Fund Established to Replace Slain Child's Headstone

Oct 21, 2016

A fund has been established to raise funds to replace the vandalized headstone of a Westside Middle School shooting victim.

The headstone marking the grave of Stephanie Johnson at Keller’s Chapel Cemetery was discovered knocked over and broken Thursday. Stephanie Johnson was 12 years old when she and four others were slain in 1998 by two classmates.

Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott worked with representatives of Bear State to establish the fund for the headstone replacement.

Dr. Amy Pearce

The 3rd annual Arkansas Science Festival is the state's only science festival.  It is a two week event meant to be a celebration of science.  Dr. Amy Pearce is professor of psychology at Arkansas State University and the festival's organizer.

"The goal is to bring people to our events where they can have fun,"  said Pearce.  


Sexual assault and domestic violence crimes are on the rise across the nation, and Arkansas is no exception. 

Around the start of the Fall 2016 semester, A-State students were alerted of a sexual assault incident that took place on campus, which had many shaken up.  In the wake of the incident, KAIT reported that the victim of the incident along with students will hold a gathering to raise more awareness of the crime.

City of Jonesboro

The City of Jonesboro has announced the following streets and parking lot closing schedule for this weekend's BBQ Fest in the downtown area:

Federal lawsuits are pending over a project to build a transmission line through Arkansas delivering wind energy from Oklahoma to the Memphis area. In this week’s issue of Arkansas Business there’s a closer look at the arguments involved in the case involving two groups of landowners who would have to sell property. 

From reporter Kyle Massey:

Jonesboro Awarded Grant to Enhance Police Enforcement

Sep 21, 2016
Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The City of Jonesboro has been awarded a grant totaling $31,353 for the purchase of computer software and computer hardware that will aid in facilitating more efficient police operations.

Jonesboro building permit values up 43% through first seven months

Sep 15, 2016
Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Jonesboro building permit values totaled $122 million for the first seven months of 2016, up an impressive 43% compared to the same period in 2015. The increase was largely fueled by expansions at Frito Lay and St. Bernards Healthcare.

Police & city employee salary wages, property maintenance code, flooding prevention, dueling convention center projects, congested roads....  This year's Jonesboro Mayoral race has a lot riding on it. 

KASU wants to connect you to this year's candidates in a fair and balanced forum.  Beginning Thursday, September 22 during NPR's Morning Edition, KASU's Jonathan Reaves will interview all 6 of the candidates one at a time.  

Jonesboro and Craighead County sales tax receipts up more than 5% year-to-date

Sep 7, 2016

Jonesboro has collected $11.6 million in city sales and use tax in the first seven months of 2016, up 5.1% over the same period in 2015, according to the city. Craighead County sales tax collections totaled $12.8 million in sales and use taxes, up 5.2%, or $639,000, from the same period in 2015, according to the county.

City of Jonesboro


Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin on Thursday hosted U.S. Corps of Engineers Memphis District Commander Col. Michael A. Ellicott, members of local drainage districts, county officials and representatives of Arkansas’ congressional delegations to further advance long-term stormwater drainage planning.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

    Major rain events like what happened in Jonesboro in May and most recently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana will happen again.  That message came from Carl Watts.  He is with the National Flood Insurance Program Service, which works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  He was in Jonesboro, presenting a program on the need for everyone to get flood insurance.  He says careful considerations should be made.

"Reevaluate your risks by finding out if your are in a special flood hazard area or not and how close are you to flood hazard areas," said Watts.  

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Public meetings about flood insurance will take place next week.  Much of Jonesboro is in a flood plain and the city experienced record flooding in late May, which damaged numerous homes.  Jonesboro is spending about $2 million dollars to clean out many miles of ditches and officials are working with the Army Corps of Engineers to help clear out Big Bay ditch, which is near the Craighead and Poinsett county lines.  This is a release from the city of Jonesboro:  

Jonesboro Police Department

Jonesboro police officer Adam Shipman has resigned from the force following a criminal investigation. 

