Favorite

Closed doors at the secretary of state 

Also, exposed in Pine Bluff, a tragedy in Sebastian County and more.

week_that_was1-1-d847fc53ce430f27.jpg

Quote of the Week:

"What you just said was the most despicable thing I've heard in a long time from a lawyer."

— U.S. District Judge Brian Miller to Luther Sutter after the plaintiff's attorney implied the chest pains suffered by defendant Jim Harris had been faked. Harris, the chief deputy to state Treasurer Dennis Milligan, was taken from the courtroom last Thursday by paramedics, upon which Sutter told the judge, "I can personally guarantee you that Mr. Harris is going to have a clean bill of health tomorrow." Sutter represents David Singer, a former employee of the treasurer's office who alleges defamation and discrimination on the part of Harris and Milligan after his firing. Judge Miller declared a mistrial the next day, agreeing that the medical episode engendered sympathy among jurors for Harris.

Closed doors

Finally. Secretary of State Mark Martin's office sent a follow-up letter to county clerks last week "strongly recommend[ing]" that local officials not remove people from voter rolls on the basis of a flawed batch of felon data sent by the secretary of state in June. It also strongly recommended clerks "roll back" the removal of voters if they had not double-checked the list using other sources of information. Though the secretary of state's office notified clerks of the error in early July, many were confused about how to proceed. Previously, a spokesperson for Martin's office declined to offer clear guidance about correcting the error, saying it was "the clerks' prerogative about how they want to handle these things" — even though evidence indicated a majority of names on the list were indeed eligible voters. The secretary of state's office also attempted to dodge formal Freedom of Information Act requests from this newspaper and others, until the attorney general's office advised it to relent last week. Meanwhile, Martin himself is, as usual, MIA.

click to enlarge week_that_was1-2-0d77f9f3d4e0f2e5.jpg

Exposed

The New York Times reported on Arkansas Community Correction's "Mulligan Road" program in Pine Bluff, in which prison inmates and parolees were put to work demolishing abandoned homes in the city. Due to budget constraints, the 30 or so participants in the program were given little training and inadequate protective equipment to shield them from asbestos inhalation. (Asbestos exposure can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma.) Some inmates told the New York Times that when they asked for respirators — which are standard issue for such demolition work — they were told the gear was too costly. After the federal Environmental Protection Agency sent inspectors to the site in May, the EPA cited multiple health and safety violations and ACC shut down the program. ACC defended the program in a letter to the EPA that said the federal regulatory agency had "failed to communicate" its rules regarding worker safety.

Tragedy in Sebastian County

Two law enforcement officers were shot, one fatally, in the line of duty last week during a confrontation south of Fort Smith with a Greenwood man. Bill Cooper, 66, a deputy sheriff and Marine veteran, died of his wounds later that day; Hackett Police Chief Darrell Spells suffered non-life-threatening injuries. (A police dog was also shot and went missing but was later recovered alive.) A sheriff's spokesman said the officers had initially gone to the home of the suspect, Billy Jones, in response to a call from Jones' father to check on his son, who was due in court later that day on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Rescue down under

In Independence County, three Arkansas State University students were rescued from a cavern after being lost for 30 hours. Casey Sherwood, a senior and amateur spelunker from Jonesboro, led two freshmen from Japan, Daisuke Takagi and Daiki Itoh, on the expedition to Blowing Cave. Sherwood's wife initiated the emergency response when the party failed to return home by the expected time.

Better luck in 2020

Champion Razorback pole vaulter Lexi Weeks fell just a little short at the Rio Olympics this week in the qualifying round. The 19-year-old Cabot native and 2015 Arkansas Times Academic All-Star needed to top 4.55 meters (about 15 feet) in order to make it to the women's pole vault finals. University of Arkansas alum Sandi Morris did qualify for the final competition, however, which is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 19.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in The Week That Was

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation