Arkansas Business

The president of First National Bank of Lawrence County in Walnut Ridge says at least $3.9 million has been stolen from the bank - but adds that all customer deposits are safe.

Milton Smith said in a statement to The Jonesboro Sun that the FBI is investigating and that he can't release other details. FBI spokeswoman Deb Green told the newspaper that it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.

The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees has approved a lease for an on-campus restaurant that plans to sell alcohol.

The lease with Mosaique Bistro and Grill was approved Friday on a 6-1 vote with board member Kay Hinkle voting against it. Retired minister James Davis of Conway also spoke against allowing alcohol sales on campus.

The restaurant will be in Donaghey Hall. The hall is a four-story, two-building development that is under construction with completion expected by fall 2016.

Natural Gas Drilling Mt. Vernon in Faulkner County
Arkansas Times

Arkansas severance tax collections tumbled nearly 59% in the first month of state’s fiscal year 2016 as Fayetteville Shale drillers were unable to sustain production levels due to continued weak natural gas prices, spending cuts and fewer operating rigs.

According to monthly tax data compiled by the Revenue Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, state tax revenue for natural gas production in July (the first month of fiscal 2016) came in at $3.48 million, compared to $8.4 million a year ago.

Arkansas River
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The long rain-induced nightmare for port, barge and other operators on the Arkansas River may soon be over, but the impact of heavy rains earlier this year pushed river tonnage down more than 25% in July.

Tonnage shipped on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System between January and July totaled 5.135 million in July, down 23% compared to the same period in 2014, according to a monthly report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

John Correnti Big River Steel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The CEO of the state’s first superproject, Big River Steel CEO John Correnti, was found dead on an out-of-state business trip Tuesday morning, Talk Business & Politics has confirmed.

Correnti, 68, was the driving force for the $1.3 billion steel mill superproject, which is being built near Osceola (Mississippi Co.). As a former CEO of rival Nucor Steel, Correnti was a big fan of Arkansas where he once headed Nucor’s operations in the 1990’s.

Fayetteville-based Sage Partners announced Monday that it has leased 55,882 square feet of space at the former Hawker facility at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport to Mountain Home aviation services firm Fly Arkansas LLC.

Fly Arkansas plans to begin operations at the airport facility in October 2015, offering aircraft leasing, rental, management and other aviation services. This is the company’s third Fixed Based Operator (FBO) facility, and it’s first in Little Rock, company officials said.

A subsidiary of Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, Inc. has shut down its beef operations plant in Denison, Iowa, leaving 400 people without jobs.

Tyson Fresh Meats closed the plant Friday. Tyson Fresh Meats President Steve Stouffer said in a news release that the cattle supply is down - leading to an excess of beef production capacity. He said ending beef operations at the plant will put Tyson's remaining beef business in a better position to succeed.

'Impasse' on Main Street

Aug 3, 2015
Scott Reed at the relaunch of K Lofts in 2013.
Mauren Kennedy / Arkansas Business

Private developers and the city of Little Rock have been investing in recent years to revive a stretch of Main Street but not all projects in the so-called Creative Corridor are taking off. George Waldon, with Arkansas Business, reports that two mixed-use commercial and residential properties being developed by Scott Reed – K Lofts and Main Street Lofts – are behind schedule and owe contractors more than a million dollars.

The Walmart visitors center in downtown Bentonville.

The Walton Family Foundation is developing what it is calling an “independent” school in Bentonville for the Northwest Arkansas region, the foundation announced in a press release Thursday.

The release said the school “will also offer a challenging curriculum, small classes, a diverse student body and distinctive architecture.” has details on the arrest of North Little Rock businessman John Rogers. He became known for buying the photo archives of major newspapers across the country and dealing in sports memorabilia like rare baseball cards. But Rogers has been dogged by a series of fraud allegations by banks, business associates, clients and investors.