All Craighead County employees would see a three-percent raise next year…if the full Quorum Court approves the 2016 budget that was given a nod last night by the Budget committee. The 30-million-dollar budget is considered to be tight. Budget Chairman Ken Stacks says specific salary needs that come from District Court, the sheriff’s department, and the deputy prosecuting attorney are to be considered by the full Quorum Court...however, he stressed those extra requests were NOT guaranteed. Justice Terry Couch believed that extra money given to certain employees that is over-and-above the
Emergency responders are keeping a close eye on several rivers in northeast Arkansas that have swollen due to the weekend rains.
As the rain finally tapers off, several counties in northeast Arkansas are closely monitoring the Black River, the L’Anguille, the St. Francis, and the White Rivers. In some locations, the rivers are well above flood stage.
In Randolph County, the Black River at Pocahontas is almost three feet above flood stage. By mid-week, it is expected to reach exactly three feet above flood stage.
Several county roads in the area are still closed due to the weekend flooding in the region. According to Jeff Presley with Jonesboro E911, Highway 230 from Highway 91 in Lawrence County to Highway 63 in Craighead County is now closed down due to high water.
The continued rain is the main story this holiday weekend. This announcement: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the Saint Francis River-Craighead Co. Jonesboro E911 Coordinator Jeff Presley tells KASU News the river is almost level with the Lake City bridge. Evacuations may be necessary. Presley also sent this statement to KASU:
Local flooding reported Cr 905 and Cr 910, hwy 230 reported flooded west of Bono. Please call dispatch with flood reports at 870-935-5552 24/7- Call 911 for emergency help. Turn around don't drown !
The Automobile Association of America estimates that 46 million people will travel to their Thanksgiving destinations. As people travel through Arkansas, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is reminding motorists about IDrive Arkansas. The website and app for smartphones can give the latest information on work zones and highway congestion. Danny Straessley is Public Information Officer with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and tells about idrivearkansas.com.
The Jonesboro City Council’s Finance Committee has defeated an ordinance that would sent a controversial property maintenance code to the voters. Alderman John Street proposed placing the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code on the March 1 Primary last week. Last night, during a special meeting of the Finance Committee, the proposal was shot down by a 3-2 vote. If passed, the entire City Council would have to have passed it by a 2/3 margin. Then, it would have to go to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office by December 17 to place it on the ballot. Some who support the code told the c
A free community Thanksgiving meal will be offered in Jonesboro on Thursday. About two-thousand meals are expected to be served at the St. Bernard’s Auditorium, as well as being delivered to those who may not be able to get out of their homes. Richard Carvell tells why this meal is important.
Millions of people are expected on the highways for Thanksgiving travel this week. State and local law enforcement agencies across the nation are participating in a seat belt campaign that is called Click It or Ticket. Paul Holmes is the Public Information Officer with the Jonesboro Police Department. According to Holmes, almost half of passenger vehicle occupants killed crashes were not wearing seat belts. He says that is a staggering number.
Justices on the Craighead County Quorum Court continue to deliberate about the 2016 budget, and are expected to wrap up the discussion next week. Justices have met twice over the past couple of weeks to hammer out a budget, which would fund all of the departments in the county. The budget total is just under 16-million dollars, which includes almost two-million dollars in carryover money from previous years. Budget Chairman Ken Stacks led an hour-long debate over the budget last night, which covered numerous topics from inmate healthcare to housing state inmates in the county jail. Sta
The Craighead County Quorum Court is requesting an opinion from the Arkansas Attorney General concerning operations of both the eastern and western districts of the county. This issue started off as a budget question, but has snowballed into a debate about how the Circuit Clerk’s office is able to do its business at courthouses in Jonesboro and Lake City. Craighead County Circuit Clerk Candace Edwards has asked for the budgets of Lake City and Jonesboro to be combined due to budgetary and potential state legal issues. Supporters of keeping the budgets separate say it allows the courthous
Construction continues on the site of the new Arkansas State University campus in Mexico. The privately funded project is being run through a business foundation in Mexico called Arkansas State University Campus Queretaro. The group has purchased over two thousand acres for a comprehensive community development plan near Queretaro. The college campus will be the focus of the project, but it will also include commercial, residential, and recreational components for up to 70-thousand residents. A press release from Arkansas State University says substantial earth work has been done over m
The 60-day duck season starts this weekend in Arkansas. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service are predicting a record number of ducks to come into Arkansas. Trey Reid is Field Editor with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Congress has put in place a temporary patch to provide funding for the nation’s highways; however, an actual highway bill could go to the President’s desk next month…and that is good news for northeast Arkansas’ economy. Negotiations over the next federal highway bill are not going to end by the November 22nd deadline. In an e-mail to KASU news, U-S Representative Rick Crawford’s Press Secretary James Arnold says Congress voted Monday to put in place a temporary spending measure. The new deadline is December fourth. Arnold says he expects Congress to meet this deadline and for President
Debate continued last night about a controversial property maintenance code that is being considered by the Jonesboro City Council. Both sides spent almost half of the 90 minute meeting presenting their arguments about the proposed code. The code that would be adopted is the International Property Maintenance Code, which provides a set of standards that address both interior and exterior requirements of residential properties. The standards would be enforced for those who own their own homes, as well as landlords. Supporters say the code is needed to deal with dilapidated buildings in
After Arkansas State’s men’s basketball team defeated Lyon last night, head coach John Brady announced he is resigning at the end of the season. Arkansas State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir (Mo-HAH-jure) says Brady will fulfill his duties as the men’s basketball coach through the remainder of the season. Brady is in his eighth season with the Red Wolves and has almost 400 career victories. Arkansas State beat Lyon last night 81-37.
Here is the official press release from the Arkansas State University Department of Athletics:
At a recent fundraiser of the Craighead County Republican Party, U-S Senator Tom Cotton spoke about Republican gains in Arkansas, as well as across the country. He says some states that have been Democratic have switched to red.
“Just two weeks ago, we won another gubernatorial election in Kentucky,” said Cotton. “That means 33 of the 50 governors in the nation are now Republican, including Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. 247 congressman, 54 senators and 68 out of 99 state chambers in this country are governed by Republicans.”
Arkansas Republicans are looking to increase their majority in key races in the state legislature. Republicans hold a 61-38 majority in the State House and a 24-11 majority in the state Senate. 32 races in the state House and 5 races in the state Senate are up for grabs. The Executive Director of the Arkansas Republican Party Doyle Webb was in Jonesboro Saturday night for a fundraiser. He commented about the upcoming election year.
The Friday night terrorist attack in Paris drew strong reaction from members of Arkansas’ Congressional Delegation. Two of those members were in Jonesboro Saturday night at a fundraiser of the Craighead County Republican Party. US Senator Tom Cotton, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Agency, politicized the event, saying the United States needs to go on offense and defeat terrorist groups, like ISIS. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack on Paris that killed over 130 people and injured over 300.
The US 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.
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.