Uncategorized http://visitmyarkansas.com/ Wed, 25 May 2022 18:44:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://visitmyarkansas.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon.png Uncategorized http://visitmyarkansas.com/ 32 32 UAPB Research on Arkansas Native Brown Trout Helps Inform Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Management Decisions https://visitmyarkansas.com/uapb-research-on-arkansas-native-brown-trout-helps-inform-arkansas-game-and-fish-commission-management-decisions/ Wed, 25 May 2022 17:39:34 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/uapb-research-on-arkansas-native-brown-trout-helps-inform-arkansas-game-and-fish-commission-management-decisions/ Will Hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Humanities Derek Owens holds a brown trout sampled from Greer’s Ferry Tailwater. Heber Springs, Arkansas, is home to the only self-sustaining trout population in the state of Arkansas, said Derek Owens, graduate student in aquaculture/fisheries at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). For nearly four […]]]>

Will Hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Humanities

Derek Owens holds a brown trout sampled from Greer’s Ferry Tailwater.

Heber Springs, Arkansas, is home to the only self-sustaining trout population in the state of Arkansas, said Derek Owens, graduate student in aquaculture/fisheries at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). For nearly four years, he has been researching a 30-mile stretch of the Little Red River called “Greers Ferry Tailwater.” He says this part of the river is unique because stocking is not necessary to sustain the population of brown trout that live there.

“The Greers Ferry Tailwater is the stretch of the Little Red River below the Greers Ferry Dam that contains cold water due to hypolimnetic release from the dam,” he said. “This creates conditions cold enough for the trout to survive all year round. In fact, brown trout have not been stocked in the Greers Ferry Tailwater since the early 1970s.”

Owens said the UAPB Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries conducts research on trout fishing to help inform management decisions for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

“Trout fishing is extremely valuable to Arkansas’ economy,” he said. “According to the US Census Bureau, trout fishing expenditures in Arkansas total over $180 million annually. Fifty-seven percent of trout anglers are nonresidents and 43 percent are residents of Arkansas.

Looking down the river from Moss Dam Shoal during spawning season on the Greers Ferry Tailwater.

In his research, Owens analyzed the habitat conditions of trout spawning grounds in the Greers Ferry Tailwater under the supervision of his advisor, Dr. Steve Lochmann, Professor of Aquaculture and Fisheries at UAPB. Specifically, they wanted to determine the microhabitat characteristics of locations that contained brown trout spawning nests.

“These spawning nests are called ‘redds,'” Owens said. “For a female brown trout to create a nest, she must first find a suitable location. It will then turn on its side and begin to rapidly strike the substrate particles on the bottom of the river with its caudal or “tail” fin. This rapid kicking motion, coupled with the speed of the water, dislodges sediment and individual rocks from the bottom of the river and begins to form a pit in the bottom of the river.

Owens said after a female trout creates the pit, she will lay eggs which a male will then fertilize. Then the female covers the fertilized eggs with other rocks from the bottom of the river.

“The female brown trout can lay up to 3,000 eggs in a nest. A fish can create multiple pits and lay eggs in each of them,” he said. “Redds come in different sizes – some are just two to three feet long and two feet wide, while others can be several feet long and wide.”

What conditions are suitable for trout spawning?

To understand which locations were best for brown trout spawning, Owens and his fellow researchers measured depth, water velocity, dissolved oxygen, temperature and substrate particles at about 145 spawning grounds over the course of of the 2019-2020 spawning season.

Jamie Kindschuh measures temperature and dissolved oxygen in a new nest.

“We found that depth, water velocity and substrate size were the three most important microhabitat characteristics for brown trout spawning ground,” he said. “These three particular characteristics have also been determined to be the most important factors in brown trout spawning grounds in several other systems around the world.”

According to the study, the ideal location for a female brown trout to create a nest consists of water depths of about one to one and a half feet, water velocity of about one foot per second, and substrate particles between half an inch to two and a half inch.

“These are the ideal conditions you’d expect to find a spawning ground in the Greers Ferry Tailwater, as well as other systems around the world where wild brown trout spawn,” Owens said. “Many of these other systems are in Europe and contain native populations of brown trout – their microhabitat characteristics really don’t differ from Greers Ferry Tailwater.”

Owens said his team also wanted to determine if brown trout spawn on one or two main banks or if they spawn in a wide variety of locations with appropriate depth, water velocity and substrate. For this part of the study, they surveyed the river in two-week increments beginning in October 2020 and ending in February 2021.

Derek Owens measures the length and width of a new nest.

