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      Ark. teacher fund to invest in Osceola steel mill

      LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Trustees have agreed to invest in the planned $1 billion Big River Steel LLC mill in Osceola.

      Trustees briefly discussed the project in their Monday meeting before approving the investment on a voice vote.

      System Director George Hopkins told members the investment doesn't rely on a middleman who would claim a portion of profits. Member Danny Knight said the board regularly helps finance projects outside of Arkansas and that it should be eager to back an in-state endeavor.

      Hopkins says a due diligence study the panel used was made through a contract made by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, which is exempt from the state public records law.

      The project still needs the Legislature to sign off on a $125 million loan.

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