Thursday, March 08, 2007

Beautiful Thursday summary

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he and many of his counterparts are skeptical of the Justice Department's explanation of last year's mass removal of federal prosecutors, where H.E. "Bud" Cummins of Arkansas was one of the casualties. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told state attorneys general in a closed-door meeting that the fired prosecutors had fallen out of step with Bush administration priorities, McDaniel said Wednesday while in Washington for a national conference.

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter challenged a House committee Wednesday to allow voters to decide on establishing a state lottery, whether or not the lawmakers opposed the idea.

Some towing company operators are worried that a bill to give owners access to personal property left in a towed vehicle will interfere with their ability to get paid. State Rep. Monty Davenport’s House Bill 1472, which is backed by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, seeks to limit towing and storage firms to placing a lien on the vehicle but not its contents.

A Senate committee Wednesday endorsed legislation that would authorize the state to fine out-of-state tow truck operators for pickups in Arkansas if their home state bans Arkansas towers from operating there.

A bill to require voters to show photo identification at the polls stalled Wednesday in a House committee.

A House committee Wednesday endorsed a pair of bills intended to make college textbooks more affordable.

The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing March 15 to discuss the state's request for federal disaster assistance from FEMA for Desha County, hardest hit by Feb. 24 storms.

Mike Huckabee looked to build support among conservatives on Wednesday by signing a pledge not to raise taxes if he is elected president.

The corruption trial of former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell, his wife, and a bail bondsman was postponed Wednesday because co-defendant Kelly Campbell claimed to be sick.

For the first time in more than a year, officials with the U.S. Department of Justice visited the Alexander Juvenile Correctional Facility on Wednesday to see what Arkansas has done to correct longstanding problems with education at the youth lockup.

A foster parent who has had dozens of Northwest Arkansas boys in his home over the years was arrested Wednesday on charges of molesting a teenager and taking a pornographic video of him. Brian J. Bergthold of Bella Vista is charged with second-degree sexual assault, engaging a child in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print medium, and possessing child pornography.

A pretrial hearing for Kenneth Osburn, the Desha County man charged with kidnapping and capital murder in connection with the August 2006 death of 17-year-old Casey Crowder, has been continued until Aug. 23.

After 16 years of operating Riddle’s Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary - 330 acres in the Ozark foothills - Scott and Heidi Riddle are poised to sell their land, facilities and elephants. Representatives from 10 zoos - including the Little Rock Zoo - want to turn the facility into a national research, breeding and holding facility.

Cities, counties, school districts and industry are lining up to support a proposed coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County, even though state regulators found its environmental impact studies to be inadequate.

Before Conway High's girls can take the court against Fort Smith Northside for the Class 7A state championship game in Hot Springs this afternoon, they must await the result of an appeals hearing today before the Arkansas Activities Association's Board of Directors. North Little Rock has made an appeal concerning Senior Sidney Stewart who previously played varsity basketball in the 8th grade when she was a student in Alaska and may have played too many consecutive semesters to be eligible.

Stan Heath’s boss has said he won’t evaluate the Arkansas basketball coach’s job until the season ends. Heath is taking the same approach on evaluating his fifth season on the eve of Arkansas’ first-round SEC Tournament game against South Carolina.

When I go to the polls I show my Driver License before I vote. What's the big deal? At least I know no one else is voting for me.
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