Joseph Boeckmann
Pulaski County Sheriff's Office via KUAR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former Arkansas judge who's set to be sentenced Wednesday for giving lighter sentences to male defendants in return for sexual favors had been investigated for similar crimes while a part-time prosecutor more than two decades ago, but federal prosecutors decided not to charge him because he agreed to step down, according to court records filed ahead of a hearing.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Several rounds of heavy rain are expected throughout much of Arkansas this week, and forecasters say flash flooding and river flooding are both possible.

Arkansas State Capitol

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters Monday (Feb. 19) he will call lawmakers back to the State Capitol shortly after the ongoing fiscal session to pass legislation to address growing concerns on rising health costs associated with so-called PBMs, or pharmacy benefit managers.


State Sen. Ron Caldwell, R-Wynne, and Rep. Vivian Flowers, D-Pine Bluff, both contend that a path for passage of Arkansas Works exists in this fiscal session, but both say their votes are dependent on how federal waivers will affect the program. The two Delta legislators also said they have stipulations before agreeing to any future tax cuts, such as the $180 million top income tax bracket reduction pushed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' ban on the use of a weed killer blamed by farmers in several states for crop damage will remain in place after a state judge dismissed a legal challenge by a maker of the herbicide.

Aerial View of Lake Ouachita, AR, looking towards the West.

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism Travel Writer Kim Williams talks about the following events happening in Arkansas during the weekend of February 23!

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The government's own attorneys don't believe the reason given by their chief investigator for why he wiped the memory of a laptop used to gather evidence in the corruption case of a former Arkansas lawmaker.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks will issue an order later on whether to dismiss the kickback case of former state Sen. Jon Woods over the destroyed evidence.

Student actors and crew from Arkansas State University are moving into bold new territory with an ambitious staging of "In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play" by Sarah Ruhl.  Ann Kenda with Arkansas Public Media takes us behind the scenes to a tech rehearsal.

"In the Next Room" opens on Friday, February 16 at 7:30pm at AState's Simpson Theater.

John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist
Talk Business and Politics

The fiscal session has begun.  That means all eyes are on the state capitol to see if the Arkansas Works program can survive another close vote for passage, despite the loss of several "yes" votes in the Senate due to deaths and resignations.  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist John Brummett sits down with Roby Brock of Talk Business to discuss the topic and pay tribute to longtime Parliamentarian of the House Representatives, Tim Massanelli.  Massanelli passed away last week. 

Arkansas State Capitol

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas lawmaker says he won't push for a measure easing a requirement for concealed handgun trainers during this year's session after the governor said he supports delaying the mandate's deadline so the issue can be addressed later.

Republican Sen. Trent Garner said Thursday he'll drop his proposal removing the requirement that concealed carry instructors offer both the regular training and the enhanced training under an expanded concealed handgun law approved last year.


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a bill to make it legal for organizations to provide free needles to drug users.

House members voted 135-13 Thursday to send the bill to the Senate.

Republican Rep. Holly Rehder has said Missouri groups now pass out clean syringes to intravenous drug users with the goal of preventing the spread of hepatitis C and HIV through dirty needles. But state law bans possessing drug paraphernalia, which puts the needle exchanges in murky legal waters.


CORNING, Ark. (AP) - State health officials say people who visited a Taco Bell restaurant in northeast Arkansas may have been exposed to hepatitis A after an employee tested positive for the virus.

The health department says the affected restaurant is in Corning, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock. The department says anyone who ate food from that Taco Bell between Jan. 24 and Feb. 7 may have been exposed to the virus, which can cause fever, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain and other symptoms.

Eric Greitens Official Facebook Page

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Investigators from the St. Louis prosecutor's office have visited the Missouri Capitol in the investigation of Gov. Eric Greitens, and one lawmaker suggests the probe has expanded to include a look at the Republican governor's use of "dark money."

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched an investigation in January after Greitens admitted to a 2015 affair with his St. Louis hairdresser. Greitens has denied taking a compromising photo of the woman as potential blackmail.

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) - A public school in north-central Arkansas has removed Bible verses from the walls after an anonymous complaint was made to a nonprofit supporting the separation of church and state.

The Daily Citizen reports that posters displaying scriptures had been hung in the choir room of Searcy High School.

Chelsea Beck / NPR

President Trump is speaking for the first time about the shooting at a high school in South Florida that left at least 17 people dead.