A look at some of the news that is making state headlines.
Arkansas inmate found unresponsive, dies at prison infirmary
GRADY — Arkansas prison officials say a 35-year-old inmate has died after he was found unresponsive in his cell at a maximum-security unit.
The Arkansas Department of Correction says Ronnie Martin was pronounced dead Tuesday night at the Cummins Unit.
Martin was serving a 20-year sentence out of Cleburne County on a drug charge.
His death comes as officials and lawmakers look into the suspected drug overdoses of five inmates who died last month at a different Arkansas prison. Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves says there's no indication that Martin's death is linked to the earlier deaths and that there was nothing conclusive showing drugs were involved.
Graves says a final cause of death will be determined following an autopsy and investigation.
Towboat fire closes Mississippi River
HELENA-WEST HELENA — A towboat fire prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to close a 10-mile stretch of the Mississippi River for more than seven hours between northeastern Arkansas and northwestern Mississippi.
A Coast Guard statement says the fire was reported about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday aboard the uninspected towing vessel Jacob Kyle Rusthoven near Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. The vessel was pushed to the Arkansas river bank where firefighting efforts continued.
The Coast Guard reports 13,300 gallons of fuel were aboard the vessel but no pollution had been reported. Its crew members also were reported safe.
The Coast Guard reopened the river shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, and the fire declared out about 8:30 p.m.
All ASU campuses see enrollment drop
JONESBORO — All five of Arkansas State University's campuses saw enrollment decreases this fall, according to university officials who attribute the decline partly to a robust economy full of jobs for high school graduates.
The university system shows an overall enrollment decline of about 2.7 percent in students when comparing enrollment figures tallied last week to 2017 figures, the Jonesboro Sun reported. The 11th day counts were released Sept. 5 as mandated by the state Department of Higher Education.
Fewer than 22,800 students enrolled this year at the system's campuses in Jonesboro, Beebe, Mountain Home, Newport and West Memphis campuses. The headcount last year was nearly 23,400.
Lower enrollment numbers can be partly attributed to high school students delaying higher education and choosing to get jobs now, system spokesman Jeff Hankins said.
"It's good news that people coming out of high school are getting employed," said Bill Smith, spokesman at the Jonesboro campus. "There's always the opportunity to go back to college to get higher lifetime earnings."
All campuses except Jonesboro show slight decreases when comparing full-time equivalency rates, which are calculations showing how many students would be attending if they were all enrolled full-time. Jonesboro's full-time equivalency rate this year shows just more than 10,000 students would be enrolled full-time, an 11-student increase from the final rate last year.
Enrollment increases were reported this year at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas Tech University in Russellville and Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. The University of Central Arkansas, Harding University's Conway campus and Southern Arkansas University all saw declining enrollments.
"This is a trend that's been going on for the last five years," Hankins said. "Jobs are plentiful."
College ex-president sentenced to prison
FAYETTEVILLE — The former president of a private Christian college in northwest Arkansas has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty for his role in a kickback scheme involving former state lawmakers.
Oren Paris III was also ordered to pay $621,500 in restitution. Paris was president of Ecclesia College. He admitted to funneling bribe money to the lawmakers in exchange for state grants.
Paris pleaded guilty to in April to one count of fraud. According to Arkansas Business , Paris said in court Wednesday that he takes full responsibility for his actions and that "there's no one to blame for my current situation other than myself."
Last week, former state Sen. Jon Woods was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison for his role in the scheme.
Hot Springs voters OK $2 million bond issue for museum
HOT SPRINGS, — Voters in Hot Springs have approved a $2 million bond issue to fund the construction of a new exhibition hall at the Mid-America Science Museum.
The measure passed Tuesday in a special election. Museum officials say the bonds will pay for a freestanding, 7,000-square-foot (650-square-meter) exhibition gallery that will make the museum the largest venue for science exhibits in the state.
Officials say the facility will be built on the west side of the museum's campus and will be connected to the current building by a covered walkway.
Museum officials say they hope the new facility will be open by September 2019.