Arkansas governor says no more ICU beds available for COVID-19 patients
There are no more intensive care unit beds available for coronavirus patients due to a surge in cases driven by the Delta variant, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said during a press conference on Tuesday.Why it matters: It is the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that ICU beds are full in the state, AP reports. The state reached a new record on Monday for the amount of coronavirus patients currently on ventilators, according to government data.Stay on top of the latest market trennews.yahoo.com
Thousands of Students, Teachers in Quarantine
As the new school year gets underway, thousands of students and educators in multiple states are quarantining as COVID cases erupt in schools. Many of the outbreaks have occurred in places with low vaccination rates and no requirement that masks be worn in school. In Florida’s Palm Beach County, some 440 students are in quarantine […]news.yahoo.com
Arkansas reports new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations
Arkansas on Monday set a new record for the number of people in the state hospitalized because of COVID-19 as its coronavirus surge continued. The state reported its COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 103, its biggest one-day increase, to 1,376. The state's previous record during the pandemic for COVID-19 hospitalizations was in January when it reported 1,371 virus patients in the hospital.news.yahoo.com
Arkansas judge blocks statewide ban on mask mandates
An Arkansas judge on Friday temporarily blocked the state from enforcing its ban on mask mandates, AP reports.Driving the news: Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox issued a preliminary injunction against a law signed in April by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson that banned governmental entities from implementing mask mandates.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeFox ruled against the measure on multiple grounds, including that it discnews.yahoo.com
Arkansas judge blocks state from enforcing mask mandate ban
An Arkansas judge on Friday temporarily blocked the state from enforcing its ban on mask mandates after lawmakers left the prohibition in place despite a rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox issued a preliminary injunction against the law that Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed in April banning mask requirements by governmental entities. The ban was being challenged by two lawsuits, including one from an east Arkansas school district where more than 900 staff and students are quarantining because of a coronavirus outbreak.news.yahoo.com
Arkansas governor asks legislature to reconsider ban on mask mandates
Gov. Asa Hutchinson reinstated Arkansas' public health emergency Thursday, and announced he is calling a special session of the legislature to amend the law banning mask mandates to allow more flexibility for schools.What's happening: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are out of control in the state. And Act 1002 prohibits school districts from requiring masks when classes start again in a few weeks.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Hutchinson stressednews.yahoo.com
New CDC guidelines set off rush to reimpose mask mandates
States and businesses scrambled Wednesday to change course after the federal government issued new guidance calling for the return of mask wearing in virus hot spots amid a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations nationwide.myrgv.com
Federal judge blocks Arkansas law banning most abortions
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked an Arkansas law banning nearly all abortions in the state while she hears a challenge to its constitutionality. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the law, which was set to take effect on July 28. The measure was passed this year by the majority-Republican Legislature and signed by GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson.news.yahoo.com
Researchers: Virus surge a 'raging forest fire' in Arkansas
Public health researchers on Tuesday called the rapid rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Arkansas a “raging forest fire," and the state's top health official warned that he expects significant outbreaks in schools. The model by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health projected a daily average of 1,039 new cases over the next week. Arkansas leads the country in new cases per capita, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers.news.yahoo.com
GOP governor's vaccination tour reveals depths of distrust
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas has hit the road, meeting face-to-face with residents to try to overcome vaccine resistance at a time when the state has the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the nation but is near the very bottom in dispensing shots.
