Johnathan Reaves

Announcer/Morning Edition host

Ways To Connect

Chelsea Hays / The Herald

Former President Bill Clinton is hosting a series of rallies around Arkansas for Democratic candidates.  Speaking at Arkansas State University yesterday, Clinton spoke of the importance of young people getting out to vote.  Clinton joined Gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross, Senator Mark Pryor, Congressional candidate Jackie McPherson, and Governor Mike Beebe in the rally.  Click on the Listen button to hear the entire speech from President Clinton. 

A change in Arkansas law is what has led to a drastic increase in the number of alcohol arrests and violations at Arkansas State University.  Last week, the University’s Police Department released Crime Statistics, which showed arrests for liquor law violations spiked from no arrests in 2011 to 24 arrests in 2013.  Those students who were referred to the Student Conduct Office for liquor violations were also up, from 25 in 2011 to 101 referrals last year.  Administrative Lieutenant for the Arkansas State University Police Department Jarrod Long says the number do not mean there is more alc

More jobs coming to Jonesboro.  Grand opening ceremonies took place at the site of the new TeleTech call center in Jonesboro. TeleTech’s call center will be used to provide support for the health insurance industry.  Those working at the center will help patients as they deal with claims and how to choose the right plans.  Located where StarTech used to be at on Caraway Road in Jonesboro, TeleTech officials excited those in attendance by announcing they would be hiring more than the 100 people initially brought on to the company.  Senior Vice President of TeleTech Todd Baxter.

The inaugural Arkansas Science Festival is underway.  Modeled after science festivals that take place in other states, this year’s first festival was put together by educators at Arkansas State University, with assistance through the Science Festival Alliance.  Dr. Amy Pearce is professor of psychology at Arkansas State University and is director of the Arkansas Science Festival.  She tells how this got started.

Former President Bill Clinton will come back to Arkansas next week to hold a series of rallies for Democrats.  The Arkansas Democratic Party has announced on their website that Clinton will be at Arkansas State University on Monday, October sixth at the Student Center Lawn around 3:00 pm.  The rally at A-State will be one of four that will happen next week, with the other event next Monday being held in Conway.  On October 7th, he will be in Fayetteville and Rogers.  The public is invited to attend, but tickets are required.  More information here

Arkansas State University has seen a sharp increase in the number of alcohol violations reported on campus.  According to campus crime statistics released by the Arkansas State University Police Department, the number of violations concerning liquor laws has jumped dramatically over the last three years.  From 2011 to 2013, the number of arrests for violations of liquor laws went from zero arrests in 2011 to 24 in 2013.  The number of referrals made for violations of liquor laws went from 25 in 2011 to 101 last year.  Arkansas State University has a strict policy against the use and sale of

The old Jonesboro Fire Station at Caraway Road and Matthews Avenue is coming down.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin tells the Sun Newspaper the old building was originally to be converted into the new transfer station for the Jonesboro Economical Transportation System (JETS); however, architects recommended the old building be torn down and a new building be constructed at the same location.  JETS Director Steve Ewart says the location is perfect because it is centrally located in Jonesboro.  The parking lot of the facility is being used to meet and transfer passengers.  A $1.1 million federa

“Big River Steel is here!” 

Applause erupted after that announcement from Mississippi County Judge Randy Carney . Hundreds of dignitaries, including state and local officials, joined investors, contractors, vendors, and supporters during a groundbreaking of the Big River Steel plant in Osceola.  Mayor Dickie Kennemore told the crowd that the process started back in 2012, when he took CEO John Correnti to the current site of Big River Steel.  Kennemore says it has been a long process, but he is happy the groundbreaking took place.

Groundbreaking initial report on Big River Steel

Sep 22, 2014

Officials say a new $1.3 billion steel mill will be an economic boon for northeastern Arkansas. 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday morning near Osceola for the Big River Steel mill, which is expected to bring about 2,000 temporary construction jobs and 500 full-time jobs once it is up and running.

Construction is expected to take about two years. Gov. Mike Beebe called it the largest single business investment in Arkansas.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for Big River Steel take place at ten a.m.

A sign unveiling ceremony took place this morning at the site of the new Jonesboro Police Department building.  The police department is now operational out of the new building on South Caraway Road in Jonesboro.  Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliot tells about the move into the new building.

“Well, we starting moving into the new building yesterday and we are finishing it up today.  We are here and functioning, but we still have some unpacking to do.”

Arkansas State University says the placement of crosses on the back of football helmets was inappropriate.  The crosses were to memorialize Markel Owens and Barry Weyer.  In a letter the Liberty University, the school said it would not restore crosses bearing the initials of the two former students, but it say that players will be allowed to remember the two students in their own way.  Read the full context of the letter below.  The letter is addressed to Hiram Sasser, Director of Strategic Litigation at Liberty Institute.

