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Daddy Warbucks

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Daddy W. has already said the “R” word, mentioning that recession is gripping the United States. Last week, a poll put out by the Survey Research Center at the University of Arkansas says it as well. The survey found that 73.5 percent of the 600 surveyed residents from Benton, Washington, Madison and Carroll counties, tucked away up here in the wealthy area of the state, think that the U.S. is in a recession. Daddy W. thinks that 98.9 percent of the same 600 will also tell you that gasoline prices are too high. But back to the survey: Almost one half of those surveyed (47.3 percent) said they were worse off financially than a year ago. About 25 percent expect to be better off a year from now. Those no doubt, are the folks who have lots of Certificates of Deposits in the bank or very, very good stock portfolios or massive cash reserves. But hey, there is a silver lining in every cloud. Let’s hope the “R” word is over quickly. And if the calendar is any indication, the next president, while initially struggling with a recession, always leads us out of one.

Goody’s Gone
Goody’s Family Clothing has finally given up the ghost and filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The Russellville distribution center is shuttered too, and some 69 of the once proud 103 stores will close. Fort Smith, Conway and North Little Rock will lock their doors. The Fayetteville store has been shuttered for awhile. Too bad the family chain got mowed down.

On the Rise
Dennis Leatherby, the 18-year veteran of Tyson was promoted again. This time to CFO and Executive Vice President. He’s been there before back as an interim in 2004. Now he’s got the job.
Grab your Flip-Flops
Sometimes flip-flopping is a good thing. On Saturday, the first 500 folks who visit Tropical Smoothie Cafe wearing flip-flops, get a free 24 ounce fruit concoction. But you gotta wear flip-flops.

New Blood Means Better Music
The AMP has new owners. The folks behind Dickson Street’s George’s Majestic Lounge, Brian Crowne and Suzie Stephens are taking over the deflating balloon known as the AMP, short for Arkansas Music Pavilion. It has needed some new blood, sweat equity and imagination for a while. It needs to pull more people in to survive. If anyone can do it, these two can.

Sky Cat Says We’re Choking
Sky Cat is making some brash, straight from the gut comments in these public mayoral forums. While challengers Steve (How About Lunch) Clark and Walt Eilers (more on him later) dance around the issues, Sky Cat says Fayetteville businesses are choking on all the city ordinances. Wow.

What’s the Message?
Dillard’s put out a mixed message to Wall Street last week. The Little Rock based company said it will close its Jonesboro Clearance Center as well as stores in Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Alabama and North Carolina. But it plans to expand in Florida, Arizona, Mississippi and Georgia. Hummm…

More on the “R”
While the “buy a home now” promotion sounds so good, homes sales fell almost 20 percent during the last quarter. It is a recession folks.

Playing with the Money
Watch for a compromise on the $59 million the Fayetteville School District wants for the high school property and the $50 million the UA has offered. A meeting-in-the-middle will make the deal sing.

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