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Dicamba damage
University of Arkansas

An Arkansas panel has given initial approval to allowing restricted use of an herbicide that was banned following complaints that it drifted onto crops and caused damage.

The Arkansas Plant Board on Thursday approved new restrictions for the use of dicamba. The new restrictions prohibit dicamba's in-crop use from May 21 to Oct. 31. The rule includes a one-mile buffer zone around research stations, organic crops, specialty crops, non-tolerant dicamba crops and other sensitive crops for applications from April 16 to May 20.

A Tennessee rapper has been sentenced in Arkansas to five years in prison on a federal weapons charge that came after he was arrested with a gun a week before a shooting at an unrelated event at a Little Rock nightclub where he was performing.

Ricky Hampton, who performs under the name Finese2Tymes, was sentenced Thursday in Little Rock.

Hampton, who has a prior felony conviction, initially pleaded guilty in March to possessing a gun at a Forrest City nightclub in eastern Arkansas. He sought to withdraw his guilty plea in October, but withdrew the request two weeks later.

The Delta Queen

After a decade in dock, the historic 1920s-era Delta Queen riverboat will cruise again.

President Donald Trump signed legislation on Tuesday authorizing the 285-foot-long (87-meter-long) riverboat immortalized in poems and songs to cruise again along the Mississippi and several other rivers.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A banking executive and former highway commissioner has become the first African-American elected to lead Arkansas' capital, six decades after it was the center of a school desegregation crisis.

Frank Scott defeated Baker Kurrus in Tuesday's runoff for Little Rock mayor. The 35-year-old Scott is a former adviser to former Gov. Mike Beebe and served on the state's Highway Commission.

The 64-year-old Kurrus, who is white, is an attorney and businessman.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Voters are casting ballots in an election that could result in Little Rock's first popularly elected black mayor,  six decades after Arkansas' capital city was the center of a school desegregation fight.

Frank Scott and Baker Kurrus are in Tuesday's runoff for the nonpartisan, open seat.

If Scott wins, he would be the first African American elected mayor of Little Rock, where divisions linger long after nine black students were escorted past an angry white mob into Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Bus Accident
KATV-Channel 7

A former member of a Tennessee youth football program that lost a player in a pre-dawn bus crash in Arkansas says the program can keep children from being lured into a world of drugs and crime.

One child from the Orange Mound Youth Association in Memphis was killed Monday when a charter bus veered off Interstate 30 near Benton, Arkansas, and tumbled down an embankment. At least 45 other people were hurt in the crash.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen taking part in an anti-death penalty demonstration in front of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion in April 2017.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Attorneys for an Arkansas judge say they're asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the judge's complaints against members of the state Supreme Court.

Attorney Mike Laux says the petition was filed Friday on behalf of Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen. It comes after previous complaints were dismissed by a district judge, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and a judicial oversight commission.

Laux said he's confident the high court will take the case because he believes the appeals court "got it wrong."

Planned Parenthood Great Plains

Three Arkansas abortion clinics are appealing a state board's ruling that they violated a law barring them from charging a patient seeking an abortion for related services during the waiting period before the procedure.

Betty Bumpers
Jason Masters

Betty Bumpers, a former Arkansas first lady who advocated for childhood immunizations nationwide and pushed for limiting nuclear arms proliferation, has died. She was 93.

Bumpers, long married to former Arkansas governor and four-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, died Friday at her home in Little Rock following a recent fall and complications with dementia, according to her daughter, Brooke Bumpers.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the state Department of Youth Services say two of the state's juvenile treatment centers will be closed and the five others will be run by private operators under contracts with the state as part of a plan to improve juvenile justice.

Hutchinson said Friday the treatment center at Dermott will close and the center at Colt will be merged into one in Harrisburg.

The state-run centers are separate from county juvenile detention centers, some of which have been plagued by allegations of mistreatment and poor infrastructure.

Arkansas Works Governor Asa Hutchinson Work Requirement
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas has removed more than 12,000 people from its expanded Medicaid program over the past three months for not complying with a new work requirement.

The state Department of Human Services said Thursday more than 3,800 people lost their Medicaid coverage in October for not complying with the rule, which requires them to work 80 hours a month. Beneficiaries lose coverage if they don't meet the requirement three months in a calendar year. Nearly 8,500 people had lost coverage over the previous two months.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Governor's Office / You Tube

Arkansas's governor is proposing a $5.7 billion budget for the coming year that sets aside money for raising the minimum salaries for public school teachers and for his tax cut plan.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday proposed increasing state spending in the fiscal year that begins July 1 by more than $129 million.

Planned Parenthood says it's now complying with an Arkansas law that was put on hold requiring doctors providing abortions pills to contract with a physician with admitting privileges at a hospital who agrees to handle any complications.

Kenton Buckner LRPD Little Rock POlice CHief
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The police chief for Little Rock, Arkansas, has been chosen to lead the Syracuse Police Department.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh has introduced Little Rock Police Department Chief Kenton Buckner during a news conference Friday morning at Syracuse City Hall.

Buckner has been police chief in Little Rock since 2014. He was chosen from among three finalists after an eight-month search to select a successor to Frank Fowler, who's retiring.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Supreme Court has struck down a law that gives the state's prison director authority to determine whether an inmate is mentally competent to be put to death, siding with two convicted murderers who were spared from execution last year.

Justices ruled Thursday that the competency law violated due process rights guaranteed in the Arkansas and U.S. Constitutions. Convicted murderers Bruce Ward and Jack Greene were granted stays last year so the court could hear their case. Ward was one of eight inmates whom Arkansas planned to execute in April 2017.