A-State to host Gubernatorial Debate October 20

Sep 29, 2014

A consortium of local groups will host a televised debate between the leading gubernatorial candidates on Monday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in Arkansas State University’s Carl R. Reng Student Union.

The Northeast Arkansas Political Animals Club is the lead sponsor of the debate featuring Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross.  The Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce, KAIT Region 8, ASU-TV and A-State are also assisting to host the Democratic and Republican candidates. 

Arkansas State University has seen a sharp increase in the number of alcohol violations reported on campus.  According to campus crime statistics released by the Arkansas State University Police Department, the number of violations concerning liquor laws has jumped dramatically over the last three years.  From 2011 to 2013, the number of arrests for violations of liquor laws went from zero arrests in 2011 to 24 in 2013.  The number of referrals made for violations of liquor laws went from 25 in 2011 to 101 last year.  Arkansas State University has a strict policy against the use and sale of

New polls show Republicans are in the lead in key Arkansas races

Sep 24, 2014

New poll numbers come from a survey of likely voters by Public Policy Polling conducted last Thursday through Sunday. It finds Republican Tom Cotton ahead in the U.S. Senate race, 43% to 38% over Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. Libertarian Nathan LaFrance and Green party nominee Mark Swaney garnered 3% each and 13% were undecided.

In the Governor’s race, Republican Asa Hutchinson led 44% to 38% over Democrat Mike Ross. The third party candidates pulled in 5% collectively and 13% were undecided. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.6%.

Speakers say the state and next Governor need workforce plan

Sep 24, 2014

Arkansas has jobs. Arkansas has people who need jobs. Arkansas has too many people who need jobs who can’t do the job.

Those problems were the subject of a daylong Jobs Now workforce summit sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce at the Statehouse Convention Center. According to the chamber, 49% of skilled-trade workers in Arkansas are age 45 and older.

Among the highlights of the event were two panel discussions focused on workforce opinions that included education, government and business leaders.

The old Jonesboro Fire Station at Caraway Road and Matthews Avenue is coming down.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin tells the Sun Newspaper the old building was originally to be converted into the new transfer station for the Jonesboro Economical Transportation System (JETS); however, architects recommended the old building be torn down and a new building be constructed at the same location.  JETS Director Steve Ewart says the location is perfect because it is centrally located in Jonesboro.  The parking lot of the facility is being used to meet and transfer passengers.  A $1.1 million federa

“Big River Steel is here!” 

Applause erupted after that announcement from Mississippi County Judge Randy Carney . Hundreds of dignitaries, including state and local officials, joined investors, contractors, vendors, and supporters during a groundbreaking of the Big River Steel plant in Osceola.  Mayor Dickie Kennemore told the crowd that the process started back in 2012, when he took CEO John Correnti to the current site of Big River Steel.  Kennemore says it has been a long process, but he is happy the groundbreaking took place.

Groundbreaking initial report on Big River Steel

Sep 22, 2014

Officials say a new $1.3 billion steel mill will be an economic boon for northeastern Arkansas. 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday morning near Osceola for the Big River Steel mill, which is expected to bring about 2,000 temporary construction jobs and 500 full-time jobs once it is up and running.

Construction is expected to take about two years. Gov. Mike Beebe called it the largest single business investment in Arkansas.

ASU Board hears campus updates on enrollment trends, job training programs

Sep 22, 2014

The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees today heard updates on campus enrollment trends and projects related to job training growth at its two-year colleges.

Dr. Charles L. Welch, president of the system, said long-term strategic planning work is under way on all campuses and he expects to report on those plans soon.

Welch also said the new ASU System office in Little Rock should be completed by Dec. 1. The sixth floor of the 501 Building across from the State Capitol is being renovated for office and conference space.

Governor Beebe, A-State announce plans for Gubernatorial archives, access sites

Sep 22, 2014
Arkansas State University

Gov. Mike Beebe, a 1968 graduate of Arkansas State University and past chairman of its Board of Trustees, today announced he would donate his eight years of gubernatorial papers, video, photographs and memorabilia to the university.

Governor Beebe donating papers and other materials to A-State

Sep 22, 2014

The papers, videos, photographs and memorabilia of Gov. Mike Beebe’s eight years in the state’s highest office will soon reside at Arkansas State University, university officials said Saturday.

Beebe, a 1968 graduate of ASU and a past chairman of its Board of Trustees, donated the papers Saturday during an event on campus.

A-State Board of Trustees approve Big River Steel Certificate program

Sep 22, 2014

Any student will be able to literally learn the “tools of the trade” as part of a new construction program at Arkansas State University-Newport.

The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve a Certificate of Proficiency in Construction Technology for the Big River Steel project.

