News

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Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Wednesday 30 more appointments to various state boards and commission.  4 are from Northeast Arkansas, which includes Jack Crumbly from Widner, Mayor David Morris from Searcy, Carmen Smith from Jonesboro, and Jim Gates from Walnut Ridge. 

The complete list of appointments and their terms can be seen below:

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliot announces a partnership with the Game and Fish Commission to build a new shooting range for police and the public.

Environmental and other studies are needed. If it moves forward, the $5 million facility would be located on a 300 acre site off of Moore Road.  Elliot tells what the new facility would have:

Elliot tells what the economic impact to the region would be by having this facility:

Governor Asa Hutchinson has just released his latest appointments on various commissions.  6 people from the KASU listening area have been appointed.  Check out the latest list from the Governor's office here:

– Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Kelly Bryant, Pine Bluff, to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Appointment expires January 31, 2018. Replaces Willie McGhee.

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Governor Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced that he intends to grant 9 pardons and restore firearm rights for one person.  5 of the applicants are from Northeast Arkansas.  The public has 30 days to give feedback on the applicants before clemency is granted.  

 All terms of these applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations for the following:  

Black River Technical College

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sonia Nazario is making a visit to northeast Arkansas Thursday.  They are open to the public.  The presentations will be at Black River Technical College in the Randolph County Development Center.  KASU's News Director Johnathan Reaves spoke with Dr. Jan Ziegler about this appearance.  Listen to the interview below.

A-State Museum receives funding for Rockabilly project

Apr 6, 2016
Arkansas State University Museum

Arkansas State University Museum announced today it has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the amount of $39,983 (planning grant category).

The grant will enable ASU Museum to refine the content, develop conceptual design plans, and project costs for a permanent exhibit on the 1950s music genre known as “rockabilly.”  As a part of this project, the Museum will also explore formats for a music trail in Northeast Arkansas that articulates with the exhibit and connects with contingent tourist districts in the region.

Jonesboro’s revenues outweighed expenses in final numbers that were presented to the Jonesboro City Council. 

Jonesboro’s Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Allen says total revenues for 2015 were just over $47 million dollars, while expenditures were $46.3 million. That is a difference of almost 765-thousand dollars. 

Paul Holmes, Jonesboro Police Department

Jonesboro’s first responders are now the recipients of advanced first aid kits, which all include tourniquets.  After an 8-hour course at the Arkansas Fire Academy in Jonesboro, 42 kits were distributed. 

Dr. Spencer Guinn has advocated for tourniquets to be in the hands of all first responders in the state, as well as citizens.  He tells why this would be important:

Michael Hibblen, KUAR Website (kuarpublicradio.org)

Arkansas State University has announced what they plan to do with Governor Asa Hutchinson’s donation towards Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home. 

Hutchinson announced he was donating $100,000 from the general discretionary account towards the project in Dyess.  He made the announcement in March at a fundraiser held at the Governor’s Mansion. 

A lack of foresight in the overall transportation planning process and the focus on short term transportation projects without considering long term needs were the main concerns that came out of two public forums last week. 

Members of the Jonesboro Metropolitan Technical Advisory Committee heard those concerns about the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Transportation Improvement Plan that would run through 2020. 

Arkansas State University is holding the annual Middle Eastern Studies night.  The event takes place tomorrow night at six.  A buffet featuring Middle Eastern cuisine will be offered and two students will present their research from trips that were taken overseas.  Dr. Bill Roe is with A-State’s College of Business. 

Dr. Bill Roe.  The event will be held at A-State’s Fowler Center.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Monday’s town hall meeting on the controversial property maintenance code became heated as opponents expressed concerns over the wording in the ordinance. 

The Jonesboro Sun reports residents were concerned that the language in the ordinance could be abused by future administrations. 

Supporters said any law can be subject to corruption and it is up to the administration to remove the abuser of the law; not the law itself. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU news

The following are releases from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department about roadwork in the region.

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Craighead County, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

The purpose of this project is to resurface 1 mile of State Highway 49 between Old Bridger Road and Paragould Drive, in Jonesboro.

Atlas Asphalt, INC. of Batesville was awarded the contract at 278,778.68. 

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  The Jonesboro Police Department is investigating a rash of weekend pharmacy break-ins in Northeast Arkansas. 

Police Chief Rick Elliot told the Jonesboro Sun they believe one group is responsible for breaking into the Woodsprings Pharmacy in Manilla and The Medicine Shoppe in Jonesboro early Sunday morning.

