Latest Arkansas news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT


Arkansas coronavirus cases surpass 4,000, 91 deaths in state

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The confirmed number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas has surpassed 4,000 and 91 deaths are now reported in the state. The state Department of Health reported 4,012 cases and one additional death due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The number of cases is likely higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can be infected. A total of 3,984 confirmed cases on Saturday and 90 deaths.


Arkansas venue plans concert despite state's virus limits

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas venue is promoting a concert drawing more than 200 people next week despite limits the state has placed on large gatherings because of the coronavirus. Singer Travis McCready is scheduled to play at TempleLive in Fort Smith on May 15, three days before indoor entertainment venues are allowed to reopen in Arkansas. Even with the new rules, such venues can't allow more than 50 people in the audience. State health officials say they're in talks with the facility and that the concert can't happen unless it complies with the rules or they're assured it can be done safely.


Arkansas releases 300 inmates early as virus precaution

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas prison officials say 300 inmates have been released early from prison as a safety measure during the coronavirus pandemic. Dexter Payne, head of Arkansas’ correction division, said Thursday during court testimony that there will be additional releases once inmates are screened and cleared by the Parole Board. A spokesman for the prison system told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the releases came after Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s April 20 directive to consider the early release of inmates imprisoned for nonviolent and nonsexual crimes.


Trial date set for man charged in fatal Texarkana shooting

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — An August trial date is set for a man charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of another man in Texarkana. Court records show an August 24 trial date is set for 23-year-old Jucquian Martez Tyson while a pretrial hearing is scheduled the same day for 23-year-old co-defendant Keanu White. The Texarkana Gazette reports that prosecutors say the two fatally shot Phillip Lee during an attempted robbery in February. Both Tyson and White have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty in the case.


Man suspected in Minnesota killing arrested in Arkansas

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) — A U.S. Marshals task force says a man has been arrested in Arkansas on a warrant related to a killing in Minnesota. The Marshals Service's office in Tennessee said in a news release that Orlando Franklin was arrested at a house in West Memphis, Arkansas, on Wednesday. Franklin had been wanted on a second-degree murder warrant stemming from an April 25 shooting death in St. Paul, Minnesota. Franklin is being extradited to Minnesota to face charges. He was arrested by members of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. West Memphis sits across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.


Judge rejects abortion clinic's bid to block virus test rule

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request by Arkansas' only surgical abortion clinic to block a rule requiring a negative coronavirus test before a woman undergoes the procedure. U.S. District Judge Brian Miller rejected the motion to prevent the state from enforcing the requirement on three women nearing Arkansas' limit on when abortions can be performed. Arkansas bans abortions 20 weeks into a woman's pregnancy. Arkansas last week eased a ban on elective procedures that had prohibited surgical abortions. The state now requires a negative virus test within 48 hours of an elective procedure. The clinic says it contacted more than 15 testing locations but has been unable to find one that will test asymptomatic people and that’s able to have results within 48 hours.