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

December 23, 2018

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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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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OF NOTE:

NORAD TRACKS SANTA

DENVER _ The government may be partially shut down, but that won’t stop hundreds of volunteers dressed in Christmas hats and military uniforms Monday from taking calls from children around the world who want to know when Santa will be coming. The military says the NORAD Tracks Santa won’t be affected by the government shutdown because it is run by volunteers Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado and is funded by the Department of Defense’s budget that was approved earlier this year. Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became a Christmas Eve tradition after a mistaken phone call to the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. By Dan Elliott. SENT: 680 words, with photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ ARKANSAS-HOSPITAL WOES _ Some workers and community leaders have raised concerns about the financial viability of an Arkansas hospital amid late paychecks and recent layoffs.

_ SCIENCE MUSEUM-EXPANSION _ Expansion plans by the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs include groundbreaking on a 7,000-square-foot free-standing exhibition hall within a few months.

WEEKEND MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-SELLING CITY HALL

BENTONVILLE, Ark. _ A company associated with the Walton family bought the Bentonville City Hall building for $3.75 million. The City Council unanimously approved accepting the bid from Recasting LLC at a recent meeting. Recasting shares an agent with Ropeswing Hospitality Group and Springdale Downtown, both of which are backed by the Walton family. By Melissa Gute, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. SENT IN ADVANCE: 542 words.

EXCHANGE-SCHOOL DISTRICT-PODCASTS

EL DORADO, Ark. _ Starting in January, the El Dorado School district will have a new communication method. Chelsey Turner, librarian and parent involvement coordinator at Washington Middle School, has taken charge of a new project that will release podcasts. The topics for those already completed include the El Dorado Promise, student behavior and the standards-based reporting grading system. By Michael Shine, El Dorado News-Times. SENT IN ADVANCE: 284 words.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to pebbles@ap.org and follow up with a phone call to 800-715-7291.

If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867.

For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

The AP-Little Rock

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