Sunday, October 24, 2021


GOP lawmakers in Montana want to investigate the 2020 election - some are concerned this could weaken trust in voting; record rainfall in San Francisco Bay area; concerns about students and staff coping with the pandemic.


Obama cautions against tribalism; House Democrats want immigration relief to be included in reconciliation; and will Trump face a subpoena from the January 6th committee?


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

AR Makes Policy Changes to Get Rental Assistance to Residents More Quickly


Thursday, September 16, 2021   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents.

The modifications, announced last week by the Department of Human Services, came after several organizations in the state sent a letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other officials, raising concerns about the application process and requesting requirements to be loosened.

The state will now prioritize applicants who received eviction notices and has increased staff to process cases faster.

Bill Kopsky, executive director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, which signed the letter, said the move by the state is a start, but more needs to be done, especially as the Delta variant continues to surge in the state.

"We're really near the peak of our infection rate during the whole pandemic," Kopsky observed. "And it's still getting worse. This is no time to be having people being booted out of their homes and onto the street, making the public health situation even worse."

Arkansas has distributed more than $9.8 million of the $173 million it received through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Residents in need of rent relief can sign up on the state Department of Human Services' website.

In the letter to state officials, they also ask judges to not penalize tenants for landlords refusing to accept rental assistance, which has been an issue in Arkansas.

Kopsky argued the change and others to the rent-relief program are critical to help people avoid eviction.

"This is a matter of life and death," Kopsky asserted. "We need them to hire many more people; navigators, to get this stuff out there. We need them partnering with community organizations all over the state to get the information about how to apply, how to qualify, some assistance to help people apply and get the money out the door. It's really an opportunity to protect our most vulnerable."

The changes come a week after members of Congress sent a letter to five states including Arkansas urging them to immediately speed up delivery of rental assistance.

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021