A study released Thursday by the Brookings Institution and the Walton Family Foundation looks at the economic health of a 19 state region in the middle of the country, including Arkansas.

"The State of the Heartland : Factbook 2018" uses socioeconomic factors to look at the how the area’s economy has been performing in recent years compared to the rest of the country. The full report can be found here.

Ross DeVol, a Walton Fellow and one of the report’s authors, spoke with KUAR News about the findings.

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Five Arkansas Supreme Court justices are challenging efforts to sanction them over the court's decision to disqualify a judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration from hearing any execution-related cases.

The LRSD celebrating a topping out ceremony, a rite traditionally observed by builders when the last steel beam is placed on top of a structure.
Colton Faull / KUAR News

A milestone was celebrated Wednesday in the construction of the Little Rock Southwest High School. Officials with the Little Rock School District held a topping-out ceremony, which is a rite traditionally observed by builders when the last steel beam is placed on top of a structure.

The school, slated to open in 2020, will combine the student populations of J.A. Fair and McClellan high schools. Superintendent Michael Poore says the new faculty will help keep the district competitive.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission

A company hired to grade Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary applications says it can deliver scores to the state by the end of next month. But at a meeting Tuesday, the chair of the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission voiced concerns that no physicians are part of the scoring team.

Thomas Aldridge, a manager with Public Consulting Group, spoke with commissioners about the process to help decide who should get the 32 licenses for dispensaries that will be spread throughout the state. About 200 entities have submitted applications.

An example of a farmer harvesting soybeans.
Creative Commons

Repeated rainfall has Arkansas soybean growers behind schedule in harvesting their crop. Farmers are behind the past five year average of having 60 percent of their crop gathered by this time of year. Currently the soybean harvest is at 44 percent among Arkansas growers according to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Jeremy Ross, a soybean expert with the university, says farmers are roughly 26 percent behind this year compared to the previous year.

Johnny Cash Festival To Honor 50th Anniversary Of Prison Concert

Oct 16, 2018
Johnny Cash Boyhood Home
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Man in Black was on the verge of losing it all. He was recently divorced, and drugs and alcohol continued to ravage Johnny Cash’s body and mind. He needed a comeback, and it was time to gamble.

Cash arrived at Folsom, a prison near Sacramento, Calif., on Jan. 13, 1968. His performance in front of about 1,000 inmates, became one of the most iconic moments in American music and resurrected his career.

The five candidates for mayor at a forum at Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

During a forum Monday, the five candidates for mayor of Little Rock - Frank Scott Jr., Baker Kurrus, Warwick Sabin, Glen Schwarz, and Vincent Tolliver - were asked about a recent Washington Post article detailing alleged illegal drug raids in Little Rock.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock mayoral candidates Vincent Tollver, Frank Scott Jr., Baker Kurrus, Warwick Sabin and Glen Schwarz met Monday evening, October 15 at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock for a forum covering general topics.

Students prepare for a previous presentation of Tales of the Crypt at Little Rock's historic Mount Holly Cemetery.
Parkview High School

Rain is again impacting the annual Tales of the Crypt which is normally held at Little Rock’s historic Mount Holly Cemetery. The event features high school students portraying the many notable people who are buried there.

It was originally scheduled to be held last Tuesday, Oct. 9, but thunderstorms prompted organizers to postpone it until this Tuesday. With rain again in the forecast, the event will not be held at the cemetery, but instead in the auditorium at Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School.

Arkansas Works Governor Asa Hutchinson Work Requirement
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas has nearly doubled the number of people removed from its expanded Medicaid program over a new work requirement that's the subject of a federal lawsuit.

The state Department of Human Services on Monday said more than 4,100 people lost their Medicaid coverage for not complying with the rule. It requires some beneficiaries to work 80 hours a month for three months in a calendar year.


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