“Every other week we worked from the Greers Ferry Dam to the Monaghan Womack Highway 305 access,” he said. “It took us about three days to cover the 30 miles downstream. Each redd encountered was georeferenced with a Trimble TDC 150 GPS unit.”

Owens said the GPS unit was crucial to the study because it was accurate to around 4 inches.

“We had multiple redds that were within a foot of each other and sometimes overlapped,” he said. “This Trimble unit allowed us to easily distinguish nests that are very close to each other. By recording a GPS position and searching for spawning grounds over two-week periods, we were able to examine a complete spatial and temporal distribution – or time and place – of the 2020-2021 spawning season. »

Spawning areas appeared in small quantities during the first week of October 2020. Most brown trout spawning occurred from mid-November to late December, with the peak being in the first half of December . February 6 was the last date the research team found spawning grounds.

“We found a total of 2,417 spawning grounds on 27 different beds across the Greers Ferry Tailwater,” Owens said. “Our study concluded that brown trout spawned not just in one or two locations, but wherever microhabitat conditions were appropriate.”

Owens said the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), which funded the project, has been very supportive of his work.

“Many people have helped me throughout this project,” he said. “Joseph Kaiser, UAPB alumnus and current AGFC trout biologist, was a great help with this project. Also, current UAPB graduate student Jamie Kindschuh has helped me many times over the past few years. UAPB’s School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Humanities gave me a great opportunity to work on a unique project.

In a recent AGFC press release, Christy Graham, the agency’s trout program coordinator, said that the work done by the UAPB for the AGFC on spawning habitat in the Little Red River will be essential to move the next management plan forward.

“These findings have implications for just about every aspect of future fisheries management,” Graham said. “I anticipate that we will use much of this data to formulate actions for the next management plan review, which is due to begin soon.”

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all of its outreach and research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion , age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Arkansas included in $19 million settlement with Ford to settle fuel economy claims https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-included-in-19-million-settlement-with-ford-to-settle-fuel-economy-claims/ Tue, 24 May 2022 21:44:07 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-included-in-19-million-settlement-with-ford-to-settle-fuel-economy-claims/ LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –Ford Motor Company on Tuesday reached a $19.2 million settlement with attorneys general from 40 states, including Arkansas. According to a statement from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, the settlement relates to claims that Ford falsely advertised the “true” fuel economy of 2013-2014 C-Max hybrids and the payload capacity of Super pickup […]]]>

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –Ford Motor Company on Tuesday reached a $19.2 million settlement with attorneys general from 40 states, including Arkansas.

According to a statement from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, the settlement relates to claims that Ford falsely advertised the “true” fuel economy of 2013-2014 C-Max hybrids and the payload capacity of Super pickup trucks. Duty 2011-2014. Arkansas will receive $245,765.75 from the settlement.

According to the statement, an investigation revealed that Ford made several misleading claims about the 2013-2014 C-Max hybrids, including misrepresenting the distance consumers can travel on a tank of gas, claiming that the driving style of an individual would not affect real-world fuel. economy and advertises superior real-world fuel economy compared to other hybrid vehicles.

The release claims Ford ran a series of ads called “Hybrid Games,” which were narrated as an Olympic sporting event and depicted the C-Max outperforming the Toyota Prius, another popular hybrid car, in a series of videos. The coalition of attorneys general involved in the investigation determined that the videos misrepresented that the C-Max vehicles offered “superior real world fuel economy” and “driving performance”.

“Thousands of Arkansans, myself included, have relied on Ford and its claims regarding the payload capacity and fuel economy of its vehicles to ensure their ability to perform on the farm or on a gravel road of campaign,” Rutledge said. “As gas prices soar and inflation continues to rise, today’s settlement ensures that consumers in Arkansas can trust automakers, like Ford, when they buy a vehicle.

The investigations led Ford to lower the fuel economy rating of the 2013 C-Max, which was initially promoted to 47 miles per gallon city and highway, but was eventually lowered to 42 mpg/city, 37 mpg/highway and 40 mpg/city-highway. mixed.

The settlement corrects Ford’s misleading advertising practices and ensures that Ford will not make false or misleading advertising claims regarding the fuel economy of its vehicles.

Attorneys general also investigated Ford’s misleading “Best-in-Class” payload claims on its 2011-2014 Super Duty pickups, which include the F-250, F-350 and F-450 models, a lineup that is aimed at consumers transporting and towing heavy loads.

