Thursday, January 19, 2006

Early Thursday Notes

The Democrat-Gazete is leading with a story that concerns $1.5 million the state will pay helping poor folks who have had trouble with their prescriptions since the Medicare drug benefit went into effect two weeks ago. The feds say the state will have to seek reimbursement from the drug companies, which means that the cost will only be covered in part.

Three West Memphis police officers charged with reckless homicide in a 2004 shooting in North Memphis said Wednesday they hope to return to patrol after a judge ruled they should be placed on diversion.

The Russellville Courier reports that a 61-year-old Pope County man was sentenced Tuesday to serve 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction after a jury found him guilty of engaging in deviant sexual activity with his juvenile daughter and another young girl. Burlie Ray Britton was found guilty of three counts of rape after the jury deliberated for more than two hours.

Police in Russellville are recommending prosecutors there file first-degree murder charges against one individual in connection with the murder of Nona Dirksmeyer. State Police have administered additional polygraph tests, according to a police statement, and they contend that only one suspects still remains. Polygraph tests are not considered sufficiently reliable to be entered into evidence in a criminal trial.

The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas reports that a 37-year-old Fayetteville woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of adult abuse and aggravated assault against a family or household member after police found gasoline-soaked carpet around her children's bedroom and her wheelchair-bound mother without proper care. Joliet Jermanon is scheduled to stand trial March 28.

The United States Supreme Court will hear a property rights case out of Pulaski County involving whether regular or certified mail is enough notice in the case of a seizure for nonpayment of taxes.

In a ceremonial setting before the media and legislative supporters, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour Wednesday evening vetoed legislation that would raise taxes on cigarettes while cutting taxes on groceries. Citing data compiled by his office, Barbour said the measure would cost the state $1.5 billion over the next nine years.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has declared Saturday as Louisiana Recovery Planning Day, a day for Louisiana citizens to talk about rebuilding their communities in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Today will bring a major economic development announcement in Conway. Local officials are tight-lipped.

The Maumelle Monitor carries a report about a rogue deer butchering operation that produced a mound of deer carcasses discovered in some nearby woods.

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