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BC-AR--Arkansas News Digest 1:30 pm, AR

May 3, 2019

Hello! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Arkansas. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Little Rock bureau aparkansas@ap.org or 1-800-715-7291.

The Little Rock bureau is reachable at: 501-225-3668.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org

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TOP STORIES:

SPRING FLOODING

ST. LOUIS _ The latest round of Midwestern flooding claimed at least three lives, closed hundreds of roads and forced residents of threatened towns to shore up threatened levees with sandbags as waters rose to record levels in some communities. The National Weather Service issued flood warnings Friday along a large swath of the Mississippi River, as well as flash flood watches for parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas after recent rounds of heavy rain. By Jim Salter and Heather Hollingsworth. SENT: 710 words, with photos.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

SEVIER COUNTY-HOSPITAL

TEXARKANA, Ark. _ Sevier County officials say voters could be asked to approve a higher sales tax to subsidize the construction of a hospital after the county’s lone facility shut down last month. Since the De Queen Medical Center Inc. closed, residents have had to travel at least 30 miles for medical care. 250 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ MEDICAL MARIJUANA-ARKANSAS _ Officials have formally signed off on Arkansas’ first medical marijuana dispensary, about one week before cultivators expect to have product ready for sale.

_ GAS LINE RUPTURE _ Authorities say no one was injured after a natural gas line ruptured in Garland County.

_ NORTHWEST ARKANSAS-NATURE CENTER _ The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has received a nearly $1 million grant to help pay for the state’s newest nature center now under construction in northwest Arkansas.

_ SCOOTERS-LITTLE ROCK _ Little Rock officials have said they will extend the city’s contract with an electric scooter company for an additional 120 days while they work to create an ordinance to regulate scooter use.

IN SPORTS:

HORSE RACING:

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-PREVIEW

LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Rain is in the forecast for the Kentucky Derby, where Bob Baffert will saddle the top three choices in pursuit of a record-tying sixth victory. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. 700 words, photos.

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-MAXIMUM SECURITY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Maximum Security is running in the Kentucky Derby a few months after his connections could have lost him in a $16,000 claiming race. By Mike Farrell. 500 words, photos.

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-CHANGES

Louisville, Ky. _ Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith will ride in the Kentucky Derby after all. He has picked up the mount on Cutting Humor, a 30-1 shot trained by Todd Pletcher. The 53-year-old Smith had been on the early 4-1 favorite, Omaha Beach. But the colt was scratched because of a breathing problem. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. Sent; 400 words, photos.

RAC--PAUL NEWBERRY-DERBY WORRIES

The winner of the Kentucky Derby will be the horse that crosses the line first. But it will be an even bigger triumph if every one of these marvelous animals gets safely to the finish at Churchill Downs. As the sport prepares for its biggest day, everyone is holding their breath just a bit, hoping to avoid another tragedy. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. 750 words, with photos.

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-VIEWERS GUIDE

When Rob Hyland worked his first Kentucky Derby for NBC in 2001, it was a 90-minute show with a handful reporters and only one race _ the Derby _ was aired. Hyland, who is the coordinating producer of NBC’s horse racing coverage, now is at the helm of 15 hours of coverage over three days. Saturday’s broadcast from Churchill Downs will be five hours, features five races, includes three sets and 16 announcers and is part of 15 hours of coverage across two networks. By Joe Reedy. 700 words, photos.

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