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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas panel has approved a rule that would allow it to hire an outside consultant to help review and score hundreds of applications the state has received from businesses that want to sell medical marijuana.

Dr. Joe Thompson, CEO of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and former Arkansas Surgeon General
Talk Business and Politics

Former Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Joe Thompson is still plenty active on a variety of healthcare topics.  He remains the CEO of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.  A recent Kentucky legal ruling has complicated that state’s work requirement for Medicaid expansion—a system that was similar to the federally approved Arkansas Works work requirement.  Talk Business’ Roby Brock sits with Thompson to discuss how the Kentucky ruling could impact Arkansas.


Downtown Jonesboro BBQ & Music Festival Plans Announced

Jul 13, 2018

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission’s Downtown Jonesboro BBQ and Music festival announced plans for their 10th annual event.  The Festival will include two nights of music this year with FUEL performing Friday night September 28th and SmashMouth performing Saturday September 29th on the Ritter Communications Stage.

John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist
Talk Business and Politics

Constitutional changes, including term limits and tort reform, are likely to be on the November ballot for Arkansas voters.  Could corruption in the state legislature be a factor in either of those two issues this Fall?  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Columnist John Brummett and Talk Business’ Roby Brock ponder that possibility.


The aquatics center in Batesville is one of the largest in the state, and cost about $25 million to build. It was funded by a voter-approved 1% sales tax increase.
Talk Business and Politics

The city of Jonesboro has experienced impressive economic and population growth during the past decade, and quality of life has become a focus for civic leaders interested in maintaining the momentum. One idea in that effort is an aquatic center.

Arkansas issues 5 medical marijuana cultivation licenses

Jul 11, 2018
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission announcing the first 5 applicants to receive a cultivation facility license to grow medical marijuana.
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' Medical Marijuana Commission has awarded licenses to five cultivation companies after an injunction against issuing the licenses was lifted Tuesday.

When Melissa Combs thinks about the days after residents in the southeast Missouri town of Kennett learned they were going to lose their hospital, she remembers the reaction of the community.

“Devastation, lots of sleepless nights, the entire community was wrecked.”

O'Reilly Hospitality Management

Embassy Suites and Red Wolf Convention Center in Jonesboro Announces Director of Sales

The 203-Suite property is set to open on Arkansas State's Campus in 2019

Former VA pathologist denies being impaired on duty

Jul 10, 2018
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former pathologist denied he was impaired on duty amid an Arkansas Veterans Affairs hospital's investigation into more than 30,000 of his cases dating back to 2005.

Dr. Robert Morris Levy of Fayetteville told the Associated Press that the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks fired him as Chief of Pathology because of a DUI which was ultimately dismissed.

Keynote speaker Carly Posey addresses the crowd at the 14th annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference in North Little Rock.
Daniel Breen / KUAR

Law enforcement and education officials from around the state are gathering in North Little Rock to discuss best practices for improving school security.

The 14th annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference comes one week after the Arkansas School Safety Commission released its preliminary report on how to thwart and respond to threats of school violence.

Arkansas Department of Transportation officials and other dignitaries after the unveiling of a sign Monday dedicating part of U.S. 49 between Brinkley and Marvel as the Louis Jordan Memorial Highway.
Stephen Koch / Arkansongs

A pioneering musician from Brinkley is being posthumously honored by having part of U.S. 49 in eastern Arkansas dedicated as the Louis Jordan Memorial Highway. A ceremony was held Monday with officials from the Arkansas Department of Transportation and other dignitaries who came together to unveil a sign alongside the highway.

Entergy Arkansas President and CEO Laura Landreaux
Talk Business and Politics

Newly named Entergy Arkansas President and CEO Laura Landreaux has the background to run just about any division of the state’s largest energy utility and she plans to use that experience to guide her in her new role.

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Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism Travel Writer Kim Williams talks about the following events happening in Arkansas during the weekend of July 13!


Talk Business and Politics

After a recent United States Supreme Court ruling, the City of Jonesboro will be closely watching next year’s legislative session in Little Rock.  

John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist
Talk Business and Politics

In case you haven’t heard, there’s an opening that’s about to occur in the U.S. Supreme Court.  It’s rare when a vacancy exists, but Justice Anthony Kennedy said he plans to retire.  That leaves President Donald Trump with the task of selecting a new justice.  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist John Brummett and Talk Business’ Roby Brock discuss the politics of the situation.


Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on March 6, 2017, presenting his proposed changes to the state's Medicaid-expansion program, which included the addition of a work requirement.
MICHAEL HIBBLEN / KUAR NEWS

Unless there has been a rush of people this week who successfully logged on to a state website before a 9 p.m. deadline Thursday, thousands of Arkansas Works enrollees will be out of compliance with a newly enacted work requirement.

Exterior of the Arkansas State University Museum on the Jonesboro Campus
Brandon Tabor / KASU News

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University Museum’s newest exhibit, "Eat Well, Play Well," is now open and continues until Aug. 7.

Visitors at this highly interactive, hands-on exhibit will test their flexibility and balancing scores, make healthy eating and fitness choices on a computer, and peddle like mad as they work off calories of chosen, virtual snacks.

First Baptist Church in Pocahontas.  Some of the stone pillars on top of the bell tower fell through the roof of the church during a Sunday morning storm.
First Baptist Church of Pocahontas

Arkansas weather can be unpredictable at times.  From devastating floods and high-speed tornadoes to unpredictable snow storms and extreme heat.  Even a simple thunderstorm can have a disastrous outcome. That’s what one Northeast Arkansas church found out this summer.

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July is not just the month for Independence Day, Bar-B-Q, and fireworks.  It’s also the month of mosquito season in the Delta.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday extended a halt she had imposed on an Arkansas law that critics say would make the state the first in the nation to effectively ban abortion pills.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker granted a preliminary injunction preventing Arkansas from enforcing the law, which says doctors who provide the pills must hold a contract with a physician with admitting privileges at a hospital who agrees to handle any complications.

Medical Marijuana Commission to explore hiring consultant

Jul 3, 2018
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission announcing the first 5 applicants to receive a cultivation facility license to grow medical marijuana.
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission took the first step Monday toward hiring an independent consultant to review about 230 applications for dispensary licenses, a move intended to allay public concerns following allegations of impropriety during the cultivation licensing process.

Talk Business' Roby Brock (left) with Economist Mervin Jebaraj (right)
Talk Business and Politics

Economist Mervin Jebaraj discusses tariffs, trade, deficit growth and personal income data.


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Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism Travel Writer Kim Williams talks about the following events happening in Arkansas during the weekend of July 6!

Endangered Wolf Center

Later this month, Arkansas State University will host the national organization that manages efforts to increase the population of red wolves.  The Red Wolf Species Survival Plan will hold a conference at the ASU System Office in Little Rock July 23rd through the 25th.   This is designed to talk about how to protect and breed red wolves that are in captivity.  ASU System Vice President for Strategic Communications and Economic Development Jeff Hankins says the situation is dire.

Big River Steel

(Osceola, Arkansas) – Big River Steel announced today that it is expanding its LEED-certified, Arkansas-based scrap recycling and steel production facility. The expansion will double Big River Steel’s hot-rolled steel production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually. In addition, the expansion will facilitate the company’s ability to produce even higher grades of electrical steel, demand for which is expected to increase with continued focus on energy efficiency and the increase in hybrid and electric vehicle sales. 

 

Oregon State wins College World Series, beating Arkansas 5-0

Jun 29, 2018
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Arkansas missed a chance to win the College World Series when a foul pop dropped between three infielders. Oregon State made the Razorbacks pay for it behind one of the best pitching performances in a title game.

Downtown Jonesboro
City of Jonesboro

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission has collected over $31,000 through the first six months of the year, which is about $10,000 short from this time in 2017. 

“I feel like the biggest contributor to that was in May, we had a lot of wet weather,” Commissioner Jerry Morgan said at the A & P Commission meeting Thursday.  Morgan explained that the rain interfered with construction projects which had an impact on the number of full hotel rooms throughout the week. 

Arkansas State Capitol
Wikipedia.org

The freshly minted Select Committee on Senate Ethics held its first meeting Thursday and elected its leadership. The Senate last week approved rule changes creating the committee to hear and investigate claims of corruption. Its formation comes on the heels of federal investigations that have led to five former lawmakers being convicted.

AHPP Awards Grant For Jonesboro Main Street Program

Jun 28, 2018
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

       LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, has awarded $2,963,781 in grants for projects in 58 Arkansas counties—including Craighead County—through its County Courthouse Restoration Grant, Historic Preservation Restoration Grant and Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant programs.

The Downtown Jonesboro Association received a $15,000 Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant.

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Amidst more revelations of problems tied to Arkansas’s nascent medical marijuana program, the architect of the state’s voter-approved amendment is calling for commissioners to abandon their process of scoring cultivation applications.

Attorney David Couch says the merit-based scoring system has been plagued with allegations that have rocked public confidence in the process.

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