Ford’s methodology for calculating maximum payload capacity for advertising purposes would have been based on a hypothetical truck configuration that omitted standard items such as the spare tire, tire and jack, center console, and radio. The special configuration was reportedly advertised as available to all customers, but only fleet customers could order it.

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Delek celebrates the refinery’s 100th anniversary https://visitmyarkansas.com/delek-celebrates-the-refinerys-100th-anniversary/ Mon, 23 May 2022 05:01:30 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/delek-celebrates-the-refinerys-100th-anniversary/ Current and former workers at the El Dorado refinery celebrated 100 years of industry in the city at a centennial party hosted by Delek on Saturday at the Murphy Arts District. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, a small refinery in town was purchased by Colonel Thomas Barton in 1922 when it originally became the […]]]>

Current and former workers at the El Dorado refinery celebrated 100 years of industry in the city at a centennial party hosted by Delek on Saturday at the Murphy Arts District.

According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, a small refinery in town was purchased by Colonel Thomas Barton in 1922 when it originally became the Lion Oil and Refining Company.

One hundred years later, the company’s impact on the city is hard to overestimate.

During Saturday’s celebration, retired Lion Oil workers, current Delek employees, their families and special guests gathered at the Murphy Arts District Amphitheater for a funfair, complete with bouncy castles and carnival games , music, food and a memorial lane highlighting the historical significance of the oil industry and Lion Oil’s contribution to it.

An hour and a half into the party, Mike Reed, the refinery’s plant manager, called workers and retirees to a DJ booth in the middle of the MAD Amp, where he congratulated them on their hard work. who helped keep the industry going to El Dorado and share some of the establishment’s history.

Lion Oil merged with Monsanto Chemical Company in 1955, and the company subsequently declined; where it once had more than 2,000 gas stations in the south, by the 1970s parent company Monsanto had closed many of its stores and in 1975 the refinery was sold to Tosco.

Not even a decade later, the refinery was in more jeopardy when now-owned Tosco suffered a downturn, according to the Arkansas Encyclopedia. Local oil producers found a buyer in Ergon Corp in 1985. The new owners saw the refinery’s potential, renamed it Lion Oil, and invested in the company to expand its production with environmental considerations in mind. .

In March 2011, Delek US Holdings purchased the refinery.

Reed said it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of local and state officials. Arkansas House Speaker Matthew Shepherd highlighted the importance of the oil and gas industry to the local and regional economy, pointing to the Delek Refinery as a major driver of economic activity in the region.

“A lot of times when people think of the innovative companies and the companies that made this country, they want to think of Silicon Valley, but what stands out for me are the companies that have stood the test of time. depression, WWII, of course the ups and downs of the global energy market and the global pandemic, and you all have stood the test of time, and that’s something I care about you congratulations,” Shepherd said. “Sometimes people want to shoot the oil and gas industry, but I’m proud of what the oil and gas industry and Lion Oil and Delek mean to our community, they mean to the country. and what they mean to the world. . I am grateful for what you do every day. Thank you for all you have done on behalf of the State of Arkansas.

Former President and Arkansas native Bill Clinton also appeared via video to thank refinery workers for their contribution to the national economy.

“Your refinery has been a cornerstone of El Dorado for a century now, and you should all be proud of the role you play in the community,” Clinton said. “I know I will always be grateful that I was able to help prevent the refinery from closing in the early 1980s when I was governor, and I’m glad you’re still going strong today.”

Workers in attendance described their careers at the refinery positively, reflecting on how the safety-conscious industry builds deep bonds between co-workers.

“It was a very, very good experience – there are a lot of good quality people,” said Wayne Sewell, who started at Lion Oil in 1997 and retired after 24 years with the company that held him there. promoted from operator on a crew unit to an area manager in the oil movement department. “It’s good for the community, good for retirees to see each other, to meet new people… Delek is good for the community.”

Presley Hartman, refinery health, safety and environment manager, who started at the refinery last year after leaving San Antonio, said the culture Delek is building at the refinery is focused on the workers.

“I wanted to come back to the refinery side,” said Hartman, who previously worked at large corporations in a health and safety role. “We’re just trying to keep them safe, keep them engaged… If we do our job properly, safely, everybody’s going to get a good product and everybody’s going home safe… It’s hard work if you’re used to receiving medals and awards for doing a good job, you do that job well, and you get to barbecue with your co-workers and their families.

Inside the First Financial Music Hall, Ann Hill could be found examining memorabilia from early Lion Oil, including everything from branded ashtrays and pens to a program for an oil boom play .

