News

Arkansas Highway Projects Pulled Due to Uncertainty in Federal Highway Trust Fund

Mar 24, 2015

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has withdrawn 56 construction projects scheduled for consideration in its April 21, 2015 bid opening due to continuing uncertainty of Federal-aid reimbursements available from the Federal Highway Trust Fund. 

Flooding on the Black River has slowed the final stages of construction on the Highway 63 bridge at Black Rock.  Officials with the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department tell the Sun plans were for the bridge to open to the public in late April, but it may be at least May before the span is open for use.    Torrential rains caused the river to rise 10 feet above flood stage, which caused water to shut down nearby roads.  Construction equipment has been mired in mud and water, but there is no word of equipment issues.  Crews are hopeful to get back to work today and finish working on th

Arkansas State University

This year's Delta Symposium at Arkansas State University is going to the movies!  In conjunction with this year's Delta Flix Film and Media Festival, the 21st annual event will be held April 8-11 at Arkansas State University's Carl R. Reng Student Union.  As always, the Saturday of the Symposium will conclude with a concert at CWL Park in Jonesboro.  KASU's Johnathan Reaves talked with co-coordinator of this year's Delta Symposium, Dr. Gregory Hansen.  Click here for a complete list of events at this year's Delta Symposium.

Arkansas State University

The first annual Delta Flix Film and Media Festival takes place in conjunction with this year's Delta Symposium at Arkansas State University.  In this interview, KASU's Johnathan Reaves talks with Dr. Michael Bowman about how this year's festival got started, what can be expected, and the excitement surrounding how the festival will compliment this year's Symposium, to make it a unique event.  Click on the listen button to hear the interview.

Engineering work for a proposed railroad overpass in Jonesboro could start as early as next month.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin tells the Sun newspaper Bridgefarmer and Associates of Dallas is leading the environmental and design work for the new overpass at Highland Drive and Nettleton Avenue in Jonesboro.  Bridgefarmer is the same group that is constructing the new US Highway 412 bridge at Black Rock.  The engineering work will cost about one and a half million dollars, with a majority of that money coming from a federal grant.  The initial plan involves building a four lane overpass at

New Paragould bypass announced

Mar 9, 2015

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has identified the preferred alternative for the future Highway 412 Bypass (Paragould Bypass) Interchange at State Highway 358, according to Department officials.

Following an extensive review of potential impacts and comments received from public meetings held on February 18, 2014 and on October 30, 2014, the Single-Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) on the eastern alternative has been identified as the best alternative for a connection at State Highway 358 (map of the western portion of the bypass is attached).

A-State and O'Reilly Hospitality Negotiate Plan for Conference Center

Mar 2, 2015

Arkansas State University is negotiating with O’Reilly Hospitality Management LLC for a land lease agreement that would develop a potential Embassy Suites hotel, a conference center and Houlihan’s restaurant on campus, Chancellor Tim Hudson said today.

Arkansas farmers meet with Arkansas' Congressional Delegation

Feb 26, 2015
Arkansas Rice Federation

Farmers, merchants and millers from the Arkansas Rice Federation met Wednesday with all six members of the state's congressional delegation during the USA Rice Federation's Government Affairs Conference. They discussed with Senators Boozman and Cotton, and Representatives Crawford, Hill, Westerman and Womack, the implementation of the new farm bill and international trade, particularly with regard to rice markets in Cuba and Iraq.

 

Construction requires temporary bridge closure in Mississippi County

Feb 26, 2015
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

Construction work will require closing a bridge in Mississippi County, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

Crews will be raising the Highway 150 Bridge over Interstate 55. The bridge will be raised about 17” for trucks that require a higher clearance while travelling on Interstate 55.  The work will require closing the bridge to traffic for approximately 30 days. This bridge is about 4 miles north of Highway 18 in Blytheville and about 1 mile south of the Missouri state line.

Judge dismisses Nucor lawsuit against Big River Steel

Feb 26, 2015
Talk Business & Politics

A federal judge on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit by a Mississippi County steel company that a competitor was violating federal environmental law.

Chief Judge Leon Holmes dismissed the suit without prejudice filed by Nucor Steel Arkansas and Nucor-Yamato Steel against Big River Steel.

Tax Back approved for TeleTech

Feb 24, 2015

The mission of a company that opened a call center in Jonesboro last fall has connected in a very big way, a company official told Craighead County justices Monday night.

The Craighead County Quorum Court approved a resolution to allow TeleTech to participate in the Tax Back program during a meeting at the Craighead County Courthouse annex. The program allows companies to use the refunds of local sales taxes to do things like add equipment and make building renovations.

State highway officials say future road projects in the state are in jeopardy because of a lack of action from the United States Congress on financing the federal highway fund.  The Associated Press reports that total money available to states from a the fund has declined over three percent from 2008 to 2013.  That money is set to run out in two months, which is a major concern for every state, including Arkansas.  Arkansas highway officials are looking at which projects may have to be cut if the fund is not replenished.  Additionally, the highway department is also looking for alternativ

ASU Board hears update on higher education legislative issues

Feb 23, 2015

Dr. Charles L. Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System, told members of the Board of Trustees at its meeting Friday that they can expect to see flat state funding for higher education in the next biennium.

