Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday summary

Pulaski County government is among the targets of a federal investigation of bid-rigging in a $43 millioon bond scheme that was supposed to provide cheap housing to poor people, but instead lined the pockets of various bond daddies. A Democrat-Gazette FOI request discovered a Feb. 5 IRS letter alleging that the county had “no reasonable expectation” that it would spend the money for houses.

Southwestern Electric Power Co. and some state regulatory officials are hiding key facts about a $1.4 billion coal-fired power plant planned for Hempstead County, say owners of 15,000 acres of nearby hunting land. Property owners contend consultants hired by the Public Service Commission found that the proposed plant does not adequately deal with carbon dioxide emissions and is not the most economic option.

Gov. Mike Beebe is now open to delaying the curriculum guidelines that some scholars claim shortchange Arkansas history.

Arkansas State University Chancellor Robert Potts said Wednesday that he will accept suggestions from the public for a new university mascot and hire a sports marketing firm to help with the change.

Knight Vorachith is being held in the Sebastian County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder in a Tuesday afternoon incident. Quy V. Nguyen was shot to death at the rear entrance of Wal-Mart Supercenter in Van Buren. Vorachith was arrested at the Valero across the street from Arkansas State Police headquarters after he called 911 from a pay phone outside the gas station.

Shawn Goodwin is no longer police chief for the city of Plainview.
Goodwin was arrested in Russellville for allegedly raping his then-13-year-old baby-sitter in 2006. Charges have yet to be filed in the case. Goodwin was accused of a similar crime in 2001, when his then 16-year-old baby-sitter filed a police report. Prosecutors declined to file charges in the case, although Russellville Police say the department will request the prosecuting attorney reopen that case.

The Wynne Police Department has made several arrests surrounding a fight last month at a construction site that sent several men to the hospital. Five men who work for Southern Plumbing, which is based in Wynne, and three men who work for A&K Drywall and Acoustical, which is based in Pangburn, are facing charges. Injuries included broken ribs, lost teeth, a broken jaw, and one gentleman was struck by an automobile in the course of this altercation.

Rich’s Package Story is open. It is the first Marion County liquor store in 60 years.

American Railcar Industries broke ground in Marmaduke on Wednesday on the latest part of the company’s expansion in northeast Arkansas that state officials say will create over 300 jobs.

Central Arkansas officials have approved a new route for the remainder of the North Belt Freeway, ending more than a decade of turmoil. The voice vote,paves the way for state highway officials to design the freeway, secure federal approval for it and, sometime next year, finally begin acquiring rights of way. Plans call for a 12.3-mile four-lane, divided highway from U.S. 67/167 westward to the Interstate 430/Interstate 40 interchange - a project now expected to exceed $200 million.

Acxiom Corp. ended its fiscal first quarter with a net loss of $11.5 million, behind $15.1 million in one-time expenditures associated with its pending buyout transaction with ValueAct Capital and Silver Lake. Without factoring in those expenses, Acxiom would have ended the quarter with a profit of $4.6 million, a 74 percent decrease from the company's fiscal first quarter of 2007.

Despite lower crude oil and natural gas sales volumes, Murphy Oil Corp. reported a 16 percent increase in second-quarter earnings Wednesday.

Arkansas Best Corp. saw its earnings dip by 39% due to market conditions, which have also forced the trucking giant to revise its capital expenditures downward for the year.

A lawsuit challenging the results of a 2006 election for a justice of the peace position in Jefferson County will go to trial Thursday afternoon in circuit court. Republican Mike Burdine, who was defeated by 17 votes, filed the lawsuit. Burdine contends that approximately 300 voters received faulty ballots because of errors in the county clerk’s office that were made following the 2000 census when the districts were reapportioned.

An amended land-use plan Mayor Tab Townsell hopes will "tie the ribbon" around the city's plans for a new airport in the Lollie Bottoms area, which still must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, has been passed by the Conway City Council.

Voters in Helena-West Helena may have not anticipated that refinancing the regional landfill bond would wipe clean all past city debt from the books, Crews & Associates says that, when the bond is refinanced, the city should be refunded the money put into various accounts. That will be an estimated $1.2 million dollars available at the beginning of October.

Several people at a meeting in Hoxie this week took a prospectus for investors in a soybean oil and biodiesel facility being planned for Corning. Interest is growing and already 36 people have invested in the facility which, when built, will not only provide a local market for soybeans, but will extract oil, sell soybean meal and process biodiesel motor fuel.

Comments:
Looks like the buyout happened, MMI ( the second largest Acxiom shareholder) allowed this transaction to take place. Check out this site I found with all the different connections.
http://www.newsvisual.com/newsvisual/2007/08/acxiom-buyout-l.html
 
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