The Clinton School Team will be preparing a report on the pros and cons of the City of Newport accepting the Blue Bridge from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department and possible adaptive reuses of the bridge should the City decide to accept the bridge. They will look into best practices of other communities as well as the issues relating specifically to Newport. The end result will be a report to the Newport City Council next spring about their research and findings. The team consists of the following members: Frederick Holcomb from Little Rock, Arkansas holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane; Abby R. Oliver from Hattiesburg, Mississippi obtained a B.A. in Public Policy Leadership from The University of Mississippi; and James Stephens from St. Louis, Missouri earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Lindenwood University. They will be working on the project with a local steering committee and seeking public input as to the future of the Blue Bridge.
Mayor David Stewart has appointed a committee to work with the Clinton School Practicum Team on the Blue Bridge Project. The committee represents parties who have an interest in the Blue Bridge and the process of its possible reuse. Members of the Committee include: Julie Allen, Executive Director of the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce; Mark Ballard, Superintendent of Jacksonport State Park; Jon Chadwell, Executive Director of the Newport Economic Development Commission; Jeff Phillips, Jackson County Judge; Martha Shoffner, Treasurer of the State of Arkansas; David Stewart, Mayor of Newport and Elizabeth Watson, President of the Jackson County Historical Society.
The partnership between the City of Newport and the Clinton School of Public Service spans four years and has been a very important part of the development of Newport and Jackson County.