Both break-ins occurred within a span of 2 hours.  Elliot said security camera footage from the businesses showed the same white Chevy Suburban. 

Arkansas State University

  The Arkansas State University Red Wolves will play 4 games against the Memphis Tigers in a home-and-home series beginning in 2020.

A-State announced Monday the two teams will alternate venues, reviving A-State's longest running series against any opponent in school history.  Since 1914, A-State has played Memphis 57 times.  The last time the two teams faced off was in 2013 when A-State visited Memphis.

The press release and full schedule can be read below:

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Arkansas State University has created a way for entrepreneurs to be able to advance their ideas for innovation across the region.  The East Arkansas Regional Innovation System is a collaborative effort to give entrepreneurs the state and federal resources for success.  The

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Wednesday Night storms caused major flooding around Jonesboro.  E-911 reported 32 calls within an hour for vehicles that were stalled out or flooded.   

Flash flooding on the east side of the city also prompted emergency officials to open the Allen Park Community Center on Race Street for shelter.

Storms also caused major to minor flooding for various rivers in the area.  The National Weather Service in Memphis reported major flooding at Nonconnah Creek at Riverport Road in Shelby County.  The river was observed at about 63 feet; about 17 feet above flood stage.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is making an appeal for the need for more money for pre-K programs in the state.  Director Rich Huddleston appeared at the Jonesboro Pre-K Center and said that more money is needed by the state to keep pre-K programs going at current levels:

Huddleston says funding for pre-K has been flat for at least eight years.  Not only will they ask for the 43-million dollars, but they will also ask for additional bumps in funding yearly to provide pre-K to more children, and to recruit and retain pre-K teachers in the state. 

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  Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is calling on lawmakers to make additional funding available for Pre-K events. KASU’s Johnathan Reaves reports from their press conference at the Jonesboro Pre-K Center.  

The Craighead County Quorum Court has approved an amendment to the 2016 budget that would allow for grant money to be accepted by the county and used as directed.   

The money is broken down for different Craighead County Courts as follows: $30,938 for the Mental Health Court; $27,435 for Accountability Court, Veterans Diversion Fund; $24,458 for DWI Court, $64,000 for Adult Drug Court and $30,935 for Crittenden County’s Mental Health Court. 

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  While Craighead County has seen small gains in March sales tax revenue compared to last year, revenue in Jonesboro shows a small decrease.

The Jonesboro Sun reports the 1% county sales tax brought in $1,369,216, an increase from March 2015 of 0.32%.

Jonesboro only earned $1,237,155 from its separate sales tax revenue; a decrease of $8,591 from March 2015.

City Water and Light officials say the decrease in the city sales tax could be contributed to an 8% decrease in January electricity sales.

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  In preparation to his upcoming trip to Cuba, U.S. Representative Rick Crawford educated listeners on how the embargo affects Arkansas in his “Tune In” web series.

Crawford asks one simple question:  “who are we really punishing with the embargo?”

He said unlike other countries like China the embargo in Cuba has helped the Castro Regime make the case that America was the “bad guy"--a dynamic he says lawmakers are trying to change to improve relations with the country. 

FMH Conveyors Expansion to Create Jobs in Jonesboro

Mar 23, 2016
Brandon Tabor, KASU News

 

  FMH Conveyors will be expanding their Jonesboro operations to the new lot on Highland Drive.   The announcement was made at Wednesday’s unveiling ceremony at the Hames Room in the Arkansas State University Convocation Center. 

Company officials announced they will invest $12.5 million in a new 195-thousand square foot facility.  The expansion is expected to create 110 new jobs for the region.

Crawford Delivers Cuba Bill Update at Agri Roundtable

Mar 23, 2016
Wikipedia.org

U. S. Representative Rick Crawford told state agricultural leaders Tuesday his believes his Cuba bill could get passed sometime next year. 

Talk Business and Politics reports the Jonesboro Republican addressed participants via Skype at the Cuba Consortium Agriculture and Food Roundtable.

Crawford said his bill could also be moved as a stand-alone bill after the November elections during the lame duck session. 

Brandon Tabor

  A grant worth $404,983 has been awarded to Arkansas State University from the Delta Regional Authority.

Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill notified Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson about the award Tuesday. 

This announcement will assist the University with site preparation and improvements of the 11-acres where Arkansas State's new Embassy Suites hotel, convention center, and Houlihan's Restaurant will be located. 

The location is  the former track and field complex on campus.

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