Monday, February 19, 2007

Presidential Monday summary

Under fire after the sudden departure of an offensive coordinator and two star offensive players and allegations of institutional mismanagement, University of Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles informed university trustees of his intention to retire at the end of this year. No replacement has been named as yet.

With Arkansas' economic development director half-way around the globe, Gov. Mike Beebe told economic leaders that the state would not recruit new industries at the expense of its existing businesses.

A member of the state Board of Health wants to explore the idea of requiring children to be immunized against HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. Richard Hughes IV of Little Rock, who represents health consumers on the board, says. “I think for 9- to 12-year-olds, we need to look at requiring this vaccine.”

Attorney General Dustin Mc-Daniel says in a formal opinion that a bill to send state dollars to local projects appears to be constitutional but also to be flawed in a way that would likely sound its “death knell” before the state Supreme Court.

Today is the 43rd day of the 86th General Assembly. Through late Friday, lawmakers had filed 844 bills, at least 226 fewer than were introduced at the same time in any regular legislative session since 1997. The deadline for filing appropriation bills is next Monday, said David Ferguson, interim director of the bureau. March 5 is the deadline for filing non-appropriation bills, Ferguson said.

The House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee has endorsed Senate Bill 225 by Sen. Steve Faris which repeals the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Committee.

The House has approved a bill placing restrictions on businesses that issue gift cards. House Bill 1455 by Rep. Will Bond requires all gift cards issued in Arkansas to remain valid for at least two years following the date of purchase.

A four year-old girl was struck and killed Sunday afternoon in front of her Springdale residence in what authorities describe as a hit and run incident. She was reportedly hit by a black mid to late-model 1990s Honda Accord about 3:30 p.m. The car was "low-rider" style with chrome wheels. The driver is described as a 24- to 25-year-old white man with black, spiked hair and a mustache.

Northeast Arkansas authorities are looking for the perpetrator of the especially violent rape at gunpoint of a 21 year-old Jonesboro area woman. The suspect is described as being in his early 30s, with dark hair, a thin build, dark hair and goatee wearing a dark blue toboggan, jeans, tan jacket and a dark-colored shirt. According to the victim report, a man standing in a the middle of a country road got the woman to stop her car by claming to have a sick baby.

The trial of former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell, his wife and a bail bondsman in a wide-ranging case alleging illegal drugs, illicit sex and abuse of a jail inmate-labor program has been pushed back a week and will start Feb. 27.

Forrest City High School students will begin another week in the indoor cold today since 57 of the 106 new units purchased under the state’s Immediate Needs program to update heating and cooling are not working.

The State Plant Board voted unanimously Friday to ban most aerial and ground applications of the herbicide 2,4-D between April 15 and Sept. 15 in 10 east Arkansas counties.

The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport at Highfill announced its 16th non-stop flight, this one to Miami. American Eagle will operate the new route. The daily flight will leave at 6:30 a.m. beginning April 11.

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