Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wednesday summary

LR School Board president Katherine Mitchell and Board member Michael Daugherty will be allowed to vote on the suspension and firing hearings for Superintendent Roy Brooks. Judge G. Thomas Eisele ruled that the letter Mitchell had sent to nine administrators warning them not to impede the removal action was "objectively threatening."

With much of its heavy equipment being used in Iraq, the Arkansas National Guard may lack resources to assist with cleanup in the event of a large-scale disaster, Gov. Mike Beebe said Tuesday. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius ran into such a problem last week when she found that state's national guard, which also has sent units to Iraq, to be lacking equipment and resources when called upon for assistance in the aftermath of devastating tornadoes.

Congress should abolish the doctrine that U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, an associate dean at the law school where fired federal prosecutor Bud Cummins received his law degree said Tuesday. John DiPippa, associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law, spoke Tuesday at the Clinton School of Public Service on the Justice Department's firing last year of Cummins and seven other U.S. attorneys.

Gov. Mike Beebe named an Arkansas State Police veteran of 38 years as the agency’s 17th director. In choosing retired Capt. Winford Phillips, Beebe said he valued continuity in state police policies.

Hoteliers are funding a petition drive to get the wet/dry issue on the Benton County 2008 ballot. Organizers have hired an attorney, formed a board of directors, are becoming a registered 501(c)(3) organization to take donations and will pay consultants and petition gatherers.

The Conway School District's Board of Education approved the resignations and retirements of more than 50 school employees during an April 24 special meeting and Dr. Terry Fiddler said the decisions of these faculty members will mean a boost in district funds in the future.

Fort Smith trash customers will see a 32.5 percent increase in their monthly trash bills beginning June 1 if city directors approve a Sanitation Department recommendation to raise money for present and future needs.

Hillard C. Douglas A 59-year-old Forrest City man with a previous rape conviction is now accused of raping three of his grandchildren while they visited him in St. Francis County late last year. Court records show Douglas was charged with rape in Cross County in 1977 and sentenced to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. The affidavit also reveals that the 1977 charge also involved a family member.

James Steven Cantrell of Russellville faces charges of aggravated assault of a family member after his girlfriend’s 20-month-old child was treated at the emergency room for bruises on her back and forehead. Cantrell was ordered held on $250,000 bond and to stay away from the child and mother.

A rural Conway County man, Samuel Adam Criswell, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder in the still-unexplained October 2005 shooting deaths of his grandparents with whom he was living in the tiny community of Holly Springs. No motive has ever been revealed.

Brooks Leach improved his performance on Deal Or No Deal from $10 to $400. His second appearance on national TV ran Monday evening.

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