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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.

Pixabay

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."

Pixabay

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.

federaltax.net

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has a challenge for lawmakers seeking alternatives to his proposal to hike the state's fuel taxes to help tackle $10 billion backlog in bridge and road programs.

In the Republican governor's words: "Show me the math on your plan."

Haslam said Tuesday he doesn't want to use general fund tax revenues paid for by Tennesseans to pay for roads used heavily by out-of-state drivers. He argues the fuel taxes paid at the pump come from those who actually use state roads.

Pixabay

The Arkansas Department of Education is recommending that the Blytheville School District no longer be classified as being “in academic distress.”

That classification is given to individual schools and school districts when over a three year period 49% of their students score at or below proficiency in math and reading.  Proficiency is measured by state mandated testing.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University is working with some members of the Jonesboro campus who are impacted by President Donald Trump's immigration ban.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' U.S. senators aren't criticizing President Donald Trump's immigration restrictions as protests spread throughout the country, including in Little Rock.

Republican Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton issued statements Sunday regarding Trump's executive order that bans travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Cotton said it's "simply wrong" to describe the ban as a religious test, but he said there should be "proper procedures" for green-card holders and immigrants who have served alongside U.S. troops to enter the country.

Wikipedia

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland calls President Donald Trump's executive order on barring citizens from certain Muslim countries "unwise."

Strickland expressed his concerns over the order to the Commercial Appeal on Sunday before releasing an official statement on Twitter.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The Jonesboro Police Department is looking to increase the ranks of our Reserve Unit and, for the first time since 2008, is accepting applications for appointment to Reserve Police Officer. 

TVA.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The new Tennessee Valley Authority board chairwoman says she hopes the federal utility will maintain its trajectory as President Donald Trump has the chance to pick a new board majority by the spring.

Lynn Evans, the first woman and first African-American to chair the board, spoke with reporters in a conference call Friday.

Evans said three of nine TVA board slots are currently vacant. Her term and another expire in May. Trump will choose nominees for those five slots, and the U.S. Senate will confirm them.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A partner at a global management consulting firm who was hired as Missouri's first chief operating officer is set to begin his job of increasing state government efficiency next month.

The Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/2jc9WZL) reports that the start date for Drew Erdmann is Feb. 13.

Press secretary Parker Briden wouldn't say how much Erdmann will be paid. Salary figures for employees of the governor's office are a public record, but not so for Erdmann as he has not yet officially started work.

UNION CITY, Tenn. (AP) — State officials say Williams Sausage Co. plans to build a second plant in Union City, creating 226 new jobs over the next five years.

In a statement, Gov. Bill Haslam and state economic development commissioner Randy Boyd say Williams Sausage will invest about $37 million to build a 180,000-square-foot facility in Obion County. It will include a cold storage distribution center, truck maintenance operations, corporate offices and a sandwich processing line.

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