Arkansas economy http://visitmyarkansas.com/ Wed, 18 May 2022 08:47:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://visitmyarkansas.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon.png Arkansas economy http://visitmyarkansas.com/ 32 32 Harrison’s robotics center gets $2 million https://visitmyarkansas.com/harrisons-robotics-center-gets-2-million/ Wed, 18 May 2022 07:58:57 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/harrisons-robotics-center-gets-2-million/ A federal agency is contributing $2 million to help complete the development of North Arkansas College’s Center for Robotics & Manufacturing Innovation, a workforce training initiative that will support industry in the region. The initiative, nearing completion in its fundraising phase, has received significant support through the commitment of the Economic Development Administration, part of […]]]>

A federal agency is contributing $2 million to help complete the development of North Arkansas College’s Center for Robotics & Manufacturing Innovation, a workforce training initiative that will support industry in the region.

The initiative, nearing completion in its fundraising phase, has received significant support through the commitment of the Economic Development Administration, part of the US Department of Commerce. The EDA investment will be matched by $5.4 million in state and local funds.

“It’s the missing piece we’ve been waiting for,” university president Rick Massengale said of the EDA grant on Tuesday.

Plans are to break ground this summer on the 32,500 square foot facility and set up training operations over the next two years. The training center, estimated to cost $8 million, will house the school’s manufacturing, machining, robotics, electronics and IT programs.

The training programs will be industry-focused and shaped to provide advanced manufacturing training to Arkansas businesses, Massengale said.

“All of this is done to support the industry,” he added. “We have a lot of industry support in our area and they sit on our advisory board, giving us their input. We really rely on them to help us incorporate that into what it takes to meet their needs.”

The Harrison Center will be one of only two FANUC-certified robotics training centers in the South, according to Massengale. FANUC America Corp. is one of the world’s leading suppliers of robotic equipment, with more than 25 million products installed in factories and innovation centers around the world.

The North Arkansas College initiative is a great example of the state’s efforts to promote advanced manufacturing and training and encourage participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, according to Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston.

“The Center for Robotics & Manufacturing Innovation at North Arkansas College is an excellent resource for the state to continue to attract and develop a STEM-educated workforce,” Preston said Tuesday. “This center is the latest tool in our belt to diversify our economy and make Arkansas a destination for STEM workers, and the EDA grant will go a long way toward making that happen.”

The school will provide advanced manufacturing training for high school graduates and will also make the facility available to companies that want to improve worker training and skills. “What we’re hoping to come out of this is not something that helps the industry replace jobs, but helps improve the skills of its employees so they can keep high-tech jobs,” Massengale said.

Harrison and Boone County have an aging workforce and manufacturing industries that operate in the global marketplace, making workforce training essential for the region to remain competitive, according to Bob Largent, president. and CEO of the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“Manufacturing is critical to what we do,” Largent said Tuesday. “The missing ingredient has been a technology-driven skill set to take this aging workforce and give them the skills to stay competitive. This gives Harrison and Boone County the opportunity to be at the forefront of improving workforce skills on the latest technologies.”

In addition to specific training programs, the facility will provide “manufacturing space for the industry” to test new production lines or conduct research and development efforts for potential new products, Massengale said.

Funding for the EDA is being made through the U.S. Bailout Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, which has set aside $500 million in grants to help the industry recover from the pandemic and stimulate employment opportunities in local communities.

]]>
Northwest Arkansas slips three spots on magazine’s list of best places to live https://visitmyarkansas.com/northwest-arkansas-slips-three-spots-on-magazines-list-of-best-places-to-live/ Tue, 17 May 2022 10:19:12 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/northwest-arkansas-slips-three-spots-on-magazines-list-of-best-places-to-live/ Northwest Arkansas is still in the top 10 of US News & World Report’s list of the best places to live in the United States in 2022-2023, but the area has fallen from fourth to seventh place. The new list ranks the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the country. To make it to the […]]]>

Northwest Arkansas is still in the top 10 of US News & World Report’s list of the best places to live in the United States in 2022-2023, but the area has fallen from fourth to seventh place.

The new list ranks the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the country. To make it to the top of the list, a place had to have good value for money, be a good place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life.

“Fayetteville’s affordability, labor market, population growth due to net migration and other details are all strong and place Fayetteville at No. 7. However, its fall to No. 7 from No. 4 the last year is really about individual data points, like top 10 places offer a lot of what people are looking for when considering relocating,” US News real estate editor Devon Thosby said in response. to why the Northwest Arkansas Metro dropped three spots.

“In the Quality of Living Index, Fayetteville ranks 112th for well-being, which is down slightly from the previous year, which measures the general happiness of residents relative to where they live, based on the welfare of the Sharecare Community Index,” Thosby said.

Sharecare’s Community Wellbeing Index assesses health risk in 10 domains: five domains to represent individual health risk and another five to understand the underlying social circumstances in which individuals are born, live, work and play, according to their website.

The Sharecare Community Wellbeing Index was developed in partnership with the Boston University School of Public Health and is updated annually for metropolitan areas nationwide. The index is based on responses to over 3 million surveys and over 600 social determinants of health.

Overall, the top-ranked metros have commonalities that include high percentages of individuals who indicate they have enough money to do what they want; high percentages of individuals who indicate that their city is the ideal place for them; lower levels of depression risk; and lower levels of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart attacks than the lowest-ranked metros, according to Sharecare.

