News

News
9:02 am
Tue September 9, 2014

State Health Department reports almost 1/4 of Arkansas high school students "vaping"

The Arkansas Department of Health reports the number of young people smoking in the state is rising.  The reason is the electronic cigarette.  State health officials report that almost one-quarter of high school students in Arkansas never smoked a regular cigarette, but did admit to "vaping", or using an e-cigarette.  More information is available in this press release from the Arkansas Department of Health:

In 2013, 263,000 youth who had never smoked a cigarette used an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Read more
News
8:49 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Lawsuits filed over closed Crittenden County hospital

The Crittenden Hospital Association was negligent in not paying the insurance premiums for an employee for nearly a year, an attorney alleged in a lawsuit filed in Crittenden County Circuit Court in Marion.

Also, a second lawsuit will seek to determine what happens with a local sales tax that recently passed to help support the now closed Crittenden County hospital.

Read more
News
8:46 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Governor Beebe announces appointments

Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following appointments to State boards and commissions:

Dr. Sameh Abul-Ezz, Little Rock, to the State Kidney Disease Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2015. Replaces Dr. Tim Langford.

Richard Benson, Forrest City, to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission. Appointment expires June 8, 2016. Replaces Weston Lewey.

Stephanie Bland, Alexander, reappointed to the Arkansas State Board of Acupuncture and Related Techniques. Appointment expires July 31, 2017.

Read more
News
6:46 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Pedestrian overpass at Arkansas State University to be considered

Another way for students to get to and from Arkansas State University will be considered tomorrow.  The Jonesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization will consider a proposal for a pedestrian overpass to be built over the railroad tracks between South Caraway Road and the Arkansas State University Campus.  The Sun Newspaper reports the plan has the support of the Jonesboro Economical Transit System, because it would allow students who do not have cars easier access to center’s transfer station that will be built on Matthews Avenue.  If the proposal is approved tomorrow morning, the proposal

Read more
News
5:51 am
Mon September 8, 2014

USDA grants extension to Turner Grain Farmers

Farmers who have been linked to financially troubled Turner Grain in Brinkley will receive an extension from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on marketing authorizations for their crops tied to the commodities dealer.

Turner Grain has been at the center of a brewing calamity for farmers since it was revealed that a number of farmers have gone unpaid on their crops and that the grain dealer was under regulatory investigation and involved in litigation.

Read more
News
7:21 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Governor Beebe announces intent to grant pardons

Governor Mike Beebe today announced his intent to grant 15 pardons. An additional 49 clemency requests were denied and 18 had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The 15 applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the pardons before final action is taken.

Governor Beebe intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Read more
News
7:16 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Asa Hutchinson says he would support hike in minimum wage

The Republican nominee for governor said Thursday that he will support a ballot measure to raise the minimum wage as he and his Democratic rival argued over the issue.

Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson was in Newport talking to Jackson County Republicans during a lunch at Hunan Restaurant.

After the talk, Hutchinson, who is being challenged by Democrat Mike Ross, Libertarian Frank Gilbert and Green party candidate Josh Drake, spoke with Talk Business and Politics about a series of issues.

Read more
News
6:57 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Rick Elliot named as Jonesboro Police Chief

The city of Jonesboro has a new police chief.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin appointed Lt. Rick Elliot to the position during a reception yesterday in the Municipal Courtroom.  Elliot began his career as a reserve officer in Jonesboro in 1979.  Two years later, he was hired as a full-time officer with the Blytheville Police Department.  He came back to Jonesboro in 1992 and worked his way to become a lieutenant.  Perrin discussed what stood out about Elliot.

Read more
News
6:48 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Lawrence County jail expected to close next year

It wasn’t unexpected news.  Citizens at a public meeting last night in Walnut Ridge were told the Lawrence County jail has about six more months it can remain open.  What is facing those citizens will be a looming sales tax issue aimed at building a new county jail.  County Judge Dale Freeman says the only other alternative is shipping the current inmates to other counties, which he says would “bankrupt” the county.  The Sun Newspaper reports that Arkansas Jail Standards Coordinator Danny Hickman appeared at the meeting last night and told the 75 in attendance the current jail is a “ticking

Read more
News
10:08 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Football season means big bucks in the state

Kayla O’Brien of Batesville was one of several thousand people to recently attend a tailgate party at Arkansas State University before last Saturday’s home game with Montana State.

Recent economic data shows that O’Brien was not alone this year or last.

According to an economic impact survey conducted last month by ASU, 151,254 tickets were sold to football games in 2013, with about a quarter (32,949) of the fans coming from outside Jonesboro.

Read more
News
5:59 am
Thu September 4, 2014

New Jonesboro police chief to be announced today

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin is slated to announce the city’s new police chief today.  The Sun Newspaper reports the announcement will take place during a press conference at one this afternoon in the police department’s training room.  Perrin told audience members attending Tuesday night’s Jonesboro City Council meeting that he believed he could make the decision quickly.  The new chief reportedly already works for the city of Jonesboro.  Perrin says he had considered candidates from Forrest City, Conway and the Arkansas State Police before he says he decided the best candidate was alread

News
4:40 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Mike Ross visits Jonesboro

The proverbial fireworks may have come a little later this year as two of the major candidates for Arkansas governor ratcheted up their comments on issues Wednesday.

Former Democratic Congressman Mike Ross – who is challenging former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson, Libertarian Frank Gilbert, and Green party candidate Josh Drake – was in Jonesboro Wednesday visiting seniors at the St. Bernards Senior Life Center on Washington Avenue.

