KASU

Arkansas

Arkansas’s unemployment rate is up, though not by very much. The state also still rests below the national average in the September report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

After three months of flat unemployment numbers Arkansas’s rate ticked up from 3.9 percent in August to 4 percent in September. 

Johnelle Shaw is a 27-year-old first-time mother with a two-month old son, Logan. She is visiting a lactation consultant at The Pulaski County Health Unit in Southwest Little Rock. Logan has a cold and is back for a breastfeeding check-in.  The consultant weighs him in at 7.6 ounces, a full pound bigger than he was at his last visit a month before.

Marvell-Elaine schools bus driver Larry Greer’s route twists through the Arkansas Delta, between the White and Mississippi Rivers. “All together I go from Elaine to Snow Lake, 65 miles round trip,” he said, while elementary school kids filed onto his bus for the afternoon ride home.

These are country bus stops along country roads. The way is long. In the morning, Greer says, he will wait only so long at an empty stop before he snaps his levered doors closed again. “If they don’t come out, they’re not going that day.”

You can look at your November ballot before you go to the polls.  Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday says the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office has established a website that allows you to view your ballot, as well as change any voter registration information.  Holliday says this site is not new to the state, but it is new to Craighead County.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network hosted a debate on Tuesday for the candidates of the 1st Congressional District for state Representative.  Incumbent Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) faced off against challenger Mark West (L-Sulphur Rock) in the debate.  You can watch the full debate below.  Video courtesy of AETN.  

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment survived an Arkansas Supreme Court challenge in an opinion issued Thursday, but the court pulled an amendment that would allow casino operations in three Arkansas counties.

The three candidates for U.S. Senate defended their parties’ presidential candidates and attacked the others in their first and only debate this election season.

The 93-year-old bridge in Arkansas was deemed too weak to stand.

But it turned out to be a wee bit stronger than authorities anticipated.

On Tuesday, demolition crews wired the bridge with explosives to bring it down. There were a series of booms, some puffs of black smoke, and then ... well ...

The bridge stayed put. The crowd that gathered to watch its demise was left with laughter instead of shouts of glee.

"That didn't go as planned," the highway department admitted on Twitter. It added a hashtag: #TheDayTheBridgeStoodStill.

The second quarter economic story of Arkansas’ four key metro areas was much like the first quarter story: unchanged from the previous quarter, but healthy, with continued job gains and sales tax revenue growth, according to The Compass Report.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

In this story, you can hear each candidate for Jonesboro Mayor talk about their qualifications for being the next mayor and how they would address future annexations of land in Jonesboro.  Click on the Listen button to hear the story.

Whether you're looking for awesome amusement or a terrifying treat, Arkansas has enough activities to keep you and your family entertained.

In this episode, Travel Writer Kim Williams highlights a couple of fun and scary places that are fun for the whole family.  We'll go on a trip to central Arkansas to an annual fair where you can go on carnival rides and sample delicious fried foods.

Dr. Amy Pearce

The 3rd annual Arkansas Science Festival is the state's only science festival.  It is a two week event meant to be a celebration of science.  Dr. Amy Pearce is professor of psychology at Arkansas State University and the festival's organizer.

"The goal is to bring people to our events where they can have fun,"  said Pearce.  

Arkansas Agriculture officials are expanding a quarantine area to protect against the spread of an invasive beetle but say mass devastation of the state’s ash trees may only be a matter of time. Eight more Arkansas counties, including Pulaski, were added to the state’s quarantine list this week. The number of counties under quarantine is now at 21. Another 12 counties have confirmed sightings of the Emerald Ash Borer.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission hosted a day-long public hearing Tuesday on net metering, the industry term for people and businesses who generate their own electricity, typically through photovoltaic solar systems, and push that power back onto transmission lines.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission met Tuesday to consider changes to regulations on the process by which homeowners with solar panels or windmills can sell electricity back to utilities.

Arkansas State University

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum in Tyronza is celebrating its 10th anniversary on October 6th.  KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with director Linda Hinton about the history of the museum and the events taking place this week.   

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

A locally produced film that focuses on the problem of human sex trafficking is receiving high praise at film festivals across the nation and will be shown in Hollywood this month.  KASU’s news director Johnathan Reaves talks with producer and director Hunter West about his film “Ridge Runners”.   Click on the Listen button to hear the interview. 

University of Arkansas Medical Sciences sonography student Debra Howell is a nontraditional 35-year-old whose father came from Belize. She has one more year to finish her bachelor’s degree. In addition to a 40-hour a week residency, Howell must find time to study — and care for her kids. She works 12-hour shifts on Saturdays and Sundays as an X-ray technician.

Funding cuts for mental health services through Medicaid are taking effect October 1, despite a last-ditch effort at the state legislature Friday to walk back a change that some say could have dire consequences.

The cuts, finalized last week, would limit group therapy length from an hour and a half to an hour and set a cap of 25 counseling visits per year for Medicaid recipients who might otherwise go every week.

The vote to revisit the decision failed to gain two thirds from the Arkansas Legislative Council Friday morning.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday announced that state five agencies will create a committee, intended to study environmental conditions and come up with a management plan for the Buffalo River watershed.

The departments of environmental quality, tourism, health, agriculture, and the natural resources will form the “Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee.” Hutchinson emphasized that the committee is “not a regulatory body,” but it is meant to educate.

Blues, Boats, Blacksmithing, and BOOs!  That just a taste of the events Travel Writer Kim Williams will tell you about going on in Arkansas.

Williams has details on a historic Blues festival in South Arkansas in a town dripping with history of the music and the Mississippi.  Also, in this episode, there's an opportunity for kids to learn about boats... Steamboats to be exact.  Williams takes you to a historic city in Lawrence County where the family can have fun learning about how life was like back when Steamboats dominated the waterways and economy.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

As part of the Jonesboro Mayoral Candidate Interview Series, you can listen to this entire interview with Amanda Dunavant as he discusses issues concerning the city with KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves.  

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

As part of the Jonesboro Mayoral Candidate Interview Series, you can listen to this entire interview with Harold Copenhaver as he discusses issues concerning the city with KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves.  

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

As part of the Jonesboro Mayoral Candidate Interview Series, you can listen to this entire interview with John Street as he discusses issues concerning the city with KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves.  

Federal lawsuits are pending over a project to build a transmission line through Arkansas delivering wind energy from Oklahoma to the Memphis area. In this week’s issue of Arkansas Business there’s a closer look at the arguments involved in the case involving two groups of landowners who would have to sell property. 

From reporter Kyle Massey:

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