No dice on Lockheed 


Quote of the Week:

"I'm proud to be standing with this poor woman here at this dark hour. ... She really is gullible. She really is naive."

— Chuck Banks, attorney for Martha Shoffner, at last week's sentencing of the former state treasurer for accepting bribes while in office. Banks said Shoffner, a Democrat, "made a terrible, terrible error in judgment," but asked U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes to depart from federal sentencing guidelines that recommended 151 to 180 months in prison. The judge did so, sentencing the 71-year-old Shoffner to 30 months.

Plenty of hope, not much action

Gov. Asa Hutchinson held his much-touted "Restore Hope Summit" last week, a two-day convention of some 600 Arkansas religious leaders intended to address two slow-boil crises facing the state: an overloaded foster care system and an overcrowded prison system.

Hutchinson said he'd ask the legislature to devote $1 million in rainy day money to the Department of Human Services to hire 40 new child welfare caseworkers — a small step but a good one. Other than that, unfortunately, the "summit" was more pep rally than policy forum. The assembled pastors, ministers, priests and others were urged to recruit more foster parents from their congregations and asked to write a letter to themselves setting goals for the future. That's all fine, but as of July the state had almost 2,000 more kids in DHS custody than it had foster beds. This is a solution?'

Doctored dissertation

Former Little Rock School District Superintendent Dexter Suggs has lost his doctoral degree from Indiana Wesleyan University, the chief academic officer at the university confirmed this week. The change is presumably because of allegations that Suggs plagiarized his dissertation, though the official said he couldn't comment further due to privacy laws.

Suggs left the LRSD in April after the likely plagiarism was discovered, and his severance agreement allowed for the district to stop payments in the event Suggs' doctorate was indeed revoked. The district said in a statement Monday, "Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement and Release, LRSD is not obligated to make any further payments to Mr. Suggs." Yes, that's right: "Mr."

Hog farms Buffaloed

The Buffalo National River scored a victory last week when the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission approved regulations that prohibit new medium-to-large-scale hog farms in the river's watershed for the next five years. The rules won't affect the permit held by C&H, the hog facility near Mt. Judea that first sparked the controversy.


No dice on Lockheed

Despite a commitment from the state of Arkansas of about $100 million to subsidize the project, Lockheed Martin's bid to net a Pentagon contract to build the next generation of tactical vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps failed. The vehicles — intended to be the successor to the Humvee — were to be built at Lockheed's existing facility in Camden. The $6.75 billion contract instead went to Oshkosh Defense of Wisconsin.

click to enlarge week_that_was1-3-24106d4c65a4ab21.jpg

Give it another generation

At an Arkansas Federation of Young Republicans convention last weekend, some members pushed for a resolution meant to encourage the state GOP to remove opposition to same-sex marriage from its party platform. Will Hansen, chairman of the Washington County Young Republicans, noted that 58 percent of Republican millennials support marriage equality and said that "by taking this off of the table ... we can kind of quit talking about [it]."

Hard-right Republican legislators sent a clear message to the younger generation: Get with the anti-gay program or get out. After the AFYR ended up tabling the resolution without a vote, the ever-vigilant Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) tweeted triumphantly, "Those who don't support the @ARGOP platform should resign GOP positions for failing to support our principles."

Open that window

Under pressure from the federal government, the state of Arkansas finally relented last week on the unreasonably short window of time it's been giving Medicaid beneficiaries to respond to a letter requesting income eligibility verification.

The state had been giving people only 10 days to respond; the feds said Arkansas has to allow a window of at least 30 days to comply with federal law. OK, OK, said DHS, we'll do 30 days from here on out. But tens of thousands of eligible Arkansans who've already lost coverage this summer (in part because of that 10-day window) remain uninsured.



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

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    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.
  • Trump proposes an unconstitutional ban on flag burning, revoking citizenship

    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!"
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    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.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    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.

Latest in The Week That Was

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Event Calendar

« »


  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

  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • Thank you, Ruth! Thank you.

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Art in America

    • I have being hearing about this blank ATM card for a while and i never…

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Asa and Trump

    • I have being hearing about this blank ATM card for a while and i never…

    • on December 2, 2016

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