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Environment

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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.

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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The Craighead County Quorum Court is looking at how to improve drainage throughout the county.  Justices of the Peace have asked Craighead County Judge Ed Hill to look at how to make all of the drainage districts in the county to be more effective.  They say some districts work very well at raising money and using those funds to clear out ditches and work on drainage issues. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Jonesboro officials joined the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department for a ribbon cutting of Parker Road extension to Washington Avenue.  The two-point-two million dollar project was shared by both the state and the city.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says the extension will help relieve traffic as well as help with future growth in the area.

City of Jonesboro

  

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin on Thursday hosted U.S. Corps of Engineers Memphis District Commander Col. Michael A. Ellicott, members of local drainage districts, county officials and representatives of Arkansas’ congressional delegations to further advance long-term stormwater drainage planning.

AHTD Lists Major Lane Closures for Labor Day Holiday

Sep 2, 2016
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  The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) reminds drivers to “know before you go” and visit IDriveArkansas.com before traveling this Labor Day holiday weekend.

Extensive highway improvements continue in the state. With those improvements come work zones. To aid in your holiday travel, AHTD has been working hard to open as many lanes as possible. Still, travelers will likely face work zones and possible delays due to increased traffic volume.

Two landowner groups along the proposed $2 billion Plains & Clean Line project filed a legal complaint Monday against the U.S. Department of Energy and the Southwestern Power Administration over the use of federal eminent domain powers in Arkansas to benefit a Texas for-profit venture group.

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Okay.  Pop quiz.

Do you want to be poor?  Do you want to have you or your children wake up every morning wondering where their next meal is coming from?  Is it your biggest aspiration to get locked up over and over again?

These are some of the same questions Dr. Marcella Wilson asked herself over 10 years ago while living in Detroit.  She tells her story in front of a packed audience at the E. Boone Watson Center in North Jonesboro.

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                The City of Jonesboro’s Grants and Community Development Department is conducting an analysis of impediments to fair housing.  Two public hearings will be held and your participation is requested.  

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Various road construction projects are taking place this week in Northeast Arkansas.

In Craighead County, the state Highway and Transportation department will replace a drainage culvert underneath a strech of road on highway 351 around the Crowley's Ridge Raceway.  A portion of the road will be close Wednesday until 4:30.  More details are available here.

Also on Wednesday, the east end of Aggie Rd will be closed as crews work to install a pipe. 

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The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will close off a portion of state highway 351 (Old Greensboro Rd.) Wednesday for road work.  

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  Wednesday is the deadline for flood victims in Craighead County to apply for state assistance. 

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  Even though Craighead County has officially been declared a disaster area, a call center may not be set up in the area until sometime next week. 

Craighead County Office of Emergency Management Director David Moore told the Jonesboro Sun Monday the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management told him to expect a delay in establishing the call center. 

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  Craighead County has been declared a disaster area by Governor Asa Hutchinson. 

The official announcement came from a press release of the Craighead County Office of Emergency Management over the weekend.  Public Assistance Programs and Individual Assistance Programs have been authorized to assist eligible applicants affected by the May 24th Flood. 

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