KASU

Talk Business

Saturdays, 3:30pm
  • Hosted by Roby Brock

A multi-media news organization focusing on Arkansas news and information.Content is driven by Roby Brock, who has interviewed more than 2,000 business and political leaders. Brock is the host of Talk Business & Politics which airs Sunday mornings at 9 am on KATV Channel 7. He also moderates a radio program which airs on NPR affiliates statewide (including KASU, Saturdays at 3:30pm). Supporting staff, contributors,and content partners represent the most knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. 

Digital platforms such as Talkbusiness.net, Facebook and Twitter allow news and information from around the state to be made accessible as it is happening and keeps those most affected in the know. Talk Business.net micro-sites further providing dedicated content to the Northwest and Northeast regions.In addition, micro-sites are dedicated to specific industry insights such as entrepreneurial, education, healthcare and financial news. 

Daily e-newsletters with top business and political news are complemented with specific industry updates strategically assigned per day to support industry trends. 

The Talk Business & Politics publication reaches affluent decision-makers across the state and is an essential resource guide for new entrepreneurs and leaders at all levels of government. With a dedicated delivery of 16,000 copies bi-monthly, readers receive an in-depth look at business and political profiles, the most current developments in key industries, and corporate and policy strategies. 

The audience of Talk Business & Politics is predominantly CEOs, presidents and principals of companies statewide. In addition, elected officials at all levels, trade association executives, healthcare leaders and higher education representatives. 

Courtesy of Talk Business & Politics Facebook page

Ways to Connect

A water wall is moving down the Black River and parts of Northeast Arkansas are bracing for the worst floods in generations. At least 300 people were evacuated from eastern Pocahontas on Monday as the river continued to rise, fueled by weekend rains in southern Missouri.

In the last two months, President Donald Trump has seen erosion in his job approval numbers from Arkansas voters, while Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s performance seems to have risen over the course of the Arkansas legislative session.

New polling from Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College shows a seven-point decline for Trump and a three-point rise for Hutchinson. In the survey, taken Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 550 Arkansas voters expressed their views.

Arkansas voters remain firmly committed to the death penalty despite an upcoming quick execution schedule, advances made in DNA testing, and a national trend towards ending the practice.

Talk Business & Politics

Plans to build a 165-room Hyatt Place Hotel and an adjoining 78,000-square-foot convention center near Jonesboro’s hotel row off Caraway Road are in peril. Dirt work has been begun at the site, but liens have already been placed against the property, according to the city’s A&P Commission.

Arkansas-based retail giant Wal-Mart in its re-organization of the Walmart U.S. technology division is eliminating around 300 jobs in the Information Systems Division (ISD).

The Melba Theater in Downtown Batesville, picture from Arkansas Parks and Tourism, credit Talk Business and Politics
Talk Business & Politics

Adam Curtwright’s first job was at the Melba Theater in downtown Batesville. In elementary school, he’d watched many movies on the theater’s lone screen. After he graduated from high school, Curtwright moved onto other jobs and ultimately became a banker.

But he yearned to return to the Melba, and when the building became available he, his wife, Mandy, and another couple, Joe and Janelle Shell, made a daring move.

Talk Business & Politics

Members of Arkansas’ Congressional delegation plan to send a letter to newly appointed U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry asking him to reverse the Obama Administration’s participation in the controversial Clean Line project through Arkansas.

Talk Business & Politics

A heated debate that has been stewing in Northeast Arkansas for months spilled over into a House panel on Tuesday (Feb. 28) after lawmakers backed a plan to merge Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute of Forrest City into its next door neighbor, East Arkansas Community College (EACC).

Talk Business & Politics

Doniphan Vitality, a non-profit organization, has received a $100,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority, DRA, to conduct an innovation hub feasibility study in four southern Missouri counties and Sharp and Randolph counties in Arkansas.

The University of Missouri Extension Office has also pledged a $20,000 match, DV Arkansas leadership point person Graycen Bigger told Talk Business & Politics.

