia can inflict on young students.

Razorback football in the afternoon

The next Razorback football game in Fayetteville will be a mid-afternoon affair. The SEC announced yesterday the Arkansas-Auburn game on Saturday, Nov. 11, will kick off at 3 p.m.

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Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative reporter and news producer for <i>Ozarks at Large.</i>
Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
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