State jobless rates jump

Sep 22, 2014

Arkansas’ August unemployment rate rose from the previous month one-tenth of a percent to 6.3%. The rate was two-tenths of a point higher than the U.S. jobless rate, but was far below the 7.7% rate one year ago.

The overall workforce, number of employed and those who were unemployed all fell significantly year-over-year, but the number of unemployed rose by 700 from the previous month.

Arkansas’ overall civilian labor force stood at 1,296,200 in August 2014, down 2,100 from July and 28,600 from August 2013.

The two major party candidates for Arkansas governor were back on the campaign trail Saturday just hours after their first major televised debate, but observers may have thought the debate was still continuing.

Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Ross attended the Arkansas State University tailgate party Saturday afternoon.

The pair debated one-on-one Friday night during a televised debate on KARK-TV in Little Rock.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for Big River Steel take place at ten a.m.

A sign unveiling ceremony took place this morning at the site of the new Jonesboro Police Department building.  The police department is now operational out of the new building on South Caraway Road in Jonesboro.  Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliot tells about the move into the new building.

“Well, we starting moving into the new building yesterday and we are finishing it up today.  We are here and functioning, but we still have some unpacking to do.”

A-State Museum receives $90,000 grant

Sep 19, 2014

Arkansas State University Museum announced today it has received a $90,013 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

According to Dr. Marti L. Allen, director, ASU Museum will use the grant funds to sustain three years of membership in the Arkansas Discovery Network, a coalition of six museums in Arkansas that develops and shares children’s hands-on exhibits through financial support from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) discusses ISIS, the ebola outbreak, Scottish independence and more in his monthly visit with KASU. Click on the "Listen" link to hear the entire interview.

NYIT, A-State medical school proposal presented in Chicago

Sep 18, 2014

Progress continues toward New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (NYITCOM) plans for an additional site on the campus of Arkansas State University.

Representatives of NYIT made their initial presentation to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) in Chicago on Sept. 6 in support of their application to establish an additional site in Jonesboro. NYITCOM will appear before the commission again on Dec.  6 and provide follow-up information.

Arkansas State University says the placement of crosses on the back of football helmets was inappropriate.  The crosses were to memorialize Markel Owens and Barry Weyer.  In a letter the Liberty University, the school said it would not restore crosses bearing the initials of the two former students, but it say that players will be allowed to remember the two students in their own way.  Read the full context of the letter below.  The letter is addressed to Hiram Sasser, Director of Strategic Litigation at Liberty Institute.

Dear Mr. Sasser,

(Courtesy of The City Wire, content partner of Talk Business & Politics.)

There’s a major shift underway in how health insurance costs will be covered as corporations are transferring more of the burden toward employees. Higher deductibles, spousal surcharges and reduced availability for retirees have become the new reality for millions of Americans since The Affordable Health Care Act – aka, ObamaCare – become law.

Marion teacher one of the finalists for 2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year

Sep 17, 2014

Four teachers were named 2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year State Finalists at a ceremony with Gov. Mike Beebe today at the Capitol. “These four teachers were recognized for their dedication, leadership and commitment to education,” said Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Tony Wood. “They demonstrate innovative teaching practices that encourage learning in the classroom.”

The four state finalists are as follows:

Donna C. Dillahunty, 5th Grade English Language Arts, Marion Intermediate School, Marion School District, Crowley’s Ridge Education Service Cooperative

A Jonesboro woman is to be sentenced today for her part in the shooting death of her husband.  The Sun newspaper reports that Michelle Despain plead guilty August eighth to three counts of hindering apprehension in the August 24th, 2011 death of Marc Despain.  Despain was murdered in his home.  Michelle Despain was originally charged with capital murder in the case.  Prosecutors say they are recommending a 30-year prison sentence.  Michelle Despain’s father, Carl Kelley, and Terrance Baker have previously plead guilty to first-degree murder in the case and are serving 35 year sentences in p

Several millage issues have been voted on in yesterday’s school elections.  Among those millage issues decided yesterday, the Buffalo Island Central school district has lost its attempt to have a nine-mill increase.  KAIT reports the unofficial numbers released from the Craighead County Clerk’s office are that 725 people voted against the issue, while 434 voted for it.  Those who supported the issue say the measure would have merged the current four campuses into one campus between Monette and Leachville.  In other millage issues, Trumann’s millage issue passed 605 to 498.  East Poinsett Co

The Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday it would extend a public comment period on controversial carbon emission regulations by an additional 45 days. The comment period was originally scheduled to end Oct. 16, but with political urging in an election year environment, the period was pushed back to Dec. 1.

Jonesboro City Council tables Greensborough Project

Sep 17, 2014

A decision by council members on a project to rezone nearly 200 acres of land for a development in northeast Jonesboro was delayed Tuesday night.

At least 30 people attended the Jonesboro City Council meeting, where council members voted 9-2, with one absent, to table the so-called Greensborough project at least until Oct. 9.