Some Monday headlines

Arkansas and several of its cities and counties will share in $20.1 million of federal stimulus money intended to enhance energy efficiency.

The Pine Bluff Arsenal expects to receive $25 million from the federal economic stimulus package to help remove asbestos, repair roofs and modernize its manufacturing operations.

Members of the Libertarian Party are discussing the state’s marijuana laws. Several members want to legalize possession of one ounce of pot or less. Many of those in favor have said that by legalizing the drug, the US government would save billions of dollars.

The Democrat-Gazette reports the legislature is considering an appropriation to join the 150th anniversary commemoration of the Civil War beginning in 2011.

A committee of the State House rejects a bill to make domestic partnership registries illegal.

The sponsor of a law against toy guns will change its name so as not to prejudice a wrongful death lawsuit pending in West Memphis.

The Arkansas House approved a tax cut for low-income single parents, saying the measure should have been included in tax breaks approved in previous sessions.

A bill aimed at helping make income tax payers more aware of fees that some preparation services charge cleared a state House of Representatives committee.

The House approved a bill that would give the state authority to monitor the finances of education service cooperatives and place troubled cooperatives on fiscal distress status, as it does now with troubled school.

Verizon Regional President Steve Smith tells Roby Brock that changes are very near and cuts in employment and signage changes can be expected by the third quarter.

Claiborne Deming, chief executive officer and president of Murphy Oil Corp. until he stepped down Dec. 31, was paid $8.4 million in 2008, about 5 percent less than the previous year.

Wal-Mart is closing a central Ohio optical lab to reduce costs, eliminating 650 jobs, with a Fayetteville facility scheduled to pick up some of the work.

Family owned Resource Management of Pine Bluff will add 40 workers.

Little Rock-based world hunger relief organization Heifer International is planning a workforce reduction in the wake of the global economic crisis, but the extent of the cuts is not yet known.

An unnamed elected Benton official ordered a sewer discount for a Saline County hospital without seeking City Council approval, a move that the city attorney suspects is a violation of a state law against unauthorized utility discounts.

A man convicted of repeatedly raping a woman he followed home on the Fourth of July was sentenced to eight consecutive life sentences.

Pike County Authorities are looking into whether a visitor to the Crater of Diamonds State Park faked finding a diamond there.