News Minute: Here is the latest Arkansas news from The Associated Press - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

News Minute: Here is the latest Arkansas news from The Associated Press

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas officials are asking a federal judge to reject an effort to strike down the state's gay marriage ban. The attorney general's office on Wednesday asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to deny the motion for summary judgment filed by two same-sex couples challenging the ban. The couples earlier this month asked Baker to find a 2004 constitutional amendment and any related laws barring gay marriage unconstitutional.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - State Senator Johnny Key is stepping down from his seat to take a lobbying job with the University of Arkansas system. State Senate officials on Wednesday released a letter Key submitted earlier this month resigning his seat. In the letter, dated July 18th, Key writes that his resignation will be effective tomorrow.

MONTICELLO, Ark. (AP) - A Texas-based company is opening a $90 million facility in south Arkansas to manufacture wood pellets that can be used as an alternative fuel source. Zilkha Biomass Energy LLC announced today it is building a facility in Monticello that will employ 52 people.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal prosecutor says two men with ties to a drug cartel have pleaded guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to transport cocaine from Mexico to Little Rock. U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Thyer says Mohammed Kazam Martinez pleaded guilty today to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute narcotics. His brother, Homar Martinez, has pleaded guilty to the same charge in Texas.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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