“It was a good company to work for, and it was a great idea. It was great to see everyone,” said Hill, who spent 20 years in purchasing at Lion Oil.

Delek also took the opportunity Saturday to give back to the community with donations totaling $100,000 to local nonprofits. Donations of $3,000 to $10,000 have been awarded to the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado, Camp Fire USA, Character 1st, Compassionate Friends of South Arkansas, Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Eagle Foundation, El Dorado Service League, Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center, Helping Hands Food Bank, HOPE Landing, Kids ‘N’ Golf, LifeTouch Hospice, Magdalene House, Main Street EL Dorado, Next Step Recovery, South Arkansas Arts Center, SouthArk Foundation, The CALL, Turning Point, Union County Animal Protection Society, United Way, Wings to Recover, and Young Artist Studio.

Saturday’s centenary saw hundreds of current and former refinery workers come together to celebrate the impact the oil and gas industry has had on the region and the path to prosperity it has offered local residents in the course of the last century.

“(Working here) has given me a lot of luxuries for my family, in particular,” said Kenneth Clemons, a corrective action management operator who worked at the refinery for 16 years and started out as a low-level worker. “I believe the greatest thing is the knowledge that is passed on from those who are older than you when you arrive.”

“I love it because they show the community that we’ve been happy to be here for 100 years,” Clemons continued. “It’s great to have the chance to meet the families of my colleagues.”


President Bill Clinton congratulates workers at the El Dorado refinery on the plant’s continued success after 100 years. A celebration of the refinery’s centenary was launched by Delek, the refinery’s owner, on Saturday at the MAD Amp. (Caitlan Butler/News-Times)



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Lion Oil retiree Ann Hill reviews memorabilia from across the company’s history. A centennial celebration of the El Dorado Refinery was hosted by Delek, the refinery owner, on Saturday at the MAD Amp. (Caitlan Butler/News-Times)



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Delek workers and their families compete in a cornhole tournament during an El Dorado Refinery centennial celebration Saturday at MAD Amp. (Caitlan Butler/News-Times)



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Arkansas House President Matthew Shepherd punches the child of a Delek worker during the El Dorado Refinery Centennial Celebration Saturday at MAD Amp. (Caitlan Butler/News-Times)


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Conspiracy theorists flock to bird flu https://visitmyarkansas.com/conspiracy-theorists-flock-to-bird-flu/ Sun, 22 May 2022 07:56:55 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/conspiracy-theorists-flock-to-bird-flu/ Brad Moline, a fourth-generation Iowa turkey breeder, has seen this happen before. In 2015, a virulent bird flu epidemic nearly wiped out his flock. Barns once filled with chattering birds were suddenly quiet. Employees were distressed at having to kill sick animals. The family business, created in 1924, was in great danger. His business resumed, […]]]>

Brad Moline, a fourth-generation Iowa turkey breeder, has seen this happen before. In 2015, a virulent bird flu epidemic nearly wiped out his flock.

Barns once filled with chattering birds were suddenly quiet. Employees were distressed at having to kill sick animals. The family business, created in 1924, was in great danger.

His business resumed, but now the virus is back, again putting the country’s poultry farms at risk. And this time, there’s another pernicious force at work: a powerful wave of misinformation claiming bird flu isn’t real.

“You just want to bang your head against the wall,” Moline said of Facebook groups in which people insist the flu is fake or, possibly, a bioweapon. “I understand the frustration with the way covid has been handled. I understand the lack of trust in the media today. I get it. But it’s real.”

Although posing little risk to humans, the global outbreak has led farmers to cull millions of birds and threatens to drive up already rising food prices.

It also spawns fantastical claims similar to those that have arisen during the covid-19 pandemic, highlighting how conspiracy theories often emerge in times of uncertainty, and how the internet and a growing distrust of science and institutions fuel their spread.

The claims can be found on obscure online message boards and major platforms like Twitter. Some versions claim that the flu is fake, a hoax used to justify reducing the supply of birds in an effort to drive up food prices, either to destroy the world economy or to force people to become vegetarians.

“There is no ‘bird flu’ outbreak,” one man wrote on Reddit. “It’s just Covid for the chickens.”

Other posters insist that the flu is real, but has been genetically engineered as a weapon, perhaps meant to trigger a new round of covid-style lockdowns. A popular version of the story in India posits that 5G cell towers are somehow to blame for the virus.

As evidence, many who claim the flu is fake note that animal health authorities monitoring the outbreak are using some of the same technology used to test for covid-19.

“They are testing animals for bird flu with PCR tests. This should give you a clue as to what is going on,” one Twitter user wrote, in a post that has been liked and retweeted thousands of times.