Arkansas ranks 49th out of 50 states for well-being, according to the latest results available.

The area has been in the top 10 best places to live, according to the magazine, since 2016.

“Northwest Arkansas’ continued recognition as one of the best places to live in the United States is a testament to decades of collaborative efforts to improve the region’s economy and quality of life,” said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council, a group of business leaders and citizens.

“As the region continues to grow, we must develop and attract talent to create the jobs of tomorrow while managing the challenges associated with population growth, including housing affordability, increasing congestion and ensuring that all are welcome and included.”

Huntsville, Alabama toppled Boulder, Colorado, falling three positions to grab the No. 1 ranking, dropping from third position last year due to its strong housing affordability and high quality of life, although its desirability score is on the lower side of the 150 ranked places.

Three new cities joined the top five: Colorado Springs, Colorado, rose four positions to second place; Green Bay, Wis., jumped 18 places to No. 3; and San Jose, Calif., catapulted 31 spots to No. 5.

The rest of the top 10 included No. 6 Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina, No. 8 Portland, Maine, No. 9 Sarasota, Florida and No. 10 San Francisco.

Austin, Texas dropped out of the top 10.

Little Rock comes in at No. 87 on this year’s list, and Tulsa is at No. 82. Wichita, Kan., is at No. 103 and Springfield, Mo., is at No. 104.

“Much of the reshuffling we’re seeing at the top of this year’s rankings is the result of shifting preferences,” Thosby said in a press release. “People moving across the country today place more emphasis on affordability and quality of life than the job market, which in many ways takes a back seat as remote work options have become more common.”

This year, US News added air quality as a factor in its Quality of Life Index, as Americans increasingly consider environmental factors before making a major move.

US News has determined the best places to live 2022-2023 based on a methodology that considers labor market, value, quality of life, desirability and net migration rates. They were determined in part through a public survey of thousands of individuals across the United States about what qualities they consider important in a place to live. The methodology also considers data from the US Census Bureau, FBI, Sharecare, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and US News rankings of high schools and hospitals.

The best places to live

Here is a link to the US News & World Report 2022-2023 Best Places to Live: https://realestate.usnews.com/places/rankings/best-places-to-live?src=usn_pr

Here is an overview of the top 10:

1.Huntsville, Alabama.

2. Colorado Springs, Colorado.

3. Green Bay, Wis.

4. Boulder, Colo.

5. San Jose, California.

6. Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina

7. Fayetteville

8. Portland, Maine

9. Sarasota, Florida.

10. San Francisco, California.

]]>
Arkansas River is watching another summer boost from Fry-Ark – by Tara Flanagan https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-river-is-watching-another-summer-boost-from-fry-ark-by-tara-flanagan/ Mon, 16 May 2022 14:45:30 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-river-is-watching-another-summer-boost-from-fry-ark-by-tara-flanagan/ As Colorado’s fragile landscape cries out for rain amid a two-decade drought, water watchers have been watching the high peaks and wondering what this year’s runoff will be, and how much will sink. in the parched ground en route to his goal. waterway. Last year, local rafting industry players said there was reason to be […]]]>

As Colorado’s fragile landscape cries out for rain amid a two-decade drought, water watchers have been watching the high peaks and wondering what this year’s runoff will be, and how much will sink. in the parched ground en route to his goal. waterway.

Last year, local rafting industry players said there was reason to be nervous going into 2022 if the drought in the West persisted.

As the Bureau of Reclamation made its declaration of historic shortage on the Colorado River on August 16, the internationally known waters flowing through Browns Canyon National Monument prompted a question: Would additional water discharges from the Fry-Ark System continue? to inflate these waves – and the economy linked to them – between July 1 and August 15, 2022?

The May 12 US Drought Monitor shows a parched landscape across much of the state. Image/US Drought Tracker

It looks like it will be for another season. According to Greg Felt, a Chaffee County commissioner who sits on numerous water boards statewide (including a governor’s appointment at the Colorado Water Conservation Board), the Voluntary Flow Management Program (VFMP) will provide again 10,000 acre-feet in Arkansas. .

Additionally, he says, the Pueblo Board of Water Works plans to send about 5,000 acre-feet into the river, and that doesn’t have to coincide with the VFMP.

Fry-Ark, or Fry Pan-Arkansas, is the trans-basin diversion system that drains from the Fryingpan River in Pitkin County and is released from Twin and Turquoise Lakes. Its origins lie on the increasingly stressed Colorado River. In total, Fry-Ark sends an average of 58,000 acre-feet per year, much of which is used in agriculture below Pueblo Reservoir.

Last year, the drought saw a break with rains over the Front Range as well as rains in and around Chaffee County which hinted at a monsoon pattern. “Don’t neglect the rain,” Felt says. “It does a lot for agriculture and we saw it last year.”

That said, he noted that “there is a pretty big question mark over what to expect this year in terms of snow and flow.”

Local irrigation ditches are in line for priority calling and many are already running. Those who operate ditches with junior rights continue to watch the peaks of dryness and water calls, hoping that there will be enough runoff for this season.

