Hay, wheat, corn take beating from Arkansas rains
DE QUEEN, Ark. (AP) - Heavy rain and high winds brought by recent storms did some damage to the Arkansas corn, winter wheat and hay crops.
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture said Wednesday that high winds in places either flattened the crops or left them leaning.
Arkansas ranchers are in particular need of a good crop of hay. Cattle producers were desperately short of hay last year during the drought.
The rain also poses problems for farmers who need dry fields to plant.
More than 2½ inches of rain fell in places and winds of up to 60 mph gave the crops a thrashing.
STATE LAWMAKER-ELECTION FRAUD
2 men sentenced in Arkansas election fraud case
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Two men who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in an election fraud case involving a former east Arkansas lawmaker have been sentenced to home confinement and probation.
Federal court records show that Phillip Wayne Carter was sentenced Wednesday to five months of home confinement. Sam Malone was sentenced Tuesday to 7.2 months of home confinement. Both men were also sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.
Carter and Malone pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge in September, along with former Democratic Representative Hudson Hallum and Hallum's father.
Prosecutors said the Hallums instructed Carter and Malone to bribe voters and use absentee ballots to commit fraud.
Hallum and his father are scheduled to be sentenced June 20 in Little Rock.
Wal-Mart hires Hill & Knowlton executive
NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores is naming Dan Bartlett, who had been president and CEO of the U.S. arm of global public relations firm Hill and Knowlton, as its new executive vice president of corporate affairs.
Bartlett also served as a senior counselor to President George W. Bush. The 41 year old succeeds Leslie Dach, who played an influential role in reinventing the image of Wal-Mart in the face of mounting attacks by labor groups and other critics during his seven year-tenure. Wal-Mart said in March that Dach, a former Democratic strategist, was leaving in June.
Bartlett will report to Mike Duke, Wal-Mart's president and CEO, and will serve as a member of the Bentonville-based company's executive council.
Ex-coach sentenced to 10 years for sex charge
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a former Texarkana-area youth baseball coach who pleaded guilty to a sex charge has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The U.S. Attorney's office for the Western District of Arkansas says 62-year-old Walter Richard Roberts of Texarkana was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum sentence available under the law at the time of the crime.
Prosecutors say Roberts was a youth baseball coach in Texarkana from 1986 to 1994 and that he engaged in a pattern of sexual assault that spanned several years.
Roberts pleaded guilty in November to a charge of taking a minor across state lines for sex.
His lawyer, Craig Henry of Texarkana, didn't immediately respond to a phone message left late Wednesday.
University of Arkansas opens new LR office
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The University of Arkansas is opening new office space in downtown Little Rock.
The new space, in the Metropolitan Tower, was provided by Flake and Kelley Commercial and Capitol Avenue Development Company. The university says the office will be used by UA employees traveling to central Arkansas for university purposes.
The university says the office will help UA have a greater presence in the Little Rock area, where many alumni and donors live, as well as prospective students.
The new offices include meeting places, a conference room and a patio that can be used for special events.
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