Johnathan Reaves

News Director/Morning Edition host

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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:

Pixabay

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:

Arkansas’s Congressional Delegation is asking President Barack Obama to approve a request for 39 counties to be declared as federal disaster areas.  The request has been made after severe storms and heavy rain caused severe flooding and tornadoes, which destroyed hundreds of homes and killed three people.  The severe weather occurred from December 23rd through January 23rd.  The counties were declared state disaster areas by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.  The counties in our listening area include Clay, Greene, Jackson, Independence, Izard, Lawrence, Mississippi, Randolph, Stone, and W

The Arkansas Rice Federation is holding its annual rice meeting Friday at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center.  Spokeswoman Lauren Waldrip says breakout sessions will take place on several topics:

Lauren Waldrip.  Congressman Rick Crawford and Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward will speak during the event.  More details can be found here

Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas has received a 25-hundred-dollar grant from the Burlington-Northern/Santa Fe Railway Foundation.  The money will go the Backpack Program, which helps provide food for hungry children on the weekends and school holidays.  Development Director Vicky Pillow tells KASU news almost 800 children in Northeast Arkansas benefit from the program.  She tells why it is needed:

Vicky Pillow.  27% of the people served through the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas is under 18.  She says Arkansas is near the bottom in nation when it comes to food security. 

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University’s Lecture-Concert Series continues tomorrow with the annual Greenfield Lecture.  The speaker will be Dr. Michael Honey from the University of Washington-Tacoma.  Honey will present “Sharecropper’s Troubadour: John Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmer’s Union, and the African-American Song Tradition.”  Dr. Honey conducted oral histories with the late John Handcox, who spent part of his young life as a sharecropper in Arkansas.  Dr. Honey tells why Handcox’s poems and songs from the 1930’s are still relevant today:

www.jonesboro.org

A special election, railroads, and the Miracle League ballpark were the main topics discussed during last night’s Jonesboro City Council meeting.  As expected, the Jonesboro City Council approved a special election to fill a vacant seat of former Alderman Tim McCall.  McCall resigned his seat last month, which opens up Ward 6, Position 1.  The special election will occur May 10th and the filing deadline for candidates will be March 11th.  In other news, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he will be meeting with highway and railroad officials about future work later this year.  Work to upgr

The Jonesboro City Council will consider a proposal to hold a special election to fill the vacancy for former alderman Tim McCall’s seat.  McCall resigned last month because he moved out of his ward, which is Ward 6 Position 1.  During last week’s Nominating and Rules Committee meeting, members suggested a special election be held May 10th.   If it is approved tonight, those who want to run for the seat can file by March 11th and candidate draws will take place March 15th.  The cost for a special election would be 20-thousand dollars.  The unexpired term will end December 31st, 2018.  

The annual agri-business conference takes place next Wednesday at Arkansas State University.  Registration and morning sessions take place at the Fowler Center.  Lunch and the afternoon sessions will occur in the Convocation Center.  Dr. Burt Greenwalt is professor of agricultural economics in the College of Agriculture and Technology.  Greenwalt tells about some of the challenges that will be addressed during the conference:

Today is the deadline for first-time Arkansas voters to register to vote in the March first primary election.  Voters can register at county clerks’ offices across the state.  Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday tells KASU news there is an excitement about the primary being moved up this year.  He also has been using that point as an education tool to remind voters about the date change this year:

Previously, the primary had been held in May, and some voters felt like things had been decided.  Holliday says that won’t be the case this year:

The following is a news release from 2nd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington:

Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, announces today that he will seek the death penalty against a Bay man accused of abducting and killing an elderly Bay woman last July. 

Jonesboro City Council's Nominating and Rules Committee votes to forward to the full city council a request for a special election for Ward 6, Position 1.  If approved, it will be held May 10th.  Those who want to run should file by March 11th and candidate draws would take place March 15th.  This is to replace Alderman Tim McCall's seat.  He resigned his position because he moved out of his ward.  The unexpired term will end at December 31, 2018. The cost of a special election would be $20,000.   The city council will vote on this Tuesday night.

Depleted underground aquifer levels in the state will be one of the key topics during the Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference in Jonesboro tomorrow.  Kevin Cochran is with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.   He says northeast Arkansas and Arkansas’ Grand Prairie are areas where the most damage has taken place.  Cochran says while municipalities use the Alluvial aquifer, farmers use it the most to irrigate the state’s rice and soybean crops. 

governor.arkansas.gov

Governor Asa Hutchinson continued his statewide computer coding tour in northeast Arkansas yesterday.  He made stops at a career and technical center at Jonesboro High School and then went to Nettleton High School, where he met with students involved in computer coding classes and the EAST Lab.  Hutchinson says four-thousand students across the state are involved in the computer coding classes, which is part of his STEM initiative.  Republican State Senator John Cooper of Jonesboro says the computer coding classes will have a direct impact on the economy of Arkansas:

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