Johnathan Reaves

News Director/Morning Edition host

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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.

2nd Annual Arkansas Science Festival to start

Sep 30, 2015
Arkansas Science Festival

For the second consecutive year, the thought-provoking and entertaining events of the Arkansas Science Festival are on tap for more than week, starting on Friday, Oct. 2.

Arkansas Science Festival events will continue through Saturday, Oct. 10, at Arkansas State University and other sites in Northeast Arkansas.

The Craighead County Quorum Court has approved funding to allow the county to move forward with destroying juvenile files.  According to the Sun Newspaper, the Quorum Court moved over 11-thousand dollars to the circuit clerk’s office to allow for a part-time deputy to work full time, with the main job of sifting through many thousands of juvenile files and determining which ones should be destroyed.  Not destroying juvenile files would be a violation of state law, and could open the county up for lawsuits.  State law requires that juvenile court records be destroyed on the 21st birthday of

The Governor’s Working Group on Highway Funding continues to look for long-term solutions to meet the immediate needs of the state’s highways.  One popular suggestion has been for the state of Arkansas to raise its gas tax, which currently sits at 21-and-a-half cents per gallon for regular gas and 22-and-a-half cents per gallon for diesel fuel.  The United States Energy Information Administration states that in the nation currently, the price of a gallon of gas consists of crude oil cost, which makes up 40%, 18% in refining costs, 22% in distribution and marketing, and 20% of federal and s

On Saturday, Pocahontas will celebrate 50 years of desegregation.  KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves conducts this interview with Dr. Jan Zeigler, one of the organizers of the event.  She tells about the event and the significance of it during this interview. 

From our content partner Talk Business and Politics:

Just over a week after the Department of Energy (DOE) staff provided an update on the status of the controversial Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission development, Arkansas’ congressional delegation fired off a letter Tuesday (Sept. 15) to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asking him to address state’s rights concern over the DOE’s oversight of the multi-state, renewable energy project.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin is finalizing dates for public meetings concerning the upcoming special election on November 10th.  The one-cent sales tax proposal would be voted on in two parts.  7/8-cents of the tax would go to fund 20 transportation projects in Jonesboro and the remaining tax money would go toward the formation and funding of the Jonesboro Economic Development Commission.  Alderman Renell Woods says whether or not the tax passes, there is still a continued need for more workforce training. 

Arkansas State Head Football Coach Blake Anderson says his team gave great effort against Missouri, but key injuries and mistakes led to the Red Wolves' loss Saturday night.  Hear what Coach Anderson had to say in yesterday's press conference.

Making room for more data and backing up that information.  Those are the goals for the Craighead County Information Technology Department.  Network Administrator Brad Nelson told the Craighead County Quorum Court that $75,000 is being spent to provide more data storage for the county’s network and to increase speed.

The Craighead County Circuit Clerk’s office is facing a daunting task of reviewing thousands of juvenile files to determine if they can be destroyed.  Circuit Clerk Candace Edwards says not destroying those records is a violation of state law, and the county could face lawsuits.  Edwards tells how many files must be reviewed.

“What I have figured out is that we have about 15,000 files that are going to have to be reviewed,” said Edwards. 

A meeting will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Jonesboro about the upcoming Thanksgiving Day meal in Jonesboro.  Richard Carvell tells about the meeting and what this meal means for the community.  The meeting will be held at Monday, September 14th at 7:00 pm.

The Jonesboro City Council has approved a special election that will take place November 10th for Jonesboro voters to decide on two sales tax proposals.  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 would generate about two-million-dollars a year.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin addressed a concern about the proposals las

The Jonesboro City Council will make a final consideration of a one-cent sales tax plan for the city.  During tonight’s special meeting of the council, the third and final reading of the plan will take place before alderman will vote on final approval.  If approved by the council tonight, a special election on the sales tax proposal would take place November 10th.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says the tax is needed for infrastructure improvements and to bring more businesses to Jonesboro.  7/8 cents of the tax would go toward funding 20 transportation projects in the city and would genera

Arkansas State's Head Football Coach Blake Anderson says he was proud of his team's effort, but noted that four turnovers made the game against No. 8 USC hurt the Red Wolves.  Click the Listen button to hear this week's press conference and how the Red Wolves are turning their attention to Missouri. 

Jonesboro Unlimited and the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Jonesboro Economic Development Commission is launching a strategic plan with the goal of bringing more jobs to the region.  Over two-thousand residents participated in surveys and focus groups as part of a five-month study conducted by Avalanche Consulting, Inc. of Austin, Texas.  President and CEO of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce Mark Young tells why this was necessary.

“We are excited about the plan.  As we move forward, it is important for us to have a plan in place as we continue to grow this plan from an economic standpoint.”

Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas

September is Hunger Action Month.  The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas is joining food banks across the nation in a month-long initiative called “Spoontember”.  Mary Beasley is with the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas.

A proposed 20 million dollar student housing complex that would be located on East Johnson Avenue near Arkansas State University is getting further consideration by the Jonesboro City Council.  Representatives from Zimmer Development Company said they plan to place several buildings on 15 acres of land on East Johnson Avenue. The new development would be called University Woods and would be built in two phases.

Head Coach of Arkansas State University says USC's Trojans will present a great challenge for his Red Wolves, but it will also present a great opportunity this Saturday night.  You can hear the entire press conference featuring Coach Anderson by clicking the Listen button.

Courtesy of Arkansas' Congressional Delegation:

U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman today announced that 13 Arkansas airports will receive $8.5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support facility upgrades and expansions.

"Airports are important to growth and development in Arkansas communities.  Investments to our infrastructure will better serve the economic needs of our state and facilitate commerce and job creation,” members said.

From our content partner Talk Business & Politics:

The Democratic Party of Arkansas named Ted Dick as its new executive director, replacing long-time current ED Candace Martin, who is moving out of state.

Dick has served as executive director of the Montana Democratic Party and he headed the Olympia, Washington-based Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.

Financing has been approved for Jonesboro to land a hotel and convention center.  The City of Jonesboro announced in a press release the Keller Family of Effingham, Illinois, has secured funding of the multi-million dollar project, which would be located at the site of the former Arkansas Department of Human Services building on Highway 63.  Plans are for a 152-room Hyatt Place Hotel and Conference Center to be constructed.  Ground work could start in as little as 30 days.  First Community Bank is reportedly financing the project.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says in a news release that h