The Best & Worst of 2011

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 11:22 am  

Worst Freezer Burn
After 79 years in business, Yarnell Ice Cream Co. of Searcy closed its doors on June 30, leaving about 200 out of work. It later filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and listed $15.7 million in debts and $8 million in assets.

Schulze & Burch Biscuit Co. of Chicago bought most of Yarnell's assets for $1.34 million at an auction and has indicated it will restart its freezer to make more Yarnell's ice cream.

Worst Place to Work 
Several exotic dancers are suing their boss at Visions.

The reason? Their boss at the North Little Rock nightclub allegedly misclassified the dancers as independent contractors rather than employees so he wouldn't have to pay minimum wage.     

In addition, the dancers also had to pay $20 to $25 to the disc jockey and $50 or more to Visions in "house fees" as soon as they arrived at work. And sometimes the dancers didn't make enough in tips to cover the fees.

They are seeking a class-action certification for their lawsuit where they alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Visions, in its court filing, denied the allegations of wrongdoing.

Worst Time to Receive a Tax Bill 
At the end of October 2010, Ralph Bradbury, the former president of Continental Express Inc. of Little Rock, and Pete Campbell, the trucking company's former executive vice president, received a bill from the Internal Revenue Service for more than $2.8 million for unpaid employment taxes. Campbell had died on Oct. 28, 2010, though, so his widow received the bill on the day of her husband's funeral.
Bradbury disputed the bill and filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to get it removed.

Worst Business Model
A number of Internet business cafes started opening in Arkansas in 2011. While checking email or firing off a fax, customers could also play casino-type video games for a chance to win cash prizes. Those in the industry insisted what they were offering was not gambling, but rather a type of sweepstakes promotion.

Government officials saw it differently and shut some of them down. A court has been asked to settle the legal question.

Worst Due Diligence
One of the worst cases of due diligence can be found by JDA Software Group Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz.

It bought i2 Technologies Inc. in January 2010 knowing that i2 was being sued by Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock.



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