JETS Reports Steady Ridership, but Low Revenues

1 hour ago
Jonesboro JETS

The Jonesboro Economic Transit System is seeing a steady number of bus riders, but is losing revenue. 

JETS Director Steve Ewart explained to committee members that last month’s revenue numbers were almost $1,500 less than one year ago. 

Last January, JETS brought in over $4,000.  Last month, JETS brought in $2,700.  Ewart blamed the revenue loss on the system’s fare collecting system.  He says regular glitches and malfunctions have made it hard to collect money for rides. 

Arkansas farmers should look at several factors in determining how they will face challenges this year.  Agricultural economist Dr. Jason Henderson from Purdue University’s Extension Service spoke during Arkansas State University’s Agri Business Conference.  He says three main factors should be thought about immediately:

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:

Career Closet Prepares Students with Professional Attire

23 hours ago

Arkansas State University’s College of Business is holding a Career Closet for students.  This program gets students ready for job interviews by helping them dress the part, as well as making sure they are ready for job interviews.  H. Steve Leslie is instructor of business communications at Arkansas State University and tells why this is important:

  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.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Arkansas’ First Lady Susan Hutchinson came to Jonesboro to attend a ribbon cutting and to recognize volunteers of CASA of the 2nd Judicial District.  CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and volunteers go through extensive training to be the voice for abused and neglected children in court.  Hutchinson tells KASU news the program is important because children need an individual voice when they are brought before a judge:

Craighead County’s District Court has millions of dollars of unpaid fines and penalties on the books. 

In order to get more people to pay, the Quorum Court’s Finance Committee is recommending the District court look at a 90-day period where those who owe money can pay less than what they owe, or receive a tax credit. 

Committee Member Ken Stacks says he thinks the 90-day window would be fair, and it would give those who owe an incentive to pay. 

Noranda Goes Bankrupt; Closes 3rd Pot Line

Feb 8, 2016

Noranda Aluminum announces today they are filling for chapter 11 bankruptcy and will shut down their third remaining pot line in New Madrid, Mo. 

KAIT-TV reports company officials said they will continue work on the 3rd primary pot line until March 2016, then operations will be reduced.  Noranda said work could restart if business conditions improve. 

A-State Spring Enrollment Highest in 4 Years

Feb 5, 2016

  Spring semester enrollment at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro is the highest since 2012. 

A-State officials reported 13,082 students enrolled for the spring semester this year, which were 540 more students than in the Spring 2015 semester.  

Chancellor Tim Hudson said relocating “resources from administration to student success” and investments in software to help struggling students contributed to the 4.3% increase in students. 

Graduate student and online enrollment also saw an increase. 

Independence Co Group Addresses Wet/Dry Issue

Feb 4, 2016

Randolph County is not the only county in the KASU listening area with a group working to allow alcohol sales. 

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin released a statement Wednesday concerning citizens petitioning for a special election to repeal the property maintenance code. 

Perrin said he heard complaints of people harassing others to sign the petition.  He called for people to be “respectful of private property and restrictions upon certain public property, such as not blocking entrances.”  He also encouraged those being harassed to call the police. 

Arkansas State Head Football Coach Blake Anderson has announced 27 players who have signed to play football for the Red Wolves.  The class consists of 15 high school players, nine junior transfers, and three F-B-S transfers. Coach Anderson told the media today that he was pleased with the class:

Arkansas’s Congressional Delegation is asking President Barack Obama to approve a request for 39 counties to be declared as federal disaster areas.  The request has been made after severe storms and heavy rain caused severe flooding and tornadoes, which destroyed hundreds of homes and killed three people.  The severe weather occurred from December 23rd through January 23rd.  The counties were declared state disaster areas by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.  The counties in our listening area include Clay, Greene, Jackson, Independence, Izard, Lawrence, Mississippi, Randolph, Stone, and W

City of Jonesboro

The Jonesboro City Council is considering to adopt a stretch of road on the bankrupt Old Fairgrounds to help pay off debt. 

KAIT-TV reports  Rick Ramsey,  Lawyer from Little Rock and fairground liquidated agent, told the council Tuesday an entity was interested in purchasing lot 7 on the fairground, however the contract stipulates the city to accept the road. 

