Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday summary

The day before a state regulatory board for payday lenders fined Dennis Bailey $1.3 million last year, the Fordyce businessman began transferring assets — including money, real estate and other businesses — out of his name, according to a lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Two state audits that found that two former employees of the state Board of Architects collected more than $230,000 in improper travel reimbursements have been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The audits also have been referred to Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley. Criminal offenses involving state government are prosecuted in Pulaski County.

A St. Louis County grand jury has indicted Henry Williams, a former Little Rock School District superintendent, on two counts of theft and three counts of evading Missouri income taxes.

Gov. Mike Beebe says he wants to revamp the way colleges and universities are funded, rewarding the ones that retain more students and raise their graduate rates.

Proposed constitutional amendments that would set longer legislative terms and create a state commission to oversee expanded gambling in Arkansas were certified by the state attorney general's office. Both proposed amendments were submitted by former state Rep. Charles Ormond of Morrilton.

A new Arkansas law seeks to help address the spread of infections in hospitals by asking health-care facilities to publicly report the infections their patients develop, but because it is voluntary, it is useless to consumers.

Dozens of families in Saline County are back home after spending the night away due to an explosion involving dangerous chemicals at a truck yard.

A man wanted for questioning in a Dermott triple murder killed himself Saturday afternoon as police closed in. Arkansas State Police say police had surrounded 41-year-old John Paul "Bo" Young in a remote area south of Dermott when he fired a shot that took his own life.

A Paragould man is facing charges in connection with the death of his brother, also of Paragould, who was struck by a freight train late Friday. The victim, Larry Dewayne Nelson, was pronounced dead at the scene by Greene County Coroner Dick Pace. Nelson was reportedly hit by a Union Pacific Railroad freight train.

The Atkins School District — in conjunction with Atkins police and the Pope County Sheriff’s Department — has concluded an investigation of allegations of a list of names some parents are referring to as a “hit list.” Atkins Superintendent Boyce Watkins says someone alleged there was a list somewhere that someone made and that person was going to cause harm.

The Faulkner County Sheriff's Office reports that 10 men were arrested at Cadron Settlement Park on Thursday and Friday, each on suspicions of either misdemeanor public sexual indecency, indecent exposure or harassment.

Motorists using handicapped parking spaces soon will be required to have a photo ID under a new state law aimed at curbing abuse of the spots convenient to stores, offices and other venues.

Housing Predictor, an Internet real estate site based in Destin, Fla., projects prices in Little Rock’s housing market will increase 7 percent this year, ranking the metropolitan area ninth-best for appreciation in the country. Fort Smith is ranked No. 18 with a 5.8 percent increase in prices and Hot Springs is rated No. 22 with 5.4 percent growth, the firm said.

Arkansas farmers ravaged by two years of drought and the Easter weekend cold snap would see millions of dollars of federal disaster relief under a resolution passed by the U.S. House. The House of Representatives separated emergency farm-relief spending from a war bill the White House has promised to veto.

The Guy-Perkins class of 2007, 32 strong, graduated Friday night.

Former Jonesboro Mayor Hubert Brodell is working on a goal -- to get people who did not complete high school to take General Educational Development Tests and get their diplomas. Brodell was the top administrator of the Jonesboro municipality for 18 years and was responsible for a $38 million budget, but he never finished high school. He will receive his GED tonight at the Valle View Fine Arts Center.

Patrick Hall of the 2006 American Idol contest will be one of several performers during the annual Bentonville Art Walk next month.

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