KASU

economy

Big River Steel

This is a press release issued today:

Chicago, Illinois-February 15, 2018- Union Partners announced plans today to build a new steel processing facility on the Osceola, Arkansas campus of Big River Steel. The operations will be located directly adjacent to Big River’s Flex Mill™ and will include both slitting and multi-blanking lines in a new build-to-suit facility expandable to 258,000 square feet.  Construction will be on an accelerated schedule with a formal ground breaking in the first quarter of 2018. 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson with Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics
Talk Business and Politics

Rising pharmacy reimbursement rates are a part of the cost structure between pharmacist, health insurance plans, and a group known as PBMs—Pharmacy Benefits Managers.  Roby Brock with Talk Business sits down with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to talk about potential legislative remedies for this seemingly dire situation as a private solution may be in the works.


Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Revenue collected by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery in fiscal 2018 is exceeding the totals from the same period in previous years, but net proceeds are about average for recent years.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the lottery has provided its latest monthly report to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Legislative Council's lottery oversight subcommittee.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
ArkansasHouse.org

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will go before the state legislators to deliver the state of the state address.  The address will kick off Arkansas' fiscal session, in which the biggest fight will be on how to fund Arkansas Works, the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion program. 

Rex Nelson, Columnist and Senior Editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas State University

  Rex Nelson, columnist and senior editor with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, spends his days driving around the state of Arkansas talking with residents.  Roby Brock with Talk Business sits down with Nelson to talk about a variety of issues, such as the Slovak Oyster Supper, Bentonville’s 8th Street Market, the Arlington Hotel, the State of the Union, and more.


Chairman of Jonesboro Unlimited Chris Barber.
Johnathan Reeves / KASU News

Over 1,200 new jobs come to Jonesboro last year.  Officials with Jonesboro Unlimited made that announcement Thursday.  Jonesboro Unlimited was created after a three-point-six million dollar fundraising campaign to attract new industry and jobs to Jonesboro.  2017 was the first year and an update on the effort was presented.  Chairman of Jonesboro Unlimited Chris Barber.

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

We’ve been hearing a lot about the state of the State, the state of the Union, and the state of the economy.  For a review of 2017’s economic performance and projections for 2018’s, Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics sits down with Mervin Jebaraj, economist, and Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas’s Walton College of Business.


Johnathan Reeves / KASU News

Jonesboro Unlimited is holding their annual luncheon and discussing economic opportunities for the area.  You can watch the video below:

Missouri Capitol
Wikipedia

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has worked through the night into a new day as a group of lawmakers filibusters a bill changing the way utility rates are regulated.

The legislation being debated Thursday would allow utilities to more quickly recover their costs for infrastructure improvements while imposing a 3 percent limit on annual rate increases to consumers.

Supporters say it will result in ever-increasing rates for customers, but opponents say it will ensure price predictability instead of allowing periodic surges in rates that could be even larger.

Following Tuesday's resignation of casino mogul Steve Wynn amid accusations of sexual misconduct, a native Arkansan is now chief executive of Wynn’s $17 billion global enterprise.

Mena native Matthew Maddox has worked for Wynn Resorts Ltd. since 2002, eventually serving as chief financial officer and president. The company’s board of directors named the 42-year-old Maddox CEO late Tuesday following Wynn’s resignation.

Plans of the Jonesboro Shooting Sports Complex displayed at the Municipal Center.
Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The City of Jonesboro and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hope the new shooting sports complex will serve an educational purpose for Northeast Arkansas youth.

Arkansas Sen. Johnathan Dismang (R-Searcy)
Talk Business and Politics

Senate President Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, said he believes the votes for Arkansas Works will be found in the upcoming fiscal session and prospects for a special session to deal with a failed vote or other issues is not a goal of his.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas finance officials say higher than expected individual income tax collections in January helped push the state's revenue above expectations and above the same month last year.

The Department of Finance and Administration said Friday the state's net available revenue in January totaled $583.3 million, which is $47.3 million more than the same month last year and $41.7 million above forecast. The state's net available revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1 is more than $3.2 billion, which is $65.4 million more than was forecast.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) - Tyson Foods Inc. has invested in a food-tech startup that's developing methods to produce meat directly from animal cells.

The Arkansas-based company announced Monday that its venture capital arm, Tyson Ventures, now has a minority stake in Memphis Meats. The terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, but Memphis Meats says it expects to use the funds to accelerate product development.

Tyson says the investment reflects the company's commitment to find new, innovative ways of meeting a growing global demand for protein.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' attorney general has rejected the wording of a proposed ballot measure that would allow up to three casinos in the state to raise money for highways.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Thursday cited ambiguities in the proposed constitutional amendment submitted earlier this month by Driving Arkansas Forward, a group formed to campaign for the measure. The proposal calls for 65 percent of casino tax revenue to go toward highway funding.

