Talk Business & Politics Staff

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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.

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Low interest rates, stable loan demand and hyper competition characterized the banking climate in the state and nation, with net income for all U.S. banks up 1.46% in the second quarter of 2016.

Heavy rains during the last two weeks could significantly impact the row crop harvest in northeast Arkansas, experts say. At least 14 inches of rain fell in parts of the region, and many rivers have swelled outside their banks and numerous fields are flooded, according to the National Weather Service.

Natural Gas Drilling Mt. Vernon in Faulkner County
Arkansas Times

The energy sector continues to struggle in Arkansas and nationwide, with state severance tax revenue down almost 60%. But there are some signs of resurgence in the oil and gas industry

Despite increases in crude oil prices since the start of the year, employment in oil and natural gas extraction and support activities continued declining from levels reached in the fall of 2014, just before the onset of falling oil prices.

Mainstream Technologies will open a second location in downtown Conway, the 20-year old IT services firm announced on Thursday.

The Conway facility will begin operations in September with 15 new employees. Little Rock-based Mainstream provides managed services, custom software, and hosting to clients throughout the mid-South.

Fiscal second quarter net income for Wal-Mart Stores rose more than 8%, with adjusted per share earnings of $1.07 topping the consensus estimate of $1.02. Quarterly revenue of $120.854 billion also beat expectations.

Talk Business & Politics reports Walmart U.S. same-store sales rose 1.6%, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of positive comps with the closely watched financial metric.

American Railcar Industries will add up to 60 jobs at a new manufacturing facility in Paragould. Corbitt Manufacturing, a component manufacturing operation with ARI, will begin production at the new facility this month, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, along with local leaders, made the announcement Wednesday in Paragould. ARI already has plants in Paragould, and Marmaduke that employ about 1,000 workers, according to the company.

U.S. 67 highway department
Johnathan Reaves / KASU News

Drive times for motorists between much of northeast Arkansas and the central and southern parts of the state should now be safer and faster.

The final section of the new U.S. 67 from Swifton to Walnut Ridge, and the four-lane expansion of Arkansas 226 that connects Jonesboro with U.S. 67 were officially dedicated Thursday. 

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