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Jonesboro City Council hears progress on Red Wolves Convention Ceneter, JPD body camera grants

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 202-bed Embassy Suites hotel, a Houlihan’s Restaurant and a 40,000 square foot convention center is slated to be open by April of 2019.  The Jonesboro A&P Commission will not give the project any money up front, but it is giving the project a three-percent tax rebate over a ten year period once the project is up and running.  It will be capped at $2.5 million dollars or ten years, whichever comes first. 

In other news, the Jonesboro Police Department has body cameras on every officer…that through a one year trial period through TASER. 

Mayor Perrin says he will be seeking grants to continue to fund the body cameras after the trial expires.  And the city has received a $98,000 grant from the Arkansas Parks and Tourism for continuing work at Craighead Forest Park.  

Editors note:  Arkansas State University is the license holder for KASU.

Johnathan Reaves is the News Director for KASU Public Radio. As part of an Air Force Family, he moved to Arkansas from Minot, North Dakota in 1986. He was first bitten by the radio bug after he graduated from Gosnell High School in 1992. While working on his undergraduate degree, he worked at KOSE, a small 1,000 watt AM commercial station in Osceola, Arkansas. Upon graduation from Arkansas State University in 1996 with a degree in Radio-Television Broadcast News, he decided that he wanted to stay in radio news. He moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas and worked for East Arkansas Broadcasters as news director and was there for 16 years.