6-pound bags of Member's Mark Casa Di Bertacchi Italian-Style Beef Meatballs
United States Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON (AP) - Regulators say a New Jersey company has recalled more than 3,400 pounds of beef meatballs that may be tainted with a bacteria known to cause listeriosis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced the recall involving Rich Products Corporation of Vineland, New Jersey. The ready-to-eat frozen meatballs were produced Dec. 17.

While the energy sector is bracing for higher prices under the impact of President Trump’s 30-percent tariff on solar goods manufactured outside the U.S. the city of Clarksville is ready to turn on Arkansas’s largest municipal solar array. The $10 million project was constructed by Arkansas-based Scenic Hill Solar. It’ll ceremonially open on Wednesday six months ahead of schedule.

CEO Bill Halter says it was made mostly with imported parts out of necessity. He expects future arrays to be more costly with the imposition of tariffs.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin delivering the 2017-2018 State of the City address.
Johnathan Reeves / KASU News

“There is a Northeast Arkansas” became the rallying cry of Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin during his State of the City address.  Perrin delivered the address at the Arkansas State University Cooper Alumni Center.

Wikipedia

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, says the city gave its "best shot" in trying to lure the second headquarters for Amazon.

The online retailer released Thursday a list of 20 cities that still are in the running for its second home, which is predicted to create 50,000 new jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion.

Memphis offered $60 million in cash incentives but did not make the cut. Nashville is still in the running.

A dispute is brewing between Arkansas’s rice industry and makers of other products over ownership of the word “rice” and the right to market foods as such.

“It is a grain, not a shape,” said Lauren Waldrip Ward with the Arkansas Rice Federation.

Ward and others are asking Arkansas’ federal delegation for some help in appealing to the Food and Drug Administration to restrict the use of the words "rice" and "riced" on products that do not contain grains.

Ward said rice is a significant sector of the Arkansas economy, with some 2,500 rice farms contributing billions to the state economy every year and supporting about 25,000 jobs, including many in the state’s most rural areas.

Arkansas public colleges and universities are weighing in on Gov. Asa Hutchinson's request for an in-state tuition freeze. The Republican governor included the request in his proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year presented Tuesday to the Joint Budget Committee of the Arkansas Legislature. It comes ahead of  coincides with Hutchinson's proposal for next month's fiscal session of the legislature to increase the budget for state Higher Education by $10 million.  

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas' governor is proposing a $5.6 billion budget that increases funding for the state's Medicaid program and sets aside surplus money for future tax cuts and highway needs.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday proposed increasing state spending for the fiscal year that begins July 1 by nearly $173 million. Most of that increase goes toward Medicaid. Hutchinson said the funding increase is lower than what was originally proposed for the program last year.

Pixabay

A prosecutor says the Craighead County town of Cash does not violate the state's speed trap law.

Craighead County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Grant Deprow informed the town's mayor of the determination last month in a letter, which The Jonesboro Sun obtained this week .

Brandon Tabor / KASU News

Despite the belief by Gov. Asa Hutchinson that medical marijuana use will likely remain consistent under President Donald Trump, others were uncertain of the impact a decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will have on the state’s medical marijuana industry, which is projected to also help the state’s economy.

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

Out with the old year; in with the new year!  How did Arkansas' and the national economy hold up in 2017?  What can we expect in 2018?  Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics sits down with Economist Mervin Jebaraj to go over the numbers.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas finance officials say a rise in individual income and sales tax collections helped push the state's revenue in December above expectations and the same month in 2016.

The Department of Finance and Administration said Wednesday the state's net available revenue in December totaled $521.1 million, which is $53.7 million above December 2016 and $23.7 million above forecast. The state's revenue so far for the fiscal year that began July 1 totals nearly $2.7 billion, which is $23.7 million above forecast.

Pixabay

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A business conditions index for nine Midwest and Plains states rose over the past month, pointing to continuing improvement in regional economic conditions, an economist said in a report released Tuesday.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index climbed to 59.0 from 57.2 in November, the report said. The October figure was 58.8.

Poinsett County Courthouse in Harrisburg
Wikipedia

HARRISBURG, Ark. (AP) — Officials say 50 new jobs are coming to northeast Arkansas as a company that makes corrugated sheets used in packaging comes to Harrisburg.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that the new jobs are a result of a partnership between RusCorr LLC and Rusken Packaging. The business will be located in a former American Greetings building in Harrisburg, about 100 miles northeast of Little Rock.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee chairman is rejecting as "categorically false" a report that Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee was responsible for a provision in the final tax bill that could help him financially.

In a letter Monday, GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said he was unaware of either Corker or his staff contacting negotiators of the final bill.

Hatch said the provision regarding a tax benefit for real estate had been unveiled by a House chairman Nov. 2 and included in the House version of the tax bill.

Despite a slight drop in Arkansas sales tax revenue between the second and third quarters of fiscal year 2017, the holiday shopping season is expected to give the state’s economy a temporary boost.

Chief Economist Michael Pakko with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock said a decrease in taxable sales between the two quarters still represents a picture of overall growth.

Pages