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Conway, major developer announce $90 million Central Landing project

Landing at the Conway airport will soon take on a new meaning as Alabama-based Jim Wilson and Associates and the Conway Development Corp. announced a new $90 million upscale regional shopping center, Central Landing. On Thursday, Will Wilson, CEO of Jim Wilson and Associates, announced the 150-acre project that will take the soon-to-be-decommissioned airport property and redevelop it to include restaurant, retail, medical, office and multi-family use spaces. Wilson also said that plans could include two hotels and space available for economic development projects being recruited to Conway.

Federal government shutdown impacts Arkansas

The federal government shutdown had a major impact on Arkansas’ work force. From the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health, hundreds of state workers were furloughed as federal funding was put on hold. About 350 Little Rock Air Force Base civilians were placed on furlough, while the Arkansas National Guard halted certain operations impacting up to 10,000 guard members.

USA Truck rejects takeover bid

Van Buren-based USA Truck on Thursday rejected a $242 million buyout bid from Phoenix-based Knight Transportation Inc. The company’s board of directors turned down its second unsolicited bid in the last two years, but Knight has vowed to take the issue directly to shareholders.

Business Briefs — Arvest Bank, Simmons First bid for Metropolitan National

In surprise moves, Bentonville-based Arvest Bank and Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. submitted bids to acquire Little Rock-based Metropolitan National Bank, whose parent company, Rogers Bancshares Inc., is embroiled in a bankruptcy proceeding. Arvest's bid was announced in a legal notice in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for an undisclosed figure, while Simmons First disclosed a $16.9 million bid in a SEC filing.