KASU

Northeast Arkansas

Following two years of interviews for the job, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Stan Jones to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Tuesday. Jones, a fifth-generation farmer and hunting lodge owner from Walnut Ridge, applauded previous efforts by the commission to promote the outdoors in Arkansas.

“I know we’ve got some difficult situations and issues that we’re going to have to face, but I’ve got a very positive look and attitude on everything, the Game & Fish [Commission] has done a good job, and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Jones said.

Arkansas legislators on Friday allowed a prohibition on the sale and use of dicamba to take effect. The Executive Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council took no action on the proposed 120-day ban, a decision that upholds a ruling made last month by the Arkansas Plant Board. The ban will officially go into effect Tuesday at 12:01am unless members of the council move to reverse it.

Delta Regional Authority

Art and culture have always been a way of life in eastern Arkansas and now at least one organization thinks both can become economic drivers in the region.

A water wall is moving down the Black River and parts of Northeast Arkansas are bracing for the worst floods in generations. At least 300 people were evacuated from eastern Pocahontas on Monday as the river continued to rise, fueled by weekend rains in southern Missouri.

Ann Kenda, Arkansas Public Media

"Devastating."

That's the only way Kary Story, Mayor of Pocahontas, can describe the record flooding coming to his city.  The National Weather Service in Memphis on Tuesday issued a Flash Flood Warning for southeastern Randolph County, and central Lawrence County.

State of Arkansas, YouTube

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson held a press conference in Pocahontas Tuesday after surveying the damage to Sharp and Randolph Counties from the severe storms that hit over the weekend.  The GOP Governor held the presser in the #4 Fire Station in Pocahontas with Mayor Kary Story and AJ Gary, Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

Two former supervisors at an Arkansas juvenile detention facility Wednesday pleaded guilty for conspiracy to assault detainees. Patrick Harris, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced that 42-year old Peggy Kendrick and 40-year old Dennis Fuller each entered guilty pleas for their actions at the White River Juvenile Detention Center in Batesville.

Arkansas Department of Education

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key is pleased to announce that Dr. Ivy Pfeffer has been named deputy commissioner. Pfeffer, the current assistant commissioner for Educator Effectiveness and Licensure, will assume her new role July 1. She replaces Dr. Mark Gotcher, who accepted the superintendent position at the Russellville School District effective July 1. 

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas community college has been placed on probation after a regional accrediting agency said it didn't meet three criteria related mostly to assessing student learning and could fail another five.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2nP9vUe) reports Black River Technical College must provide evidence to the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission that it's worked on the criteria by July 1, 2018. The Pocahontas community college must also host an on-site visit no later than September 2018.

Talk Business & Politics

A heated debate that has been stewing in Northeast Arkansas for months spilled over into a House panel on Tuesday (Feb. 28) after lawmakers backed a plan to merge Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute of Forrest City into its next door neighbor, East Arkansas Community College (EACC).

Talk Business & Politics

Doniphan Vitality, a non-profit organization, has received a $100,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority, DRA, to conduct an innovation hub feasibility study in four southern Missouri counties and Sharp and Randolph counties in Arkansas.

The University of Missouri Extension Office has also pledged a $20,000 match, DV Arkansas leadership point person Graycen Bigger told Talk Business & Politics.

Talk Business & Politics

Ahab Alammar has lived the American dream. The 28-year-old was born in Syria, but when he turned 13 his family was able to secure him a visa to come to the United States. He was the only person in his village of about 5,000 people to get one.

Pixabay

The unemployment rate in Northeast Arkansas remains low.

The Jonesboro Sun reports, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released its report of their most recent jobless rate data.

Employment in nonfarm jobs in the Jonesboro Metropolitan Area rose by about 1,300 with over 55,300 people employed since November 2015.  Last year, the sector saw an increase in November with around 56,800 residents employed, bringing the jobless rate in the area to 2.9%.

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.

ASH FLAT, Ark. (AP) — A man who has been on death row for the 1986 killings of a man and a woman has been resentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Batesville Guard (https://guardonline.com/?p=225354) reports Steven Victor Wertz was resentenced Tuesday by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Wikipedia

Four Northeast Arkansas music artists have been nominated for a Grammy Award.

The Recording Academy announced Tuesday the nominees for this year's Grammy Awards ceremony.  Jonesboro natives Zach Williams and Jonathan Smith were nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for their song "Chain Breaker."  The duo co-wrote the song with Mia Fieldes who was also nominated in the category.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Working as an intern for the Delta Center for Economic Development at Arkansas State University years ago, Hannah Barnett developed a passion for writing grants for local organizations.

"I fell in love with the aspect of indirectly getting to help these people that need it, because I was helping them get money to do what they do," Barnett said.

In October 2016, when she was offered a position to coordinate the new Center for Non Profit and Small Town Support, she saw an opportunity to use her passion to help more people.

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. 

Pixabay

Low crop yields could force some farmers in Craighead County to abandon their livelihoods by the spring, Craighead County Extension Agent Brannon Thiesse told Talk Business & Politics.

Rain, humidity, periods of intense heat, and other factors have led to a relatively poor harvest for rice, soybeans, and corn farmers – three of the staple row crops in the region. There are roughly 200 farmers in Craighead County, and Theisse estimates up to 5% of them could go out of business as a result of poor yields.

A private ceremony was held Tuesday in Cash for the 3 young children who died in a house fire last Wednesday.

Cash Assistant Fire Chief Ron Eaton told KAIT the mother of the children was released from the hospital.  The mother, Jennifer Jones, sustained burns from the fire while trying to save her children and was airlifted to a hospital in Memphis.

The Cash Fire Department will have an event on November 18 to raise money for the family.

A bus fatally crashed in Louisiana this weekend while transporting immigrants in the country illegally to a job center owned by a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce targets specific sectors to lure job creators

Aug 3, 2016
Pixabay

The Jonesboro metro area has enjoyed historically low unemployment during the last two years, but city leaders knew wage stagnation was a problem, and there was a need to be proactive in creating new job opportunities.

When agricultural extension agent Tom Barber drives the country roads of eastern Arkansas this summer, his trained eye can spot the damage: soybean leaves contorted into cup-like shapes.

He's seeing it in field after field. Similar damage is turning up in Tennessee and in the "boot-heel" region of Missouri. Tens of thousands of acres are affected.

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