Business Briefs for Nov. 20

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Nov. 20, 2006 12:00 am  

• Barry A. Bryant, an assistant U.S. attorney in Texas, has been named to succeed U.S. Magistrate Judge Bobby E. Shepherd in the Western District of Arkansas. Shepherd has been appointed to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis. Bryant is a native of Genoa (Miller County) and graduated from Henderson State University at Arkadelphia. He received a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and was in private practice for 10 years in Texarkana.
• Moll Industries of Dallas is closing its plastics plant at Fort Smith by the end of the year, putting 137 people out of work. Moll is a supplier to Whirlpool Corp., which has a major operation at Fort Smith. The company said it was closing the Fort Smith plant and two others because of a pricing dispute with Whirlpool.
• A. Howard Stebbins III, former president and director of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Arkansas, died Nov. 15. He turned 96 in October. A 1932 graduate of Harvard University, Stebbins was president of Stebbins & Roberts Inc. and director of both American National Bank and Adkins-Phelps Co. He was also a philanthropist whose beneficiaries included the Arkansas Arts Center, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock and Curran Hall.
• Kevin G. Fitzgerald has been appointed senior vice president and chief financial officer at Murphy Oil Corp. effective Jan. 1. He had been treasurer. Mindy West, who currently heads investor relations, will become vice president and treasurer. David Wood will become executive vice president with responsibility for worldwide exploration and production operations. Harvey Doerr will become executive vice president with responsibility for worldwide refining and marketing operations and all strategic planning activities. Mike Hulse, current executive vice president of downstream operations, will retire.
• Acxiom Corp. is ranked 27th in the FinTech 100, a listing of the top global technology and financial services providers as compiled by American Banker and the research firm Financial Insights. In addition, Acxiom also was recognized as the seventh-ranked business solution provider to the insurance industry.
• Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Architects Ltd. of Little Rock said its Harmon Avenue Parking Facility at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville won two awards from the International Parking Institute: 2006 Award of Excellence - Category II (best design of a parking facility with 800 or more spaces) and 2006 Award of Merit - Category V (architectural achievement).
• Theater Xtreme Entertainment Group, a Newark, Del.-based home cinema retailer and franchisor of home cinema design and installation centers, has opened a franchise location at Rogers. Rusty and Dana Newman, both of Rogers, bought the franchise in May.
• Harps Food Stores Inc. of Springdale has bought the last Dillon's grocery store in Arkansas, at Prairie Grove. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. Harps is the largest employee-owned company based in Arkansas and has more than 50 stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, including the Price Cutter grocery stores.
• The Center for Science in the Public Interest has called on the Food & Drug Administration to issue regulations to ensure the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. CSPI said inspections and mandatory standards governing manure, water and sanitation on farms could help reduce the number of food outbreaks linked to produce, such as the recent outbreak of E. coli O157:H7-contaminated spinach that sickened 200 and killed at least four people.
• Thomas "Mack" McLarty has been elected to the board of directors of Union Pacific Corp. of Omaha, Neb. McLarty, 60, is president of Kissinger McLarty Associates, a Washington consulting group. The former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton also is chairman of McLarty Cos. of Little Rock, which owns several auto dealerships.



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