Arkansas Business

Local & Regional News
8:47 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Little Rock Port Authority Opens Resource Center

The Arkansas River Resource Center
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The construction of a new 2.1 million dollar Arkansas River Resource Center is heralding future economic development opportunities for the Port of Little Rock, according to city and federal officials. As KUAR’s Chris Hickey reports, the center’s presence is just one piece of a site that has become an economic engine for Central Arkansas.

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Local & Regional News
11:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Pine Bluff Lands $130 Million Plant To Make Wood Pellets

Wood pellets, similar to those that will be produced in plants to be built in Pine Bluff and Monticello.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new $130 million dollar wood pellet plant is to be built in Pine Bluff, creating 35 new jobs.

Highland Pellets announced Wednesday that groundbreaking is expected in October, with deliveries scheduled to begin in March 2016.

The facility will produce wood pellets, which can be used as an alternative fuel source.

Last month, another company announced plans for a wood pellet plant in south Arkansas. Zilkha Biomass Energy says it will build a plant in Monticello, creating 52 jobs.

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Local & Regional News
2:33 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport Proposes Renovations

The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek

The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport announced a $20.5 million concourse renovation plan Tuesday. The proposal includes a modernized interior, additional gate seating with chargers for portable devices, new jet bridges and new arrival and departure monitors.

According to Ronald Mathieu, Executive Director of the Clinton National Airport, ridership was down five percent last year. He said interior improvements will be good for business.

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Local & Regional News
6:24 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Whirlpool Testing For Toxic Chemical On Boys & Girls Club Land

File photo of the Whirlpool plant.
Credit Arkansas Times

Whirlpool Corp. is seeking additional testing for toxic chemicals in Fort Smith and the area Boys & Girls Club based on new contamination findings.

The Southwest Times Record reports Whirlpool spokesman Jeff Noel told youth club directors Tuesday that the company is seeking permission to test for trichloroethylene. The chemical is linked to increased cancer risks.

Noel says monitoring equipment has discovered the chemical in local groundwater but not soil. He says further testing is needed to determine if contaminants migrated under a road and onto the club property.

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Local & Regional News
5:14 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Local Fast Food Workers Protest For Higher Wages

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

After the general counsel for National Labor Relations Board said this week fast-food chain McDonald’s could be held liable along with its franchises for any labor violations, a demonstration was held outside one Little Rock restaurant on Friday.  

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Local & Regional News
5:13 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Wood Pellet Manufacturer Locates In Monticello

Monticello will soon be the site of a facility specializing in the production of a dense, water resistant wood pellet, marketed as an alternative to coal fuel. The Houston, Texas-based Zilkha Biomass Energy will locate the first facility of its kind in the state, choosing an area known for its timber production and densely forested lands. The company says it will employ 52 people and invest 90 million dollars in the area, according to a news release.

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Local & Regional News
12:19 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Tyson Foods Selling Mexico & Brazil Poultry Operations To Pilgrim's Pride

Tyson's headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas.
Credit Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods says it will sell its poultry businesses in Mexico and Brazil for $575 million in cash to help pay debt tied to its acquisition of Hillshire Brands.

The company expects the sale to JBS' Pilgrim's Pride, which is based in Greeley, Colorado, to be completed by the end of the year.

Tyson's Mexico and Brazil operations employ more than 10,000 people combined.

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Local & Regional News
10:53 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Wal-Mart CEO Of Domestic Operations To Resign Next Month

Outgoing Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon speaking at last month's shareholders meeting in Bentonville.
Credit Wal-Mart

The CEO of Wal-Mart’s domestic operations is stepping down. The Arkansas-based retailer announced Thursday that Bill Simon will resign August 8th.  He's being replaced by Greg Foran, who is head of the company’s Asia division.

As Arkansas Business reporter Lance Turner explains, after four years in the position, Simon leaves behind a mixed record.

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Local & Regional News
7:55 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Arkansas-Based Tyson Foods Moving Forward With Hillshire Deal

Credit Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods Inc. has signed a definitive deal to purchase Hillshire Brands Co. for $7.75 billion, two days after the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs was let out of its agreement to buy Pinnacle Foods.

Chicago-based Hillshire agreed to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc. for $4.23 billion in May. But then Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride got into a bidding war for Hillshire, with Hillshire accepting Tyson's $63 per share offer last month.

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Arkansas Economy
5:59 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Ft. Smith Tops Economic Index Of Arkansas Cities

The city of Fort Smith is atop a latest ranking of the economic performance of Arkansas cities.

The Arkansas Tech Business Index tracks retail sales, construction, the housing market and unemployment rates of 16 Arkansas cities.

Ft. Smith beat out Bentonville, which had been atop previous months’ rankings in business activity. Mark Fusaro is an economist with Arkansas Tech and compiles the business index. He says Ft. Smith’s retail sales have always been strong.

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