U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford Heading To Cuba On Trade Trip

Feb 5, 2016
Representative Congressman Rick Crawford

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, plans to take a trip this spring to Cuba to learn about furthering trade with the Caribbean nation.

Crawford, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, said Friday during the annual meeting of the Arkansas Rice Council that he and U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., are coordinating the April trip with lawmakers and agriculture leaders from Arkansas and Louisiana.

The Arkansas attorney general's office is asking the state Supreme Court to hold oral arguments in the state's appeal of a lower court's ruling not to dismiss a constitutional challenge to Arkansas' execution secrecy law.

The Supreme Court previously stayed eight executions until the challenge filed by a handful of death row inmates is heard.

Arkansas filed its appeal brief late Thursday, saying the inmates had failed to prove constitutional issues with the law that allows the source of the drugs to be kept secret.

The self-imposed deadline set by the special prosecutor assigned to investigate a Garland County judge's involvement in the hot car death of his 18-month-old son is no longer in effect.

Second Judicial District Prosecutor Scott Ellington says he won't set additional deadlines to decide if charges will be filed against Division 2 Circuit Judge Wade Naramore in the death of his son, Thomas.

On Jan. 29, Ellington told The Sentinel-Record that he'd make an announcement by the middle of this week. Last month, he said he'd announce his decision by Feb. 1.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
Arkansas Times

A forum on desegregation in Little Rock Saturday will cover past events to present-day patterns.

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is hosting the gathering as part of Black History Month. Key speakers on contemporary desegregation issues include attorney John Walker, former school board member Dr. Jim Ross, and longtime teacher Felicia Hobbs.

Tyson Foods Profits Up Sharply In Latest Report

Feb 5, 2016
Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods’ first quarter profits soared past expectations as the meat giant added $461 million to its corporate coffers to begin fiscal 2016. 

Net Income rose 49% from the same period of last year with strong results in chicken and a turnaround in beef, the company reported Friday.

Early voting is underway for a 7.6 mill property tax increase that would fund construction of a new elementary and high school in the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District. Election day is Tuesday, February 9, but residents of the district can vote early at the Jacksonville Community Center until Friday and at the Pulaski County Regional Building until Monday.


Laura Walker is a spokeswoman with the Education Corps, an organization advocating for the tax hike. She says if voters approve the millage, the high school project could start this year.


Arkansas Inc
Governor's Office

To lure new businesses to the state, Arkansas is borrowing an idea usually found in corporate boardrooms. It's rebranding itself.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the state Economic Development Commission on Thursday announced the launch of "Arkansas Inc.," a new branding campaign aimed at recruiting new businesses to the state and encouraging existing ones to expand.

The campaign will include targeted ads in several trade and industry publications and on a variety of websites. A spokesman for the commission said the initial ad buy for the campaign is about $300,000.

British Broadcasting Corporation

The City of Little Rock is launching a five-year sewage-line upgrade, called Project Renew, to its 1,400 miles of municipal pipes.

Greg Ramon, CEO of Little Rock Wastewater, said certain neighborhoods, Leawood, Briarwood, and Wingate, are priorities for improvements. It is a routine upgrade to the systems to replace old pipes to Keep rain and groundwater out of homes, and avoid sewage backups.

“The goal is to provide a reliable, cost effective system that will meet the need today, as well as for future generations," he said.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking to reporters at the Capitol about his budget proposal.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday that his main proposed changes to the private option remain intact after his recent discussions with federal Department of Health and Human Services Director Sylvia Burwell.

Also, he unveiled the state’s new brand direction for its economic development efforts: “Arkansas Inc. When you’re in Arkansas, you’re in good company.”

Hutchinson made the announcement at the 2016 Joint Winter Conference of the Arkansas Economic Developers and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce Executives.