Trigger Alerts: The Best & Worst of 2013

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 12:00 am  

There was good news and there was bad news in Arkansas in 2013. And in case you’ve forgotten the details, Arkansas Business has compiled some of the staff’s favorite moments.

Best Way to Say Something Without Saying Anything at All

John Tyson of Springdale, former CEO of Tyson Foods Inc., became so frustrated with the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees that he resigned from his board position in February. But the UA System didn’t know about the resignation for about a week, only learning about the departure when a reporter from Arkansas Business called with the news.

Worst Cold Call

In September, the Arkansas Securities Department revoked the registration of a 22-year-old New York stockbroker who had made a cold-call stock pitch to a phone number that, as it turned out, belonged to one of the department’s senior securities examiners.

Among other no-nos, Junmo Hong claimed to have made previous recommendations dating to 2006 (when Hong was 14), and when the examiner told Hong that he had zero net worth, “Hong responded he would just mark his total net worth down as one million dollars.”

Best Altruistic Downtown Developer

Anita Davis has worked wonders along South Main Street in downtown Little Rock, or SoMa. The Murfreesboro native is the visionary behind the Bernice Garden Farmers Market, the Cornbread Festival and the Esse Purse Museum.

Davis’ efforts have helped spark a revitalization of South Main that has also led to the relocation of the offices of the Oxford American magazine and its sister enterprise, South on Main, a restaurant and event venue.

Worst Futile Gesture

In an effort to underscore her opposition to the Legislature’s decision to exempt the identity of concealed-carry licensees from the state Freedom of Information Act, Arkansas Business Editor Gwen Moritz used her opinion column to offer a spreadsheet of the last publicly available list of the 130,000 licensees to anyone who requested it.

Moritz’s point — that lawmakers had not expanded anyone’s Second Amendment rights but had actively taken away Arkansans’ right to know who its government had licensed and not licensed — was immediately lost as news of the release spread on talk radio and the Internet. Separated from her explanatory column, her gesture was widely (and incorrectly) described inside Arkansas as a violation of the new law and outside Arkansas as an attack on gun ownership.



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