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

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Ex-judge gets 40 years in Arkansas drug case

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge says a former northeast Arkansas judge convicted of drug conspiracy charges should spend 40 years in prison.

The judge imposed a tougher sentence on Bob Sam Castleman Friday after prosecutors linked him to the death of a witness who intended to testify against him. An FBI agent said Castleman traveled from a West Memphis casino to Travis Perkins' apartment, donned a trenchcoat and a wig, and shot Perkins to death last year.

Defense lawyer Blake Hendrix had said it was improper to consider Perkins' death during a sentencing hearing and that Castleman should face no more than 46 months in prison. Castleman has not been charged in the killing.

Ten years ago, Castleman was convicted of mailing a venomous snake to a man during a property dispute.


Jefferson County executive session deemed illegal

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - Jefferson County's prosecuting attorney has admonished the county election commission chairman over an executive session held in August to talk about complaints against primary workers.

The Democrat-Gazette reports Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter issued the letter of admonishment and caution to County Election Commission Chairman Ted Davis. Hunter ruled that Davis violated the state Freedom of Information Act by holding an illegal closed door session.

Commission member Stu Soffer, who asked for the investigation, walked out of the August 25th meeting after Davis called for the executive session.

Soffer says Davis didn't announce the reason for the session before he called it, making it illegal, though Davis insists he did. Davis says everything discussed was related to personnel issues and he did not violate the law.


Obama's war plan rattles Dem, GOP Senate nominees

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's plan to strike Islamic State militants is ruffling the usual left-right politics in several races that will decide control of the Senate this fall.

Republicans have tamped down their recent criticisms of Obama's foreign policy. Several are avoiding clear stands on his proposal to use air strikes and arms for Syrian rebels to fight the militants. Obama says he will not send in U.S. ground troops.

Meanwhile, some endangered Democratic candidates are skeptical of portions of Obama's plan.

These Democrats usually shift right when they distance themselves from the president. But the terrorism question has some edging to his left.

Several Democrats and Republicans are reluctant to arm Syrian rebels. They say the weapons might end up being used against America and its allies.


Attorney: Adrian Peterson indicted on child abuse

(AP) - The Minnesota Vikings benched Adrian Peterson for Sunday's game after his attorney said he had been indicted by a Texas grand jury on a charge of child abuse.

Attorney Rusty Hardin says the charge accuses Peterson of using a branch, or switch, to spank his son. He says Peterson has cooperated with authorities and "used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son." Hardin says Peterson regrets the incident but never intended to harm the boy.

The Vikings say the East Texas native will not be active for Sunday's home game against New England.

The allegations against the former Oklahoma Sooner come during a week in which the NFL has been under heavy scrutiny for the way it handled a domestic violence case involving former Ravens running back Ray Rice and his then-fiancee.

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