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News in brief

September 26, 2015 at 2:37 a.m.

Tech business index ranks Springdale 1st

Springdale topped the Arkansas Tech Business Index in July, marking the first time the city has led the list created by the university's College of Business.

Springdale's rating on the index rose 1.09 points from June to 106.38.

The index ranks cities in Arkansas based on labor, housing market, construction and retail indexes. A rating above 100 means a city is doing better than the state average.

Cities that saw large gains on the index included El Dorado, up 1.50 points to 98.65; Pine Bluff, up 1.32 points to 94.50; and Russellville, up 1.28 points to 99.03.

Marc Fusaro, associate professor of economics at Arkansas Tech and a developer of the index, said in a statement that El Dorado was the largest gainer because its city sales tax dropped from 1.25 percent to 0.25 percent in July.

"This led to an increase in retail activity in the city," he said. "However, watch for drop in October when the rate goes back up."

The complete index list is at

-- Jessica Seaman

State trucking group adds Glaser to board

USA Truck CEO Tom Glaser has been named to the Arkansas Trucking Association's board of directors.

The board formalized Glaser's appointment during a meeting in Jonesboro on Thursday, according to association President Shannon Newton. Glaser filled the spot vacated by former USA Truck Executive Vice President Jeff Lester, who resigned from his position at the Van Buren-based company Aug. 24.

Glaser became CEO of USA Truck on July 9 after working as the company's interim chief operating officer for three months. He replaced John Simone, who resigned to concentrate on his health after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

-- Robbie Neiswanger

Bear State slips 9% as index sheds 0.84

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, dropped 0.84 to 319.40 Friday.

Eleven stocks declined and seven advanced.

Bear State Financial fell 9 percent on low volume and USA Truck fell 4.5 percent in above-average trading.

Simmons First National rose 1.8 percent in light trading.

For the week, 10 stocks declined and eight advanced.

Home BancShares, Bank of the Ozarks and Simmons First were among the top four stocks for the week.

P.A.M. Transportation lost 21 percent for the week and USA Truck dropped 20 percent.

Total volume of the index was 19.2 million shares.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 09/26/2015

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