Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday summary

Arkansas students made gains this year on most standardized tests compared with last year’s scores. In addition, for the first time since the state began phasing in the Arkansas Benchmark Exams about a decade ago, the achievement gap between white and black students narrowed.

70 soldiers with the Arkansas Army National Guard, based in North Little Rock and Dumas are in mobilization training to prepare them for a fall deployment to Iraq. In Fort McCoy, Wis., the 213th Area Support Medical Company will learn basic first aid and fundamental soldiering skills before traveling to Iraq.

Preparations are underway for the Kevin Jones trial, which is scheduled to begin Monday. The trial will take place at Franklin County Courthouse in Ozark. The trial for the killing of ASU beauty queen Nona Dirksmeyer was moved from Pope County after Jones' lawyers were granted a change of venue.

People in Benton County who want to purchase liquor to drink at home, without driving to a private club or a liquor store in another county, can sign petitions starting Saturday. Citizens for Choice 2008 will conduct its second petition drive from 8:30 a.m. until about 2 p.m. Saturday on private property just north of the Missouri line. The property is directly across the street from the Wal-Mart Supercenter's liquor store in Jane, Mo.

State Sen. Bill Pritchard of Elkins made headlines while on vacation in Pensacola, Florida this week when he helped rescue a man drowning in a swimming pool.

Gov. Mike Beebe has set aside $250,000 for the Delta Memorial Hospital to cover outstanding medical bills after February tornadoes tore through Dumas and southern Arkansas.

West Memphis authorities say they are unaware of any protest planned for Saturday — including a potential visit by civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson — related to the June 22 shooting death of 12-year-old DeAuntae Farrow by a city police officer.

Pulaski County officials, seeking to propose new taxes for jail operation, are desperately pointing to the latest count of 532 robberies occurring in Little Rock by the middle of June.

An exchange of gunfire between a man and intruders into his Little Rock apartment left the resident with a bullet in his stomach and one of the assailants dead. Julian Armstrong is recovering in a local hospital. T. C. Jeffrey of Dallas has a history of being arrested in Pine Bluff.

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