Holding the Bag for the Turk Plant and More in This Week’s Arkansas Business

It’s Monday and time for the latest edition of Arkansas Business. This special edition focuses on utilities and includes the lists of the largest electric and natural gas companies in Arkansas. Among other highlights:

Jamie Walden examines the cases against Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s John W. Turk Jr. coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County and says that if Swepco loses its appeals, its customers in Arkansas and elsewhere could be on the hook for more than $876 million.

Another Twitter story! This time, our cousin the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal takes a look at the 140-character phenomenon in action among small businesses in Washington and Benton counties.

Also in the NWABJ, Rob Keys on Razorbacks’ coach Bobby Petrino’s $100,000 gift to the Razorbacks Foundation, believed to be the largest by a sitting coach in school history.

That decline in natural gas prices hasn’t curtailed drilling activity in the Fayetteville Shale Play in central Arkansas. Between 2007 and 2008, production and the number of wells drilled in the shale play region more than doubled.

Steve LaFrance, owner of USA Drug and twice the victim of embezzlement, is taking his latest alleged corporate thieves to civil court. Garret Sorensen; his wife, Katherine Sorensen; Katherine’s sister, Shannon Walters, already face federal charges.

Dillard’s Inc. of Little Rock is also going to court, taking several New York-based insurance firms to task for not paying up when. Its targets: two AIG subsidiaries.

Gary Lay isn’t the only Arkansas Mad Man who had problems with the Arkansas Lottery Commission’s advertising RFP. Mangan Holcomb also took a pass after reading the document. Meanwhile, The Natural Brands insists it’s going to continue to pursue advertising business in Arkansas.

We all know most newspapers would love to go back in time and live and in a world before the Internet. Now, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in northwest Arkansas has managed to travel back in time to 2007 — at least in terms of its circulation numbers!

KFSM-TV, Channel 5, continues to be the TV news ratings leader in northwest Arkansas, according to data compiled by Nielsen Media Research.

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