The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees passed plans to build facilities in Imboden and Walnut Ridge for use in a disaster preparedness training program.
The board meets Friday and will consider long-term lease agreements between the university and the two cities. The facilities would allow university students and local emergency personnel to practice simulations of emergency situations.
Arkansas State offers a bachelor's degree and an associate degree in disaster preparedness and emergency management.
The proposals call for a training facility to be built at the Walnut Ridge Airport and another to be built on undeveloped land in Imboden.
The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees also approved naming ASU-Newport’s Criminal Justice Department after a slain Newport police officer.
Lt. Patrick Weatherford was killed June 12th when he was shot while responding to a call of a vehicle break in. Weatherford was a 15 year veteran of the Newport Police Department and was named the 2016 Jackson County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He was also a part-time campus police officer at ASU-Newport.
A 16-year old is facing capital murder charges in the shooting death of Weatherford. An 18-year old that had previously been accused of the shooting will now face charges of breaking or entering, theft of property and furnishing a deadly weapon to a minor.
The Board of Trustees also approved the naming of a third-floor lounge in the Carl R. Reng Student Union. The Heritage Plaza Lounge will now be named after James E. and Wanda Lee Vaughn. It will be named the Vaughn Student Lounge.