Arkansas State University

Recently, an Arkansas State University professor gave a TEDx Talk to an empty room about why people have hoarding tendencies in times of crisis.  In this talk you can watch here, Associate Professor of Political Science at Arkansas State University Dr. Hans Hacker asks a question about why so many people have been hoarding toilet paper during this COVID-19 pandemic.  KASU Station Manager Mark Smith interviewed Hacker about his talk.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.   

Arkansas State University / Arkansas State University

This is A-State Connections and Create@State: Making Connections that count.  In today’s podcast episode, I talked to Professor of Metabolic Engineering Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar and Biology Pre-Professional Major Linhchi Ho.  They talk about research that revolves around the medicinal properties of plants.   Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.  

Governor Asa Hutchsion at the daily press breifing
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchsion Official YouTube Channel

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ largest city on Wednesday expanded its curfew because of the coronavirus outbreak, as the number of cases in the state rose to at least 280.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott said the city will impose a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The city had already been enforcing a curfew from midnight until 5 a.m. because of the outbreak.


Upgrade work on I-555 in Jonesboro that has been held up for two weeks because of weather is scheduled to begin Thursday morning, March 26.

Aaron Vowell of the Arkansas Department of Transportation said a lane closure will be set up in the southbound lane and continue Friday before being restarted Monday.

Initial work will be strengthening a 10-foot paved shoulder and extending it to 14 feet to support traffic while renovation is done on existing lanes.

Arkansas Department of Health

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas officials reported the state’s first two coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, and the governor said he’s calling lawmakers back to the Capitol to address a budget shortfall expected because of the pandemic.

St. Bernard’s Foundation is receiving personal protective equipment from area dentists and orthodontists to help in the fight against COVID-19.  President of the St. Bernards Foundation Kila Owens.

"The dental community in northeast Arkansas gathered together and donated gloves, masks, hand sanitizer...all of this is helpful for us as we prepare for more patients coming to St. Bernards in the COVID-19 outbreak."


LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has authorized the release of $30 million to the Department of Finance and Administration for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care professionals and first responders as they test and treat patients who have contracted COVID-19.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas health officials on Friday said the number of coronavirus cases in the state has risen to 100 people, including 13 residents and staff of a Little Rock nursing home.

The state announced that the number of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, rose from 62 Thursday to 100.

Picture of the Cummins Unit sign of the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

As the number of COVID-19 cases rise in the state, the prison system is taking steps to help flatten the curve.  Arkansas Department of Corrections Communications Director Dina Tyler says  some of the precautions include suspending visitations for up to 21 days, as well as furloughs.  Tyler says the more that go out in the community, the greater chance something gets in the prisons.  She says one move has made it a little easier for inmates to contact their families:

Powhatan Historic State Park
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

LITTLE ROCK—Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT), today announced that ADPHT is instituting closings and/or limited access to some of its parks and museums in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 20.

Welcome Centers – Lobbies of the 13 Welcome Centers located around the state, which serve the traveling public, will close until further notice.

A-State Chancellor: Coronavirus Update March 20

Mar 20, 2020
Arkansas State University

The following is an email update from the ASU-Jonesboro Chancellor's Office as of Friday, March 20 at 9 A.M.

Logging Hours Worked by On-Campus Staff

Any employees who use Time Tracker to log hours and who are reporting to work on campus should continue to use the system.  Only employees working remotely should not use the system.  Supervisors will need to continue to approve weekly logs of those using the system.

Also any hourly, non-full time employees will have to clock in order to receive payment.

Arkansas Department of Health

While Mayor Harold Perrin and Craighead County Judge Marvin Day confirmed the first positive test of COVID-19 in the Jonesboro area, government and health officials urged residents to continue and in some cases heighten the one known practice to reduce the impact of the coronavirus: social distancing.

Arkansas Department of Health

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced today that all Arkansas public schools will remain closed for onsite instruction through April 17 due to the increasing spread of COVID-19 across the state. The decision to close schools will be re-evaluated in a few weeks based on public health conditions at that time.

Talk Business and Politics

Updated 3/21/20 1:04 PM

The Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed 118 cases of COVID-19 in the state, 22 of those come from Cleburne county near the KASU listening area.  Here is the latest map from the Arkansas Department of Health:

City of Jonesboro officials have confirmed to KASU News that Craighead County has its first reported case of the coronavirus.

