AP-AR--Arkansas News Digest 1:30 pm, AR
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 email@example.com or 1-800-715-7291.
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MURDER CONVICTION OVERTURNED-ARKANSAS
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas man who has been imprisoned since 1992 for robbery and murder convictions has been released after a judge overturned his conviction last month. A judge ordered John Brown’s release Wednesday after he served 26 years for the 1988 killing and robbery of an elderly woman in Fordyce. By Hannah Grabenstein. 400 words.
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ARKANSAS STATE-FREE SPEECH
JONESBORO, Ark. — Arkansas State University says the school is committed to free speech rights after U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticized the campus’ free speech policy. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that DeVos mentioned the university at a Philadelphia event Monday while denouncing actions taken by some college administrators regarding free speech. The education secretary noted the case of Arkansas State student Ashlyn Hoggard who was recruiting on campus last year for conservative group Turning Point USA. 310 words.
— ARKANSAS CASINOS — A Little Rock judge has been appointed to fill in for the Arkansas Supreme Court chief justice in a pair of challenges to a ballot measure that would legalize four casinos in the state.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
AUSTIN, Texas — Three years after a health scare that nearly spelled the end of the line for a beloved Texas brand, Blue Bell has rebounded — and is, in fact, growing and expanding. The Austin American-Statesman reports the Brenham-based company, which got its start 111 years ago, shut down production for a time in 2015 and recalled 8 million gallons of ice cream after reports of listeria started coming in. In all, 10 people fell ill. Three died. During the shutdown, the company deep-cleaned its three plants — in Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma — replaced some equipment and reworked procedures. Texas regulators, as of this year, closed an enforcement agreement with Blue Bell that allowed operations to resume with expanded monitoring. By Gary Dinges and Sebastian Herrera, Austin American-Statesman. SENT: 1,200 words, with photos.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas has extended its contract with baseball coach Dave Van Horn, three months after he led the Razorbacks to the finals of the College World Series. The university announced Wednesday that Van Horn’s contract has been extended two years through the 2023 season. The contract calls for annual salary and compensation of $925,000, plus incentives based on the team’s performance, coaching honors and academic scores. 120 words.
ATLANTA — Don’t be misled by the top two spots of the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll. There’s much more to the Southeastern Conference’s 2018 depth chart than the league’s impressive two-deep hold on the top of the poll. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 700 words, file photos.
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