KASU

Randolph County

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. 

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.

UPDATE:  9:24 AM:  BRTC Pocahontas campus is all clear.  The lockdown has been lifted.

Arkansas Agriculture officials are expanding a quarantine area to protect against the spread of an invasive beetle but say mass devastation of the state’s ash trees may only be a matter of time. Eight more Arkansas counties, including Pulaski, were added to the state’s quarantine list this week. The number of counties under quarantine is now at 21. Another 12 counties have confirmed sightings of the Emerald Ash Borer.

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  Another Northeast Arkansas group fighting to put an alcohol measure on the November ballot is also suing the county’s clerk. 

The group Keep Our Dollars in Independence County is now suing County Clerk Tracy Mitchell for rejecting signatures on a ballot measure to allow alcohol sales in the county. 

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The group Keep Revenue in Randolph County has been working for months to collect almost 4,000 signatures from registered voters for a petition.  

The petition was to give residents the opportunity to vote on making Randolph County a wet county on the November ballot.  Earlier this month, just a couple of days before the petition was due, the County Clerk’s office rejected over 169 pages of signatures, causing the group to be 361 signatures short. 

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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. 

Brandon Tabor

Pocahontas is a small city with a population of just over 6,700 residents.  In this small city is a small white building tucked in a small neighborhood on the other side of the Black River.  Even though the small white building is in this small community, it has a big story to tell. 

The best person to tell the story is Pat Johnson.

"As you can see, this part is older than that section over there," Johnson says as she points at the opposite section of the building.

Independence Co Group Addresses Wet/Dry Issue

Feb 4, 2016
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Randolph County is not the only county in the KASU listening area with a group working to allow alcohol sales. 

Group Seeks to Make Randolph Co Wet County

Feb 3, 2016
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The “Keep Revenue in Randolph County” committee is working to put a measure on the November ballot to allow alcohol sales in the county.   Committee chair Linda Bowlin told the Jonesboro Sun the primary reason is to keep tax revenue in the county. 

To get the measure on the ballot, the group must collect about 4,000 signatures from registered voters by July.  Bowlin said if the measure gets on the November ballot, it will be the first time Randolph County residents voted on it since the 1950’s.

GatewayCASA.org website

 One local organization is actively looking for volunteers to tackle the overcrowded foster care system in the state.

Member station KUAR reported Thursday Arkansas has a high recidivism rate of 48% and over 1,00 foster care children in need of a home.  Arkansas’ foster care issue is also having a huge effect on a Northeast Arkansas organization who works often with children in the system.