Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tuesday summary

A federal judge has decided to let Little Rock voters cast ballots today on whether their mayor should have more say at City Hall and more pay for the extra responsibility, more quadrupling the salary to $160,000. Further hearings are expected.

Principal backers of the move to increase Little Rock’s mayoral powers, according to the Democrat-Gazette are Stephens Investments Holdings, Coulson Oil of North Little Rock, Alltel employees’ political action committee, Phillips Development Corp., Vratsinas Construction Co. Williams and Anderson law firm; Glass Erectors, run by 2 Votes for Leadership Co-Chairman Gary Smith; McLarty Companies Inc.; Herren Hickingbotham; real estate developer Rector Phillips Morse; the Stone Ward public relations firm; and Lakewood Village Shopping Park of North Little Rock. There is no number available on how much money has been spent in this effort, although they have raised nearly $50,000 to date.

Pulaski County authorities say two people who were discovered dead in Little Rock on Sunday and a South Dakota truck driver who died Monday at a North Little Rock truck stop are possible heat-related deaths.

The original optimism over Marcus Monk’s recovery from a knee injury was tempered substantially Monday as Arkansas’ star receiver underwent arthroscopic surgery that will sideline him at least a month.

Forty-seven of Arkansas’ 1,067 public schools were put on probation Monday by the state Board of Education for violating accreditation requirements in the 2006-07 school year.

Entergy bills stand to be lower - regardless of customer class - after state utility regulators upheld their earlier rejection of the utility’s $106.5 million-a-year rate increase request. Under new calculations made by the Arkansas Public Service Commission - which are based on electricity use similar to that of the previous year - residential ratepayers can expect a 6.7 percent reduction in monthly bills.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says that his second-place showing in Iowa's Republican Party Straw Poll was as good as a win and should put him in the top tier of presidential candidates.

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., a leading contender for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, is scheduled to appear at big-ticket fundraisers in Arkansas next week.

Reports from state agencies reveal that Arkansas spends about $169 million annually to educate and imprison immigrants and their families, a number that state lawmakers say is bound to grow if they don’t take steps to curb illegal immigration.

Officers and deputies from four law enforcement agencies are traveling to Boston on Monday for federal training. Rogers Mayor Steve Womack confirmed on Monday that six officers with the Rogers Police Department are scheduled to begin 287(g) training next Tuesday.

A Rosston man appeared in Nevada County Circuit Court on Monday facing two counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of his ex-wife and her husband in front of his own 11-year-old daughter. Kelvin Box told police that he tackled his ex-wife, Tracey Lambert, and then shot her three times in the face, just after he fired four shots to the back of the head of Jerome Lambert.

A capital city man is dead after being shot outside his house Monday night. The death was Little Rock’s 28th homicide this year. At this time last year, there had been 42 homicides in the city.

While discretely pursuing a suspect, the chief of the Hartford Police Department ran his vehicle over a woman who was reportedly lying in the street early Sunday morning. Brandi Wooten was struck by Chief Stephen Layne at around 1:03 a.m. Sunday. Wooten was lying on the roadway at East Third Street when Layne ran over her when he took his foot off the brake and began to move, according to Cpl. Ray Triplett with Arkansas State Police.

History is in the making at Riverview High School on the east edge of Searcy as balls will be flying through the air, whistles will be blown and fans will pack the stands in just a few weeks. The district’s school board continued to approve final touches on the school’s new football stadium, which also contains a track.

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