Currently, the US Drought Monitor isn’t reporting much good news. Comparing Colorado maps from April 12 and May 10, much of the state moved from moderate to severe drought, with Chaffee County remaining in mostly moderate drought, with stretches of severe drought across the south and southeast edges. Additionally, the state continues to have pockets of extreme and exceptional drought, with a new area of ​​extreme drought that has moved to the corners of Washington, Lincoln, Adams, Arapahoe, and Elbert counties.

Featured Image: The Arkansas River is an economic engine of the entire Arkansas River Valley. Photo by Tara Flanagan.

]]>
GOP senators make surprise visit to Ukraine https://visitmyarkansas.com/gop-senators-make-surprise-visit-to-ukraine/ Sun, 15 May 2022 09:56:27 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/gop-senators-make-surprise-visit-to-ukraine/ WASHINGTON — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and a delegation of GOP senators met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv during an unannounced visit Saturday, delivering the latest show of American solidarity with the country at war with Russia. . A video posted to Zelenskyy’s Telegram account showed McConnell, R-Ky., and Sens. Susan Collins, […]]]>

WASHINGTON — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and a delegation of GOP senators met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv during an unannounced visit Saturday, delivering the latest show of American solidarity with the country at war with Russia. .

A video posted to Zelenskyy’s Telegram account showed McConnell, R-Ky., and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, salute him in the capitol. Zelenskyy, in an Instagram post, called the visit “a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American people.”

Later, in his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said he thought the senators’ trip showed “the close bond between the Ukrainian and American people. We discussed various areas of support for our country, including defense and finances, as well as the strengthening of sanctions against Russia.

The trip came at a time when the Senate is working to approve a nearly $40 billion package for Ukraine, a substantial infusion of support that will push US aid to the region well above 50. billions of dollars. The measure includes $6 billion for Ukraine for intelligence, equipment and training for its forces, plus $4 billion in funding to help Ukraine and NATO allies build up their armies.

The passage was delayed Thursday by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who demanded the inclusion of a proposal for an inspector general to review the new spending. But final approval is undoubted and could come in the coming week, reflecting overwhelming congressional support for rebuilding Ukraine’s war effort.

“They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend against this deranged invasion,” McConnell said last week of the Ukrainians. “And they need that help right now.”

This was the second high-level Congressional delegation to stop in Ukraine in as many weeks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, visited May 1 with a group of House Democrats and promised Zelenskyy that the United States “will be here for you until the fight be finished”.

First Lady Jill Biden also traveled to western Ukraine earlier this month for a Mother’s Day reunion with Zelenskyy’s wife, Olena Zelenska.

FINANCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is urging international banks not to help Russia evade sanctions, warning companies risk losing access to markets in the United States and Europe if they back corporations or oligarchs Russians facing financial restrictions following the war in Ukraine. .

Senior Treasury official’s warning highlights US efforts to pressure Russia’s economy through US financial muscle and underscores Biden administration’s broad view of its ability to enforce sanctions as it seeks to isolate Russia from the global economy.

In private meetings Friday with representatives of international banks in New York, Adewale Adeyemo, the deputy treasury secretary, laid out the consequences of helping Russians flout sanctions. He pointed to the ‘material support provision’ which states that even if a financial institution is based in a country that has not imposed sanctions on Russia, the company can still face consequences for violating the restrictions. American or European, including being cut off from these financial systems.

“If you provide material support to a sanctioned person or entity, we can extend our sanctions regime to you and use our tools to prosecute you as well,” Adeyemo said on Friday. “I want to say very clearly to those institutions that are domiciled and to other countries that may not have imposed sanctions: that the United States and our allies and partners stand ready to act if they make things that violate our sanctions.”

The Biden administration has imposed sweeping restrictions on Russian financial institutions, oligarchs and its central bank. It has coordinated with allies in Europe and Asia to crack down on sanctions busting; the direct warning to foreign banks was part of this effort.

Financial institutions from China, Brazil, Ireland, Japan and Canada attended the meeting, which was hosted by the Institute of International Bankers.

Adeyemo said U.S. banks had been careful to avoid violating U.S. sanctions, but Russian individuals and companies were looking to create trusts and use powers of attorney as workarounds. He also pointed to companies that could provide support to sanctioned oligarchs trying to move their yachts to different ports to avoid seizure.

Most jurisdictions complied with the sanctions, but some, such as the United Arab Emirates, continued to provide a safe haven for Russian assets. The yachts of several Russian oligarchs have been moored in Dubai.

“You’ve seen a number of Russian yachts leaving ports, from countries that have extended sanctions to countries that haven’t,” Adeyemo said. “We want to make it clear to people that if you are a financial institution and you have a business that is a customer that provides material support to one of these yachts, you, that business, may be subject to our support provision. material. .”

Referring to his message to foreign banks, he added: “You need to make sure that not only do you make sure you are monitoring the flows to your financial institution, but you also need to help by reminding the companies you support that they, neither do you want them to provide material support to Russian oligarchs or Russian companies as well.”

Citigroup, the largest U.S. bank in Russia, with about 3,000 employees there, was in “active dialogue” to sell its Russian consumer and commercial banking businesses, Jane Fraser, its CEO, told Bloomberg this month. this.

Citigroup reduced its exposure to Russia to $7.9 billion in March from $9.8 billion at the end of last year, a filing showed. “This militarization of financial services is a very, very big problem,” Fraser said this month. She said she expected global capital flows to fragment as nations developed new financial systems to avoid being overly dependent on Western companies.

