News

Jonesboro's Chief Operations Officer Comes Back

Jun 20, 2016
City of Jonesboro

L.M. Duncan's retirement was a brief one.

The City of Jonesboro is rehiring its former chief operations officer to his old position – less than a month after he retired.

Duncan spoke with Mayor Harold Perrin on Sunday. Duncan said he offered to return to the city, knowing the workload faced by the city in the wake of the May 24 flood.

Mark Smith, KASU News

In this congressional interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with the Libertarian candidate, Mark West.  He is challenging Rick Crawford in the First Congressional District House race.  West gives his thoughts on the nation's debt, signing a pledge to end the U.S. Department of Education, and the Affordable Care Act and Arkansas Works.  Click on the Listen button to hear the interview.  

Pixabay

  Wednesday is the deadline for flood victims in Craighead County to apply for state assistance. 

Wikipedia.org

  Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s deputy chief of staff announced Monday that he will be stepping down from his post to open an consulting firm.

The Associated Press reports Jon Gilmore is set to resign at the end of June to work in the private sector.  Gilmore’s announcement comes after Michael Lamoureux, Hutchinson’s former chief of staff, announced his resignation to work in the private sector in May.

Last month, Hutchinson announced that Alison Williams, director of state-federal relations, would replace Lamoureux as his new chief of staff.

craigheadoem.org

  Even though Craighead County has officially been declared a disaster area, a call center may not be set up in the area until sometime next week. 

Craighead County Office of Emergency Management Director David Moore told the Jonesboro Sun Monday the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management told him to expect a delay in establishing the call center. 

Boozman.senate.gov

In this congressional interview with KASU, Senator John Boozman talks about the Orlando shooting, national security, Puerto Rico debt and Donald Trump.  Click on the Listen button to hear the interview.   

Jonesboro.org

  Jonesboro City Planning Director Otis Spriggs announced Monday he will be resigning from his office.  According to a press release from the city, Spriggs has accepted an offer to become a development director in the greater Houston area. 

The Baton Rouge native served as city planning director for 10 years.  Spriggs helped the city create a Development Review Guide for developers working in Jonesboro and digitizing the department’s paperwork. 

Mayor Harold Perrin said finding a replacement for Spriggs will be difficult, but a priority.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The names of those who lost their lives in a mass shooting in Orlando were read during a candlelight vigil at Arkansas State last night (Monday).  A light rain fell over a crowd of concerned citizens and members of Jonesboro’s LGBTQ community who mourned those who lost their lives early Sunday morning. 

Wikipedia.org

   In this congressional interview, Congressman Rick Crawford comments on the deadly Orlando shooting that killed 49 people and injured 53.  He tells about what the next steps need to be and whether the nation should address gun control laws.  He also talks he vote concerning a $70 billion Puetro Rico bill moving through Congress.  Listen to the entire interview by clicking the Listen button.

Pixabay

  Craighead County has been declared a disaster area by Governor Asa Hutchinson. 

The official announcement came from a press release of the Craighead County Office of Emergency Management over the weekend.  Public Assistance Programs and Individual Assistance Programs have been authorized to assist eligible applicants affected by the May 24th Flood. 

Arkansas State Police

A Silver Alert has been activated for a Crittenden County man.  West Memphis police are looking for 81 year old Lee Henry Jackson. 

He was last seen Friday wearing a gray shirt and khaki pants.  Jackson is a black male about 6ft weighing 165 pounds with short gray brown hair.  Authorities believe he may’ve been traveling in a 2000 beige Buick Century with Arkansas license plate 390 NLI. 

  Arkansas joins the rest of the nation in reacting to Sunday’s shooting massacre in Orlando, FL at a Gay nightclub.  Senator John Boozman (R-AR) called the shooting a form of radical Islamic terrorism and as an “attack on our freedoms.”

He said the country should “do whatever it takes to destroy ISIS using whatever means possible to protect Americans at home and abroad.” 

Here's Boozman's full official statement:

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Over 60 miles of ditches in Jonesboro needs to be mowed and better maintained to help prevent flooding like what happened May 24th.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin told aldermen during last night’s city council meeting that bids for the work will be open Thursday for the work, which is expected to cost almost two-million-dollars. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The Jonesboro City Council now has a new alderman.  Bobby Long defeated Dr. Richard Wang in a run-off for the Ward 6, Position 1 seat.  According to unofficial numbers, Long beat Wang 1,483 to 1,278.  Long addressed the media and told what he would do first.

