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Brandon Tabor

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

Ways to Connect

Police & city employee salary wages, property maintenance code, flooding prevention, dueling convention center projects, congested roads....  This year's Jonesboro Mayoral race has a lot riding on it. 

KASU wants to connect you to this year's candidates in a fair and balanced forum.  Beginning Thursday, September 22 during NPR's Morning Edition, KASU's Jonathan Reaves will interview all 6 of the candidates one at a time.  

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A police officer in a Poinsett County town was reinstated to his former position as police chief on Thursday after the mayor demoted him a couple of days prior. 

Lepanto Mayor Dale Dunlap on Tuesday demoted Police Chief Chad Henderson and appointed Officer David Kinney to the position.  Henderson refused the demotion and resigned from the department which caused several other officers to resign in protest. 

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The Arkansas Department of Health has placed the City of Hoxie under a boil order.  

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Former Pastor John Mark Wilson will receive 36 months of supervised probation after pleading guilty for possessing and viewing child pornography. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

GOP Candidate for Craighead County Sheriff John Shipman has withdrawn from the November election.  County Clerk Kade Holliday’s office on Wednesday received Shipman’s written request to withdraw.

However, Shipman’s name will remain on the ballot since he submitted his withdrawal beyond the 75 day deadline required by state law according to Holliday.  The Jonesboro Sun reports Shipman stated in his request that it was in his “family’s best interest” that he withdrawal from the race “due to recent issues that have occurred.” 

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  Another Northeast Arkansas group fighting to put an alcohol measure on the November ballot is also suing the county’s clerk. 

The group Keep Our Dollars in Independence County is now suing County Clerk Tracy Mitchell for rejecting signatures on a ballot measure to allow alcohol sales in the county. 

Jonesboro Police Department

Jonesboro police officer Adam Shipman has resigned from the force following a criminal investigation. 

Police Chief Rick Elliot told media outlets Shipman submitted his resignation on Aug. 11, 2 days after being placed on administrative leave following allegations involving a cyber tip from a cell phone provider. 

Elliot declined to comment on the details of the investigation or the charges Shipman may face. 

Shipman joined the JPD in mid-2015.

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The group Keep Revenue in Randolph County has been working for months to collect almost 4,000 signatures from registered voters for a petition.  

The petition was to give residents the opportunity to vote on making Randolph County a wet county on the November ballot.  Earlier this month, just a couple of days before the petition was due, the County Clerk’s office rejected over 169 pages of signatures, causing the group to be 361 signatures short. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

120 students in white doctor coats stood proudly on the Riceland Hall stage in the Fowler Center, reciting the “student pledge of commitment” with the goal of accomplishing a dream.  A dream to practice medicine.

The students are the culmination of a dream for a medical school to be in Northeast Arkansas at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.  They are the inaugural class of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at A-State—the first Osteopathic Medical school in the state.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

A 9th case of the Zika Virus has been contracted in Arkansas.  The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed the case Tuesday, according to their website.  

Arkansas State University

Former Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson who resigned Wednesday is also the subject of a second internal audit. 

Obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by KAIT, the document included email exchanges between Hudson and a partner for the ASU-Jonesboro campus with an unknown family member’s resume attached. 

City of Jonesboro

The City of Jonesboro has hired Derrel Smith as the new City Planner. 

On Tuesday, the city announced that Smith was hired to replace long time city planner Otis Spriggs who stepped down in June to work in Huston, TX.  

Arkansas Secretary of State's Office

Updated 8/19/16:  70 Craighead County residents so far have filed to run for office.  The filing period for people seeking to run for municipal offices will run until noon Friday, August 19.  

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Compared to the rest of the state, Northeast Arkansas has seen an overall growth in employment, sales tax revenue, and new home starts.  Talk Businesses and Politics released their quarterly Compass Report highlighting the economic progress of Arkansas’ key metro areas.  This was the first time the Jonesboro metro area was included in the report.

Chief Operations Officer for the city of Jonesboro L. M. Duncan has again resigned from his office.  The Jonesboro Sun reports Mayor Harrold Perrin sent an email to department heads on Wednesday about Duncan’s departure. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The Police Officer Compensation Committee has a plan for addressing Jonesboro Police salary

Chairman of both the Officer Compensation and Public Safety Council Committees, Alderman Mitch Johnson briefly revealed the plan to the Jonesboro City Council at on Tuesday’s meeting. 

After the ambush of 3 police officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday, LA, Pres. Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation for American flags to be flown at half-staff in their memory.

On Tuesday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson also issued a proclamation that the Arkansas state flag also gets flown at half-staff in the officers memory.

Hutchinson released the following statement in regards to Sunday's attack:

Jonesboro Police Department

Recent fatal police shootings of 2 African American men, followed by violent retaliation by some against officers in Dallas & Baton Rouge has the nation on edge.

Black communities and law enforcement are struggling to find peace, unity, understanding, and trust with each other in cities affected by violence, even here in Arkansas:

“We already have a target," said Keithston Page.  "Not only being Black, but being a man, period, in this White man’s world."

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Officials for Jonesboro and Memphis are facing disciplinary action for posting  racially controversial messages on social media.

Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler was suspended for 2 weeks without pay  on Wednesday after sending a racially controversial tweet.

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Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Craighead County District Judge-elect David Boling to fill the vacant district judge position 1 seat. 

The position was filled by Curt Huckaby until he passed away in June after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Former Circuit Court Judge and David’s father Larry Boling swore him into office on Monday at the Craighead County Courthouse Annex. 

Crowley's Ridge Development Council

Poverty in Arkansas is an issue.  According to the TalkPoverty.com website, the state’s poverty rate was around 18% in 2015.  Some counties in the state have it worse than others. 

In Northeast Arkansas, Greene County’s poverty rate was below the state average, while St. Francis County exceeded the average at 27.7%.  With so many people living in poverty, something has to be done to correct it.  That is where the Crowley’s Ridge Development Council comes in. 

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Okay.  Pop quiz.

Do you want to be poor?  Do you want to have you or your children wake up every morning wondering where their next meal is coming from?  Is it your biggest aspiration to get locked up over and over again?

These are some of the same questions Dr. Marcella Wilson asked herself over 10 years ago while living in Detroit.  She tells her story in front of a packed audience at the E. Boone Watson Center in North Jonesboro.

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  Judge Curt Huckaby’s passing last week (Tuesday) has left a vacancy for the Craighead County District Judge seat which leaves the task of filling the seat with Governor Asa Hutchinson. 

Doreen Selden, KASU

Students from the Arkansas State University Department of Art have been working on painting this mural in downtown Jonesboro.  On Friday,  the students were joined with city officials for a ribbon cutting of the unveiling of their work.  Thanks to KASU's Doreen Selden for taking the pictures of the festivities.

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                The City of Jonesboro’s Grants and Community Development Department is conducting an analysis of impediments to fair housing.  Two public hearings will be held and your participation is requested.  

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