KASU

Arkansas

CLARIFICATION: Michele Reba is with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Delta Water Management Research Unit. Her affiliation was misrepresented in an earlier version of this story.

Four Arkansas farms have made a deal with the world’s largest software maker, Microsoft. The Whitaker Farms in McGehee, Isbell Farm in Stuttgart, Hooks Family Farm in Hazen and Florenden Farms in Burdette join two farms in California and one in Mississippi as the first recipients of carbon credits for rice production. 

The program rewards farmers for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from rice, considered among the more environmentally damaging of all crops.  With a carbon credit, companies can exceed emissions caps by paying for reductions elsewhere, such as on a farm. 

The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas announced Monday he's pursuing charges against the rapper Finese 2Tymes.

Meanwhile, local authorities are still calling for the community to come forward with information about the Power Ultra Lounge mass shooting Saturday.

On Facebook, Ricky Hampton, aka Finese 2Tymes, posted his condolences for the shooting.

“THE VIOLENCE IS NOT FOR THE CLUB PEOPLE," he wrote Saturday. "WE ALL COME WITH 1 MOTIVE AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND THATS TO HAVE FUN."

This week the Arkansas Legislative Council may decide whether to approve a 120-day ban on the sale and use of the herbicide dicamba.

Before the start of the next school year, Arkansas may be among the few states providing high-speed internet access to all of its public school districts.

In the 1990’s Arkansas developed a system for providing internet access to schools, but its capabilities were limited and it became outdated quickly. Now, fiber optic cables running throughout the state have replaced the old infrastructure and currently reach 233 of the state’s 238 school districts. The updated system, known as the Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN) will increase access speeds from 5 kilobits per student to 200 kilobits per student.

New facilities are being opened to provide assistance for people and businesses impacted by the destructive storms that hit parts of Arkansas in the spring. Centers opened last week in Fayetteville, Conway, Pocahontas, and Walnut Ridge to serve people from 16 counties who are eligible for government aid.

Daniel Green with the Federal Emergency Management Agency works with victims of the storms to expedite the process of receiving loans and other government aid.

The new Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas State Capitol was destroyed Wednesday less than 24 hours after it was unveiled. A spokesman for the Secretary of State's office says a driver intentionally sped toward the six foot tall granite tablet at about 4:45 a.m. and was immediately apprehended by Capitol Police.

Mark Smith, KASU News

A collaborative project between Arkansas State University and Centennial Bank leads to the groundbreaking of a new Welcome Center on the Jonesboro campus.  The center will have a full bank branch, as well as services to introduce visitors to Arkansas State.  Interim Chancellor Dr. Doug Whitlock says public-private partnerships, such as the Welcome Center, is something that is needed in higher education today.

pixabay.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled for same-sex couples who complained an Arkansas birth certificate law discriminated against them.

The justices on Monday issued an unsigned opinion reversing an Arkansas high court ruling that upheld the law.

Under the law, married lesbian couples had to get a court order to have both spouses listed as parents on their children's birth certificates.

In the midst of an overseas trade mission, Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke to reporters Wednesday about his meetings with industry leaders in Germany and France. Via teleconference from Frankfurt, Germany, Hutchinson said he’s trying to quell anxiety among European business leaders who are concerned about the anti-globalist rhetoric of President Donald Trump.

As Republicans in the U.S. Senate near completion of an initial bill that could vastly alter or replace Obamacare, a  group of demonstrators gathered outside the Victory Building in Little Rock. They delivered the offices of Republican Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman each about a thousand post cards from residents in the state. The cards, collected by activists with Arkansas Community Organizations and the group Health Care for America Now, ask the Senators to preserve Medicaid expansion and other benefits made available through federal health law. 

The Arkansas Department of Health will begin accepting applications for medical marijuana patient cards at the end of the month, according to an agency news release. The cards will be distributed to qualifying patients and caregivers in order to allow the purchase of medicine from licensed dispensaries. The Health Department says it will distribute the cards approximately 30 days before medical marijuana is available for sale in the state. That could be next year.

