Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday summary

Former Wal-Mart Vice Chairman Tom Coughlin, confined to his upscale Centerton residence since pleading guilty last year to defrauding Wal-Mart and the IRS, could end up in prison after all. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled his 27-month home-confinement sentence handed down by a federal judge in Fort Smith was too lenient and ordered a new sentencing hearing.

Two months after President Bush’s immigration plan collapsed in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder on Tuesday heard an earful from several people here who said they want more to be done to crack down on illegal aliens.

Asa Hutchinson, who has held a series of high-ranking federal posts in Washington and Arkansas, says he would not rule out succeeding departing U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales if he is asked by President Bush.

Gov. Mike Beebe has announced a college grant program designed to attract late blooming high school students of limited financial means. The GO! Opportunities Grant is the first state-funded college grant program in Arkansas based solely on financial need, Beebe said.

Arkansas’ high school class of ’07 upheld recent past showings by performing above the national average on the SAT college-entrance exam. But, in contrast to national trends, a smaller and less diverse group of the state’s students took the exam.

A new high school on Springdale’s east side is not fiscally responsible, even if patrons are willing to pay a hefty price tag. Superintendent Jim Rollins says a new high school on the east side, comparable to Har-Ber High School on the west side, could cost $50 million or more in today's market.

A local Veterans Affairs official pledges to support Arkansas’ medical school and Washington County in their plans to locate a satellite medical campus on land the VA deeded to the county decades ago.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on has allowed $635,000 in settlement checks to former Little Rock School District Superintendent Roy Brooks and his associates to be distributed and cashed without fear of court penalties.

Deploying broadband Internet service to rural areas by using money from the Universal Service Fund was among ideas suggested Tuesday at a meeting on the state of high-speed Internet service in Arkansas.

Poor sales and a lawsuit settlement pummeled Dillard’s bottom line for the quarter ending Aug. 4. The Little Rock-based retailer reports that it suffered a net loss of $25.2 million, or 31 cents a share, in its second quarter. For the corresponding period a year ago, the company reported earnings per share of 20 cents on profit of $15.7 million.

Fort Smith Mayor Ray Baker’s surgery for colon cancer has been delayed until Friday, after the procedure was started and stopped on Monday. Reached at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock, Baker said surgeons began the operation Monday before they halted it because of a “technical problem.”

A Searcy resident has filed a lawsuit against the Alcoholic Beverage Control board and Kelley’s Restaurant in Bald Knob seeking to have the restaurant’s liquor license revoked. Brett Watson, a 1991 graduate of Harding University and a member of the law firm of Anderson, Murphy and Hopkins in Little Rock filed the suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

A murderer given a life sentence as a teenager 30 years ago received a clemency recommendation by the Arkansas Board of Parole on Tuesday. Melvin Smith Jr. was 16 when he was convicted of killing Grover Howard Smith (not related) during a burglary of Smith’s house in Sweet Home in June 1977. Smit was given an additional 15 years in 1983 after being convicted of a prison stabbing.

An elderly Mansfield woman was found dead and her husband critically injured in what law enforcement officials believe was an attempted murder-suicide at the couple’s home. Police found a woman dead from a knife wound and her husband bleeding profusely from a knife wound to his neck area. Sebastian County Coroner Terry Campbell confirmed the identity of the deceased Mansfield woman as 83-year-old Marie Basham and her husband as Autry Basham, who is also in his 80s.

An El Dorado woman made her first appearance in Union County District Court on charges that she attacked her pregnant teenage daughter and cut her 8-year-old son with a knife or a box cutter. Latresa V. Manning was charged with aggravated assault on a family or household member and third-degree domestic battering, both felonies.

A funeral home director who police claim wanted to kill the Newport police chief and mayor is under arrest and will be charged with two counts of criminal solicitation to commit capital murder, authorities said. Lawrence Tolerson, owner of Tolerson and Sons Funeral Home, was arrested by Jackson County sheriff’s deputies and was taken to the Woodruff County jail in Augusta and held because that was where the plot to kill the two men originated.

A female resident of the Arkansas State University campus reported that her life was threatened, and she was kidnapped from the parking garage on the north side of the university and made to drive to Goobertown, about 10 miles away. The 18-year-old woman told University Police Department officers that while she was walking to her vehicle, “several men,” both black and white, “jumped her on the first level of the parking deck.”

The former treasurer of Sugar Creek Elementary School's Parent Teacher Organization turned herself in to police on a warrant charging her with stealing $23,130. Heather Diane Jennings is held at the Benton County Jail in lieu of a $10,000 bond set by Senior Circuit Judge Tom Keith.

We have a few college students online from college of University of Arkansas Little Rock and we love your blog postings, so well add your rss or news feed for them, Thanks and please post us and leave a comment back and well link to you. Thanks Jen , Blog Manager University of Arkansas Little Rock.
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