Dear Mr. Sasser,

A Jonesboro woman is to be sentenced today for her part in the shooting death of her husband.  The Sun newspaper reports that Michelle Despain plead guilty August eighth to three counts of hindering apprehension in the August 24th, 2011 death of Marc Despain.  Despain was murdered in his home.  Michelle Despain was originally charged with capital murder in the case.  Prosecutors say they are recommending a 30-year prison sentence.  Michelle Despain’s father, Carl Kelley, and Terrance Baker have previously plead guilty to first-degree murder in the case and are serving 35 year sentences in p

Several millage issues have been voted on in yesterday’s school elections.  Among those millage issues decided yesterday, the Buffalo Island Central school district has lost its attempt to have a nine-mill increase.  KAIT reports the unofficial numbers released from the Craighead County Clerk’s office are that 725 people voted against the issue, while 434 voted for it.  Those who supported the issue say the measure would have merged the current four campuses into one campus between Monette and Leachville.  In other millage issues, Trumann’s millage issue passed 605 to 498.  East Poinsett Co

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department is exploring the possibility of placing high-speed passenger rail service in the state.  Public meetings will be held Tuesday, September 23rd in North Little Rock and Thursday, September 25th in Fort Smith to get the public’s input on high-speed rail. Additional meetings will be held October 14th in West Memphis, October 15th in Monticello and October 16th in Texarkana.  Danny Straessle is Public Information Officer with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has named a replacement after a judge was removed from the bench last week by the Arkansas Supreme Court.  Governor Beebe's office has announced that Michael Murphy of Conway has been appointed as Circuit Judge in the 2nd Division Court of the 20th Judicial District.

The Craighead County Sheriff’s Department says smartphone users can find out who is in the detention center, as well as those who have been released.  Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd says a free mobile app is now available that will allow for more transparency into the detention center.  According to the Sun, the app is an extension of the Relativity Police Systems, which is a jail management software company.  The app will allow people to see who has been placed in the facility, which people have been released, as well as photos, charges, court dates, and bond.  The app has be

The Jonesboro City Council is expected to decide whether to allow a rezoning proposal to pass concerning a 201-acre site located at Hilltop.  Tomorrow night is the third reading on an ordinance that council members must consider about Greensborough Village.  If approved by the Jonesboro City Council, the ordinance would allow for a mixed use of commercial and residential properties, with over half of the residences being single family detached and attached residential.   The plan for the new area reportedly includes 200 single-family lots on the north and south sides of Greensboro road, as

Jonesboro is receiving a $1.2 million grant to help build a railroad overpass at Highland Drive.  An Associated Press report states that Arkansas Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman have made the announcement.  The funds will be used to conduct reviews and create design plans for the overpass.  The funds come from the U-S Department of Transportation's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program.  The program provides funds to projects and areas that are expected to have a large economic impact. 

One of the millage issues that are on the school election ballot Tuesday involves the Trumann School District.  Officials with the district say a new elementary school is needed to replace to aging Cedar Park Elementary School.  According to the Sun Newspaper, the current school is over 50 years old and has numerous issues, including plumbing, electrical, space and wheelchair accessibility issues.  The district will ask for a 2.8 mill increase Tuesday to help fund construction of a new elementary school for kindergarten through fourth grade.  The project is expected to cost 11-mill

After receiving a complaint, Arkansas State University has announced it is modifying its helmet decals.  The decals were worn by the team to honor former player Markel Owens and former equipment manager Barry Weyer.  The decals were in the shape of a cross, with Owens' initials on one side and Weyer's initials on the other side.

Fowler Foods and A-State College of Nursing and Health Professions present "An Evening with Bob Hope" benefiting the A-State Beck PRIDE Center for America's Wounded Veterans. This features Bill Johnson, a Bob Hope Impersonator. Johnson has performed as Bob for the USO, as well as military groups, conventions, festivals, and corporations. The night also features Two on Tap. Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano perform a variety show that feature dancing and music of the golden age of the silver screen.

Fowler Foods and A-State College of Nursing and Health Professions present "An Evening with Bob Hope" benefiting the A-State Beck PRIDE Center for America's Wounded Veterans. This features Bill Johnson, a Bob Hope Impersonator. Johnson has performed as Bob for the USO, as well as military groups, conventions, festivals, and corporations. The night also features Two on Tap. Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano perform a variety show that feature dancing and music of the golden age of the silver screen.

Add Jackson County to the list of those counties in the state that want a new maximum security state prison.  KAIT television reports the Jackson County Quorum Court is expected to approve a resolution tomorrow night that will support building a new state prison in Jackson County.  Jackson County houses two state prisons: Grimes and McPherson are both located just miles northeast of Newport.  Director of Economic Development in Newport Jon Chadwell says the new $100 million, 1,000 bed maximum security prison would provide a stable income for those in the community.

Two overpasses in Jonesboro have been given the green light to move forward.  During a meeting of the Jonesboro Area Metropolitan Planning Organization yesterday, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin excitedly announced the city has been awarded a $1.2 million federal grant.  According to the Jonesboro Sun, the money will be used to finance environmental review and design plans for a railroad overpass on Highland Drive.  The city will have to pick up $300,000 of the cost of the $1.5 million study.  The city applied for the grant in April and learned yesterday they had been approved for th