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Dr. Lyn Bayless, who for 20 years was the "Voice of the Lady Indians" at Arkansas State University, passed away on Wednesday in Little Rock.

Bayless was retired Chairman of Speech Communications and Dramatic Arts at A-State, and he was a past president of the Rotary Club of Jonesboro.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 2 pm at Emerson Memorial Chapel in Jonesboro.  Bayless was 85.

pixabay.com

One of the proposed convention centers in Jonesboro may not get built if the developer doesn't meet a deadline next month.

KUAR Public Radio

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration after issuing an order blocking the state's executions is defending the move, saying his ruling was guided by property law and not his views on capital punishment.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Lawyers for Arkansas inmates condemned to die Thursday in a planned double execution insist they are innocent and one of them says advanced DNA techniques could show he didn't kill a woman in 1993.

Their strategy to win stays of execution is in marked contrast to the first two inmates who faced the death chamber in Arkansas and were spared Monday by arguing they should not be put to death because of mental health issues.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is signaling that it'll rule for a Missouri church that wants state money to put a soft surface on its preschool playground.

The case is being argued before the justices Wednesday — and it's being closely watched by proponents of school vouchers.

Liberal and conservative justices alike seem troubled by Missouri's decision to exclude the church from a grant program that pays for playground surfaces made of recycled tires.

Wikipedia

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's road and bridge funding bill is headed for a showdown in the Tennessee House on Wednesday.

The sticking point is the governor's proposal to pay for new projects in large part through the state's first gas tax hike since 1989.

Supporters argue that a package of tax cuts made in the bill outweigh the amount raised from the fuel tax increases.

Opponents are calling for the fuel tax hikes to be stripped from the bill and to instead dedicate sales tax revenues from auto sales to highway funding.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — While outrage on social media is growing over Arkansas' unprecedented plan to put seven inmates to death before the end of the month, the protests have been more muted within the conservative Southern state where capital punishment is still favored by a strong majority of residents.

Wikipedia

NEW YORK (AP) — Starting next week, Wal-Mart will offer discounts on thousands of online-only items when customers elect to have them shipped to one of the company's stores for pickup.

The move is part of the retailer's efforts to better compete with online leader Amazon.

Initially, the discount will be available on about 10,000 items. But the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer says it will then expand the price cuts to more than one million items by the end of June.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The American Bar Association urged Arkansas on Tuesday to back away from its unprecedented plan to put seven men to death over 10 days starting next week, with the group saying it was worried the timeline could undermine due process for the inmates facing lethal injection.

ABA President Linda Klein asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson to give more time between the executions, which are set to begin on April 17. Hutchinson scheduled the executions to take place before the state's supply of midazolam, a controversial sedative used in lethal injections, expires.

Wikipedia

ST. LOUIS (AP) — In a year when congressional town hall meetings have often turned angry, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is wading into predominantly Republican areas of Missouri to host a series of them this week.

McCaskill's first town hall is scheduled for Wednesday at Jefferson College in the eastern Missouri town of Hillsboro. She has plans for seven subsequent meetings this week in potentially hostile counties where Donald Trump won easily in the presidential election, carrying Missouri with more than 65 percent of the vote.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Arkansas State University System President Dr. Charles Welch has released a statement on how the university system will respond to the recent act that will allow concealed handguns to be carried on campus.  The full text is below: 

Colleagues,

I want to update the entire Arkansas State University System community on how we plan to move forward with the implementation of Act 562 of 2017, which concerns the possession of concealed handguns on our campuses.

Arkansas State Police

Update 4/12/17:  Angela Blevins has been found in Sharp Co. after a silver alert for her was activated in Green Co Monday night.

Sgt. Sterling Cattleton told KAIT-TV that Blevins was found safe at an Evening Shade convenience store Tuesday night.

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Mike's Music News

Congressman Rick Crawford joins KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves for an interview about President Trump's air strike on Syria, Russia relations and the next move with health care reform.  

Jonesboro Buildings Nominated to the National Register

Apr 6, 2017
arkansasheritage.org

       LITTLE ROCK—The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program nominated 15 Arkansas properties in 10 counties – including Home Ice Company at Jonesboro in Craighead County – to the National Register of Historic Places when it met April 5.

The board also listed the Ritter House in Jonesboro on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places.

The 1907 Home Ice Company is located at 700 East Cate Avenue.

Talk Business & Politics

Plans to build a 165-room Hyatt Place Hotel and an adjoining 78,000-square-foot convention center near Jonesboro’s hotel row off Caraway Road are in peril. Dirt work has been begun at the site, but liens have already been placed against the property, according to the city’s A&P Commission.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — After two weeks of surveying farmers for its annual farm production forecasts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it expects Arkansas farmers to plant 500,000 acres of cotton, up from 375,000 last year.

Bill Robertson, a cotton agronomist with the University of Arkansas System's Agriculture Division, says he is surprised by the numbers. The division works with the department in gathering the estimates.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' parole board is suggesting that Gov. Asa Hutchinson extend mercy to one of eight inmates scheduled to die in a series of double-executions this month.

The Republican governor is not bound by the board's recommendation Wednesday that he spare Jason McGehee's life. The 40-year-old inmate was convicted of killing a teenager who had told police about a theft ring operating in far northern Arkansas.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas health panel has recommended limiting coverage of opioid prescriptions in health plans that cover tens of thousands of state employees and teachers.

Arkansas Department of Education

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key is pleased to announce that Dr. Ivy Pfeffer has been named deputy commissioner. Pfeffer, the current assistant commissioner for Educator Effectiveness and Licensure, will assume her new role July 1. She replaces Dr. Mark Gotcher, who accepted the superintendent position at the Russellville School District effective July 1. 

pixabay.com

Encouraging lawmakers to make informed policy decisions when it comes to legislation about science…that is the goal of a march that occurs this month at the state capitol in Little Rock.  The theme for the event is “Stand Up for Science.” Dr. Michele Merritt is assistant professor of philosophy at Arkansas State University.  She came up with the idea of a March for Science. 

"You don't have to be a scientist to appreciate science," says Merritt.  "I am not a science professor, but I rely on science and I wanted to protect what I see is valuable research that is going on."

Pixabay

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) — Should U.S. high school students know at least as much about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist papers as immigrants passing a citizenship test?

In a growing number of school systems, having such a basic knowledge is now a graduation requirement. But states are taking different approaches to combating what's seen as a widespread lack of knowledge about how government works.

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas community college has been placed on probation after a regional accrediting agency said it didn't meet three criteria related mostly to assessing student learning and could fail another five.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2nP9vUe) reports Black River Technical College must provide evidence to the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission that it's worked on the criteria by July 1, 2018. The Pocahontas community college must also host an on-site visit no later than September 2018.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Economic conditions in nine Midwest and Plains states remains healthy, despite a slight slip in a monthly survey of business supply managers, an economist said in a report released Monday.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report said the overall economic index for the region dropped to 60.1 in March from 60.5 in February. It's the first index decline in five months.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is expected to announce on Tuesday a new education plan that will emphasize more accountability, especially when it comes to teaching traditionally underserved kids.

The plan outlines how Tennessee will comply with a federal education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Arkansas State University

The 23rd Delta Symposium at Arkansas State University starts Wednesday, April 5th and runs through Saturday, April 8th.  Listen to the entire interview to get information about the festival.  The interview features Dr. Gregory Hansen with Arkansas State.  Learn more about the lineup of the festival symposium here.    

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