Roby Brock

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Roby Brock of covers business and political news happening in Arkansas.

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David Gearhart
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

University of Arkansas chancellor G. David Gearheart said he will step down from his position and return to the classroom on July 31, 2015.

Citing his desire to spend more time with his family, Gearheart who has served as chancellor since 2008, said he planned to return to the classroom.

Mike Beebe
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe discussed his accomplishments and challenges in his next-to-last radio address last week. In his farewell address released Friday, Beebe reminisced on the social aspects and the more emotional sides of the job.

Here is his address in its entirety:

Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson has announced Larry Walther as the new Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, Jami Cook as the new Director of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, and State Senator Bruce Holland as the new Director of Livestock and Poultry. 

In addition, Hutchinson said he will keep Joe Fox as State Forester at the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

David Ray, former communications director for the Tom Cotton Senate campaign and the Republican Party of Arkansas, has been hired as the new state director for Americans for Prosperity’s Arkansas chapter.

“David’s life-long commitment to economic freedom paired with his understanding of the importance of building grass roots make him an excellent addition to the Arkansas team as they fight for state taxpayers,” said Teresa Oelke, former AFP-Arkansas state director and current vice president of state operations for Americans for Prosperity.

A day after Gov. Mike Beebe announced Lamar Davis would fill Colette Honorable’s spot on the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson announced that consultant and former State Rep. Ted Thomas will take another opening on the three-member regulatory panel and serve as chairman.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson made plenty of news in a pre-session Q&A with reporters at the state capitol on Tuesday. Saying he wanted a “quick start” to his legislative agenda, Hutchinson touched on issues ranging from tax cuts to prison overcrowding to health care reform and education. 

"I hope to accomplish the agenda I campaigned on," Hutchinson told reporters at a capitol forum sponsored by the Associated Press Managing Editors.

Hutchinson also discussed at length his positions on the state lottery, highway funding, and ethics and elections reforms.

Sen. Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, has pre-filed a bill to abolish the Arkansas Lottery Commission and establish control of the lottery’s operations under the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Colette Honorable
Arkansas Times

Arkansas Public Service Commission chair Colette Honorable has officially resigned from her post and will be sworn in as early as this afternoon to her new role on powerful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Honorable was approved by the U.S. Senate before Christmas for the FERC position.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission," Honorable said in a statement.

The 72nd annual Gillett Coon Supper will take place on Saturday, Jan. 10 in the tiny southeast Arkansas hamlet.

The community and political event is typically a must-stop trip on the annual political circuit. Always in early January, it is usually the first post-holiday event for candidates and elected officials.

Carrie Ford Arkansas Venture Center
Talk Business & Politics

A new study from the Kauffman Foundation centered on women entrepreneurship concluded that more female business owners could have the same economic impact today that the entry of women in the 20th century labor force had generations ago.