Local & Regional News

KASU is your connection to local news and views.  Here are a list of stories which affects you and our friends who listen to us here in Northeast Arkansas, the Missouri Bootheel, and West Tennessee.

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.

UPDATE:  9:24 AM:  BRTC Pocahontas campus is all clear.  The lockdown has been lifted.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

A locally produced film that focuses on the problem of human sex trafficking is receiving high praise at film festivals across the nation and will be shown in Hollywood this month.  KASU’s news director Johnathan Reaves talks with producer and director Hunter West about his film “Ridge Runners”.   Click on the Listen button to hear the interview. 

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:

Jonesboro police search for suspect in armed robbery

Sep 26, 2016
Jonesboro Police Department

This press release courtesy of the Jonesboro Police Department:  

On 9/25/16 at approximately 9:30pm, Jonesboro Police were notified of the armed robbery of employees of the Dollar Tree located at the corner of Nettleton Ave and Red Wolf Blvd. An employee of the store told officers that a black male, armed with a handgun and wearing a dark short sleeve shirt and gray pants with a red bandanna over his face approached the two employees as they were leaving the store and demanded money.

The Walnut Ridge City Council had plenty of items to address during the meeting Monday, including a lawsuit, the passage of a new fire fee, and a letter demanding that the Mayor and the Water Works Superintendent resign from office.


The first meeting of the newly formed Northeast Arkansas Hispanic Professional Network takes place tonight.  As KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves explains, the network hopes to bring Hispanics in Jonesboro together to learn about Hispanic businesses in the area, as well as potential collaborations to benefit the rising population.

Brandon Tabor, KASU news

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department:  

A routine inspection of the I-40 Mississippi River Bridge requires temporary lane closures, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

Ø  The outside westbound lane will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily, starting on Monday, September 12, through Thursday, September 15, weather permitting.


Miss A-State to Receive Award at Miss America Pageant

Sep 8, 2016
Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Miss Arkansas State University Bailey Moses will walk the Miss America Pageant stage this week to accept an award.  It won't be a crown, but Moses will treasure it for what it means to for the children of Arkansas.

A senior from Cabot, Moses has helped raised more than $19,000 for Arkansas Children's Hospital, a member of the Children's Miracle Network.

Arkansas State University

Classes started 80 years ago at Arkansas State University's ROTC program.  An interview about the history and the significance of the program is found by clicking on "Listen".  KASU's News Director Johnathan Reaves talks to Former Army Captain Richard Hartness about this. 

JETS Red Wolf Express Schedule for A-State, Toledo Game

Sep 2, 2016
Brandon Tabor, KASU News

  The JET RED WOLF EXPRESS is back this weekend for the A-State vs. Toledo game on Friday, September 2. If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with stadium parking, you can park downtown and ride the express.  

Simply park your vehicle downtown and JET can shuttle you to and from the game. JET buses will unload passengers at the Northwest corner of the Centennial Bank Stadium just outside Gate 11 in accordance with instructions from the A-State Athletic Department.

Fare prices to ride the bus for this event are:

Google Maps

This release from Arkansas State University:

The three Arkansas State University students – Casey Sherwood, Daiki Itoh and Daisuke Takagi -- lost in a cave in near Cushman, Ark., have been located alive thanks to the efforts of rescue teams in Independence County.  (Arkansas State is in Jonesboro, Ark., and Craighead County)

UPDATE: 3 A-State students missing in cave

Aug 11, 2016
Google Maps

Three Arkansas State University students are reported missing in the Batesville cave system in nearby Independence County.  Katherine Sherwood, the wife of one of the three students, reported them missing to the A-State University Police Department last evening.  Her husband, Casey Sherwood, who is a senior at Arkansas State, was leading the group on the spelunking trip.  We are currently reaching out to the parents of the two other students that accompanied Casey, Daiki Itoh and Daisuke Takagi.  Daiki and Daisuke are incoming first-year students from Japan.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

    Jonesboro’s population continues to grow as it is just under 70,000 people.  Roughly nine percent of that total population comes from a growing Hispanic population.  To accommodate the needs of that many Hispanics in Jonesboro, the Hispanic Community Services Incorporated are moving to a new location.  A groundbreaking occurred at the site of the 5,500 square foot building, which should open by spring or early summer of 2017.  Gina Gomez is the executive director of Hispanic Community Services Inc.  She tells what services are provided at the center.

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.  

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.  

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."

Michael Black takes over Jonesboro JETS

Jul 19, 2016
City of Jonesboro

Michael Black has been named transit coordinator over of the City of Jonesboro’s JET transportation system after a lengthy search.

Black, 53, has served as transportation supervisor the past four years, assisting Steve Ewart, who is retiring after eight years as JET director. Together, they oversaw huge growth in the public transit service. Black and Ewart have been with JET since 2008.


As plans are being made for Independence Day celebrations, one popular stop that many will make is the local firework stand.  From bottle rockets to sparklers, fireworks are very popular.  They are also very dangerous.  Dr. Amanda Deel is Assistant Dean of Clinical Education at the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

  The Arkansas Department of Human Services could be reorganized soon.   Earlier this year, Lt. Governor Tim Griffin was directed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to look at how to make the state agency more efficient.  

Jonesboro's Chief Operations Officer Comes Back

Jun 20, 2016
City of Jonesboro

L.M. Duncan's retirement was a brief one.

The City of Jonesboro is rehiring its former chief operations officer to his old position – less than a month after he retired.

Duncan spoke with Mayor Harold Perrin on Sunday. Duncan said he offered to return to the city, knowing the workload faced by the city in the wake of the May 24 flood.


  Jonesboro City Planning Director Otis Spriggs announced Monday he will be resigning from his office.  According to a press release from the city, Spriggs has accepted an offer to become a development director in the greater Houston area. 

The Baton Rouge native served as city planning director for 10 years.  Spriggs helped the city create a Development Review Guide for developers working in Jonesboro and digitizing the department’s paperwork. 

Mayor Harold Perrin said finding a replacement for Spriggs will be difficult, but a priority.

Arkansas State Police

A Silver Alert has been activated for a Crittenden County man.  West Memphis police are looking for 81 year old Lee Henry Jackson. 

He was last seen Friday wearing a gray shirt and khaki pants.  Jackson is a black male about 6ft weighing 165 pounds with short gray brown hair.  Authorities believe he may’ve been traveling in a 2000 beige Buick Century with Arkansas license plate 390 NLI. 

JETS Summer Youth Fare runs through September 2

May 31, 2016
City of Jonesboro

The JET Summer Youth Fare program begins again Tuesday, May 31, and runs through Sept. 2.

Riders ages 12-18 will be able to ride JET for a discounted cost of 25 cents per ride or $10 for a pass with unlimited rides. Children under 12 also qualify for discounted rates but must be accompanied by an adult.

To receive this discount, riders must present a school-issued picture ID to enter the bus. Unlimited-ride passes may only be purchased at the City Collector's window at the Municipal Center, 300 S. Church St.

City of Jonesboro

The city of Jonesboro is asking residents who have sustained damage from this week’s flooding event to contact them immediately.  City officials Thursday estimated 75 properties that sustained flood damage and are expecting the number to increase.  Reports of damage will be used to help the city receive state and federal assistance to help those affected.  

Please read the press release below for  more details on how to contact the city for assistance: