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This Hour: Latest Arkansas news, sports, business and entertainment

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Jonesboro paper says police chief bullied reporter

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - The publisher of the Jonesboro Sun wants the city police chief to quit, saying the chief bullied one of the newspaper's reporters into quitting by making derogatory statements about her on Facebook.

In a story published Wednesday, Sun Publisher David Mosesso said Chief Michael Yates had maligned Sunshine Crump's character and was interfering with the Sun's ability to conduct its business. Yates did not return a call from The Associated Press, but told the newspaper he was exercising his free speech rights.

The newspaper said the trouble began when Crump wrote a story that said Yates taught at Arkansas State University without having a proper permission form on file with the city.

Jonesboro City Attorney Phillip Crego said the city is investigating a complaint that Mosesso filed against Yates last week.


Pryor's 'Obamacare' ad highlights his cancer fight

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - U.S. Senator Mark Pryor is reaching into his own medical history to explain his vote on the nation's new health care law, telling Arkansans that his battle with a rare cancer 18 years ago influenced his vote.

The Democrat, who is in a tough re-election battle, fought a clear-cell sarcoma discovered after an ankle injury. He had five weeks of chemotherapy and a 13-hour surgery.

In a 30-second advertisement, Pryor says the experience helped him back a law that prevents insurers from canceling policies if someone gets sick or denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. He does not mention the Affordable Care Act by name.

The campaign of his Republican challenger, Representative Tom Cotton, said "Obamacare" isn't needed and has harmed the middle class and small businesses.


Romney, McCarthy praise Arkansas GOP hopefuls

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are praising the Republican Party's nominees for governor and Congress in Arkansas, as the state GOP relied on a string of national leaders to stump for their candidates.

Romney on Wednesday praised Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson in Jonesboro, while McCarthy campaigned for congressional hopefuls in central and south Arkansas.

Speaking to reporters before a fundraiser, Romney praised Hutchinson's proposals to cut income taxes and to expand computer education in schools. Hutchinson is running against fellow ex-congressman and Democratic nominee Mike Ross. They're running to succeed Democratic Governor Mike Beebe, who is term limited.

McCarthy campaigned with 2nd Congressional District nominee French Hill in Little Rock and with 4th District nominee Bruce Westerman in Hot Springs.


Arkansas lottery to close regional claim centers

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas lottery is to close three regional claim centers in a move that will make an extra $381,000 available for college scholarships. Six jobs will be lost.

The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted Wednesday to close the centers.

Each of the centers employs two people. Lottery Director Bishop Woosley says the workers would be able to seek other employment within the agency.

A center in Springdale will close October 1st, and centers in Camden and Jonesboro will close Nov. 30. Each closure is set for when the centers' leases expire.

The lottery has watched revenues fall for two straight years and is under pressure to raise more money for scholarships.


Arkansas student injured at fraternity house

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Police at Arkansas State University say an 18-year-old student was badly hurt by a flying piece of a broken golf club at a fraternity house.

Authorities say a female student was taken to a Memphis hospital after she was impaled by broken golf club on Tuesday night.

Jonesboro television station KAIT reports the student's condition has not been released.

University police say a 19-year-old man threw a football to another man, who was using a golf club as a bat. The golf club's shaft broke after it struck the football.

Authorities say parts of the broken golf club traveled about 30 feet before a piece stabbed the female student.

University police say a second student was hurt but told officials she was OK.


Cleanup continues at site of Arkansas train crash

HOXIE, Ark. (AP) - Highway crews say cleanup operations at the site of a head-on train collision in northeastern Arkansas could keep a busy roadway closed into next week.

Two Union Pacific freight trains crashed Sunday morning near Hoxie. Two railroad workers died and another two were injured.

The accident occurred near U.S. 67, which remained closed Wednesday. Highway officials say the road could reopen this weekend, but with a chance it could be closed until Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board continued its investigation Wednesday and a spokesman said more information will be released in a week or two, when a written report is ready.

Federal investigators want to recover data from a signal that would have given a final instruction to the southbound train to determine whether it was signaled to stop.


Arkansas to survey bears in 2 zones

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is planning to survey bears in two zones that cover much of southern Arkansas.

The survey will be in bear zones 3 and 4 that include all of Grant, Cleveland, Dallas, Nevada, Ouachita, Calhoun, Bradley, Drew, Ashley, Union, Columbia, Lafayette, Hempstead, Little River and Miller counties. The zones also include parts of Pulaski, Saline, Hot Spring, Clark, Pike, Howard, Sevier, Jefferson, Lincoln, Chicot and Desha counties.

Bear program coordinator Myron Means says the commission is asking the public to send any photographs and location information for bears in the past year in the zones to help determine the abundance and distribution of the bear population in that part of the state.

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