KASU

Environment

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium makes its long-awaiting debut this week. The Bass Pro Shops’ founder says he’s finally brought to life a decade’s-old vision; to honor the world’s creatures and those committed to conservation. 

Vietnam veteran James Kaelin stands on a dirt road staring into an empty scrub forest once part of Fort Chaffee, a U.S. Army Training camp east of Fort Smith, Arkansas. 

“They won’t even admit to this being a test site to anybody,” Kaelin says. “But I have information showing the Army tested Agent Orange, Agent White and Agent Blue on seven different locations on Fort Chaffee in 1966 and 1967 without knowledge to the general public. It was top secret.”

WEINER, Ark. (AP) — Seven tigers, six lions and a leopard that were recently discovered by authorities in a warehouse in northeastern Arkansas will soon be flown to Germany.

The former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus animals were found in good health on Saturday in Weiner, Arkansas.

The Poinsett County Sheriff's Office went to the scene after receiving an anonymous tip, according to Randy Zellers, spokesman for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

WEINER, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman says authorities are investigating the discovery of tigers, lions and a leopard in a barn in Arkansas.

Spokesman Randy Zellers said that seven tigers, six lions and one leopard were discovered Saturday in Poinsett County in cages.

Zeller said the Poinsett County Sheriff's Department went to the scene after receiving an anonymous tip. The exotic animals were found with their owner and in good health.

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — A 110-year-old Jonesboro building listed on the National Register of Historic Places is set for demolition after a judge dismissed an appeal of a condemnation order.

The city of Jonesboro plans to demolish the Rosse's Home Ice Co. building because the structure has fallen into disrepair. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2vjg70w), the city notified the building's owner in February 2015 that the building was dangerous and should be torn down.

Following two years of interviews for the job, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Stan Jones to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Tuesday. Jones, a fifth-generation farmer and hunting lodge owner from Walnut Ridge, applauded previous efforts by the commission to promote the outdoors in Arkansas.

“I know we’ve got some difficult situations and issues that we’re going to have to face, but I’ve got a very positive look and attitude on everything, the Game & Fish [Commission] has done a good job, and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Jones said.

Wikipedia

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Officials say three more Arkansas counties have been added to the list of counties that are eligible for disaster unemployment assistance because of severe weather earlier this year.

Wikipedia

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is headed to Europe next week to try to recruit more foreign investment in Tennessee.

Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe plant to visit the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Germany. They are scheduled to leave on Monday and return June 30.

More than 500 European businesses operate in Tennessee, employing about 62,000 people. More than $3.8 billion has been invested in the state by European companies since 2011.

pixabay.com

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The six members of Arkansas' congressional delegation have written to President Donald Trump in support of a federal disaster declaration for the state as a result of severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that struck the state in April and May.

Republican Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman say in a letter sent Tuesday that state and local officials are working to clean up and rebuild following the storms, but that federal assistance is needed to help in the recovery.

Ann Kenda, Arkansas Public Media

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today submitted his formal request for a federal disaster declaration to the Trump administration for 31 Arkansas counties affected by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes in April and May.

Talk Business and Politics

Despite objections from world leaders, big business, Democrats, and people within his party and family, President Donald Trump announced Thursday (June 1) he’s removing the U.S. from the historic Paris Climate Accord.

It means the U.S. will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not participating, and Nicaragua didn’t join because officials didn’t think the agreement went far enough to protect the environment.

“I was elected to serve the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said unapologetically during a press conference on the White House grounds.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — About 26,000 customers of a Memphis power company are still without electricity in the aftermath of a Memorial Day weekend storm that hit the Tennessee city with strong winds.

Memphis Light, Gas & Water said Thursday its crews are working with about 90 other utility companies to restore power to parts of the city that remain in the dark.

Talk Business and Politics

U. S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, joined Tuesday (May 23) with civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont to introduce legislation expanding boundaries of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Residents of a Memphis neighborhood are being told to avoid approaching, detaining or feeding a black bear that's been roaming the area for two days.

Memphis police say officers are looking for the bear, which was seen by people in the Frayser neighborhood in north Memphis on Thursday and Friday.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials are leading the investigation into the bear's whereabouts. Frayser has woods that could attract the bear and allow it to avoid people as it moves through the area.

Taking a stand inside Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, President Donald Trump on March 28th signed an executive order releasing the coal, oil and natural gas industries from pollution mitigation and thresholds set forth by the previous administration.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters, including industry executives and coal miners, Trump said his Energy Independence Executive Order fulfills a campaign promise for a "new energy revolution."

"Today, I'm taking bold action to follow through on that promise. My administration is putting an end to the war on coal.  We're going to have clean coal, really clean coal.  With today’s executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations. … And we're going to have safety, we're going to have clean water, we're going to have clear air."

City of Jonesboro

A second public meeting has been added for Jonesboro residents to discuss five potential pedestrian and bicycle trail projects for the city.

In addition to this week’s meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, a second meeting has be scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 3. Both meetings will be held in City Council chambers at the Municipal Center, 300 S. Church St.

Three of the projects will be selected for submission to the 2018 Transportation Alternative Program and Recreational Trails Program for funding through the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

Talk Business & Politics

Members of Arkansas’ Congressional delegation plan to send a letter to newly appointed U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry asking him to reverse the Obama Administration’s participation in the controversial Clean Line project through Arkansas.

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.

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."

Tribal representatives and environmentalists are promising an encampment similar to the ongoing protest against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota to oppose the Diamond Pipeline planned from Oklahoma through Arkansas to Tennessee.

Mekasi Camp Horinek of the Ponca Nation and the Bold Oklahoma protest group said Monday there "definitely" will be an encampment in Oklahoma, but declined to say where or when.

Critics of the project say the pipeline threatens the environment, rivers and Indian burial grounds.

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.

In the autumn of 1965, on a 640-acre parcel near the tiny Ozarks community of Strickler, ground was broken on a secret nuclear fission energy test reactor operated by the Atomic Energy Commission and a consortium of 17 southern electric utilities.

After just four years, the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor went dark. It was acquired a few years later by the big university up the road 20 miles—totally decommissioned. University scientists hoped to use it for nuclear research, but the program failed to launch. The site remained sealed. Now the U.S. Department of Energy has offered money to help tear it down.

But first media — as well as hundreds of curious locals — were briefly allowed inside.

The historic Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor, referred to as SEFOR, located 20 miles southwest of Fayetteville, Arkansas will finally be dismantled, and some nearby residents are wondering what might leak out.

Pixabay

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Ameren Missouri's coal-fired power plant near St. Louis violates the Clean Air Act and has created "significantly more pollution" since modifications were made.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel's ruling Monday could require St. Louis-based Ameren to install additional pollution control equipment at the Rush Island power plant in Jefferson County. Ameren Missouri called the ruling disappointing and said an appeal is planned.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has completed review of a drilling study beneath two wastewater sewage lagoons on C&H Hog Farms, an industrial swine breeding operation located six miles upstream of the Buffalo National River near Mt. Judea in Newton County. C&H Hog Farms is currently permitted to house 4,000 piglets and 2500 sows at any given time.

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