“This is a new experience for me, so the first thing is to talk to all of the aldermen on the city council and learn my place there.”

He told what his priorities would be on the council.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The look of downtown Jonesboro is changing.  A $130 million renovation of St. Bernards is underway.  The work is being done in four phases and is expected to be complete by 2019. 

Construction is taking place on the Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center and it should be finished this fall. 

Initial work on phase two is also underway, which includes adding new catheterization labs, hybrid labs and additional invasive services to the Heartcare Center.  That will be complete in the winter of 2017. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

 As public health officials fear the Zika virus will spread deep into the U.S. this summer, Arkansas’s health department is conducting an extensive study of mosquitoes in the state. KUAR’s Bobby Ampezzan got a close look at one of the traps being used.

Pixabay

  A portion of Arkansas Highway 226 in southwest Jonesboro (Woodsprings Rd-Hidden Hill Creek) will be closed Wednesday, June 8 for maintenance work. 

The state highway department will be replacing old drainage tiles that cross the highway at the location. 

Motorists are encouraged to use Neel Road to US 49 to access highway 226 south of Dickson Road for local access (see map below).  

Maintenance is expected to start at 7 in the morning and to be complete by the late afternoon.

Wikipedia.org

 The national retailer Tractor Supply Company is building a new store in Walnut Ridge.  City officials made the announcement at a Monday news conference at the old Walmart building on US 67B where the business will be located. 

The property owned by Williams Baptist College was sold to Dallas-based BG Development, according to the Jonesboro Sun.  College officials told KAIT the funds from the sale will be used towards constructing new residence halls. 

ADEM officials assess Jonesboro flood damage

Jun 6, 2016
Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Officials from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management are in Jonesboro assessing flood damaged areas in the city.  They are determining whether Governor Asa Hutchinson should declare the area a state disaster.  Hutchinson visited with Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin last week for a tour of the areas damaged by the May 24th flood.  City and Craighead County emergency officials are still asking for affected residents to submit photos and estimates of damages sustained from the flood.  Contact information can be found at the link at the top of this website. 

Pixabay

Early voting ends today in Jonesboro in the Ward 6, Position 1 alderman’s race.  Bobby Long and Richard Wang are facing each other to determine who will be on the city council. 

Tim McCall resigned from the council earlier this year after he moved out of his ward.  The winner of tomorrow’s special election will serve on the council through December 31st, 2018. 

Polls will be open from 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 tomorrow night.

Mark Smith, KASU News

A rededication of historic Wilson Hall at Arkansas State University was a celebration of how a new osteopathic medical school will help serve the needs of those who are underserved in the Delta.  115 students have been accepted into the Class of 2020, 45 of those are from Arkansas.  There are 150 on a waiting list.  Over a ten-year period, more than 1,000 physicians are expected to be produced in Arkansas.  The public-private partnership is between the New York Institute of Technology and Arkansas State University…and Wilson Hall is the new NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at A-State. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on the Arkansas State University campus to celebrate construction of graduate and undergraduate housing. 

Over 500 beds will be located on the east and west sides of the campus.  A 167-bed complex for graduate students will be located on the west side of the campus and a 350-bed complex for undergraduate students will be on the east side. 

A separate 750-bed facility is being built just off of East Johnson Avenue in Jonesboro.  This is part of a public-private partnership with Zimmer Development Company of Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Arkansas State University System

The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved campus budgets for 2016-2017 with minimal increases in tuition and fees as part of a focused effort to keep higher education affordable.

ASU System President Chuck Welch said a 1.9 percent rise in tuition and fees for the flagship Jonesboro campus this fall will be the lowest of any public university in Arkansas this year. The annualized cost will increase $150 to $8,200.

JETS Summer Youth Fare runs through September 2

May 31, 2016
City of Jonesboro

The JET Summer Youth Fare program begins again Tuesday, May 31, and runs through Sept. 2.

Riders ages 12-18 will be able to ride JET for a discounted cost of 25 cents per ride or $10 for a pass with unlimited rides. Children under 12 also qualify for discounted rates but must be accompanied by an adult.

To receive this discount, riders must present a school-issued picture ID to enter the bus. Unlimited-ride passes may only be purchased at the City Collector's window at the Municipal Center, 300 S. Church St.

Hutchinson hires new head of ADEM

May 31, 2016
Governor Asa Hutchinson's office

Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced A.J. Gary, former Chief of Police for the Conway Police Department, as the new director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM). Gary will replace current Director David Maxwell who is set to retire at the end of June. Gary’s start date will be July 1, 2016.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Gary:

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