News

O'Reilly Hospitality Management has announced that it is moving forward with plans to build a 202-room Embassy Suites Hotel and a 40,000 square foot convention center, as well as a Houlihan's Restaurant. 

TimO'Reilly, CEO and Managing Member of O'Reilly Hospitality says they are finalizing their Embassy franchise application and will turn in a financial package in the next 30 days. 

He says the project has received a "significant grant" from the Delta Regional Authority and is partnering with Arkansas State University to make the project a reality. 

FEMA: 2 NEA Counties have 2 Weeks to Apply for Aid

Mar 22, 2016
Pixabay

Two Northeast Arkansas counties have about 2 weeks to receive federal relief from severe storms that hit the state in December and January.

The Associated Press reports the Federal Emergency Management Agency says residents in Jackson and Lee Counties have until April 5th to register for federal disaster aid.

11 counties who were affected by severe storms are eligible for assistance.  Funds can be used for rental assistance, repairs, and other damages caused by disasters not covered by insurance.

Pixabay

  The deadline for Missourians affected by winter flooding early in the year is today. 

KOLR-TV reports that 33 counties have been approved for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Scott County in the KASU listening area is the only county to have been granted assistance. 

governor.arkansas.gov

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is set to be in Jonesboro this week as part of an announcement of a new industry coming to the city. 

The Jonesboro Sun reports Hutchinson will be in town at Wednesday’s ceremony along with Jonesboro Unlimited at the Hames Room at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center. 

The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission is expected to review the plans from the unknown company Tuesday. 

Arkansas State University

The 22nd Delta Symposium takes place April 13th through the 16th at Arkansas State University, with the Saturday afternoon events taking place at CWL Park in Jonesboro.  The theme for this year's symposium is "Representing Cultural Heritage".  KASU's Johnathan Reaves talks with the symposium's chairman Dr. Gregory Hansen about this event.  Listen to the full interview by clicking the button. 

You can view the entire Delta Symposium schedule here

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

UPDATE 3/29/16:

Road work continues this week on Red Wolf Blvd between Johnson and Aggie. 

On Tueday, the inside southbound lane and both northbound lanes are open.  The outside southbound lane is closed as construction begins to create a 200-foot deceleration lane for right turns on to Alumni Blvd. 

Last week, crews worked to remove the median and create a turning lane.  City officials say the project which was estimated to take 2 weeks is now ahead of schedule.

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.”

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