Wire Editors,

Photo Editors,

The AP has the following stories planned for the weekend:


FOR USE Sunday, June 17 and thereafter:



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The AP's weekly Arkansas news analysis column. 600 words.



HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The incoming class at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, will have at least two Arkansas residents. Andrew Pequignot, 18, who graduated May 26 from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, found out earlier this spring that he'd been accepted. Pequignot is an Eagle Scout, a mountain biking instructor and plays the French horn. He hopes to play for the Merchant Marine Academy band. By Frank Lockwood, The Hot Springs Sentinel-Record. SENT IN ADVANCE: 730 words.


BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The 8th Street Market will grow this summer season with the recent opening of The Vine and South Market, increasing the facility's role as an activity hub in the southeast part of downtown Bentonville. The Vine, an outdoor space near the South Market entrance, will be filled with fresh produce, coffee, flowers, baked goods and other artisan products from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Wednesday from June 6 through Oct. 3 as Downtown Bentonville Inc. will launch a mid-week farmers market in that space. By Melissa Gute, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. SENT IN ADVANCE: 975 words.


FOR USE Monday, June 18 and thereafter:



MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — Many folks around Mountain Home and Baxter County are used to hearing the emergency warning sirens sounding at noon. However, as time goes by, fewer and fewer county residents will hear them. That's because the county is phasing out the sirens. As sirens quit working, they are not repaired. Rather, they are gutted for parts to be used for other sirens. By Josh Dooley, The Baxter Bulletin. SENT IN ADVANCE: 557 words.


FORT SMITH, Ark. — Cody Emerson, who piddled around the high school rodeo scene in Jonesboro, riding calves and steers, was in Fort Smith recently as part of the 85th Old Fort Days Rodeo helping keep bull riding cowboys safe. The bullfighter's job is to keep the bull rider out of harm's way in the rodeo arena and put his life on the line for a fallen cowboy. By Kevin Taylor, The Southwest Times Record. SENT IN ADVANCE: 638 words.

The AP, Little Rock