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Arkansas Business on 'Today's THV at 6': Update on First Southern Bank fraudulent bonds

With more on the bank, and the Little Rock attorney who sold the bonds - here's Arkansas Business publisher Jeff Hankins stopped in to tell us more.

A new deal is in the works that will bring new ownership and new money to First Southern Bank after its capital base was threatened by the discovery of those fake bonds the bank had bought for nearly $22 million.

In the meantime, investigators are looking into the role attorney Kevin Lewis played in the deal. Lewis allegedly created fake bonds and sold them to the bank, according state senator David Wyatt, a director at First Southern.

Lewis, the largest shareholder in the bank through a trust he owns, then borrowed $3 million to buy more shares in the bank to maintain his trust's majority position.

In all, the affair looks like it might be a ponzi scheme, whereby Lewis used a combination of selling fake bonds and using fake bones as collateral to borrow even more money.

Update: More than half of U.S. households don't have life insurance

This is at a time when adding that little extra protection for your family is at its most affordable.

Food on way to horses in Fulton County, Ark.


Deputy Sheriff Lance Gray told the Batesville Guard that the rescue effort Thursday began after he was called to remove a horse from a highway and found scores more standing listlessly in a nearby field.

Gray said he obtained a search warrant and went to the property with Desiree Bender, Arkansas director of the Humane Society of the United States, and three Missouri officials of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Rescue-team members said 100 bales of Bermuda grass and a half ton of high-protein alfalfa cubes were on their way.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Country Christmas Craft Fair

Country Christmas Craft Fair

Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches Country Christmas Craft Fair on December 11, 2010 from 9am to 4pm.
For more information, call 870-793-6841.

Arkansas Business on 'Today's THV at 6': Investigation into bank bonds

About a month ago, officials at First Southern Bank discovered something wrong with rural improvement district bonds they bought for more than $20 million.

Since then, bank officials, the FDIC and possibly the FBI have been scrutinizing the bonds that First Southern bought from Little Rock lawyer Kevin Lewis between December 2008 and September of this year.

The fear is that Lewis's bonds might be counterfeit and worth absolutely nothing. So far, Lewis hasn't returned numerous phone messages.

But First Southern does have some of Lewis's assets in its sights, including his $1.2 million, 6,700 square foot home in Chenal Valley, which could help the bank re-capitalize.

And First Southern is exploring a merger, which would also help it retain solid footing. Officials at First Southern didn't say what banks might be potential partners, but Arkansas Business understands one possibility might be First Community Bank of Batesville.

Ark. State Highway Commission to meet in several cities

Unless otherwise stated, meetings will be held at the AHTD Central Office Building, 10324 Interstate 30, in Little Rock.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10:00 a.m. AHTD Service Awards Program - District 10
Paragould Community Center
3404 Linwood Drive

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

10:00 a.m. AHTD Service Awards Program - District 5 Headquarters
1673 Batesville Boulevard

Thursday, December 9, 2010

11:00 a.m. AHTD Service Awards Program - District 2
Star City Civic Center
201 Liberty Street
Star City

Friday, December 10, 2010

11:00 a.m. AHTD Service Awards Program - District 4 Headquarters
4019 Towson Avenue
Fort Smith

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10:00 a.m. AHTD Service Awards Program - District 1 Headquarters
2701 Highway 64

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Museum Story Time

Museum Story Time

Old Independence Regional Museum will continue its popular story time for toddlers and preschoolers this fall! Make plans to join them for stories and crafts. Story time begins at 10:30 a.m. and will take place on Friday, December 10.

This program is free and pre-registration is not required, but groups of five or more are asked to call ahead. Children must be accompanied by an adult. If you have questions, please contact the museum at 793-2121.