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Next weekend and Monday in particular, we will be observing our annual Memorial Day. The coming week may be overcast and rainy, mostly somber.

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Monday 05/23/2016
Jasper SBHC to begin final year of grant
Posted: May 23, 2016

The Jasper School District's school based health center is ending its fourth year of operation under a grant awarded to the district by the Arkansas Department of Education – Office of Coordinated School Health, made possible and supported by the Arkansas Tobacco Excise Tax, Arkansas Act 180 of 2009. Next year will be the grant's final year.

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Jasper board approves personnel moves
Posted: May 23, 2016

Hiring summer help was among at the personnel actions taken by the Jasper School District Board of Education when it met in regular monthly session Monday night, May 16. With the school year ending and facilities being vacated, the board hired Heather Brown and Jill Stephens as painters on the Jasper campus and Austin Gilbert at the Oark campus.

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Jasper board told to expect low statewide test scores
Posted: May 23, 2016

After reviewing the school districts' state report card grades, C in all three elementary schools and B in all three high schools, the Jasper Board of Education received background information about the grading system and the formula used to calculate the letter grades. The board met in regular session Monday night, May 16.

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Sunday 05/22/2016
State Capitol Week in Review
Posted: May 22, 2016

LITTLE ROCK — The legislature convened in a special session called by the governor to address highway funding needs.

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Saturday 05/21/2016
Aug. 3 Turfgrass field day: Earthworms, tennis courts and golf shoes
Posted: May 21, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE — The common denominator among Wimbledon, earthworms, the Masters and bees will take center stage on Aug. 3 for the annual Turfgrass Field Day at Fayetteville.

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Summer environmental workshops for teachers scheduled
Posted: May 21, 2016

Professional development does not have to be boring, or expensive. This summer, school teachers will have the opportunity to attend a variety of six-hour professional development workshops which will allow them to bring hands-on lessons back to their students without breaking the bank.

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USDA helps farms and small businesses conserve energy and save costs
Posted: May 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today awarded 26 grants to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers across rural America conserve energy and develop renewable energy systems, ultimately reducing their carbon footprint, lowering overhead costs and helping to create jobs. The grants are made possible through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which helps farms and small businesses right-size their energy systems and helps with the installation costs for renewable energy equipment.

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USDA releases results of new survey on honey bee colony health
Posted: May 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) released the results of its first ever Honey Bee Colony Loss survey today. The survey queried more than 20,000 honey beekeepers about the number of colonies, colonies lost, colonies added, and colonies affected by certain stressors and gleans state-level estimates on key honey bee health topics. The survey was developed as part of the " National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators" released last summer, and gleans state-level estimates on key pollinator health topics.

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USDA awards funds to promote use of wood in Arkansas
Posted: May 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today announced over $8.5 million to expand and accelerate technologies and strategies that promote the use of wood in commercial construction, heat and power generation, and other wood product innovations that also benefit forest health. Federal funds will leverage more than $18 million in investments from 42 business, university, nonprofit and Tribal partners in 19 states, for a total investment of $27 million.

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Clean car, clean conscience
Posted: May 21, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE — Any water that enters into a storm drain inlet in Northwest Arkansas goes directly to a creek or stream without being treated. When cars are washed on streets and driveways, that dirty water eventually ends up in rivers, streams, creeks, and lakes. Outdoor car washing has the potential to result in high loads of nutrients, dirt, metals, and hydrocarbons entering our waterways. Commercial car washes are plumbed to a treatment plant which keeps these pollutants out of our water.

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Arkansas Forestry Association hosts second annual Tree Farmer Conference
Posted: May 21, 2016

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Forestry Association is hosting its second annual Tree Farmer Conference on June 9, 2016 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. This conference will cover an array of different topics including herbicide usage, harvesting considerations from a logger’s perspective, hardwood management, wildlife leasing considerations, a tour of the Ross Foundation and an update on the Arkansas Tree Farm program.

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USDA lowers cost to refinance rural housing loans
Posted: May 21, 2016

WASHINGTON – USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez has announced a series of changes that will make it faster and cheaper for homeowners to refinance USDA mortgages.

