Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wet Wednesday summary

Starting in July, and in each year afterward through 2013, Entergy, which has 675,000 customers, will send hundreds of millions of dollars to Entergy customers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In order to comply with the FERC order to “roughly” balance production costs at plants throughout Entergy Corp.’s four-state service area, residential users’ charges will increase by 12.6 percent.

Average gasoline prices in Arkansas dipped after breaking records in the past two weeks. The AAA reported that the average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.11 on Tuesday, down a penny from a day before. Arkansas' average price slid from a record high a week before of $3.18 a gallon.

With gas prices in the state still averaging above $3 per gallon, several Arkansas business people on Tuesday joined a national campaign opposing legislation that would increase fuel efficiency requirements for new vehicles.

The annual pep rally, entertainment extravaganza and business gathering — otherwise known as the Wal-Mart shareholders meeting week — is under way.

Windstream Corp. will acquire Concord, N.C.-based CT Communications in a deal valued at $585 million.

As U.S. Rep. Marion Berry attends agriculture trade talks this week in Cuba, Arkansas rice producers and others watch from afar, hoping restrictions on trade to the Communist nation will be lifted.

Letting University of Arkansas football Coach Houston Nutt investigate a booster’s critical e-mail to a former UA quarterback was akin to allowing Nutt to investigate himself, a lawyer suing UA officials said Tuesday in a court filing.

Rejecting the advice of its staff and lawyer, the Pulaski County Planning Commission has denied plans for the first phase of a proposed development near central Arkansas’ main source of drinking water. The panel voted 5-1 to reject the layout of John “Jay” DeHaven’s planned Canterbury Park project just west of Lake Maumelle.

A growing backlog of state prisoners being held in county jails across Arkansas prompted the state Board of Corrections on Tuesday to invoke the Emergency Powers Act, making up to 739 inmates eligible to apply for early parole.

A Lonoke County man accused of raping children at his wife's in home daycare is dead. Authorities believe Thomas Dexter hanged himself. Dexter faced six counts of raping children at his wife's in home daycare and was out on bond after being arrested twice on the charges.

The AmeriCorps program in Arkansas is budgeted to provide more than 1,000 tutors for at-risk students in the state’s public schools beginning next fall, which would be a tenfold increase from previous school years and the largest number since the service program began in 1999.

Ross Francis, a 1997 Benton High School graduate has attended his first Hollywood movie premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Francis has a small role in the Kevin Costner thriller “Mr. Brooks” which opens nationally Friday, June 1.

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