KASU

Associated Press

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Nearly 200 school districts in Arkansas have been approved to start the next school year five days earlier than state law permits.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the state Board of Education decided Thursday to let 191 districts start the 2018-19 school year on Aug. 13. A dozen districts have yet to receive waivers of the statute that controls the timing for the start of a school year.

Pixabay

ATLANTA (AP) - Health officials say the Deep South is among the hardest-hit regions of the nation so far this flu season.

In its latest update on influenza activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta identifies seven states reporting widespread flu activity, and all but one are in the South: Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Virginia.

The other state reporting widespread influenza activity is Massachusetts.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says this year's flu season is likely to be a rough one nationwide.

SCOTT CITY, Mo. (AP) - The former mayor of a southeast Missouri town who resigned after allegations he abused his position says he wants his job back.

Ron Cummins on Tuesday filed to run in April's election for Scott City mayor. He will have to defeat the current mayor, Norman Brant, who was named to replace Cummins when he resigned.

Brant also filed to run for mayor in April. They seek to finish a term that ends in April 2020.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A new poll says Tennesseans are more moderate than their neighbors think they are.

In the Vanderbilt University poll Thursday, more than six of 10 people surveyed believed fellow state residents are conservative or very conservative.

Only about half of those respondents described themselves that way, a 14 percentage-point gap between perception and reality. About three in 10 considered themselves moderate. Almost 2 in 10 identified as liberal.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Democrat James Mackler says he's dropping out of the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee to replace Sen. Bob Corker, a move that appears to clear the path to the Democratic nomination for former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Mackler said in a news release he's "stepping back" from the race, but will stay active with a political action committee named Believe in Service. The Nashville attorney and Iraq War veteran says the committee will support federal candidates who will protect and expand national service programs.

Check presentation (pictured L to R):  Niel Crowson, Stacy Crawford, Terry Mohajir, Tracy French, Chuck Welch, Davy Carter, Johnny Allison, Jennifer Allison, Blake Anderson, Kelly Damphousse, Ron Rhodes, Bunny Adcock
Arkansas State University

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas State University's athletics department has received about $10 million in donations to renovate Centennial Bank Stadium.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that a more than $5 million gift from John W. Allison to the Red Wolves Foundation was announced during a Board of Trustees meeting in Jonesboro.

Allison is the founder and chairman of the parent company of Centennial Bank, which currently has naming rights to the football stadium.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he wants his five new appointees to the state veterans commission to fire the leader of the embattled St. Louis Veterans Home.

Greitens during his Monday announcement said he's calling for changes in leadership after an independent investigation found substandard care at the home.

Some patients, families and staff have complained for months about care at the home. But prior reviews didn't turn up any wrongdoing.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Roy Reed, who covered key events during the civil rights movement for The New York Times before returning to his native Arkansas to write and teach, has died. He was 87.

Reed died Sunday night at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, according to his wife, Norma Reed. He had a severe stroke on Saturday at his home in the nearby unincorporated community of Hogeye.

After stints at the Joplin Globe in Missouri and the Arkansas Gazette, Reed reported on the civil rights movement during the 1960s for The Times.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas State Medical Board has approved draft regulations aimed at reducing opioid abuse.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the board unanimously voted in favor of the regulations Thursday. The requirements are based on guidelines issued last year by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his senior staff are using a secretive app that erases messages after they're read.

The Kansas City Star reports that use of the Confide app by the governor and some of his top advisers is raising concerns that it could be used to undermine open records laws. But it's unclear whether the governor and his staff are using the app for state business, personal use or campaign work.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An eastern Arkansas woman has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after being convicted in a scheme to steal millions of dollars from a federal program meant to feed underprivileged children.

Jacqueline Mills was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. The 42-year-old must also pay more than $3 million in restitution.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Transportation officials in Arkansas are considering an $8.4 billion funding plan for highway and bridge maintenance.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Arkansas Highway Commission met Wednesday to look at a potential new funding program for lawmakers or voters to consider next year.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - More than a dozen Arkansas residents are headed to Washington, D.C., to join thousands from across the country at a rally in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the group of residents left Little Rock on Tuesday. Officials with the organizing groups United We Dream and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement say they expect up to 17,000 people to attend Wednesday's rally.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Monsanto has asked a judge to prevent Arkansas lawmakers from banning the use of a weed killer that farmers in several states have said drifts onto their crops and causes widespread damage.

The Missouri-based agribusiness asked a Pulaski County judge to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the state from banning dicamba's use while the company challenges a prohibition approved by the Arkansas Plant Board last month.

BENTON, Ark. (AP) - A former Saline County prosecuting attorney will become a Saline County Circuit Court judge.

The Saline Courier reports that Gov. Asa Hutchinson has chosen Barbara Womack Webb to succeed current Judge Bobby McCallister.

McCallister has been suspended and announced he will resign Dec. 15 as he faces charges of failing to pay or file taxes.

Pages