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Follow safe practices when using pesticides this spring and summer
Posted: May 21, 2016

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) urges all Arkansans to follow safe use practices when using pesticides. ADH recently learned that a retailer in Arkansas has been selling a pesticide that was incorrectly marketed for use in and around homes. The Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) has worked with the retailer and their staff to market the product correctly, since the product is intended for use in or around horse stalls per the product label directions. This incident serves as a reminder to always read product labels and follow safe-use practices when using pesticides this spring and summer.

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Share the family’s favorite rice recipe and win a prize
Posted: May 21, 2016

LITTLE ROCK — If the rice dish you prepare for the family meets their approval then it’s probably worth sharing with the rest of the state. Doing so could win a prize and some recognition at the Arkansas Rice Expo.

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Arkansas rice bran a source for cancer-fighting peptides
Posted: May 21, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Rice bran, a byproduct of rice milling abundant in Arkansas that’s used as low-cost animal feed, could become a player in some much higher stakes. Organic substances in rice bran have potent anti-cancer capabilities and can potentially be used in food ingredients both for preventive and treatment purposes against the disease.

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To graze or not to graze: legumes need some time to grow
Posted: May 21, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE — A word to the wise who want to plant legumes by natural reseeding: refrain from mowing and using it for grazing in the meantime. Let it grow undisturbed.

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In reversal of 2015, rice planting surges ahead of 5-year average, approaches record acreage
Posted: May 21, 2016

LITTLE ROCK — Along with most of the state’s Cooperative Extension Service agricultural agents working in the rice-heavy counties of Arkansas, Herb Ginn won’t forget the 2015 planting season any time soon.

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Take a tour of Arkansas's historic bridges
Posted: May 21, 2016

It’s no secret that Arkansas is known for its abundant rivers, lakes, streams and mountains. Yet, the trails and routes that transport Arkansans and visitors alike to these natural resources tell a story of their own. Nowhere is this more evident than in Arkansas’s historic bridges, which span geographic and manmade features such as waterways, busy railroad tracks or bustling highways. These bridges illustrate the history and heritage of The Natural State—and can lead to modern-day discoveries of their own.

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AFGC hears new proposals for CWD management
Posted: May 21, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission approved general hunting regulations concerning small game, furbearers, migratory birds and turkeys for the 2016-17 hunting season at today’s meeting. They also heard the first proposals from wildlife management staff on a set of special proposals concerning deer hunting and management of chronic wasting disease in Arkansas.

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Friday 05/20/2016
No tuition increase in Northark's 2016-17 budget, but fees increased
Posted: May 20, 2016

The North Arkansas College Board of Trustees has approved a 2016-17 budget that is expected to show a net gain of about $117,000.

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Students named to Northark Dean’s List
Posted: May 20, 2016

Spring 2016 Part-time Dean’s List

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Governor names Alison Williams chief of staff
Updated: May 20, 2016 - 3:00 pm

LITTLE ROCK — Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced Alison Williams, Director of State-Federal Relations for Governor Hutchinson, as his new Chief of Staff. Williams will replace current Chief of Staff, Michael Lamoureux, starting on June 1, 2016.

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Yoga Festival near Low Gap upcoming
Posted: May 20, 2016

The Third Annual Ozark Mountain Yoga Festival is gathering yoga teachers, with different yoga styles, from all over Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma to share the gift of yoga. The festival will be Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29 at the Circle Yoga Shala near Low Gap.

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Intervention request granted in challenge to Labor’s Persuader Rule
Updated: May 20, 2016 - 2:56 pm

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said today that a federal judge granted Arkansas and nine other states the right to intervene in a case challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Persuader Advice Exemption Rule. Rutledge, along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, is leading the 10-state coalition, which filed a motion to intervene on May 10.

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New scam-tracking map allows Arkansas consumers to report, monitor fraud schemes
Posted: May 20, 2016

LITTLE ROCK — AARP Arkansas today announced that AARP Fraud Watch Network has launched a new online Scam-Tracking Map which will allow Arkansas consumers to report instances of fraud schemes, by way of sharing the information with others in their community who may become targeted.

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