Wesley Brown/ Talk Business & Politics

Wesley Brown is the Business Editor for Talk Business & Politics. He can be reached by email at wesbrocomm@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @BrownOnBusiness.

Governor Asa Hutchinson violent crime task force
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday announced the creation of a multi-jurisdictional, investigative joint task force that will help the Little Rock Police Department respond to a recent spike in violent crimes, including the Power Ultra Club shooting last week.

Backed by a phalanx of local, state and federal law enforcement, prosecutors and correction officials in the packed Governor’s Conference Room at the State Capitol, Hutchinson outlined what he described as an effort to take back the “streets of Little Rock.”

In addition to Steep Hill and Herbal Compliance’s unorthodox investment vehicles looking to enter Arkansas’ medical marijuana industry that is projected to grow to nearly $70 million in the next seven years, a host of other local and out-of-state investors, entrepreneurs and speculators also want to get in on the front end of the state’s newest hybrid healthcare sector.

The Trump administration announced Monday it has reached agreement with China on final details of a protocol to allow U.S. companies to ship beef exports to China, a move Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the state’s two U.S. senators say will benefit Arkansas and American beef markets.

Libertarian Party of Arkansas Chair Michael Pakko with over 15,000 signatures to be submitted to the Secretary of State's office for ballot access. May 2016.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

For the fourth consecutive election cycle, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas plans to deliver petitions to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office on Monday to become a “new political party” for the 2018 election.

Because the party failed to win 3% of the electoral vote in the 2016 presidential race that swept Republican nominee Donald Trump into the White House, Arkansas law requires a new political party to collect 10,000 valid voter signatures during a 90-day period.

The base of the 10 Commandments monument was installed earlier this month.
Wesley Brown / Talk Business & Politics

Construction is underway on the foundation of a Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol, setting up a possible legal showdown on the constitutionality of religious monuments on public property.

On May 11, the State Capitol Arts and Ground Commission unanimously approved a proposal to place a Ten Commandments monument on the west side of the State Capitol grounds, in between the Arkansas Supreme Court and offices of the State Department of Education.

Little Rock Nine 9
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, joined Tueday (May 23) with civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont to introduce legislation expanding boundaries of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

This expansion would mean seven homes located near Little Rock Central High School would be included in the school’s national historic site designation and preserved by the National Park Service. The legislation is being introduced ahead of the city’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine in September.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The concrete base of a popular memorial at the Arkansas State Capitol in honor of the nine black students famous for integrating Little Rock Central High School is literally falling apart, a top official with the Secretary of State’s office said Thursday.

Kelly Boyd, chief deputy with Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office, told members of the State Capitol Arts and Ground Commission panel that nearly $8,000 will be spent to repair the memorial, one of the most visited memorials on the State Capitol grounds.

10 Ten Commandments monument
Wesley Brown / Talk Business & Politics

The State Capitol Arts and Ground Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a proposal to place a Ten Commandments monument on the west side of the State Capitol grounds, setting up a legal showdown on the constitutionality of religious monuments on public property.

solar power stuttgart
Entergy Arkansas

Here comes the sun and I say it’s alright, Entergy Arkansas and NextEra Energy Resource officials announced Tuesday.

While no one was there to sing the Beatles’ solar-powered hit tune, Entergy and partner NextEra, along with local leaders in Arkansas County, christened the state’s largest universal solar energy project – the Stuttgart Solar Energy Center – during a sun-filled ceremony.

Little Rock Technology tech Park
Talk Business & Politics

The long-awaited grand opening of Phase I development of the Little Rock Technology Park will take place in two weeks when the public will be invited to the downtown area to see the city’s multimillion dollar master plan to lure tech investment and talent to the region.

Little Rock Tech Park officials have scheduled a grand opening for the city’s first tech park on April 24, from 4-6 p.m. The evening event will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, along with tours of the unique open space, six-floor development.

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