“I want to say thank you to Gov. [Asa] Hutchinson and the General Assembly,” Welch said. “His commitment to higher education during the campaign and continuing commitment to maintain stable funding for higher education are appreciated.”

Public Comment Sought on Jonesboro's Land Use Plan & Master Street Plan

Jan 30, 2015

Members of Mayor Harold Perrin’s administration will join with members of the Jonesboro Land Use Advisory Committee (LUAC) and Master Street Plan Committee in two (2) public input meetings to be held at the Municipal Center on Monday, February 2, 2015 and Monday, February 9, 2015, to field public comments regarding the Jonesboro’s Land Use Plan and Master Street Plan updates.

Arkansas Delegation Requests Loan Repayment Extention in Turner Grain Case

Jan 30, 2015

–The Arkansas Congressional delegation today requested Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack extend the loan repayment date for farmers impacted by the collapse of Turner Grain until bankruptcy proceedings are completed.

Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) extended loan repayment dates for farmers impacted by the collapse of Turner Grain last fall. The repayment extension is set to expire for farmers during the week of February 1, 2015.

 

ASU Board Approves Red Wolves Foundation Lease Agreement

Jan 30, 2015

The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved lease agreements between Arkansas State and the Red Wolves Foundation related to construction and use of the press box at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro.

ASU President Dr. Charles Welch said that the leases would enable the foundation to secure additional financing for the 40,000-square foot press box and concourse expansion. The new facility replaces a 7,120-square-foot press box and will include 20 suites, all of which have been sold, and will open in time for the 2015 football season.

The Jonesboro Animal Control has temporarily suspended surrender and adoption programs due to an outbreak of tracheal bronchitis at the shelter. Known as “kennel cough”, this form of bronchitis is spread airborne and can be spread when animals cough or sneeze.   Animal Control Supervisor Sgt.

Arkansas State University

Representatives from Apple presented Arkansas State University with a special recognition.  A-State’s First Year Experience Program earned recognition as an Apple Distinguished Program.  The First Year Experience Program requires that all incoming freshman receive iPads for use in the classroom.

Mid-South Community College and ASU Boards approve merger

Jan 12, 2015

Mid-South Community College will become Arkansas State University Mid-South on July 1 under a merger agreement approved and executed Friday.

Beck PRIDE Center receives grant

Jan 8, 2015
Arkansas State University

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has announced the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans at Arkansas State University has received a distribution of settlement funds under Act 763 of 2013.

The Beck PRIDE Center received $15,000 that will be used to support the needs of the veterans in the program in the areas of personal rehabilitation, individual development or education. The Attorney General’s office often gives settlement monies to non-profit organizations whose constituents may have been adversely affected. 

Preview of the Upcoming Legislative Session

Jan 8, 2015

When the 90th General Assembly convenes next week, the ghosts of Arkansas’ political past won’t recognize the party make-up of the state capitol.

Republicans will control 23 of 35 seats in the State Senate; 64 of the 100 seats in the Arkansas House; and all seven of the state’s constitutional offices, including the most powerful position in state government, Arkansas Governor.

Hutchinson makes two appointments from NEA

Jan 8, 2015

Governor-Elect Asa Hutchinson has announced the appointments of two Northeast Arkansans to the following boards and commissions:

  • Alec Farmer – Arkansas State Highway Commission (ASHC)
  • Niel Crowson – Arkansas State University Board of Trustees

Farmer’s appointment fulfills Governor-Elect Hutchinson’s campaign promise, in which he pledged to appoint a Highway Commissioner from Northeast Arkansas.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Alec Farmer:

New Arkansas Congressional Officials sworn in

Jan 7, 2015

A new session of Congress started Tuesday, as two new congressmen and a new senator made history as an all-Republican Arkansas delegation took office.

The state’s congressional delegation – Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; and Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, French Hill, R-Little Rock, Steve Womack, R-Rogers, and Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs – were sworn in around lunchtime during sessions in the U.S. House and Senate.

Top Legislators to watch this session

Jan 7, 2015

Every session brings a mix of old and new legislators to the table with some of the veterans hitting their grooves, while some surprises in the interim rise to the challenge.

The 90th General Assembly will see an unprecedented amount of power concentrated in the GOP with near supermajorities in both chambers. The Senate will house 23 Republicans versus 11 Democrats (there is a special election to fill a vacancy in one seat), and in the House Republicans will rule Democrats 64-36.

Lower gas prices to fuel Holiday travel and spending

Dec 18, 2014

The good vibes that Arkansas and U.S. consumers are getting from lower pump prices this holiday season will also make for hectic highways and busy airports as Americans with more disposable income plan getaways for Christmas, AAA officials said Wednesday.

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