Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thursday Regional Items

Three West Memphis police officers whose reckless homicide charges were ordered set aside by a judge still may not be in the clear. The Tennessee Attorney General's Office in Nashville will appeal the ruling by Criminal Court Judge W. Fred Axley, which said state prosecutors did not properly consider all the relevant legal factors when they denied pre-trial diversion for the officers.

Gov. Mike Huckabee tells the Democrat-Gazette that his surprise visit to Iraq has quieted his concerns over how long U.S. forces will be required in the country, that a lengthy stay remains in store and that putting a deadline on withdrawal would be “a huge, and frankly, costly mistake.

Three individuals are at large after breaching security at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, where chemical weapons are stored.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Halter is complaining about the Beebe camp’s videotaping of his speeches calling it a Carl Rove-like tactic. Also, Halter will be wed this weekend in California.

Faulkner County Sheriff Marty Montgomery says he will pursue legal action against Justice of the Peace Catherin Blankenship over what he called malicious and slanderous comments over concerns about his department’s spending practices. During the same Quorum Court meeting, justices voted to reduce the sheriff department budget to a quarterly appropriation.

A showdown is brewing over a local anti-smoking law after Alligator Ray’s in Fayetteville has begun calling itself a bar. Restaurants must be smoke free, bars are exempt.

The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed the drunken-driving conviction of a Washington County man who turned on his car's engine using a remote device. By statute, the keys must be in the ignition.

The pedestrian and bicycle bridge under construction atop Murray Lock and Dam won an additional $796,000 Wednesday that Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines said the project needs to fulfill its financial commitments. Several hundred beds in the Pulaski County jail remain closed.

Pulaski County topped $1 billion in residential sales, a 14 percent increase over 2004,

School districts across Arkansas are preparing to submit a 10-year facilities master plan by Feb. 1 that includes an outline of specific needs for the next 10-year period.

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