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KVOM NEWS HEADLINES
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2ND
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe joined Southwestern Energy Company employees Wednesday in Conway to celebrate the company’s ten-year anniversary in the Fayetteville Shale play. Southwestern Energy is credited with being the first to discover the economic viability of the play and produce its natural gas. Since drilling its first successful well in 2004, Southwestern has produced more than 3.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from the Fayetteville Shale in north-central Arkansas – 486 billion cubic feet in 2013 alone. President and CEO Steve Mueller said the company's work in the Fayetteville Shale play has helped make Southwestern a stronger company and put Arkansas on the map as a major contributor to the country’s energy supply.  Arkansas is one of 31 states currently producing natural gas, and since Southwestern began production a decade ago in the Fayetteville Shale, it has become the fourth largest producer of natural gas in the lower 48 states. The company remains the largest producer of natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale with approximately 1,500 employees focused on the development of the company’s 900,000-plus net acres. The company has invested more than $10 billion in the project since 2004. That investment includes drilling and equipment for more than 3,500 wells by the end of 2013. The Fayetteville Shale play has made significant contributions to the state’s economy over the last ten years. With more than $1 billion paid to Southwestern royalty owners in the Fayetteville Shale since 2004, the industry continues to generate jobs for Arkansans and revenue for the state. From 2008-2011, the industry generated more than $109 million in property tax revenues and nearly $2 billion in state and local taxes from permit fees and severance, property, income, sales and other taxes. Jobs in the state increased during that time from 14,500 to 22,500. It’s estimated that nearly 30,000 jobs are supported by the natural gas industry in Arkansas today. Governor Mike Beebe noted the industry means much more than just jobs and money for the state.  While the majority of Southwestern Energy's Arkansas-based employees operate out of its Conway office, it also has facilities in Russellville, Judsonia, Damascus, North Little Rock and Cleveland that support the Fayetteville Shale as well as compressed natural gas filling stations in Conway and Damascus that are open to the public...

The Morrilton Police Department collected 138 pounds of prescription medication during last weekend's National Drug Take Back program. Chief Sonny Stover says the program collects outdated, unused prescription medication to be properly disposed of so that it does not end up in the hands of children.  The chief wants to thank everyone who helped with collecting and turning in the pills to get them off the streets. He adds that if you were not able to take your medication to the police station on Saturday, there is a permanent drop box outside City Hall for year-round disposal...

The unemployment rate in Conway and Perry Counties dropped in August to its lowest level in nearly six years. Data released by the Department of Workforce Services show Conway County's jobless rate declined seven-tenths of a percentage point from 6.6% in July to 5.9% in August. It's the first time the county's unemployment rate has been below 6.0% since November 2008 when it was at 5.5%. The jobless rate in Perry County declined two-tenths of a percentage point for the month to 6.3%, which is also that county's lowest rate since November 2008. This time last year, unemployment was at 8.1% in Conway County and 8.4% in Perry County. The state of Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point from 6.2% in July to 6.3% in August. The United States’ jobless rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.1% in August...

Conway County native Bob Gunderman has been named interim chief financial officer of Windstream Holdings Corporation of Little Rock. A graduate of Wonderview High School, Gunderman is senior vice-president and treasurer for Windstream.  He previously worked as vice-president of financial planning. Gunderman was vice-president of internal audit for Alltel prior to joining Windstream in 2008.  Gunderman succeeds Tony Thomas, who has been named president of a spin-off company real estate investment trust. Windstream said it is conducting a national search for a permanent CFO...

Conway County Judge Jimmy Hart is one of 28 Arkansans appointed to state boards and commissions by Governor Mike Beebe on Wednesday. Judge Hart was reappointed to the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. His term expires August 10, 2018...









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SPORTS
After a week off, the Morrilton High School volleyball team is back in action Thursday to start the second half of the 5A West schedule. The Lady Devil Dogs play host to Maumelle. The junior varsity match starts at 5:00 p.m. with the varsity match to follow...

The Morrilton High School tennis team travels to Clarksville Thursday for matches against Harrison and Clarksville to be played at the University of the Ozarks...

Also Thursday, the Morrilton Junior High football team takes on Clarksville at Devil Dog Stadium. The eighth grade game starts at 5:30 with the ninth grade game to follow at 7:00...

The Devil Dogs will look for their first road win of the season Friday night when they travel to Vilonia to face the Eagles in a 5A West conference showdown. Both teams hope to remain atop the league standings with a win. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and we'll bring the action live on 101.7 KVOM...

It will be a battle of aces Friday night for Game One of the National League Division Series when the St. Louis Cardinals go west to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals' Adam Wainwright will square off with the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw in the 5:30 central time game. We'll have all the action for you live on KVOM AM-800...