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AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE

2 Arkansas air ambulance bases close after lawsuit is tossed

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two Air Evac Lifeteam bases in Arkansas have closed after a federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of the company's lawsuit seeking higher rates for medical flights. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported the company could not maintain the bases in Morrilton and Paragould, since the reimbursements for a trip do not come close to covering the actual cost of a flight. The federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit on grounds that the company didn't have standing to sue under federal law and that the medical companies' reimbursement practices did not violate the Deceptive Practices Act.

HENDERSON STATE-MERGER

Arkansas State trustees OK merger with Henderson State

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas State University System trustees have signed off on a plan to merge Henderson State University into its system. The trustees approved a resolution on the merger Friday. In October, Henderson State's trustees approved a similar measure, which calls for Henderson State to keep its name and its mascot, the Reddies. Henderson State is Arkansas' only public, four-year liberal arts university.

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-MUMPS

More than 2 dozen mumps cases seen at University of Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — State health officials say more than two dozen mumps cases have been reported at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Last month, the university said all students must have up-to-date vaccinations in order to attend classes. Mumps is caused by a virus and is spread through coughing and sneezing, and it often spreads quickly in schools and dormitories. The health department says all but one of the 26 people with mumps had been fully vaccinated.

METH ON A BUS

Man found with pounds of meth after Texas-to-Tennessee trip

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A parolee found with a large quantity of methamphetamine after a bus ride from Texas to Tennessee has been convicted of drug and weapons charges. Prosecutors in Memphis, Tennessee, say 42-year-old Corey Young was convicted Wednesday of possession of meth with intent to sell and a weapons charge. Investigators say the Jonesboro, Arkansas, resident was wearing a red coat with gold glitter when organized crime officers boarded and searched a Megabus that had arrived at a Memphis bus station from Dallas in January. Young left behind a carry-on bag containing four bags with 10 pounds of meth inside.

ARIZONA OFFICIAL-ADOPTION FRAUD

Investigators find no evidence assessor neglected duties

PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) — Investigators have found no evidence an Arizona official neglected his duties after he was charged with running an adoption-fraud scheme involving women from the Marshall Islands. The Arizona Capitol Times reported Thursday that the investigators have said it is up to county supervisors to determine if Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen's refusal to cooperate in the investigation and his alleged misuse of county resources constitute neglect. Petersen is accused of smuggling and paying pregnant women from the small nation in the western Pacific to give up their children for adoption in the U.S.

ARKANSAS EXECUTIONS-JUDGE

Arkansas court won't prohibit judge from hearing AG's cases

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won't prohibit a judge who demonstrated against the death penalty from handling any cases involving the state attorney general's office. Justices on Thursday rejected the request by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to remove the cases from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen's court. Griffen was prohibited from handling execution cases in 2017 after he participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he blocked Arkansas from using a lethal injection drug. Rutledge asked in September that the order on execution cases be expanded.