Johnathan Reaves

News Director/Morning Edition host

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The Jonesboro City Council has voted to indefinitely postpone consideration of a controversial property maintenance code.  The 2012 International Property Maintenance Code has been debated on both sides, as was again last night in front of the city council.  Supporters of the code say it is needed to deal with dilapidated buildings in the city, as well as neglected pieces of property.  Opponents say they are worried the code will allow code officers to enter into homes.  They are also concerned the code will allow officers to cite residents with unnecessary interior improvements, which coul

A-State alumnus Rob Reep will show his film Captain tonight at the Humanities and Social Sciences Building on the A-State campus.  KASU Station Manager Mike Doyle talks to Reep about his film, which focuses on a family that makes a move to Arkansas around the time of the War of 1812. 

Tonight, the Jonesboro City Council will take its first look at a proposal to adopt the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code.  The Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code Committee spent almost 30 hours reviewing sample codes and developing a code for Jonesboro that would deal with making sure residential properties in Jonesboro are properly maintained.  Supporters of the proposed code say it would help the city deal with dilapidated buildings and abandoned properties, as well as set a standard code that all properties should follow.  Some of those who are against the code say the code’s exterio

Early voting starts today for three key issues that will affect residents in two counties.  In Craighead County, voters in Jonesboro and Brookland are going to the polls over separate sales tax issues.

Arkansas State University’s Department of Social Work is presenting the third annual Health Disparities Conference.  This takes place November 11th at Centennial Hall in the Carl R. Reng Student Union on the A-State campus.  Dr. Patricia Walls is the coordinator of the conference and is an associate professor and is co-chair of the Bachelor of Social Work programs at Arkansas State.  She says the papers and presentations that will be featured deal with health issues that are affecting the region today.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is developing a 25-year plan that will assess the public’s transportation needs.  Consultant Maggie Doll attended a public involvement meeting in Jonesboro yesterday.  She says the Long Range Intermodal Transportation Plan will cover numerous transportation areas.  She says the plan is called We Move Arkansas 2040.

The Jonesboro City Council’s Public Safety Committee has forwarded to the full council a proposal to adopt the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code.  The Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code Committee spent almost 30 hours reviewing sample codes and developing a code for Jonesboro that would deal with making sure residential properties in Jonesboro are properly maintained.  Committee Chairwoman Teresa Beck says the committee voted 6-3 to forward the code to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee for review.  Beck says the code would help the city deal with dilapidated buildings and aband

Arkansas State University

Entries are now being taken for next year’s Delta Flix Film and Media Festival.  This will take place next year as part of the annual Delta Symposium that will be held next April on the campus of Arkansas State University.  Dr. Michael Bowman is an Assistant Professor at Arkansas State University’s College of Media and Communication and is creator of the festival.  He tells about the festival.

A grand opening will take place tomorrow at the location of the Jonesboro Economical Transit System’s new Regional Transfer Center.  The transfer center is located in the middle of Jonesboro, and will house all of the JETS buses, as well as up to eight 60-passenger coaches at one time.  Director of JETS Steve Ewart says the transfer center has been in the works for several years.

The green light has been given for construction to start on a new walking trail at Craighead Forest Park.  Jonesboro City Council members approved the bid from Gillis Incorporated to complete the first phase of a trail project at the park.  The 758-thousand dollar bid will go toward the first of several phases to revamp the park, including placing outdoor workout equipment and other stations along the new trail.  The council also approved the first reading of an ordinance that would allow for rezoning the 2400 block of Dan Avenue for a new firing range in Jonesboro.   The property would be

Firefighters have been busy across the state putting out blazes that could turn into raging wildfires.  The National Weather Service says the danger of wildfires in extremely high in the state, and fire weather watches could remain in effect for some time.  Adriane Barnes is with the Arkansas Forestry Commission.  She tells about what happened this weekend.

"We had 55 fires over the weekend, which was a relatively low number compared to what it could have been with the conditions being what they were.  We had 55 fires which burned over 450 acres."

The National Day of Writing takes place on Tuesday, October 20th.  From 10 am to 5 pm that day, the A-State Writing Center will host a Poetry Cafe that will be held near the new Humanities and Social Sciences Building on the A-State campus in Jonesboro.  The public is invited to attend.  KASU Station Manager Mike Doyle produced this feature about the Poetry Cafe.  Click on the Listen button to learn about the Poetry Cafe. 

