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News in brief

February 23, 2021 at 2:02 a.m.

Owens Corning plans

new Fort Smith plant

Owens Corning is investing $107.25 million to build a new manufacturing facility on 56 acres adjacent to its current property in Fort Smith.

The company announced Monday that the 550,000-square-foot plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2023 and will add five new employees. The current site will be shut down and the 79 employees there will transfer to the new plant.

"We're proud to have been part of the Fort Smith community for more than three decades and we look forward to future growth," said Marcio Sandri, president of the composites business at Owens Corning. "With this new state-of-the-art facility, Owens Corning is investing in the future of Fort Smith and our business."

The Fort Smith facility manufactures insulation, roofing and fiberglass composite materials.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation invested $262,500 for roadway improvements to support the expanded facility.

-- Andrew Moreau

Walmart to provide

up to $1M storm aid

Walmart Inc. is donating up to $1 million in cash and products to support winter storm relief efforts in four states.

The retailer said Friday that the donations will help communities in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee recover from the water and food shortages and power failures resulting from the storm.

"The extreme winter weather is leaving our associates, customers and communities without heat, water and electricity," said Dan Bartlett, Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs. "We gladly leverage our resources to help these hard-hit communities, and we stand with Texas and all those affected."

The donations come from Walmart, Sam's Club and the Walmart Foundation, the company's charitable arm. They will supply food and other essentials to food banks across Texas and support response efforts in the three other states.

Walmart's Emergency Operations Center, located at the company's Bentonville headquarters, said Monday that all its stores and clubs were open. Hundreds across the country were closed last week as the winter storm gripped much of the nation.

-- Serenah McKay

State index up 2.92

to finish at 542.65

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 542.65, up 2.92.

"With interest rates creeping higher, stocks stalled a bit on Monday, with the prospects of rising inflation waking up investors as to what that might mean to stock valuations," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

Shares of Dillard's Inc. rose 3.3%. USA Truck Inc. shares fell 1.6%.

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

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