In truth, PCR tests have been commonly used in medicine, biology, and even law enforcement for decades; their creator won a Nobel Prize in 1993.

The reality of the outbreak is far more mundane, if not less devastating to birds and the people who depend on them for their livelihoods.

Farmers in states like Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota have already culled millions of poultry to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Zoos across the United States have moved exotic bird exhibits indoors to protect their animals, and wildlife authorities are discouraging the feeding of backyard birds in some states to prevent the spread by wild birds. . The disease has also claimed the lives of bald eagles across the country.

The first known human case of the H5N1 outbreak in the United States was confirmed last month in Colorado in an inmate who had participated in the slaughter and disposal of poultry at a local farm.

Most human cases involve direct contact with infected birds, which means the risk to a large population is low, but experts around the country are closely monitoring the virus just to be sure, according to Wisconsin Veterinary Director Keith Poulsen. Diagnostic Laboratory, an agency that tracks animal diseases in part to protect the state’s agricultural industries.

“I can guarantee you this is the real deal,” Poulsen told The Associated Press. “We are certainly not making this up.”

Poultry farms drive the local economy in parts of Wisconsin, Poulsen said, adding that a devastating bird flu outbreak could create real hardship for farmers as well as consumers.

Although the details may vary, the avian flu conspiracy theories all reflect a mistrust of authority and institutions, and a suspicion that millions of doctors, scientists, veterinarians, journalists and elected officials around the world can no longer be trusted.

“Americans clearly understand that the federal government and the mainstream media have repeatedly lied to them and are completely corrupted by the pharmaceutical companies,” said Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopath whose discredited claims about vaccines, masks and the coronavirus have made him a top source. misinformation about covid-19.

Mercola’s interest in avian flu goes back years. A 2006 book for sale on its website, which Mercola uses to sell unproven natural remedies, is called “The Great Bird Flu Hoax.”

Polls show that trust in many American institutions — including the news media — has plummeted in recent years. Trust in science and scientific experts is also declining, and along partisan lines.

Moline, the Iowa turkey farmer, said he sympathizes with people who question what they read about viruses, given the past two years and bitter debates over masks, vaccines and locks. But he said anyone who doubts the existence or seriousness of bird flu does not understand the threat.

The 2015 outbreak was later considered the costliest animal health disaster in US history. The Moline farm had to cull tens of thousands of turkeys after the flu entered one of its barns. Farm workers now adhere to a hygiene policy intended to limit the spread of viruses, including using different pairs of boots and clothes for different barns.

Conspiracy theories are bound to thrive in times of social unrest or unrest, according to John Jackson, dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication.

Before the Internet, there were probably just as many people who privately doubted explanations for big events, Jackson said. But they had limited opportunities to connect with like-minded people, little chance of gaining new converts, and no way to spread their opinions to strangers.

Now conspiracy theories that are gaining popularity — like the QAnon movement or discredited claims about covid-19 — work because they give believers a sense of control in a rapidly changing, interconnected world, Jackson said. While they can appear after disasters, assassinations, or plane crashes, they can also appear in times of social upheaval or rapid change.

“There isn’t a phenomenon on the planet, be it bird flu or 5G, that isn’t already primed for the conspirators,” Jackson said. “Now we have the coronavirus, which has traumatized us so deeply…we’re looking at this same idea of ​​bird flu with completely new eyes, and we’re bringing different kinds of conspiracy to it.”

Claims that bird flu is a hoax used to drive up food prices also highlight real concerns about inflation and food shortages. Concerns that the flu is somehow linked to 5G towers underscore concerns about technological change. Suggestions that it will be used to impose vegetarianism, on the other hand, reflect uncertainties about sustainable agriculture, climate change and animal welfare.

By creating explanations, conspiracy theories can offer the believer a sense of power or control, Jackson said. But he said they also defy common sense in their cinematic fantasies about vast, sprawling conspiracies of millions working with clockwork efficiency to undermine human affairs.

“Conspiracy theories are based on the idea that humans have the ability to keep secrets,” Jackson said. “But they underestimate the reality that we’re not very good at guarding them.”

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Stocks rebound late to escape bear market https://visitmyarkansas.com/stocks-rebound-late-to-escape-bear-market/ Sat, 21 May 2022 09:43:41 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/stocks-rebound-late-to-escape-bear-market/ NEW YORK — Wall Street rumbled on the brink of a bear market on Friday after another drop in stocks briefly sent the S&P 500 more than 20% below its peak reached earlier this year. The S&P 500 index, which sits at the heart of most workers’ 401(k) accounts, fell as much as 2.3% the […]]]>

NEW YORK — Wall Street rumbled on the brink of a bear market on Friday after another drop in stocks briefly sent the S&P 500 more than 20% below its peak reached earlier this year.