Information for this article was provided by The Associated Press and Alan Rappeport and Emily Flitter of The New York Times.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pose for a photo in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 14, 2022 (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
photo Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (left) shakes hands with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Saturday in Kyiv, Ukraine. (AP/Ukrainian Presidential Press Office)
photo Relatives and friends react during the funeral of Melnyk Andriy, Shufryn Andriy and Ankratov Oleksandra, three Ukrainian soldiers killed in the east of the country, on Saturday in Lviv, Ukraine. (AP/Emilio Morenatti)
photo Ukrainian National Guard soldiers inspect a basement during a reconnaissance mission Saturday in a village recently recaptured on Saturday on the outskirts of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. (AP/Bernat Armangue)

Gallery: Images from Ukraine, month 3

]]>
District 19 State Representative Preview https://visitmyarkansas.com/district-19-state-representative-preview/ Fri, 13 May 2022 23:58:27 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/district-19-state-representative-preview/ SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The primary election will decide who will be on your ballot for the District 19 legislative race in November. The Republican race has only one candidate, but Democrats must narrow the field. Early voting underway across Arkansas The state representative race for District 19 has three candidates. A Republican, Steve Unger, […]]]>

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The primary election will decide who will be on your ballot for the District 19 legislative race in November.

The Republican race has only one candidate, but Democrats must narrow the field.

The state representative race for District 19 has three candidates. A Republican, Steve Unger, and two Democratic candidates, Paula Irwin and Richard Billingsley, making the primaries an important election for them.

Each candidate emphasizes infrastructure. For Unger and Irwin, they hope to advance construction of Highway 4-12 in Springdale.

Unger said the area’s roads need to grow with cars and people. Irwin hopes to see traffic flow more efficiently.

“I’m excited about some of the road plans and for and frankly, I would like to preserve what’s lovely about this place, including our green spaces and reducing traffic congestion,” Unger said.

The infrastructure Billingsley is most interested in is building our rail system, creating more jobs during the construction phase and once it is complete.

“We can have a food truck at the station, for example. It’s really a boom across the country. We can make it work here in Arkansas,” Billingsley said.

Unger and Billingsley said they advocated changes in taxes. Unger hopes to get rid of state income taxes.

“What you would see then is basically an economy blowing up, there are a lot of ways to raise money other than an income tax,” Unger said.

Billingsley wants to cut the sales tax by two cents, saying his district is suffering from inflation.

Another item each candidate considers is how to improve education in the area. Unger wants to create more opportunities for vocational students, which he says is where he will focus most of his energy.

Billingsley wants to find ways like solar-powered schools to cut costs and give teachers raises with the money saved.

Irwin thinks broadband expansion and school staffing are most important, saying the pandemic has shown the region the resources the school needs. She also thinks the schools need more support staff.

Another area where Irwin wants to make improvements is in the state’s veterans homes and access to affordable health care for the aging population.

Overall, each nominee is thrilled to represent an area they’ve been around for a long time and love.

Early voting lasts until May 23, the day before Election Day. Polling stations are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. On the Monday before Election Day, polling stations will close at 5 p.m.

]]>
Ideas project looking for creators https://visitmyarkansas.com/ideas-project-looking-for-creators/ Fri, 13 May 2022 08:07:34 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/ideas-project-looking-for-creators/ Applications are now open for Pine Bluff residents to bring their ideas to life through an idea accelerator program. Heartland Forward has partnered with Builders + Backers and Go Forward Pine Bluff. They bring the Community Growth Program and Toolkit, a one-of-a-kind idea accelerator, the Pebble Fund and Buildership Program, powered by Builders + Backers, […]]]>

Applications are now open for Pine Bluff residents to bring their ideas to life through an idea accelerator program.

Heartland Forward has partnered with Builders + Backers and Go Forward Pine Bluff. They bring the Community Growth Program and Toolkit, a one-of-a-kind idea accelerator, the Pebble Fund and Buildership Program, powered by Builders + Backers, to spur entrepreneurial thinking and action to Pine Bluff.

Anyone with a creative and unexpected idea to solve a problem facing the Pine Bluff community can complete a request at https://www.buildersandbackers.com/idea-accelerator-learn-more. Pine Bluff residents must apply by May 30. Residents with the most promising and innovative ideas will be selected to participate in a two-month virtual program starting June 16, according to a press release.

This new cohort of five builders in Pine Bluff is part of Heartland Forward’s commitment to fund and support 1,000 builders across the heartland by 2023 and a summer cohort of builders in nine cities.

A cohort of 50 builders graduated from the program earlier this month in Iowa City, Iowa, Oxford, Miss., Tulsa, Okla. And Oklahoma City, Okla.

“Problem solving with an entrepreneurial mindset will be key to rebuilding our local post-covid economies, and our community growth program and toolkit has already proven to be an effective and meaningful way to accelerate the entrepreneurial thinking needed. to help our communities thrive,” said Ross DeVol, President and CEO of Heartland Forward.

“We are excited to bring this program to Pine Bluff as part of our commitment to support 1,000 builders across the heartland by 2023. We are confident that this next cohort of builders will have the innovative thinking and ideas to create real change in their communities, and we look forward to seeing what they can accomplish in the months and years to come,” said DeVol.

Donna Harris is CEO of Builders + Backers.

