A storm system moving out of the Rockies could bring heavy rain and possibly tornadoes to parts of Oklahoma and across Arkansas, and snow is possible in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The National Weather Service says rains Sunday and night into Monday could cause flooding and possibly isolated tornadoes in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. The storm is expected to continue moving eastward across Arkansas, dropping 3 to 5 inches of rain from central Arkansas northeastward, and more than 5 inches in parts of far northeastern Arkansas, while causing flash flooding in the region.

baxter county nativity

Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass says he's not sure yet what the county will do now that a federal judge has ruled a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn violates the Constitution.

Judge Timothy Brooks ruled Thursday that the county must either stop placing any religious seasonal displays on the property or create a public forum allowing displays by all religions and viewpoints including non-religion.

Pendergrass told The Baxter Bulletin on Friday that no decision has been made on which option to follow. He says the county has 14 days to make a decision.

The federal government is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority over a 2011 fire that destroyed 111 buildings at a World War II-era hospital complex in western Arkansas.

Jefferson County Courthouse Pine Bluff
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

It’s no secret that Pine Bluff has seen better days. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population dropped 7.6%, from 49,080 to 45,332, from 2010 to 2014. That’s down from 57,389 in 1970. The median household income of $30,515 is more than $10,000 less than the Arkansas median of $40,768.

Jefferson County’s unemployment rate of 7.8% is 2.4 points higher than Arkansas’ 5.4 percent. Many Arkansas downtowns are rundown, but parts of Pine Bluff’s Main Street have fallen down.

But there are bright spots, and a reason to look ahead.

eStem UALR
David Monteith / KUAR News

Little Rock’s eStem Public Charter Schools is sending a letter to the Arkansas Department of Education’s Charter Authorizing Panel informing it that it will delay until February its application for a multi-school setup meant to reduce its 6,000-student waiting list.

The school had intended to make its application before the panel next Tuesday, said CEO John Bacon, but has decided to slow the process and be less aggressive in its approach.

Arkansas State Police are investigating a fatality crash on Interstate 40 that occurred during a police chase.

State police say the crash occurred shortly before 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the eastbound lanes of I-40 at the 248 mile marker near Widener.

State police say the crash came after the driver of an eastbound vehicle that was stopped by a St. Francis County sheriff's deputy on the interstate fled the stop, then crossed the median into westbound lanes before returning to the eastbound lanes and colliding with another vehicle.

Robinson Center Music Hall
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

While the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra prepares to hold its annual Opus Ball this weekend at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, plans were announced Thursday for next year’s fundraiser. It will be the inaugural event for a new ballroom that’s part of a nearly $70 million renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall.

Chip and Cindy Murphy were named as chairs of the 2016 Opus Ball. Standing where the ballroom is being constructed on top of the original building, Cindy Murphy said it will be a monumental event.

The nation's highest court has asked opponents of Arkansas' voided 12-week abortion ban to respond by next month to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's request to have the law upheld as constitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday requested a response by Dec. 10 to Rutledge's petition. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May upheld a federal judge's ruling striking down the ban.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he has a list of companies in Japan and China that he plans to visit in the coming days during his Far East trade mission in hopes those countries will consider future capital ventures and investments in Arkansas.

“It is important for the governor of Arkansas to market the state, and to bring opportunity,” Hutchinson said at the annual meeting of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas held at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. “I will be able to knock on their door.”

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson is calling on two northeast Arkansas community education centers to merge. The Governor spoke Thursday at the state Chamber of Commerce's 87th annual meeting. Hutchinson says two education centers in Forrest City—East Arkansas Community College and Crowley's Ridge Technical Insitute—would serve students better if the two centers became one.