Residents in Lawrence County will vote next month on a half-cent sales tax issue.  County Judge Dale Freeman says the current jail is under probation and faces closure by the state.  Arkansas Jail Standards threatened to close the current jail last year, due to it being overcrowded and numerous safety violations.  Walnut Ridge’s City Council is voting tonight on whether to pass a resolution to officially support the sales tax election that will take place in November.  If approved, the money would go toward constructing a new jail.  If it doesn’t pass, the county faces shipping inmates out

Jonesboro is not the only municipality that will be hosting a sales tax election November 10th.  The city of Brookland is also holding an election, which would ask voters to support a two-cent sales tax increase.  Brookland Mayor Kenneth Jones says the funds would go toward a new water tank and well for the city.  Jones tells the Sun newspaper Brookland’s population continues to grow, which he says puts a strain on the current water system.  He says if the tax passes, the city would enter into a 30-year, $4.7 million bond, which will be used to construct a 450-thousand gallon tank.  Jones s

Arkansas State University's Chair of the Political Science Department Dr. Will McLean provides perspective on the Democratic Presidential Debate.  Hear the complete interview by clicking on the Listen button.

2016 will be a very busy year for the Craighead County Election Commission.  Next year will feature the presidential election, and Craighead County voters will be making their decisions on new voting machines.  The Election Commission has approved a $465,153 budget for next year, which includes over $150,000 for purchasing the required machines. Commissioner Jeanette Robertson and says the machines are required statewide.

Public schools around the state are implementing a new emergency response system called the RAVE Panic Button.  During the last legislative session, state lawmakers mandated that all schools have a system in place that could help provide faster service in the event of an active shooter or an emergency situation.  School officials can call for help by pressing a smartphone app.  Craighead County E911 director Jeff Pressley joined school officials and law enforcement officers this week to talk about RAVE’s impact in the schools.  He says the Panic Button system will provide much better inform

The Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce celebrated 100 years last night.  Chamber Vice President Cari White says the chamber actually began as the Jonesboro Businessman's Club in 1914.  The chamber was incorporated in the 1940's and has helped in the growth of Jonesboro over the past several decades, according to White. 

There were numerous awards handed out last night.

Agri Business Person of the Year: Arnold Ritter

Bridge Builder of the Year: Lynn Brunner

Ambassador of the Year: Ed Ware

Betty T. Sloan Promotion Award: Jonesboro Radio Group

US Representative Rick Crawford has filed a bill that is designed to make it easier for Cuba to purchase agricultural products from Arkansas.  The Republican from Jonesboro introduced the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act yesterday.  The bill would provide new economic opportunities and jobs for America’s agriculture industry by making it easier to trade with Cuba.  Crawford says current financial and marketing restrictions make it very hard to do business in the communist nation.  The Cuba Agricultural Exports Act would release those restrictions and give farmers access to marketing programs t

By an 8-4 vote last night, the Jonesboro City Council approved rezoning land that will house a 20 million dollar student housing complex near Arkansas State University.  The complex would be located on East Johnson Avenue near Arkansas State University.  Representatives from Zimmer Development Company said they plan to place several buildings on 15 acres of land on East Johnson Avenue. The new development will be called University Woods and is to be built in two phases.

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas has received a 10-thousand-dollar grant from the Red Nose Day Fund to benefit their Backpack Program.  The program serves 760 students on school campuses in Forrest City, Jonesboro, Nettleton, Tuckerman, Swifton, Monette, Leachville, Marmaduke, Lynn, Strawberry, and Maynard.  The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas Development Director Vicky Pillow tells why backpack programs are needed.

The Delta Regional Authority is hosting training in Jonesboro and Pine Bluff about what elected officials in the state can do to help their communities spur economic development after a natural disaster.  The training series is called “Leading Economically Competitive and Resilient Communities” and will combine resources from the DRA and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.  DRA chairman Chris Massnegill tells why this is necessary.

Arkansas State University is offering a program that allows undergraduate students an opportunity to complete a four-year degree in three years.  The program started this fall and it is called Degree in 3.  Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson says the program can provide a huge savings for students and families.

Results of a study about Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion, the private option, show that the plan is helping working people.  A study released yesterday by the advocacy group Families USA found that almost 60 percent of those on the private option are low-income workers.  One of the directors of FamiliesUSA Dee Mahan tells what Medicaid expansion means to those recipients.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will dedicate the new US Highway 63 bridge at Black Rock.  The bridge is located 10 miles west of Walnut Ridge.  Black Rock Mayor Bonnie Ragsdale tells what this bridge means to the region.

“It is a very nice bridge. It has been a long time in coming because we have needed it for several years.  I see it helping the economy for a long time for not just Black Rock, but also for Lawrence County.”

The $40 million bridge replaces the old bridge that had weight limits placed on it.