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    Arkansas Business headlines for Dec. 6

    7:13 AM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- President Obama telling a lunch group of Washington businessmen that the fiscal crisis could be solved in a week. Investors like that implication, that the path to a solution may not be as tough as it's been sounding.

    Meanwhile, shares of Apple slumped, causing the Nasdaq to falter. This, after comments made by an AT&T executive who said smartphone activations were lagging this quarter.

    Here in Arkansas, Gov. Mike Beebe briefing reporters on his Tuesday visit to the White House to talk to President Obama about the fiscal cliff.

    Beebe part of a bipartisan group of governors who met with the president.

    Beebe said their message to Obama was that states shouldn't be handed the burden of paying for federal cuts in spending if that's the route Congress takes in avoiding the fiscal cliff.

    Beebe stressed that the state's obligations to fund federally mandated programs must be relieved by any cuts to those programs.

    Also this week: the crisis management firm led by Arkansan and former FEMA Director James Lee Witt has announced that it will merge with another crisis management firm -- called O'Brien's Response Management.

    The merger takes place Dec. 31. The new firm -- to be called Witt O'Brien's -- will be based in Washington D.C., and have offices in seven states, including Arkansas, as well as the UK and Brazil.

    Witt, who was FEMA director during the Clinton Administration, will be chairman of the new company.

    And finally, Pediatrics Plus having a grand opening of its new therapy center later this morning.

    The governor and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola set to be on for the opening of the new 31-thousand square foot, $7.2 million facility in west Little Rock.

    The facility, which Arkansas Business first reported in May, will serve more than 400 special needs children and their families.

    The building and its grounds will be home to 11 classrooms, a kitchen, a library, a nurse's office, an education and training room, therapy space and two playgrounds.

    The company said it will create 50 new jobs.

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