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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The National Park Service has awarded Memphis a $400,000 grant for preservation of the historic Clayborn Temple, which served as the home base for the sanitation workers strike that brought civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. to the city.

The grant was announced Thursday, along with funding for more than 35 other projects associated with the civil rights movement across the country.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — How high is too high for a pile of chicken manure?

Eight feet, apparently.

Chicken waste is an excellent fertilizer, but with the growing season still weeks away it's piling up in barns across the South. To reduce the risk of fire from spontaneous combustion, poultry experts are warning farmers that piles 6½- to 7-feet high are high enough. One pile caught fire in western Arkansas this week, triggering a wildfire that destroyed a mobile home.

53-years ago, the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr gave the famous “I Have A Dream” speech.  In that speech, he called for equality and unity for all people.  The speech is also at the heart of many service projects that take place nationwide, because the speech was a call to action.  Millions of Americans across the county honor the memory of the late Dr. King by serving others.  The message of serving others is what the annual holiday is all about. 

Arkansas State University

PIGGOTT, Ark. — A dinner featuring special guest Valerie Hemingway, who was Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway’s personal secretary and confidante and later the wife of his youngest son, will highlight the annual reading retreat, hosted by the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum & Educational Center (HPMEC), Saturday, April 1, at the museum, 1021 W. Cherry Street, Piggott.

Michael Hibblen, KUAR Website (kuarpublicradio.org)

JONESBORO — A call for presentations for a public symposium in conjunction with the inaugural Johnny Cash Heritage Festival has been issued by Arkansas State University. The symposium, “Johnny Cash:  Arts and Artistry from the New Deal into the 21st Century,” will be held in Dyess, Ark., Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 19-21. 

The event is co-sponsored by the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and the A-State Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program. 

City of Jonesboro

The City of Jonesboro will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 16. As such, the sanitation schedule has been revised and changes are outlined below.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University celebrates its 50th year as a University.  Here is a press release:  

Chancellor Doug Whitlock invites everyone to a reception in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Arkansas State's attainment of university status on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 10 a.m. in the Administration Building lobby.

On Jan. 17, 1967, Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller signed legislation changing the name of Arkansas State College to Arkansas State University, as President Carl R. Reng, Student Government Association President Ray Hall Jr., and local and area legislators observed.

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The 91st General Assembly has convened in session and the next several weeks are expected to be very busy.  Lawmakers are being assigned to committees and hundreds of bills are being filed at a rapid pace.  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some Republican lawmakers in Missouri are proposing to overhaul the state's Medicaid system without waiting for President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress to act first.

A Senate committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would direct the state Department of Social Services to seek a "global waiver" from federal Medicaid requirements to remake the state's program.

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