Here's the open line, video roundup and an additional legislative item:
* FIRING SQUAD: Rep. Rebecca Petty, who's already passed a bill expanding the number of family members who can witness an execution (her daughter was a murder victim), tells AP she will introduce legislation to seek alternative methods of execution, including firing squads. Legal challenges have delayed use of lethal injection. It was filed today, in shell form. No word if beheadings will be considered.
* NEW TERMINATION LETTER IN NLR: KTHV appears to have the jump on the new termination letter from the North Little Rock School District to football coach Brad Bolding. An appeal hearings was scheduled today. It was canceled because the district wanted to send a new termination letter with expanded justification for the firing. Bolding's attorney calls it "outrageous." And old news. The letter gets specific about purchasing practices said to run counter to district rules.
Here's a bit of minor league funny business in a race for Arkansas legislature — small potatoes, but illustrative of politics in blood-red Arkansas, where faith and branding "trump" facts just about every time. /more/
The House of Representatives voted down HB 1197, the bill by Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) that would have ended the practice of sentencing minors convicted of capital murder to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The vote was 29-53 against the legislation. /more/
The Arkansas House today approved Rep. Rebecca Petty's bill to require telephone companies to provide location information for wireless phones in response to a "call for emergency services or in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm." The vote was 70-8. /more/
With all attention now focused on the high-octane and high-dollar races for statewide offices and for Arkansas's congressional seats, the battle for control of the Arkansas State House of Representatives is getting less attention than it deserves. /more/
Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, this morning made a public statement, via Twitter, that the flag burning should be disallowed by law: "there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.
Amid the climate of disbelief and fear among Democrats following Donald Trump's election, a fascinating debate has broken out about what's called "identity politics" on the left, "political correctness" by the right.
It's been awhile since Arkansas has seen legislation specifically targeting immigrants, but after the 2016 election proved the political utility of shameless xenophobia, it couldn't stay that way for long.
Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
The Arkansas State Police issued more information this morning about the officer-involved shooting in Pope County yesterday. The individual shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy was Quinton Phillips, 83, of Dover.
Last month, the Arkansas Bar Association circulated the final draft of a proposed constitutional amendment to chose members of the Arkansas Supreme Court by appointment rather than election. Now, it's hosting public forums to discuss the proposal.