Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wednesday Mornin'

Critics of a $575 million interstate highway bond issue plan to criss-cross the state today in opposition to the proposal to be decided in a Dec. 13 special election.

The Poultry Federation and the County Judges Association have signed on to the highway bond proposal. Arkansas Farm Bureau is still on the fence.

An eight-member internal review committee agreed that "Deal With It: A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a gURL," a controversial book at Fayetteville High School, is a "valuable addition" to the school's library and will remain on the shelf. Laurie Taylor, a district patron and mother of two daughters, challenged the book as too sexually explicit for students to read without parental consent.

Interstate 40 in Arkansas was the most improved highway in the nation, according to an annual trucking magazine survey. Another Arkansas interstate, Interstate 30 between Little Rock and Texarkana, was the third-most improved highway in the Highway Report Card from Overdrive magazine.

Uninsured patients can receive steep discounts on medical services at Washington Regional Medical Center, if they pay their bill in full within 30 days, said hospital officials. The change resembles one St. Vincent Health System in Little Rock announced last week, but Washington Regional said their policy went into effect in June.

Money is the only obstacle standing between the Fayetteville High School Band and its appearance in the 2006 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. As of Tuesday, the band still needed to raise about $13,000 for all 207 band members to make the trip.

The Jonesboro Police Department will purchase a record number of new patrol cars next year, effectively replacing all cars with 100,000 miles on them. The City Council's Finance and Administration Committee agreed Monday to recommend the purchase of 40 new patrol cars.

Pine Bluff police are asking for help in identifying and locating suspects in seven unsolved homicides in the past two and-a-half years, including five this year.

Whether to allow firearms to be discharged inside the city limits is a hot topic for the City Council in Vilonia.

In his Stephens Media Group column, Harry King predicts two championship fights for Jermain Taylor next year. The first one will be a show for the home folks and will be part of a plan to set up the second fight, probably against Winky Wright for big money in Las Vegas.

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