The Good News Is ... (Editorial)

OK, so the news wasn't all good. The collapse of the sale of Hawker Beechcraft was unwelcome, although it may all work out for the company's Little Rock employees. And storms caused damage and inconvenience during the mid-week.

But there were several encouraging announcements last week. Home BancShares announced record profit. Arvest Mortgage blew past its previous record for mortgage originations.

A Florida company, NextLife Enterprises, picked Rogers as the headquarters for its NextLife Asset Recovery Services subsidiary, which expects to employ 350. (We hope the NextLife management doesn't know that our lieutenant governor thinks going green is a job-killer.)

The Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation is building in Jacksonville. Antique Brick & Block is expanding its manufacturing facility near downtown Little Rock (and adding two handsful of jobs). The Clinton National Airport unveiled its new baggage screening system, which will speed up the process and declutter the check-in area.

The biggest business news last week was Murphy Oil's long-considered decision to spin off its Murphy USA retail business - the most recognizable part of the business for anyone who has ever shopped at Wal-Mart - into a separate publicly traded company.

And it will be headquartered in El Dorado along with Murphy's previous spinoff, Deltic Timber. Is there any other city the size of ElDo with such a roster of publicly traded companies?

We still have questions about how the spinoff will work, but investors seemed to like the idea just fine. Murphy's stock popped up by as much as 10 percent after Tuesday morning's announcement before settling down at a gain of about 6 percent from its close on Monday.

To top it off, the fall leaves are looking better than we feared during the summer drought. That's good news, too.