Talk Business & Politics Staff

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In a new round of polling, Gov. Asa Hutchinson retains his popularity, Sen. Tom Cotton remains controversial, and a potential high-profile Senate match-up appears under the radar.

The newest Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College/Impact Management Group survey of 400 Arkansas voters was conducted among live callers on Aug. 20-23, 2015. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-4.99%, captured attitudes of respondents by cell phone (33%) and landlines (67%).

marijuana
npr.org

While Arkansas voters are not for completely legalizing marijuana, they are overwhelmingly supportive of a restrictive usage of marijuana for medical purposes, according to a new Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College/Impact Management Group survey.

In the latest poll of 400 registered voters conducted on Aug. 20-23, 2015, 84% said they agreed with legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

Q: Do you agree or disagree that adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if a physician prescribes it?

56% Strongly Agree (84% Agree)

Average U.S. gas prices this week are at the lowest levels for this time of year since 2004 due to the steep decline in the cost of crude oil, according to AAA.

Gas prices have dropped recently despite ongoing refinery problems, and prices should continue to fall this autumn due to declining demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.53 per gallon, which is 12 cents less than a week ago and 90 cents less than a year ago. Pump prices are now 33 cents per gallon below the 2015 peak price reached on June 15.

On Wednesday, Democrat Dianne Curry announced she will run for the U.S. Congress in District 2, the seat currently held by first-term Cong. French Hill, R-Little Rock.

No other Democrats have announced for the seat.

Curry was elected to the Little Rock School Board in 2006 where she served three terms. She retired from state government after 27 years of service in education and the public audit of banks.

File photo. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Monday announced that she, along with 48 other State Attorneys General, have reached a $71 million settlement with Amgen Inc. to resolve allegations that Amgen unlawfully promoted biologic medications Aranesp and Enbrel.

Under the terms of the Consent Judgment, Arkansas will receive $959,758.24 from the settlement. Aranesp is used to treat certain types of anemia by stimulating bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Enbrel is used to treat a number of conditions, including plaque psoriasis.

Mike Huckabee (right) talks with Arkansas's GOP Chair Doyle Webb (left) at the tail end of the 2014 election cycle.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, are turning 60 years old and the Republican presidential contender’s grandchildren are planning an Arkansas celebration and fundraiser next Monday from 6-8 p.m. in Little Rock.

The event is an invitation only affair to be held at Next Level Events. Triple Threat, a singing trio from Benton that recently gained traction on America’s Got Talent, will perform.

Arkansas River
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The long rain-induced nightmare for port, barge and other operators on the Arkansas River may soon be over, but the impact of heavy rains earlier this year pushed river tonnage down more than 25% in July.

Tonnage shipped on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System between January and July totaled 5.135 million in July, down 23% compared to the same period in 2014, according to a monthly report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

John Correnti Big River Steel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The CEO of the state’s first superproject, Big River Steel CEO John Correnti, was found dead on an out-of-state business trip Tuesday morning, Talk Business & Politics has confirmed.

Correnti, 68, was the driving force for the $1.3 billion steel mill superproject, which is being built near Osceola (Mississippi Co.). As a former CEO of rival Nucor Steel, Correnti was a big fan of Arkansas where he once headed Nucor’s operations in the 1990’s.

Several cities and counties around the state will receive a total of $1,380,000 to help with infrastructure projects, officials said Monday.

Governor Asa Hutchinson presented grants to seven Arkansas cities and counties at a ceremony Monday at the State Capitol.

The funds originate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

The grants will be administered by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Grants Division.

UAMS campus in Little Rock.
uams.edu / UAMS

  More than 200 physicians have completed their medical residencies at UAMS, and more than half of those will practice in Arkansas, the university announced in a press release.

The 214 physicians who finished their training June 30 practice more than 50 specialities between them. Fifty-six practice family medicine, and of those, 33 will remain in Arkansas, including seven who will practice in small towns.

The press release cited American Association of Medical Colleges’ statistics saying that only seven states had higher retention rates than UAMS.

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