Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sunrise Thursday

The Democrat-Gazette reports on potential wrongdoing in the worst speed trap in Arkansas. State auditors, aided by a computer turned in by the mayor of Damascus, are investigating allegations of missing money in a city office in the tiny community on the Faulkner and Van Buren county line.

Pulaski County Assessor Janet Ward must pay her former spokesman $51,000 in lost wages and damages for firing him after he refused to support her re-election campaign last year and for discriminating against him because of his religion, a jury ruled Wednesday.

Higher education officials are working to place the same bond program defeated Tuesday on a special election on the general election ballot next fall, Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas System told the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas.

Prissy Hickerson vowed to keep Arkansas interstate highways as smooth as the one she drove on Wednesday, despite voter rejection of a bond program to fund interstate repairs.

For the second time in two years, Crawford County voters rejected a sales tax increase to pay for a new county jail. Justice of the Peace Travis Steele said the rejection means the county will have to continue to house prisoners outside the county, which he said could cost the county as much as $1 million next year.

The earth under the New Madrid Seismic Zone either isn't shifting or is barely shifting at all, say three independent university analyses of global positioning system stations stuck in the ground and monitored for a decade. The results contradict a study by scientists at the University of Memphis. One of the detractors of that study, geophysicist Eric Calais of Purdue University, said the U of M results were certainly a statistical anomaly, probably an instrumental error, and, regardless, not anywhere close to the motions of the San Andreas fault.

Muldrow firefighters were kept busy Tuesday putting out fires that authorities say were intentionally set, and the search continues for the two men officials think might be responsible. Joe Shamblin, chief of the Muldrow Volunteer Fire Department, said eight fires were reported.

The Russellville Courier reports a man sustained bruising and lacerations after receiving a head-butt from his pet deer during feeding time. “I’ve been here 11 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this — not in the city,” said Scott Williams, a local fireman.

Tunica already has casino gambling and is planning an auto-racing track, but the newest plan for economic development is a major auto manufacturing plant. At the heart of that effort is the newly unveiled "Metro Mega Site," a 2,221-acre plot Tunica's economic planners believe is ideally situated to meet the needs of large scale manufacturing.

North American online casino gamblers constitute 48 percent of the overall online casinos gambling business and research indicates that this might shrink to 36 percent by 2010.
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