KASU

Justice

As Republicans in the U.S. Senate near completion of an initial bill that could vastly alter or replace Obamacare, a  group of demonstrators gathered outside the Victory Building in Little Rock. They delivered the offices of Republican Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman each about a thousand post cards from residents in the state. The cards, collected by activists with Arkansas Community Organizations and the group Health Care for America Now, ask the Senators to preserve Medicaid expansion and other benefits made available through federal health law. 

The Arkansas Department of Health will begin accepting applications for medical marijuana patient cards at the end of the month, according to an agency news release. The cards will be distributed to qualifying patients and caregivers in order to allow the purchase of medicine from licensed dispensaries. The Health Department says it will distribute the cards approximately 30 days before medical marijuana is available for sale in the state. That could be next year.

On Capitol Hill Wednesday morning, two Arkansas congressmen joined their colleagues in questioning intelligence officials on foreign attempts to compromise American voting systems in the 2016 election.

A maligned but crucial row crop herbicide that’s led to disputes among neighbors and at least one class action lawsuit could be on its way toward becoming banned in Arkansas.

Jackson County Sheriff's Department Facebook Page

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.

A wall of police officers stood between two groups of protestors at Riverside Park on the banks of the White River in Batesville on Saturday afternoon, as the groups hurled insult after insult at each other over race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation.

“Our position is that we are here to make sure everyone gets their voice, everybody has the right to free speech, and that nobody gets hurt,” said Police Chief Alan Cockrill.

Cockrill called in all available help, including auxiliary police officers, after news broke that the well-known Billy Roper, a local leader in the white nationalist movement, planned an anti-Sharia law rally at the pavilion at the 

park. 

Suit seeks to halt Missouri's voter ID law

Jun 9, 2017
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two civil rights organizations are suing to stop Missouri's new voter ID law, with their attorneys calling it a gimmick designed to block people from voting.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project. It seeks to stop implementation of the law before a special election on July 11 for the St. Louis aldermanic seat left vacant when Democrat Lyda Krewson was elected mayor.

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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 State Medical Board dropped a possible investigation Thursday into a Department of Correction-affiliated doctor’s role in obtaining a lethal injection drug.

The board was reviewing whether an ADC doctor might have used his license to help obtain a lethal injection drug from the McKesson Company.

McKesson sued the department in April, claiming a physician’s license on file had been used to purchase the drugs under false pretenses.

Board attorney Kevin O’Dwyer says the board ruled to drop the matter after finding no proof of the doctor’s involvement.

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."

Questions posed by the lone Arkansan sitting on the Senate Intelligence Committee to former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday produced little information that could be publicly disclosed. Arkansas’s Junior U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton was one of more than a dozen Senators to question Comey, who made his first public appearance since President Donald Trump fired him.

Construction is underway on the foundation of a Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol, setting up a possible legal showdown on the constitutionality of religious monuments on public property.

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Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence this week, speaking publicly for the first time since he was fired by President Trump nearly a month ago. The Senate Committee is looking into the circumstances around Comey's dismissal and how they relate to the FBI investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. Election. The White House has given conflicting messages about the reasons for Comey's firing. Sources close to Comey say the President told Comey to shut down the Russia investigation. That's a charge that the White House denies.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission meeting veterans might have looked around the board room inside the Alcohol Beverage Control Division last week and wondered where the dreamers went. Gone were the cowboy boots and branded T's, the men (some women, not many) who clearly are interested in marijuana and, if given the chance, the business of growing it and selling it — legally. They were replaced by lawyers and other men and women in suits.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas will soon begin taking applications from those who hope to grow and dispense medical marijuana, though the state's strong religious heritage and restrictions imposed by the Legislature will limit where greenhouses and distributors can operate.

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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) — 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.

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.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' highest court is seeking an 11 percent pay raise for its justices, a move the chief justice says is needed to be in line with what other state supreme courts in the country are paid.

Chief Justice Dan Kemp on Tuesday outlined the proposal to the Independent Citizens Commission, which sets salaries for the state's top elected officials.

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.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators on Wednesday voted to give residents the option to get a driver's license that complies with a federal identification requirement, which would allow people to board airplanes and enter military bases.

The measure passed the Senate 28-5 in the early morning after hours of debate. It would give Missouri residents the option to get compliant or noncompliant state driver's licenses and identification cards.

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.

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.

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