Talk Business & Politics Staff

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Elizabeth Eckford only had one concern before her first day of school. She wanted to make sure her white dress was finished so she could wear it. The next morning she was wearing the dress as her father paced back and forth in the hallway. She took a city bus to Little Rock Central High School. It was Sept. 4, 1957.

Philanthropists Alice Walton has formed Art Bridges, a nonprofit foundation with a mission to expand access to American artworks, the foundation announced Wednesday.

“Collaborating with museums and institutions of all sizes and in all regions of the country, Art Bridges will help create and fund exhibitions, bringing together art from museums, private collections, foundations and a collection established as a part of Art Bridges,” the foundation noted.

Dicamba damage
University of Arkansas

Dicamba Task Force charged with providing the Arkansas State Plant Board with a recommendation about the use of the controversial herbicide, will recommend it not be allowed for use after April 15 for the 2018 growing season, according to a report it released Monday.

Fayetteville-based Arvest Bank is acquiring Little Rock-based Bear State Bank in a deal valued at $391 million that is expected to close no later than the first quarter of 2018, and will push Arvest to almost $20 billion in assets.

The deal was announced early Tuesday and equals $10.28 per share of Bear State stock.

Thinly-traded Bear State shares (NASDAQ: BSF) closed Monday at $9.20 and were up almost 11% in Tuesday morning trading. During the past 52 weeks, the share price ranged between $8.65 and $10.95.

U.S. Senator John Boozman in the Republican Party of Arkansas headquarters.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

U.S. Senator John Boozman, R-Ark., has scheduled a follow-up surgical procedure next Tuesday (Aug. 15) that’s related to an emergency heart surgery he underwent a little more than three years ago.

Boozman, Arkansas’ senior senator, had surgery April 22, 2014, to fix an aortic dissection. The procedure was performed at Mercy Hospital in Rogers. The medical staff at the time said the surgery went as planned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump
NPR

Arkansas voters are relatively split on President Donald Trump’s campaign ties to the Russian government, but a majority are not ready to impeach him over the matter or call for his resignation at this time. That's according to a new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey that shows voters are keenly aware of the issue.

Q: Do you think the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election? 

41% Yes
43% No
16% Don’t Know

Arkansas voters oppose a Republican effort to repeal Obamacare immediately and wait two years to find a replacement plan.

The latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey of more than 500 Arkansas voters tested this effort and asked an additional question about Medicaid expansion and the Arkansas Works program.

Q: Senate Republicans have discussed a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act now and replace it two years from now with a yet-to-be-determined plan. Do you support or oppose this?

30% Support
52% Oppose
18% Don’t Know

Donald Trump speaking at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

In the now-reliably red state of Arkansas, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating is taking a hit.

According to the latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey, the nation’s chief executive has gone from a 60%-35% job approval-disapproval rating in February to just 50-47% in July. In April, Trump had a 53%-39% approval rating.

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Donald Trump is doing?

39%  Strongly Approve
11%   Somewhat Approve
7%    Somewhat Disapprove
40%  Strongly Disapprove
3%.   No Opinion

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) questioning Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about Russian hacking.
C-SPAN

Republicans in the U.S. Senate released the initial draft of a healthcare bill Thursday that will reduce Medicaid spending, cut taxes for the wealthy, limit subsidies to private insurance companies, remove health insurance mandates, lower taxes for companies in the healthcare industry and enact other changes.

GOP presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump.
Charlie Neibergall/ AP

Despite objections from world leaders, big business, Democrats, and people within his party and family, President Donald Trump announced Thursday he’s removing the U.S. from the historic Paris Climate Accord.

Talk Business and Politics reports:

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