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Governor signs three laws against domestic abuse

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Governor Asa Hutchinson signed three bills protecting victims of domestic abuse on Wednesday.

In accordance with "Laura's Law," police are now required to have victims go through a "lethality assessment," asking a victim a set of questions to assess their risk of being killed by an abuser.

It will also be required for all public schools to teach students in health classes about the dangers of abusive relationships.

The third bill requires agencies to provide victims with a brochure informing them of their rights.

"Victims of crime have to ask for their rights, but they don't know what to ask for if they don't know their rights out there," said Laura Webb, one of the bill's authors.

Arkansas Children's Hospital: Smokers need not apply

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - If you're looking to apply at Arkansas Children's Hospital, hopefully you don't smoke.

Beginning on May 1, the hospital will begin screening new applicants for nicotine, joining many other medical facilities across the country cracking down on smoking.

"It's the last thing you want to worry about, you want your child to come in to a hospital and not be exposed to something that is totally unnecessary," said Director of Communications at Arkansas Children's Hospital, Dan McFadden.

At Arkansas Children's Hospital, the health of the patients is the employees' number one priority, which is why the facility is no longer hiring those who choose to smoke.

"If you're that firm on smoking, then you don't have to come here," said Russellville resident, Christina Smith.

UAMS to host forum on Parkinson's disease

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - UAMS is hosting a forum for all members of the public, including those living with Parkinson's disease, their family members, doctors, nurses, other health care professionals and those interested in knowing more about the disease.

The event will feature experts discussing the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease.

The inaugural event, entitled "Let's Get a Move On," will take place from 9 a.m.-noon on April 4 in the 12th floor auditorium of the UAMS Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute. The event will also be broadcast live to the Washington Regional Clinic for Senior Health in Fayetteville.

There is no cost to attend. Please call 501-686-5270 for more information.

Pulaski, Saline Co. see 12 arrests on 23 active felony bench warrants

Pulaski, Saline Co. see 12 arrests on 23 active felony bench warrants

UNDATED (KTHV) - Twelve individuals were taken into custody Monday, March 30 on 23 active felony bench warrants. 

The Saline County Sheriff's Office joined up with the Benton Police Department, Bryant Police Department and the United States Marshal's Service to conduct the arrests. According to officials, there were six teams comprised of over 30 deputies, U.S. agents and K-9 units holding the investigation.

 Following are the names, race, sex, ages and charges of the people arrested:

1.      Suzie Cox                    W/F     30 YOA          FTA for hot checks

2.      Constance Jackson    B/F      45 YOA          FTA for narcotic violations

Arkansas House supports Ten Commandments display bill

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas House members have advanced to Gov. Asa Hutchinson a bill to allow a Ten Commandments monument to be built at the state Capitol.

Lawmakers voted 72-7 Wednesday to allow the erection of a privately funded display. The secretary of state would be charged with approving the display.

Republican Rep. Kim Hammer of Benton says the bill will honor the role the commandments played in the nation's legal system.

Opponents say the display is unconstitutional and could amount to a state endorsement of religion.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Hutchinson set to answer questions on HB 1228 Wednesday

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – With only two days left in the 2015 legislative session, the divide between Republicans and Democrats at the state capitol is deeper than ever.

"I hate the fact that the bill I brought has caused division," primary bill sponsor Rep. Bob Ballinger told THV11 on Tuesday. "It's kind of overwhelming but I'm glad to have it done." Tuesday afternoon the Republican controlled house stayed true to its roots and passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Arkansas.

Democrat Camille Bennett's attempt to send the bill back to committee was overwhelmingly defeated by house members eager to get HB 1228 off the floor and onto the governor's desk. "We're going to be in session another two to three days maybe," she said. "It will be two years before we can make new laws so this is going to be what it is if it's signed by the governor."

HB 1228: The future of business in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Local and state leaders and organizations in Arkansas are making sure their opinions are being heard loud and clear on what the passage of House Bill 1228 into law would mean for the future of business in Arkansas.

On Monday, Acxiom, one of Arkansas largest employers and a long-time supporter of diversity in the workplace, announced the company's firm opposition to House Bill 1228.

In a letter sent to Governor Asa Hutchinson, the company said "The bill inflicts pain on some of our citizens and disgrace upon us all."

Mayor of Little Rock, Mark Stodola, followed suit Tuesday asking the Governor to veto the bill. In a press release he stated, "Any piece of legislation that is so divisive cannot possibly be good for the state of Arkansas and its people."