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7:55 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Video conferences to eliminate personal visits in new Greene County jail

Video visitation services for inmates at the new Greene County jail in Paragould are expected to start this week.  Greene County Jail administrator Dave Tierney tells the Associated Press inmates and visitors should be able to talk to each other via video starting September 3.  He says the process will eliminate face-to-face visits.  The new video calls will be available through appointments and will be recorded.  The services are a key feature of the new 75,000 square-foot jail, which opened last month.  Nearly 500 inmates can be housed at the new facility.  The new jail is possible due to

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7:27 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Groundbreaking set for Big River Steel

Groundbreaking ceremonies for Big River Steel take place September 22.  The Blytheville Courier News says the event is invitation-only, and is expected to host numerous dignitaries, including Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.  Construction on the $1.3 billion project is expected to take at least two years.  Once built, at least 500 workers will be employed, averaging salaries of $75,000.  The project is moving forward, despite attempts to stop it from Nucor Steel in Blytheville.  Nucor has filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming the company is violating the Clean Air Act.  The project is bei

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6:42 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Missouri looks to place more locally grown food in schools

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is offering grants to get more locally produced food into the state’s schools.  Applications are being accepted to those who produce food themselves, or make foods that come from small farmers.  Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce tells the Associated Press the goal is to increase the amount of Missouri-made food that is served to students at breakfast and lunch.  Application deadline is October 31 and grant amounts are up to $200,000.  More information is available here.

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6:01 am
Tue September 2, 2014

JETS starts a new route in Jonesboro

The Jonesboro Economical Transit System is adding a new route today.  Director Steve Ewart says Route 57 will serve Northeast Jonesboro.  The bus will make stops about every 30 minutes and will connect the neighborhoods and institutions in the vicinity of East Aggie Road and Airport Road, the new NEA Baptist Hospital, and the area around Pleasant Grove Road with  Arkansas State University and the rest of Jonesboro.  Ewart says the route has been planned for more than two years and will be available from 5:43 am to 6:09 pm.  More information here:

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5:49 am
Tue September 2, 2014

What is the future of health care reform in Arkansas?

Two state senators who have been and will be instrumental in Arkansas’ health care policy say they like the trends they’re seeing in several reform areas and they expect the legislative branch to exert tremendous influence over future direction.

State Senators Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, and David Sanders, R-Little Rock, appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9 a.m. on KATV Channel 7.

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5:46 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Environmental regulators say it is too early to tell how Arkansas will react to EPA rules

Arkansas’ efforts to grapple with a new EPA rule that will have a huge impact on the economy is still in the education phase and one key regulator says it’s “too early” to tell which direction the state may go in complying with the rule.

Teresa Marks, director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9 a.m on KATV Channel 7.

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5:43 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Tom Cotton speaks to NEA Political Animals Club

This nation faces a series of challenges from people who want to destroy our way of life, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate said Friday.

Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, spoke to about 100 people during the monthly meeting of the NEA Political Animals club at the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce.

During his speech, Cotton mostly spoke about foreign policy and taxes. However, he did make some remarks on a lack of debates with his opponent, Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas.

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7:02 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Public meetings held to discuss proposed millage increase at Buffalo Island Central Schools

School officials at Buffalo Island Central are asking for a millage increase that would last for 30 years.  The proposal would raise the millage from 33 to 42 mills.  Superintendent Gaylon Taylor tells KAIT the increase would fund a $19.5 million dollar school that would combine the four campuses of the district into one facility, serving Pre-K through 12th grade.

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6:23 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Greene County could host more prisoners if Lawrence County's jail is shut down

If the Lawrence County jail is forced to shut down next month, one option the county would have is to ship their inmates to other counties, and reimburse those counties for the use of the facilities; however, that may be easier said than done.   Space is very limited at other county jails, according to a report from the Sun newspaper.  Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd has closed his county’s jail to misdemeanor inmates, citing a backlog of inmates that are waiting to be transferred to an Arkansas Department of Correction facility.  Boyd says the only people they are accepting ar

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5:53 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Randolph and Clay Counties continue to prepare for Peco Foods

As Pocahontas and surrounding communities get ready for Peco Foods to come to the region, a grant has been awarded to help in the preparation process.  KAIT reports the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority has received $20,000 to help alleviate the expenses for traveling to communities who have seen the start of major facilities.  Executive Director Wayne Gearhart says they are visiting the communities to get advice on how to prepare and what pitfalls the communities should avoid.  The money for the research is coming from Arkansas State University’s Delta Center for

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5:21 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Debate continues over economic impact of proposed EPA regulations

Six stakeholder groups went back-and-forth Thursday for several hours on the economic impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s pending regulations to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants in Arkansas.

The presentations, held at the North Little Rock headquarters of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, are part of the state’s ongoing process to meet the EPA mandate in Arkansas to reduce carbon emissions by 44% – if adopted by the federal regulators on June 1, 2015.

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5:17 am
Fri August 29, 2014

USDA help requested in grain crisis

Arkansas’ four Congressmen signed a joint letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that USDA extend the Commodity Credit Corporation loan repayment date for farmers affected by the collapse of Turner Grain Merchandising in Brinkley, Arkansas.

