Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
An early afternoon news roundup on this hot (82 and record-tying, last I heard) day:
* ELECTION FILINGS: Lots of them. Not much extraordinary so far. Sen. Gene Jeffress (D) did file for 4th District Congress. Here's a link to find the state list so far. This link should eventually be updated with candidate filings in Pulaski County by clicking the "candidates filed list" on the page.
* THE LEGISLATURE: The Republicans' Fiscal Finger has folded. The Republican minority has allowed passage of the resolution that allows introduction and passage of the state budget. Rep. John Burris said it doesn't seem fair that he didn't get a hearing in the rules committee for his own resolution in committee, but there's nothing to debate on a procedural measure except up or down and this was going down. If Republicans swing a majority in this year's election, you may be sure the shoe will be on the other foot in 2013 and speeches of fairness denied will come from other quarters.
* THE HOSPITAL DOG: That's him, above, the subject of an article in The Observer this week that I mentioned earlier. Our friend who wrote about the dog is trying to find out if the pooch has a permanent home or exists from staying near an Arkansas hospital and providing comfort to visitors and employees, who reward him with treats.
* FAKE BEARD BANDIT PLEADS: Jason Day pleaded guilty today in Fort Smith to seven counts of armed robbery, a count of bank robbery and one of attempted bank robbery. He was accused of being the Fake Beard Bandit, who robbed financial institutions in several states.
* ARREST IN RAVE ROBBERY ATTEMPT: LRPD says they've arrested a suspect in the attempted robbery Nov. 20 of a woman on the parking lot of the Rave theater. Two men tried to grab a woman and use an electronic stun device, but she fought away from the assailants. A description of a vehicle used by the robbers led to the arest of Cresencio "Chincho" Duran.
* SWAT TEAM ON DUTY: Several reported this morning a police cordon around an apartment on Pleasant Ridge. It was a domestic disturbance and a huge drain on police resources that ended uneventfully. The report. Man arrested for violating a domestic protection order.
* OCCUPY LR: 'WE'RE NOT GARBAGE.'" Occupy Little Rock participants aren't happy at being referred to as "garbage" in need of collection by City Director Erma Hendrix during Tuesday night's city board meeting. Directors have begun to chafe at the long-running encampment at Fourth Street next to I-30. Plans apparently are underway to begin an end of the all-night camps, though City Hall hasn't yet revealed the specifics of its plan. To date, the city has been remarkably tolerant. The Occupy LR group has had remarkably long staying power, given its lack of a central, concrete mobilizing action agenda. That lack recently drove some to give up the demonstration for participation in campaigns with more specific objectives, such as the Regnat Populus drive for a government ethics initiative.
* THE VETS CENTER: Report coming shortly from Cheree Franco on the big nothing of a news conference by U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin and his invited guest, House VA Chair Jeff Miller of Florida. Coincidentally, as Griffin stands in the way of speedy opening of a better center for veterans at 10th and Main, he's printed a big mailout that proclaims what a friend of vets he is. Hypocrite of the day.
NOTED: I think I've corrected a technical glitch that crossed this post's wires with the night's open line.
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