Monday, May 23, 2022


Pennsylvania tries to land a regional hydrogen hub, a new study confirms college grads are twice as likely to get good jobs, and a U.S. military plane flies 35 tons of baby formula from Germany to Indianapolis.


Operation Fly Formula's first shipment arrives, worries of global food shortages grow, President Biden is concerned about a monkeypox outbreak, and a poll says Americans support the Title 42 border policy.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Lawsuit: New AR House Map Weakens Black Voting Power


Wednesday, January 12, 2022   

A redistricting challenge in Arkansas gets its first court hearing this month.

The lawsuit claims the Arkansas Board of Apportionment's new voting-district map for the state House of Representatives dilutes the voting power of Black residents. Filed by the ACLU of Arkansas, the suit alleges the map unnecessarily splits communities of interest, particularly African Americans living in the Upper Delta, Lower Delta, and Central and Southwest Arkansas.

Barry Jefferson, the Arkansas NAACP's political action chair, said the House map denies people equal opportunity to elect the candidates of their choice.

"It's hard enough to get people to go out and vote now, and when you do things like this, you're taking their voice away, people are not going to vote," he said. "So, we want the court to bring it back to the state and say, 'Hey, you have to do a better map that represents the people.' There were multiple maps that were given that was not cutting districts in half."

The suit was filed on behalf of the Arkansas State Conference NAACP and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel. The three Board of Apportionment members haven't commented on the lawsuit, although Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he's pleased with the redistricting process and believes the maps will "shape equal representation" in the state.

A federal judge has scheduled a Jan. 27 hearing in the case. The suit alleges the House map violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits racial discrimination in election procedures.

When Black Arkansans are not adequately represented in democracy, said Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, it perpetuates the systemic inequality they already face.

"That means that the elected representatives are less likely to listen to these voters on the issues that matter to them," she said. "So, it has a tremendous impact - but over a decade, can really erode progress that we absolutely need to be making in the state of Arkansas."

The lawsuit names the Board of Apportionment members - Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Secretary of State John Thurston - as defendants. It contends five additional Black-majority House districts would better represent state demographics.

get more stories like this via email
Around 17% of bachelor's degrees awarded to Black students nationwide come from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and research shows HBCUs boost economic mobility and generational wealth.(Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

One of North Carolina's oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities is finding new ways to help students stay enrolled and graduate. Recent …

Social Issues

A new survey finds 8 in 10 Kentucky parents say afterschool programs could help their child combat social and mental-health struggles by reducing unpr…


A technology that once existed only in science fiction soon could emerge as a viable solution to climate change. The city of Flagstaff has added …

Examples of brownfield sites include an out-of-business gas station, or an old dry-cleaning business which may have disposed chemical solvents down the drain, contaminating the groundwater. (Adobe Stock)


Minnesota has more than 10,000 brownfield sites, which are abandoned or idled properties in need of contamination removal. State officials will soon …

Social Issues

By age 35, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher are about twice as likely as workers with just a high school diploma to have a good job - one …

Social Issues

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in North Dakota, prompting state officials to launch an online dashboard, where the public …

Health and Wellness

By Skylar Baker-Jordan for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Chance Dorland for the Tennessee News Service/Public News Service Collaboration The …


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