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6:57 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Rick Elliot named as Jonesboro Police Chief

The city of Jonesboro has a new police chief.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin appointed Lt. Rick Elliot to the position during a reception yesterday in the Municipal Courtroom.  Elliot began his career as a reserve officer in Jonesboro in 1979.  Two years later, he was hired as a full-time officer with the Blytheville Police Department.  He came back to Jonesboro in 1992 and worked his way to become a lieutenant.  Perrin discussed what stood out about Elliot.

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6:48 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Lawrence County jail expected to close next year

It wasn’t unexpected news.  Citizens at a public meeting last night in Walnut Ridge were told the Lawrence County jail has about six more months it can remain open.  What is facing those citizens will be a looming sales tax issue aimed at building a new county jail.  County Judge Dale Freeman says the only other alternative is shipping the current inmates to other counties, which he says would “bankrupt” the county.  The Sun Newspaper reports that Arkansas Jail Standards Coordinator Danny Hickman appeared at the meeting last night and told the 75 in attendance the current jail is a “ticking

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10:08 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Football season means big bucks in the state

Kayla O’Brien of Batesville was one of several thousand people to recently attend a tailgate party at Arkansas State University before last Saturday’s home game with Montana State.

Recent economic data shows that O’Brien was not alone this year or last.

According to an economic impact survey conducted last month by ASU, 151,254 tickets were sold to football games in 2013, with about a quarter (32,949) of the fans coming from outside Jonesboro.

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5:59 am
Thu September 4, 2014

New Jonesboro police chief to be announced today

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin is slated to announce the city’s new police chief today.  The Sun Newspaper reports the announcement will take place during a press conference at one this afternoon in the police department’s training room.  Perrin told audience members attending Tuesday night’s Jonesboro City Council meeting that he believed he could make the decision quickly.  The new chief reportedly already works for the city of Jonesboro.  Perrin says he had considered candidates from Forrest City, Conway and the Arkansas State Police before he says he decided the best candidate was alread

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4:40 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Mike Ross visits Jonesboro

The proverbial fireworks may have come a little later this year as two of the major candidates for Arkansas governor ratcheted up their comments on issues Wednesday.

Former Democratic Congressman Mike Ross – who is challenging former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson, Libertarian Frank Gilbert, and Green party candidate Josh Drake – was in Jonesboro Wednesday visiting seniors at the St. Bernards Senior Life Center on Washington Avenue.

Ross spoke to Talk Business and Politics around lunchtime Wednesday about a series of issues on the campaign trail.

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4:38 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Minimum wage proposal qualifies for November ballot

Less than a week after certifying an alcohol expansion initiative, Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin said that a proposed ballot measure to raise the state’s minimum wage has qualified for the November general election.

Martin tweeted from his state account on Wednesday, “An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage makes general election ballot.”

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4:35 am
Thu September 4, 2014

EPA Awards Arkansas nearly $3 million for water quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $2,988,000 to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) to support management of nonpoint-source water pollution. The funding will be used for a variety of projects designed to improve water quality in several priority watersheds.

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4:31 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Arkansas State University releases fall enrollment numbers

With the largest freshman classes since its implementation of more rigorous admission standards, Arkansas State University welcomed more than 13,000 students to campus for the start of the 2014-15 academic year.

The 1,699 first-time students are also as the most academically prepared freshman class for the third consecutive fall.

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12:12 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Sales tax collections are on pace

A strong upsurge in income tax collections offset an expected sales tax decline as year-to-date state revenues remained slightly ahead of last year’s pace and forecast.

Net available general revenues in August totaled $398.3 million, up 2.7% from the previous year and 3.2% above forecast.

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6:53 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Announcement on the next Jonesboro Police Chief could come this week

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he could make an announcement this week on which person will lead Jonesboro Police Department in the future.  The Sun Newspaper reports Perrin told the audience at last night’s City Council meeting the next chief may already be working for the city.  He says there are qualified candidates within the department, and he tells the Sun he spent much of the Labor Day weekend reviewing the qualifications of the captains and lieutenants on the force to see who would be the best qualified for the position.  Perrin says he will make a decision soon.  Forme

News
6:02 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Simmons First completes acquisition with Delta Trust and Bank

Simmons First National Corp. says it has completed its $66 million merger with Delta Trust and Bank. The adoption of the merger agreement by the companies was previously announced in March.

Delta Trust shareholders approved the merger at a special shareholders’ meeting held on August 29, 2014, and the transaction was completed on August 31, 2014.

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5:56 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Noranda announces layoffs in Missouri

An aluminum plant in New Madrid will lay off between 125 and 200 jobs over the next six months.

Noranda Aluminum CEO Kip Smith said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon that he is disappointed in the Public Service Commission's decision not to lower power rates.

"Like every other smelter, a third of our cost is electricity," Smith said. "Given the increases in our power rate we've ended up in a situation where we have an unaffordable and uncompetitive power rate." Governor Jay Nixon released this statement on Tuesday about the layoffs:

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5:47 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Murder-suicide in Jonesboro

Authorities are investigating a murder-suicide in Jonesboro.  The incident happened yesterday morning when 17-year-old Diamond Ebron was gunned down in the driveway of her home in the 3100 block of Ashwood Drive.  Police say the shooting happened just after ten yesterday morning.  The suspect in the shooting, 26-year-old Kenneth Thomas of Jonesboro, reportedly fled the scene and was pulled over about ten minutes later on Arkansas Highway 226.  The Sun Newspaper reports when officers ordered Thomas out of his vehicle, they heard a single gunshot and reportedly found Thomas dead from a gunsho

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5:24 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Paragould Gynecologist faces more video voyerism charges

A gynecologist accused of taking photographs of his patients is facing three more charges of video voyeurism.  68 year old Dr.

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4:55 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Salex tax numbers for Craighead County, Jonesboro released

Sales tax collections for Jonesboro and Craighead County were like the proverbial yo-yo during August, officials said Tuesday.

The city collected $1,308,268.53 in sales taxes during August, up slightly from the $1,304,475.75 collected during the same time in 2013.

Meanwhile, Craighead County saw its numbers go down as the county collected $1,452,035.47 in August compared to the $1,493,856,58 collected during August 2013.

Jonesboro Chief Financial Officer Ben Barylske said the slight increase continues a four-month improvement in sales tax collections for the city.

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News
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

News
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.

News
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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