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Arkansas Supreme Court’s Appeals on Wheels

Rutledge Participates in Arkansas Supreme Court’s Appeals on Wheels

Thu, Apr 28, 2016

BATESVILLE – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today, in her hometown, participated in the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Appeals on Wheels. Appeals on Wheels is a Supreme Court outreach program designed to educate students about their state government. Rutledge conducted the oral argument in Robert R. Friar v. State.

“Appeals on Wheels is a wonderful program that allows Arkansans to watch oral arguments in person and learn more about the judiciary branch and the appellate process,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It was an honor for me to appear before the state’s highest court and to argue this case in my hometown of Batesville. I commend the justices for continuing this important program, and I hope more Arkansans will take advantage of witnessing this process in the future.”

Twice a year, the Court travels the state to hold oral argument outside Little Rock. Local students from middle school through college are invited to attend an oral argument and are well prepared to watch the proceedings, having previously received facts about the case to be argued.

Amendment 80 to the Arkansas Constitution, adopted by a vote of the people in 2000, provides that the Supreme Court may meet at such times and places as designated by the court.

Rutledge, a native of Batesville, attended Southside Public Schools and was sworn in as an attorney by her father, then a circuit judge, Keith Rutledge on Aug. 27, 2001, at the Independence County Courthouse in Batesville.

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Participate in Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Rutledge Calls on Arkansans to Clean Out Medicine Cabinets, Participate in Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Wed, Apr 27, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is calling on Arkansans to make plans to participate in the upcoming National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. More than 160 collection sites will accept unwanted or expired medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30.

“There is a prescription drug abuse epidemic in this country,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Sadly, most abuse begins right at home -- from a medicine cabinet. Arkansans have an opportunity to protect their loved ones by cleaning out old, expired medications and properly disposing of them at a Drug Take Back collection site this Saturday.”

A complete list of Take Back Day collection sites, as well as year-round collection sites, is available at artakeback.org. Authorities will collect prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, pet medicines, medicated ointments and lotions, inhalers, liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers and medicine samples.

Rutledge is partnering on Take Back Day with the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, Office of the State Drug Director, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and more than 120 law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations and public health providers who comprise the Arkansas Prescription Drug Coalition.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Take Back events nationally have taken more than 2,803 tons of prescription medications out of circulation. Since the program began in 2010, 81 tons of medication has been collected in Arkansas, which is an estimated 226 million individual pills. Arkansas ranks third nationally in pounds collected per person.

In January, Rutledge began partnering with local law enforcement agencies to collect prescription drugs at each Attorney General Mobile Office and last week announced that more than 200 pounds had been collected at 25 mobile office locations around the State. Local officers are present at all mobile office stops to ensure the medications are safely disposed. This initiative provides Arkansans with another opportunity to discard their unneeded medications in their own community in addition to drop-off sites already available at many local law enforcement agencies.

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Access Based Solely on Religious Affiliation

Rutledge: Government Cannot Exclude Access Based Solely on Religious Affiliation

Tue, Apr 26, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the exclusion of a preschool daycare from a state-authorized, environmentally-friendly safety program in Missouri. The attorneys general believe the exclusion appears to be based strictly on the preschool’s religious affiliation.

Trinity Lutheran Church has a playground used by its daycare, preschool and local neighborhood children that it is seeking to improve through a financial grant from a Missouri program which reimburses institutions that resurface their playgrounds with recycled scrap tires. The program’s mission is to protect children and reduce tire landfills, yet the state declared the daycare and preschool ineligible.

“Government simply cannot place limits on religious organizations’ access to important safety programs,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By awarding the grant, the Missouri program would certainly not have been endorsing any religious beliefs but would have protected children and reduced scrap tires from landfills, which does align with the scope of the program. The case before the Court will answer whether a state can bar a religious organization from an available state-benefit program exclusively based on religion.”

