Jonesboro JETS

The Jonesboro Economical Transit System has reached record levels in ridership.  Director Steve Ewart was expecting to see over 10-thousand people use the system by this time next year; however, they reached that milestone this month

“It just shows that projects that we made as far as what central transfer operations do were accurate.  We are happy with all that,” Ewart says.  “It just gives us a challenge of trying to keep schedules.  If you have more people getting on and off the bus, that means that buses are running slower.”

Arkansas State University's Heritage Sites Program

It has been one year since the official opening of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and the Dyess Colony.  Executive Director of Arkansas State University’s Heritage Sites program Dr. Ruth Hawkins says this past year has been very busy.

Plans to establish an Agriculture & Technology school in Weiner are on hold for now.  During today’s meeting of the State Board of Education, the proposal by Weiner residents to detach from the Harrisburg School District and establish the school was pulled from the meeting.  Members of the Arkansas Department of Education learned from the Department of Career Education the necessary rules were not clarified before the petition for the school was drawn up.  When the rules are in place, the proposal is expected to be placed back on the agenda at a future meeting.  All parties were notifie

Authorities urge caution when school starts

Aug 13, 2015

With local public schools opening for the 2015-2016 school year on Monday, the Jonesboro Police Department is asking motorists to exercise extreme caution in and around school zones.

Officers will be working traffic enforcement in an effort to promote safety, and the Police Department urges motorists to be patient and pay extra attention to the traffic patterns that are established in school zones.

The Police Department will operate its trailer-mounted mobile speed monitor unit in school zones to remind motorists of the limits. Locations where it will be deployed include:

From our content partner Talk Business & Politics:

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday sent a letter to the State Board of Education commenting on the recommendations from the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review, officials said.

According to the letter, the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review voted July 20 to approve a set of findings and recommendations to send to the state board.

The council held several meetings around the state to hear from people on the Common Core issue.

All of the public schools in the state are required to have a faster emergency response to their schools through the RAVE Panic Button.  KASU's Johnathan Reaves interviewed the Jonesboro E911 Director Jeff Presley about that and the Smart 911 system. 

Nettleton School District is the first in the state that has a new emergency response system in place.  During the last legislative session, state lawmakers mandated that all schools in Arkansas have a system in place that could help provide faster service in the event of an active shooter or an emergency situation.  All public schools in the state will use a RAVE Panic Button system that allows designated officials to call for help by pressing a smartphone app.  Nettleton Schools  are the first in the state to be a pilot school and to have the system online.

Courtesy of Governor Asa Hutchinson's Press Office.

Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Tyler West, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council.  Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Audrey House, Altus, to the Arkansas Alternative Energy Commission. Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor. Reappointment.

Gregory Perkins, Lowell, to the Arkansas Alternative Energy Commission. Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor. Replaces Kurt Castleberry.

A major operation in Mississippi County leads to the arrests of 50 defendants in 40 separate indictments.  20 defendants are reportedly still on the run and are being sought by local law enforcement.  United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Christopher Thyer made the announcement in a press conference in Blytheville, along with David Resch of the FBI and 2nd Judicial District Prosecutor Scott Ellington.  Dubbed Operation Blynd Justice, the two year investigation targeted increased drug and gun crime in Mississippi County.

The Jonesboro City Council’s Finance Committee has approved a proposed sales tax to be considered by the full council.  If approved by the council next week, a one cent sales tax would be voted on during a special election November 10th.  7/8 cents of the tax would go toward funding 20 transportation projects in the city and would generate just over 14 million dollars a year.

From our content partner Talk Business & Politics:

A new clinic with ties to Northeast Arkansas will receive $983,403 in Affordable Care Act funding to help 2,825 patients, officials announced Tuesday.

Corning Area Healthcare, Inc. received the funding for the delivery of comprehensive primary healthcare services, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said.

Zimmer Development Company

The Jonesboro Metropolitan Area Planning has approved a rezoning proposal that would place off-campus student housing on East Johnson Avenue in Jonesboro, near Arkansas State University’s University Loop.  Representatives from Zimmer Development Company said they plan to place several buildings on 15 acres of land on East Johnson Avenue. The new development would be called University Woods and would be built in two phases.

