Arkansas Business: The Best & Worst News of 2012

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 12:00 am  

Clockwise from top left: Mr. Dunderbak's makes its return to McCain Mall, Arkansas Children's Hospital makes grand plans, Gus Malzahn returns to Auburn from a one-year stint at Arkansas State, Jon Brawner thought it was wild goose season and Oxford American makes some changes in its masthead.

There was good news and there was bad news in Arkansas in 2012. And in case you’ve forgotten the details, the Arkansas Business staff is here to remind you.

Best Historical News

The Quapaw Tribe of Indians, the tribe most identified with Arkansas, bought a piece of land south of the Little Rock Port Industrial Park where their ancestors once lived. The purchase marked the first time the Quapaw has owned property here since 1833 when the tribe was disenfranchised via treaty and relocated to Oklahoma.

Worst Majority Position

Layton “Scooter” Stuart found himself on the outside looking in at One Bank & Trust after his board of directors ousted him from the $454 million-asset bank as instructed by federal regulators. Stuart, the former chairman and CEO of One Bank, owns 99.9 percent of the bank’s parent company. One Bank, which has operated under a supervisory agreement since January 2011, posted a $10.6 million write-off from a material accounting error uncovered during the third quarter.

Best Legal Fisticuffs

The Arkansas legal community is still awaiting the pay-per-view event featuring a rare lawyer v. lawyer donnybrook between John Everett of Fayetteville and Jim Penick III of Little Rock. The altercation at a deposition featured a brief physical battle followed by a second round in the courts system.

Worst Dietary Supplement

Surely that’s arsenic, which gained attention in September when Consumer Reports reported that it had found “worrisome” levels of inorganic arsenic, a cancer-causing agent, in rice and a number of rice products consumed widely in the U.S. The Arkansas Rice Federation noted that arsenic is a naturally occurring element and that the Food & Drug Administration wasn’t yet making any changes in its recommendations on rice consumption.

Best Bank Ranking

Three Arkansas bank holding companies were listed among the Best Performing Regional Banks in the nation: Little Rock’s Bank of the Ozarks Inc. at No. 1, First Security Bancorp of Searcy at No. 2 and Home BancShares Inc. of Conway at No. 16. Arkansas and New York were home to three companies each among the Top 25, the most of any state. The 2012 recognition by SNL Financial LC of Charlottesville, Va., was based on 2011 results in six core financial performance metrics that focus on profitability, asset quality and growth.

Worst Surprise Visit

 

 

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