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

May 17, 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 at pebbles@ap.org or 800-715-7291.

Arkansas Supervisory Correspondent Kelly P. Kissel can be reached at kkissel@ap.org or 501-681-1269.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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




LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The owner of two Arkansas TV stations is challenging a judge’s order blocking them from airing a conservative group’s ad attacking a state Supreme Court justice seeking re-election. Tribune Broadcasting Fort Smith LLC on Thursday asked that Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin’s order temporarily preventing some stations from airing the ad be dissolved. Martin issued the order in response to a lawsuit from Justice Courtney Goodson, who’s being criticized by the Judicial Crisis Network’s ad. Tribune owns KFSM and KXNW. By Andrew DeMillo. 400 words.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a death row prisoner convicted of killing a man during a robbery that netted him $20 and a gun. Brandon Lacy’s new lawyers say he suffers from alcohol-fueled amnesia and other substance abuse. Lacy wanted the court to void his death sentence, saying his trial lawyers were ineffective. Justices rejected that argument Thursday. By Kelly P. Kissel. 300 words.



NEW YORK — Arkansas-based Walmart is reporting better-than-expected profit and revenue for the first quarter with rebounding online sales. Revenue at Walmart stores opened at least a year rose a solid 2.1 percent, the company said Thursday. It’s an encouraging report from Walmart as it searches for solid footing in a rapidly changing environment which includes a dominant Amazon.com . By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 740 words, with photo.



CONWAY, Ark. — A prosecutor says he won’t lift speed-trap sanctions against a small town in north-central Arkansas because of what he calls a level of past abuse of police power. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Luke Ferguson’s Wednesday decision means the sanctions will remain in effect through the end of the year for Damascus. 250 words.



ATLANTA — As the midterm congressional primaries heat up amid fears of Russian hacking, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans will be cast ballots on machines that don’t produce a paper record of their votes. That worries voting and cybersecurity experts. Georgia, with its primary Tuesday, and four other states — Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina — exclusively use touchscreen machines that provide no paper records for voters. Such machines are also used in more than 300 counties in eight other states, including Arkansas, according to Verified Voting, a nonprofit group. By Christina A. Cassidy. SENT: 870 words, with photos.


ATLANTA — A security guard said he felt threatened during an argument with the rapper T.I. that led to the Grammy-winning hip-hop artist’s arrest outside his gated community near Atlanta. In a 10-minute phone call, the guard at Eagles Landing Country Club told a 911 dispatcher early Wednesday that a resident kept asking for his name and knocking on the guard shack door. The rapper, who previously served time in an Arkansas prison, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and simple assault and then released on bail. By Jonathan Landrum Jr. SENT: 670 words, with photo.


— ITALIAN TOURIST KILLED-ARKANSAS — A man accused in the 2017 killing of an Italian tourist in Little Rock is back in jail after he had been mistakenly released from custody two months ago.

— SCHOOL THREAT-LAWSUIT — A federal lawsuit says a northwest Arkansas school district violated a student’s right to free speech when expelling him for posting a photo of himself on social media holding a firearm.

— STEPBROTHER FATALLY SHOT-OKLAHOMA — An Oklahoma appeals court has upheld the life prison sentence of a man convicted of fatally shooting his stepbrother following a long-simmering family feud.

— TYSON FOODS-TENNESSEE — Tyson Foods Inc. will receive a state economic incentives package worth $20 million to build a new chicken production complex in Tennessee, a project by the Arkansas-based company that’s expected to include $322 million in private investment and 1,600 new jobs within five years.



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas has announced an agreement to continue playing off campus at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium through 2024. The six-year agreement between the school and the state’s Department of Parks and Tourism calls for the Razorbacks to play Missouri in Little Rock during the 2019, 2021 and 2023 seasons, a game traditionally played on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving. By Kelly P. Kissel. 350 words, with photos.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Horse racing has been struggling for years to regain a strong footing on the national sports landscape, and owners hope to use betting on other sports to bring fans back to the tracks. The gamble is not a sure thing since not everyone is on board with the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this week that allows states to offer sports betting. Track owners believe horse racing has an advantage since race tracks in many states will be among the first to allow sports gambling. Many race tracks already offer slot machines and table games — popularly known as racinos — in addition to betting on horses. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 940 words, with photos.


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.

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