David Monteith / KUAR

Even though Arkansas wasn’t in the path of totality for Monday's solar eclipse, people in the state came together at different locations and took joy watching as the moon covered much of the sun.

Phil Stein was among the hundreds who gathered at Riverfront Park in Little Rock at one of several watch parties organized by the Central Arkansas Library System.

marijuana
npr.org

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association has named a Fayetteville physician as the chairman of its board of directors.

The association says in a statement Monday that Dr. Regina Thurman would replace Dr. Steve Cathey on the board. The group says Cathey chose not to serve on its board to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest with his position as chairman of the Arkansas State Medical Board.

The group says it'll be a "leading voice" for cultivators, distributors and business serving the medical marijuana industry.

Sonny Burgess
Colinedward828 / Wikimedia Commons

Albert "Sonny" Burgess, who was an early pioneer of what became known as rockabilly music, has died in his native Arkansas.

The Dillinger Funeral Home in Newport says Burgess died Friday in Little Rock. He was 88.

Burgess was among a group of singers in the mid-1950s who mixed rhythm and blues with country and western music. The sound became known as rockabilly and included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.

solar eclipse 2017
NASA

Tales of viewing solar eclipses are passed down through the generations. In Arkansas they have made their way into family histories and narratives of identity, even for those who were too young to understand it. That has helped build the anticipation about Monday's rare eclipse.

Michael Hibblen
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson shared his thoughts with a national audience on President Trump's response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. In an interview Friday on NPR's All Things Considered, the Arkansas Republican said the president needs to send a clear message that "white supremacy, neo-Nazism has no place in American values."

But Hutchinson also spoke against the removal of Confederate statues and monuments, saying it would be dismantling history.  

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An attorney for an Arkansas death row inmate is asking Gov. Asa Hutchinson to deny Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s request to set a date for his execution. Jack Gordon Greene was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of Sidney Jethro Burnett at his home in Johnson County.

Greene’s court-appointed attorney is John C. Williams with the office of the Federal Public Defender. He argues that Greene’s declining mental state could render his execution unconstitutional.

A monument to the women of the Confederacy on Arkansas's Capitol grounds.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Events in Charlottesville, Virginia have sparked discussions in Arkansas about the proper response to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as renewed debate about the meaning of Confederate monuments. Take a listen to KUAR's interviews with state Rep. Bob Ballinger and pastor, judge, and author Wendell Griffen.

The Confederate soldiers monument at the state Capitol.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Democratic Party of Arkansas is calling for the removal of all Confederate monuments on public grounds. The state Legislature is not currently in session and no Democrats have volunteered themselves to lead any such effort. But the state party said in a statement that Confederate monuments only belong in museums and on private land.

“The time has come for these symbols of our past to be placed in museums and privately owned spaces rather than to continue to occupy public lands.

Eclipse
NASA

Arkansas will join much of the U.S. Monday in seeing a partial eclipse of the sun for the first time in almost 100 years. Local experts say the state will see a lot of sun coverage, producing unusual sights in the daytime sky.

Dr. Tony Hall, an astronomy professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, says people all over the nation can see a partial or full eclipse.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today has asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set the next execution, this after the state made international news for scheduling eight executions in 11 days in April in order to make use of a lethal injection drug set to expire May 1.

Arkansas's three-drug execution protocol calls for midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride, in that order. The state's supply of midazolam expired May 1. The state doesn't have any alternative protocol to execute anyone sentenced to death. 

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