Johnathan Reaves

News Director/Morning Edition host

Ways to Connect

Kim Williams / Arkansas State Parks and Tourism

A 50th birthday celebration takes place tomorrow at Jacksonport State Park near Newport.  Superintendent of Jacksonport State Park is Mark Ballard.

“Jacksonport State Park opened in 1965, and we are celebrating that milestone in our park’s history,” according to Ballard.  “The focus will be telling about the early days and what it took to establish this park.  All of that occurred through the efforts of the Historical Society to save the old courthouse.  We have some of those founding members that will be here starting at 10 in the morning.” 

Extensive renovation work is taking place at the site of the state’s new osteopathic medical school.  The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees approved financing the massive renovation of Wilson Hall on the campus of Arkansas State University.  The project is expected to cost 12-point-eight-million-dollars.  The Board approved an eight million dollar loan that would be short term, in that it would not exceed eight years.  The remaining four-point-four million dollars would come from money from Arkansas State University and the New York Institute of Technology, which is partnering wit

Arkansas State University is moving toward academic restructuring in Jonesboro.  If approved by the ASU Board of Trustees in December, the restructure would take effect July 1.  KASU's News Director Johnathan Reaves talked with Cooksey about why this is necessary and what it will mean for the university.  Click on the Listen button to hear the entire interview.

The Jonesboro City Council’s Finance Committee forwarded several items to the full council for next week’s meeting.  Among those items is an agreement for the 2015 Outdoor Recreation Grant Program, which would be used at Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro.  The grant would allow for outdoor workout stations located along the two mile trail that surrounds the lake at Craighead Forest Park, as well as bike racks and other amenities.  Pending approval by the full council, work on making additions to the park could start as early as this year.  Other resolutions include a 2016 STEP grant for la

Big River Steel

From our content partner Talk Business & Politics:

Big River Steel has pre-sold nearly a quarter of the steel it is expected to produce over the next seven years, the company’s CEO told a legislative committee Wednesday.

Dave Stickler spoke to the House and Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development committees during a meeting at Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville.

Next week is the start of the football season.  It brings a lot of excitement as many have been talking about their favorite teams through the spring and the summer in anticipation of the start of the season.  One date that has been circled on many people’s calendars is September 12th.  That is when the Arkansas State Red Wolves will host the Southeastern Conference’s Missouri Tigers.  Many fans in the region are excited about the game.  Brooks Taylor of Jonesboro was eating at Buffalo Wild Wings in Jonesboro when I asked him his thoughts about the upcoming game.

From our content partner Talk Business & Politics:

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Arkansas lost another bid for a superproject.

After courting three of the nation’s largest defense contractors for the past three years, the Pentagon on Tuesday (Aug. 25) announced Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense as the winner of a $30 billion award to build nearly 55,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps over the next 25 years.

From Governor Asa Hutchinson's Office:

Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Howard Brill as the next Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, following the retirement of Jim Hannah, effective on September 1. Hannah’s current term is set to expire at the end of 2016.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

Juvenile files stored by Craighead County’s Circuit Clerk’s office have not been destroyed in many years, which is a violation of a state law.  Circuit Clerk Candace Edwards informed the Craighead County Quorum Court about the issue last night.  Juvenile court records are required to be destroyed on the 21st birthday of that juvenile, unless those files meet four sets of criteria.  Edwards says she was informed the county was violating state law by not destroying those files when a pair of deputies went to a conference in Little Rock and learned about the problem.  Edwards says the office i

Arkansas State University is adding five new online degree programs this school year.  Thilla Sivakumaran is Executive Director of Global Initiatives at Arkansas State University. 

“We just launched four new undergraduate programs.  A Bachelor of Arts in criminology, sociology, political science, and communication studies,” said Sivakumaran.  “In the spring, we will launch a Masters in Engineering Management online program, which is ranked in the top 20 in the country.  We are excited about those programs being launched.”

The House and Senate Interim Committees on Education will meet in Northeast Arkansas next week.  They will be at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro Monday afternoon and then will go to ASU-Newport and ASU-Beebe on Tuesday. Vice President for University Relations at the Arkansas State University System is Shane Broadway.  He says this will be a time for Arkansas State to tell its story of the many things that are going on, which he says benefits legislators as much as it benefits Arkansas State University. 

