Associated Press

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A former state representative has been chosen the new chief administrative officer in Jefferson County after the former executive resigned when it was revealed he had received $100,000 in bribes.

The county's Quorum Court on Thursday selected 82-year-old Booker Clemons as the new county judge.

Clemons is retired from the University of Arkansas' Cooperative Extension Service and served in the state House from 2001-2007.

Don Davis
Department of Correction

An Arkansas death row inmate out of appeals at the state level wants another chance before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Don Davis on Wednesday asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to recall a day-old order ending his most recent appeal.

Davis intends to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether Arkansas' justices erred when they said he wasn't entitled to independent mental health experts before and during his trial. The U.S. Supreme Court considered a similar case last year.

Arkansas officials and a medical supply company want to toss out a lawsuit over the firm's claims the state misleadingly obtained an execution drug now that the prison system's supply of the drug has expired.

Attorneys for the state and McKesson Medical-Surgical, Inc. on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss the case over Arkansas' now-expired supply of vecuronium bromide, one of three drugs used in the state's lethal injection process. Arkansas' supply of the drug expired on March 1.

A newspaper says a former Arkansas lawmaker who became Jefferson County's chief administrative officer will resign after a federal prosecutor revealed the official had received $100,000 in bribes.

The Pine Bluff Commercial reported Monday that County Judge Henry "Hank" Wilkins IV sent a resignation letter to the governor, effective Thursday. In the letter, Wilkins said he was sorry his own actions made the resignation necessary.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

An Arkansas judge who blocked the state from issuing its first licenses to grow medical marijuana has rejected an effort to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's application process for cultivation facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Friday rejected the state's argument that Naturalis Health, LLC, a company that unsuccessfully applied for a license, didn't have standing. Griffen also rejected the state's argument that it is immune from the lawsuit.

The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the capital murder conviction of a Texarkana woman serving life in prison for killing a woman in her square dancing club who was having an affair with her husband.

The high court ruled Thursday that there was enough evidence to support the jury's finding that 69-year-old Virginia Hyatt is responsible for the shooting death of Patricia Wheelington in December 2013.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked the state from issuing licenses to five companies to grow medical marijuana in response to complaints about the state's process for reviewing applications for the facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday against the state, which had planned to formally issue cultivation licenses later that day. Griffen scheduled a hearing Friday on a request for a preliminary injunction against the state.

Jeff Vanuga / Photo courtesy of USDA

A panel of the Arkansas House today approved a bill imposing limits on how and when people can raise challenges to farms that hold special permits to discharge liquid animal waste.

Rep. Jeff Wardlaw said the bill was needed to protect bankers who lend money to farmers.

The Republican lawmaker from Hermitage told the House Public Health Committee on Tuesday that allowing a series of lawsuits over issues raised in public comment periods put the farmers' investments at risk.

The Arkansas House of Representatives chamber.
arkansashouse.org

While Arkansas legislators have just wrapped up a session to work on the state budget, Gov. Asa Hutchinson wants them to stick around for additional work on pharmacy benefits, highway funding and other matters. Hutchinson on Monday called a special session to convene Tuesday morning.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' governor has signed into law legislation to continue the state's Medicaid expansion, which will impose a work requirement on thousands of participants this year.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office said Thursday the Republican signed the budget bill for Medicaid and the expansion, which uses federal and state funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. More than 285,000 people are on the program, which was created as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

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