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Johnathan Reaves

News Director/Morning Edition host

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A diagram of the first floor of the Red Wolf Convention Center on Arkansas State University's Jonesboro campus.
Arkansas State University

Work will start soon on a convention center in Jonesboro.  

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin told the Jonesboro City Council last night that construction work on a hotel and convention center on the campus of Arkansas State University will start in February.  The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission has received paperwork that included information about when construction will start and when it is expected to be complete. 

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is holding a public involvement meeting for two traffic projects in Jonesboro. 

The Highway Department is looking at widening Harrisburg Road from Forrest Hill Road to Parker Road.  Another project would be proposed improvements at the intersection of Highway 49 at Parker Road. 

The meeting will be a come and go style format on Thursday from four until seven at the Jonesboro Municipal Building, 300 South Church Street in Jonesboro. 

The Jonesboro Christmas Parade on Main Street will start at 7 on Thursday night. 

Arkansas State University

This release from the Arkansas State University Department of Athletics:  

The Arkansas State Athletics Department announced Sunday that the Red Wolves have accepted an official invitation to play in the 2017 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. (CT) in an ESPN-televised contest against Conference USA member Middle Tennessee.

The A-State football team is set to make its seventh consecutive and 15th all-time bowl-game appearance, although they will compete in the Camellia Bowl at the historic Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., for the first time.

Brandon Tabor, KASU news

Expect traffic delays starting Tuesday, December 5th if you travel on Highway 49 from East Johnson Avenue to NEA Baptist hospital.  

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says asphalt and milling work will occur for up to three weeks on that stretch of highway.  All four lanes will be worked on, one lane at a time.  Crews say the work will take place on Mondays through Saturdays from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm until the project is complete.  

Jackson County Sheriff's Department Facebook Page

Arkansas State University-Newport’s Criminal Justice Department is dedicated to a fallen Newport officer. 

The department has been named after the late Lt. Patrick Weatherford, calling it the "Lt. Patrick Weatherford Criminal Justice Department."  Weatherford was killed in the line of duty in June while assisting another officer during a traffic stop.   

The Finance Committee of the Craighead County Quorum Court is holding budget meetings about next year’s budget.  Yesterday, the third such meeting was held, as the heads of each department presented their requests for funding next year.  While final numbers for the budget are days away, Craighead County Treasurer Terry McNatt tells KASU news the budget will be very tight, with no wiggle room to work.

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Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says the key to Jonesboro’s success in the future lies in how it can attract more people to not only come to the city, but decide to stay.  Perrin says some of next year’s budget has specific items that will address quality of life issues, such as this example from the city’s Parks and Recreation budget.

“We had four tournaments that were rained out this year and that means that $70,000 in sales tax revenue has been lost because we couldn’t hold those tournaments,” says Perrin.  “That is important because it is a quality of life issue.”

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A free community Thanksgiving meal will be offered in Jonesboro on Thursday.  About two-thousand meals are expected to be served at the St. Bernard’s Auditorium, as well as being delivered to those who may not be able to get out of their homes.  Richard Carvell tells why this meal is important.

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The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission has decided to give its support for helping fund a hotel and convention center in Jonesboro.  The Commission on Friday decided that it would provide tax rebates for the O’Reilly Hospitality Management’s project to place a 202-bed Embassy Suites Hotel, a Houlihan’s Restaurant and a 40,000-square foot convention center on the campus of Arkansas State University.  The commission’s decision does not give money to the project up front, but it will give a three-percent A&P tax rebate over a ten-year period once the project is up and running

Lanes on Monette Bypass to Open on Highway 18

Nov 17, 2017
Brandon Tabor, KASU news

More than three miles of newly constructed lanes on the Monette Bypass (State Highway 18) in Craighead County will be opened to traffic, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) officials.

Weather permitting, the completed four-lane section will be open to traffic on Monday, November 20, allowing motorists to travel around Monette on the new bypass. Drivers will have to utilize State Highway 139 to travel in and out of Monette until the east and west connectors are constructed, which is expected to take 2 to 4 weeks.

Jonesboro Police Department

First responders in northeast Arkansas are to receive training in life-saving medical techniques.  A 142-thousand dollar grant from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Blue and You Foundation will train over 600 law enforcement officers and firefighters in how to save lives with the use of advanced first aid kits and tourniquets.  Dr. Spencer Guinn has advocated for tourniquets to be in the hands of all first responders in the state, as well as citizens.  He tells why this would be important for citizens to be equipped, especially while traveling on highways:

Mike Wintroath / Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

The 60-day duck season starts this weekend in Arkansas.  The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service are predicting a record number of ducks to come into Arkansas.  Trey Reid is Assistant Chief of Communications with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  He says a record 50-million ducks are expected to come south for the winter. Reid says that has followed a trend over the past several years.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Monday night was the first Craighead County Quorum Court meeting without a longtime Justice of the Peace.  

Jim Bryant passed away recently after an illness.  He represented District 3.  Bryant served on the Quorum Court for 27 years.  Craighead County Judge Ed Hill said it was hard being at the meeting last night without Bryant.  Hill told what he remembered most about how Bryant served on the Quorum Court.

A-State Men’s Basketball Announces 2018-19 Early Signees

Nov 8, 2017
Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Press release from Arkansas State University.  

Arkansas State head coach Mike Balado announced today that three prospective student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball for the Red Wolves.

