KASU

Jonesboro

Early voting is underway on the city of Jonesboro’s alderman’s race in Ward 6, position 1.  Also, the repeal of a controversial property maintenance code is up for voters to decide. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

  While the Property Maintenance Code and the Jonesboro Police salary issue received a little attention at Thursday night’s Alderman Debate, one theme took center stage more than any issue.

The 5 candidates (Phil Cook, Dr. Richard Wang, Captain James Boweman, Joseph Woodbury, and Bobby Long) running for the Jonesboro City Council Ward 6, Position 1 seat felt there should be more transparency between the city government and its citizens.

Also discussed at the debate were minority issues, infrastructure, and economic development.

Pixabay

Craighead County joins cities such as Fayetteville and Rogers in recording double digit revenue increases for April. 

The Jonesboro Sun reports a 14% increase in county sales tax revenue this month compared to last April.  County officials say the county’s 1% sales tax brought in over $1.6 million in April. 

Jonesboro saw a 13% increase in its sales tax revenue which equates to more than $1.3 million . 

Sales tax collections across Arkansas were up by 7.8%, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration.

Courtesy boozman.senate.gov

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), in his monthly visit with KASU, talked about the candidates for President, international tensions, and meetings this week with the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas veterans. Click on the Audio link to hear the entire interview.

City of Jonesboro

The city of Jonesboro is applying for a TIGER transportation grant that would place a connector and a bridge at Patrick Street.  The total project cost would be $15.6 million…80% of the grant money would come from the TIGER grant and the remaining 20% would come from the city of Jonesboro. 

Under the plan, the Patrick Street connector and bridge would replace Bridge Street’s aging bridge.  Bridge Street would become an overpass for pedestrians and bicycles.  The Fisher Street crossing would close after the Patrick Street bridge would open.  

A proposed crosswalk on East Johnson Avenue in Jonesboro has been nixed due to safety concerns. 

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin told members of the Jonesboro Metropolitan Organization’s Policy Committee that he received the news from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. 

Jonesboro Police Department

  Jonesboro Police are looking for a couple associated with a theft at Sissy’s Log Cabin.  Police responded to a call Thursday evening at the jewelry store. 

According to JPD, a pair of earrings was stolen from the store.  Officials believe the suspects were last seen in a blue Hyundai Santa Fe with California tags. 

Anyone with more information is encouraged to call the Jonesboro Police Department.

Pixabay

  The Doc Rock Half Marathon and 5-k will take place in Jonesboro Saturday.  The events are expected to go from 7:30am until about 11am.  Here is a list of intersections that will be affected by the events:

JETS Phone System Temporarily Out of Order

Apr 12, 2016

Jonesboro Economical Transportation System is experiencing a telephone outage that has left riders without means to contact JET by telephone. The outage is expected to last until mid-afternoon today.

Craighead County Sheriff's Department

Jonesboro Police have arrested a man allegedly connected to 4 gas station robberies, one of which occurred near Arkansas State University. 

Police responded to an armed robbery call Friday night at the Adoosh Mini Mart on Gee St. 

Surveillance footage of the robbery identified 28 year old Byron Washington as the suspect.

On Saturday, Washington was taken into custody in connection to the robberies which have occurred since April 6th. 

Washington was charged with 4 counts of aggravated robbery and 4 counts of theft of property. 

Pixabay

  The Jonesboro Police Department is investigating a rash of weekend pharmacy break-ins in Northeast Arkansas. 

Police Chief Rick Elliot told the Jonesboro Sun they believe one group is responsible for breaking into the Woodsprings Pharmacy in Manilla and The Medicine Shoppe in Jonesboro early Sunday morning.

Both break-ins occurred within a span of 2 hours.  Elliot said security camera footage from the businesses showed the same white Chevy Suburban. 

Pixabay

  While Craighead County has seen small gains in March sales tax revenue compared to last year, revenue in Jonesboro shows a small decrease.

The Jonesboro Sun reports the 1% county sales tax brought in $1,369,216, an increase from March 2015 of 0.32%.

Jonesboro only earned $1,237,155 from its separate sales tax revenue; a decrease of $8,591 from March 2015.

City Water and Light officials say the decrease in the city sales tax could be contributed to an 8% decrease in January electricity sales.

governor.arkansas.gov

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is set to be in Jonesboro this week as part of an announcement of a new industry coming to the city. 

