Governor Hutchinson announces new 4-digit phone system and record unemployment rate at weekly briefing
LITTLE STONE – During his weekly press conference today, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a partnership between the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Department of Transportation, and three national cellphone carriers.
Governor Hutchinson said the partnership will put a tool in the hands of Arkansas citizens to use to contact the Arkansas State Police.
The new four-digit speed dial *277 or *ASP is available for all AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon cell phones in Arkansas. Callers will be connected to the Arkansas State Police and will be used as a non-emergency phone line to help make travel in Arkansas safer.
Arkansas Rep. Stephen Meeks sponsored the legislation that led to the partnership announcement. He spoke about the importance of safety on state highways. He said he pitched the idea after driving to Little Rock and seeing someone driving over 100 MPH weaving through traffic. “While it didn’t rise to the level of a 911 call, their recklessness could have turned into a tragedy,” Rep. Meeks said, “I’m confident this will save lives, and that’s a great example of how the state government can work with industry to make life a little safer for all Arkansans.”
Arkansas State Police Superintendent Bill Bryant said this will allow Arkansans to reach out to state police if they need to. The types of calls he expects to receive are from stranded or lost motorists or to report suspicious activity or safety concerns related to the dangerous driving of others.
Governor Hutchinson pointed to the new unemployment rate in Arkansas, he said the new numbers show Arkansas has fallen to 3.1%, which is the lowest in state history.
That’s an extraordinary number to go down, it’s below the national average which is 3.9%,” Governor Hutchinson said. increase of more than 26,000 workers since 2015.”
He said Arkansas has increased the workforce over the years by increasing the number of manufacturers and hotels, but this is partially offset by the loss of workers in the health care industry and in education.
“It’s a reminder of the strain our workforce is seeing and feeling during this pandemic,” Governor Hutchinson said, “Omicron is part of the cause of those leaving work. It is important to track these numbers.
Governor Hutchinson presented Tuesday’s COVID-19 report with 7,943 new cases in the past 24 hours. Active cases are down by 3,742 and there have been 24 deaths from COVID-19.
Hospitalizations fell by 32 in the past 24 hours, with the number of patients on ventilators increasing by 18. This was a day after an increase of more than 100 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
“There is a need to add additional hospital beds, which is why we have asked the General Assembly to approve the $4.7 million for UAMS to expand the beds that will allow 28 medical relief beds and 7 intensive care beds,” Governor Hutchinson said.
Based on COVID-19 cases by age, he shows that cases in each age group are decreasing, which he says is a good sign that new case rates are decreasing in most age groups. of the Arkansans.
You can watch the full briefing HERE.
You can view today’s briefing slideshow HERE.
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