Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Early Tuesday

Springdale quarterback Mitch Mustain was greeted by a surprise party in his honor Monday night at a local restaurant when he was named the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.

State auditors have asked a Chicot County prosecutor to investigate former Dermott School District superintendent Dennis Meins use of school funds to pay for country club memberships. Meins is now in charge of Lamar schools. Dermott is one of the districts challenging state funding levels of local schools.

Lawsuits are being filed challenging a 2005 state law that authorized local-option elections in West Memphis and Hot Springs, home to Arkansas’ two parimutuel racetracks. Both measures passed in November elections.

Today’s Morning News of Northwest Arkansas reports that Shirley Chittum died Saturday night, one day after she was rushed to a hospital and her son was arrested because authorities say he neglected her. The 71-year-old homebound woman was found early Friday on her sofa in a Bentonville apartment, withered to 62 pounds and covered with feces, urine, thousands of maggots and flies.

The Springdale assistant police chief says he is not responsible for the ouster of former Police Chief Sid Rieff. In an open letter addressed "To whom it may concern," Ken Watson, states "I feel compelled to respond to the former chief's allegations that I instigated and orchestrated his ouster and a takeover of the department."

A 14-year-old boy was injured in a Monday morning fire in Pulaski County that killed his mother and younger brother, sheriff’s deputies said. The identities of the mother and brother were not released pending positive identification. The boy, also unidentified, is being treated at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Gentry school children were sent home early after fumes from construction of a high school addition made some students sick. Five students were sent to a Siloam Springs hospital as a precaution, Superintendent Randy Barrett said. The students complained of nausea and dizziness from varnish fumes.

The date for Attentus Health Care to take over the operations at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Forrest City appears to be moving back to January 30, 2006 due to technical issues between Baptist Health Care Systems and Attentus Health Care.

A Fayetteville psychologist and his family have sued Continental Airlines in federal court over an altercation involving a flight attendant in June. The lawsuit claims the incident harmed their 7-year-old daughter by impeding her progress in treatment of post-traumatic stress syndrome from which she has suffered since witnessing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center from about a block away.

FEMA realized its response to Hurricane Katrina was "broken" and braced for rioting over woefully low supplies in Mississippi in the days just after the storm, according to new documents released Monday.

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