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Associated Press

As Heard on All Things Considered

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the wo…

KEISER, Ark. (AP) — The herbicide dicamba has ruined about 100 acres of soybeans at a state-funded agriculture experiment station in northeastern Arkansas.

Northeast Research and Extension Center Director Chuck Wilson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2rr6qKq) the afflicted field will be tilled and replanted. He said the damage was discovered Friday and that officials aren't certain where the herbicide originated.

"We're going to have to start over," Wilson said.

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NEWPORT, Ark. (AP) — A suspect has been arrested in the killing of a decorated northeast Arkansas police officer who was fatally shot while assisting another officer with a traffic stop, police said.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are returning to the Capitol for a special legislative session on abortion.

An attorney who was heading Arkansas' Alcoholic Beverage Control Division on an interim basis has been named to the post permanently.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday named Mary Robin Casteel as the agency's director. Casteel had planned to resign from the agency, but was named last month as its interim director following Bud Roberts' resignation.

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SEARCY, Ark. (AP) — Prosecutors say they won't seek the death penalty for a man charged in the death of a Searcy man who disappeared more than 20 years ago.

Brandon Lee Wheeler is charged with capital murder and abuse of a corpse in the death of Jarrod Green.

Police say Green was reported missing in October 1994. A court affidavit says that detectives received information late last year about the possible location of Green's body, and Wheeler was arrested last month in Ohio.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Walmart and other major corporations are asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by the Cherokee Nation, which argues that the companies have not done enough to stop prescription opioid abuse.

The Oklahoma-based tribe filed the lawsuit in April in tribal court. On Thursday, the companies argued in federal court that the case doesn't belong in tribal court and should be dismissed. Along with Walmart, the lawsuit names CVS, Walgreens and major drug distributors in the U.S.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the capital murder and kidnapping convictions of a man sentenced to life in prison for the 2014 killing of a real estate agent.

The court on Thursday affirmed the conviction of Aaron Michael Lewis, who was convicted of luring Beverly Carter to fake home showing, then kidnapping and killing her.

Prosecutors said Lewis targeted Carter in a failed ransom plot, believing she was a "rich broker."

The Arkansas Highway Commission has decided to seek a ballot measure to increase money for state roads next year after lawmakers refused to send voters a proposal that would have raised $200 million a year.

The panel voted Wednesday to pursue putting a proposal on next year's ballot to increase highway funding. The panel will spend the coming months studying the level of additional funding it wants to seek. It also will work on the specific type or proposal it wants to put before voters.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Marsha Blackburn has confirmed she will seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/2rIGLi8) that Blackburn's bid for a ninth term puts an end to speculation in some circles that she might instead try to run for statewide office next year.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The six members of Arkansas' congressional delegation have written to President Donald Trump in support of a federal disaster declaration for the state as a result of severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that struck the state in April and May.

Republican Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman say in a letter sent Tuesday that state and local officials are working to clean up and rebuild following the storms, but that federal assistance is needed to help in the recovery.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri officials say that nearly all state tax refunds should be delivered by June 30.

The Missouri Department of Revenue said Thursday the only unpaid returns should be those that were flagged for various reasons.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — About 26,000 customers of a Memphis power company are still without electricity in the aftermath of a Memorial Day weekend storm that hit the Tennessee city with strong winds.

Memphis Light, Gas & Water said Thursday its crews are working with about 90 other utility companies to restore power to parts of the city that remain in the dark.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's recent special legislative session cost taxpayers more than $66,000.

Gov. Eric Greitens called lawmakers into special session to authorize discounted electricity rates for a steel-works facility and aluminum smelter that are considering opening near the southeastern Missouri town of New Madrid.

Lawmakers passed the legislation in one week, and tried to hold down costs by coming to the Capitol in Jefferson City only on the days when votes were scheduled.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says the state won't have free identifications required by a new state law ready in time for a special election in July.

But Ashcroft says provisions in the law, which took effect Thursday, will allow every eligible voter to cast a ballot.

A state constitutional amendment approved by Missouri voters last November requires photo IDs for voting, with some exceptions. Voters without proper identification can cast provisional ballots.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of business supply managers suggests a slight decline in the economic conditions for nine Midwest and Plains states, according to a report released Thursday.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report said the overall regional economic index dropped to 55.5 in May from 61.4 in April. The March figure was 60.1.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor, while a score below that suggests decline.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court won't review a lower court ruling that spares the state's prison system from having to reveal where it gets drugs used in executions.

Missouri's high court didn't comment Tuesday in rejecting a request to review the case from the American Civil Liberties Union, the nonprofit Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other plaintiffs.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Kellogg Co. says it plans to shut down a distribution plant in Memphis and lay off 172 workers.

The company said Tuesday in a letter to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development that the Memphis plant will close by the end of July.

The Battle Creek, Michigan-based company has said it would close 39 distribution facilities across the country, affecting more than 1,000 workers. The company says it is changing how it ships products.

Originally a cereal maker, Kellogg's also makes Eggo frozen waffles, Pop-Tarts and Pringles.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 23 Arkansas counties disaster areas after recent flooding.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says in a news release Friday he was informed of the designation from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Counties designated as disasters include Faulkner, Lonoke and Randolph.

Perdue visited the state in early May and said in his letter to the governor that there were sufficient production losses in those counties to warrant a designation.

Another 23 counties were designated contiguous disaster areas.

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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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