*Nebraska, Colorado among states with badly depleted soil moisture. *Driest summer on record for Nebraska, preliminary data says. Indeed, Nebraska recorded the driest June, July and August on record and the third-driest September ever, according to preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- A company that makes medical vending machines sued a conservative lobbying group on Friday, claiming it was defamed when the group used an image of a machine during a news conference in opposition of Arkansas' medical marijuana ballot initiative.
Nov 1- Snow and rain and cooler temperatures helped ease suffering in drought-stricken areas of the United States over the last week, though some areas saw conditions grow worse, according to a climatology report issued Thursday.
*Saks, Macy's hope to open in New York City on Wednesday. *Wal-Mart says holiday plans intact. Luxury department store Saks Inc said it would reopen on Tuesday three of the stores that it had to close because of Sandy, including stores in greater Washington and Philadelphia.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- Here was Chas Kaufmann's life before the Great Recession: $28,000 in restaurant tabs in a year, cruises, house parties with fireworks. Now: "We mainly shop at Sam's Club and portion out our meals. We spend $4 to $5 a night on eating. "
Oct 26- Individual donors to U.S. presidential candidates can contribute up to $2,500 for the state-by-state party nominating contests and another $2,500 for the general election.
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.