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

September 19, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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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TOP STORIES:

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.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

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.

IN BRIEF:

— 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:

EXCHANGE-BLUE BELL-EXPANSION

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.

IN SPORTS:

BASEBALL:

BBC--ARKANSAS-VAN HORN

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.

FOOTBALL:

FBC--T25-DAUNTING DEPTH

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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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.

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