On Capitol Hill Wednesday morning, two Arkansas congressmen joined their colleagues in questioning intelligence officials on foreign attempts to compromise American voting systems in the 2016 election.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Forecasters have issued a flash flood watch for eastern and southern Arkansas as Tropical Storm Cindy heads toward the state.

Talk Business and Politics

An intramural battle among Republicans for a coveted state senate seat has sparked in northern Arkansas. State Rep. James Sturch, R-Batesville, will muster a primary challenge to incumbent State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, R-Pocahontas, for the District 19 seat.

Sturch, a Southside native and certified social studies teacher, began his career in public service 15 years ago when he worked on former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s re-election campaign.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin in early June pronounced the American veterans health care system to be in “critical condition.” 
 
One northwest Arkansas VA hospital, however, appears to be thriving, and that prompted U.S. Rep. Steve Womack (R-3rd District) to invite Shulkin to take a look.

After an early morning tour of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville Monday, Shulkin, at a press conference on the grounds, characterized the forested campus facility as extraordinary.

 
 “It is a five-star facility. That means it is the very top of performance across the country in VA’s.”
 

Wikipedia

Several businesses are in talks with Walnut Ridge officials about possibly building in the town…this only a month after U-S Senator John Boozman announced that U-S Highway 67/167 now has a “Future I-57” designation.  

Jonesboro's Home Ice Company on National Register

Jun 19, 2017
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

LITTLE ROCK—The Home Ice Company at Jonesboro in Craighead County is among 11 Arkansas properties that have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s official list of historically significant properties.

      The Home Ice Company at 700 Cate Avenue is a 1907 industrial building with a Spanish Revival-style addition.

The interests of Arkansas’s agricultural leaders went unheralded by President Trump on Friday as he announced a move back toward Cold War relations with our Caribbean neighbor, Cuba. Much of the state’s Congressional delegation has also chimed in on the prospect of tougher relations as a move in the wrong direction.

The Arkansas Farm Bureau wants a “normalization” of trade relations with the communist nation and promises it’ll be an economic boon for the state. Arkansas is the largest cultivator of rice in the nation and not far behind that in poultry production.

A maligned but crucial row crop herbicide that’s led to disputes among neighbors and at least one class action lawsuit could be on its way toward becoming banned in Arkansas.

President Grants Gov. Hutchinson’s Request for Federal Disaster Declaration

Jun 15, 2017
Ann Kenda, Arkansas Public Media

LITTLE ROCK – President Trump today granted Governor Asa Hutchinson’s request for a major disaster declaration for the state of Arkansas as a result of damages due to severe storms, tornadoes and flooding during the period of April 26 to May 19, 2017. The declaration will allow residents and governmental bodies in the affected areas0who meet certain criteria to apply for assistance.

KEISER, Ark. (AP) — The herbicide dicamba has ruined about 100 acres of soybeans at a state-funded agriculture experiment station in northeastern Arkansas.

Northeast Research and Extension Center Director Chuck Wilson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2rr6qKq) the afflicted field will be tilled and replanted. He said the damage was discovered Friday and that officials aren't certain where the herbicide originated.

"We're going to have to start over," Wilson said.

Jackson County Sheriff's Department Facebook Page

NEWPORT, Ark. (AP) — An 18-year-old suspect is being held in connection with the killing of a decorated northeast Arkansas police officer who was fatally shot while responding to a call of a vehicle break-in, police said.
Arkansas State Police said Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford, 41, died at a hospital Monday night after the shooting in Newport, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.
"Obviously our hearts are broken today," Newport Police Chief Michael Scudder said Tuesday. "We're grieving the loss of one of our own."

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A "semi-retired" rancher and farmer who hasn't sought political office before said Tuesday he's challenging an Arkansas Republican congressman as a Democrat next year.

Mike Nelson said he is seeking the party's nomination to challenge Republican Rep. Rick Crawford in the 1st Congressional District. Crawford has held the seat since 2010 and is seeking re-election next year.

Jackson County Sheriff's Department Facebook Page

NEWPORT, Ark. (AP) — A suspect has been arrested in the killing of a decorated northeast Arkansas police officer who was fatally shot while assisting another officer with a traffic stop, police said.

For the fourth consecutive election cycle, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas plans to deliver petitions to the Arka

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