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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lawmakers are questioning a newly revised policy allowing visitors to bring firearms into the Missouri Capitol.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2k83UVx) reports that Gov. Eric Greitens' administration lifted a month-old prohibition Monday on allowing people with concealed-weapon permits to carry their guns into the statehouse.

Members of a Senate panel recommended Wednesday to look at potentially changing the rules that govern what happens with firearms inside the Capitol.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Supreme Court justices have questioned whether a city's ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity flies in the face of a 2015 state law that was intended to prevent local LGBT protections.

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A coalition of grocery store chains, dry county liquor store owners and small winery operators won the first round of a hot legislative battle when a bill allowing sales of all wine varieties in local grocery stores cleared the Senate floor on Wednesday.

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Human Rights Campaign-Arkansas held a town hall meeting discussing LGBTQ issues under a new Presidential administration.  View the town hall below.  

One of the state's most prominent voices in journalism, government and public affairs, Rex Nelson appeared during the noon Agri-business conference at Arkansas State University.  <

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill proposed in Tennessee's legislature would create a sales tax holiday for guns and ammunition.

The bill, filed Wednesday by Republican Rep. Dennis Powers, calls for a "Second Amendment sales tax holiday" on the first weekend of September each year.

Knoxville station WBIR reports that Tennessee already has a sales tax holiday at the end of the summer that's meant for back-to-school shopping. Last year, Louisiana and Mississippi each hosted sales tax holiday weekends on guns.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed two new heads of the state's emergency management and fire safety divisions.

Greitens appointed Ernie Rhodes to be the director of the State Emergency Management Agency and Tim Bean as the state Fire Marshal in an announcement Wednesday at the St. Louis Fire Academy.

Rhodes currently serves as the fire chief for the West County EMS and Fire Protection District. He previously served as the director of Emergency Management in St. Charles, Missouri.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Wisconsin senator has accused the Department of Veterans of Affairs of firing a doctor for speaking out about alleged shortcomings at a Missouri VA hospital and then thwarting his efforts to get hired at another VA site.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who heads the Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, wrote in a recent letter to the VA's acting secretary that the department should "cease all retaliatory actions" against Dr. Dale Klein.

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Roof repairs, field funding and equipment…those items addressed at last night’s Jonesboro City Council meeting.   

The council passed an emergency clause that allows for 35-thousand-dollars of repairs to the roof at the old justice complex.  Over time, water leaks has damaged the roof to the point that immediate repairs are necessary…that according to city officials who planned to do renovation work at the building and discovered the damage. 

This week, in the music department at Arkansas State University, Mr. Richard Pearson Thomas is serving as “composer in residence.”

He is working with students from the ASU Opera Theatre as they will present his comedic opera A Wake or A Wedding later this year.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Three months after losing his bid for the U.S. Senate, former Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is launching an organization that's taking a new approach to fight what he calls voter suppression efforts.

Kander on Tuesday announced an organization called Let America Vote. A 27-member advisory board includes elected officials from across the country, communications leaders, and activists that include Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain civil rights leader.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Parts of Arkansas could see stormy weather late Monday and early Tuesday with damaging winds and large hail the biggest threats.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says parts of the state are at a slight risk Monday for bad weather, including Fort Smith and Fayetteville. Forecasters say isolated thunderstorms could develop Monday afternoon, but the main threat will be later in the evening.

Eric Greitens Official Facebook Page

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is signing a bill to make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state on Monday, delivering a big win for primarily GOP supporters who have worked for years to pass the measure banning mandatory union fees and dues.

The bill signing in Missouri comes amid a national push to implement the policy. Republicans in Congress have introduced a version of right-to-work legislation that would, for the first time, allow millions of workers to opt out of union membership.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — About 80 members of the Arkansas National Guard are headed to the Middle East for a deployment in Kuwait.

A send-off ceremony was held Sunday at Camp Robinson for members of the 77th Combat Aviation Brigade. The group includes aviation support personnel who will provide helicopter maintenance and operation in Kuwait.

Officials with the Guard say about 400 Arkansans are now deployed to Kuwait, while another 700 National Guard members are stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas, as they prepare for a deployment to Africa.

Talk Business & Politics

U. S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, says having a Southerner as Agriculture Secretary will be good for Arkansas. He also says don’t look for a singular piece of legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Crawford, who appeared on Talk Business & Politics this week, said former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who has been nominated by President Trump as Agriculture Secretary, will be good for Arkansas farmers.

KASU News

In this interview with U.S. Senator John Boozman, KASU's News Director Johnathan Reaves asks about the confirmation process of President Donald Trump's picks, executive orders, and answers listener's questions.  

Arkansas State University

JONESBORO – Arkansas native Rex Nelson, one of the state's most prominent voices in journalism, government and public affairs, will be the luncheon speaker for Arkansas State University’s annual Agribusiness Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Nelson will discuss the economic and political history of the Arkansas Delta and how the Delta’s history is impacting its future.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University denies a request to make the Jonesboro campus a sanctuary campus.  In a signed petition given to the Arkansas State University System, Dr. Michelle Merritt made the request in light of a recent executive order that would temporarily ban people from seven specified countries from entering the United States.  A federal judge issued an emergency stay allowing those who are already in the country from being deported.  Bills going through the Arkansas House and Senate would prevent cities and institutions of higher education from being sanctuary cities and campus.

Eric Greitens Official Facebook Page

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' budget proposal released Thursday for the 2018 fiscal year (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas finance officials say the state's revenue has fallen $57 million below forecast this year, with word coming the day after the state's Republican governor signed into law an income tax cut that'll take effect in two years.

The state Department of Finance and Administration on Thursday said the state's net available revenue last month totaled $535.9 million, which was $15.9 million below the same month last year and $47.1 million below forecast. The state's net revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1 totals $3.1 billion.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — The director of the Missouri State Parks division says he's been removed from the job without explanation.

Bill Bryan told The Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/2ktFgTG) he was told Jan. 23 that his services were no longer needed. He says no explanation was given and he didn't ask for one.

Bryan was appointed by former Gov. Jay Nixon in 2009 to head the state parks department. During his tenure, the park system added seven new parks.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Courageous!  That description given as part of a recognition of the first four African American professors to teach at Arkansas State University.  The four individuals . . . Dr. Wilbert Gaines, the late Dr. C. Calvin Smith, the late Dr. Mossie Richmond, and Dr. Herman Strickland . . .are named “The Circle”.  Associate Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Lonnie Williams says those families experienced hard times when they came to campus in the early 1970s.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee motorists can try their hand at coming up with a winning safety message for the overhead message signs on the state interstate highways.

The state Department of Transportation says it's holding a contest again this year for a catchy safety message.

Last year's winning entries were "Turn signals, the original instant messaging"; "Get the cell off your phone and drive"; "Practice safe text. Don't do it while driving"; "You're in Tennessee. Volunteer to drive safe"; and "Ain't nobody got time for a wreck. Slow it down."

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Results from a monthly survey of business supply managers suggest economic conditions continue to improve in nine Midwest and Plains states.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report released Wednesday says the overall economic index for the region rose to 54.7 in January from 53.1 in December. It's the highest figure since February 2015 and the third monthly increase in a row.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the increases point to an improving regional manufacturing economy.

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