Top 8 Stories In Region 8 In 2006

December 29, 2006 -- Posted at 3:15 P.M.

JONESBORO -- Mother Nature made her presence felt early in 2006 as April tornadoes terrorized Marmaduke, Caruthersville, and numerous other cities.

Many were left homeless and battered by the storms.

Clean up is ongoing as the cities continues to recover.

In September, the raging Spring River waters flooded the banks and many homes and businesses in the path.

The rising waters even killed one man and stranded numerous others.

Many said the flooding in September rivaled the devastating flood of 1982.

It was an accident that looked like a scene from an action movie.

A car plows through the Hardee's in Newport killing 2 and injuring 5 more.

The two that died were school teachers at Newport.

Gary Nicholson Jr. was charged in the accident.

Among the charges, 2 counts of manslaughter and 4 counts of 2nd degree battery.

The no smoking ban in restaurants went into effect earlier in the year.

It was a change with mixed reactions, but there are exeptions like The Milky Way restaurant in Jonesboro.

You can smoke inside, but you have to be 21 or older to get through the doors.

Many Northeast Arkansas politicians were victorious on the campaign trail during the November elections.

Jonesboro native Dustin McDaniel who was elected attorney general.

Amagon native and former attorney general Mike Beebe was elected governor of Arkansas.

2006 was a year for economic boom in Jonesboro and all of Craighead county.

The Mall at Turtle Creek opened in late March.

It was a welcome addition to the community and the economy.

Thousands flocked to Dillards, Target, and numerous other retail giants.

Not only are the people coming, so are millions of consumer dollars and hundreds of new jobs.

Speaking of new jobs, an estimated 400 new jobs are coming to Jonesboro with the announcement that Alberto Culver will set up shop in Jonesboro.

Finally, from Operation Freedom Furlough to the day the soldiers from the 875th left for their   deployment in Iraq, Region 8 residents showed an outpouring of support for the brave men and women in the fight for freedom overseas.