“Every community has potentially game-changing ideas lying dormant,” Harris said. “The key – and the economic urgency – is to get more people, in more places, to actually put these ideas into action. That’s the power of small experiments and the premise of our Idea Accelerator program. less than a single venture capital investment, we can spark and fuel thousands of experiments across the country and see new businesses, initiatives and ventures emerge.”

Go Forward Pine Bluff CEO Ryan Watley commented on the company.

“Residents of Pine Bluff and southeast Arkansas have a great opportunity to work alongside experts in the field of entrepreneurship,” Watley said. “The Generator’s work has demonstrated the need for additional intervention. I anticipate that those who participate will broaden their vision, deepen their business acumen, and ultimately monetize their unique approach to the problems of the economy.”

At the heart of the program are the four pillars of the Builders + Backers program, designed to engage and empower Builders through:

• Ideas Accelerator: This cohort-based program combines a 45-day Bootcamp Builder to teach participants how to put their ideas into action, followed by 45 days of actively executing their ideas through a single experience.

• Pebble Fund: All builders are supported with a $5,000 Pebble grant to test their ideas. Participants are mentored by master builders throughout the program.

• Storytelling: A comprehensive media program that curates, captures and distributes Buildership stories, both within programs and in communities around the world. Through videos, written stories, social media and media partnerships, the program inspires people to become Builders.

• Buildership Workshops: Workshops and other events introduce people to Buildership ideas and demonstrate that anyone can generate creative solutions through entrepreneurial experimentation that contribute to the sustainability of communities.

The pilot program in Tulsa and Oxford included 15 builders solving problems in their communities related to workforce development, volunteerism, food awareness and more. To learn more about builders, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8KM5Ojlx7Q.

Heartland Forward is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to improve economic performance in the central United States by advocating for evidence-based solutions to drive job creation, knowledge-based growth and inclusiveness and better health outcomes. . Heartland Forward conducts independent, data-driven research and programs to facilitate action-oriented discussions and impactful policy recommendations. To learn more, visit https://heartlandforward.org/.

Builders + Backers invests in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building businesses globally to power an entirely different future – a future where technology creates value for many instead of capturing it for the few. Through proprietary programming, Builders + Backers also inspires and equips people to best seize the opportunities of our digital age – from experimenting and solving problems in their local communities to starting new businesses that could to evolve. By supporting the most creative builders across the country, we can shape the digital future to be one in which more people participate and thrive.

]]>
Jasper, Arkansas 2020 https://visitmyarkansas.com/jasper-arkansas-2020/ Thu, 12 May 2022 12:36:04 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/jasper-arkansas-2020/ Known to canoeists, kayakers, campers, backpackers and hikers as the gateway to the Buffalo National River, this quiet town in the Ozark Mountains caters to those who love the outdoors and is commonly referred to as the Grand Canyon of Arkansas. The Ozark St. Francis National Forest, part of the Boston Mountains, also lies to […]]]>

Known to canoeists, kayakers, campers, backpackers and hikers as the gateway to the Buffalo National River, this quiet town in the Ozark Mountains caters to those who love the outdoors and is commonly referred to as the Grand Canyon of Arkansas. The Ozark St. Francis National Forest, part of the Boston Mountains, also lies to the south, adding to the surrounding forests and giving Jasper its reputation as “Moose Capital of Arkansas.”

Geography and Climate of Jasper

Foggy November morning on the Buffalo River in Jasper, Arkansas.

Jasper is a small town in Newton County located in the northwest corner of the US state of Arkansas. The city is part of the Harrison Micropolitan Statistical Area. Jasper is found in the geological area known as the Ozark Mountains, which covers northwestern Arkansas, but specifically the Boston Mountains. This range encompasses the Ozark St. Francis National Forest and is considered a dissected plateau, which was formed by severe erosion by a sharp ice cap. The Buffalo National River, 246 km long, flows from the highest point of the Boston Mountains, crosses the plateaus of Springfield and Salem, before joining the White River.

Jasper experiences a humid continental climate and has four seasons including a long and wet summer. Extreme weather conditions are influenced by Arkansas’ proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. In one year, Jasper collects 493.1 mm of precipitation, mostly hail and precipitation. May is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 71.4 mm. The hottest month is July, with a median temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, and the coldest month of the year is January, with a median temperature of 3 degrees Celsius. Alternatively, the windiest month is March.

History of Jasper

Old Chimney of Old Farmhouse in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
Old chimney of the old farmhouse in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

Jasper was founded on the banks of the Little Buffalo River in the 1840s. It is unclear how it got its name, if it was the Cherokee Indians fleeing the Trails of Tears who were caught off guard by the friendliness of the locals. from the city; Or a jasper ring was given by the Cherokee Indians to the town postmaster as a token of appreciation for the gratitude received on their travels. During the American Civil War, Jasper supported the Union even though it harbored John Cecil, a Confederate guerrilla. In 1863, Union soldiers came for John Cecil and burned the town. Thus, all supporters were moved to Springfield, Missouri. With the end of the Civil War, Jasper became a prosperous lumber town, producing primarily oak and cedar in its sawmill from the surrounding woods. Now, without any other major economy or plantation, Jasper could survive the Great Depression. In the mid-twentieth century, Jasper resident Dr. William Hudson’s research into the effect of iodine on the thyroid gland would play a key role in the consumption of table salt today.

