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This Hour: Latest Arkansas news, sports, business and entertainment

GAY MARRIAGE-ARKANSAS

Arkansas AG asks court to uphold gay marriage ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The attorney general's office is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold the state's gay marriage ban, arguing a county judge was wrong to say it violated the state and U.S. constitutions.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office on Monday asked justices to uphold the 2004 constitutional amendment and an earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza struck down the ban earlier this year, and 541 same-sex couples were married before the ruling was suspended by the state Supreme Court pending appeals.

McDaniel's office argued that a constitutional amendment cannot be ruled unconstitutional, and is arguing the state's voters have the right to define marriage.

A group of same-sex couples is also challenging the ban in federal court.

ARKANSAS GOVERNOR-FUNDRAISING

Hutchinson says more than $420K raised in August

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Republican gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchinson's campaign says he raised more than $420,000 in his bid for Arkansas' top office last month.

Hutchinson's campaign reported Monday it ended the month with $667,000 cash on hand and has raised more than $3.4 million since launching his bid last year. Monday is the deadline for state candidates to file their monthly fundraising reports.

Hutchinson reported spending more than $582,000 during the month, the bulk of which was to reserve television airtime for the final weeks of the campaign. A report for Democratic nominee Mike Ross was not immediately available Monday morning.

Hutchinson and Ross are both ex-congressmen and are running to succeed Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

ARKANSAS JUDGE-INVESTIGATION

Conway city attorney to fill open judicial spot

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe has appointed the Conway city attorney to serve out the remainder of the term of a circuit judge who was removed from the bench by the Arkansas Supreme Court last week.

Beebe announced Monday that he's appointed Michael Murphy to serve as a circuit judge in the 2nd Division of the 20th Judicial Circuit. Murphy replaces Mike Maggio, who was removed from the bench by the high court for inappropriate comments Maggio admitted making on an online forum.

Beebe says Murphy's appointment expires Dec. 31. After that, Murphy will take over as a circuit judge in the circuit's 5th Division after winning the seat earlier this year.

ACXIOM-EXPANSION

Acxiom announces plans for new Texas office

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas-based Acxiom has announced plans to open a new office in Austin, Texas.

The data and marketing services company says it intends to fill up to 150 positions at the Austin office. The jobs will include software engineers, network architects, project managers and other positions in the technology field.

Acxiom says it will host a job fair Thursday in Austin.

The new offices will open in late November.

FORT SMITH-MEDICAL COLLEGE

Fort Smith considers fee waiver for med school

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - City leaders in Fort Smith are considering whether to waive $63,500 in fees for permits related to the construction of a new medical college.

The Fort Smith Board of Directors will be asked Tuesday to waive the fees for the planned Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. According to the Southwest Times Record, the proposed medical school could create 80 to 90 jobs and have an annual financial impact of about $100 million.

The college will be built on 200 acres of land at Chaffee Crossing. It's expected to be completed by April 2016.

EMERALD ASH BORER-ARKANSAS

25 Arkansas counties under firewood quarantine

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas State Plant Board has implemented an emergency quarantine on certain types of wood in 25 Arkansas counties to help slow the spread of an invasive beetle.

Residents in the affected counties are asked to not move firewood and wood from ash trees out of the county in hopes of slowing the spread of the emerald ash borer.

The beetle was first discovered in Michigan and is blamed for killing millions of ash trees in the United States and Canada.

So far, the emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Nevada and Ouachita counties. Other counties included in the quarantine are: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Cleveland, Drew, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Howard, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Little River, Miller, Montgomery, Pike, Saline, Sevier and Union counties.

ARKANSAS-UEKMAN SCHOLARSHIP

Arkansas senior receives 1st Uekman scholarship

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A foundation named in honor of an Arkansas football player who died in 2011 has awarded its first scholarship.

Family members of Garrett Uekman (EK'-muhn) made the announcement Monday alongside Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long. The 19-year-old Uekman was a redshirt freshman for the Razorbacks when he died Nov. 20, 2011, of a previously undetected heart condition.

The Garrett Uekman Foundation said the first scholarship recipient is Uekman's friend and roommate, Luke Charpentier (shar-pen-tee-AY'). Charpentier is a fifth-year offensive lineman and has started the first two games this season at left guard.

He is a native of Cut Off, Louisiana, and was in the same recruiting class as Uekman.

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

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