KASU

Environment

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.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — President Barack Obama's administration has scaled back new safety measures for the sprawling network of fuel pipelines that crisscross the United States after oil industry complaints over the cost.

The administration has released long-delayed regulations for almost 200,000 miles of pipelines that transport oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids.

The changes Friday include more rigorous inspections of lines in rural areas and new requirements for leak detection systems.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A recent census says a majority of Arkansas' work-related deaths in 2015 were linked to transportation.

The Arkansas Department of Labor's census shows the state had 74 work-related deaths in 2015. That is up from 67 the previous year.

More than half of the 2015 deaths, about 55 percent, were the result of transportation incidents. The transportation-related fatalities include 33 roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles, three aircraft incidents and one water vehicle incident.

Arkansas State University

JONESBORO – The Endangered Wolf Center will present "Red Wolf Revival," the award-winning short documentary by the Nestbox Collective and Susannah Smith, at Arkansas State University.

Open to students, faculty and the public, the screening will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, in the third floor auditorium of the Reng Student Union (GPS 101 N. Caraway Road).  The North Parking Facility, adjacent to the Union, will be open to the public at no charge.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Within the next five months, President-elect Donald Trump could appoint a majority of the board for the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest government-owned utility.

Three Democratic members of the board, including Chairman Joe Ritch, are leaving the board Tuesday after the Republican-controlled Senate failed last year to confirm President Barack Obama's reappointment of the three directors, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported (http://bit.ly/2iLc2fs).

Pixabay

A policy for constructing and improving sidewalks in Jonesboro may be in the hands of a new citizen's committee.

The Jonesboro Metropolitan Area Planning Commission voted Tuesday to propose the committee to Mayor Harold Perrin and the City Council.  It will be comprised of residents and developers.

Pixabay

LABADIE, Mo. (AP) — Two additional air monitors will help to determine if Missouri's large coal-fired power plant complies with federal safety thresholds for an airborne pollutant.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new safety standards for sulfur dioxide emissions more than six years ago. Ameren Missouri said its preliminary tests show the air near its coal-fired Labadie Energy Center meets the standard, but questions have been raised about the placement of existing sulfur dioxide monitors.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — About 50 protesters turned out in Fayetteville to oppose a planned oil pipeline across northern Arkansas.

Opponents said Saturday that the planned Diamond Pipeline is a threat to water, protected species and historic sites.

The planned 440-mile pipeline by Plains All American Pipeline and Valero Energy Corp. would extend from Cushing, Oklahoma, to a Valero refinery in Memphis, Tennessee, and would cross 14 counties in Arkansas and five Arkansas Rivers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service is making $20 million available to Arkansas landowners to restore wetlands. The program to limit future development is voluntary and funded by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Randy Childress, the Assistant State Conservationist for Easements and Watersheds at NRCS, says the process of restoring marginal farmland to wetlands could take 50 to 100 years. He’s confident restoration efforts will work.

Pixabay

Walnut Ridge and Corning are among Arkansas's top 20 safest cities.

In an annual report released Tuesday on Safewise.com, Corning was ranked number 14 with about 4 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and around 17 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

Walnut Ridge came in at number 16 with 3 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and nearly 20 property crimes per 1,000 residents. 

AR Highway 18 in Mississippi Co Getting Widened

Nov 14, 2016
Pixabay

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Mississippi County, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Future social workers are being challenged to work with lawmakers to make healthcare more available for residents living in rural Arkansas.  The challenge was issued to attendees of the 4th annual Health Disparities Conference at Arkansas State University.  The theme of the conference was “Bridging the Gap Between Health Disparities in the Delta.” 

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will close a stretch of highway in Greene County on Election Day to work on a bridge.

A portion of state highway 141, 3.5 miles south of Walcott, will be closed Tuesday as road crews remove a 30 foot bridge and install new pipe culverts.  According to the press release from the state highway department, work will begin at 7:00 am and is expected to last through Wednesday depending on the weather.

Arkansans are being asked to join others across the country as they participate in an earthquake drill.

The “Great Central U.S. Shake Out”, is one of many regional earthquake drills being held at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. The organization ShakeOut claims to have had over 43 million participants worldwide for the drills in 2015 and hopes for more this year.

Whitney Green, with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), said a geological fault line that runs under Arkansas makes it important for the state to practice preparedness.

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 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.

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