From the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission:

Arkansas’s duck season will again cover 60 days. It’s the 19th consecutive year the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has approved a 60-day hunting season for waterfowl. The vote came today during the Commission’s monthly meeting.

Arkansas State University

New members are being recruited for the A-State University-Community Choir.  In November, this ensemble will perform selections from a very popular and well-known piece of choral music, Handel’s Messiah.  Concerts will be held in both Jonesboro and Blytheville.

KASU's Program Director Marty Scarbrough interviews Dr. Dale Miller, Director of Choral Activities at Arkansas State University. Click on the Listen button above. 

Higher education is not that popular across the state and the nation.  That word from Dr. Charles Welch, Arkansas State University System President.  He told those attending yesterday’s Faculty Conference in Jonesboro that higher education has been hit hard by a lack of new funding from the state.  At the same time, Dr. Welch says higher education is also undergoing a perception issue, which he hears a lot in the form of three myths. 

A plan to restructure Arkansas State University’s 11 colleges in Jonesboro into six is expected to be complete by July first.  Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research Dr.

Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore says he was shocked to learn about the death of Big River Steel CEO John Correnti.  Correnti passed away Tuesday morning while in Chicago on a business trip. Correnti has been the driving force for the 1.3 billion dollar project in Osceola.  Hundreds of workers are on site building the project.  Kennemore says he expects the push for completion of the project to continue.

This is Eric Johnson, K9 officer with the Jonesboro Police Department.  He was named as the Arkansas Police Officer of the Year.  He was recognized last night by Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin and the City Council. 

The Jonesboro City Council is expected to make a final decision on a proposed one-cent sales tax that would fund transportation projects and an economic development commission.  Mayor Harold Perrin explained the need for the tax before the Jonesboro City Council last night.  Perrin said 7/8 cents of the tax would go toward funding 20 transportation projects in the city and would generate just over 14 million dollars a year.

The Jonesboro City Council is expected to consider a proposed sales tax increase tomorrow night.  If it is approved by the council, a special election for voters in Jonesboro would occur November 10th.  On the ballot would be two sales tax increases, one for a 7/8 cent increase and the other for a 1/8 cent increase.  7/8 cents of the tax would go toward funding 20 transportation projects in the city and would generate just over 14 million dollars a year.

Jonesboro JETS

The Jonesboro Economical Transit System has reached record levels in ridership.  Director Steve Ewart was expecting to see over 10-thousand people use the system by this time next year; however, they reached that milestone this month

“It just shows that projects that we made as far as what central transfer operations do were accurate.  We are happy with all that,” Ewart says.  “It just gives us a challenge of trying to keep schedules.  If you have more people getting on and off the bus, that means that buses are running slower.”

Arkansas State University's Heritage Sites Program

It has been one year since the official opening of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and the Dyess Colony.  Executive Director of Arkansas State University’s Heritage Sites program Dr. Ruth Hawkins says this past year has been very busy.

Plans to establish an Agriculture & Technology school in Weiner are on hold for now.  During today’s meeting of the State Board of Education, the proposal by Weiner residents to detach from the Harrisburg School District and establish the school was pulled from the meeting.  Members of the Arkansas Department of Education learned from the Department of Career Education the necessary rules were not clarified before the petition for the school was drawn up.  When the rules are in place, the proposal is expected to be placed back on the agenda at a future meeting.  All parties were notifie

From our content partner Talk Business & Politics:

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday sent a letter to the State Board of Education commenting on the recommendations from the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review, officials said.

According to the letter, the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review voted July 20 to approve a set of findings and recommendations to send to the state board.

The council held several meetings around the state to hear from people on the Common Core issue.

All of the public schools in the state are required to have a faster emergency response to their schools through the RAVE Panic Button.  KASU's Johnathan Reaves interviewed the Jonesboro E911 Director Jeff Presley about that and the Smart 911 system. 

Nettleton School District is the first in the state that has a new emergency response system in place.  During the last legislative session, state lawmakers mandated that all schools in Arkansas have a system in place that could help provide faster service in the event of an active shooter or an emergency situation.  All public schools in the state will use a RAVE Panic Button system that allows designated officials to call for help by pressing a smartphone app.  Nettleton Schools  are the first in the state to be a pilot school and to have the system online.