A major operation in Mississippi County leads to the arrests of 70 defendants in 40 separate indictments.  United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Christopher Thyer made the announcement in a press conference in Blytheville, along with David Resch of the FBI and 2nd Judicial District Prosecutor Scott Ellington.  Dubbed Operation Blynd Justice, the two year operation targeting increased drug and gun crime in Mississippi County.  Early Tuesday morning, almost 600 law enforcement officers executed arrest warrants.  According to a news release, of the 70, twenty are fugitive

On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the City of Jonesboro City Council Finance Committee will consider ordinances to hold a special sales tax election in November.  The meeting will be held at four p.m. at the city's Municipal Center. 

The Craighead County Quorum Court has approved a solution to the county’s shrinking data capacity.  Information Technology Director Erin Johnson informed justices last month the county’s storage of data has grown exponentially over the past several years, and that an increase was needed immediately to provide storage for the next five years.  The Sun newspaper reports $78,000 worth of services will be provided by a vendor that has been approved by the state. Johnson says work on the storage will start immediately.  

A-State Heritage Sites to host anniversary open house in Dyess

Aug 11, 2015

In celebration of the first year anniversary of the opening of the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, Arkansas State University plans to host an open house, Saturday, Aug. 15, in Dyess, Ark. 

Members of the Cash family attended the dedication ceremony of the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, August 16, 2014

DENSO Foundation makes enigneering grant to A-State

Aug 11, 2015

New state-of-the-art electronics laboratory equipment will be available soon for engineering students at Arkansas State University, due to the generosity of the DENSO North America Foundation.

George Harguess, site manager-operations for DENSO Manufacturing Arkansas in Osceola, announced the $48,500 grant to A-State.  DENSO hires many engineering students when they graduate from A‑State.

Courtesy of Fritz Gisler, Director of Communications for the City of Jonesboro:

Ben Barylske, Chief Financial Officer for the City of Jonesboro, announced his resignation today. His last official day with the City will be August 13, 2015.

Preliminary plans for a new county jail in Lawrence County are being drawn up.  The Lawrence County Quorum Court approved a construction firm that will provide justices with different jail options.  The Sun reports South Build contractors were selected to provide the layouts for the jail, which could house at least 100 inmates.  No word on exact cost estimates, but County Judge Dale Freeman says the new jail could cost as much as nine-million-dollars.  Freeman says the county is looking at a half-cent sales tax increase or more for construction of a jail.  Arkansas Jail Standards threatened

Bridge inspection requires lane closure in West Memphis

Jul 31, 2015

A routine bridge inspection will require a lane closure on Interstate 40 near West Memphis, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

A crew will inspect the Interstate 40 Bridge that spans the Mississippi River between Memphis and West Memphis. The work will require closing the westbound outside lane on the bridge.

The westbound outside lane closure will occur Tuesday, August 4th through Thursday, August 6th, between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., each day, weather permitting.

Back to school items tax-free

Jul 31, 2015

This coming weekend will be a chance for Arkansas families to save money on back to school supplies. The annual tax holiday, which was approved by the state legislature in 2011, relieves shoppers of having to pay state and local sales taxes on certain products.

Items needed for students, along with some clothes and accessories within given price ranges are sold tax free.

From our content partner Talk Business & Politics:

A short-term highway bill drew the support Thursday of 91 U.S. Senators, including Arkansas’ Republican U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton. The Senate voted 91-4 Thursday to approve HR 3236, one day after the House overwhelmingly approved the bill.

From our content partner Talk Business & Politics:

A 17-member panel charged with making recommendations regarding Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has submitted 21 of them to Gov. Asa Hutchinson to consider.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who led the Council on Common Core Review, said earlier in the week that Common Core – a group of common standards in math and English Language Arts – should be made more rigorous and be renamed.

A report issued by the Council said concerns over testing were the most divisive elements of the controversial guidelines.

Courtesy of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

American Railcar Industries, Inc. (ARI or the Company), a leading North American designer and manufacturer of hopper and tank railcars,  provided further details regarding its project to enhance its  tank railcar manufacturing facility in Marmaduke, Arkansas (Greene County). As part of the expansion, the Company will invest $10.5 million in buildings and equipment and expects to hire up to 75 new full-time employees.

Johnathan Reaves / KASU/News

Since 1963, Paragould has sought a bypass that would take traffic around the city.  Yesterday, the eastern part of that bypass was dedicated. 

“I think it’s a big asset to Paragould.  It takes a lot of traffic out of the center of Paragould and will benefit the city very much.”