The S&P 500 index, which sits at the heart of most workers’ 401(k) accounts, fell as much as 2.3% the day before a furious comeback in the final hour of trading that sent it to a slight gain of less than 0.1%. He finished 18.7% below his record, set on January 3. The tumultuous exchanges capped a seventh consecutive week of losses, its longest streak since the dotcom bubble burst in 2001.

Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine and a slowing Chinese economy are hurting equities and raising fears of a possible recession in the United States. Compounding concerns are how the superhero that has flown to the rescue of Wall Street in recent recessions, the Federal Reserve, seems less likely to help as it is stuck battling the worst inflation in decades.

The S&P 500 ended the day up 0.57 points at 3,901.36. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell from an early loss of 617 points to 8.77 higher, or less than 0.1%, at 31,261.90. The Nasdaq composite pared a big loss to end 33.88 points lower, or 0.3%, at 11,354.62.

Because the S&P 500 ended the day no more than 20% below its all-time high, the index firm says a bear market hasn’t officially begun. However, the 20% threshold is an arbitrary number.

“Whether or not the S&P 500 closes in a bear market doesn’t matter too much,” said Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at Allspring Global Investments. “A lot of pain has already been experienced.”

Many big tech stocks, considered among the most vulnerable to rising interest rates, have already fallen more than 20% this year. This includes a 37.2% drop for Tesla and a 69.1% drop for Netflix.

It’s a sharp turnaround from the powerful run Wall Street enjoyed after emerging from its last bear market in early 2020, at the start of the pandemic. Thanks to that, the S&P 500 more than doubled, as a new generation of investors seemingly met every swing with the rallying cry “Buy the dip!”

“I think a lot of investors were scratching their heads and wondering why the market was recovering despite the pandemic,” Jacobsen said. “Now that the pandemic is hopefully largely over, I think a lot of investors blame themselves for not spotting signs that the economy was likely slowing and the Fed pivoting policy.”

With inflation at its highest level in four decades, the Fed has moved decisively away from keeping interest rates ultra-low in order to support markets and the economy. Instead, it raises rates and takes other measures in hopes of slowing the economy enough to curb inflation. The concern is whether it is going too far or too fast.

“Certainly the market volatility was driven entirely by investor concerns that the Fed might tighten policy too much and push the United States into a recession,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street. Global Advisors.

Bond yields fell as recession worries pushed investors into Treasuries and other things considered safer. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, fell to 2.78% from 2.85% on Thursday evening. Goldman Sachs economists recently put a 35% chance of a recession in the United States over the next two years.

Inflation has been painfully high for months. But market concerns grew after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which drove up prices at grocery stores and gas pumps, as the region is a major source of energy and grain. The world’s second-largest economy, meanwhile, has taken a hit as Chinese authorities have locked down key cities in hopes of stopping covid-19 cases. All of this is compounded by disappointing data on the US economy, even as the labor market remains hot.

The mounting pressure on equities is a sign that corporate earnings are slowing and could finally be hit by inflation. That means the pain has widened beyond tech and high-growth stocks to more encompass Wall Street.

Retail giants Target and Walmart both received warnings this week that inflation would squeeze finances. Discount retailer Ross Stores fell 22.5% on Friday after it cut its profit forecast and cited rising inflation as a factor.

“The latest retail company earnings finally signaled that American consumers and businesses are being negatively impacted by inflation,” Arone said.

Although its source is different, the gloom on Wall Street reflects a sense of exasperation across the country. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research poll released on Friday found that only about 2 in 10 adults say the United States is going in the right direction or the economy is doing well, down from about 3 in 10 a month ago. earlier.

Much of Wall Street’s bull market since the start of 2020 was the result of buying by regular investors, many of whom first started trading during the pandemic. Alongside many cryptocurrencies, they have helped boost darlings like Tesla stock. They even suddenly escalated GameStop to such a high level that it sent shivers down the spines of Wall Street professionals.

But those traders, called “retail investors” by Wall Street to differentiate them from large institutional investors, retreated as stocks fell. Individual investors have gone from a net buyer of stocks to a net seller over the past six months, according to a recent report from Goldman Sachs.

