University of Arkansas opens new LR office

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The University of Arkansas is opening new office space in downtown Little Rock.

The new space, in the Metropolitan Tower, was provided by Flake & Kelley Commercial and Capitol Avenue Development Co. The university says the office will be used by UA employees traveling to central Arkansas for university purposes.

The university says the office will help UA have a greater presence in the Little Rock area, where many alumni and donors live, as well as prospective students.

The new offices include meeting places, a conference room and a patio that can be used for special events.

Beebe: Working quickly to pick new treasurer

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said he hopes to name a replacement in the next several days for the state treasurer, who resigned over accusations she took cash bribes from a bond broker.

Beebe told reporters Wednesday he’s already talked with some candidates to fill the unexpired term of Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who resigned on Tuesday. Shoffner, a Democrat, stepped down amid federal charges that she accepted at least $36,000 in cash in exchange for steering state business to a bond broker.

The governor would not say who he’s considering for the post.

Beebe said he wants to find someone "relatively apolitical" who has a firm understanding of fiscal matters and the way the treasurer’s office is run. Whoever Beebe appoints to the post can’t run for it next year.

Garland County inmate briefly escapes custody

HOT SPRINGS (AP) — Authorities in Garland County quickly recaptured an inmate who escaped custody while attending his arraignment.

Derrick Glenn Estell was in custody on charges of aggravated robbery and fleeing. Estell was in Garland County Circuit Court on Tuesday for an arraignment when he reportedly escaped from the jury box area of the courtroom.

Police say Estell fled on foot but was captured a few blocks away within a few minutes. Authorities say he was arrested without incident.

Authorities say Estell will likely face an additional escape charge because of the incident.

Man who kidnapped 2 Iowa girls had long record

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Police say a man who enticed two girls to enter his pickup truck near a rural Iowa bus stop had a long criminal history and was ordered for sex offender treatment when he was a teenager.

Even as authorities searched Wednesday for one of the girls, residents are questioning why 42-year-old Michael Klunder was not in prison or locked up for treatment. Police say the kidnapping Monday was the third involving Klunder.

Bremer County Sheriff Dan Pickett says it’s unfortunate Klunder "was able to walk the streets." Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals called Klunder "a creep" who once kidnapped a 21-year-old woman and two 3-year-old girls.

Authorities say Klunder committed suicide Monday, after kidnapping 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard and a 12-year-old who later escaped. Authorities are searching for Kathlynn.

House panel moves to curb military sexual assaults

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers have approved legislation to stem the growing epidemic of sexual assaults in the military.

The bill approved by a House panel Wednesday authorizes changes to military law that would strip commanding officers of their authority to unilaterally change or dismiss court-martial convictions in major cases, such as rape and assault.

Republicans and Democrats backing the revisions believe they will lead to a cultural shift in the armed forces that encourages more victims to step forward.

The bill also would impose harsher penalties on service members found guilty of sexual offenses by requiring that they be dismissed or dishonorably discharged.

The chairman of the military personnel subcommittee, Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina, says the measures are significant and will lead to increased reports of sex-related crimes.

Judge seals affidavit of Maine man in teen’s death

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Police laid out their case Wednesday against a man accused of killing a 15-year-old girl whose body was found in a wooded area miles from her home, but the details remained hidden from public view after a judge sealed a crucial affidavit at the request of the suspect’s lawyer.

Kyle Dube, 20, showed no emotion as he made an initial court appearance Wednesday, a day after he was charged with murder when a body believed to be Nichole Cable’s was found in Old Town. A bail hearing will be held later.

Justice William Anderson ordered a state police affidavit impounded at the request of Dube’s lawyer, Steve Smith, who said he was concerned about pretrial publicity. The affidavit will remain sealed until after a grand jury can consider the case, the judge said.

Several of Nichole’s friends were in court wearing neon-yellow shirts — her favorite color — in her honor.

"He seemed really nice in the beginning," Jessica Brideau, 20, of Old Town, said of Dube, who worked at an organization that cares for people with disabilities. "I just never thought he would do something like this. It sickens me."

Ashley Pattershall, 16, a sophomore at Old Town High School, said she last spoke with Nichole on May 11, the night before she disappeared.

"She said, ‘I’ll see you at school,’" Pattershall said.

Dube was already in jail serving a sentence for fleeing police on a motorcycle at more than 100 mph when he was charged Tuesday. Investigators believe Dube is "solely responsible for her death," said state police spokesman Steve McCausland.

Dube knew Nichole, according to her friends, but the nature of his relationship with her remained unclear. So, too, the role of social media. Nichole’s family has said she vanished after going outside her house to see someone she’d met on Facebook.