KASU

Johnathan Reaves

News Director/Morning Edition host

Ways to Connect

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Next July, Jonesboro is expected to have a hotel and convention center open.  It will be on the campus of Arkansas State University.  Jonesboro is very similar to Springfield, Missouri.  Comparisons were made between the two cities during last week’s groundbreaking ceremony.  Tim O’Reilly is with O’Reilly Hospitality Management, which is making the project possible.  O’Reilly says this project is a big deal for Jonesboro because of the economic impacts that will open up to the city that have not been in Jonesboro before.  He uses Springfield as an example.

Wikipedia.org

A vacancy on the Craighead County Quorum Court has been declared.  

Monday night, the Quorum Court officially declared District 1 on the court as vacant.  This position had been held by Ken Stacks.  Stacks announced his resignation from the court last month after missing many months of meetings due to an extended illness. 

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Gas prices are between 40 to 50-cents higher this year than they were last year.  With record numbers of drivers expected to be on the road for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, high demand could make the price at the pump higher.  Mike Right is the Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Automobile Association. He tells what is causing the gas prices to go higher.  

Talk Business & Politics

FedEx is hiring almost 50 people in a new venture in Jonesboro.  A building is being constructed at 2005 East Nettleton Avenue in Jonesboro.  Once complete, the operations of FedEx Trade Networks will be housed there.  FedEx Communication Advisor Trisha Beeman.

“It will be dedicated to our import clearance operations.  Responsibilities vary and may include data entry, classification, documentation, customer service and other office-related tasks.” 

Beeman says this will be the first FedEx Trade Networks facility in Jonesboro. 

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Health professionals are scrambling in Kennett, Missouri to provide services for residents after the recent announcement of the closing of the city’s medical center.  

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In this Congressional Interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with U.S. Representative Rick Crawford about the latest on the 2018 Farm Bill, including the new work requirements that are proposed with the new bill and the challenges the bill faces before passage.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The first African-American class in the United States to fully integrate into an all-white school was in Hoxie, Arkansas.  Two years before the Little Rock Nine entered Little Rock Central High School, 21 students left a colored school in Hoxie and went to the Hoxie Schools.  That happened July 11th, 1955…one year and two months after the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education that declared segregation was unconstitutional.  The school board, led by Superintendent K.E.

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A member of the Craighead County Quorum Court is resigning.  

Ken Stacks’ last meeting he attended at the Craighead County Quorum Court was in June.  For the past nine-months, Stacks has missed meetings due to a lengthy illness. 

His absences have been the subject of recent discussions on the court on how to handle the situation.  At the Monday meeting, Craighead County Judge Ed Hill held up a letter of resignation from Stacks that will be effective April 30th. 

Wikipedia.org

In this interview with KASU news director Johnathan Reaves, U.S. Representative Rick Crawford talks about the latest in the Syrian crisis and what impacts a possible trade war with China could have on Arkansas agriculture and the steel industry.  Click on the Listen button to hear the entire interview.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The two candidates for Craighead County judge debated Wednesday on several topics, such as how to address problems with the county’s budget, top priorities, and a crisis stabilization unit.  Marvin Day and Jeff Presley are both Republican candidates that will face off in the May 22nd primary.

Jonesboro is marking a grim anniversary March 24 — 20 years ago two children shot and killed five people outside Westside Middle School. 

The shootings occurred 13 months before the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado  that is often called the seminal tragedy in a subcategory of mass shootings that take place at America's schools. 

Most recently, 17 students and teachers died at the hands of a gunman inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14.

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Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has formed a committee to look at ways to improve security for teachers and students at public schools across the state.  The Arkansas School Safety Commission has been formed.  It consists of 11 members that will look at several issues that can make up for a lack of armed resource officers in smaller schools. The first report will be due July first.  Dr. Cheryl May is the director and will chair the commission.

“We very much look forward to be able to provide recommendations that will have a true impact on our schools,” said May.

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The Jonesboro City Council took its first look at a new sidewalk ordinance Tuesday night.   Alderman Joe Haffner says the new ordinance that he supports would require that all future development in Jonesboro have sidewalks.  

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Construction work to improve bridge decks on a portion of Interstate 555 is expected to take five months.  

The Arkansas Department of Transportation is placing barrier walls, traffic barrels, and signage along the interstate between Marked Tree and Payneway.  Lane closures are expected for the duration of the project, as well as a reduction of wide loads to 12 feet.  This will affect both northbound and southbound lanes.  The bridges are located along the Sunken Lands, which is between Payneway and Marked Tree. 

