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News in brief

June 9, 2021 at 2:21 a.m.

St. Louis Fed board

seats LR bank CEO

Darrin Williams of Little Rock, chief executive officer of Southern Bancorp Inc., has been appointed to the board of directors of the Little Rock branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Williams will fill the unexpired portion of a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2023, the St. Louis Fed announced Tuesday.

Members of the St. Louis Fed's board of directors and those of its branch boards in Louisville, Ky.: Memphis and Little Rock are appointed because of their familiarity with the economic and credit conditions of their respective regions, according to a news release.

"Their observations -- along with the economic data and information gathered and analyzed by St. Louis Fed staff -- help ensure that conditions of Main Street America are represented in Federal Open Market Committee deliberations in Washington, D.C.," the news release said.

Williams, a lawyer and former member of the Arkansas General Assembly, has been the bank CEO since 2013. Southern Bancorp Inc., along with its development partners -- Southern Bancorp Bank and Southern Bancorp Community Partners -- has $1.9 billion in assets with 52 sites serving 65,000 customers across two states.

-- Noel Oman

Walmart membership

offers Rx discounts

Walmart Inc. has added a prescription discount plan to the benefits that come with its Walmart Plus membership program.

The Bentonville-based retailer said Walmart Plus members can use the plan after their free 15-day trial period.

Called Walmart Plus Rx for less, the plan will make some prescription medications available at no cost and thousands more at discounts of up to 85%. Members can opt to use the program instead of their health insurance benefits.

"When you consider the frequency with which many prescriptions are filled, the importance of medication adherence and the ease of multiple shipment options, we can make it easier for someone to manage their medical conditions," said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president of health and wellness at Walmart U.S.

Walmart Plus, which debuted in September, costs $98 a year or $12.95 a month.

-- Serenah McKay

Gaining 9.01, index

ends day at 646.65

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Tuesday at 646.65, up 9.01.

"Another mixed day for U.S. stocks as investors wait on inflation reports coming up later this week as markets take a well-deserved break in the year-to-date strong rally with the S&P 500 stalling over the past six weeks," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

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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