Friday, November 17, 2006
Here's your Friday summary ...
The Arkansas Supreme Court declined on Thursday to make a decision on whether the law permitting “payday lending” violates the state constitution, instead sending the case back to Pulaski County Circuit Court.
Morris S. Arnold of Little Rock is hospitalized in St. Louis, where he is a judge on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, after having a heart attack.
Gov. Mike Huckabee said Thursday that the 2008 presidential race is still “a wide-open opportunity” despite a potential Republican rival, U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, kicking off a campaign with the creation of an exploratory committee on Thursday.
As the personal bankruptcy cases of former U.S. Rep. Tommy Robinson and his wife continued their journey through the courts, Robinson announced Thursday that he was preparing to improve his liquidity by leaving for Africa to work as a lobbyist. Robinson testified that he was preparing to leave for Africa, where he expected to be employed by the recently elected president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and earn $10,000 to $12,000 a month.
Today’s Democrat=Gazette reports when longtime Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau chief Barry Travis retired in February, he drove off with a $25,500 retirement gift, a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu, bought in large part at taxpayer expense. The car was purchased outside normal bid procedures and was paid for through a combination of trade-in of a public vehicle, revenue from Little Rock’s 2 percent hotel and restaurant tax, and private contributions from donors, including firms that do business with the Convention and Visitors Bureau or benefit from its tax-supported activities.
A bill filed for the forthcoming state legislative session would by Pine Bluff Senator Jerry Taylor remove a person’s duty to retreat under certain circumstances before using deadly force in self-defense.
A bill pre-filed Thursday for the 2007 legislative session would make Arkansas eligible to participate in a federal program to create personal health care accounts for some people on public assistance.
Lawmakers studying the Public School Fund budget proposal are wondering about Gov. Mike Huckabee’s recommendation to keep the additional sales tax on beer. The tax is to end June 30, 2007 and brings in $6.9 million a year for preschool programs. It was passed in 2001 when the state was experiencing a budget crunch.
Authorities say a man who arranged over the Internet to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex took a taxi to an agreed-upon address Wednesday, only to find it was the Shannon Hills police station. Corey Miller of Little Rock was arrested as part of an ongoing sting operation aimed at online stalkers by the Shannon Hills Police Department and the Saline County sheriff’s office.
Pulaski County prosecutors will seek the death penalty against three men accused of fatally shooting two teens and wounding a third in what police describe as a drug related incident at the parking lot of North Little 1 Rock’s McCain Mall in July.
A former University of Arkansas graduate student will serve 15 months in prison for lying to obtain naturalization status and using someone else’s Social Security number to get credit. U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren revoked the citizenship of Arwah Jaber of Fayetteville, who was acquitted in June on a charge of aiding a terrorist group. Defense attorneys told Hendren that they are seeking a reinstatement of citizenship in an appeal of Jaber’s sentence.
Construction crews are still on site, but a new stage will be completed in time for next week's 71st Annual Wings Over the Prairie Festival and World's Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart.
As hunting season approaches, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks reports the number of licensed resident deer hunters has fallen about 36 percent since it peaked in the 1986-87 season at about 200,000. Only 128,000 resident license holders participated in the 2003-04 season, the most recent period for which numbers were available.