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

March 14, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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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POLITICS & GOVERNMENT:

XGR--TOBACCO TAX-ARKANSAS

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. _ Legislative leaders announce a plan to increase Arkansas’ tobacco and e-cigarette taxes to pay for a tax cut for low- and middle-income residents. By Andrew DeMillo. 400 words, with photo.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

MARSHALS MUSEUM

FORT SMITH, Ark. _ Backers of a new museum honoring the U.S. Marshals Service say it could take months or years to raise the $15 million to complete the project, after voters this week rejected a temporary sales tax that would have funded the complex. 250 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ SEVERE WEATHER-ARKANSAS _ Authorities say powerful winds toppled electric poles along Interstate 555 in Jonesboro early Thursday, causing at least one crash.

_ XGR-SMOKING BAN-ARKANSAS _ An effort to repeal Arkansas’ indoor smoking ban at private businesses has failed before a House panel.

_ ABORTION CLINICS-BILLING RESTRICTIONS _ A federal judge says a state court must consider the appeal of three health centers in Arkansas that were found to have violated a law prohibiting clinics from collecting payment for abortion-related services during a 48-hour waiting period.

_ LGBT RIGHTS-ARKANSAS _ The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won’t reconsider its ruling that blocked the city of Fayetteville from enforcing an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

IN SPORTS:

BASKETBALL:

COLLEGE/MEN:

BKC--SEC-ARKANSAS-FLORIDA

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ The Arkansas Razorbacks play Florida on Thursday in the Southeastern Conference Tournament with the Gators needing to snap a skid and win to improve their NCAA Tournament hopes. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos.

BKC--T25-SEC--MISSOURI-AUBURN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ No. 22 Auburn plays 12th-seeded Missouri on Thursday in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament with the Tigers looking advance to a quarterfinal showdown with ninth-ranked LSU if they can down a team they beat by 34 points during the regular season. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at approximately 2:30 p.m. CDT.

BKC--SEC-ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ No. 10 seed Alabama needs a win, maybe more, at the Southeastern Conference Tournament, and the Crimson Tide starts Thursday night against seventh-seeded Mississippi. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 6 p.m. CDT.

BKC--SEC-TEXAS A&M-MISSISSIPPI ST

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ Sixth-seeded Mississippi State will play No. 11 seed Texas A&M on Thursday night in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, a rematch of the regular season finale won by the Bulldogs. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at approximately 8:30 p.m. CDT.

COLLEGE/WOMEN:

BKW--ARKANSAS STATE-BOYER

JONESBORO, Ark. _ After 20 years, Arkansas State is parting ways with women’s basketball coach Brian Boyer. The school announced Wednesday that Boyer’s contract is not being renewed. SENT: 100 words.

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