Sarah Sanders raises $4.2M for Arkansas governor bid
Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders' campaign on Thursday said she had raised another $4.2 million for her bid for Arkansas governor. Sanders' campaign said the latest figures over the past three months mean she has raised $9 million total since launching her bid in January for the state's top office. Sanders’ campaign reported having $6.3 million cash on hand at the end of June and spent $1.8 million during the quarter.news.yahoo.com
Hutchinson takes over governors group as virus resurges
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican whose state is struggling with a resurgence in coronavirus cases and lagging vaccinations, called combatting vaccine resistance a priority as he took over as head of the National Governors Association. Hutchinson was elected Thursday as the association's chairman, moving into the role as the delta variant of the virus causes a resurgence in red states like Arkansas. Hutchinson's state has been at or near the top of the country in new cases per capita, and Arkansas this week saw its biggest one-day jump in hospitalizations since the vaccine became available.news.yahoo.com
Arkansas governor says that fellow GOP Gov. Kristi Noem set 'a bad precedent' in using private funds to send National Guard to US-Mexico border
Noem, a former congresswoman who is seen as a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate, said that the $1 million donation came as "a surprise."news.yahoo.com
Man serving life for water pistol robbery gets clemency nod
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said this week he intends to commute the sentence of a man who's been serving life in prison for robbing a taco shop in 1981 with a water pistol. Hutchinson on Thursday announced he intended to make Rolf Kaestel immediately eligible for parole. There's a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback before the governor's decision can become final.news.yahoo.com
Arkansas governor ponders future in GOP turned Trumpian
Leading a state that went heavily for Donald Trump in the 2020 election and that has enacted some of the most aggressive laws on social issues, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas has been in the national spotlight this year. At a time when red state governors like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Kristi Noem of South Dakota are carrying forward Trump's rhetoric and policies, Hutchinson is doing the opposite. “He represents an important voice in the party, a voice that is relatively independent of any established consensus," said Republican pollster Whit Ayres, whose firm worked with Hutchinson before he was governor.news.yahoo.com
Treasury says state tax cuts OK if separated from virus aid
The nonprofit Tax Foundation said in an analysis last week that state tax cuts financed by natural growth in state revenue or new tax hikes likely are fine under the federal law. The Republican-led Oklahoma House last week passed bills to reduce the corporate and individual income tax rates and restore the ability for a refund of the earned income tax credit. AdThe Republican-controlled Mississippi House has passed legislation that would phase out the state income tax, cut the grocery tax in half and increase the sales tax on most items. Laura Kelly, who vetoed two GOP tax-cutting bills in 2019, welcomed the restrictions on using federal pandemic aid to offset tax cuts. “I’m glad that we can’t use this money for tax cuts," Kelly said.
Anti-abortion bills abound; their fate in court is unknown
It's not clear if or when the Supreme Court might consider any of them, or take some other path. In addition to three appointments to the Supreme Court, giving it a 6-3 conservative majority, Trump made scores of appointments to federal district and appellate courts. “This is a decision that the Supreme Court is going to need to make,” he said. “It is the intent of the legislation to set the stage for the Supreme Court overturning current case law,” he said. AdNancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said it would be “shocking” if the Supreme Court agreed to consider the Mississippi case.
Arkansas governor signs near-total abortion ban into law
Arkansas is one of at least 14 states where legislators have proposed outright abortion bans this year. The bans were pushed by Republicans who want to force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Another measure Hutchinson signed in 2019 banning abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy is on hold due to a legal challenge. Another sweeping abortion ban was signed into law by South Carolina’s governor last month but was quickly blocked by a federal judge due to a legal challenge by Planned Parenthood. Alabama enacted a near-total ban on abortions in 2019 that has been blocked because of court challenges.
The Latest: Navajo Nation new virus cases on downward trend
(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -- The Navajo Nation has continued on a downward trend in the number of daily coronavirus cases. Canada regulators have approved AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. Gavin Newsom expects California to start administering the new Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine next week. Addition of the J&J vaccine would come as California is seeing dramatic drops in virus cases and hospitalizations after record highs in early January. While they only comprise about 48% of coronavirus cases, they account for 74% of vaccinations.
Officials: 2 dead in Texas as subfreezing cold sweeps US
State officials said surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas' system beyond the limits. “This event was well beyond the design parameters for a typical, or even an extreme, Texas winter that you would normally plan for. At DFW, the temperature was 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius) — 3 degrees (-16 degrees) colder than Moscow. In Houston, officials said Bush Intercontinental Airport runways would remain closed until at least 1 p.m. Tuesday, a day longer than previously expected. The southern Plains had been gearing up for the winter weather for the better part of the weekend.