Jasper’s population and economy

Jasper is in Newton County and has a population of 547. Still, it is the 274th largest city in Arkansas, and on the US list of most populous cities, it ranks 13,493rd. Jasper covers just over 1.3 km2 and has a population density of 221.31 people per km2. The median household income is $45,468, with gross monthly rent of $368. Alas, 22.22% of the population lives below the poverty line, the average age of a resident being 37.6 years. On the cost of living index, Jasper is rated at 76, while the state of Arkansas is at 85.

The entire economy of Jasper, Arkansas is made up of 221 workers. Thus, 75 employees make up the education sector, 32 in warehousing and 29 in public administration. Arts, entertainment, accommodation and food services are the most profitable sectors and, combined, they account for $81,071 in revenue. However, transportation, warehousing and utilities come in behind with a gross income of $58,600. Therefore, mixed cargo (9.85%), meat and seafood (9.46%) and coal (6.62%) represent the main outgoing domestic products for trade.

Attractions in Jasper

Buffalo National River

Buffalo River Horseshoe Bend in Arkansas Ozark Mountains
Buffalo River Horseshoe Bend in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

On March 1, 1972, the Buffalo River received its official “national river” designation, the first such designation at the time. Additionally, it is a recognition of the river’s importance in the great Ozark Mountains that provide habitat for elk, in addition to its cultural and scientific significance. Today, the Buffalo River continues to be one of the few free-flowing, undammed rivers in the lower states. Hiking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, bird watching, stargazing, and fishing are a few activities this river has to offer. The longest cave in Arkansas, Fitton Cave, is within the designated area. Resident animals include black bears, deer, elk, catfish and bass.

Ozark St Francis National Forest

Arkansas Falls in the Boston Mountains
Arkansas Falls in the Boston Mountains.

South of Jasper is the Ozark St. Francis National Forest, home to the Boston Mountains. The total forest covers an area of ​​1.2 million acres. Permitted activities include quad biking, fishing, camping, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, floatation, picnics, and hunting. Hunting is permitted for black bears and white-tailed deer, but must follow local gaming laws. Tours are offered through the park to Blanchard Springs Cavern, where you can see stalagmites and stalactites that still form crystalline structures.

Grand Canyon of Arkansas

A panoramic view of the Grand Canyon of Arkansas
A panoramic view of the Grand Canyon of Arkansas.

Take a day trip on Scenic Route 7 and experience the canyon and rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains. Popular among bikers, this scenic road trip has plenty of vantage points that offer breathtaking views that stretch for miles.

Ideal for its long, hot summers, Jasper may be the gateway to the National Buffalo River, but it’s more than that, with plenty of outdoor activities available. Known as the “Moose Capital of Arkansas”, these large creatures live within the confines of the Boston Mountains that make up the region, further oblivious to the logging boom that has diminished those same forests. Today, a quaint little town among the hills, its focus has shifted to promoting and conserving fishing and gambling for new adventurers.

]]>
US inflation hit 8.3% last month, but is slowing from its highest level in 40 years https://visitmyarkansas.com/us-inflation-hit-8-3-last-month-but-is-slowing-from-its-highest-level-in-40-years/ Wed, 11 May 2022 16:37:15 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/us-inflation-hit-8-3-last-month-but-is-slowing-from-its-highest-level-in-40-years/ WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation slowed in April after seven months of relentless gains, a tentative sign that price increases could peak while putting financial pressure on U.S. households. Consumer prices jumped 8.3% last month from 12 months earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday. This was lower than the 8.5% year-over-year rise in March, which was […]]]>

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation slowed in April after seven months of relentless gains, a tentative sign that price increases could peak while putting financial pressure on U.S. households.

Consumer prices jumped 8.3% last month from 12 months earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday. This was lower than the 8.5% year-over-year rise in March, which was the highest since 1981. Month-over-month, prices rose 0.3% from March to April, the smallest increase in eight months.

Still, Wednesday’s report contained warning signs that inflation could take root further. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, so-called core prices jumped 0.6% from March to April, double the 0.3% rise from February to March . These increases were fueled by soaring prices for airline tickets, hotel rooms and new cars. Apartment rental costs also continued to rise steadily.

The sharp price increases from March to April “clearly show that there is still a long way to go before inflation returns to more acceptable levels,” said Eric Winograd, US economist at asset manager AB .

Certain property categories have skyrocketed over the past year. Grocery prices, for example, jumped 10.8%, the biggest year-over-year increase since 1980. The cost of a gallon of gasoline fell 6.1% in April, but it is still up nearly 44% from a year ago.

And so far in May, prices at the gas pump have hit new highs. Nationally, the average for a gallon of gasoline is at a record high of $4.40, according to AAA, although that figure is not adjusted for inflation. The high price of oil is the main reason for this. Benchmark US crude sold around $100 a barrel on Tuesday. Gas had fallen to around $4.10 a gallon in April, after hitting $4.32 in March.

Escalating consumer inflation has forced many Americans, especially those on low or fixed incomes, to cut back on expenses like driving and groceries. Among them is Patty Blackmon, who said she’s been driving fewer of her grandchildren’s sporting events since gasoline soared to $5.89 in Las Vegas, where she lives.

To save money, Blackmon, 68, has also not been to her hairdresser for 18 months. And she’s reconsidering plans to drive this summer to visit relatives in Arkansas.

