Talk Business & Politics Staff

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Cummins arkansas department of correction prison
Arkansas Department of Correction

Talk Business and Politics reports:

A mental health summit held Wednesday (May 25) in Fort Smith covered treatment and incarceration issues with which resolution likely requiring new laws and new thinking at the state level.

Leon Evans, who spoke to legislators and other state and Sebastian County officials at the summit, dealt with such issues as he worked to implement the Bexar County (San Antonio) Jail Diversion Program in 2003.

Continued growth in prepared foods and improved beef numbers helped Tyson Foods post a better-than-expected second fiscal quarter net income of $432 million, up almost 40% compared to the $310 million posted in the same quarter of last year.

The unadjusted per share net income of $1.07 beat the consensus estimate of 96 cents per share. The strong second quarter follows a first quarter in which net income of $461 million was up 49%.

Tyson Foods

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Before the market opens Monday, Tyson Foods is expected to post $403 million in net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 which ended. That equates to a Wall Street consensus of $1.03 per share, up 38% over the 75 cents per share reported in the same quarter of 2015.

The company posted net income of $313 million in the year-ago period.

Most key economic indicators in Arkansas’ three largest metro areas – central Arkansas, Fort Smith metro, and Northwest Arkansas – were moving in the right direction during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to The Compass Report.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, economic conditions were better in Central Arkansas, were significantly better in Northwest Arkansas, and showed signs of improvement in the Fort Smith metro.

Foreclosure activity in Arkansas’ three largest metro areas and in the nation is below recession-related highs, according to Irvine, Calif.,-based There were 289,116 U.S. foreclosure filings recorded in the first three months of the year, down 8% from a year ago, the lowest quarterly total since the fourth quarter of 2006.

Five of the metro areas had jobless rate declines compared to January, two were unchanged and one was higher than January.

One month does not make a trend, but a more than 21% gain in home sales during January in Arkansas’ four large markets continues the momentum of 2015 in which home sales were up almost 10% – with a December that had an almost 20% gain.

Home sales in Arkansas’ four largest markets totaled 1,484 in January, up 21.24% compared to January 2015 and up 18.3% compared to January 2014. All four markets posted double-digit growth in January, according to The Arkansas Home Sales Report.

solar array aerojets solar field
Aerojet Rocketdyne

The switch will soon be flipped on 151,200 solar panels that will provide electricity to the growing defense industry operations in East Camden. The 12-megawatt solar field will generate electricity equivalent to powering 2,400 homes.

Officials with Aerojet Rocketdyne, the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation will gather March 31 at the 100-acre site in south Arkansas for the formal commissioning.

Revised federal data show that Benton County’s per capita personal income in 2014 was 149.3% of the national average, and only seven other counties in a 12–state southeast U.S. region had a higher percentage. The new numbers also show Arkansas was 82% of the U.S. average in 2014, down from an historic high of 82.2% in 2013.

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) discussing changes to eligibility verification for Medicaid in the Governor's Conference Room at the Capitol in early August.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Details on a $10.5 million economic development project in Jonesboro will be announced Wednesday, with Gov. Asa Hutchinson set to take part in the “Project Timesquare” reveal.

Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, said the announcement will be made at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center Hames Room.

However, the process on the project begins at 3 p.m. Tuesday when the Jonesboro Metropolitan Area Planning Commission reviews a site plan for the project.