Motorists on Colonel Glenn Road may have noticed that the sign in front of the Pulaski County Humane Society is covered with a large tarp. That’s because the Osborne Family name, which has graced the sign since Little Rock philanthropist Jennings Osborne made a 2002 donation of $150,000 — and a promise of $300,000 more — is being removed.
Shelter director Kay Jordan said that while the initial $150,000 donation was “a godsend,” they haven’t heard from Osborne regarding the rest of the pledge, despite repeated attempts to reach him. Therefore, Jordan said, they’ve decided to remove Osborne’s name from the sign. “We just figure that’s the end of that and we’re going to try to find a new sponsor,” she said.
Home away from home
If you peruse the “Top Six” weekly real estate transactions in the Dem-Gaz High Profile section, you may have noticed last week that two of the six were condominiums in the recently completed First Security building in Little Rock’s River Market district.
One of them, Unit 1108, sold for $345,758 to Jeanne and James L. Wyatt. The latter is better known as Les Wyatt, the president of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
He assures us that the purchase was purely a personal investment, involving no money from the college. It’s no indication of ASU plans to branch into the capital, just a second home for periodic visits sold by old friend Jimmy Moses, he says.
The other side
You’ve perhaps heard about the oral histories of the defunct Arkansas Gazette that are compiled at the University of Arkansas and available online at the UA library.
A companion project is in the works. Walter Hussman, publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (the product of the Arkansas Democrat’s victory over the Gazette in the newspaper war that ended in 1991), apparently has indicated interest in an oral history project from the Arkansas Democrat’s perspective. It could be expected to offer a much different take on the war than views provided by former Gazette employees, though interviews won’t be limited to those years. (Hussman also was interviewed for the Gazette project.) A former Democrat managing editor, Jerry McConnell, is expected to oversee the project. Presumably Hussman would provide financial support.
On the Clinton beat
As we’ve reported on the Arkansas Blog, the Clinton Presidential Center has been a boon to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, with all the new opportunities to work out on that ol’ debbil Clinton.
In the works at the D-G, as indicated by an e-mail reporter Andrew DeMillo has sent to historians: an assessment of the library’s exhibit on impeachment, which is portrayed by Clinton as the result of a partisan witch hunt. Says DeMillo’s note to one historian: “I’m asking historians what they think about the text from the exhibit in terms of its accuracy and tone.” Hmmm. Do you think maybe somebody at the newspaper has some preconceived ideas on this?
We hope DeMillo asks the historians to compare and contrast with the Reagan library’s take on Iran-Contra.
Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.