Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday summary

The former U.S. attorney in Little Rock says he was told by a top Justice Department official that the White House was responsible for his ouster and for a plan to bypass Senate confirmation for his replacement. Tim Griffin told many people that he could stay in the chief prosecutor job without Senate confirmation, even as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was assuring senators on Capitol Hill that they would have a voice.

The allegations against Little Rock Superintendent Roy Brooks include insubordination, threatening employees about their jobs and acting without board approval, according to a letter from the Little Rock School Board President Katherine Mitchell.

Arkansas’ general revenue soared in April. Collections totaled $691 million, eclipsing the all-time record for a month by $59 million.

A federal judge has denied Arkansas’ attempt to intervene in Oklahoma’s pollution lawsuit against eight poultry companies.

International media reports over the weekend claiming former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein drew from the personal papers of Diane Blair for his forthcoming unauthorized biography on Hillary Rodham Clinton are false, according to Bernstein’s publisher. However, the publisher does contend that Bernstein had access to taped interviews Blair conducted during the 1992 campaign.

Wal-Mart., facing a constant barrage of criticism from citizen journalists, has turned to infomercials as its latest public-image tool.

The state Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected a Wal-Mart appeal in affirming a decision to award benefits to a worker injured at a company store in Alma. Cynthia Davis, a store employee, fell from a ladder while working at the Alma Wal-Mart on Feb. 25, 2005. She continued to work after the fall.

Wal-Mart voluntarily recalled baby bibs Wednesday from its stores nationwide after the products tested positive for high levels of lead, state officials said.

Don Tyson, the former chairman of Tyson Foods Inc., is recovering this week after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor on his liver.

Nine-year Fayetteville police veteran Jeremy Grammer was fired April 26 after an internal police investigation revealed he violated policies and procedures. Police and city officials would not reveal the exact nature of that violation. An unnamed federal agency is investigating Grammer's conduct for potential criminal violations.

The explosion which claimed the life of a Heth man and shattered windows on houses a quarter-mile away on Monday may have been caused by an acetylene torch. St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May says officials with the Arkansas State Police bomb have indicated that they feel that the tank, which was stored in the shed that exploded, may have been the source of the blast that killed James Boles, 40, of Heth. Suicide has not been ruled out.

A Greene County man who fatally shot a man and the man’s mother over the possession of a $10 ring in July has pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder in Greene County Circuit Court. Billy James Smith of Lafe was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of life in prison for the deaths of James Livesay and Livesay’s mother, Edith Fancher.

The Van Buren Police Department is investigating reports from concerned residents about a man who attempted to abduct children during a baseball tournament. The Police Department began receiving e-mails from concerned residents about possible abductions during a baseball tournament at the Field of Dreams in Van Buren on April 21.

Dean Arter, a 17-year veteran of the Fort Smith police department, faces a misdemeanor harassment charge after an employee claimed he took pictures of her with his cell phone without her knowledge.

A Trumann man pleaded guilty in federal court in Little Rock to four charges stemming from his preparation of false income-tax returns for clients of H&R Block and Jackson-Hewitt. Arnold Chris Parker admitted soliciting taxpayers to participate in his scheme.

Associated Press reports a law professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville believes forwarding emails violates long-standing laws protecting letter writers back to the days of quill pens. Assistant Professor Ned Snow argues in an article to be published in the Kansas Law Review that common law protects text message and e-mail writers from having their words forwarded or published on Web sites for public view.

The Dardanelle School Board approved three out-of-state trips and the purchase of new laptop computers during its April 19 meeting.
Band director Clay Hooten presented the department’s year-end report and got approval from the board to begin fund-raising for a 2010 spring break trip to Hawaii. The band tries to take a trip every four years.

Central Arkansas's NBA Development League basketball team, the Arkansas RimRockers, appear headed to LaCrosse, Wis. A story in the LaCrosse Tribune said that RimRockers owner Larry Crain, the Searcy car mogul, was venturing to the Wisconsin city this week to negotiate a sale of the club, which plays its home games at North Little Rock's Alltel Arena.

Saturday and Sunday will mark the 144th anniversary of the Chalk Bluff battle in the waning months of the War Between the States. A large-scale re-enactment of the battle will take place near the Chalk Bluff Battlefield Park, just inside Arkansas backing up to the St. Francis River northwest of St. Francis in Clay County.

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.
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