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Lawyer sues Arkansas officials for not allowing gun in court

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas attorney is suing local officials for denying him access to a courthouse while carrying a handgun. Chris Corbitt, a patent attorney from Conway, filed the complaint last Thursday against Pulaski County Sheriff Eric Higgins and County Judge Barry Hyde. A security guard refused to let him enter the Pulaski County District Courthouse on Jan. 3 because he carried a concealed gun permit. Both Higgins and Hyde declined the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette requests for comment. The lawsuit, filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court, uses a state law that bans firearms from courthouses, except for bailiffs and other “officers of the court." Corbitt argues that definition includes attorneys.


Arkansas governor defends decision to accept new refugees

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' governor is defending his decision to continue accepting new refugees despite skepticism from some GOP lawmakers. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday challenged lawmakers to avoid creating “fear” about the decision to accept refugees. Hutchinson told a legislative committee that fewer than 50 refugees will be resettled in Washington County in northwestern Arkansas under his decision. Arkansas is among 42 states that have said they will continue to accept refugees since the Trump administration issued an order in September that gave state and local governments the authority to refuse to accept them for the first time in history.


Authorities: Inmate attacked and killed at Arkansas prison

BRICKEYS, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say an inmate serving a life sentence at an east Arkansas prison was stabbed to death over the weekend. The Arkansas Department of Corrections said Monday that 58-year-old Carl Luke Lowe was killed in the attack at the East Arkansas Regional Unit. The department said Lowe was buffing the floors at the prison Sunday night when another inmate stabbed him five or six times with a metal shank. The suspect was pepper sprayed by a correctional sergeant when he refused all orders to drop the shank. The suspect's name has not been released. The incident is being investigated by Arkansas State Police.


Ex-SAU student settles, withdraws lawsuit against university

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A former Southern Arkansas University student has reached a settlement with the university for its alleged “deliberate indifference” when she reported being sexually assaulted in 2015. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the woman will receive $55,000 and up to $5,000 for legal expanses from the university in Magnolia, according to a document obtained from SAU by the newspaper. SAU spokeswoman Caleigh Moyer said the university “admits no fault" and "believes the incident was handled in a very fair and caring manner to the complainant and in compliance with Title IX,” a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at schools that receive federal money.


Federal prosecutor in Arkansas resigning for private sector

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The federal prosecutor for western Arkansas says he's stepping down this week to take a private sector job. Duane Kees announced Monday his resignation, effective at midnight Friday. Kees is the United States attorney for the western district of Arkansas, which covers 34 counties. He was nominated for the post by President Donald Trump in 2017 and is a former Walmart official. He oversaw several public corruption cases, including the conviction of a former state senator for his role in a bribery scheme.


Educators throng Florida Capitol to fight for more money

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Thousands of school workers from across the state are assembling at Florida's Capitol to rally for more education spending. Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing nearly $1 billion for teacher bonuses and to dramatically lift starting salaries for public school teachers. But the 145,000-member Florida Education Association wants more than twice that amount every year over the next decade. The union is calling for 10% wage increases for all of its members, not just teachers. Crowds of demonstrators streamed into the Capitol on Monday, the eve of the official start of the 2020 legislative session.