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    Ark. Business: USA Truck gets new CEO

    7:29 AM, Feb 19, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- No stocks on Monday as the market took a break for Presidents Day.

    Looking ahead to today, Dillard's Inc. is due to release its fourth-quarter earnings report later today. Analysts expecting great things from the Little Rock department store chain after a big comeback in 2012. In the third quarter, Dillard's reported a five-percent comparable store sales growth. This time, Wall Street is predicting that number will rise to 8.6 percent.

    USA Truck Inc. gets new CEO

    USA Truck Inc. has a new CEO. John Simone was tapped to lead the Van Buren trucking company, taking the spot of Cliff Beckham, who has returned to his previous role as the company's executive vice president and CFO.

    USA Truck having gone through a number of organizational changes since reporting the largest quarterly loss in company history last year.

    Simone told Arkansas Business that he'll spend the first 100 days on his new job evaluating USA Truck's strategy as short-haul carrier, its organizational structure and the ways it can improve on keeping its drivers and other employees.

    New president, CEO named for Panther Expedited Services Inc.

    There was change in the air for even another Arkansas trucking company on Monday.

    R. Louis Schneeberger has been named president and CEO of Panther Expedited Services Inc., a logistics services subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith.

    Andrew C. Clarke, CEO and president of Panther since 2007, resigned. Panther became a subsidiary of Arkansas Best, a transportation services provider, in June 2012.

    State spending cap bill turned down

    The Arkansas House turns down a bill that would have capped state spending to a fixed number.

    Governor Beebe opposed the bill, saying it would "wreak havoc" on the state's budget.  Annual spending on expenditures by the state would have been cut off once it reached either three-percent or the three-year average increase in Arkansas' GDP, whichever one was less.

    The House did approve a new way of distributing college scholarships funded by the Arkansas lottery.

    On a 69-21 vote, the measure would create a pay-out structure with freshmen at four-year colleges getting $2000 followed by $1000 increments each year, capping out at $5000.

    Supporters of the bill say the current scholarships of $4500 per year can't be sustained while opponents question whether the bill would keep students from being able to afford college.

    (Source: Arkansas Business)

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