Police Chief Rick Elliot told media outlets Shipman submitted his resignation on Aug. 11, 2 days after being placed on administrative leave following allegations involving a cyber tip from a cell phone provider. 

Elliot declined to comment on the details of the investigation or the charges Shipman may face. 

Shipman joined the JPD in mid-2015.


  With the start of classes just days away, Arkansas State University’s Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) organization is joining forces with the Target store at the Mall at Turtle Creek to hold a back-to-school event, Saturday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m.-noon. The store is partnering with the College of Business student group for this effort.

The store will have 2,000 coupons toward purchasing school supplies and 1,000 gift bags to give to A-State students at the store while supplies last. In addition, Target plans to create a fun shopping experience for the students that day.


Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin and the city’s Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler are looking at placing a new aquatic center in Jonesboro.  City officials plan to visit Bentonville, Tupelo and Tunica, Mississippi as early as next week in looking at other water parks.

According to a press release, Perrin is looking at building an Olympic-size pool, a therapy pool with zero-depth entry, and an indoor splash pad.  The goal would be to provide citizens with places to swim for recreation, as well as to hold swim meets at the pool. 

City of Jonesboro

The City of Jonesboro has hired Derrel Smith as the new City Planner. 

On Tuesday, the city announced that Smith was hired to replace long time city planner Otis Spriggs who stepped down in June to work in Huston, TX.  

Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce targets specific sectors to lure job creators

Aug 3, 2016

The Jonesboro metro area has enjoyed historically low unemployment during the last two years, but city leaders knew wage stagnation was a problem, and there was a need to be proactive in creating new job opportunities.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The City of Jonesboro has a new Chief Operations Officer and a new JETS director.  Retired United States Air Force Lt. Col. Edward Tanner has been named as the city’s new Chief Operations Officer. Tanner replaces L. M. Duncan, who has retired.  

Chief Operations Officer for the city of Jonesboro L. M. Duncan has again resigned from his office.  The Jonesboro Sun reports Mayor Harrold Perrin sent an email to department heads on Wednesday about Duncan’s departure. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News


The City of Jonesboro is spending over one-and-a-half-million dollars on trying to fix drainage issues in Jonesboro.  This after record flooding in May where six inches of rain fell in a three hour time frame.   Jonesboro is dedicating full time resources to five major projects that include clearing out and stabilizing over 60 miles of ditch maintenance in the city.  However,  that work might not be enough.

Jonesboro Officials Still Pushing to Build $12 millon Shooting Range

Jul 21, 2016
Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The city of Jonesboro and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are hoping to build a state of the art, $12 million shooting range, and could recoup some of the cost by charging the public to use the range.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The Police Officer Compensation Committee has a plan for addressing Jonesboro Police salary

Chairman of both the Officer Compensation and Public Safety Council Committees, Alderman Mitch Johnson briefly revealed the plan to the Jonesboro City Council at on Tuesday’s meeting. 

City of Jonesboro

    The Jonesboro City Council has tabled an ordinance that would annex 20 acres into the city.  The property in question is located in north Jonesboro near Highway 49.  While 20 acres doesn’t sound like a lot of property, Jonesboro Fire Chief Kevin Miller told the Jonesboro City Council the city’s services already cover a huge area.

"We already cover at least 80 square miles of property in Jonesboro.  While this 20 acres does not sound like a lot, this can open the door for larger annexations, which could cause problems for us in the future."

Jonesboro Police Department

Recent fatal police shootings of 2 African American men, followed by violent retaliation by some against officers in Dallas & Baton Rouge has the nation on edge.

Black communities and law enforcement are struggling to find peace, unity, understanding, and trust with each other in cities affected by violence, even here in Arkansas:

“We already have a target," said Keithston Page.  "Not only being Black, but being a man, period, in this White man’s world."


Officials for Jonesboro and Memphis are facing disciplinary action for posting  racially controversial messages on social media.

Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler was suspended for 2 weeks without pay  on Wednesday after sending a racially controversial tweet.