U.S. Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR)
Talk Business & Politics

In this interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves discusses the federal school safety commission that President Trump wants set up. He also talks about gun laws and keeping schools safe.  Click on the Listen button to hear the entire interview.  

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Bridge work along a two-mile stretch of I-555 in Poinsett County will continue for quite a while.  

In this interview with KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves, Senator John Boozman talks about what he thinks should be done concerning gun control and school safety.  Click on the Listen button to hear the entire interview.  

The mid-term elections are rapidly approaching.  The filing period for candidates is underway and Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday expects 2018 to be an active election year.

“We have a gubernatorial race, as well as a gubernatorial primary, on the Republican side,” said Holliday.  “There will also be a contested race in the U.S. District 1 race, as well as several state offices that will be contested.  I think there will be a lot of engagement this year.”

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The City of Jonesboro is taking citizens’ comments and putting together a pedestrian and bike plan to be developed in several stages in the future. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Officials with the City of Jonesboro joined state and federal dignitaries to cut the ribbon on a new park trail at Craighead Forest Park.  

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The City of Jonesboro has new zoning laws for future development of residential property. 

Big River Steel

This is a press release issued today:

Chicago, Illinois-February 15, 2018- Union Partners announced plans today to build a new steel processing facility on the Osceola, Arkansas campus of Big River Steel. The operations will be located directly adjacent to Big River’s Flex Mill™ and will include both slitting and multi-blanking lines in a new build-to-suit facility expandable to 258,000 square feet.  Construction will be on an accelerated schedule with a formal ground breaking in the first quarter of 2018. 

City of Jonesboro

This release from the city of Jonesboro:

Wixson Huffstetler has announced his resignation after eight years with the City of Jonesboro and five as director of Parks and Recreation.

Huffstetler, 36, cited personal reasons for the move.

“I am resigning my position to explore other opportunities,” Huffstetler said. “I have enjoyed the last eight years building the parks department to what it is today.”

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Stop the bleeding kits are now at Jonesboro and Nettleton Schools.  School nurses from each district participated in eight-hour training sessions to get the life-saving kits.  The nurses can teach others at the district how to use the kits, which will be placed near defibrillators at every school.  Dr. Spencer Guinn leads the Stop the Bleeding Foundation in Jonesboro. 

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In this interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with U.S. Republican Representative Rick Crawford about federal spending.  He talks about the release of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan from the White House, and the recently passed two-year spending plan signed by President Trump.  Listen to the entire interview by clicking on the Listen button.  

Chairman of Jonesboro Unlimited Chris Barber.
Johnathan Reeves / KASU News

Over 1,200 new jobs come to Jonesboro last year.  Officials with Jonesboro Unlimited made that announcement Thursday.  Jonesboro Unlimited was created after a three-point-six million dollar fundraising campaign to attract new industry and jobs to Jonesboro.  2017 was the first year and an update on the effort was presented.  Chairman of Jonesboro Unlimited Chris Barber.

https://www.jaredforarkansas.com/

In this interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with Jared Henderson.  Henderson tells about his priroties for the state and what he would do in his first 100 days in office, if he wins.   Click on the Listen button to hear the entire interview.  

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Two programs in Mississippi County are designed to bring more jobs to Northeast Arkansas.  Governor Asa Hutchinson went Blytheville Wednesday for the announcements, which center around the county’s growing steel industry. 

Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse (left) speaking with Arkansas Lt. Governor Tim Griffin (right) in the Beck PRIDE Center for wounded veterans.
Cynthia Barnhill / KASU Photojournalim-Graphics Designer Intern

Helping veterans readjust to life after service.  On Thursday, Arkansas Lt. Governor Tim Griffin visited a resource for veterans on the Arkansas State University campus.  

The Beck PRIDE Center provides programs and services for wounded combat veterans.  Rehabilitation, social re-integration, and educational preparation take place at the center.  Griffin, who is a veteran himself, praised the center.  He said a lot of colleges and universities across the nation are not as friendly to veterans.

This is a press release from Marvin Day:

Jonesboro – Marvin Day of Jonesboro has announced that he is running for Craighead County Judge in the upcoming May 22 Republican primary.

Day, a graduate of Jonesboro High School received a civil engineering degree from the University of Arkansas and is employed as a senior engineer at City Water and Light.  He has previously worked in the highway and heavy construction business and was a co-founder of Asphalt Producers, LLC.

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