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Prosecutor clears Arkansas officers in fatal shooting of man

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Two northwestern Arkansas police officers have been cleared in the fatal shooting of a man who police say “ambushed and executed” another officer. Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Durrett on Monday ruled that Fayetteville police Cpl. Seay Floyd and Officer Natalie Eucce were justified in the Dec. 7 shooting of 35-year-old London Phillips. Police say Phillips had fatally shot Officer Stephen Carr as Carr sat in his patrol vehicle outside police headquarters and that Floyd and Eucce heard the shots from inside the station, ran outside and fatally shot Phillips.


Briefs filed to continue block on Arkansas abortion laws

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Opponents of laws limiting abortion in Arkansas are asking the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to continue a ban that temporarily blocks three Arkansas abortion restrictions. Federal Judge Kristine Baker has issued a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the restrictions while a lawsuit challenging them is pending. Monday's filing by the American Civil Liberties Union and others opposes Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office's appeal of Baker's ruling. The laws prohibit the procedure 18 weeks into pregnancy, require that doctors performing abortions be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology, and prohibits doctors from performing an abortion if it's being sought because the fetus was diagnosed with Down syndrome.


2019 Report: Arkansas' cannabis shops rake in $28 million

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas agency's data shows that the state's dispensaries sold about $28 million worth of medical marijuana in the first calendar year of legal sales in the state. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reports that more than 4,200 pounds of medical marijuana was bought in the state this year, which accounts for more than $28.13 million. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that state regulators expect the industry to take off more early next year as the two remaining growing facilities begin full operations and the remaining dispensaries open. As of Friday, 14 of 32 licensed retailers had opened and two others are expected to open in the coming days.


Fred Graham, pioneering legal affairs journalist, dies at 88

WASHINGTON (AP) — A journalist who covered the Supreme Court and legal affairs for The New York Times, CBS News and Court TV has died in Washington. Fred P. Graham was 88. Graham's wife says he died Saturday from complications from Parkinson’s disease. Graham attended schools in Arkansas and Tennessee. He practiced law and worked in federal government jobs before becoming the first lawyer hired by the Times to be its Supreme Court reporter, in 1965. Graham moved to CBS News in 1972 and later was a lead anchor at Court TV. That position was made possible by the opening of criminal trials to TV coverage from inside the courtroom in the early 1990s.


New outpatient clinic for veterans coming to Fort Smith

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has announced plans for a new outpatient medical clinic in Fort Smith, which is expected to create about 100 jobs. The agency announced plans Thursday for the new clinic, which will have more than double the space now available at the existing VA clinic in Fort Smith. The outpatient clinic will offer primary care, mental health, audiology, optometry, radiology and lab services.


Authorities ID inmate who died at Garland County jail

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Authorities have identified the inmate who died while in custody of the Garland County jail last week. The Garland County Sheriff's Office on Thursday identified the inmate as 28-year-old Jeremy Scott Howell of Hot Springs. Howell was booked Dec. 20 on a criminal trespass charge but was found unresponsive a few hours later. Authorities say the cause of death is under investigation and the sheriff's office plans an internal investigation as well.