The Associated Press

A hearing is set this week on a lawsuit by nine prisoners on Arkansas' death row who object to the way the state chooses the mix of drugs that are to be used in lethal injections.

The inmates are to argue at the Friday hearing in Pulaski County Circuit Court that the Legislature gave too much authority to the state Correction Department, which selects the drug.

Tyson Foods, one of the world's  largest meat-processing companies, says it's acquired the assets of Bosco's Pizza of Warren, Michigan.   Bosco's produces a variety of stuffed bread sticks and  frozen pizzas for food service and retail customers throughout the Midwest and at some national retailers.   Tyson officials say the acquisition is part of the Springdale company's plan to grow its domestic prepared foods business.   Bosco's employs about 150 people, all of whom are expected to work for Tyson.

Remington Arms Company has broken ground on a $32 million expansion of its ammunition plant in Arkansas that company officials say will add between 50 and 100 new employees.
Gov. Mike Beebe, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and company officials were on hand Thursday to mark the beginning of the expansion project, which is expected to be completed in June 2014. The plant currently employs about 1,300 workers.

Arkansas lawmakers have authorized a plan to spend more than $950,000 in federal funds to purchase 130 new patrol-car cameras for Arkansas State Police.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grant would allow for Pannin high-resolution police cameras to be installed in more than a third of the state's patrol cars to replace broken or outdated equipment. 


The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration says the state started off its fiscal year above forecast by nearly 2 percent.

Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is wasting little time going after expected Republican rival Tom Cotton, criticizing the freshman congressman for voting against a measure aimed at lowering the costs of borrowing for college for millions of students.  

Pryor's re-election campaign on Thursday called Cotton's  vote against the student loan measure a sign that the Republican is "far outside the mainstream." Cotton was one of six Republicans in the House who voted against the measure on Wednesday.

The director of the nation's drug policy office says treatment and education are the most effective tools to combat drug abuse. 

Drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske said Thursday in Little Rock that law enforcement is also part of the equation but said addressing addiction as a public health issue is the main focus of his mission.

Kerlikowske told about 700 people gathered for a state conference on prescription drug abuse that abuse rates nationally are showing some improvement.

Officials say one worker is dead after a fire at a northwest Arkansas recycling plant.  

The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies' plant in Springdale. The company says three workers suffered burns in the fire and all were taken to area hospitals.

The company said Thursday that one of the workers died at a hospital in Springfield, Mo. AERT President Tim Morrison says the company is providing support to families and employees during "this very difficult time."

Arkansas' highway chief says the state still needs an additional $200 million a year over the next decade just to maintain its roads, despite extra money coming in from a half-cent sales tax voters approved last year.