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Siloam Springs hospital names new CEO

by Glen Chase, Christie Swanson | July 3, 2015 at 1:44 a.m.

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital has named Patrick Kerrwood its new chief executive officer. He starts July 13.

He has more than 10 years of hospital experience, most recently as assistant CEO of Northern Louisiana Medical Center, a 159-bed critical hospital in Ruston, La.

Kerrwood earned a Bachelor of Science in management from the University of Phoenix and will complete his Master of Business Administration from Louisiana State University in Shreveport in December 2015.

Tom Sledge will remain interim CEO until Kerrwood arrives and will continue his career as chief operating officer at Northwest Medical Center-Springdale. Community Health Systems Inc. owns both hospitals, as well as Northwest Medical Center-Bentonville and Willow Creek Women's Hospital in Johnson.

Sledge has been interim CEO since Kevin Clement resigned May 22. Clement had led the hospital since March 2009.

Community Health Systems bought the hospital from the city in 2009 and built a new $40 million, 92,000-square-foot hospital that opened in April 2012 at 603 N. Progress Ave.

2 Arkansans join USDA advisory boards

Two of Arkansas' agricultural leaders have been appointed to U.S. Department of Agriculture trade and technical advisory committees.

England rice farmer Dow Brantley, who is chairman of the USA Rice Federation and the Arkansas Rice Federation, was selected to serve on the USDA's Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee.

The appointment will help keep the rice industry at the "at the forefront of U.S. trade policies and priorities," Brantley said in release. Arkansas produces slightly more than half of the nation's rice crop.

Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach was named to the department's technical advisory committee for tobacco, cotton and peanuts. Veach, of Manila, farms cotton, corn and soybeans in Mississippi County and is in his seventh term as Farm Bureau president. Veach also has participated in several trade missions and is on the Arkansas World Trade Center board of advisers.

The new committee members will serve until June 15, 2019.

30-year mortgage rate rises to 4.08%

WASHINGTON -- Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week, reaching high levels for the year.

Mortgage handler Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.08 percent this week from 4.02 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.24 percent from 3.21 percent.

Mortgage rates have increased in recent weeks, during the spring home-buying season, as the economy has shown signs of improvement.

A year ago, the average 30-year rate was 4.12 percent; the 15-year average was 3.22 percent.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage declined to 0.6 point from 0.7 point last week. The fee for a 15-year loan was unchanged at 0.6 point.

-- The Associated Press

Sorghum exports surge, sap U.S. supply

U.S. sorghum supplies as of June 1 tumbled to the lowest for that date in at least 58 years as export demand surged for the grain used in livestock feed in China, the world's top hog producer.

Inventories of sorghum slumped to 33.2 million bushels, the lowest for the date in records through 1957, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday in a report. Exports will rise to 350 million bushels in the year that ends Aug. 30, the highest ever in USDA data through 1961.

Planting this year will rise 24 percent to 8.84 million acres, the most since 2003, USDA data show. That topped the 8.223 million average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The agency will resurvey growers in Kansas, the largest producer, after adverse weather delayed seeding.

"With the strong export demand we've had, that's been such a driver of sorghum usage," Dan O'Brien, an economist at Kansas State University in Colby, said in a telephone interview. "When you look at cash and forward contract bids, we still see a premium for grain sorghum, at least in central Kansas," compared with prices for corn, also used in livestock feed, he said.

Arkansas Farmers planted about 500,000 acres of grain sorghum this year, compared to 170,000 acres in 2014.

-- Bloomberg News

Whole Foods: Sorry for pricing errors

NEW YORK -- Whole Foods Market's chief executives apologized Thursday for pricing issues at its stores, a week after a New York investigation found that the natural food grocer routinely overcharged for prepackaged fruits, vegetables and deli meats.

In a YouTube video, co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb said that the mistakes were unintentional. They said the company will increase its training at stores around the county to fix any pricing issues.

Last week, New York's Department of Consumer Affairs said it was expanding its investigation after finding that Whole Foods stores in the city regularly ripped customers off, including overcharging $14.84 for a package of coconut shrimp and $4.85 for eight chicken tenders.

-- The Associated Press

Business on 07/03/2015

Print Headline: Siloam Springs hospital names new CEO


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