IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
The LITTLE ROCK NINE. The black students who Gov. Orval E. Faubus tried to keep out of Central High School in 1957 assembled in Little Rock for double honors — a U.S. postage stamp and an installation of sculptures of the students on the lawn of the Capitol.
FORT SMITH. The city lost an Air Guard fighter wing as expected, but, in a big surprise, the Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to replace them with A-10 Warthogs. Little Rock Air Force Base lost no missions, but its expectations for a big gain apparently weren’t realized.
GAMBLING. The Oaklawn and Southland racetracks scheduled Nov. 8 elections in Hot Springs and West Memphis, respectively, on expanding machine gambling at the tracks. This likely will mean video poker and similar games that offer faster play and a quicker profit — the law requires only an 83 percent payoff to gamblers. On average, in other words, somebody has got to lose and the house has got to win these “games of skill.”
PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS. Gov. Mike Huckabee spent a whirlwind day in New Hampshire — his entourage included a pollster and a PR flack — softening up the early primary state for a 2008 presidential run. Who’s paying for this political travel? He, uh, wasn’t sure. Yeah, right. There’s no question about who’s paying for the state’s national advertising campaign featuring the Huckster — J.Q. Public.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
The STATE LEGISLATURE. The special masters in the school finance case may yet let them off the hook, but the weight of the testimony makes it difficult for lawmakers to argue that they did enough to provide the Constitution’s mandate of an adequate education for ALL Arkansas students.
GOOD HEALTH. School districts are already looking for ways around new rules somewhat limiting sale of soft drinks and candy in schools.
DRIVERS. Thanks to a price spike from Hurricane Katrina’s temporary disabling of Gulf oil supplies, $3 gas seemed likely to arrive in Arkansas.
Ted Suhl was sentenced this morning by federal Judge Billy Roy Wilson on four counts of attempting to bribe a state official to help his mental health business supported by Medicaid money. He received 84 months and a $200,000 fine and is to report to prison in early January. He will appeal.
Blogger Russ Racop raises an interesting question, as he sometimes does, about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' gift of free tickets for North Little Rock cops to attend a Dallas Cowboy football game.
Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.