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Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up for select Arkansas stories. For up-to-the minute information on AP's complete coverage of Arkansas and the rest of the world, visit … more
A man from Maine has been sentenced to prison after he admitted to intentionally hitting a Missouri state trooper. Galen Sailer, of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, was sentenced Monday to a total of 20 years. Prosecutors said he admitted he hit the trooper in a parking lot after a traffic stop in Lebanon, Missouri, in February 2021. The trooper suffered a fractured bone. The trooper said at the time Sailer said his brother had been killed by a police officer in Arizona. Before his sentencing, Sailer pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident and property damage.  more
Little Rock's police chief is retiring from law enforcement after a rocky three years that's been marked by lawsuits and public clashes with officers. Mayor Frank Scott on Monday announced he'd received a letter from Chief Humphrey stating his intent to retire, effective May 20. Scott said a national search will be conducted to find Humphrey's replacement. Humphrey was hired in April 2019 and has been sued by current and former officers. A federal judge in September dismissed a lawsuit Humphrey against the local police union as well as several current former officers. more
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to halt the upcoming execution of Missouri inmate Carman Deck, and Republican Gov. Mike Parson says he will not grant clemency. Both decisions were announced Monday, a day before the 56-year-old Deck is scheduled to die by injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre. Deck would become just the fifth U.S. inmate put to death this year if he's executed. He admitted that he killed James and Zelma Long while robbing their home in the eastern Missouri town of De Soto in July of 1996. Deck’s death sentence was thrown out three times due to procedural errors before a federal appeals court panel restored it in 2020. His attorney declined to comment. more
Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up for select Arkansas stories. For up-to-the minute information on AP's complete coverage of Arkansas and the rest of the world, visit … more
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he is weighing a presidential run in 2024 and his decision won’t be affected by whether former President Donald Trump decides to join the race. Hutchinson is a two-term governor who is restricted under Arkansas law from seeking a third term. He said Sunday it was time for the Republican Party to move on from Trump and “the direction he wants to take our country.” Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” if he was mulling a presidential run, Hutchinson replied: “I am. But you have got to get through, of course, this year, but that’s an option that’s on the table.” more
Three people died and three others were injured after two weekend shootings in Kansas City, Kansas. A spokesman for the police department in Kansas City, Kansas, Officer Marshee London said one shooting happened late Saturday while the second one was reported shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday. The Kansas City Star reports that in the first shooting, officers found two people who had been fatally wounded in the 1800 block of North 26th Street. A third person who had also been shot was taken to the hospital. On Sunday morning, police found one dead person and two wounded individuals in the 200 block of North 6th Street. Police did not immediately name the victims or report any arrests. more
An Associated Press analysis has found that Mississippi has long operated in violation of national standards for death investigations, accruing a severe backlog of autopsies and reports. Autopsies that should take days take weeks. Autopsy reports that should take months take a year or longer. Too few pathologists are doing too many autopsies. Some cases are transferred hundreds of miles to neighboring states for reports without their family’s knowledge. Records sent to AP in April show the office was waiting for about 1,300 reports from as far back as 2011. That leaves criminal cases incomplete. The public safety commissioner hired in 2020 is working to whittle down the backlog and says it's his top priority. more
The federal retrial of a former Arkansas lawmaker accused of bribery and wire fraud has been delayed until later this year. A federal jury in August had acquitted former state Sen. Gilbert Baker on one count of conspiring to bribe an ex-judge. But jurors deadlocked on another bribery charge and seven wire fraud charges Baker also faced. Baker’s retrial had been set for May 17. But U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. on Wednesday granted a request to move the start of the retrial to Nov. 7. Baker is accused of conspiring with former state Judge Michael Maggio, who admitted to accepting campaign donations from a nursing home operator, then reducing a judgment against that company by $4.2 million. more
Fair housing advocates have announced a settlement to resolve a lawsuit against real estate brokerage Redfin that will expand housing opportunities for consumers in communities of color. Under the agreement announced Friday, Seattle-based Redfin will change its minimum housing price policy, alter other practices, and pay $4 million to settle the suit brought by the National Fair Housing Alliance and nine other fair housing organizations. The changes will increase access to Redfin’s real estate services across the country and help counter redlining and residential segregation that the alliance and the other plaintiffs alleged Redfin’s policies perpetuated. The lawsuit was filed in 2020 in Seattle.  more