Ross spoke to Talk Business and Politics around lunchtime Wednesday about a series of issues on the campaign trail.

Read more
News
4:38 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Minimum wage proposal qualifies for November ballot

Less than a week after certifying an alcohol expansion initiative, Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin said that a proposed ballot measure to raise the state’s minimum wage has qualified for the November general election.

Martin tweeted from his state account on Wednesday, “An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage makes general election ballot.”

Read more
News
4:35 am
Thu September 4, 2014

EPA Awards Arkansas nearly $3 million for water quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $2,988,000 to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) to support management of nonpoint-source water pollution. The funding will be used for a variety of projects designed to improve water quality in several priority watersheds.

Read more
News
4:31 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Arkansas State University releases fall enrollment numbers

With the largest freshman classes since its implementation of more rigorous admission standards, Arkansas State University welcomed more than 13,000 students to campus for the start of the 2014-15 academic year.

The 1,699 first-time students are also as the most academically prepared freshman class for the third consecutive fall.

Read more
News
12:12 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Sales tax collections are on pace

A strong upsurge in income tax collections offset an expected sales tax decline as year-to-date state revenues remained slightly ahead of last year’s pace and forecast.

Net available general revenues in August totaled $398.3 million, up 2.7% from the previous year and 3.2% above forecast.

Read more
News
6:53 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Announcement on the next Jonesboro Police Chief could come this week

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he could make an announcement this week on which person will lead Jonesboro Police Department in the future.  The Sun Newspaper reports Perrin told the audience at last night’s City Council meeting the next chief may already be working for the city.  He says there are qualified candidates within the department, and he tells the Sun he spent much of the Labor Day weekend reviewing the qualifications of the captains and lieutenants on the force to see who would be the best qualified for the position.  Perrin says he will make a decision soon.  Forme

News
6:02 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Simmons First completes acquisition with Delta Trust and Bank

Simmons First National Corp. says it has completed its $66 million merger with Delta Trust and Bank. The adoption of the merger agreement by the companies was previously announced in March.

Delta Trust shareholders approved the merger at a special shareholders’ meeting held on August 29, 2014, and the transaction was completed on August 31, 2014.

Read more
News
5:56 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Noranda announces layoffs in Missouri

An aluminum plant in New Madrid will lay off between 125 and 200 jobs over the next six months.

Noranda Aluminum CEO Kip Smith said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon that he is disappointed in the Public Service Commission's decision not to lower power rates.

"Like every other smelter, a third of our cost is electricity," Smith said. "Given the increases in our power rate we've ended up in a situation where we have an unaffordable and uncompetitive power rate." Governor Jay Nixon released this statement on Tuesday about the layoffs:

Read more
News
5:47 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Murder-suicide in Jonesboro

Authorities are investigating a murder-suicide in Jonesboro.  The incident happened yesterday morning when 17-year-old Diamond Ebron was gunned down in the driveway of her home in the 3100 block of Ashwood Drive.  Police say the shooting happened just after ten yesterday morning.  The suspect in the shooting, 26-year-old Kenneth Thomas of Jonesboro, reportedly fled the scene and was pulled over about ten minutes later on Arkansas Highway 226.  The Sun Newspaper reports when officers ordered Thomas out of his vehicle, they heard a single gunshot and reportedly found Thomas dead from a gunsho

Read more
News
5:24 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Paragould Gynecologist faces more video voyerism charges

A gynecologist accused of taking photographs of his patients is facing three more charges of video voyeurism.  68 year old Dr.

Read more
News
4:55 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Salex tax numbers for Craighead County, Jonesboro released

Sales tax collections for Jonesboro and Craighead County were like the proverbial yo-yo during August, officials said Tuesday.

The city collected $1,308,268.53 in sales taxes during August, up slightly from the $1,304,475.75 collected during the same time in 2013.

Meanwhile, Craighead County saw its numbers go down as the county collected $1,452,035.47 in August compared to the $1,493,856,58 collected during August 2013.

Jonesboro Chief Financial Officer Ben Barylske said the slight increase continues a four-month improvement in sales tax collections for the city.

Read more
News
7:55 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Video conferences to eliminate personal visits in new Greene County jail

Video visitation services for inmates at the new Greene County jail in Paragould are expected to start this week.  Greene County Jail administrator Dave Tierney tells the Associated Press inmates and visitors should be able to talk to each other via video starting September 3.  He says the process will eliminate face-to-face visits.  The new video calls will be available through appointments and will be recorded.  The services are a key feature of the new 75,000 square-foot jail, which opened last month.  Nearly 500 inmates can be housed at the new facility.  The new jail is possible due to

News
7:27 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Groundbreaking set for Big River Steel

Groundbreaking ceremonies for Big River Steel take place September 22.  The Blytheville Courier News says the event is invitation-only, and is expected to host numerous dignitaries, including Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.  Construction on the $1.3 billion project is expected to take at least two years.  Once built, at least 500 workers will be employed, averaging salaries of $75,000.  The project is moving forward, despite attempts to stop it from Nucor Steel in Blytheville.  Nucor has filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming the company is violating the Clean Air Act.  The project is bei

Read more
News
6:42 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Missouri looks to place more locally grown food in schools

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is offering grants to get more locally produced food into the state’s schools.  Applications are being accepted to those who produce food themselves, or make foods that come from small farmers.  Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce tells the Associated Press the goal is to increase the amount of Missouri-made food that is served to students at breakfast and lunch.  Application deadline is October 31 and grant amounts are up to $200,000.  More information is available here.

Pages