Talk Business & Politics Staff

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Six days after six members of the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team knelt in protest during the national anthem, college officials on Wednesday announced “Project Unify,” a “community engagement program” designed to address concerns that fueled the protest.

The move, which will see the players no longer kneel during the anthem, could also quell backlash against the team and the university that included one Arkansas senator threatening to put a hold on the university’s budget.

Consumers in Arkansas say their personal finances have improved this year as have their expectations for the state’s business climate next year, according to the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey this fall.

The second quarter economic story of Arkansas’ four key metro areas was much like the first quarter story: unchanged from the previous quarter, but healthy, with continued job gains and sales tax revenue growth, according to The Compass Report.

Compared to the second quarter of 2015, economic conditions were down slightly in Central Arkansas, better in Northwest Arkansas, unchanged in the Fort Smith metro, and up in the Jonesboro metro.

Tom Cotton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

At least two members of Arkansas’ Congressional delegation have opened the door to GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump stepping down from the ticket.

A political firestorm began Friday and has grown through the weekend resulting from a 2005 recording that features Trump having a private conversation with Billy Bush, then a co-host with “Access Hollywood” as they arrived on the set of “Days of Our Lives,” where Trump made a cameo appearance.

Hunting and fishing giant Bass Pro Shops is acquiring competitor Cabela’s Inc. for $5.5 billion in an all cash deal that will combine the two iconic American retailers with loyal outdoor-oriented customer bases across the American South, West and Midwest.

In an announcement after the opening of the New York Stock Exchange, privately-held Bass Pro and publicly traded Cabela announced they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela’s for $65.50 per share in cash, a 19.2% premium over Friday’s closing price of $54.93.

marijuana
npr.org

Arkansas voters have split attitudes on two medical marijuana proposals with few undecideds, according to the latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey.

The poll, conducted among 831 likely Arkansas voters on September 15-17, 2016, shows one medical marijuana proposal with a plurality of support, while a second ballot issue has a small majority against it. The survey has a margin of error of 3.4%.

Voters were asked:

Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

Dr. Dan Rahn announced Monday he will retire July 31, 2017, as chancellor of the Little Rock-based University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His departure will mark almost eight years as head of the state’s largest public employer.

UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other medical personnel who work at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers in Arkansas.

While a better Arkansas economy has helped lower the state’s 2013-2015 food insecurity rate to 19.2% from the 19.7% in the 2010-2012 period, national and regional food bank officials say more help is needed and the rates remain above pre-recession realities.

Doug Whitlock Chuck Welch Arkansas State University ASU
George Jared / Talk Business & Politics

Dr. Doug Whitlock and his wife, Joanne, planned to spend their 48th wedding anniversary in the quiet solitude of retirement. But Arkansas State University needed a new chancellor to calm the proverbial waters after the controversial exit of former Chancellor Tim Hudson.

Election vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Not only has the 2016 presidential election cycle deviated from the typical – or expected – script, but detailed analysis by ChamberLeads.com using Little Rock-based Acxiom consumer data shows unusual demographic trends for first time voters, Talk Business & Politics reports.

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