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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks opened lower after the World Bank predicted weaker global growth this year, citing a tough winter in America and the political crisis in Ukraine.

The bank said late Tuesday that it expects the world economy to grow 2.8 percent this year instead of the 3.2 percent it predicted in January.

The report was a reality check for investors who had pushed major stock indexes to all-time highs this week amid optimism that the U.S. economy was strengthening.

Meanwhile, Arkansas stocks mainly flat or lower yesterday. Among them: Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff, down 1.9 percent to $41.47 per share.

New CEO at World Services for the Blind

There's a new CEO on deck at World Services for the Blind in Little Rock.

Tony Woodell, who's now the chief operating officer, is getting the promotion effective immediately.

Woodell succeeds Larry Dickerson, who announced his retirement in March after five years as the nonprofit's top executive.

Woodell joined the nonprofit in 2011. He previously worked with the Baptist Health Foundation and Heifer International.

Tom Duke, chairman of the nonprofit's board of directors, said Woodell's appointment was a unanimous decision.

Former Ouachita Co. judge pleads guilty

Ouachita County Judge James Michael Hesterly pleading guilty to one count of bribery, that's according to Conner Eldridge, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

Hesterly, 50, of Camden and Harry Clemons Jr., 39, of Bearden, were both indicted for a scheme to award a FEMA disaster-relief contract to Clemons by rigging the bidding process.

According to Eldridge's office, Hesterly rigged the process in return for a contribution to his 2010 reelection campaign from Clemons.

Documents say the scam began taking shape in 2010.

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