Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday summary

A private search firm continues to quest for a new Arkansas basketball coach after Dana Altman’s one-day tenure in the job. Altman was thr third choice of embattled Athletic Director Frank Broyles, whose forced retirement was announced earlier this year amidst controversy over several key departures from the football program.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is considering arguments over so-called TIF districts, or economic redevelopment zones, which steal money from public schools for the benefit of real estate developers. Opponents claim that mechanism is against the Arkansas Constitution.

Gov. Mike Beebe says it would be a mistake to assume the state would again have a $919 million budget surplus, the day after the Legislature concluded its 86-day session.

Two bills seeking state funding for the planned U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith have received Gov. Mike Beebe’s signature, and the state-spending bill he signed includes up to $25 million for the project.

A group of Altheimer-area patrons of the Dollarway School District has decided that rather than pursue a court challenge of a millage increase approved by voters on March 13, it will seek to rescind the decision with another referendum.

A special Little Rock School Board meeting that convened Thursday to consider the employment future of Superintendent Roy Brooks was thwarted by heavy traffic and a swift parliamentary maneuver by white board members. A second meeting for the same purpose is scheduled for 5 p.m. today.

Little Rock tax lawyer Barry J. Jewell has been indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of conspiring with his former law partner, Bobby Keith Moser, to pilfer client trust funds and evade income taxes to the tune of $1.9 million.

Defense attorneys began presenting their case in the Lonoke corruption trial Thursday, after special Circuit Judge John Cole denied motions to dismiss the bulk of charges against former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell and his wife, Kelly Campbell.

A police investigation into a possible double homicide continues. Fayetteville detectives are awaiting the results of autopsies on a man and woman found dead in their apartment

Relatives of a woman killed in a 2005 train derailment and explosion in Texarkana were awarded a $2 million settlement from Union Pacific Railroad. Pearlie Mae Easter Marshall died Oct. 15, 2005, when propylene gas leaking from a tank car exploded and destroyed her home.

The one-half percent sales tax that was pledged to retire the Hot Springs Convention Center bonds will end June 1.

While there are crops in the ground in Northeast Arkansas and the wheat crop is getting close to heading out, area agricultural officials don't believe Tuesday evening's storms caused a great deal of damage. The agents are more worried about the potential damage from the cooler temperatures.

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