Johnathan Reaves

News Director/Morning Edition host

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Can Jonesboro support two convention centers? 

That is a question that KASU news asked Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics.  Last week, the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission decided to give funding to the Keller Family Hotel and Convention Center Project. 

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission has decided to give funding to the Keller Family Hotel and Convention Center project.  

The project is funded by the Keller family and will be located along Browns Lane Access Road near I-555.  

According to KAIT, the project will consist of a 159-bed Hyatt Place Hotel and a convention center, which is expected to open by the middle of next year.  

The Craighead County Election Commission has confirmed that Jeff Presley has defeated Garry Meadows in yesterday's primary.  Both Republicans faced each other to see who would face current County Judge Ed Hill in November.  Computer issues with the county election commission's computer software put last night's result in that race in doubt.  An 88-vote discrepancy appeared because of the computer issue, which left the County Judge's race too close to call.  Originally, Presley led Meadows by 39 votes.

The Craighead County Election Commission is spending the day sorting out a voting discrepancy that could affect the Republican primary in the Craighead County Judge’s race.  Last night’s computer issues affected 88 votes and 16 provisional ballots.   A faulty flash card with the computer software tabulating system is to blame for the issue.  The paper ballots that are recorded every time someone votes showed 88 more votes than what the computer software recorded.  Officials are on the phone today with computer software company ENS trying to sort out the issue.  The Craighead County Electio

Computer issues have affected the Craighead County Judge's race.   An 88 vote discrepancy between the paper ballots that are filed every time a person votes and the computer tabulating software has made the Craighead County Judge's race too close to call.  That is because there is a 39 vote difference between the Republican candidates.  Unofficially, Jeff Presley has 5,447 votes and Garry Meadows has 5,408 votes.  Election Commissioners also say there were 16 provisional ballots that are not counted for.  An error with one of the flash cards is being blamed for the error.

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The Jonesboro City Council has voted against adopting Dayton Avenue as part of a deal in the Old Fairground Bankruptcy case.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says the road of a “cut-through” from Red Wolf Boulevard to Fair Park Boulevard.  Perrin asked the Jonesboro City Council to delay the decision to adopt the roadway so he could meet with neighboring businesses and receive financial assistance to bring the road up to city standards.

The cities of Jonesboro and Bono have been recognized by Arkansas Business as Cities of Distinction.  Paul Phillips from Cruz and Associates of Little Rock made a presentation to Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin during Tuesday’s Jonesboro City Council meeting.  Jonesboro has been awarded the 2015 Quality of Life Award for its Miracle League Ballpark that allows children with disabilities the opportunity to play different ball games.  The city of Bono has also been awarded the 2015 City of Distinction for Technology.  Bono was recognized for an upgrade in the city’s water metering system.  The

Arkansas Secretary of State's Office

Over six thousand people voted early in the Super Tuesday primary in Craighead County, and the polls are busy today.  Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday tells KASU News it could be a record turnout for a primary election:

Over 13,000 to 15,0000 could vote early in Craighead County.  National coverage from NPR and local coverage from the KASU News team starts at 7 tonight on KASU. 

  A hotel, convention center, and restaurant will be built on the Arkansas State University campus. 

The ASU Board of Trustees has approved a resolution that will allow O'Reilly Hospitality to construct the new facilities on 11 acres of land at the site of the former track and field program.  

The agreement is a ground lease agreement that allows for the construction of a 200-room Embassy Suites Hotel, a convention center of 30,000 to 40,000 square feet, and a Houlihan’s Restaurant and Bar on the Jonesboro campus.   

Johnathan Reaves

  Arkansas State University will enter into a lease agreement with Zimmer Development to build new student housing in Jonesboro.

During ASU Board of Trustees meeting in Little Rock, the resolution passed which will allow land to be turned into new graduate and undergraduate housing for students. 

The agreement would allow the housing to be built, possibly in two phases. 

The first phase of undergraduate and graduate housing is expected to be complete by 2017. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

At one point in American history, over 500 black newspapers were in publications.  Over 100 of those papers were in Arkansas.  Professor of Multimedia Journalism at Arkansas State University Dr.

Roy Ockert / City of Jonesboro

 

Republican United States Senator John Boozman is facing a Republican primary challenger in next Tuesday’s election.  Little Rock Businessman Curtis Coleman and Boozman were in Jonesboro for a candidate forum over the weekend.  Coleman says he has a statewide ground movement and has a social media campaign going to try to cut into Boozman’s lead:

Latest polls suggest that he has a comfortable lead over Coleman, but Boozman says he is more concerned about continuing to campaign across the state than he is about the uncertainty with poll numbers:

The First Congressional District Race pits incumbent Republican Rick Crawford from Jonesboro against Libertarian challenger Mark West from Sulphur Rock.  Crawford says he is excited that he is not facing a Democratic challenger in this election, but he is still campaigning hard as he is seeking his fourth term:

Rick Crawford.  Mark West says he is also campaigning hard.  He says his main challenge is going up against an incumbent, so he is trying to meet a lot of people:

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

The new I-555 shields are being made by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.  They will be unveiled during an official ceremony March 11th in Jonesboro. 

A former deputy director of a state agency and a former probation officer  have been sentenced to jail for their parts in a bribery scheme.  This press release is from U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer's office:

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Officials from the International Code Council defended Jonesboro’s decision to pass a property maintenance code.  During a public meeting, Mark Roberts said the property maintenance code is very similar to what has passed in at least eight other Arkansas cities.  He says the entire International Property Maintenance Code is not what passed in Jonesboro, because the city adopted it to meet their needs.  Roberts says the code is a set of standards that ensure that all residential buildings are as safe as possible:

  The Craighead County Circuit Clerk tells KASU news about a scam involving jury duty.  The following is from Candace Edwards' office:

On 2/17/2016 Craighead County Circuit Clerk Candace Edwards was notified of an apparent scam dealing with jury duty. 

  

The Jonesboro City Council passes salary increases for all city employees, considers roads and establishes a task force to end homelessness.   Every city employee in Jonesboro is receiving an immediate one-thousand dollar raise.  The Jonesboro city council approved an amendment in the budget that will allow for salary adjustments worth almost one-point-one million dollars.  The comprehensive pay plan also deals with adjustments for how much experience an employee has, and also makes benefits adjustments.  The council unanimously approved the measure. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Opponents of Jonesboro’s Property Maintenance Code have turned in over five-thousand signatures to the Jonesboro City Clerk’s office.  Attorney Travis Story turned in a box full of petitions.  Story says the goal is to have those signatures certified so a special election can occur either May 3 or May 10 to allow citizens to vote on the controversial code.  Story comments:

Disaster unemployment assistance is available to those who have been affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds, and flooding  The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says those affected by the storms that took place from December 26th through January 22nd can file paperwork, as long as they live in the counties that have been declared as federal disaster areas.  In the KASU listening area, that includes Jackson and Faulkner Counties.  Residents in Jackson County can file in Newport and those in Faulkner County can register in Conway.  Claims can be filed now through M

Two public meetings on a controversial property maintenance code in Jonesboro will occur Wednesday.  The City of Jonesboro is hosting the meetings in the Council Chambers of the Jonesboro Municipal Center.  Senior regional manager for government relations of the International Code Council will speak on the property maintenance code.  The Jonesboro City Council adopted the new code in December.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin broke a 6-6 tie on the code and it passed.  Those for the code say it is necessary to get rid of dilapidated buildings.  Those who are against the code say they are con

Arkansas farmers should look at several factors in determining how they will face challenges this year.  Agricultural economist Dr. Jason Henderson from Purdue University’s Extension Service spoke during Arkansas State University’s Agri Business Conference.  He says three main factors should be thought about immediately:

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Arkansas’ First Lady Susan Hutchinson came to Jonesboro to attend a ribbon cutting and to recognize volunteers of CASA of the 2nd Judicial District.  CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and volunteers go through extensive training to be the voice for abused and neglected children in court.  Hutchinson tells KASU news the program is important because children need an individual voice when they are brought before a judge:

Arkansas State Head Football Coach Blake Anderson has announced 27 players who have signed to play football for the Red Wolves.  The class consists of 15 high school players, nine junior transfers, and three F-B-S transfers. Coach Anderson told the media today that he was pleased with the class:

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