Latest Arkansas news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. CDT


Arkansas theaters, arenas to reopen with new virus limits

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas is allowing movie theaters, bowling alleys and arenas to reopen in the coming days but with new limits to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday announced the decision to allow large indoor and outdoor venues to reopen as he continued rolling back the state's restrictions on businesses. Hutchinson says outdoor venues can reopen starting Monday and indoor ones can reopen May 18. Both will face similar limits, including capping audiences to 50 people. The state also issued recommendations for places of worship if they want to resume in-person services.


Arkansas boy drowns while swimming at Texas beach

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a 10-year-old Arkansas boy drowned while swimming with his family at a Texas beach. The Galveston County Sheriff's Office says Micah Batson of Little Rock died Saturday while swimming in the waters off Crystal Beach. The sheriff's office says the boy became separated from his father when a wave crashed into them. It was the first weekend that beaches were open in Galveston since March 29, when they were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Virus restrictions stymie signature-gathering campaigns

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Social distancing rules and bans on mass gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak have made the crucial signature-gathering process of American electoral politics all but impossible. That has stymied a gubernatorial run in Utah, a congressional campaign in Michigan, U.S. Senate contests in Massachusetts and initiatives that were headed to fall ballots in Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, Ohio and Oregon. Campaigns and candidates are seeking relief from governors, state elections officials and sometimes the courts, with mixed results


Arkansas boy, 11, dies after being shot in hostage situation

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — An 11-year-old boy who was shot and wounded after being taken hostage by his father in Arkansas has died. Little Rock police said Saturday the boy was found in a bedroom suffering from gunshot wounds after his father was killed by police Friday evening. Officers went to the scene after the child’s mother showed up at a police substation to report a man had taken her son, Jordan Roberts, hostage. Police sent a SWAT team and said officers entered the home when they heard gunshots.


Meatpackers cautiously reopen plants amid coronavirus fears

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota pork processing plant is taking its first steps toward reopening after a virus outbreak among workers that was one of the worst in the nation. Smithfield Foods shuttered its Sioux Falls plant for over two weeks after more than 800 employees became infected. Two departments at the plant reopened Monday. Meat processing plants across the country are cautiously reopening after President Donald Trump’s executive order last week classified them as critical infrastructure. Workers, farmers and meat-eaters alike are watching to see if new safety measures will be enough to prevent more outbreaks at the plants.


Abortion clinic challenges Arkansas coronavirus testing rule

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' only surgical abortion clinic is challenging a state rule requiring coronavirus tests withing 48 hours of elective procedures. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas represents the clinic and asked a federal judge Friday to prevent the state fro enforcing the test requirement on three women nearing the state's limit on when abortions can be performed. Arkansas bans abortion 20 weeks into a woman's pregnancy. Arkansas last month eased its ban on elective procedures, but requires testing 48 hours before a procedure. The state had used that ban to prohibit surgical abortions at Little Rock Family Planning Services.