Associated Press

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Mark Gregory / Arkansas Times

City councilors in Bryant are examining the travel expenses of the town's police chief and a school resource officer after the pair was reimbursed for steak dinners from an upscale Orlando, Fla., strip club.

According to travel receipts obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Police Chief Mark Kizer and Bryant High School resource officer Lee Ledbetter both submitted receipts in July from O.C. Food & Beverage LLC Steakhouse.

The newspaper reports the address and telephone number for the steakhouse belongs to Rachel's Adult Entertainment & Steakhouse.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is to host a screening of the film "West of Memphis" about the prosecution of three men for the deaths of three West Memphis Cub Scouts.

The event will include a talk by one of the defendants and the mother of one of the victims.

The movie is to be shown at 6 p.m. Wednesday in room 214-C at the Donaghey Student Center on the UALR campus.

Jason Baldwin was among the three convicted of the killings but subsequently released. Pam Hobbs, the mother of Stevie Branch, is to join Baldwin at the event.

Arkansas Capitol building.
Ron Breeding / KUAR News

Senate President Michael Lamoureux has named four lawmakers to a task force created as part of a package of laws aimed at overhauling and increasing funding to the health insurance program for thousands of public school teachers. 

Lamoureux on Tuesday named Republican Sens. Cecile Bledsoe of Rogers and David Sanders of Little Rock and Democratic Sens. Linda Chesterfield of Little Rock and Eddie Cheatham of Crossett to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program Legislative Task force. 

A federal judge has rejected the Little Rock School District's motion to delay a coming trial on Arkansas' request to end long-running desegregation payments to three school districts.

Judge D. Price Marshall on Tuesday rejected the district's request to stay proceedings in the trial, set to begin Dec. 9. 

Little Rock schools argued that the trial should be delayed while a federal appeals court considers their claim that Arkansas' approval of charter schools in Pulaski County violates the desegregation agreement.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays says he's seeking the Democratic nomination for Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District, the first candidate to launch a bid for the seat that Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin is vacating.  

Hays announced on Tuesday he was running for the seat that Griffin has held since 2011. Griffin said on Monday that he would not seek re-election next year, saying he wanted to focus on time with his family.  

Arkansas transportation officials say work to replace a bridge will limit boat navigation on Greers Ferry Lake in Cleburne County.

Crews are replacing the Highway 225 Bridge, which is located just east of Hill Creek Recreation Area. 

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department says navigation will be closed near the bridge as workers move large equipment and conduct small controlled explosive blasts at the bottom of the lake.

Transportation officials say the temporary closures will be in effect from now through Nov. 8, except for Sundays.

A meeting is set for companies interested in acting as suppliers to a $1.1 billion steel mill planned for northeast Arkansas.

The gathering is to run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that the Big River Steel project will need everything from construction help to running a cafeteria inside the plant.

Organizers project that the plant will create about 2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs once the plant is open.

A judge has granted federal prosecutors' request to end a delay in a lawsuit over the ExxonMobil oil spill in central Arkansas. U.S. District Judge James Moody on Monday granted prosecutors' request to lift a stay in the case.

Moody granted their request to delay proceedings earlier this month because of the partial government shutdown.

Prosecutors said in previous court filings that most attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were unable to work on the case, even on a voluntary basis, because of the lapse in federal funding.

The Arkansas State Fair says 445,314 people went through the gates during the 10-day run of the event.

Fair director Ralph Shoptaw said Monday that the fair, which wrapped up on Sunday, drew 45,996 people on the last day at the Little Rock grounds.

That left the fair about 2,000 patrons shy of last year's attendance of 447,680. Shoptaw said the 445,314 total was still better than six of the previous 10 Arkansas State Fairs.

The fair features livestock competitions, carnival rides and food prepared in an array of styles.

diamond
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

A 14-year-old girl from Oklahoma City has unearthed a 3.85-carat diamond at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Tana Clymer discovered the canary gem Saturday at the park, which is the only diamond-producing site in the United States open to the public. 

Tana says she'd been digging in the dirt for about two hours when she discovered the gem on the surface of the search field.

The yellow diamond is teardrop-shaped and about the size of a jellybean. Tana named the diamond "God's Jewel."

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