Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday summary

Taxpayers in North Little Rock must pay the $8 million projected for roads into the heavily subsidized Bass Pro Shop in the Dark Hollow wetlands off Interstate 40’s Lakewood exit at North Hills Boulevard, between the junctions of Interstates 40 and 30 and I-40 with U.S. 67-167.

Scott Varady, UA associate general counsel, claims the real reason plaintiff John David Terry and his attorney Eddie Christian Jr. sued the University of Arkansas is to glean more details about the e-mail flap, not to correct a taxpayer wrong. The suit is an illegal exaction case, which alleges public money is being misused.

An Arkansas soldier serving in Iraq died on Memorial Day after a roadside bomb exploded near the Bradley fighting vehicle he was in. Spc. Zachary Baker of Vilonia died along with five others from a team racing to the scene of a U.S. helicopter crash.

The state of Arkansas has paid the federal government $44 million to settle a billing dispute dating back to the 1997-2000 fiscal years, leading a federal judge to dismiss a related lawsuit.

The leaders of Wal-Mart say that they’ve decided to scale back expansion plans and buy back more of the company’s stock. The “annual meeting” was last week in Fayetteville.

Dairy market forecasters are warning that consumers can expect a sharp increase in dairy prices this summer.

A special prosecutor’s report on an investigation into the Saline County sheriff’s office found “loose accounting and little accountability” of two funds managed by the Saline County Deputy Sheriff ’s Association, but no wrongdoing on the part of Sheriff Phil Mask. As a result, no further criminal charges will be filed. A bookkeeper for one of the accounts previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft.

Fox 16 reports the small town of Holly Grove can't seem to get a break. Bullets rang out overnight in the downtown square destroying businesses and police cars. This after, the city council voted to fire their police chief following a series of arson fires last week.

Marcha Jermane Smith faces capitol murder charges in the killing of 2 year-old La-Niyah Beard, who died of multiple blunt-force injuries. Kyle Hunter, chief deputy prosecuting attorney for the 11th Judicial District-West, declined to comment on why the evidence wasn’t strong enough to pursue a rape charge.

Three male teenage sex offenders from the Consolidated Youth Services group home in Jonesboro and three girls from the adjacent Youth Services’ emergency shelter are in custody after two days of freedom. Two were captured in Jonesboro and four in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

A cadre of Arkansas State Police investigators and officers on Friday afternoon arrested two fugitives who police say shot at pursuing officers while fleeing a traffic stop Sunday. Christopher Grady and Rebecca Burrier, both of Benton, were taken into custody at the Springhill exit on Interstate 40.

Roughly 13,500 Jehovah’s Witnesses are expected in Pine Bluff this month for three back-to-back conferences, the largest group to hold a convention in Pine Bluff in at least nine years.

Special bags designed to allow residents around the Pine Bluff Arsenal to “shelter in place” in the event of a chemical emergency will be given away today and again next week by the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management.

Two adult bald eagles that have chosen Beaver Lake for their home have feathered their nest this spring with two young eaglets. The downy pair hatched 10 to 12 weeks ago and are now as large as their parents.

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