Future of Jonesboro Skate Park Still Up in the Air - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Melissa Simas reports

Future of Jonesboro Skate Park Still Up in the Air

September 24, 2004 --Posted 4:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- A month since its destruction resulting in $5,000 dollars damage, the Jonesboro Skate Park remains open, but run down.

"There are still some features of the skate park that kids can still use," said Parks and Recreation Department Director Jason Wilkie. "The Mayor has said let's just wait and see what happens with the criminal case."

The city may be waiting a while longer. The man police say is responsible for the destruction, Chris Baugh, was to appear in circuit court on Friday, but his attorney informed us there's been a delay on the part of Prosecuting Attorney Brent Davis.

"As a result of the conversations I continue to have with Mr. Davis, in an effort to work through all these matters, charges have yet to be filed," said Baugh's attorney Paul Ford.

Prosecuting Attorney Brent Davis says he has many options to choose from: there's a felony charge to something lesser with a possible larger pay out.

"There's some factors involved in this in terms of how this matter can be resolved that might be worth to the benefit of the kids that we want to explore," said Davis.

Davis says that possibility is giving Baugh a lesser charge with a larger fine. He says that could result in a better skate park for the kids. Davis says he's also heard numerous comments from some Main Street businesses who would like to see a new skate, but in a different location.

Then there's the issue of what some say could be Baugh's possible financial influence over this decision.

"It probably makes us less inclined to do anything lenient because he has money, which shouldn't play into it one way or the other," said Davis.

As for the Parks and Recreation Department, they're confident there will be a new skate park, even if it is in a different location.

"I don't think we're bowing or compromising for their needs and wishes, I think there's a win-win situation here," said Wilkie.

A win-win for all, but what about Chris Baugh? If he were charged with a felony and later convicted he wouldn't be allowed to continue running his business as a securities broker.

The Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Department has been receiving community donations for the renovation of the skate park. If you're interested in helping out, you can make your donation payable to them.

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