News

The Jonesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization is holding two public meetings next week about improvements in transportation. 

Public forums will be held concerning the Transportation Improvement Program over the next four years. 

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 29th from one to three at the Jonesboro Municipal Center.  The second meeting will be held on Thursday, March 31st from five to seven at the Jonesboro United Way Building in the Board Room. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU

If the city had the money, what do you want to see happen to blighted areas?   

That was the question University of Memphis School of Architecture students and Kansas State University Technical Assistance to Brownfields representatives were asking citizens as they discussed 4 areas in North Jonesboro.  The areas are located along the railroad corridor expanding from Arkansas State University to Riceland foods.

Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce

Meet Scott Calloway:

“I went to the University of Georgia.  I was a marketing major, and it's funny because as soon as I got out of school there was no job for me.”

Calloway’s story is similar to many students who graduated from a four-year-institution.  After graduating from high school, he went to a four-year institution to get his degree in marketing.  He said he felt like he had to go there in order to become successful out of peer pressure. 

A public meeting on developing the “Railroad Corridor” from Aggie Road at Arkansas State University to Riceland Foods will be held this afternoon. 

The City of Jonesboro will use the input from citizens to apply for a “Brownfield” grant with Environmental Protection Agency to use towards the project. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Baylor Assistant basketball coach Grant McCasland is the new men’s basketball coach at Arkansas State University.  He was introduced today during a press conference at the Convocation Center. 

McCasland addressed the crowd and said he will establish a family atmosphere with the team:

McCasland says he will fly back to help coach Baylor while they are playing in the NCAA tournament tomorrow afternoon.  He says he will wear a red tie, representing the Red Wolves, and also promised the Wolves will be in the tournament in years to come. 

Local Church Offers to Purchase District Fairgrounds

Mar 16, 2016

Nettleton Baptist Church is offering to purchase the new fairgrounds location on Highway 49 North in Jonesboro. 

Little Rock Attorney Rick Ramsey is the bankruptcy agent in charge of liquidating the property owned by the Craighead County Fair Association.  Ramsey told the Jonesboro Sun the offer from the church has not been accepted yet. 

The ballot order for an alderman race in Jonesboro has been set.  The Craighead County Election Commission conducted a draw in Jonesboro for the five people that are running for the Ward 6, Position 1 position that was left vacant by Tim McCall.  He resigned in January after serving 15 years on the Jonesboro City Council. McCall resigned after he moved out of his ward.

Here is the ballot order:

1.  Bobby E. Long

2.  Joseph R. Woodbury

3.  James W. Bowman

4.  Phillip Cook

5.  Richard Wang

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University will introduce its new men’s basketball coach Wednesday.  The Red Wolves have hired Grant McCasland to take over the program.  According to Arkansas State University’s Department of Athletics, a press conference will be held at the Convocation Center’s Auditorium at eleven.   

Construction on extending Parker Road to Washington Street in Jonesboro is underway.  The two-point-two million dollar project is funded by federal funds that have been passed through the State Highway and Transportation Department and the City of Jonesboro.

6 in Northeast Arkansas Appointed by Governor

Mar 15, 2016

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Monday announced 44 more appointments to various state boards and commissions.  6 are from the KASU listening area.

Ronald Carroll of Jonesboro was reappointed to the state Board of Athletic Training.  Barry Davis of Paragould is replacing Brian Thomas on the Trauma Advisory Council.  Jack McCord is being replaced by Daniel Shults of Pocahontas to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee of the 3rd Judicial District.

Cassandra Hill of Osceola replaces Lamar Cole on the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging. 

Attorney Seeks New Trial Venue for ASU Gunman

Mar 15, 2016

The defense attorney for a man accused of driving onto Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with a loaded shotgun is seeking a new venue for his trial. 

Attorney Chet Dunlap told the Jonesboro Sun Monday it would be tough to find a jury who is not connected to the university to grant Brad Bartelt a fair trial. Dunlap has requested to move Bartelt’s trial to another venue in the 2nd Judicial District. 

Questions concerning how special revenues are accepted by the county were debated last night by the Craighead County’s Finance and Administration Committee. Those special revenues are in the form of grants the county receives.  Members of the Finance and Administration Committee questioned some of the grants and what they were used for. Some were concerned that grants were used inappropriately for salary increases or other uses. 

The Craighead County Quorum Court is reviewing questions that are expected to be forwarded to the Arkansas Attorney General concerning operations of both the eastern and western districts of the county. The debate centers on how the Circuit Clerk’s office is able to do its business at courthouses in Jonesboro and Lake City. 

