Business Briefs for July 11, 2005

• Scott Petroleum Corp. of Itta Bena, Miss., is looking at sites in the Arkansas Delta and Greenville to build a biodiesel facility to serve Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The production facility would make 10 million gallons of biodiesel a year. The plant would initially employ 10 to 25. Site selection is set for mid-August.

• The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended the operating license of Arkansas Nuclear One's Unit 2 reactor through July 17, 2038. Unit 1, at the state's only nuclear power plant outside Russellville, had its license renewed in 2001, and it's good through 2034.

• Maverick Tube Corp. of St. Louis has completed the sale of certain assets of its hollow structural sections product line to Atlas Tube of Plymouth, Mich., for $37.8 million. The two companies also entered into an agreement whereby Maverick will continue to produce hollow structural sections products for Atlas at Maverick's mill at Hickman for up to 18 months.

• Gov. Mike Huckabee will become chairman of the National Governor's Association later this month - a position that some political observers think he might use to make a possible run for the Republican presidential nomination.

• The Urban Forestry Division of Little Rock Parks & Recreation has a program to assist in planting trees this fall. Called Enhancing Neighborhood & Community Trees, the program provides up to $2,500 to qualified neighborhood or property owner associations and nonprofit community organizations for tree maintenance or to buy trees to plant on city street easements or parks.

• Attorney General Mike Beebe has issued a consumer alert for Arkansas employers about solicitors seeking to charge business owners for required notices that must be displayed. All of the forms that must be displayed can be obtained from state and federal agencies at no cost. The Arkansas Department of Labor provides a list of all the notices that must be displayed at its Web site, www.arkansas.gov/labor, or call (501) 682-4500. The U.S. Department of Labor can be reached at (501) 324-5292.

• The Pulaski County Extension Service is accepting applications for the 2005 Master Gardener training through July 22. Training will be held on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. beginning Sept. 29 and ending Nov. 9. The cost is $110. Call (501) 240-6650 for more information or an application.

• The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas' 46th annual Salute to the Arkansas Congressional Delegation will take place at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock this year instead of the normal trip to Washington. The Back Home Bash event will be held Aug. 23. Tickets are $50. Call Deb Mathis at (501) 374-9225 or e-mail her at dmathis@ascc-aia.org by Aug. 10.

• The 314th Airlift Wing at the Little Rock Air Force Base was named the Best C-130 Wing and the Best Airdrop Wing at the Air Mobility Command Rodeo international competition at McChord Air Force Base in Washing-ton. The LRAFB team won six trophies overall.

• The University of Arkansas Co-operative Extension Service has a new publication aimed at nonindustrial private forest landowners. The Arkansas Timber Report, provided through Forest2Market of Charlotte, N.C., will help landowners keep up with the market conditions of different timber products. To subscribe, visit www.arnatural.org/news/default.asp.

• A "Lean Manufacturing 101" seminar will be held Oct. 11 and a "Value Stream Mapping" seminar will be held Oct. 27 at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. The cost for each seminar is $250. Both events are sponsored by the Professional Development Institute of Arkansas Tech University, the Arkansas State University Delta Center for Economic Development in Jonesboro and Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions in Little Rock, an affiliate of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority. For more information, call (479) 964-0541.

• Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. of Springdale has hired independent director Jim Robason to be a full-time consultant to assist in hiring and training for the company's sixth manufacturing plant. But the full-time role means the company no longer meets Nasdaq requirements that the board be majority independent directors. A.E.R.T.'s board voted to increase its size to 11 persons by adding two independent directors.

• Ozarks Electric Cooperative recently provided service to its 60,000th meter, making it the third-largest co-op among Arkansas' 17 electric cooperatives. The Fayetteville-based company serves Washington, Madison, Benton, Crawford, and Franklin counties in Arkansas and Adair, Delaware, Cherokee and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma. It has grown approximately 6 percent per year for the past three years and is highlighted in the July issue of U.S. Business Review magazine as being a leader in the industry with its innovative technology and automation.

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