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

January 9, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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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TOP STORIES:

MEDICAL MARIJUANA-ARKANSAS

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. _ An Arkansas panel late Wednesday was expected to announce the companies it’ll license to sell medical marijuana in the state. More than two years have passed since Arkansas voters legalized medical marijuana, and delays in launching the program have frustrated patients and advocates. By Andrew DeMillo. UPCOMING: 400 words, on merits.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

RETIREMENT SYSTEM-LIABILITIES

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. _ Leaders of Arkansas’ second-largest retirement system are considering how to adjust retiree benefits with the goal of reducing the system’s nearly $2.3 billion in unfunded liabilities. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that trustees for the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System decided Tuesday to draft bills. 330 words.

OF NOTE:

ISRAEL BOYCOTT LAWSUIT

COLLEGE PARK, Md. _ Maryland’s ban on contracting with businesses that boycott Israel tramples on the First Amendment rights of a software engineer who advocates for Palestinians, a Muslim civil rights group claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ federal lawsuit seeks to block the state from enforcing a 2017 executive order. It requires contractors to certify in writing that they don’t boycott Israel. The suit claims the order has an unconstitutional chilling effect on First Amendment-protected political advocacy supporting Palestine. A CAIR attorney says federal lawsuits have challenged measures in Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas. By Michael Kunzelman. SENT: 450 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ FLU DEATHS-ARKANSAS _ The Arkansas Department of Heath says an additional death due to the flu has been recorded in the past week.

_ LITTLE ROCK SHOOTING-SENTENCE _ A federal judge in Arkansas has handed down a sentence of time served to a bodyguard for a rapper who was performing at a Little Rock nightclub in 2017 when a gunfight erupted.

_ TATNALL SCHOOL HEAD _ The head of Delaware’s Tatnall School has left abruptly after less than two years in the role.

IN SPORTS:

BASKETBALL:

BKC--FLORIDA-ARKANSAS

Florida plays Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena. UPCOMING: 600 words, more on merit.

BKC--SAM HOUSTON ST-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Sam Houston State plays Central Arkansas at Farris Center. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merit.

...

FOOTBALL:

FBC--TENNESSEE-CHANEY

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ Jim Chaney is returning to Tennessee for a second stint as the Volunteers’ offensive coordinator after spending the last three seasons at Georgia. Chaney replaces Tyson Helton, who left shortly after the regular season to become Western Kentucky’s head coach. Chaney received a three-year contract worth a total of $4.8 million. Chaney was offensive coordinator at Arkansas from 2013-2014. SENT: 480 words, with photo.

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