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Utilities will report

on tax cuts' impact

The Arkansas Public Service Commission on Friday told the state's eight investor-owned utilities to file an analysis of the effects of federal tax cuts on their rates.

Congress passed a bill last month that lowered the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told the commission on Thursday to work quickly to pass on benefits of the tax cut to Arkansas ratepayers.

The commission said the utilities' current "rates may no longer be just and reasonable."

The eight utilities are Entergy Arkansas Inc., Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co., Southwestern Electric Power Co., The Empire District Electric Co., Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp., Black Hills Energy Arkansas, CenterPoint Energy Arkansas and the Pine Bluff water utility Liberty Utilities.

Each utility was told to file within 30 days an analysis that reflects the reduction in cost of service because of the lower tax rate.

-- David Smith

Fire at Tyson plant

forces evacuation

A grease fire at the new Tyson Foods plant in Green Forest led to a temporary shutdown and evacuation Thursday afternoon.

There were no injuries, city and Tyson officials said Friday.

Machinery caught fire inside the maintenance area of a processing plant where chicken is breaded and cooked.

Workers were inside the plant when a "drum deal that separates the breader out of the oil ... caught on fire somehow," Green Forest Fire Chief Tim Howard said.

A fleet of firetrucks from throughout Carroll County responded to 601 Tyson Drive before 4 p.m., Howard said. Responders left the scene around 6:30 p.m.

Since then "we have resumed normal operations," said Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman in an email Friday.

Tyson Foods opened the $136 million expansion to the Green Forest plant in December.

-- Nathan Owens

State index closes

with another record

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, hit a record high of 427.42 before closing at 425.66 Friday.

Ten stocks advanced and eight declined.

Dillard's rose 6.1 percent on more than double its average volume.

For the week, 13 stocks rose and five fell.

Total volume for the index Friday was 19.2 million shares. The average daily volume for the week was 20.4 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 01/13/2018

Print Headline: Utilities will report on tax cuts' impact Fire at Tyson plant forces evacuation State index closes with another record

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