In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, a pair of traders work on the floor, Friday, May 20, 2022. The stock market recovered from a midday drop on Friday after coming to the brink of its first bear market since the start of the pandemic. (Allie Joseph/NYSE via AP)
photo In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, trader Michael Urkonis works on the floor, Friday, May 20, 2022. The stock market recovered from a midday drop Friday after coming to the brink of its first bear market since the start of the pandemic. (Allie Joseph/NYSE via AP)
photo In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, specialist James Denaro works at his post on the trading floor, Friday, May 20, 2022. The stock market recovered from a midday drop on Friday after coming to the brink of its first bear market since the start of the pandemic. (Allie Joseph/NYSE via AP)
photo Traders work Friday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. (AP/Ted Shaffrey)
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South Korea’s chip factory is a model for closer ties with Asia https://visitmyarkansas.com/south-koreas-chip-factory-is-a-model-for-closer-ties-with-asia/ Fri, 20 May 2022 17:02:10 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/south-koreas-chip-factory-is-a-model-for-closer-ties-with-asia/ PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — President Joe Biden opened his Asia trip on Friday by visiting a South Korean computer chip factory that will serve as a model for a factory in Texas, presenting it as an illustration of how deeper ties with the Indo-Pacific can fuel technological innovation and foster vibrant democracies. “Much of the […]]]>

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — President Joe Biden opened his Asia trip on Friday by visiting a South Korean computer chip factory that will serve as a model for a factory in Texas, presenting it as an illustration of how deeper ties with the Indo-Pacific can fuel technological innovation and foster vibrant democracies.

“Much of the future of the world is going to be written here in the Indo-Pacific over the next few decades,” Biden said. “Now is the time, I believe, to invest in each other to deepen our commercial ties, to bring our people even closer together.”

Biden’s message focused on promising a better global future, but also spoke to American voters amid domestic political challenges — such as inflation driven by chip shortages — as he attempts to show that his administration is up to the job of the economy.

The Democrat’s first visit to Asia as president came as a poll released Friday by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found Biden’s approval rating in the United States at 39 %, the lowest of his presidency. The survey also revealed growing pessimism about the economy and the state of the United States, especially among Democrats.

About 2 in 10 American adults said the country was moving in the right direction or described the economy as good, up from about 3 in 10 in April. Among Democrats, only 33% said the country was on track, down from 49% last month.

Samsung, owner of the chip factory in South Korea, last November announced plans to open a $17 billion semiconductor factory in Texas. A shortage of semiconductors last year hurt the availability of automobiles, kitchen appliances and other goods, driving up inflation around the world and crippling public approval for Biden among US voters. . The president noted that the Texas plant would add 3,000 high-tech jobs and construction would include union labor.

“These little chips,” Biden said after touring the factory, “are the key to propelling us into the next era of humanity’s technological development.”

The president seeks to promote greater business collaboration among democracies with overlapping values, seeing it as a way to maintain the benefits of a globalized economy in a way that benefits American workers and leads to increased foreign investment in United States. He is due to appear in Seoul on Sunday with the chairman of Hyundai Motor Group to highlight the company’s decision to invest in a new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant in Savannah, Georgia.

Throughout his five-day visit to South Korea and Japan, Biden explains how a United States able to work with its closest allies will be stronger at home and abroad. In his remarks on Friday, Biden did not mention China, which has emerged as a major competitor to the United States, and he stressed the value of alliances that currently exclude that country.

South Korea’s new president Yoon Suk Yeol and Samsung Electronics vice president Lee Jae-yong greeted Biden at the factory. Yoon is a political newcomer who became president, his first elected post, just this month. He campaigned to take a tougher stance against North Korea and strengthen the 70-year-old alliance with the United States.

Before Biden spoke, Yoon said he hoped the U.S.-Korea partnership would grow into an “economic and security alliance based on cooperation in advanced technologies and supply chains.”

The chip plant showed off a bit of the unique nature of manufacturing, as visitors had to don white lab coats and blue slippers to help keep the facility clean. Biden and Yoon, who were not wearing protective clothing, watched a demonstration of the machinery.

At one point during his tour, Biden received a detailed explanation of a KLA inspection system on the Samsung factory floor. The California-based company is a major supplier to Samsung’s semiconductor business. After a worker named Peter explained the ins and outs of the machinery, Biden advised him “Remember to vote” when he returns home to the United States.

In closing, Biden swiped and thanked “Moon,” which was South Korea’s incumbent President Moon Jae-in, who held the position for several years prior to Yoon’s recent election. Biden quickly corrected the slippage.