She was shocked recently, she said, to see half a gallon of organic milk fetch $6.

“Holy cow!” she thought. “How do parents give milk to their children? »

Blackmon has reduced his meat intake and “a steak is almost out of the question”. Instead, she eats more canned salads and soups.

Beyond the financial strain on households, inflation poses a serious political problem for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats in the midterm election season, with Republicans saying the 1 $.9 trillion from Biden last March overheated the economy by flooding it with stimulus checks, improved unemployment assistance and child tax credit payments.

On Tuesday, Biden sought to seize the initiative and declared inflation “the No. 1 problem facing families today” and “my top national priority.”

Biden blamed chronic supply chain groans related to the rapid economic rebound from the pandemic, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for triggering inflation. He said his administration will help mitigate price hikes by reducing the government’s budget deficit and promoting competition in industries, like meatpacking, that are dominated by a few industry giants.

Yet further disruptions overseas or other unforeseen issues could still push US inflation to new highs. If the European Union decides, for example, to cut off Russian oil, gas prices in the United States will probably accelerate. Severe COVID lockdowns in China are worsening supply issues and hurting growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Jose Torres, senior economist at Interactive Brokers, noted that the weakening Chinese economy has reduced demand for oil. If China eases its lockdowns later this year and more people drive, global oil prices could rise and further inflate U.S. gasoline prices

Previous signs that US inflation could peak did not last. Price increases slowed last August and September, suggesting at the time that higher inflation might be temporary, as many economists – and Federal Reserve officials – had suggested. But prices rose again in October, prompting Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to start shifting policy towards higher rates.

While food and energy have suffered the worst price spikes of the past year, analysts often watch the core figure for a sense of underlying inflation. Core inflation also generally increases more slowly than overall price increases and may take longer to decline. Rents, for example, are rising at a historically rapid rate, and there are few signs that this trend is reversing any time soon.

The unexpected persistence of high inflation prompted the Fed to embark on what could become its fastest series of interest rate hikes in 33 years. Last week, the Fed raised its benchmark short-term rate by half a point, its biggest increase in two decades. And Powell signaled that more rate hikes just as steep are to come.

The Fed Powell is looking to accomplish the notoriously difficult – and risky – task of cooling the economy enough to slow inflation without causing a recession. Economists say such an outcome is possible but unlikely with such high inflation.

Meanwhile, by some metrics, Americans’ wages are rising at the fastest rate in 20 years. Their higher wages enable more people to meet, at least in part, higher prices. But employers typically respond by charging customers more to cover their higher labor costs, which, in turn, increases inflationary pressures.

Last Friday’s jobs report for April included hourly wage data that suggested wage gains were slowing, which, if continued, could help dampen inflation this year.



]]>
Wall Street losses worsen as markets tumble worldwide https://visitmyarkansas.com/wall-street-losses-worsen-as-markets-tumble-worldwide/ Mon, 09 May 2022 20:40:24 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/wall-street-losses-worsen-as-markets-tumble-worldwide/ NEW YORK — Stocks deepened their losses on Wall Street on Monday, sending the S&P 500 to its lowest close in more than a year. The benchmark has just suffered its fifth consecutive weekly decline as renewed worries about China’s economy mount in markets already battered by rising interest rates. Stocks fell across Europe and […]]]>

NEW YORK — Stocks deepened their losses on Wall Street on Monday, sending the S&P 500 to its lowest close in more than a year.

The benchmark has just suffered its fifth consecutive weekly decline as renewed worries about China’s economy mount in markets already battered by rising interest rates.

Stocks fell across Europe and much of Asia, as did everything from old-economy crude oil to new-economy bitcoin. The S&P 500 fell 3.2% and the Nasdaq fell 4.3%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.03%.

EARLIER:

Wall Street tumbled to its lowest point in more than a year on Monday as renewed worries about China’s economy piled on top of markets already battered by rising interest rates.

The S&P 500 was down 2.3% in afternoon trading after posting its fifth straight losing streak, its longest such streak in more than a decade. He joined a global swoon for the markets. Not only have stocks fallen across Europe and much of Asia, but everything from old-economy crude oil to new-economy bitcoin.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 374 points, or 1.1%, at 32,520 as of 3:16 p.m. EST, and the Nasdaq composite was down 3.4%, stocks focused on the technology again having suffered the brunt of the sale. Monday’s sharp drop leaves the S&P 500, Wall Street’s main measure of health, down about 16% from its record high set earlier this year.

Most of the damage this year is the result of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive decision not to do everything in its power to support financial markets and the economy. The central bank has already pulled its main short-term interest rate from its all-time high of near zero, where it has sat for most of the pandemic. Last week, he signaled additional increases of double the usual amount that could be achieved in the coming months, in hopes of stamping out the high inflation sweeping the economy.

Deliberate measures will slow the economy by making borrowing more expensive. The risk is that the Fed could cause a recession if it goes too far or too quickly. In the meantime, higher rates discourage investors from paying very high prices for investments, as investors can get more than before by holding ultra-safe Treasuries instead.

This has helped cause bitcoin to fall around 29% since the start of April, for example. It fell 10.8% on Monday, according to Coindesk. Concerns about the world’s second-largest economy added to the gloom on Monday. Analysts cited comments over the weekend from a Chinese official warning of a dire jobs situation as the country hopes to stem the spread of covid-19.

