Roby Brock / Talk Business & Politics

Roby Brock is the Editor-in-Chief and Host of Talk Business & Politics.

He can be reached by e-mail at: Roby@TalkBusiness.net.

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Fresh from returning from a Cuban trade mission with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, lawmakers, agricultural leaders, and other state business and political advisors, Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward shared his thoughts on the trip.

While the Arkansas delegation didn’t find Cuba stocked with Fortune 500 business leaders, Ward said “it wasn’t abject poverty like some might assume.”

Governor's Working Group on Highway Funding
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Governor’s Working Group on Highways has been meeting for months to discuss possible solutions for short-term, medium-range and long-term funding goals to maintain and repair Arkansas highways. 

Currently, the task force is focused on short-term funding and is seeking to come up with approximately $110 million in new annual revenues for roads.

Andy Davis
Talk Business & Politics

Highway funding has been more than a speed bump for policymakers to find a way to increase revenue while gas tax collections sputter and inflation keeps raising the price of construction. A governor’s task force is working on potential recommendations to try something new and it will meet again on Thursday to discuss options.

Invitations are in the mail and a campaign launch is underway.

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson will kick off her campaign for Chief Justice of the state’s high court beginning this weekend.

Goodson will host a tailgate at the Razorback football season opener against UTEP on Saturday in Fayetteville. She will also have a reception in Saline County next Tuesday.

THEIR HONORS: Karen Baker (center) takes oath with Courtney Goodson (left) and Jo Hart.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Invitations are in the mail.

Talk Business & Politics has learned that Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson will have a reception to kick off her campaign for Chief Justice of the state’s high court next week.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8th Lisa and James Miller of Bryant will host a reception for Goodson from 5:30-7:30 p.m., according to an invitation to the reception. The event is not touted as a fundraiser.

Goodson has been rumored to be eyeing the chief justice position. She was first elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2010.

Hendrix College has received a $26 million gift from the estate of Mary Ann Dawkins of Little Rock. The gift, the largest in Hendrix College’s history, will support scholarships, promote college affordability and launch the school’s fundraising effort to construct a new welcome center at the northeast corner of the campus.

“Not only is today’s announcement a historic moment for Hendrix, it’s an incredible moment for future students,” said Hendrix College President Bill Tsutsui.

Former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge, who resigned from his post on Friday, issued a statement today to address speculation on his potential political future.

Eldridge, a Democrat, has been rumored to be considering a challenge to U.S. Senator John Boozman, R-Arkansas, who is up for re-election in 2016.

Conner’s statement, issued Monday afternoon reads:

military vehicle lockheed martin tom cotton asa hutchinson
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Within the next month, Arkansas economic officials may declare an end of the week announcement as either Good Friday or Black Friday.

Arkansas Economic Development Commission executive director Mike Preston said Thursday that his agency has been told by Pentagon officials that an award of the JLTV superproject will be announced on either Friday, August 28, September 4, or September 11.

A consulting group hired by a legislative task force says the Private Option will have a net positive fiscal impact for the state of Arkansas budget of $438 million through 2021.

U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge announced on Tuesday that he would be resigning from his post on Friday, Aug. 21.

He did not announce his intentions for what his next move would be, but Eldridge has been rumored to be considering a challenge to U.S. Senator John Boozman, R-Arkansas, in 2016.

Eldridge, appointed by President Obama to the Western District post in 2010, said he would discuss his future plans after he leaves the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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