Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday summary

A group of Delta politicians and advocates has called on Congress and the presidential candidates to reverse what they characterized as the Bush administration’s neglect of the region. Caucus Director Lee Powell criticized the reduction of the authority’s budget from $30 million a year when it was created under President Bill Clinton in late 2000 to $5 million a year at one point. The budget for the current year is $12 million, said Rex Nelson, the agency’s alternate federal co-chairman.

The Senate has voted to spend $3 billion to beef up border security by hiring thousands of federal agents and constructing a 700-mile border fence. The funding would pay for 23,000 full-time border patrol agents in an effort that Sen. Mark Pryor claimed would "help restore American confidence in our immigration system."

On the eve of today’s court hearing on whether to temporarily stop the Little Rock School Board from using public money to buy out the remainder of Little Rock Superintendent Roy Brooks’ contract, Brooks has asked to be allowed to intervene. An injunction could stop him from receiving payments from the district when he departs in August.

Despite agreement on both sides that a 44-year-old Memphis school desegregation lawsuit should be dismissed, a federal judge says the request is premature and that Shelby County Schools has more work to do. In a 62-page opinion, U.S. Dist. Court Judge Bernice Donald ruled more needs to be done in areas of extracurricular activities, student assignment and faculty integration.

A citizens group will file suit today to overturn Cenral Arkansas Water's settlement with developer Rick Ferguson that allows him to build a subdivision overlooking Lake Maumelle, Little Rock’s water supply, near the water intake.

In northeastern Arkansas, some of the cash registers are now police informants. When drugstore customers buy more than three 10-caplet boxes of 12-Hour Sudafed in a day or seven boxes within a month, the county sheriff gets an e-mail alert listing the buyer’s name, address, birth date and the amount purchased.

The name of the historically troubled Alexander Juvenile Correctional Facility, the state’s largest youth lockup, is changing beginning Tuesday to the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center.

A man who was out on parole, and has been in and out of prison since the 1990s, is charged with capital murder in the slaying last month of a Conway florist. Charles Earl Glenn Jr. also was charged with two counts of theft of property and fraudulent use of a credit card in connection with Cynthia Farmer’s death.

A Bella Vista man pleaded guilty in federal court to having sexual contact with foster children in his care and filming the encounters. Brian John Bergthold admitted to producing child pornography and transporting child pornography in Arkansas earlier this year and to producing child pornography in Oregon in 2000.

Three men have been charged by White County prosecutors after being accused of sexual activity with minors in three separate incidents. Jerry Don Foster of McRae is charged with rape after a May 28 incident at Hays Livestock Auction on Booth Road in Searcy. Daniel Gene Moss of Judsonia is charged with sexual indecency with a child in connection with some allegedly inappropriate photographs. Enrique Jimenez of Bald Knob was charged with sexual assault in the second degree on an eight-year-old girl.

A man who police say robbed a downtown Pine Bluff bank by pointing a finger under his shirt was arrested Thursday after deciding to ditch his getaway vehicle and hail a taxicab to Little Rock. Police arrested Derrick Wilson and charged him with aggravated robbery.

Ginger Shaw is appealing a 30-day jail sentence for hitting another woman in the face at a Bentonville restaurant in an apparent spell of jealousy after seeing the woman talk to her husband, who was a Rogers Police officer. Thad Shaw, then a 10-year veteran of the Rogers force, resigned after his arrest on charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

Kelley’s Restaurant in Bald Knob now has a private club license. The ABC Board ruling will allow Kelley’s to serve alcohol and join four other private clubs in White County that serve alcoholic beverages in an otherwise dry county.

Jack Fleischauer, who spent more than 30 years in the banking business in Arkansas, died Thursday of metastatic melanoma. He was 58. When Fleischauer former president of the western region of Regions Financial Corp., retired earlier this year because of health complications, he oversaw more than 350 Regions branches in Arkansas.

The boardwalk project at Lake Dardanelle State Park is a reality after years of patience and dreams. The 351-foot boardwalk will allow about 55 to 60 bass boats to tie up right along the bank.

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