Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday summary

The legislative body that oversees state government between legislative sessions Friday approved an interim resolution apologizing for slavery.

A 58-year-old Vietnam veteran and auto mechanic on his way home from work is dead after being struck by a stolen vehicle being pursued by a Little Rock police officer. Isaac Brown, of Little Rock, was pronounced dead at the scene Thursday night. The accident is the third in the past three months of cars being pursued by Little Rock police.

Little Rock police discovered the body of Keiuna Poindexter Saturday morning near the scene of an accident in which a local auto mechanic was killed by another vehicle being pursued by police.

Police here obtained subpoenas for Arkansas State University’s investigative documents into a female student's claim she was drugged and raped by two former criminology professors, The Jonesboro Sun has learned. ASU attorney Lucinda McDaniel has also denied The Sun's Freedom of Information request to inspect the personnel files of Dr. Gregory Russell and his wife, Dr. Ellen Lemley, who both resigned June 1 amid the rape allegations. ASU was about to fire the two professors when they each submitted a letter of resignation, court documents indicated.

A federal judge favors Oklahoma on several legal challenges brought by the poultry industry in an attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson. After two days of hearings in federal court in Tulsa, U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell on Friday denied the poultry industry’s requests to dismiss the case on procedural grounds.

Republican Rep. John Boozman has introduced a proposal that would essentially eliminate Amtrak’s preferential access rights to freight lines unless the U.S. Secretary of Transportation first certifies that Amtrak would not cause increased highway congestion, fossil fuel usage, air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.

State regulators rejected Entergy Arkansas Inc.’s request for a $106.5 million-a-year rate increase — and instead ordered the state’s largest electricity provider to charge ratepayers $5.7 million less per year than it currently does.

El Dorado Chemical Co. has withdrawn from a plan to work with the city of El Dorado and two other companies to pipe treated wastewater to the Ouachita River. The company says the project, originally estimated at $16 million, was moving too slowly and the company improved its existing wastewater treatment system in the meantime.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department plans to spend more than $500,000 to replace more than 300 interstate signs on I-30 between Benton and Mandeville in Miller County, a distance of 113 miles, later this summer. The agency is also preparing a similar program over a large section of I-40, which stretches from Memphis to Fort Smith.

Faulkner County officials could decide this week to join a lawsuit against pharmaceutical firms that sell over-the-counter ingredients common in illicit methamphetamine production.

Little Rock officials will soon consider giving the boot to drivers with too many outstanding parking tickets. City Hall already has waged a largely unsuccessful campaign this year to shame about four dozen drivers into settling their unpaid tickets

The state committee that disciplines lawyers issued a letter of caution to a state senator who is a lawyer for his handling of a client's child support case. The Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct found that Republican Sen. Shawn Womack failed to act "with reasonable diligence and promptness in reporting to a client," and failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a case.

Adam Davis Jr. faces capitol murder and attempted murder charges after Hot Springs police say he rammed his pickup into a car in front of him - causing a three-car accident - then shot two women. One woman was killed Saturday and another is hospitalized.

A Dover man is facing charges for video voyeurism. Mark Anthony Dalton was arrested after his 12-year-old stepdaughter discovered a hidden video camera inside the air vent in her bedroom, Dalton admitted he did put the camera in her vent, according to police investigators.

A former Fort Smith TV personality, Justin Povick, is free from the Sebastian County Jail on bond after being arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor harassment for allegedly shooting video of an 11-year-old girl at the Creekmore Park swimming pool. Authorities say there are similar videos found on the camera that police believe were taken in another state he wouldn’t identify because it’s part of an ongoing investigation.

One of the changes at the Greenwood High School and East Hills Middle School forbids students to attend school wearing an exotic hair color, black eye shadow, black fingernail polish or black lipstick. East Hills principal Donnie Whitson defined exotic colors as “colors that aren’t natural.” Greenwood also reported wasting $18,840 on drug testing.

Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow says the Conway school will get a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The college has been awarded almost $2 milion to go toward the improvement of its science programs. The funds will go mostly for new equipment.

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