Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday summary

The conservative Christian organization that led the successful campaign for Arkansas’ marriage amendment aims to go to the voters in 2008 with a proposal to ban homosexual adoption and foster parenting. Jerry Cox, executive director of the Family Council, says that his group will recast a measure that failed this year in the General Assembly and offer it as either a proposed constitutional amendment or an initiated act.

Environmental and consumer advocates are calling on Arkansas radio stations to stop airing what they claim are inaccurate and misleading ads about the debate in Congress over fuel-efficiency standards.

School districts in Bald Knob, Bismarck and Clinton must now work with the state to straighten out their finances after the Arkansas Education Board classified the three as fiscally distressed.

Corrections officers from the McPherson Unit traveled to the Department of Correction’s headquarters in Pine Bluff recently to petition Director Larry Norris to remedy what they perceive as unfairly low pay at their Newport women’s prison.

The Crawford County Quorum Court rejected an ordinance that would have imposed several additional fees aimed at requiring county jail inmates to share in the cost of their incarceration and reimbursed cities in the county for money they pay to house municipal prisoners in the county lockup.

Conway voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a $14.1 million bond package to pay for new baseball and softball complexes, trails and other parks.

Craighead County voters approved a temporary 1 percent tax measure to pay for building a large lake, campsite and recreation area west of Jonesboro

Little Rock voters will decide Aug. 14 whether their mayor should become a full-time servant of big money special interests.

Ronald James Ward, the drifter charged last year with killing 25-year-old Kristin Laurite at an Interstate 40 rest stop near Morrilton nearly seven years ago, surprised prosecutors by pleading no contest to her murder. Ward, a 40-year-old son of a prostitute and longtime drug and alcohol abuser, will be formally sentenced to life in prison Thursday morning in Morrilton.

Two inmates are still at large from the Cleveland County Jail after overcoming the jailer, gagging and binding him inside a jail cell and then escaping in a county-owned pickup truck.

Rising fuel prices have resulted in a garbage service funding shortfall, forcing the White Hall Street, Water and Sewer Committee to endorse a 20 percent increase that would raise the monthly sanitation fee from $10 to $12.

Impact fees for the Rogers Water Utilities were unanimously approved by the city council after weeks of debate on the issue.

Dassault Falcon Jet, the business aviation manufacturer, plans a $20 million expansion of its Little Rock facility, which will bring 200 new jobs.

U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson Jr. has sent a signal that the protracted legal fight over University Mall in midtown Little Rock is closer to resolution. In a letter issued Tuesday to the two parties, Wilson declared the landowners the winners of the battle over the retail center that is viewed as a key to maintaining the vitality of the area.

The Arkansas River is back on the rise, causing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to advise boaters to continue avoiding it.

Arkansas State says it has not already made a decision behind closed doors about its mascot. While sometimes giving the appearance of leaning toward change, members of the ASU Mascot Review Committee say no decision has been made about the future of the school's Indian mascot during an informal question-and-answer session.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar of Tontitown are expecting their 17th child. The June 18 issue of People magazine devotes a two-page spread with five photos titled “Big Love” to the super-sized family.

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