Gov. Sanders orders China-owned company out of state
Gov. Sanders orders Syngenta to vacate Arkansas
A company in Arkansas is being asked by Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders to vacate the state. Syngenta is a seed company which owns 160 acres of land in Craighead County. The Swiss company is owned by a Chinese parent company called ChemChina. In a news conference this week, Governor Sanders said they must leave the state to protect farmers and national security.
"The beginning of my term, my administration worked with our partners in the legislature to get hostile foreign entities out of Arkansas," Gov. Sanders said. "I was proud to sign Act 636, sponsored by Senator Johnson and Representative Vaught, banning foreign parties from enemy countries from owning agricultural land in Arkansas."
In 2021, the Department of Defense put ChemChina on a list of "Chinese military companies." Attorney General Tim Griffin said he has written to the company and plans to take legal action if they are not out of the state within the next two years.
Gov. Sanders' reveals more information about controversial lectern
Meanwhile, confusion continues over a lectern purchased by the office of Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The lectern's $19,000 price tag has come under fire for being too expensive. It was initially purchased with a state credit card but then reimbursed after the invoices were publicly requested. Sanders told reporters this week why she thought the podium had such a high price tag.
"The height of the podium is specific," Gov. Sanders said. "I don't know if you've noticed, but women are traditionally a little bit shorter than most of our male counterparts. And so that makes a little bit of a difference, but it also incorporates sound components that make it easier to plug in for multiple media outlets at one time to get the best sound quality, I guess, possible for relaying back to TV."
The podium purchase will be investigated by the Arkansas Legislative Audit. The governor said she welcomes the investigation.
Eureka Springs officials consider new trash managing methods
City officials in Eureka Springs are considering a new way to manage household trash. Residents have been required for decades to purchase special yellow trash bags at city hall or the town grocery store at a price of $7 for twenty kitchen-size bags and $9 for 12 33-gallon bags. Recycling bins are provided at no cost.
Simon Wiley is director of Eureka Springs Public Works, and he said the bags are meant to incentivize recycling.
"It's played a great role in that because according to Carroll County Solid Waste we're one of the higher recyclers within their region so it works out really well," Wiley said.
The monthly residential solid waste fee in Eureka Springs is around $15, allowing households to put out an unlimited number of yellow trash bags on the curb for pickup. The city council is considering an alternative solution: requiring households to purchase either a 35 or 60-gallon garbage cart — using conventional bags. Wiley said the carts will reduce "outside" trash from coming into the city.
"One of the council members made a comment that they feel like people outside the city limits are using the yellow bags and then bring them over to a friend or relative's house," Wiley said.
Wiley said if the city transitions to garbage carts, he expects more people will recycle aluminum, paper, glass, and plastics to avoid overfilling their carts — which triggers an additional fee. A decision on the new solid waste rule is expected later this fall.
Arkansas Razorbacks prepare for college basketball season
College basketball season is approaching, and the 14th-ranked men's Razorback team is picked to finish third in the SEC by members of the press. The men have two exhibition games this month: Friday against UT-Tyler and Saturday, Oct. 28, against Purdue. Both of the exhibition games are in Bud Walton Arena.
The women's team is picked to finish sixth in the SEC by reporters. The Razorback women open the season on Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Bud Walton, hosting Lousiana-Monroe.