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Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

  A campaign to attract more jobs to Jonesboro is underway.  Jonesboro Unlimited is starting a 5 year approach to economic development called Momentum Jonesboro.  The goal is to raise three-point-seven million dollars over the next five years to being more than five thousand high-paying jobs to Jonesboro.  Chairman of Jonesboro Unlimited Brad Edwards says the focus areas are for business attraction, talent attraction and community enhancement.  

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

A partnership is formed to bring job opportunities to young adults with disabilities in northeast Arkansas.  St. Bernards Medical Center is working with Little Rock-based ACCESS and Arkansas Rehabilitative Services.  Educators from area schools are being trained on the program, which is called Project SEARCH.  Vice President of Human Resources at St. Bernards Lori Smith says the project will bring job training and employment assistance for those with disabilities.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas legislative committee has voted to outlaw an abortion procedure that opponents call "savage" and "barbaric" while others deem it the safest way to end a pregnancy in the second trimester.

The proposal by a legislator who is president of Arkansas Right to Life would ban dilation and evacuation, also known as a D&E abortion. The measure passed the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on a voice vote Thursday.

BEAVER CITY, Neb. (AP) — A man being held in a south-central Nebraska jail cell is awaiting a Jan. 30 hearing on returning him to face charges in Tennessee.

Furnas County Sheriff Kurt Kapperman said Thursday that 55-year-old Michael Parsons was arrested without incident Jan. 12 at the Arapahoe Airport. Kapperman says the FBI, working with Tennessee authorities, had tracked Parsons' cellphone to the area.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Airport, trucking and business officials all are urging Missouri lawmakers to change state driver's license laws to comply with federal identification requirements.

A Senate committee heard testimony Thursday on legislation that would allow two options for driver's licenses — one that complies with the federal Real ID act and another that doesn't.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A bill prohibiting mandatory union fees in workplaces is moving to the Missouri Senate after winning House approval.

The 100-59 vote Thursday by the House comes after Republican supermajorities made the so-called right-to-work law a priority for this year.

If the law passes, employees won't be required to pay union fees, even though the union may still be required to represent all employees.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed on behalf of five people who say they were discriminated against while trying to take part in a Black Lives Matter demonstration at Elvis Presley's Graceland.

The protest coincided with an annual candlelight vigil held by fans at the singer's home on the Aug. 15 anniversary of his death.

Graceland owner, Elvis Presley Enterprises, and the city of Memphis are named in the complaint filed Wednesday.

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Renasant Corp. announced Tuesday that it's buying Metropolitan BancGroup for $190 million in stock.

The Tupelo-based bank says acquiring Metropolitan's $1.2 billion in assets will boost its market share, making it the fifth-largest bank in the metro areas of Memphis, Tennessee, and Jackson, Mississippi. Metropolitan has eight total offices, four in the Jackson area and two apiece in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A Pulaski County Circuit judge approved paying $29.1 million from a lawsuit settlement fund to more than 21,000 Marlboro Lights users and their attorneys.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2iIDrgI) reports the $45 million settlement fund was set up to end a 13-year-old lawsuit alleging that Philip Morris USA and parent company Altria Group misled smokers in Arkansas by advertising Marlboro Lights and Ultra-Lights were safer than regular cigarettes.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas Senate panel has advanced Gov. Asa Hutchinson's $50 million proposal to cut income taxes for more than 600,000 low-income residents.

The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on Wednesday endorsed the Republican governor's proposal to cut income taxes for those making less than $21,000 a year. The legislation would also form a task force to recommend further tax cuts before the 2019 legislative session.

federaltax.net

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to present his proposal to boost state road funding Wednesday.

Haslam has acknowledged that any long-term road program to pay for the state's $6 billion transportation backlog will likely have to include the state's first gas tax increase since 1989. Lawmakers aren't expecting him to propose a hike of more than 7 to 9 cents per gallon on top of the current 21.4-cent tax.

Each penny of the gas tax is worth about $32 million per year, according to the state Transportation Department.

