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.

marijuana
npr.org

Arkansas has joined the growing list of states where medical marijuana is legal despite warnings from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other opponents who said use of the drug will lead to increased regulatory costs and healthcare woes.

Little Rock-based Windstream Holdings, which has seen its market value drop more than 64% since early 2012, announced early Monday a merger-of-equals with the popular 1990s Atlanta-based Internet dial-up provider Earthlink for $1.1 billion.

EarthLink shareholders will receive 0.818 shares of Windstream common stock for each EarthLink share owned. This ratio represents a 13% premium to the average exchange ratio of 0.721x over the month ended Nov. 3, 2016, the most recent unaffected trading day. The deal includes debt held by Earthlink.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson Tuesday unveiled a proposal to make War Memorial Stadium a part of the state Department of Parks and Tourism in order to keep the aging, urban Little Rock arena self-sufficient.

Governor Asa Hutchinson Skype
Governor's Office

After seeing thousands of nondurable apparel manufacturing jobs leave eastern Arkansas since the early 1990s, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and his economic development team are bringing 400 of those jobs back to the state.

Natural Gas Drilling Mt. Vernon in Faulkner County
Arkansas Times

For the first time since the end of 2015, a natural drilling rig in Arkansas is up and running in the Fayetteville Shale play as natural gas futures bounced around $3 per million British Thermal units over the past week.

According Baker Hughes’ weekly oil rig count released Friday (Sept. 30), the commodity-driven oil and gas industry got a boost this week number of rigs in operation rose by 11 to end the week at 522. The oil rig count rose by a robust 7 to 425, while the number of natural gas rotary rigs increased by 4 to 96, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.

Asa Hutchinson
Arkansas Times

Gov. Asa Hutchinson kicked off the annual Arkansas Hospitality Convention in Little Rock on Wednesday  by touting the impact the fast-growing tourism industry is having on the state's overall economic expansion.

Citing a recent U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report designating Arkansas as the nation’s economic leader during the first quarter, Hutchinson told convention-goers gathered at the Statehouse Convention Center that the tourism sector has also play a key role in recent job growth and low unemployment levels.

Diamond Pipeline LLC

One week after getting the go ahead to begin work on a 440-mile crude oil pipeline across the heart of Arkansas, Diamond Pipeline officials said Tuesday they still expect to begin construction by year’s end and begin hiring the hundreds of workers needed to complete the project.

Diamond Pipeline LLC

An evidentiary hearing at the Arkansas Public Service Commission on how the $900 million Diamond Pipeline will cross five major in-state water sources lasted less than 15 minutes on Thursday after opponents of the 440-mile crude oil line withdrew their testimony.

An earlier proposed route for the Plains and Eastern Clean Line.
Clean Line Partners

Two landowner groups along the proposed $2 billion Plains & Clean Line project filed a legal complaint Monday against the U.S. Department of Energy and the Southwestern Power Administration over the use of federal eminent domain powers in Arkansas to benefit a Texas for-profit venture group.

Diamond Pipeline officials are prepared to begin construction on a $900 million, 440-pipeline before the end of 2016 once state utility regulators hold a hearing next week that will close the book on any remaining hurdles for the three-state project.

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