Wintry weather blanketing US making rare dip to Gulf Coast
"Typically, we just don’t have quite this much cold air in place that far south,” said Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center. AdChenard said significant ice and up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow were expected across parts of the southern Plains into Monday. Winter weather conditions are affecting large portions of the U.S., but it is rare for them to extend so far south, Chenard said. The airline said the storm was also affecting their flights across the region, with operations reduced and canceled at airports across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Utilities warned of the likelihood for additional power outages due to falling tree limbs.
Biden: Governors, mayors need $350 billion to fight COVID-19
As part of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus package, Biden wants to send $350 billion to state and local governments and tribal governments. But state governments have shed 332,000 jobs since the outbreak began to spread last February, and local governments have cut nearly 1 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Congress provided $150 billion in direct assistance to state and local governments in an earlier relief package signed into law last March. Rep. James Comer, the ranking Republican, said states still have money to spend from the relief package Congress passed last March. Ad“Despite this surplus, California is still receiving an additional $41.2 billion in taxpayer dollars from this $350 billion slush fund,” Comer said.
'Overwhelm the problem': Inside Biden’s war on COVID-19
Since he took office three weeks ago, Biden’s team has attacked the problem on multiple fronts. Much of the improvement in vaccination deliveries so far has been due to long-planned manufacturing ramp-ups, not the actions of the Biden team, aides acknowledge. Biden’s team pledged to give states three weeks notice on what's coming their way. Two weeks into Biden’s administration, a Quinnipiac poll showed 61% of Americans approving of the way the president is handling the coronavirus pandemic. The Biden team is already actively working with pharmaceutical companies to prepare “booster” shots for the variants, potentially annually, like flu vaccines.
Lt. Gov. Griffin drops Arkansas governor bid, to run for AG
Tim Griffin is interviewed in his office at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Griffin has dropped out of the race for governor and is now running for attorney general. Griffin announced the move on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, two weeks after former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said she was seeking the GOP nomination for governor. Tim Griffin on Monday dropped out of the race for governor and will instead run for attorney general. Griffin announced he was switching two weeks after former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said she was seeking the GOP nomination for governor.
AP Source: Sarah Sanders running for Arkansas governor
FILE - In this Monday, March 11, 2019, file photo, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Former White House spokeswoman Sanders is running for Arkansas governor, a source told The Associated Press, late Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. – Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump’s former chief spokeswoman and one of his closest aides, is running for Arkansas governor, a senior campaign official told The Associated Press. But Sanders is also running in a solidly red state where Republicans tend to embrace the former president. Sanders was the first working mother and only the third woman to serve as White House press secretary.
Ex-Trump spokeswoman Sanders running for Arkansas governor
FILE - In this Monday, March 11, 2019, file photo, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Former White House spokeswoman Sanders is running for Arkansas governor, a source told The Associated Press, late Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. – Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump's former chief spokeswoman, announced she's running for Arkansas governor at a time other Republicans are distancing themselves from the former president facing an impeachment charge that he incited the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol. Arkansas Republican Gov. During Sanders’ nearly two-year tenure at the White House, daily televised briefings led by the press secretary ended after Sanders repeatedly sparred with reporters who aggressively questioned her.
AP Source: Sarah Sanders running for Arkansas governor
FILE - In this Monday, March 11, 2019, file photo, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Former White House spokeswoman Sanders is running for Arkansas governor, a source told The Associated Press, late Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. – Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump’s former chief spokeswoman and one of his closest aides, is running for Arkansas governor, a senior campaign official told The Associated Press on Sunday night. But Sanders is also running in a solidly red state where Republicans tend to embrace the former president. Sanders was the first working mother and only the third woman to serve as White House press secretary.
Effort in Arkansas to enact hate crimes law in jeopardy
Hutchinson is advocating for a hate crimes bill in the upcoming legislative session, but the measure faces some obstacles. Georgia in June became the latest to enact a bill, leaving Arkansas, South Carolina and Wyoming as the remaining outliers. Asa Hutchinson, who as a U.S. attorney prosecuted racist militia members but without a hate crimes law's specific penalties. The potential for hate crimes laws getting approved is mixed in the other remaining states. Bentonville-based Walmart and Springdale-based Tyson Foods have also said they support enacting a hate crimes law.