The Arkansas Rice Federation is holding its annual rice meeting Friday at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center.  Spokeswoman Lauren Waldrip says breakout sessions will take place on several topics:

Lauren Waldrip.  Congressman Rick Crawford and Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward will speak during the event.  More details can be found here

Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas has received a 25-hundred-dollar grant from the Burlington-Northern/Santa Fe Railway Foundation.  The money will go the Backpack Program, which helps provide food for hungry children on the weekends and school holidays.  Development Director Vicky Pillow tells KASU news almost 800 children in Northeast Arkansas benefit from the program.  She tells why it is needed:

Vicky Pillow.  27% of the people served through the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas is under 18.  She says Arkansas is near the bottom in nation when it comes to food security. 

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University’s Lecture-Concert Series continues tomorrow with the annual Greenfield Lecture.  The speaker will be Dr. Michael Honey from the University of Washington-Tacoma.  Honey will present “Sharecropper’s Troubadour: John Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmer’s Union, and the African-American Song Tradition.”  Dr. Honey conducted oral histories with the late John Handcox, who spent part of his young life as a sharecropper in Arkansas.  Dr. Honey tells why Handcox’s poems and songs from the 1930’s are still relevant today:

A special election, railroads, and the Miracle League ballpark were the main topics discussed during last night’s Jonesboro City Council meeting.  As expected, the Jonesboro City Council approved a special election to fill a vacant seat of former Alderman Tim McCall.  McCall resigned his seat last month, which opens up Ward 6, Position 1.  The special election will occur May 10th and the filing deadline for candidates will be March 11th.  In other news, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he will be meeting with highway and railroad officials about future work later this year.  Work to upgr

Group Seeks to Make Randolph Co Wet County

Feb 3, 2016

The “Keep Revenue in Randolph County” committee is working to put a measure on the November ballot to allow alcohol sales in the county.   Committee chair Linda Bowlin told the Jonesboro Sun the primary reason is to keep tax revenue in the county. 

To get the measure on the ballot, the group must collect about 4,000 signatures from registered voters by July.  Bowlin said if the measure gets on the November ballot, it will be the first time Randolph County residents voted on it since the 1950’s.

The Jonesboro City Council will consider a proposal to hold a special election to fill the vacancy for former alderman Tim McCall’s seat.  McCall resigned last month because he moved out of his ward, which is Ward 6 Position 1.  During last week’s Nominating and Rules Committee meeting, members suggested a special election be held May 10th.   If it is approved tonight, those who want to run for the seat can file by March 11th and candidate draws will take place March 15th.  The cost for a special election would be 20-thousand dollars.  The unexpired term will end December 31st, 2018.  

AState Carl R. Reng Center Student Union
Arkansas State University Jonesboro Website (

 Arkansas State University’s Carl R. Reng Student Union is ranked as one of the most phenomenal student unions and campus centers in America. 

According to a poll from EDsmart, A-State’s Reng Center was one of 2 student unions in Arkansas to be recognized. Arkansas Union at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville was the only other Arkansas campus to make the top 51. 

  Farm Bill regulations, women in agriculture, and conservation are some of the topics to be discussed at the 2016 Arkansas Rice Meeting Friday.  KAIT-TV reports Congressman Rick Crawford and Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward will be speaking at the annual conference.  Arkansas is the highest ranking rice producing state accounting for more than 50% of the US’s rice production in 2014.  The meeting will be held at the Arkansas State University Con

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed recently that an Arkansan has contracted the Zika Virus--a mosquito-born virus found in the Caribbean, South and Central America. 

NPR reports 31 cases of Zika infections have been reported in the US so far and World Health Organization officials believe the virus could be responsible for the recent increase of the birth defect microcephaly in pregnant women in Brazil. 

The annual agri-business conference takes place next Wednesday at Arkansas State University.  Registration and morning sessions take place at the Fowler Center.  Lunch and the afternoon sessions will occur in the Convocation Center.  Dr. Burt Greenwalt is professor of agricultural economics in the College of Agriculture and Technology.  Greenwalt tells about some of the challenges that will be addressed during the conference:

Today is the deadline for first-time Arkansas voters to register to vote in the March first primary election.  Voters can register at county clerks’ offices across the state.  Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday tells KASU news there is an excitement about the primary being moved up this year.  He also has been using that point as an education tool to remind voters about the date change this year:

Previously, the primary had been held in May, and some voters felt like things had been decided.  Holliday says that won’t be the case this year: