The U-S House and Senate are in final negotiations concerning the federal highway bill. The bill must reach President Barack Obama’s desk by November 22nd, where he is expected to sign it. An exemption for agricultural vehicles to travel on U-S Highway 63 is in the bill. That exemption allows for Highway 63 to become the new Interstate-555. U-S Representative Rick Crawford was in Jonesboro last night. He is a conferee and is helping reconcile differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill. Crawford tells KASU news there is a huge push to get the highway bill done in th
The price of gas is expected to continue to decline through the end of the year. Federal numbers from the United States Energy Information Administration says the average price for a gallon of gas is about $2.21. In many locations in Arkansas, the price of a gallon of gas has been well below that, with gas averaging around two dollars a gallon. According to Talk Business and Politics, prices of gas in northwest Arkansas was about $2.04 while central and eastern Arkansas has prices around two dollars, or just below two dollars. Drivers of tractor trailers and diesel vehicles are seeing t
Jonesboro residents overwhelmingly shot down two sales tax proposals in a special election yesterday, while Brookland and Lawrence County saw their respective tax proposals pass. Jonesboro’s sales tax proposal was split in two parts, and both parts were defeated handily. According to unofficial numbers from the Craighead County Election Commission, 3,968 voted against the sales tax for road improvements, while 2,709 voted for the proposal. 4,143 voted against the economic development sales tax, while 2,526 voted for the tax. Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin’s reaction to the numbers.
St. Bernards Healthcare is joining four other organizations in a collaborative effort to improve health care quality in the state, as well as to lower health care costs. The collaboration is called “The Partnership for a Healthy Arkansas.”
Chris Barber is president and chief executive officer of St. Bernards Healthcare and was elected vice chairman of the new organization. Barber says Arkansas leads the nation in obesity rates and the state ranks near the bottom of states in the rates of health outcomes, life expectancy, and immunization rates.
After three days of early voting in Craighead County, almost 22-hundred Jonesboro residents and 12 Brookland residents have voted on separate sales tax proposals for their respective cities. Jonesboro voters are deciding a one-cent sales tax issue that is split in two parts. The first proposal is a 7/8 cent sales tax that would be used for building 20 transportation projects in Jonesboro. That would generate over 14-million-dollars a year. The second proposal is a 1/8 cent sales tax that would create the Jonesboro Economic Development Commission, to help bring jobs to the region. That
U.S. Representative Rick Crawford introduced an amendment that, if passed, could bring the future Interstate 555 closer to reality. If US Highway 63 was designated as an interstate, agricultural vehicles would not be allowed to use certain bridges on the highway. State Highway officials estimate that a new span to cross the St.
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
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.
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
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