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  • JACKSON, Miss.-- Arkansas regulators are giving cautious approval to Entergy Corp.' s plans to let an outside group manage power transmission. Entergy wants its utilities to join the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, or MISO. Entergy still needs blessings from Mississippi and New Orleans city officials.

  • Texas- based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,408 rigs were exploring for oil and 416 were searching for gas. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas dropped seven rigs and New Mexico fell by 5. Alaska and Oklahoma lost three apiece, and West Virginia was down by two.

  • JOPLIN, Mo.-- Missouri is offering incentives for an Arkansas storage business to open a facility in Joplin. Jay Nixon's administration says Don's Cold Storage could receive more than $1.1 million under several state incentive programs to build a $14 million cold-storage and distribution center.

  • NEW YORK-- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced the completion of its increased investment in a fast-growing Chinese company, as the world's largest retailer looks to broaden its access to a rapidly growing customer base.

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Arkansas will receive nearly $490,000 under a settlement reached with a pharmaceutical company over allegations it paid kickbacks and improperly marketed drugs. The money will go to the state Medicaid program. The firm was accused of unlawfully marketing drugs for non- FDA- approved illnesses, which led to false Medicaid claims.

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is seeking information about the practices of three companies he says are engaging in payday lending. The suit says Money Mutual LLC, Selling Source LLC and Partner Weekly LLC are all based from the same address in Las Vegas.

  • NEW YORK-- A growth in early voting and tough economy for the media are forcing changes to the exit poll system that television networks and The Associated Press depend upon to deliver the story on Election Night, all with the pressure-filled backdrop of a tight presidential race.

  • MINNEAPOLIS-- Legislation that allowed local governments to direct excess property tax dollars from tax-increment financing districts into other private developments was supposed to kick-start construction hiring in Minnesota, but an examination published Wednesday found evidence of job creation was spotty at best, even as many companies cashed in on the new law.

  • BATESVILLE, Ark.-- Peco Foods says it will add 300 jobs in eastern Arkansas by expanding a feed mill in Newark and a processing plant in Batesville. Peco Foods announced the expansion Wednesday alongside local leaders and Gov. Peco Foods is the eighth-largest poultry processor in the United States.

  • ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Target Corp. may be headquartered in Minneapolis, but that's not stopping Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from making an aggressive push in its rival's home state.

  • WASHINGTON-- Regulators on Friday closed two small banks in Florida and one in Missouri, bringing to 46 the number of U.S. bank failures this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized GulfSouth Private Bank and First East Side Savings Bank, both in Florida. Regulators also shuttered Excel Bank in Missouri.

  • Texas- based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,410 rigs were exploring for oil and 427 were searching for gas. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,013 rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska gained five rigs while Arkansas, Colorado and North Dakota rose by two each.

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Talk show host Montel Williams on Thursday accused opponents of an Arkansas ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana of resorting to "racist" imagery with a television ad featuring an African-American actor portraying a drug dealer.

  • JACKSON, Miss.-- A line of severe storms packing strong winds and possible tornadoes swept across the Southeast overnight, injuring four people in Mississippi, downing power lines and trees and damaging homes around the region, authorities said early Thursday. At least six northern counties in Mississippi reported damage, Rent said.

  • ROGERS, Ark.-- A new $10 million plastics recycling facility is planned for Rogers, Ark. and the company says it will hire up to 350 workers. Nextlife Asset Recovery Services announced Wednesday that it will open a headquarters and processing plant and that it will supply several companies with resin that's used to manufacture new consumer plastic items.

  • PINE BLUFF, Ark.-- The Delta Regional Authority and state and federal agriculture officials are holding a workshop in Pine Bluff, Ark. focusing on drought recovery assistance. The workshop will take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

  • NEW YORK-- In the latest effort to beat Amazon.com at its game, Target says that for the first time it will match prices that customers find on identical products at select online competitors this holiday season.

  • EL DORADO, Ark.-- Murphy Oil is splitting in two in order to better focus on the separate tasks of exploration and production, and the sale of gasoline and other goods through its retail locations. Murphy Oil will continue to explore for and produce oil in the U.S., Canada and Malaysia.

  • EL DORADO, Ark.-- Murphy Oil is splitting in two in order to better focus on the separate tasks of exploration and production, and the sale of gasoline and other goods through its retail locations. Murphy will become an independent oil exploration and production company focused on the U.S., Canada and Malaysia.