KASU

Mississippi County

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A former state lawmaker from northeast Arkansas is being ordered to repay the salary he received as a city attorney while he was also a member of the House of Representatives.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that former Rep. Wes Wagner must repay $26,231 to the city of Manila for his salary in 2013 and 2014 while he was serving in the House and being paid by the state.

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The Arkansas Department of Education is recommending that the Blytheville School District no longer be classified as being “in academic distress.”

That classification is given to individual schools and school districts when over a three year period 49% of their students score at or below proficiency in math and reading.  Proficiency is measured by state mandated testing.

Arkansas Economic Development Commission

OSCEOLA, Ark. (AP) — Production is beginning at a new, $1.3 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas.

According to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Big River Steel has begun operations in its melt shop and hot mill at the new facility in Mississippi County. The steel mill was the first "superproject" to be approved under a 2004 state constitutional amendment that allows the state to borrow money to help lure major employers.

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.

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.

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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Passing of 2015 legislation allowing county courthouse employees in Arkansas to carry concealed handguns on county properties has sparked action for 2 Northeast Arkansas counties.

KAIT-TV reports the Cross County Quorum Court approved an ordinance Monday allowing full-time employees and elected official to carry handguns on the property.