Business Briefs for Aug. 14, 2006

• Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale has agreed to sell its training center at Russellville to Arkansas Tech University. If the deal is approved by trustees, the university will pay $2.8 million for 10 acres and seven buildings on Lake Dardanelle. center was opened in 1986 and Tyson used it for training and conferences.

• Terry Benham, managing partner of Impact Management Group of Little Rock, has been chosen to head up and develop a state and local government relations effort for The Livingston Group LLC, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm. Founded in 1999, IMG provides public relations and public affairs services that focus on state and local governmental relations and issue advocacy.

• AT&T Inc. of San Antonio has announced a three-year contract to implement a managed data network to service all of First National Security Co. of De Queen's 27 branch locations in Arkansas and three in Oklahoma. The managed network will provide the bank with increased bandwidth and will be able to support future applications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

• Wal-Mart de Mexico, or Walmex, the Mexican unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, has filed for a retail banking license with local regulators, the latest retailer to enter the realm of financial services in Mexico in recent years. The unit had 818 retail stores and restaurants at the end of June.

• Technisource Inc. of Little Rock has been recognized as one of the top preferred suppliers for 2006 by Rockwell Collins, the communication and aviation electronics maker. Technisource was cited for performance in meeting delivery schedules and product quality. It also was recognized for design and engineering support and the teamwork demonstrated with Rockwell Collins.

• Walter H. Koehler Jr., 82, owner of Koehler Bakery until it was sold in 2001, died Aug. 7. The North Little Rock bakery, which at one time employed 150 workers, was founded by his parents, Walter and Eva Koehler, in 1919. He joined the company in 1946 after completing his tour in the Navy and helped build it into one of the South's largest retail bakery chains.

• The deadline for signing up for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Arkansas Program is Aug. 30. Forty Arkansas leaders will be selected to participate in the program. The tuition cost per person for the program is $1,000 and includes lodging, meals and materials. For more information or to apply, call (501) 372-2222 or visit and click on the Leadership Arkansas logo.

n Hispanics now make up 4.7 percent of Arkansas' population, according to the latest Census Bureau estimates. The regular 10-year census in 2000 put the state's population at 2,673,400, but the new estimates say it has grown to 2.78 million — a rise of 4 percent. But during the same period, the Hispanic population in Arkansas grew by 51 percent to 130,846, the agency said. From 2000 to 2005, Benton County's Hispanic population grew by 78 percent, from 13,469 to 23,996, according to the new figures. In Washington County, the Hispanic population grew by 73 percent, from 12,932 to 22,415 in the same period.

• Readers of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis have voted Hot Springs the best weekend getaway. More than 85,000 readers took part in the newspaper's readers choice poll.

• The Army Corps of Engineers has asked U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson to allow it to continue working on the parts of the $320 million Grand Prairie Irrigation Project that are not expected to affect the habitat of the ivory-bill woodpecker. Wilson has ordered all work on the project to be stopped while a study is performed on its potential impact. The project is about 30 percent complete.

• Russ Jackson, a retired AT&T official, has been named head of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development's business development section, which recruits new business to the state. He replaces Joey Dean, who is now the executive director of the Metro Little Rock Alliance.

• Arkansas State University's Small Business Development Center at Jonesboro will present a three-hour seminar, "Cash Flow Planning for Small Businesses," in from 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the East Arkansas Planning & Development District building. Participants will learn the concepts of short- and long-term cash budgeting. Registration is $30. For more information, call (870) 972-3517, or visit

• Crye-Leike Franchises Inc., the real estate franchiser subsidiary of Crye-Leike Realtors, has signed a franchise agreement with The Anderson Co., managing company of Brock Real Estate in Heber Springs and Greers Ferry. Crye-Leike Brock Real Estate and Crye-Leike Brock Real Estate-Greers Ferry branch will be managed by C. Larry Anderson, principal broker. The firm will specialize in lakefront and riverfront properties, as well as general residential and commercial real estate, investment properties, and real estate development throughout Cleburne County and into the counties of Faulkner, Stone, White and Van Buren.