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Brandon Tabor

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

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St. Bernards

 St. Bernards has announced the addition of pediatrician Doctor Justin Yancey to the medical staff. 

According to St. Bernard’s press release, Yancey will be working with the hospital to develop the pediatric hospitalist program. 

The West Helena native will also work with students of the New York Institute of Technology D.O. medical school at his Alma Mater of Arkansas State University, which is set to open in the fall

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The United States continues to work with other countries in ironing out the details of the Trans-Pacific  Partnership agreement.  On Monday,  Tom Vilsack,  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, met with agricultural leaders in Vietnam to discuss the agreement.  

Vietnam is one of 12 countries involved with the TPP and is considered as one of the fastest growing agricultural markets for the U.S.  Some of the top products for the Vietnam market are grown in Arkansas, such as cotton, rice, and soybeans.  

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Craighead County joins cities such as Fayetteville and Rogers in recording double digit revenue increases for April. 

The Jonesboro Sun reports a 14% increase in county sales tax revenue this month compared to last April.  County officials say the county’s 1% sales tax brought in over $1.6 million in April. 

Jonesboro saw a 13% increase in its sales tax revenue which equates to more than $1.3 million . 

Sales tax collections across Arkansas were up by 7.8%, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration.

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Caraway is no longer under a boil order. (5/2/16)

The City of Caraway is under a boil order today. 

KAIT-TV reports the city superintendent placed the city under the order after police reported water spilling onto the street.  Water samples are being sent to the health department lab in Paragould for analysis. 

Results are expected in about 24 hours. 

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  The Craighead County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents of a charity scam in the area. 

KAIT-TV reports Sheriff Marty Boyd sent an email Monday warning of a man contacting local businesses on behalf of the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association.  The scammer says the money is for the “COPS for Kids” program which goes to support 2 kids in Bay. 

Boyd said the ASA collects donations by selling ads or merchandise in person with a deputy present—never by phone. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

U. S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is working to turn another Arkansas highway into a major interstate. 

Boozman included a provision last week in the 2017 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill, to designate US Highway 67 as “Future I-57.” 

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Passing of 2015 legislation allowing county courthouse employees in Arkansas to carry concealed handguns on county properties has sparked action for 2 Northeast Arkansas counties.

KAIT-TV reports the Cross County Quorum Court approved an ordinance Monday allowing full-time employees and elected official to carry handguns on the property. 

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Dealing with a downturn in the agricultural economy is the big topic of discussion at the third annual Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference.

Conference spokesman and National Agricultural Law Center Director Harrison Pittman says Mid-South agriculture is uniquely impacted by changes in state, federal, & international policies.  He says the goal is to bring awareness to how those changes affect the industry.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

  U. S. Representative Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) has returned from his “fact-finding” mission to Cuba for his agricultural trade bill.  He shared his experience with Talk Business and Politics on their TV show over the weekend.  He said he was “pleasantly surprised” about his visit.

Jonesboro Police Department

  Jonesboro Police are looking for a couple associated with a theft at Sissy’s Log Cabin.  Police responded to a call Thursday evening at the jewelry store. 

According to JPD, a pair of earrings was stolen from the store.  Officials believe the suspects were last seen in a blue Hyundai Santa Fe with California tags. 

Anyone with more information is encouraged to call the Jonesboro Police Department.

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  The Doc Rock Half Marathon and 5-k will take place in Jonesboro Saturday.  The events are expected to go from 7:30am until about 11am.  Here is a list of intersections that will be affected by the events:

  Former U.S. Congressman and Arkansas State University president Ray Thornton has died. 

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Thornton passed away Wednesday after his battle with lung cancer at Hospice Home Care in Little Rock.  The Conway-native has served as Arkansas attorney general and U.S. Senator before returning to the state in 1979. 

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Two of Arkansas State University’s colleges are joining forces to produce a series television programs to tackle heath issues affecting Arkansans. 

“Your State of Health” will air on ASU-TV Suddenlink channel 18 starting Wednesday evening.  The show is a collaboration between the College of Media and Communications and the College of Nursing and Health Professions. 

Poor weather conditions at the Baylor Invitational in Waco, TX over the weekend did not stop the Red Wolves from setting 2 new school records in track and field events.

Junior Erin Farmer threw 17.23 meters in the shot put event, breaking a 26 year old school record and ranking her as number five in the nation. 

The women’s 4x400 meter relay squad also broke a school record set over 20 years ago.  The squad finished fourth at 3:44.40, breaking the previous school record of 3:45.07 first set in 1992. 

A-State is scheduled to compete again April 22-23.

Craighead County Sheriff's Department

Jonesboro Police have arrested a man allegedly connected to 4 gas station robberies, one of which occurred near Arkansas State University. 

Police responded to an armed robbery call Friday night at the Adoosh Mini Mart on Gee St. 

Surveillance footage of the robbery identified 28 year old Byron Washington as the suspect.

On Saturday, Washington was taken into custody in connection to the robberies which have occurred since April 6th. 

Washington was charged with 4 counts of aggravated robbery and 4 counts of theft of property. 

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  The Parkin Police Department has been shut down and will be taken over by the Cross County Sherriff’s Department effective immediately. 

KAIT-TV reports that on Thursday the department received a letter from Parkin Mayor Willie Patterson that the department was closed due to lack of funding in the “struggling” town. 

10 officers and 4 dispatchers were on the force. 

Patterson said the department is closed “indefinitely.”

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

  The state health department says another Arkansan has tested positive with the Zika Virus. 

KAIT-TV reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that the individual contracted a “mild” case of the virus after a recent visit to Central America.  This is the second confirmed report of the virus in the state. 

NPR reports the World Health Organization has recently confirmed the connection between the virus and the birth defect microcephaly. 

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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:

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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:  

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. 

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. 

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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:

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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.

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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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