Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday summary

Opposition to coal-fueled electricity in Texas and the prospect of a tough permitting process played a key role in selecting Arkansas for a proposed $1.4 billion power plant, Southwestern Electric Power Co. officials said during the fourth day of Arkansas Public Service Commission hearings that could decide the 600-megawatt facility’s fate.

Children in the state child welfare system continue to go without timely care that would ensure their safety and services needed to support them and their families. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a Little Rock-based nonprofit organization, also noted improvements in the state Children and Family Services Division’s staffing levels and an increase in state funding, in its third annual report, “Children in Crisis: An Update on the Arkansas Child Welfare System.”

The Arkansas Department of Education assumed control of the financially troubled Bald Knob School District on Wednesday, ousting the superintendent and the School Board.

The organization that sought unsuccessfully to prevent homosexuals from adopting or fostering children has submitted a 2008 ballot proposal that its leaders hope will accomplish much the same goal. The initiated act proposed by the Family Council is under review by the Attorney General.

The Arkansas Supreme Court will speed up its decision on whether former Pulaski County Comptroller Ron Quillin’s email exchanges with a vendor are public record. The high court clarified for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which sued Pulaski County over access to the emails, that a previous appeal by the county remained open and that both parties have seven days to file new court briefs. The parties then have until Sept. 4 to respond to each other.

Attorneys for four governmental entities in Northwest Arkansas participating in the federal 287(g) program released information this week despite directives from federal authorities not to do so. The information was requested by the American Civil Liberties Union and media outlets under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

The superintendent and junior high principal of the Watson Chapel School District may be on the hook personally if a jury finds, at a trial next month, that the district punished armband wearing students last October to suppress their viewpoints, a federal judge has ruled.

Arkansas National Guard officials plan to put the 39th Infantry Brigade on state orders in October to enable it and 12 other state units bolstering the brigade’s ranks to start training as full-time soldiers.

The chances are slim that predators would prey on children under the Arkansas law that allows children of any age to marry as long as they have parental permission, Gov. Mike Beebe says.

The Fort Smith Board of Directors will revisit a proposed ordinance making English the official language of the city, after the board narrowly voted to table the matter.

A Colorado millionaire has acquired the Royal Arkansas Hotel & Suites, according to real estate transactions at the Jefferson County assessor’s office. Bruce Rahmani, a hotelier and restaurateur from Northglen, Colo., has bought the hotel out of receivership from Zions First National Bank of Utah after the bank had foreclosed on its previous owners.

A Fort Smith woman and her 10-year-old male relative are both suspects in a purse-snatching spree throughout the weekend. Bridget Kursh and her juvenile relative were each arrested on nine counts of felonious property theft. They are accused of stealing purses from women shopping in stores in Fort Smith, including Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx, Kmart, Academy Sports and Central Mall with a scheme to distract women who had placed their purse inside their shopping cart.

Some of the biggest names in professional bass fishing will compete for $250,000 at the Bassmaster Legends event being held today through Sunday on Lake Dardanelle.

Comments:
It looks as if West Texas is taking another shot at a new, clean-coal facility. In particular, one that can apparently trap up to 90 percent of emitted CO2.
 
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