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[13 Jun 2013 | One Comment | 1,335 views]
CCOA observes National Homeowner Month

June is National Homeownership Month, and Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA) is using this month to call attention to the opportunities consumers have to achieve sustainable homeownership through access to professional housing counseling and homebuyer education.
CCOA is a non-profit organization and HUD-approved housing counseling agency that offers services to help people get into, and stay in, affordable housing, a news release states. Although the national housing trend is improving, there are still many homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage payments. CCOA’s free foreclosure prevention counseling sessions help homeowners assess …

Community, Crime, Features and such, News »

[12 Jun 2013 | No Comment | 1,333 views]
Rascals ruin crepe myrtles in Benton

The Benton Police Department announced that someone — or a group of fiendish someones — destroyed nine of the new crepe myrtle trees that were added as part of the city’s revitalization project on South Street. The trees have a replacement value of $750.
Benton Police want to bring the vandals to justice and are encouraging anyone with information about the crime to come forward and rat out the ne’er-do-well(s). Want to avenge the defenseless trees? Call the Benton Police at (501)778-1171 or (501)315-TIPS.
Individuals can also send anonymous tips about the …

News »

[12 Jun 2013 | One Comment | 1,203 views]
Southern Baptist Convention opposes BSA ‘homosexual resolution’

According to the Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) on Wednesday adopted a resolution expressing “opposition to and disappointment in the decision of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to change its membership policy” allowing homosexual scouts.
The vote took place on the second — and final — day of the SBC Annual Meeting in Houston. The BSA resolution at issue was adopted on May 23. The resolution states that individuals who are “avowed homosexuals” are still excluded from adult leadership positions, but that youth membership will be extended to …

Business, Columns and other comments, Features and such, Made in America, News »

[8 Jun 2013 | 2 Comments | 1,270 views]
Innovation key to economic recovery?

It’s no secret that the economy may be recovering but people are wondering where the jobs are. According to the Arkansas Department of Workforce services, the unemployment rate here in the Natural State was 7.1 percent in April — an improvement over 7.3 percent in the same month a year ago.
Here’s something to keep in mind, however — the Department of Workforce Service reported there were 1.236 million Arkansans working in April, down from 1.263 million jobs reported a year ago. How did unemployment decline even though fewer people were …

Business, Columns and other comments, Features and such, Made in America, News »

[6 Jun 2013 | No Comment | 3,015 views]
Why Wal-Mart’s ‘buy American’ initiative could be significant

KATV-7 — the ABC affiliate in Little Rock — reported today that Bentonville-based Walmart Stores Inc. has pledged to buy $50 billion in goods made or grown in America over the next 10. Wal-Mart also plans to train and provide jobs to 100,000 recently-discharged veterans over the next five years.
Here’s the odd thing — Reuters reported Walmart made those announcements back in January. So, the question must be asked — is KATV just six months behind in its news coverage?
Absolutely not. In fact, one could argue that there can’t be …

Commentary, Crime, News, Politics »

[31 May 2013 | 2 Comments | 681 views]
Judge rejects Shoffner’s plea

According to media reports, U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes on Friday tossed out an agreement under which former Arkansas State Treasurer Martha “Pie Fan” Shoffner was to plead guilty to one count of extortion for allegedly accepting at least $36,000 in exchange for sending business to a broker’s company. It has been alleged that two $6,000 payments were sent to Shoffner disguised in pie boxes that even had pies in them (the desserts, perhaps, were bonuses).
Shoffner, seemingly, admitted to accepting money from the broker but denied that she deliberately sent …

Business, News, Real Estate »

[30 May 2013 | One Comment | 809 views]
Arkansas homes sales improve again in April

The City Wire in Fort Smith, on Thursday, posted The Arkansas Home Sales Report for April 2013. That report covers four major markets in Arkansas and found that sales were up a cumulative 11.06 percent through April in central Arkansas, the Fort Smith area, the Jonesboro area and northwest Arkansas.
Of those four areas, sales were on the rise everywhere but the Fort Smith area. City Wire Economist Jeff Collins said, on the whole, the rising sales continue a trend that took hold last year — markets are generally on the …

Business, News, Real Estate »

[29 May 2013 | 3 Comments | 6,560 views]
Your credit history and tightening lending standards

Just a few short years ago, getting a loan for everything from homes to cars was a comparatively easy process. That’s changed a bit and especially when it comes to mortgages, hasn’t it?
So, what happened? The subprime lending market died a sudden death in 2007 due to high default rates leading to foreclosures and financial chaos. Banks responded by tightening lending standards on most consumer loans.
The impact of those new measures — some taken by the industry and some put in place by government regulations — is that a high …

Business, Crime, News »

[28 May 2013 | One Comment | 2,360 views]
Wal-Mart pleads guilty in hazardous waste case

Wal-Mart Stores, on Tuesday, issued a news release stating the Bentonville-based retailer had entered into agreements related to investigations into hazardous waste dumping. The release, however, is rather vague on why an agreement was necessary or what wrongdoing the retailer engaged in that led to a series of federal investigations.
“Walmart has entered into plea agreements with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Northern and Central Districts of California, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri regarding misdemeanor violations of certain environmental laws, and has signed an administrative …

Business, Community, Features and such, News »

[24 May 2013 | One Comment | 3,368 views]
Goodwill opens new store in Rogers

Members of the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce, Rogers Fire Chief Tom Jenkins, and Goodwill Industries of Arkansas President and CEO Brian Itzkowitz and staff celebrated the grand opening of a new 30,000 square foot facility at 4301 South Dixieland Road in Rogers, Arkansas, on Wednesday.
The building boasts a state of the art career center with computer labs and classrooms, as well as a retail store and convenient Donation Drive-Thru.
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome such an important organization to our community, and we applaud the great work Goodwill Industries of …