Craighead County sent and email to KASU News around 11:47 A.M. on Thursday.  It was a joint statement with County Judge Marvin Day and Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perin confirming the case:

Arkansas Department of Health

Little Rock, Ark. (March 18, 2020) – Arkansas Community Foundation announces the creation of the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Arkanas Governor Asas Hutchinson at a press conference with state health officials delivering an update to COVID-19 cases.
YouTube / The Office of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas will tap Community Development Block Grant funds and the state’s Quick Action Closing Fund to support small businesses and nonprofits that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today during a press conference at the Capitol.

The Governor has made a formal request for a disaster declaration for small businesses, which will open up loans of up to $2 million in working capital.

Arkansas State University

This is A-State Connections on KASU.  I’m Johnathan Reaves. This is the weekly segment called “A-State Connections and Create@State: Making Connections That Count”.  In this interview, I talked to Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Hashim Ali and senior chemistry major Jessica Parr.  I asked Dr. Ali about the research.


Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin introduced the opening of a COVID19 page on the City of Jonesboro website,, as a way to help residents stay abreast of policy and changes taking place in City government, as well as ask questions and find links to information regarding the pandemic coronavirus outbreak.

“While we work around the clock to adapt to the requirements – most notably social distancing – that will best see us through this emergency, we want to be as informative and responsive to our residents as we possibly can,” Perrin said Wednesday.

City of Jonesboro

The response to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has hit the restaurant industry hard.  As KASU’s Johnathan Reaves reports, one message from a landlord to his tenant brought joy in the midst of fear. Click on the Listen button for the entire story. 

skeeze / Pixabay

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Concerns about the coronavirus on Wednesday prompted Missouri’s governor to push back local elections for two months, forced the closure of one of the state’s most iconic landmarks, and led St. Louis’ mayor to warn about possible community spread after an infected person went to work.

Seventeen cases have now been confirmed in Missouri. One of the new cases involved someone who went to work in St. Louis even while exhibiting symptoms, Mayor Lyda Krewson said on Twitter.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas governor announced Wednesday new financial assistance for people and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including a temporarily waiver of the state’s work requirement for food stamps.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson ordered the changes as Arkansas saw its coronavirus cases rise from 22 to 37, its largest single-day increase.

Due to current events and to avoid the spreading of COVID-19, this Bluegrass Monday performance scheduled for March 23 has been canceled.

Arkansas Department of Health

In this interview with U.S. Senator John Boozman, KASU's News Director Johnathan Reaves discusses the latest response to COVID-19, its financial impacts on the region and the country, and economic relief for Americans.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.  


Though no new presumed cases of COVID-19 were announced in Arkansas on Tuesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said more diagnoses can be expected as the state's testing capability grows.

Some health insurance companies, such as United Healthcare and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield have adjusted their policies to cover testing for the coronavirus for its customers. Member Station KUAR's Sarah Kellogg spoke with Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield on the changes the health insurer has made due to COVID-19.


Arkansas State University

JONESBORO – A number of events scheduled for March and April on the Arkansas State University campus have been postponed or canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic facing the nation.  New dates for postponed events will be announced as soon as possible.

Calendar changes since the last update issued include:


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday eased some restrictions for seeking unemployment benefits as the rest of the state’s casinos temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hutchinson’s order on unemployment insurance waived a one-week waiting period and made applicants immediately eligible to receive the benefits. It also eliminated any requirements to apply for the benefits in person.

Tennessee State Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers acknowledged they were shirking federal health recommendations on the coronavirus by sitting in close quarters as they conducted business Tuesday.

They also drew questions about whether they were staying focused on only the most necessary legislation, as promised, during their sprint toward a recess by the end of the week.

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A clinical lab in Missouri says it has developed a test for the novel coronavirus that is more than 99% accurate.

KCUR reports that Viracor Eurofins in Lee’s Summit claims it is capable of performing more than 1,000 tests per day and returning results the same day.

Officials say the test would allow for expanding testing to patients who don’t currently meet the eligibility criteria for public laboratory testing established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Another case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in western Missouri, bringing the state’s total to eight.

Cass County health officials announced late Monday that a patient is in self-isolation in Drexel, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Kansas City. No other information was released.

Two other new cases were announced Monday, one in St. Louis and the other in Greene County in southwest Missouri.

Southland Casino Racing, formally Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis, Arkansas
DoxTxob / English Wikipedia

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two more Arkansas casinos are closing temporarily because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Southland Casino Racing, a West Memphis dog track, and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff announced they were temporarily closing their facilities.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.