Jonesboro's Speights named new Dean of NYIT DO School

Jan 18, 2017
NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine

Old Westbury, N.Y., Jan. 17, 2017 —Jerry Balentine, D.O., vice president for medical affairs and global health at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), announced today that NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) has promoted Shane Speights, D.O., to dean of NYITCOM’s site at Arkansas State University. Dr.

Wikipedia

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' State of the State address Tuesday (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

Republican legislative leaders are planning to get to work quickly on some of the priorities outlined by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in his first State of the State address.

In a nearly 40-minute speech Tuesday night, the new Republican governor said Missouri could grow its economy by limiting union powers and liability lawsuits against businesses, cutting state regulations and revamping its tax laws.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A contentious right-to-work bill to ban mandatory union fees is set to be debated by the Missouri House.

On Wednesday, the Republican-led House is expected to take up the measure for an initial vote of approval. A final vote to send the legislation to the Senate could come as early as Thursday.

GOP legislative leaders strongly support right to work. It's on the fast-track to passage now backers have support from the state's new Republican governor, Eric Greitens.

New A-State Study Abroad Director Named

Jan 17, 2017
Arkansas State University

JONESBORO — Jeanne d’Arc Gomis (pronounced Zan dark Gohmes), a multilingual professional with over 13 years of experience in international education, U.S. and international member relations management and study abroad advising, has been named the director of the Study Abroad Programs at Arkansas State University.

On January 17, 1969, Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockerfeller signed a law granting Arkansas State College university status.  2017 is the 50th anniversary of the institution's status.  KASU's Johnathan Reaves was there live broadcasting the reception Facebook Live.

Pixabay

Ameren Missouri is seeking public comment today (Tuesday) from Southeast Missouri residents on a proposed rate increase.

Media outlets in Missouri report a hearing will be held in Charleston at the high school auditorium tonight at 6 p.m.  The state Public Service Commission along with representatives from Ameren are expected to be there to answer questions.

Two hearings were scheduled for today.  The first is in Cape Girardeau at the Osage Center at noon.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Monday, January 16, 2017 was the 15th anniversary of the annual Craighead County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and program.  KASU's Johnathan Reaves was there live and captured the festivities with Facebook Live.  Click on the video below to watch the program.

Wikipedia

After recently consolidating with College City, Walnut Ridge officials are seeking to merge with Hoxie for 2017.

KAIT reports Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp expressed hope in bringing the two cities together in his State of the City address to the city council Monday night.

Wikipedia

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S. as it opens new stores and expands existing locations.

The world's biggest retailer said Tuesday that there will also be about 24,000 construction jobs as well.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says there will be 59 new, expanded and relocated Walmart and Sam's Clubs facilities.

Johnny Cash Heritage Festival Announces Symposium Headliners

Jan 13, 2017
Arkansas State University

JONESBORO — A pair of experts who have researched and authored publications about legendary singer Johnny Cash and the New Deal era will be the keynote speakers at the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival Symposium, Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 19-21, in Dyess.

ASU System Office

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson today appointed Price Gardner of Little Rock, a 1984 graduate of Arkansas State University, to a five-year term on the ASU Board of Trustees.

Gardner succeeds Howard Slinkard of Rogers, who served two five-year terms on the board, most recently as chair. His appointment expires in January 2022.

ASU System President Chuck Welch said Gardner is a longtime supporter of the university who will be a strong addition to the board.

 COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ameren Missouri electric customers will now have to pay about $3 more on their monthly bill to support energy efficiency efforts by the utility company. The Missouri Public Service Commission says the charge will apply to the bills of 4,118 customers in Boone County and 1.26 million customers statewide.

Mike's Music News

Arkansas' Crawford named to House Intelligence Committee

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — President Barack Obama's administration has scaled back new safety measures for the sprawling network of fuel pipelines that crisscross the United States after oil industry complaints over the cost.

The administration has released long-delayed regulations for almost 200,000 miles of pipelines that transport oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids.

The changes Friday include more rigorous inspections of lines in rural areas and new requirements for leak detection systems.

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