Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday summary

Acxiom Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by two private equity firms for $3 billion. ValueAct Capital, the San Francisco-based investment firm that failed in a hostile takeover bid last year, and Silver Lake Partners, an investment firm that focused on technology-based industries, are joining forces for the purchase.

Governor Mike Beebe will help announce new jobs in Lonoke County this morning. Local and state leaders will be on hand along with company officials. The announcement will take place at 10 am at the England Fire Station.

A federal judge in Little Rock on granted class-action status to a lawsuit accusing Wal-Mart of using racially discriminatory practices in hiring over-the-road truck drivers.

State police have a new airplane, which will be available to transport the governor. Lawmakers have approved the new position of “state police pilot” with a starting salary of $60,000 annually. In addition, starting salaries for troopers will be increased from $28,000 a year to $36,000.

Gov. Mike Beebe told some of the state’s leading business people Wednesday that he has no plans for broad-based state income tax cuts anytime soon.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says he will be part of a national task force that will examine legal issues related to school safety in the wake of last month's deadly Virginia Tech shootings.

Mike Huckabee's net worth of at least $500,000 was bolstered over the last 16 months with more than $300,000 in book royalties and speech honoraria, according a financial disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

Searcy needs to increase its sales tax in order to raise salaries, hire new police officers and invest in new vehicles and buildings, Mayor Belinda LaForce stated at a recent Town Hall Meeting.

The attorney for anti-alcohol forces in Conway says that the group won’t waste any more time and money contesting private-club liquor permits before the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and has talked about liquor foes in Jonesboro about new tactics.

Residents voted in November to allow Marion County to go wet, and on Wednesday the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board granted retail liquor permits to the first four of 18 applicants, which is the legal limit for a county of 16,000 population.

Central Arkansas concert promoter Butch Stone tells Pat Lynch that his plans for concerts this summer and beyond at Riverfest Amphitheater are on "hold." Stone notes that recent fencing has taken away 30% of audience capacity.

The family of a man who was slain in 2005 has filed suit in federal court alleging negligence and seeking damages from the killer’s stepfather. The estate of Jessie Odel Corbit states that Michael L. Gillooley “delivered a firearm and ammunition to his stepson,” and that Gillooley’s “negligent entrustment” resulted in the decedent’s wrongful death. According to Jackson Corbit’s complaint, Gillooley knew Breedlove “had a propensity for violence, drug use and deceit, and that he regularly associated with other like-minded and dangerous individuals.”

A small earthquake rattled the El Dorado area Wednesday morning, prompting calls to local authorities but no reports of injuries or damage.

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