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

December 18, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

CONGRESS-SENTENCING BILL

WASHINGTON _ Critics of a criminal justice bill backed by President Donald Trump are making a final push to amend the legislation in a way that would likely kill its prospects. The Senate voted 82-12 Monday evening to advance the bill, which gives judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders and boosts prisoner rehabilitation efforts. Now the Senate is turning its attention to three amendments from GOP senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and John Kennedy of Louisiana. One would exclude more prisoners from participating in a program that allows them to earn credits that can be used to gain an earlier release to a halfway house or home confinement to finish out their sentence. By Kevin Freking. SENT: 360 words, with photo.

LITTLE ROCK-DRUG RAID

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. _ Several more people accused Little Rock police of conducting unconstitutional drug raids on Tuesday that are similar to one that’s the focus of a federal lawsuit against the department and the city. By Andrew DeMillo. 400 words.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

ARKANSAS-ADULT ABUSE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. _ The Arkansas Department of Human Services division that investigates reports of abuse or neglect of adults has closed its backlog of nearly 9,000 cases. 250 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ MEDICAL MARIJUANA-ARKANSAS _ The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission says it will wait until early next year to award licenses to the state’s first dispensaries for the drug, which voters legalized for medicinal purposes more than two years ago.

_ ARKANSAS STATE-FORMER CHANCELLOR _ Prosecutors say they won’t file criminal charges against a former Arkansas State University chancellor who resigned two years ago.

_ PINE BLUFF-SHOOTING _ Police in Pine Bluff say one person is dead after a shooting at an apartment complex.

IN SPORTS:

BASKETBALL:

BKC--MISSOURI ST-ARKANSAS ST

Missouri State plays Arkansas State at Convocation Center. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merit.

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