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JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas food distributor has recalled nearly 100,000 pounds of precooked sausage products that might contain metal.

The recall was announced Wednesday by Armour Eckrich Meats in Junction City.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service says the recall includes more than 8,000 cases of 16.6 ounce packages of "Eckrich Smok-y Cheddar Breakfast sausage, Naturally Hardwood Smoked." The labels have the case or UPC code and a "27815 17984" with a use-by date of Aug. 17. The products also have the number "EST. 3JC" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Forecasters say potentially explosive thunderstorms packing large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes could develop this holiday weekend over parts of eastern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to speak with Tennessee law enforcement officials about efforts to fight violent crime, nearly two weeks after he said prosecutors should bring the toughest charges possible against most suspects.

Sessions' speech is set for Thursday morning in Memphis, a city beset by gang activity, drug crime and gun violence.

The trial of a former Arkansas state senator and two others on corruption charges is being delayed.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that a federal judge in Fayetteville on Tuesday postponed the trial of Republican former Sen. Jon Woods, Ecclesia College President Oren Paris III and consultant Randell Shelton Jr. until Dec. 4. Prosecutors say the investigation continues and more indictments are expected.

The judge also rejected Paris' request that he be tried separately in the case.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has been approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to bring back its pre-licensure nursing program.

The Pine Bluff Commercial reports the university's approval for the program, which extends through 2020, is the final step before accreditation. 

FORREST CITY, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say four inmates face additional charges after a fire was intentionally set in the St. Francis County jail in Forrest City.

The Times-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2q0EjSj) that it took two hours to fully extinguish a fire that was set Monday night in a jail cell. Authorities say the fire apparently started when inmates stuck pieces of paper into an electrical outlet, then threw the burning papers onto bed mats inside a cell.

By JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Solid hiring nationwide led unemployment rates to touch record lows in three U.S. states last month.

The Labor Department says unemployment rates declined in 10 states in April, increased in one — Massachusetts — and held relatively stable in the other 39. A significant number of the job gains occurred in nine states, led by Texas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Indiana was the only state to see a significant decrease in jobs last month.

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By KATIE KULL and DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced Thursday that he's calling lawmakers back to work about a week after the end of their regular session to discuss legislation that could make it easier to open a new steel plant and reopen an old aluminum smelter in rural southeast Missouri.

DARDANELLE, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on deaths of a sheriff's deputy and two others in rural Arkansas (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

Arkansas' governor has ordered the state flag to be flown at half-staff in memory of a sheriff's deputy who was killed along with two other people.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued a proclamation Friday ordering the honor for Yell County Sheriff's deputy Lt. Kevin Mainhart.

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — Police in Arkansas have arrested two people for stealing a 16-foot trailer that contained thousands of dollars' worth of Little Debbie snack cakes.

Police say the trailer was discovered missing early Wednesday from outside a storage unit in Jonesboro, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock. According to a police report, the trailer belonged to a Little Debbie salesman and contained $5,000 worth of snacks.

By SUMMER BALLENTINE, KATIE KULL and DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers faced a Friday evening deadline to finish work in their annual session with several key proposals in limbo, including personal care services for low-income seniors and the disabled and pay raises for tens of thousands of minimum-wage workers in St. Louis.

Authorities say an Arkansas man faces three counts of capital murder in the killing of three people, including a sheriff's deputy who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.

State Police said Friday that 42-year-old James Arthur Bowden was jailed Thursday afternoon after a five-hour standoff at a home in a rural area near Dardanelle, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Little Rock.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee education group is aiming to get high school students interested in teaching.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/2phxbEK) that the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, known as SCORE, launched its "Teach Today. Change Tomorrow" initiative this week.

The program offers a recruitment and mentorship network for a diverse variety of young students.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A second Republican has launched a bid for Arkansas state land commissioner.

Alex Ray on Wednesday announced he's seeking the GOP nomination next year for the post currently held by John Thurston. Thurston, a Republican, is serving his second term and running for secretary of state next year.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri's top prosecutor says a sheriff participated in a jail altercation in which an inmate died and that he should be fired.

Attorney General Josh Hawley says in a news release that he filed a request in court Tuesday to remove Cory Hutcheson from his position as sheriff of Mississippi County.

Hawley says his office is investigating the inmate's death Friday. Details haven't been released.

An invasive beetle known for destroying ash trees has been discovered in three more Arkansas counties.

The Arkansas State Plant Board said Tuesday that the emerald ash borer has been discovered in Garland, Montgomery, and Pike counties in southwest Arkansas. The beetle has now been confirmed in 17 Arkansas counties and the board has established a quarantine in those counties and 16 counties adjacent to them that prohibits the movement of ash items including nursery stock and firewood in hopes of preventing the spread of the beetle.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee police say they have found an infant that was the subject of an Amber alert.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said 5-month-old Ayla Settles was taken early Tuesday "by force" from her home in Memphis by her non-custodial father, Alvin Lloyd.  The agency says she was found about six hours later and Lloyd has been arrested.

No additional details were immediately available.

Ten Republicans and six Democrats have been named to serve on a legislative task force that will recommend tax cuts before the 2019 session.

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Senate President Jonathan Dismang on Monday named their appointees to the Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force, created as part of a $50 million income tax cut plan approved by lawmakers this year.

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — The final suspect charged in connection with the 2014 shooting deaths of Arkansas State football player Markel Owens and his stepfather Johnny Shivers has pleaded guilty.

The Jackson Sun reports (http://bit.ly/2qCPQam) 24-year-old Craig Taylor pleaded guilty Monday to accessory after the fact on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, especially aggravated robbery and attempted first-degree murder.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — New school enrollment numbers will shake up the classifications used in Arkansas school activities.

The Arkansas Activities Association released school enrollment numbers for the 2018-2020 reclassification cycle on Tuesday. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2pwx9HK), Texarkana will drop down to Class 5A, while Sylvan Hills in Pulaski County will move up to Class 6A.

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Severe thunderstorms with possible tornadoes are forecast from the Plains states to the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Valley regions.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Board of Health has unanimously approved rules that govern the issuance of marijuana-user registration cards, and the labeling and testing of the drug.

Robert Brech, the Department of Health's chief attorney, tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2ptmqy5) the department's staff made a few technical revisions since receiving board approval in January before submitting the final version of the rules Thursday.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say 54 cases of mumps have been confirmed among students at Southeast Missouri State University.

KFVS-TV (http://bit.ly/2oR3hD5) reports that there also are another 23 probable cases among students at the Cape Girardeau school. School leaders believe the peak of the mumps outbreak has passed, but expect to see more positive cases on campus and in the community. Students are being urged to receive a booster dose of the vaccine that protects against mumps, as well as measles and rubella.

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Update 4/26/17 11:22 am:  The National Weather Service in Memphis has issued a Tornado Watch for all of Northeast Arkansas with the exception of Crittenden and Mississippi Counties until 5:00 pm today.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a Memphis meat packer has recalled some ready-to-eat ham products due to possible bacterial contamination.

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