Shanghai authorities have tightened restrictions again, amid complaints from citizens that it seems endless, just as the city emerged from a month-long strict lockdown after an outbreak.

The fear is that China’s strict anti-covid policies will further disrupt global trade and supply chains, while weighing on its economy, which for years has been a key driver of global growth.

In the past, Wall Street has been able to hold steady despite similar pressures due to the strong earnings growth companies have been producing.

But this past season of earnings releases from major US corporations has generated less enthusiasm. Overall, companies are reporting stronger-than-expected earnings for the last quarter, as is usually the case. But the discouraging signs for future growth have been many.

The number of companies citing “weak demand” in their conference calls following earnings reports reached its highest level since the second quarter of 2020, strategist Savita Subramanian wrote in a BofA Global Research report. Tech profits are also lagging behind, she said.

The technology sector is the largest in the S&P 500 by market value, giving it additional leverage for market moves. Many tech-focused companies have seen their profits soar during the pandemic as people seek new ways to work and play while cooped up at home. But their slowing earnings growth makes their shares vulnerable after their prices soared so high on expectations of continued gains.

The higher interest rates put in place by the Fed are also hitting their stock prices hard, as they are considered to be among the most expensive in the market. The Nasdaq composite’s loss of around 25% for 2022 so far is much stronger than that of other indices.

Electric carmaker Rivian Automotive fell 19.1% on Monday as restrictions expired that prevented some large investors from selling their shares after its stock market debut six months ago. It has lost more than three quarters of its value so far this year.

The 10-year Treasury yield hit its highest level since 2018 as inflation and expectations for Fed action rose. It moderated on Monday, falling to 3.07% from 3.12% on Friday evening. But that’s still more than double the 1.51% level where it started the year.

In Asian stock markets, the Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 2.5% and the South Korean Kospi lost 1.3%. Shares in Shanghai edged up 0.1%.

In Europe, the French CAC 40 fell by 2.8% and the German DAX by 2.1%. London’s FTSE 100 slipped 2.3%.

In addition to concerns about inflation and coronavirus restrictions, the war in Ukraine remains a major cause of uncertainty. More than 60 people are believed to have been killed after a Russian bomb razed a school used as a shelter, Ukrainian officials said. Moscow forces pushed their attack on the defenders inside the Mariupol steelworks in an apparent race to capture the city ahead of Russia’s Victory Day holiday on Monday.

Even the energy sector, star of recent weeks, was under pressure on Monday. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 6.1% to $103.09 a barrel, although it is still up around 40% this year. Brent, the international standard, fell 5.7% to settle at $105.94 a barrel.

]]>
Economic Expansion of the United States, third year https://visitmyarkansas.com/economic-expansion-of-the-united-states-third-year/ Sun, 08 May 2022 15:26:12 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/economic-expansion-of-the-united-states-third-year/ The U.S. economy is about to enter the third year of an economic expansion that began in May 2020, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee. A review of employment, production, income and sales measures show that the economy continues to grow, although inflation has become a serious monetary problem. […]]]>

The U.S. economy is about to enter the third year of an economic expansion that began in May 2020, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee. A review of employment, production, income and sales measures show that the economy continues to grow, although inflation has become a serious monetary problem.

Founded in 1920, the NBER is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization recognized within the economics profession as an arbiter of the business cycle. The committee “did not conclude that the economy has returned to normal functioning,” a 2021 statement said. On the contrary, “economic activity is generally below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and sometimes it stays so long in the expansion.”

Popular media often define recession as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. The measure was negative for the first two quarters of 2020, around the brief two-month recession identified by the NBER as occurring earlier this year. But for observers who prefer GDP, the latest reading shows six consecutive quarters of growth since 3Q-2020. Growth is synonymous with expansion.

The NBER uses a wider range of measurements. Arkansas is in the region covered by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. A review of these measures on the St. Louis Fed website shows economic expansion, not contraction.

The St. Louis Fed public site is easy to use. Measures can be examined by typing these terms into the search function: “all employees, total non-farm”, “industrial production: total index”, “real personal income excluding transfers”, “real sales of manufacturing and trade industries” .

The results show the expansion of key measures. First, non-farm payroll employment has increased by 15.9% since the end of the recession in April 2020. Second, industrial production has increased by 24.2% over the same period. Third, real personal income less transfer payments increased by 9.8%. Finally, real sales in the manufacturing and trade industries increased by 25%.

For perma-bears, bad economic news is always on the horizon. This fallacy in human reasoning is amplified when the business cycle is viewed through a partisan lens. Booms and busts are non-partisan events. The NBER timeline dates back to the mid-19th century and shows both economic events occurring under both major parties.

The state of the economy today does not mean it will remain the same tomorrow. The US economy is dynamic, not static.

“What is an economic cycle? asked Victor Zarnowitz of the University of Chicago in a 1991 NBER article. “Business cycles have varied greatly over the past 200 years in length, spread, and size,” he observed. . “At the same time, they are distinguished by their recurrence, persistence and ubiquity.”

At three years, the length of the current expansion is longer than more than a third of the expansions in the NBER timeline. Yet, at a future date, it too will end.

Editor’s note: Greg Kaza is Executive Director of the Arkansas Political Foundationa nonprofit economic think tank founded in 1995 in Little Rock.

]]>