ARKANSAS MEAT LAW
Arkansas temporarily halted from enforcing meat-labeling law
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has restricted Arkansas from enforcing a law that bans using terms such as “burger” or “sausage” to sell vegetarian and vegan products. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction preventing the state from enforcing the law against Oregon-based Tofurky Co. while the measure is challenged in her court. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Good Food Institute and the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued in July on behalf of the company. They argued that it's an unconstitutional effort to shore up the state's meat and other industries.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-MUMPS
Arkansas judge denies students' appeal to vaccination policy
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A judge has denied two University of Arkansas students' request to block a public health decree that has barred them from attending classes during a mumps outbreak because they don't have the proper vaccinations. The Arkansas Department of Health issued a public health directive Nov. 22 that said students who do not have the proper measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations must be vaccinated immediately or be excluded from classes for at least 26 days. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin on Tuesday denied brothers Shiloh Isaiah and Benjamin Andrew Bemis' request to be allowed back in classes without obtaining vaccinations.
ARKANSAS HOUSE-SPECIAL ELECTION
County official wins GOP primary for ousted lawmaker's seat
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — A Garland County elected official is the Republican Party's nominee to serve out the remaining term of an Arkansas lawmaker kicked out of the House after pleading no contest to failing to pay state income taxes. Justice of the Peace Richard McGrew defeated Jack Wells Tuesday in the GOP primary for the House District 22 seat that had been held by former Rep. Mickey Gates. McGrew will face Libertarian Judy Bowers in a March 3 special election that coincides with the 2020 primary. Gates was arrested last year and charged with not filing returns from 2012 through 2017.
Oklahoma man in Arkansas custody after stabbing, abduction
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma man has been arrested in Arkansas after allegedly stabbing his supervisor at a McDonald's in eastern Oklahoma and abducting his wife and 2-year-old daughter. Police in Fort Smith, Arkansas, say 32-year-old Derek Martin Perez was arrested early Wednesday at a motel and his wife and daughter were found unharmed. Perez was wanted in the Tuesday afternoon stabbing of 36-year-old James Coble following an altercation between the two at the fast food restaurant in Muskogee. Perez is being held without bond in Sebastian County, Arkansas.
Police: Conway officer on leave accidentally shoots man, 18
CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say a Conway police officer who is on military leave accidentally shot an 18-year-old man when he was trying to clean his firearm. Conway police say the officer's gun accidentally discharged and the teen was struck once on Friday. A police spokeswoman says the teen's injuries aren't life-threatening. Arkansas State Police agents are investigating the shooting and will forward their findings to prosecutors to determine whether any criminal charges will be filed.
Arkansas officer 'ambushed and executed,' police chief says