KASU Newsroom

Governor Asa Hutchinson at a daily coronavirus press briefing.
Daniel Breen / KUAR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued an order Thursday requiring people to wear face masks in public throughout the state, which has had a surge in coronavirus cases over the past several weeks.

The Republican governor had resisted a statewide mask mandate and opposed issuing a stay-at-home order earlier in the pandemic, but he announced the order requiring masks when social distancing isn't possible in the hopes of slowing the disease's rapid spread in the state. The order takes effect Monday.

Attorney General William Barr
Public Domain / The United States Department of Justice

Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a media availability at 1:30 p.m. after a luncheon with U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Senator Tom Cotton, and Congressman French Hill.

Video courtesy of the Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson's official YouTube Channel:

Arkansas Department of Health

This from the Arkansas Department of Health: 

Little Rock, Ark. – When a patient tests positive for COVID-19, case investigators and contact tracers work backwards to trace where the person has been and who has potentially been exposed.

This work is called contact tracing, and it’s a critical step toward containing the spread of the virus. It means that a contact tracer with the Arkansas Department of Health or one of our partners might call you seeking information that will help keep you and the people around you safe.

City of Jonesboro

Mayor Harold Perrin announced Thursday that Small Business Emergency Grants are available to small Jonesboro businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Grant assistance of $1,000 to $10,000 can be used for payroll, personal protective equipment, and/or rent and utility payments.

Applications for eligible small businesses can be submitted July 1 through 4 p.m. July 31.

The following rules will determine eligibility:

Arkansas State University

This email is from Dr. Kelly Damphousse, Chancellor of Arkansas State University.  

Dear Red Wolves:

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has created the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Board to review and evaluate new technologies as the state’s public health agencies develop strategies for testing and contact tracing, the governor announced at his daily COVID-19 press briefing today.

City of Jonesboro

(Updated 6/3/20)

Mayor Harold Perrin is seeking help from the Arkansas Attorney General to combat Jonesboro’s problems with Suddenlink cable TV and internet service.

Despite a visit to Jonesboro by executives of Suddenlink and its parent company, AlticeUSA, arranged by Perrin last February to address customer complaints, the problems have not abated, Perrin said.

He expressed his concerns in a letter to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge last week, and the two plan to meet about potential options for action regarding Suddenlink.

Arkansas State University

JONESBORO – The Department of Military Science and Leadership at Arkansas State University commissioned 10 ROTC cadets as second lieutenants during ceremonies conducted virtually. 

The new officers also have completed degree requirements to receive their university diplomas.

The guest speaker for the commissioning ceremony was A-State Chancellor Kelly Damphousse.  Maj. Joseph A. Loar, professor of military science, administered the oath to the new officers:

Little Rock, AR - Today the Arkansas 30 Day Fund and Arkansas State University announced a partnership to help Arkansas small businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19. The fund was established by Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her husband Bryan Sanders to provide forgivable loans of up to $3,000 to help bridge the gap for small businesses until they get relief from the government or demand returns for their product or service.

Non-essential City of Jonesboro services, including sanitation routes, will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

Regular Monday sanitation routes will run Tuesday.

Tuesday collection routes will begin Tuesday and finish Wednesday.

The remainder of the weeks should run on schedule. Any routes not completed on scheduled days will be prioritized the following morning, and Saturday, May 30, would be used to complete Friday routes if necessary.

The City Incinerator will close Saturday, May 23, and Monday, May 25. 

City of Jonesboro

Jonesboro, AR--After months of short supplies, Jonesboro now has several ways to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Mayor Harold Perrin announced today that drive-thru testing will begin Friday, May 15, for anyone who meets CDC and Arkansas Department Health criteria, a list that including first responders, health care workers and anyone in the general public in high risk groups or symptoms of the coronavirus.

Testing will take place 7 a.m.-9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot at 1911 W. Parker Road.

NYITCOM at A-State

JONESBORO, AR - New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM) recently received two grants from the Kays Foundation totaling $50,000, both of which will be used to help the medical school mentor high school and undergraduate students and help them prepare for careers in science and/or medically-related fields.


