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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed to approve Arkansas’ request to designate Crittenden County as attaining the federal 2008 ozone standard, a move that Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and other officials said will boost the state’s economic development in eastern Arkansas.

The proposed “attainment” designation comes after a letter last month from Hutchinson requesting the EPA to remove the eastern Arkansas county from the federal “dirty air” nonattainment list, a designation that goes back to the Huckabee administration’s recruitment of a Toyota superproject.

Former Bank Executive Dennis Smiley Sentenced To 97 Months For Fraud

1 hour ago
dennis smiley
Arkansas Business

Former Arvest Bank banker Dennis Smiley will spend the next eight years in federal prison for the bank fraud he committed with 24 banks while obtaining 55 loans and wrongly using three of his subordinates and forging the names of his father and wife.

Arkansas Ag Secretary, Israeli Ag Minister Speak At Arkansas Soil & Water Conference

17 hours ago

A group of several hundred people spent Wednesday learning how soil and water can play a key role in the growth of crops as well as helping the bottom line of farmers. They even learned how other countries are using technology to conserve water and energy.

Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward gave the keynote speech at the Arkansas Soil and Water Conference in front of 250 people at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center. Those who attended the conference learned about everything from cover crops and no-till farming to poly-pipe and rice irrigation.

Terry Bradshaw
Steve Brawner / Talk Business & Politics

NFL great and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw praised the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as hospital executives told the UA System Board of Trustees on Wednesday that $97 million is needed to address critical facilities needs.

Baker Kurrus, walter hussman, governor asa hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Wednesday that 150 Teach for America positions will be funded by $3 million dollars over three years from his discretionary funds. Another $3 million in private donations will fund 65 positions in Little Rock schools.

Market watchers Not Surprised Wal-Mart Exiting Small Format Business

Jan 27, 2016
walmart wal-mart
Wal-Mart

Analysts, insiders and other retail watchers said a change in top bosses in Bentonville is one reason why Wal-Mart Stores got out of the small-ball retail game, even with Target, H-E-B and other competitors still investing in small format retail.

Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport Sign
Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a $33.8 million bid for improvements on Interstate 440 near the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department says Kiewit Infrastructure South Company of Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded the bid for the project. The plan calls for the rehabilitation of 2.8 miles of Interstate 440 between Bankhead Drive and the Arkansas River bridge.

Cecile Blucker Director of Children and Family Services at the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
arktimes.com

Cecile Blucker, director of Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Children and Family Services, is resigning effective March 31. She has served in the role since 2009.

In an e-mail to staff, she said she wants to spend more time with family.

"As change is inevitable in all phases of our life, it is time for me to focus more and spend more time with those I love."

Her resignation letter to staff said despite "adverse situations - lack of funding, staff, etc." she is proud of the division's accomplishments.

medical money medicine
Talk Business & Politics

Springdale-based NOWDiagnostics, manufacturer of blood test kits, has moved all of its plastic housing production from China to its home base in Arkansas. The company cited efforts to improve quality control and to bring additional jobs to the state as the primary reasons for the move.

“By moving all of our production to Arkansas, we have better control over the quality of our products, which is our chief concern,” said Kevin Clark, CEO of NOWDiagnostics.

Dennis Milligan treasurer
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Ethics Commission has refused to dismiss a complaint against Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan.

The panel met in secret for more than an hour Tuesday to discuss the complaint filed by Little Rock attorney and liberal blogger Matt Campbell last year. He alleges Milligan misused public resources while in his previous office as Saline County circuit clerk and that he hired the spouses of two state legislators without proper approval.

No panel member made a motion to dismiss the complaint, meaning it remains unresolved.

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