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6:27 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Jonesboro JETS ready for Saturday's football game

The Downtown Jonesboro Parking Lot at Cate and Church Streets will be available for this Saturday’s Arkansas State University football game against Montana State.  The Jonesboro Economical Transit System will provide low cost shuttle service from the city’s downtown parking lot to Centennial Bank Stadium, starting at three Saturday.  Buses will run every 30 minutes until six.  The kickoff for Saturday night’s game is 6:30 pm.  The Jets Buses will provide return service back to the downtown parking area at ten and 20 minutes after the game is over.  Director of JETS Steve Ewart says the rate

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6:13 am
Thu August 28, 2014

$60,000 in grants awarded to aid Delta families

Arkansas Community Foundation recently announced $60,000 in grants to six organizations working to improve social and economic conditions for children and families in the Arkansas Delta region. These grants, awarded from the Community Foundation’s Arkansas Delta Endowment for Building Community, will support initiatives that empower residents to improve their economic stability and quality of life. “We know that increasing families’ ability to earn a living and manage household finances are important steps to reducing poverty,” said Larkin.

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6:10 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Pryor stands by Ebola Ad, saying it is 'Fair and Accurate'

Saying votes have “consequences,” Sen. Mark Pryor stood by a controversial ad tying the vote of his Republican opponent, Cong. Tom Cotton, to the Ebola outbreak that has created a world health scare.

Pryor’s ad, which you can view below, contends Cotton voted against the “Pandemic And All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act,” which authorized spending for disease outbreaks and potential health threats such as anthrax attacks.

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5:54 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Water Quality Grants awarded statewide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $100,000 to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday for the agency’s ongoing water quality management planning.

EPA officials said the funds will be used to conduct analysis of chemical samples of rivers, streams and lakes in Arkansas. The federal Clean Water Act allows EPA to issue states funding for regional water quality management planning projects.

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5:46 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Lawrence County expected to lose its jail

Lawrence County’s jail is to be shut down next month.  The Sun newspaper reports members of the Arkansas Jail Standards Committee went to the jail yesterday and was about to order the immediate shut down of the facility.  After meeting with those officials, Lawrence County Judge Dale Freeman stated the county was given until September 17th to work on some of the many issues the jail has.  Freeman says the jail is expected to close soon because it has failed inspections over the last ten years.

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9:04 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Governor Beebe, Jonesboro Chamber Leader, and Mayor of Maumelle recognized

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe was honored Tuesday by a statewide economic development group for his career in public service.

The Maria Haley Lifetime Leadership for Economic Development award was given to Beebe during a meeting of Arkansas Economic Developers at the Marriott Little Rock. 

The group thanked Beebe for his support of several economic development related projects while serving in the state legislature for nearly 20 years and as governor. 

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9:00 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Economic developers hear of workforce 'Emergency', Superproject Amendment Changes

The state’s economic development community concluded two days of workshops hearing from leaders who called for a workforce overhaul and potential changes to Amendment 82, the state’s superproject amendment.

Grant Tennille, director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, delivered his state of the state’s economy address to the Arkansas Economic Developers, a group of chamber leaders, professional economic developers, and site selection consultants on Tuesday at the Little Rock Marriott Hotel.

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6:48 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Arkansas State will host Missouri in 2015 football season

Arkansas State University Athletic Director Terry Mohajir speaks at a press conference. Photo courtesy of Arkansas State University.

Next football season, Arkansas State University will kick off their home stand by hosting the University of Missouri in Jonesboro.  After contemplating undisclosed offers to move the game to St. Louis, Arkansas State University Athletic Director Terry Mohajir made the announcement during a press conference yesterday at Centennial Bank Stadium.

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5:37 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Health insurance marketplace premiums to drop in Arkansas

(Courtesy of Governor Mike Beebe's office.)

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5:08 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Arkansas State University receives $5 million for expansion at Centennial Bank stadium

Howl, Chairman of Centennial Bank Johnny Allison, Arkansas State University Athletic Director Terry Mohajir, Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson, and Arkansas State University System President Dr. Charles Welch.

(Courtesy of Arkansas State University.)

The Arkansas State Athletics Department announced Tuesday the single largest personal gift commitment in its history, a $5 million contribution by the Johnny Allison family that will be used in conjunction with A-State’s “Centennial Expansion” project. 

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11:33 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Health Department says unaccompanied children pose little health risks

(Courtesy of the Arkansas Department of Health.)

The Arkansas Department of Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has concluded that unaccompanied children who have arrived in the state from Central America pose little risk of spreading infectious diseases to the public. There are no U.S. Health and Human Services’ shelters housing unaccompanied children in Arkansas, but children have been placed with family members or sponsors in the state.

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9:26 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Governor Beebe announces 35 appointments to Boards and Commissions

(Courtesy of Governor Mike Bebee's office.)

Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following education appointments:

Kim Davis, Fayetteville, to the State Board of Education. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces Brenda Gullett.

Dr. Milton “Olin” Cook, Russellville, reappointed to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2020.

Christopher Gilliam, Sr., Magnolia, to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2020. Replaces Kaneaster Hodges.

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6:19 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Construction zones could slow Labor Day travel

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) reminds drivers to visit IDriveArkansas.com before traveling over the Labor Day weekend. Extensive highway improvements continue in the state. With those improvements come work zones. To aid in your holiday travel, AHTD has been working hard to open as manylanes as possible. Still, travelers will likely face work zones and possible delays due to increased traffic volume.Drivers are urged to plan ahead by visiting IDriveArkansas.com for the latest travelinformation.

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