Jonesboro, AR—May 14, 2020—Crowley’s Ridge Development Council, Inc., and HUB: Homeless Resource Center, Inc. are pleased to announce the two entities are now joint partners in the fight against homelessness in Craighead County. Both agencies have recognized that collaboration ensures individuals receive bundled services which will lead them out of homelessness and into a life of stability.

My name is Devin Nelson, a Student Life Counselor with the A-State Counseling Center. Coping with Anxiety During COVID-19 is a free webinar focusing on managing increased anxiety related to the global pandemic. All our lives have changed dramatically, and whether you may already struggle with anxiety, or if anxiety is new to you, we can all benefit from exploring new ways to cope.

NYITCOM at A-State

This release comes from the City of Jonesboro: 

As restaurants reopen today at 33-percent capacity seating, the City reminds patrons of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s mandate that no one enters a restaurant without a mask.

Obviously, during these trying times, some changes will take some effort to grow comfortably. And the practice of eating out comes with new rules that require patience and understanding.

ASU System

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas State University System’s six current institutions, as well as future member Henderson State University, intend to return to in-person classes on campuses this fall as part of the Covid-19 pandemic recovery, President Chuck Welch announced today.

Arkansas State University

The following is from Arkansas State University's Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse.  

Monday, May 4, 2020 | 9:45 a.m.


(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst today announced that beginning May 1, campgrounds at Arkansas State Parks will reopen for RV campers with the following limitations:

City of Jonesboro

This is text of Mayor Harold Perrin’s speech: 

Thank you for joining us today.


As we begin, I want to say how proud I am of our community response over the past couple of months.


This is a trying time for our city. People are hurting. And as your mayor, your neighbor, and your friend, that’s a very hard thing for me to accept.



JONESBORO, AR – (April 28, 2020) – City Water and Light (CWL), in partnership with TurningPoint Energy (TPE), announced today the development of a solar power system totaling 13.25 megawatts (MW).  The system marks the first solar power project for CWL, affirming its commitment to bring clean, cost-effective solar power to its customers and community.


LITTLE ROCK – In an effort increase testing for COVID-19, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a two-day Arkansas Surge Campaign today with a simple message: “If you think you have symptoms, don’t wait – get tested.”

United States Navy Office of Community Outreach

BOSTON – Paragould, Arkansas native, Airman Olivia Manley, was awarded Blue Jacket of the Quarter aboard USS Constitution, April 22. 

Bluejacket of the Quarter is awarded to a junior sailor who exemplifies outstanding dedication to duty and superior performance by going above and beyond their assigned job.

“Hard work will always speak for itself, and I am so proud and happy to do what I love every day in the Navy,” said Manley.

Manley has served in the Navy for two years and USS Constitution is her first duty station.

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

LITTLE ROCK – Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the law firm Squire Patton Boggs, Disability Rights Arkansas, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and attorney Laura Fernandez filed an emergency complaint and request for temporary restraining order against Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) officials on behalf of Arkansas state prisoners over the inadequate measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission, illness, and death in state correctional facilities. 

Arkansas State University

This is part of an email sent to the A-State Community from Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse.

Arkansas Department of Health

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has created the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force to develop an industry-specific strategy and make recommendations to the Governor for Arkansas’s economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19, the Governor announced at a news conference today.



CRITTENDEN AND POINSETT COUNTIES (4-17) – Resurfacing 13 miles of Interstate 555 between Marked Tree and the I-55/I-555 interchange will require alternating lane closures, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) officials. 


Weather permitting, crews will alternatingly close lanes as needed starting on Monday, April 20 and continuing through the end of the year. Crews will always maintain a single lane open to traffic in both north and southbound lanes.



CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS announced today that it will continue to support at-home learning through “Arkansas AMI” for the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19 closures. The educational programming and classroom materials are produced in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Tornado damage in a neighborhood in Jonesboro.
Mark Smith / KASU

Residents with remaining tornado debris on their lawns can move it curbside, and City Streets trucks will make another pass at the end of the month to remove it, Streets Supervisor Steve Tippett and Code Enforcement Director Mike Tyner announced Monday.

Arkansas Department of Health

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the formation of the Governor’s Medical Advisory Committee for Post-Peak COVID-19 Response.