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New bank in the works.

New Bank In The Works

Maybe you've heard about the efforts to create a new national bank in Faulkner County: First Exchange Bank of Conway.

The paperwork is going through the bureaucratic channels at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a decision should be reached in the coming weeks.

Worthen Banking Corp., which owns First State Bank in Conway, and Security Savings & Loan in Conway have both filed formal letters of opposition.

You might remember that an effort to establish a new bank a couple years ago was rejected by the OCC, which cited a need for more banking experience among the organizers.

This go-around, experience might not be a problem. The organizers with banking and/or bank investment experience include: Mike Litzelfelner, EVP at Jackson (Mo.) Exchange Bank; Robert R. Grebing, VP at First Exchange Bank in St. Louis; Andy Perrin, a retired businessman from Cape Girardeau, Mo. and Gene Penzel, a building contractor from Jackson, Mo.

(While the names are similar, there is no formal affiliation with First Exchange Bank in Little Rock.)

The remaining organizers are all Conway businessmen: Hal Crafton and Leo Crafton Jr., owners of United Motor Co.; Dr. Robert Rook, a general practitioner and George Covington, a contractor.

The organizers intend to capitalize the bank with $3 million and locate the offices across the street from the Acxiom Corp. headquarters.

This Dog Won't Hunt

Have you heard the latest anecdote making the rounds throughout the national investment community?

It's a wild one that involves some execs at T.J. Raney & Sons, a Golden Retriever and stick of dynamite. The names have been withheld to prevent further embarrassment.

Seems that a duck hunting trip in east Arkansas went amuck back in December when the state was in the grips of sub-freezing weather. Someone had the idea of using explosives to create some open water to attract ducks.

Some TNT was lobbed onto the ice, and a Raney exec's retriever ran after the stick of dynamite before anyone could stop it. (Animal lovers or those faint of heart may want to stop reading at this point.)

What Has Four Legs, Barks And Goes Boom?

The hunters tried desperately to get the dog to release the stick of dynamite. However, the golden retriever would not be dissuaded and dutifully tried to return it -- even when the hunters began running away.

Realizing they would be unable to outdistance the dog, the owner killed the retriever with a shotgun blast. "It was either us or him" is a quote attributed to the former dog owner. No report on the size of the crater left by the dynamite blast.

This whole ordeal reminds us of a recycled joke that keeps coming around.

Media Notes

After a lengthy search, Arkansas Times magazine has found a new editor. Rick Martin, a native of Little Rock and currently a writer with Insight magazine, will be assuming the post of editor Mel White.

White resigned last year contingent on finding a new editor. We're told the magazine was close to hiring a newspaper political columnist (not John Robert Starr), but he got wooed by visions of sugar plums by his superiors.

Martin, by the way, once was an associate editor at the magazine. White will remain on staff.

More Media Notes

Look for a little Arkansas publicity from the national business press in coming months. Playboy magazine is set to publish a piece on former Little Rock resident Jerral Jones. Forbes magazine also is poking around Jones' clip file and is expected to ink a piece, too.

Also, Fortune magazine has made visits to 114 E. Capitol Ave. to see Witt, Jack and Warren. Look for a late January publication.

CJRW Welcomes A New Account

The recently constituted Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods agency brought on its newest client: the Park Hilton in Hot Springs.

The hotel had been represented by Kirkpatrick Williams & Associates.

Bob Haupt, the GM at Park Hilton, has worked with The Woods Brothers Agency previously, so this isn't exactly a new marriage.

Also of note is the fact that the Advertising and Promotion Commission in Hot Springs this year will put up for review its tourism account. Question is: will CJRW make a pitch? If they were to win the account from Walker & Associates, they'd just about wrap up the Spa City.

Down On The Farm

McCord Farms are up for sale again, this time to a corporation called Winstead Farms, whose principals include the wife and father-in-law of Ken Shemin at the Rose Law Firm. Winstead has a contract to purchase the 47-acre horse farm on Bowman Road off of Colonel Glenn Road west of Interstate 430.

Reportedly, some horses will go with the place. Deadline for closing is early next month.

As you recall, McCord sold the place once before for about $470,000 to a fellow with a New York accent, but somehow got it back again.

Up On The Hill

If the deal goes through, the Shemins may end up building a house on the McCord property.

Ken Shemin recently bought a home on Edgehill for about $350,000 from the Foster A. Vineyard Trust, but he already has accepted an offer from someone who wants to buy it.

Maybe partners at the Rose Firm will let him sleep in the conference room, if he needs a temporary place to stay.

For McClellan Watchers

Clerks at the Pulaski County Chancery Court say the divorce file for erstwhile developer John K. McClellan and Dale Anne McClellan is a popular item these days.

No doubt there will be a long line of creditors to see what property goes to John McClellan. The divorce proceeding is just in its early stages with an initial hearing set for Jan. 16 in Judge John Earl's court.

No more word on his bankruptcy case filed in Memphis, but street talk has it he's returned to Arkansas and spending time around Hot Springs.
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Title Annotation:Whispers; First Exchange Bank of Conway
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jan 15, 1990
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