The Jonesboro Sun reports Hutchinson will be in town at Wednesday’s ceremony along with Jonesboro Unlimited at the Hames Room at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center. 

The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission is expected to review the plans from the unknown company Tuesday. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

UPDATE 3/29/16:

Road work continues this week on Red Wolf Blvd between Johnson and Aggie. 

On Tueday, the inside southbound lane and both northbound lanes are open.  The outside southbound lane is closed as construction begins to create a 200-foot deceleration lane for right turns on to Alumni Blvd. 

Last week, crews worked to remove the median and create a turning lane.  City officials say the project which was estimated to take 2 weeks is now ahead of schedule.

Brandon Tabor, KASU

If the city had the money, what do you want to see happen to blighted areas?   

That was the question University of Memphis School of Architecture students and Kansas State University Technical Assistance to Brownfields representatives were asking citizens as they discussed 4 areas in North Jonesboro.  The areas are located along the railroad corridor expanding from Arkansas State University to Riceland foods.

A public meeting on developing the “Railroad Corridor” from Aggie Road at Arkansas State University to Riceland Foods will be held this afternoon. 

The City of Jonesboro will use the input from citizens to apply for a “Brownfield” grant with Environmental Protection Agency to use towards the project. 

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department / Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

Friday will be a day that has been 40 years in the making.  

In the 1970’s, work started to turn Highway 63 into the Jonesboro bypass project.  Highway 63 eventually became a four-lane road that would connect Jonesboro to I-55.    

After four decades and $250 million of work on the highway, the numbers will change. 

During a ceremony at St. Bernards Auditorium, US 63 will become the new Interstate 555.  The new I-555 will consist of 44 miles from Highway 49 in Jonesboro to I-55 in Crittenden County. 

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission has decided to give funding to the Keller Family Hotel and Convention Center project.  

The project is funded by the Keller family and will be located along Browns Lane Access Road near I-555.  

According to KAIT, the project will consist of a 159-bed Hyatt Place Hotel and a convention center, which is expected to open by the middle of next year.  

Craighead County officials report a 2.88% increase in sales tax revenue for February; outperforming the state’s 2.3% increase.  

The Jonesboro Sun reports the county collected $1,956,723 from the 1% sales tax, which will be shared with the county’s 10 municipalities. 

Jonesboro also reported a 2.69% increase in the city’s separate 1% sales tax; earning $1,807,225. 

The numbers for February include activities from December.

  The Committee to Repeal Property Code 105-2 has submitted 585 pages of petitions opposing the controversial property maintenance code. 

The Jonesboro Sun reports, the committee submitted the petitions on February 12 bearing 5,032 signatures from Jonesboro voters asking for a special election.  Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday said the committee needed 3,315 signatures for a special election to be called. 

8 Cities and Craighead Co. to Split District Court Fines

Feb 23, 2016

 

  An intergovernmental agreement has been reached that will allow eight cities and Craighead County to each electronically receive monies that have been paid through fines and fees from misdemeanors or other violations that are collected through District Court. 

Bay, Bono, Black Oak, Brookland, Caraway, Cash, Egypt, Jonesboro, Lake City, Monette, and Craighead County all have entered into the one year agreement, which states that the cities in which the offense takes place shall receive those funds on a monthly basis. 

Jonesboro City Officies will be closed in observance of Presidents Day on Monday, February 15.  

According to the City of Jonesboro website, the trash pick up schedule for the week will change as follows:

  The Jonesboro City Council Finance Committee is considering an ordinance which could add more than $1 million to the city employee pay plan.

Committee Chairman Darrell Dover told KAIT-TV that full-time city employees would receive a $1,000 pay increase.  Full-time employees with more than one year of service would receive $75 for every year employed up to 30 years annually for longevity pay.

Jonesboro City Council to Revisit 2016 Budget

Jan 4, 2016

  The Jonesboro City Council plans to discuss the 2016 operating budget at their meeting Tuesday.

The Jonesboro Sun reports the council heard its first of three required reading of the proposed budget on December 15. $42.32 million has been set aside for maintenance and operations in 2016--almost $2.5 million less than in 2015.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

St. Bernards Healthcare announces a $130 million expansion in downtown Jonesboro.  The Master plan will be done in four phases.  The plans include the Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center and the Heartcare Center---the center will be named after a former president and CEO of St. Bernards.

Pages