As the attorneys general explain in the brief, Trinity Lutheran Church is similar to a public school, city park or secular daycare in that its religious affiliation is irrelevant to the program’s goals of protecting children and ending the environmental harm of scrap tires. Missouri had no lawful grounds to reject the church from the program.

Missouri claims that awarding the grant to the preschool would send a message of endorsement of the associated church. The attorneys general argue, “This is like saying Missouri’s authority to endorse George Washington and disparage Karl Marx means that it can bar all Marxists from eligibility to benefit programs, since letting them apply would send a message that socialism is condoned. A State has ample authority, without going as far as Missouri wishes, to deny a group access to a program’s subsidy because the State dislikes the group’s message – if the reason for the denial is related to the program’s purpose.”

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt led the brief, in which Rutledge joined along with attorneys generals from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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Mobile Office Locations for May

Rutledge Announces Mobile Office Locations for May

Tue, Apr 26, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for May.

Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Last year, office hours were held in all 75 counties, marking the first time that the Attorney General’s office has held office hours in each county across the State. Since January, 29 mobile offices have been held in an effort to once again travel to all 75 counties.

The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents. Rutledge believes there is no issue too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation.

Rutledge expanded the services offered at mobile offices to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes. Rutledge is partnering with local law enforcement agencies across the State who will handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Union County

Tuesday, May 3

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Champagnolle Landing Senior Wellness Center

910 Champagnolle Road

El Dorado, AR 71730

Sebastian County

Thursday, May 5

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fort Smith Senior Activity Center

2700 Cavanaugh Road

Fort Smith, AR 72908

Poinsett County

Monday, May 9

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Tyronza Senior Center

135 South Main St.

Tyronza, AR 72386

Craighead County

Tuesday, May 10

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

St. Bernards Senior Life Center

700 East Washington St.

Jonesboro, AR 72401

Pope County

Thursday, May 12

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Pope County Senior Activity Center

1010 North Rochester Road

Russellville, AR 72802

Benton County

Monday, May 16

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Benton County Senior Activity and Wellness Center

3501 Southeast L St.

Bentonville, AR 72712

Washington County

Tuesday, May 17

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Springdale Senior Activity and Wellness Center

203 Park St.

Springdale, AR 72764

Conway County

Thursday, May 19

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

T.C. Vaughan Senior Adult Center

706 North Division St.

Morrilton, AR 72110

Logan County

Monday, May 23

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Paris Senior Center

331 South 1st St.

Paris, AR 72855

Izard County

Tuesday, May 24

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Brockwell Senior Center

30 Chapel Hill Road

Brockwell, AR 72517

Miller County

Thursday, May 26

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Miller County Senior Center

1007 Jefferson Ave.

Texarkana, AR 71854

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Rutledge and Lauren Holiday Featured in PSA

Rutledge and World Cup Champion Lauren Holiday Featured in PSA

Mon, Apr 25, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has partnered with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility as part of Alcohol Responsibility Month to release an underage drinking prevention public service announcement. The PSA features Rutledge and Lauren Holiday, member of the 2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup soccer team, discussing the importance of talking with children and teens about the dangers of underage drinking, and the benefits of living a healthy, active lifestyle.

“Underage drinking is not only dangerous and harmful to one’s health, but it is also illegal,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Parents have the greatest impact on a child’s life and the decisions he or she makes. I encourage all parents to have conversations with their child about the risks of underage drinking. It may save a life.”

In the PSA, Rutledge and Holiday encourage parents to start the conversation early about making smart decisions.

“April is Alcohol Responsibility Month, and as we celebrate our 25-year anniversary, we want to remind parents how far we’ve come with the conversation about alcohol,” said Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. “Underage drinking declined 19 percent while conversation about underage drinking between parents and their kids increased 62 percent. We are very pleased to be able to work with Lauren Holiday and Attorney General Rutledge this year to continue this increase in conversation between parents and kids, in hopes that it helps kids realize the importance of saying yes to a healthy lifestyle and saying no to underage drinking.”

The PSA can be viewed on Rutledge’s YouTube page or downloaded here.

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