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Associated Press

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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.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems closely divided about whether an Alabama death row inmate should get a new sentencing hearing because he did not have a mental health expert on his side when he was tried and sentenced to death more than 30 years ago.

The court has ruled previously that poor defendants whose mental health might be a factor in the criminal charges they are facing have a right to an expert's evaluation. The justices on Monday took up a case about whether the expert must be independent of the prosecution.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has signed into law statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies including Uber and Lyft.

The governor signed the bill Monday at St. Charles Community College. It requires app-based companies to conduct driver background checks and pay a licensing fee.

The law will also exempt such companies from local and municipal taxes, require drivers to submit to background checks and to buy vehicle liability insurance.

Uber and Lyft say the law will allow them to expand throughout the state.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee local official has been arrested after police said he choked his girlfriend at a fast food restaurant.

Memphis police said Monday that Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford has been charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

Police said Ford's girlfriend told officers he physically assaulted and choked her during an argument at a Church's Chicken on Sunday.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Residents of a Memphis neighborhood are being told to avoid approaching, detaining or feeding a black bear that's been roaming the area for two days.

Memphis police say officers are looking for the bear, which was seen by people in the Frayser neighborhood in north Memphis on Thursday and Friday.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials are leading the investigation into the bear's whereabouts. Frayser has woods that could attract the bear and allow it to avoid people as it moves through the area.

Arkansas State University

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas State University might be adding metal detectors at athletic events this fall.

The Jonesboro Sun (http://bit.ly/2pHgsHw) reports the preliminary discussions for the detectors comes after the approval of an act last month to allow concealed handguns at public colleges and universities.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Health officials say the state's first human case of West Nile virus this year has been found in west Tennessee.

The health department in Shelby County, which includes Memphis, said Friday the virus was recently confirmed in a person who lives in the county. Officials did not identify the patient.

Officials said there were six human cases of the virus in Tennessee in 2016. One case was fatal.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is signaling that it'll rule for a Missouri church that wants state money to put a soft surface on its preschool playground.

The case is being argued before the justices Wednesday — and it's being closely watched by proponents of school vouchers.

Liberal and conservative justices alike seem troubled by Missouri's decision to exclude the church from a grant program that pays for playground surfaces made of recycled tires.

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