It was a good week for...
REP. JEREMY GILLAM. The Judsonia Republican was elected Arkansas House Speaker-designate, thanks in part to support from some Democrats. In public statements, Gillam has seemed to aim for the relatively moderate tone (and support for the private option) of his predecessor, Davy Carter. If Democrats manage to retake control of the House, another speaker would be chosen.
ADVOCATES FOR A JACKSONVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT. The state Board of Education signed off on the proposal to allow an election to create a Jacksonville School District separate from the Pulaski County Special School District. The long-running school desegregation case, now nearing completion, had blocked the separation previously. The new district will qualify for state facility construction money. The election will be in September. The district would include Jacksonville and a section of northern Pulaski County.
It was a bad week for...
JUDGE MIKE MAGGIO. Because recusal requests have disrupted the orderly administration of justice in Maggio's court in Faulkner County, the state Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of removing his docket, assigning special judges to handle all cases pending before Maggio and any filed while the order is in effect.
STATE WORKERS. According to the Beebe administration, the legislature's recent override of Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a $5 million tax break for sand used in fracking for gas will cost state employees a 1 percent pay raise.
VALERIE BAILEY. Judge John Cole disqualified Bailey as a candidate for the 6th Circuit judgeship to which Judge Tim Fox is seeking re-election. Cole agreed with a lawsuit saying Bailey hadn't been licensed a sufficient period of time to qualify for the judgeship.
KERRY WAYNE EVANS. Evans, one of the stars of "Clash of the Ozarks," a Discovery Channel "reality" show set in Hardy that the Times featured on our cover last week, pleaded guilty to illegally possessing an unregistered machine gun. He faces 10 years of jail time and up to $250,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for June 20.
ALSO: Jack Lavey, a Little Rock labor lawyer who fought many legal battles over civil rights in Arkansas and co-founded the Arkansas chapter of American Civil Liberties Union, died on March 23. He was 81.