Forward Malik Brevard (Sanford, N.C.), guard Larry McLeod (Charlotte, N.C.) and guard Kobe Wilson (Humble, Texas) each signed NLI’s to join the Red Wolves’ program for the 2018-19 season.

Malik Brevard | F | 6-7 | 210 | Charlotte, N.C. | Palm Beach State College

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

On Friday, ASU-Newport’s Marked Tree campus turns 50 years old.  A celebration takes place Friday afternoon on site from one to five.  Director of Marketing and Communications at ASU-Newport Jeremy Shirley tells about how the Marked Tree campus got started.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Officials at Nucor Steel in Hickman made a major announcement during their 25th anniversary celebration near Blytheville Thursday. 

A 230-million dollar expansion means 100 more jobs are coming to Nucor Steel.  Vice President and General Manager MaryEmily Slate says the new mill is the first of its kind.

“This is the first mill in America that will take deeper reductions on higher strength steels so we can make stronger and lighter steels for many customers, including those in the automotive industry,” says Slate.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Jonesboro Unlimited announced that Hefei Risever Machinery Company is coming to Jonesboro.  The new manufacturing plant will be built in the Craighead Technology Park on East Highland Drive in Jonesboro.  Risever is a family-owned Chinese company that has three plants in China.  This announcement means it will be Risever’s first American plant.  General Manager of Risever Yonggang Lai says Jonesboro was chosen after more than 70 other cities were considered.

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State officials are traveling across the state visiting sites where crisis stabilization units are to be located.  

Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd was not at the Monday meeting of the Craighead County Quorum Court, but County Judge Ed Hill told the public the county is looking at other options while a permanent building could be built.  Hill says officials will look at several potential pieces of property where existing buildings could be leased to the county to act as a temporary crisis stabilization unit until a permanent building is constructed. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd is expected to provide an update on how much it might cost to build a facility to house a regional crisis stabilization center when he addresses the Craighead County Quorum Court tonight. 

The county was one of four counties in the state to receive a one-point-six million dollar grant from the state to house a center.  A total of five million dollars was released for the project by Governor Asa Hutchinson. 

Convocation Center to be named First National Bank Arena

Oct 19, 2017
Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

This release from Arkansas State University's Athletic Department: 

JONESBORO, Ark. (10/19/17) – In recognition of a $5 million contribution by First National Bank to the Red Wolves Foundation, the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees voted Thursday to rename A-State’s multi-purpose facility currently known as the Convocation Center to “First National Bank Arena.”

Hispanic Community Services Incorporated

The new Hispanic Community Services Incorporated center is now open.  The 5,500 square foot facility is located at the intersection of Cate and Vandyne Streets in Jonesboro.  Executive Director of Hispanic Community Services Inc.

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Elected officials in Jonesboro will NOT receive a pay raise at this time.

The Jonesboro City Council amended an ordinance last night that called for six-percent pay raises for elected officials in Jonesboro.  The original ordinance called for all elected officials to receive a raise, but alderman made the change that took the city council out of consideration.  They then voted on whether or not Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin, City Attorney Carol Duncan, and City Clerk Donna Jackson would receive a six percent raise.  That was voted down 10 to one. 

Arkansas Science Festival

The fourth annual Arkansas Science Festival takes place October 19-21.  Modeled after science festivals that take place in other states, this year’s festival was put together by educators at Arkansas State University, with assistance through the Science Festival Alliance.  Dr. Amy Pearce is professor of psychology at Arkansas State University and is director of the Arkansas Science Festival.  She tells how this got started.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The Johnny Cash Heritage Festival in Dyess takes place Thursday through Saturday, October 19-21.  In this interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with the Director of the Arkansas State University Heritage Sites Dr. Ruth Hawkins to learn why this year's celebration of Johnny Cash turned from just a music festival to more of a symposium/music festival.  Click on the Listen button to hear more.  

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd says he was extremely disappointed that a homeless ministry decided not to accept a donation for a former nursing home to be used jointly by the ministries and the state as a site of a new crisis stabilization center.  Boyd tells the Craighead County Quorum Court that he is back to square one on how to bring the center to Jonesboro.

"There really is no 'Plan B' when it comes to this," says Boyd.  "We are looking at building a facility near the current county jail, but we don't know how much that will cost."

Wikipedia.org

In this interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with 1st District Congressman Rick  Crawford about flood prevention in Arkansas, the latest proposal from President Trump on DACA, and tax reform.  Click on the Listen button to hear the entire interview. 

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The Jonesboro City Council is expected to decide at the next meeting on whether or not to give elected officials a six percent raise.  More debate on the issue ensued during the meeting last night, with most aldermen against giving themselves, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin, City Attorney Carol Duncan, and City Clerk Donna Jackson a pay increase.  Alderman Joe Hafner says after reviewing a draft of next year’s budget, he doesn’t think raises are appropriate.

The seal for the Delta Regional Authority courtesy of Wikipedia
Wikipedia

This press release from the Delta Regional Authority. 

  LITTLE ROCK, AR.  – The Delta Regional Authority and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, together with their federal and local-based partners, today announced $2.8 million in new DRA investments to strengthen Arkansas’s infrastructure, workforce, and economy. DRA’s investments will support public and private partnerships and bring a total of $28.5 million in new investments to Arkansas. 

National Night Out

In this interview on KASU, Dr. Charles Colemam and KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talk about the National Night Out that takes place on Fisher Street in Jonesboro.  Dr. Coleman talks about why this is held and the need for communities to come together.  

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