“President Moon, Yoon, thank you for everything you’ve done so far,” Biden said.

Part of the computer chip shortage is the result of strong demand as much of the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. But virus outbreaks and other challenges have also caused some semiconductor factories to shut down. US government officials have estimated that chip production will not reach the levels they would like until early next year.

Global computer chip sales totaled $151.7 billion in the first three months of this year, a 23% jump from the same period in 2021, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

More than 75% of the world’s chip production comes from Asia. This is a possible vulnerability against which the United States hopes to protect itself by increasing domestic production. There is $52 billion in government investments in the sector in a bill being negotiated in Congress.

The risk of Chinese aggression against Taiwan could eventually cut off the flow of high-end computer chips needed in the United States for military equipment as well as consumer goods. Similarly, hermetic North Korea has been testing ballistic missiles amid a coronavirus outbreak, a possible risk to South Korea’s manufacturing sector if the precarious situation worsens.

In terms of chip production, China leads the world with a 24% share, followed by Taiwan (21%), South Korea (19%) and Japan (13%). According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, only 10% of chips are made in the United States.

Samsung announced the Taylor, Texas factory in November 2021. It hopes to begin operations in the second half of 2024. The South Korean electronics giant chose the site based on factors including government incentives and the “readiness and stability” of local infrastructure.

The White House said in a fact sheet that semiconductor companies have announced nearly $80 billion in U.S. investments through 2025. That includes $20 billion for Intel’s factory in outside Columbus, Ohio, up to $30 billion by Texas Instruments, a $1 billion expansion by Wolfspeed in New York, and investments from Global Foundries and SK Group.

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Inflation, Drying Up Stimulus Lead to Falling Arkansas Lottery Revenue | Arkansas https://visitmyarkansas.com/inflation-drying-up-stimulus-lead-to-falling-arkansas-lottery-revenue-arkansas/ Thu, 19 May 2022 20:05:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/inflation-drying-up-stimulus-lead-to-falling-arkansas-lottery-revenue-arkansas/ (The Center Square) – Dwindling stimulus funds and rampant inflation eating away at family entertainment budgets have resulted in a 20% reduction in total Arkansas Lottery revenue, according to the director’s report. In April 2022, Arkansas Lottery revenue was $51.8 million, up from $65.5 million the previous year, said Eric Hagler, executive director of the […]]]>

(The Center Square) – Dwindling stimulus funds and rampant inflation eating away at family entertainment budgets have resulted in a 20% reduction in total Arkansas Lottery revenue, according to the director’s report.

In April 2022, Arkansas Lottery revenue was $51.8 million, up from $65.5 million the previous year, said Eric Hagler, executive director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. Arkansas.

“We pulled out historical numbers that were related to the pandemic,” Hagler said during his report to the lottery’s oversight subcommittee on Wednesday. “Stimulus money in the economy, limited venues, the lottery was basically one of the few forms of entertainment available in the last fiscal year. This year we saw a bit of a different scenario unfold.”

A decline in lottery revenue was expected after unusual highs during the pandemic, Hagler said, adding that those numbers were not sustainable to count on going forward.

“We understood the effects of the stimulus, we understood the effects of the pandemic, and we understood how unique we were and basically benefited from this scenario in our sales,” Hagler said.

Net lottery proceeds in 2021 were $103.6 million, according to the Office of the Arkansas Lottery.

Net proceeds are expected to be $88.6 million for fiscal year 2022, and OAL expects it to be $91.4 million for fiscal year 2023.

“We are going through a severe recession,” Hagler said. “The economy is not retail friendly. We are selling in a retail market and when our retailers are affected, so are we.”

The OAL’s budget, which is self-funded and does not receive taxpayer money, projects total operating revenue for fiscal year 2023 to be $535.9 million, which is below the high of $632 million. $.5 from last year, but higher than the $509.2 million in operating revenue forecast for 2022.

“The way we built the budget was to pull out what we thought was the effect of the stimulus,” Hagler said. “So whatever we felt like federal stimulus dollars, increased unemployment, PPP programs, any of those things that increased liquidity in the economy, we tried to extract them and deal with them. of what we call pure economics.”

Despite what Hagler called a “tough market,” he said the lottery was doing well and expects to deliver the second-best year in lottery history for sales and net proceeds.

Arkansas Lottery net proceeds are expected to be $91.4 million in fiscal 2023, up from $88.6 million the prior year.

“When we look at budget and performance, we’re happy with where we are,” Hagler said.

The lottery funds college scholarships for Arkansas students.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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