Arkansas Business

Arkansas Based Poultry Plant Opens Second Location

Nov 3, 2013

Chicken provider, Pilgrim’s Pride has closed its plant in Batesville, but Ozark Mountain Poultry is opening a second location in the vacant plant Monday, November 11th.

The Rogers based company is expanding its production capacity, creating 250 new jobs and doubling the amount of poultry it provides to the restaurant industry.

Currently it provides about 1.5 million pounds of poultry to places like Sam’s Club and Jason’s Deli each week. Ed Fryar, Ozark’s CEO, says he is happy to keep production in-state.

Arkansas Home Sales Up 18 Percent From Last Year

Nov 1, 2013

The Arkansas Realtors Association said Friday that home sales are up 18% from this time last year.

Realtor Carolyn Cobb with Coldwell Banker says several things have contributed to the market’s current success.

"Factors just being interest rates remaining low, and people moving before school starts or getting houses closed so they can get their children in school," said Cobb. 

Cobb says the Arkansas housing market experienced a decrease in 2006 and is now leveling off. But the average price for the 43 county area surveyed was down about $1,500 from last year.  

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Little Rock city leaders kicked off a campaign Tuesday to get citizens excited about helping to fund a $68 million renovation and expansion project at Robinson Center Music Hall.

The event was held on the steps of the auditorium, with Mayor Mark Stodola and other city leaders promoting a December 10 special election to vote on whether to use an existing two percent advertising and promotion tax to finance the additions.

Former Mayor Jim Dailey reminded those in attendance of the building’s historical significance.

Kevin Pieper / Arkansas Business

Efforts continue by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas to recover assets of a cardiologist charged with over billing Medicare by nearly $15 million.

Dr. Stacey Johnson of Mountain Home died earlier this year. A criminal investigator’s affidavit that was recently made public says if he were still alive, criminal charges likely would have been filed against Johnson.

Mark Stodola, Ron Ford and Mike Beebe
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A technology company that analyzes consumers’ personal data to help create specifically targeted mobile advertisements will be opening a center in Little Rock.  nGage Labs plans to hire 35 skilled workers at an average salary of $100,000 for its new site in the Rivermarket.

Ron Ford, CEO of the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company, told reporters at the Capitol Friday about his enthusiasm for the new expansion, an ‘Analytics Innovation Center’.

Local Opinions About Federal Government Shutdown

Oct 11, 2013

As the federal government shutdown continues into its second week, people across the country are expressing their concerns. 

The coffee shop is a natural meeting point for conversation and debate, and Starbucks is taking advantage of this by offering a petition for people to sign. It calls for a bipartisan end the shutdown.

Kate Althoff, a self-described “professional volunteer,” said she is tired of the situation and believes others share her worry.

Arkansas State Fair Opens Friday

Oct 8, 2013
Jacob Kauffman/KUAR News

The annual state fair will start its ten day run on Friday. Discounted tickets are on sale at Walgreens for two dollars less than tickets available at the door.

Advance tickets will no longer be available past the first day of the fair, and will have to be purchased for full price at the gate, a change made this year.

Mary Smith, Director of Marketing for the fair, says the event is an economic boost for the area.

Smith says new food items will be introduced this year, including deep fried pineapple upside down cake.

Southern Bancorp Awarded Funds For Rural Loans

Oct 1, 2013

Southern Bancorp Bank of Little Rock has been awarded $1.3 million to increase its lending in rural communities it serves in Arkansas and Mississippi. 

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. 

Southern Bancorp Inc. CEO Darrin Williams says the bank is one of 11 Community Development Financial Institutions chosen for the award.

Arkansas will lose one of its iconic bank names after a bankruptcy auction concluded on Monday. Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. has won the bidding war for Little Rock-based Metropolitan National Bank, according to Talk Business Arkansas sources and confirmed by Simmons First.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission is allowing further information to be presented by both sides of a dispute, concerning a transmission line in the northern part of the state.

Southwestern Electric Power Company has construction plans for a 60 mile line in Benton and Carroll Counties. Doug Stowe, a Save the Ozarks board member, says the utility companies saw the previous hearing as a meeting to determine which route would be used.  He says the opposition saw things differently. 

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