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County Judge Marvin Day gives a 'State of the County' at the Lions Club

Rebecca Robinson
County Judge Marvin Day speaking at the Jonesboro University Heights Lions Club.

Craighead County Judge Marvin Day met with the Jonesboro University Heights Lions Club to give a “State of the County” on Tuesday.

At the Eggcellent Café, Day spoke to the group about grants, criminal justice, and the ongoing $14.3 million dollar courthouse expansion. He said he’s been giving more and more of these talks and is thankful for the opportunity.

“It’s a three-story building, the third floor is just shelled at this time. The bottom two floors are steel frame buildings and will be jury-sized courtrooms. Adjacent to it we got some FEMA money for a safe room. That will be open to the community,” Day said.

Day said the safe room is affordable and could also double as a courtroom. He said the county was excited about that project. The last time a courtroom was added was in 1991 when the annex was built.

“We’ve been very diligent in getting historic courthouse grants. It’s not big numbers but it can add up. We got a grant in 2020 to do a master plan. They look at the courthouse and say here's what we need to work on to preserve.” Day said. “I’ll be honest, I've had many comments about how shabby the courthouse is. So we’re thankful.”

Another grant the county received this year was to replace the doors and windows on the building. Day said the main entrance of the courthouse is mostly what you would see at commercial buildings because the original wooden doors have been replaced.

The courthouse is going to go back to its original doors, like those on the north and south sides of the courthouse. “We’re taking care of our business,” Day said.

Judge Day also mentioned during the meeting that he met with Dr. Kim Willbanks, Jonesboro School District Superintendent, back in Sept. to discuss an issue. Together they met with Superintendent Dr. Karen Curtner from Nettleton, Police Chief Rick Elliot and law enforcement to discuss the issues with behaviors in schools. Day said he found out that since the juvenile jail was full the school system was “suffering” because of it.

“You know when you think of a classroom of kids and one that’s trouble. Then you have three or four that are just on the edge and can be influenced by bad people. Then you have 20 good kids,” Day said. “If you don’t have a way to deal with that one kid it takes opportunity for everybody else.”

Day said they found out they were understaffed and had empty beds but that they couldn't use them. In the budget this year the county added four juvenile jailers.

He also said they have added tools to the road department to do pavement management. Day said a group drives on the county' . The video analyzes potholes and cracks in the road. Over time It can also track if it’s gotten worse.

Day also spoke about the Transportation Alternatives Program grants. The county is partnering with Clay County in Missouri down to Phillips County to do a gravel road bike trail.

“We’re still in the design development part but we are creating an app. You can go on there and it will show various sections and where there are parking areas. We’ll also have a spot where you can stop and rest, charge your phone, and fill up water.”

Day said this is something that they want to attract young people to the community as well as tourism.

The JUH Lions Club meets bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 a.m. at the Eggcellent Cafe. At the next meeting, the club will hear about the Sportsplex development. The meetings are open to the public.

A 2019 graduate of Sheridan High School, Robinson graduated from A-State with a degree in multimedia journalism in December 2023. In January 2021, while working toward her degree, she was named sports editor for The Herald, A-State’s student-run newspaper.