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.

415 Main Street, Little Rock Tech Park Authority
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The legal woes of the Little Rock Technology Park Authority became more entangled Monday as the authority filed a condemnation lawsuit against Little Rock Attorney Richard Mays Sr. in an ongoing dispute that stands in the way of a $100 million development to lure tech companies and entrepreneurs to the downtown area.

After entering 2015 with big hopes and a potentially game-changing bid to land a flag-waving super project in the state’s neglected Delta region, Arkansas’ manufacturing sector has hit a wall in the second half of 2015 as the number of blue collar jobs in the state are sliding to the lowest level since the state began keeping such records.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he has a list of companies in Japan and China that he plans to visit in the coming days during his Far East trade mission in hopes those countries will consider future capital ventures and investments in Arkansas.

“It is important for the governor of Arkansas to market the state, and to bring opportunity,” Hutchinson said at the annual meeting of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas held at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. “I will be able to knock on their door.”


Although gas prices have edged up in recent weeks across Arkansas and the rest of the U.S., the monthly average for a gallon of regular unleaded is expected to decline between Thanksgiving and Christmas as unplanned refinery outages this fall come back online, according to Tuesday’s short-term energy forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

jobs unemployment employment

More than 50,000 workers across the U.S. will join the unemployment line ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, but the good news is that employers are cutting fewer positions than a year ago, according to the latest layoff report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Power Lines

The U.S. Department of Energy released its final environmental impact statement for the proposed Plains and Eastern Clean Line transmission project, a controversial $2 billion electric transmission line that proposes to deliver up to 3,500 megawatts of wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to communities in Arkansas, Tennessee and other states.

Attorney Richard Mays said on Monday he would consider all his options concerning an $845,000 offer on the table from the Little Rock Tech Park Authority, but wouldn’t say for certain if he would fight to keep the taxpayer-financed group from taking his law office through eminent domain proceedings.

“I plan to consider their offer and take all of the issues under consideration and respond,” Mays told Talk Business & Politics. “I have been in this building a long time, it may be difficult to make a decision … but I’ll do the best I can.”

The U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) paid out $16.6 million to more than 4,200 Arkansas retirees in failed retirement plans in 2014 as the program’s insolvency has now been delayed for three years.

white bluff entergy power plant coal energy
Arkansas Business

Less than a full business day after the final rules for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan were published on Friday in the Federal Register, legal challenges from industry groups to halt the new greenhouse gas rules are already piling up at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The newly hired chief of Walmart’s energy division told members of the Arkansas Advance Energy Association on Tuesday that the retail giant’s ultimate goal in becoming 100% sustainable and supplied by renewable energy is still to reduce costs and bring lower prices to the retail giant’s millions of customers

“My responsibility as we execute these (goals) that we are doing is that at the same time we are reducing costs to Walmart and passing it on to the customers,” said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of Walmart energy.