News in brief

News in brief

Utility regulators

OK solar rate plan

Entergy Arkansas has received approval to provide special rates for nonprofit and government entities that receive power from the utility’s solar plant in Stuttgart.

The tariff is limited to the 61 organizations that have subscribed to receive electricity from the plant. Power generated at the facility is not available to residential customers.

“The demand for this opportunity has been significant,” said Michael Considine, vice president of customer service for Entergy. “We have customers enrolled who will benefit immediately from the solar savings, as well as a waiting list of those who want to participate as more solar power becomes available.”

The Arkansas Public Service Commission approved the rate plan on Friday.

Including the Stuttgart plant, Entergy Arkansas has four major solar projects that will generate 381 megawatts of power. Other facilities are being developed in Searcy and in Chicot and Lee counties.

— Andrew Moreau

Shire Post Mint set

to build in West Fork

Springdale-based collectible coin-maker Shire Post Mint is scheduled to mark the start of construction today on its new headquarters in West Fork.

The new location will include the company’s first retail store, a manufacturing shop and offices, doubling the company’s current footprint. A ceremony to commemorate the work is private but will be available for viewing at the Shire Post Mint Facebook page.

Shire Post Mint makes licensed coins from the “Lord of the Rings” and “A Song of Fire and Ice” books as well as other coin sets and collectible items.

In 2003, Shire Post Mint’s founder, Tom Maringer, reached a deal with George R.R. Martin for the licensing of coins based on Martin’s “Game of Thrones” books that later went on to become a hit series on HBO. Shire Post Mint has been making coins full time since 2010 and today makes more than 150 different coins, sold individually or in sets, and produces about 100,000 coins annually.

— John Magsam

Arkansas Index falls

8.12, ends at 419.19

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 419.19, down 8.12.

“It was a rough Monday for stocks as investors began to fear a potential worsening of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning possible closures as well as uncertainty on further U.S. fiscal stimulus,” said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates in Little Rock.

Shares of Murphy Oil Corp. fell 11.3%, and shares of P.A.M. Transportation Services fell 5.5%.

Walmart shares rose 1.32%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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