Associated Press

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Arkansas' highest court says Pulaski County judges can hold resentencing hearings for seven inmates sentenced to life terms as juveniles, potentially setting a course for how courts statewide should handle cases from similar inmates in other counties.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to life terms without at least a chance at parole. Arkansas legislators subsequently declared such inmates parole-eligible after a term of years, but Pulaski County judges want each inmate to receive an individualized resentencing hearing.

Arkansas Death Chamber Lethal Injection
Arkansas Department of Correction

An Arkansas judge says prison officials must release the package label from a recently acquired lethal injection drug, saying manufacturers don't enjoy the same secrecy as others under the state's execution procedures.

Lawyer Steven Shults says Arkansas' Freedom of Information law requires disclosure. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce on Tuesday rejected the state's argument that privacy granted to drug sellers and suppliers in Arkansas' execution law also extends to manufacturers.

marijuana
npr.org

Would-be growers and distributors of Arkansas' initial medical marijuana crop have flooded a state office building waiting for their turn to submit applications.

Ahead of Monday afternoon's deadline, there was about a three-hour wait for applicants at the Department of Finance and Administration Building. Agency spokesman Scott Hardin said that before noon, the office had distributed paperwork to more than 100 groups or individuals. Fewer than half the applicants had been called in for clerks to review paperwork to ensure it was in order.

An Arkansas trial has been delayed for a Tennessee rapper and his bodyguard, who face federal weapons charges.

The scheduled Monday trial of Ricky Hampton, who performs as Finese2Tymes, and bodyguard Kentrell Gwynn, both of Memphis, was postponed on Friday until March 19.

Hampton is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with a shooting outside a nightclub in eastern Arkansas and Gwynn is charged with providing a felon with a firearm and with providing armed security to a felon.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas official says three inmates who were injured in a disturbance at a state prison have returned to the facility after being treated at area hospitals.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves says the three inmates who were hospitalized after Thursday night's disturbance at the Cummins Unit in Grady had swelling to the face. The department said Friday that inmates in a single housing area within the prison broke windows and damaged surveillance equipment.

Delta Regional Authority
dra.gov

The White House has nominated a member of U.S. Sen. John Boozman's staff to serve as co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

Officials announced the nomination Wednesday of Chris Caldwell, who now serves as director of special projects for Boozman. The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that works to improve regional economic opportunity in the Mississippi River Delta region.

KATV, Channel 7 News

An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman says authorities are investigating the discovery of tigers, lions and a leopard in a barn in Arkansas.

Spokesman Randy Zellers says that seven tigers, six lions and one leopard were discovered Saturday in Poinsett County in cages. The Poinsett County Sheriff's Department went to the scene after receiving an anonymous tip, he says.

State law generally prohibits ownership of such animals with some exemptions, including accredited zoos and people with permits that they obtained the animal years ago.

Arkansas Department of Health
Arkansas Department of Health

Arkansas health officials say a mumps outbreak has ended in the state after infecting nearly 3,000 people.

The Arkansas Department of Health says the last confirmed case in the state was on July 13.

The outbreak began in August 2016 and during the following 12 months, the health department confirmed 2,954 cases statewide.

The department says there are fewer than 10 cases of mumps in a typical year in Arkansas.

Arkansas Supreme Court justices are questioning just how specific lawmakers need to be in funding measures as they weigh a lawsuit that claims the Legislature is violating the constitution by sending money to regional agencies to be distributed around the state for local projects.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at the state Capitol in November 2015.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A federal judge in St. Louis has ordered a Virginia man and his companies to pay $32.4 million in damages for improper robo calls promoting a movie.

U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber says in the ruling Thursday that Gabriel Joseph III and his companies violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by making calls to more than 3.2 million recipients without their consent.

The calls made in 2012 promoted the movie "Last Ounce of Courage." Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee narrated the calls but was dismissed from the lawsuit.

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