Business Briefs for Oct. 10, 2005

by Arkansas Business staff  on Monday, Oct. 10, 2005 12:00 am  

• Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville will raise its stake in Japanese retailer Seiyu to more than 50 percent from 42 percent at a cost of nearly $600 million. The move will make Seiyu a Wal-Mart subsidiary and expand Wal-Mart's influence in the world's second-biggest retail market. Seiyu operates more than 400 stores in Japan.

• Wal-Mart has promoted and realigned two executives. Mike Duke, who had headed Wal-Mart's domestic stores, will lead the company's international division. John Menzer, who has been chief of the international stores, will oversee U.S. stores.

• Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., will be the featured speaker at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Oct. 12. The first in a series of meetings the chamber is hosting that will feature Arkansas' congressional officials will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Little Rock Hilton.

• The University of Arkansas Co-operative Extension Service in Little Rock will dedicate its new $600,000 greenhouse at Lonoke on Oct. 10. The state-of-the-art facility will allow extension personnel to conduct applied weed, insect, and plant disease experiments in a controlled environment year-round.

• Arkansas Tech University at Russellville's Professional Development Institute will offer an Industrial Emergency Response: Hazardous Materials First Responder Awareness Level 1 course from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 11. The course is designed for all employees who respond to a hazardous materials emergency. The cost is $150. Call Michael Roys at (479) 964-3230.

• The Arkansas Department of Workforce Education has a new education resource guide for adults who want to go back to school so they can gain the skills to move forward. "Go Back. Move Forward." includes information on basic adult education programs, English as a second language classes, GED tests, colleges and universities, financial aid, day care, rehabilitation services, and workforce services. The guide will be available at adult education centers, colleges, workforce centers and various state offices. Large companies are asked to place the guides in breakrooms. For more information, call Mari Serebrov, (501) 682-1701 or Robin Henson, (501) 683-2078.

• Henderson State University at Arkadelphia has started a new degree program in athletic training education. It's designed to prepare students for certification based on the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs standards. Grad-uates will be prepared professional health care resources for schools and communities or could continue toward private practice. For more information, visit or call John Miller at (870) 230-5360.

• Vestcom International Inc. of Little Rock, a business communications and specialized retail marketing services provider, has bought five Xeikon 5000 digital color presses. The company, which employs 1,000 associates at 17 locations in the United States and Canada, will install the presses at the Little Rock plant that specializes in data-intensive point-of-purchase programs

• Beth A. Perry, an insurance and financial services professional for 24 years, will present a comprehensive financial management workshop for women only from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 18 at Arkansas Tech University. The "Taking Control" financial management workbook for women will be available for $30 (included in the workshop cost). Register online at http://commed2.atu. edu/pdi-central/.

• Lenders Title Co. of Little Rock has bought Boone County Abstract & Title Co. of Harrison and Ledgemore Title Co. of Yellville. Lenders is the largest independent title company in the state. Current staff and management positions will stay the same. Staci Compton will be assistant manager of the 15 employees at Harrison. Kim Stewart will be assistant manager of the 15 employees at Yellville.

• Beverly Enterprises Inc. of Fort Smith has agreed to pay $1 million into the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund and to spend at least $500,000 to improve its nursing homes in the state as part of an agreement to settle accusations of mistreatment and neglect of residents. The state attorney general's office investigated 26 complaints involving 12 Beverly nursing homes.

• Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore has named Bryan Day, director of Little Rock Parks & Recreation, to be the assistant city manager. Day has been serving as interim assistant city manager since March. He succeeds Bob Turner, who retired earlier this year.

• Diamond Bear Brewing Co. of Little Rock recently claimed a gold medal at the 2005 Great American Beer Festival Competition at Denver. Diamond Bear was recognized in the Irish-style Red Ale category for its Diamond Bear Irish Red.

• Conseco Insurance Co. of Indian-apolis will hold a three-hour seminar from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 11 at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock. The session is an opportunity for licensed life, health and annuity agents to hear about the company. For more information, visit or call (800) 906-3930.



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