A prosecutor says he won't bring charges against two suburban St. Louis police officers who fatally shot a teenager inside a car in January. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Charles County Prosecutor Timothy Lohmar said in a letter to the O'Fallon officers' police chief that the officers believed their lives and the community’s safety were at risk when they fatally shot 17-year-old Christopher Jones. Police say Jones and a passenger were asleep in a stolen car parked in an O'Fallon cul-de-sac when the officers approached the vehicle and ordered them to open the locked doors. When Jones instead backed into the officers' squad car and sped off, Officers Matthew Vegovisch and Michael Manzella fired multiple shots into the car, fatally hitting Jones. more
A jury has convicted a Missouri man of first-degree murder in the death of his pregnant wife whose battered body was found about a week after she was reported missing in 2019. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 31-year-old Beau Rothwell, of Creve Coeur, also was found guilty Thursday of tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse. Rothwell admitted killing his wife during his trial, but denied the killing was premeditated and sought conviction on a lesser manslaughter count. He testified that he bludgeoned 28-year-old Jennifer Rothwell to death with a mallet at their home on Nov. 11, 2019, during a heated argument over his affair with another woman. But prosecutors painted Beau Rothwell as a meticulous planner. more
Kansas legislators have given final approval to a bill that authorizes betting on sporting events. Most of the state’s revenues from the new legal gambling would go to efforts to lure the Missouri-based Kansas City Chiefs to the Kansas side of the metropolitan area. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 21-13 early Friday to approve the gambling bill. The Republican-controlled House passed the measure, 73-49, so it goes next to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. She is expected to sign it. The bill says that 80% of the state's revenues would go into a fund to provide incentives for professional sports teams to come to Kansas. Supporters were thinking specifically of the Chiefs.  more
Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up for select Deep South stories. For up-to-the minute information on AP's complete coverage of Deep South and the rest of the world, visit … more
Arkansas has filed a lawsuit against Family Dollar over the discovery of 1,000 rodents in a distribution facility that prompted the chain to temporarily close hundreds of stores in the South. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed the lawsuit Thursday in state court against the North Carolina-based chain and parent company Dollar General. The lawsuit accuses Family Dollar of deceiving customers, negligence and conspiracy. Federal inspectors in February announced the rodents were found during an inspection following a consumer complaint. Family Dollar temporarily closed 404 stores spanning Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee to remove affected products from the facility.  more
Missouri's GOP-led House has voted to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. House members voted 96-47 to send the bill to the Republican-led Senate on Thursday. Missouri voters in 2016 amended the state constitution to require photo IDs. But the Missouri Supreme Court later gutted the rule. So lawmakers are trying again to get the requirement to stick. Republican supporters say photo identification makes voting more secure. Democrats argue photo IDs only prevent voter impersonation, which they say is not an issue.  more
A divided Missouri Senate has narrowly voted to allow some food stamp recipients to use their benefits at restaurants. The Senate voted 18-15 Thursday for legislation extending the restaurant option to an estimated 182,000 households with elderly, disabled and homeless residents enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The legislation now advances to the House. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says six states currently allow food stamps at restaurants — Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island and Virginia. Illinois is slated to add the restaurant option this spring. Missouri's Republican Senate leaders joined Democrats to pass the bill, though most Republicans voted against it.   more
Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up for select Arkansas stories. For up-to-the minute information on AP's complete coverage of Arkansas and the rest of the world, visit … more
A suburban Kansas City member of a far-right extremist group has pleaded guilty to a felony charge for his role in the January 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol. Federal prosecutors in Washington say 45-year-old Louis Enrique Colon, of Blue Springs, Missouri, pleaded guilty Wednesday to obstructing law enforcement officers. Prosecutors say Colon was a member of a chapter of the Proud Boys that included members from Kansas when he took part in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. Colon had faced a charge of conspiring with other Proud Boys members to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced at a later date. more
The Department of Homeland Security has launched a new panel to tackle disinformation. DHS is stepping up its effort to counter disinformation coming from Russia as well as misleading information that human smugglers circulate to target migrants hoping to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border. DHS said Wednesday in announcing the Disinformation Governance Board that the spread of disinformation can affect border security, Americans’ safety and public trust in democratic institutions. The board will be led by disinformation expert Nina Jankowicz, who has researched Russian misinformation tactics and online harassment. The board will monitor and prepare for Russian disinformation threats as this year’s midterm elections near. more
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