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Briefs

by C Gilliam | November 18, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

MHS sets honk line, bear hunt

to get ready for football playoffs

On Friday, Magnolia High School will have a honk line and a car decorating contest.

The honk line will form at the Panther Stadium visitor's parking lot at 7:30 a.m. Plans are for it to drive by Eastside Elementary and then park in front of Panther Arena for judging.

Cars have to be decorated for the Panthers to be in the honk line, but cars in the decorating contest who don't want to do the honk line can just park in front of the arena by 8 a.m. to be judged.

There's also "bear hunt" planned for early Friday morning because Pulaski Academy is the Bruins.

On Thursday night, some adults are hiding construction paper bears around the school, and kids can enter as early as 6:30 a.m. when the gates open to try to find them. There willl be prizes planned for both the decorating contest and the bear hunt.

The events are to celebrate the Panthers' second round playoff game at Pulaski Academy Friday night. Magnolia teacher Mandy McIntyre is in charge.

• • • •

Arkansas expands booster

eligibility to age 18 and older

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine boosters to anyone aged 18 and older, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

The state joins several others that are making the additional shot available to more people. California, Colorado and New Mexico have also expanded eligibility for the booster in recent days.

The state previously made the booster available for people 65 and older, who work in high-risk settings or had underlying health conditions,

Hutchinson called the previous guidelines for the booster shot "somewhat confusing and limiting."

"We want to make sure everyone 18 and over is eligible and is encouraged to get the booster," Hutchinson said at his weekly news conference.

Under the new guidelines, the state recommends a booster six months after the second Pfizer or Moderna shot or two months after a first Johnson & Johnson shot.

• • • •

Deputy pleads not guilty in

fatal shooting of teenager

LONOKE, Ark. (AP) -- A former Arkansas sheriff's deputy pleaded not guilty in the fatal shooting of a white teenager whose death has drawn the attention of civil rights activists.

Michael Davis entered the plea to a felony count of manslaughter in the June 23 shooting of 17-year-old Hunter Brittain, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Davis shot Brittain during a traffic stop outside an auto repair shop along Arkansas Highway 89 south of Cabot, a city of about 26,000 people roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock. Davis was charged in September in Brittain's death.

Davis told investigators he shot Brittain once in the neck after the teen reached into the back of his truck and did not comply with his commands to show his hands, according to Davis' arrest affidavit. Brittain was holding a container -- which his family members have said held antifreeze -- and no evidence of firearms were found in or near the truck, the affidavit said.

A passenger with Brittain said he and the teen had been working on the transmission for Brittain's truck. The passenger told investigators he never heard Davis tell the teen to show his hands, according to the affidavit.

Davis, who is white, was fired by Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley in July for not turning on his body camera until after the shooting occurred. Staley said there's no footage from the shooting, only the aftermath.

A jury trial for Davis was set for March 15, with a status hearing set for Jan. 24 and a pre-trial hearing on March 14.

• • • •

Electric vehicle maker moving

its headquarters to Bentonville

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- The electric vehicle company Canoo has announced plans to relocate its headquarters to northwest Arkansas and create more than 500 new jobs.

The company said that its headquarters will move from California to Bentonville -- which is also the home of Walmart -- and a research and development facility will be in nearby Fayetteville.

Canoo announced earlier this year that it would build a manufacturing facility in Pryor, Oklahoma, and said Monday's announcement is part of a plan to make the U.S. 412 corridor from Oklahoma to Arkansas a "center of electric vehicle research, development and manufacturing power."

The Pryor assembly plant is expected to open in 2023 and employ 2,000 people.

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