The City of Jonesboro is applying for federal funds to help low-income families.  Jonesboro’s Communications Director Bill Campbell says the funding would come from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  If approved, Jonesboro would receive almost 600-thousand dollars under next year’s Community Development Block Grant program.  Jonesboro has used previous funds from the program to make improvements to homes, such as winterization, installing insulation, and replacing windows.  The public can comment on Jonesboro’s proposed projects if the city gets next year’s grant.  More info

US Representative Rick Crawford is taking a trip to Cuba next month to work on opening up markets in that country for trade.  Crawford says commodities, such as American-grown crops, can go to Cuba now, but there are hefty restrictions that make trade difficult:

He says two top staples that are grown in Arkansas meet a huge demand in Cuba:

Arkansas leads the nation in the amount of rice grown and is the second largest poultry producer in the United States.  Crawford’s trip takes place April sixth through the ninth.  

During Friday’s I-555 dedication ceremony in Jonesboro, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will be introducing a new highway plan to state lawmakers.  That announcement is expected to take place during a special session of the legislature this spring.   This year’s session will focus on budgets.  Governor Asa Hutchinson:

This year’s special legislative sessions are also expected to address funding of education, the state’s private option Medicaid expansion, and look at the budgets of all state agencies.

Youngsters  will soon have the opportunity to tour a mobile workshop designed to encourage young people to seek careers in technical fields. 

The 18-wheeler is part of the “Be Pro, Be Proud” initiative launched last week by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, and other state economic agencies and businesses. 

The trailer features interactive displays and information on various careers including becoming an electrician or an H-VAC technician. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Touted as “Making the Connection”, today’s dedication ceremony of the new Interstate 555 was a culmination of work that has been done on the highway since 1968. 

US Highway 63 was turned into four lanes in the 1980’s, was made interstate quality in the 1990’s and has been ready for the interstate designation.  That happened today at St. Bernard’s Auditorium in Jonesboro. 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson tells about the significance of the designation. 

How Long Will the Rain Last?

Mar 10, 2016

  How long will this rain last? 

KASU news asked that question to Memphis National Weather Service Forecaster Corey Chastelson.  He said this rain could continue into the weekend.

“We’re not expecting much change across the mid-south as we’ll see ample low level moisture from the Gulf of Mexico; along with several upper level disturbances move along this stalled out boundary,” Chastelson said. 

“This will result in additional showers and thunderstorms across the region into the upcoming weekend with heavy rainfall definitely possible.”

City of Jonesboro

The Jonesboro Economic Transit System is working on fixing a fare-collecting system that has been malfunctioning.  Director Steve Ewart says revenue numbers have been down this year from last year because of the software glitches.  While numbers of riders continue to increase, the number of fares that have been collected are lower than this time last year.  Ewart says some rides have been given away because of the failures.  Two motherboards will be shipped to Chicago for repairs over the next two weeks.  In other news, Ewart says JETS has surveyed all 135 bus stops in Jonesboro to be plac

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department / Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

Friday will be a day that has been 40 years in the making.  

In the 1970’s, work started to turn Highway 63 into the Jonesboro bypass project.  Highway 63 eventually became a four-lane road that would connect Jonesboro to I-55.    

After four decades and $250 million of work on the highway, the numbers will change. 

During a ceremony at St. Bernards Auditorium, US 63 will become the new Interstate 555.  The new I-555 will consist of 44 miles from Highway 49 in Jonesboro to I-55 in Crittenden County. 

Missouri to Aid Laid Off Noranda Aluminum Employees

Mar 9, 2016
Wikipedia.org

Workers laid off from Noranda Aluminum in New Madrid, MO will get support from Governor Jay Nixion. 

KFVS-TV reports Governor Nixon announced Tuesday the Missouri Department of Economic Development will allocate $1.7 million in resources to support those affected by the plant’s layoffs. 

A portion of the funds will go towards helping workers with costs associated with housing, utilities, transportation, and emergencies for up to 3 months. 

Walmart Announces Wage Increase for Associates

Mar 8, 2016
Flickr.com

 Walmart and Sam’s Club employees will see an increase in their paychecks this week. 

Monday, the Bentonville-based company announced more than 1.2 million associates in the U.S., including over 29,151 Arkansas employees, will receive a pay raise on Thursday. 

The raises are a part of Walmart’s two-year $2.7 billion investment in wages and training. 

Company officials say associates hired before January first of this year will earn $10 an hour. 

Pixabay

Northeast Arkansas is expected to get enough rain through the week which may lead to river flooding. 

Forecaster Phil Baker with the National Weather Service in Memphis says the forecast is calling for up to 4 inches of rain likely to hit around the mid part of the week.

Anytime we see this type of system where you're talking 4 inches of rain fall in a matter of 36 to 48 hours, that typically does lead to river rises," Baker says.  

Greene County Tech Sweeps Communications Day

Mar 7, 2016
Brandon Tabor

Greene County Tech High School in Paragould took home the sweepstakes award at the 78th annual Communications Day at Arkansas State University Saturday. 

Students from around Northeast Arkansas visited A-State’s College of Media and Communication to compete in 20 challenges to test their journalistic skills. 

Greene County Tech came in first place in 10 competitions ranging from Television News Reporting to Radio Announcing. 

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