Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wednesday summary

The Arkansas Senate sent to Gov. Mike Beebe a measure aimed at replacing six appropriation bills that he vetoed last month, and the 86th General Assembly brought its regular legislative session to an end Tuesday.

Gov. Mike Beebe said Tuesday that the state Department of Health and Human Services needs to split either July 1 of this year or next year, if he decides to break up the state’s largest agency.

It looks like Kelly and Jay Campbell will be in jail a while longer, after each failed drug tests. Kelly Campbell had opiates, cocaine and methamphetamine in her system, while Jay Campbell was found with hydrocodone, a pain reliever that his attorney said was a legal prescription. They were convicted on charges involving drugs, sex and abuse of an inmate-labor program.

A Little Rock School Board that remains sharply divided chose attorney Morgan “Chip” Welch of North Little Rock on Tuesday to represent the board during coming hearings on whether to suspend and fire Superintendent Roy Brooks.

In his first state-of-the-city address, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola on Tuesday called for racial reconciliation and said the city ought to vote soon on a measure to give his office more authority.

Immigration protester Joe McCutchen’s Freedom of Information lawsuit against Robert P. Trevino in his official capacity as commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Education has been settled by the release of information. An unredacted email concerning the purchase of property for the Mexican consulate in Little Rock shows the name of real estate developer Bruce Burrow and a mortgage payment of $7,500 per month for 20 years.

Missing out on 25 mills of property tax to build the Shoppes at North Hills shopping center in North Little Rock won’t deter the project from going forward, developer Bruce Burrow said.

Arkansas Business reports that Jack Frost, the former accountant and financial advisor of trucking heiress Bernice Jones, will be released from federal custody on May 29. Frost was convicted ten years ago on 69 counts of defrauding Jones out of around $1.5 million.

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