In a new survey, Arkansas voters made it clear they prefer the implementation of medical marijuana to allow for smoking cannabis and not waiting for federal law to allow for statewide usage.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll asked 440 Arkansas voters for their preferences on two debates occurring at the state legislature regarding medical marijuana’s implementation. Voters approved the measure last November by a 53-47% margin. In the latest survey conducted Tuesday, Feb. 14, voters were asked:

Talk Business & Politics

Ahab Alammar has lived the American dream. The 28-year-old was born in Syria, but when he turned 13 his family was able to secure him a visa to come to the United States. He was the only person in his village of about 5,000 people to get one.

President Donald Trump’s popularity in Arkansas has not diminished since the November election despite national polling that suggests voter attitude shifts. Meanwhile, Arkansas voters still solidly approve of the job Gov. Asa Hutchinson is doing a little more than halfway through his first term.

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A coalition of grocery store chains, dry county liquor store owners and small winery operators won the first round of a hot legislative battle when a bill allowing sales of all wine varieties in local grocery stores cleared the Senate floor on Wednesday.

Talk Business & Politics

U. S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, says having a Southerner as Agriculture Secretary will be good for Arkansas. He also says don’t look for a singular piece of legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Crawford, who appeared on Talk Business & Politics this week, said former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who has been nominated by President Trump as Agriculture Secretary, will be good for Arkansas farmers.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said that contradictions between state and federal law regarding medical marijuana usage will ultimately be a decision that federal prosecutors must reconcile. In the interim, Rutledge is advising state lawmakers to follow through with their duties to incorporate a voter-approved amendment into Arkansas code.

The Department of Human Services has virtually erased a backlog of Medicaid eligibility cases that had reached 140,000 people earlier this year, Director Cindy Gillespie said in a letter sent to Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday (Jan. 11).

As of Dec. 30, there were 692 overdue cases. Some individuals’ applications dated back to 2014.

“Based on a review of the remaining cases, all individuals have coverage and the only work that remains is simply clean-up of case files,” wrote Gillespie, who began working in her position in March.

The Delta Regional Authority has donated $1 million toward the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub’s I-Fund, a funding and training program for small businesses started by college students. The program will expand in its geographical reach and will be called the Delta I-Fund, according to an email newsletter from the Hub.

The next two 12-week sessions will be in the fall, offering $50,000 in potential funding for each startup. All companies accepted to the program will receive $5,000. Participants will be selected by a five-person committee, according to the Hub.

House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on a controversial rules change that would have replaced the independent Office of Congressional Ethics with a new office under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

Talk Business & Politics

Some Arkansas workers will get a 50 cent boost in pay on New Year’s Day when the state’s minimum wage will rise from $8 to $8.50, Arkansas Department of Labor officials said Wednesday (Dec. 28).

“This is the final increment of the (Arkansas Minimum Wage Initiative) that was passed by voters in 2014,” said Rosalyn Miller, public relations officer of the state Department of Labor.

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There have been attempts in recent years by state Democrats and advocacy organizations to increase the amount of money the state spends on its pre-K program, known as Arkansas Better Chance (ABC). Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families held a meeting Thursday in Jonesboro to inform locals about potential legislation, including ABC funding that will be considered by the Arkansas General Assembly next year.

AACF senior policy analyst Paul Kelly told Talk Business & Politics the state’s economic future is dependent upon advances in the ABC program.

Tyson Foods ended its fiscal year with net income of $1.768 billion, 45% more than the previous fiscal year, thanks in part to lower grain costs, better margins in the chicken segment and continued success with its prepared foods business.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., gave no hints on a possible role in the upcoming Donald Trump administration in an interview that covered Trump’s potential conflicts of business interests, Iran sanctions, the lame-duck Congress, and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

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Low crop yields could force some farmers in Craighead County to abandon their livelihoods by the spring, Craighead County Extension Agent Brannon Thiesse told Talk Business & Politics.

Rain, humidity, periods of intense heat, and other factors have led to a relatively poor harvest for rice, soybeans, and corn farmers – three of the staple row crops in the region. There are roughly 200 farmers in Craighead County, and Theisse estimates up to 5% of them could go out of business as a result of poor yields.

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he will commit $10 million in additional funding for higher education in fiscal year 2019 – the first across-the-board funding increase for the state’s colleges and universities since 1996 and the first increase of any kind in six years.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The Arkansas Supreme Court in a 5-2 opinion has disqualified the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act – Issue 7 – from the November ballot, with the majority opinion saying the act sponsors “failed to meet the constitutional requirements” related to the signature gathering process.

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