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story.lead_photo.caption This image shows the plan for a $14 million, four-story hotel that will be built in El Dorado.

A $14 million, four-story hotel will be built in El Dorado as part of the city's Murphy Arts District, the developer, Newmark Moses Tucker Partners of Little Rock, said Tuesday.

Construction on the 70-room hotel, named The Haywood, is scheduled to begin in the spring and should be completed in March 2020.

"We want to create a place where everyone -- locals, corporate travelers and weekend visitors to the Murphy Arts District -- will feel at home," said Ray Nolan with the Moses Tucker group.

The project will be financed by First Financial Bank of El Dorado, with AMR Architects and Clark Contractors among the partners on the project.

BancorpSouth originally donated the land, which eventually was deeded to the hotel's current ownership group.

The ownership group is based in El Dorado but chooses to remain behind the scenes, Nolan said Tuesday.

The owners include members of the Murphy family, founders of Murphy Oil, Murphy USA and Deltic Timber.

-- David Smith

Jobless rates below 3% in 2 metro areas

The unemployment rates in the Northwest Arkansas and Jonesboro metropolitan areas were below 3 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday.

Northwest Arkansas' unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in September, unchanged from 2.5 percent in August. Northwest Arkansas' joblessness rate in September last year was 2.7 percent.

Jonesboro's unemployment rate was 2.8 percent in September, down from 2.9 percent in August. Jonesboro's unemployment rate in September last year was 3 percent.

The national unemployment rate in September was 3.7 percent.

Other September unemployment rates in Arkansas compared with September last year were Little Rock, 3 percent, down from 3.2 percent; Fort Smith, 3.5 percent, down from 4.1 percent; Hot Springs, 3.8 percent, down from 4 percent; Pine Bluff, 4.7 percent, unchanged from 4.7 percent; and Texarkana, 5.2 percent, up from 4.3 percent.

-- David Smith

Index climbs 0.58 as 8 stocks advance

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, rose 0.58 to 436.65 Tuesday.

Eight stocks advanced and seven declined.

USA Truck climbed 4.2 percent on average volume.

Windstream closed up 1.8 percent on light trading.

P.A.M. Transportation lost 1.2 percent on low volume.

Murphy USA fell 0.9 percent on average volume.

Total volume for the index was 15.9 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 11/07/2018

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