IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
DAVID QUALLS. The 35-year-old Morrilton National Guardsman bravely signed his name to a lawsuit challenging the Army’s “stop loss” program. Qualls had signed a contract for an additional year of active duty. He’s served 17 months, mostly in Iraq. He wants out to return to his family and his job. The lawsuit will focus attention on the administration’s back-door draft.
GRANDIOSE PROMISES. The University of Arkansas was given Winrock International’s former facilities on Petit Jean Mountain and $53 million to set up a conference center and a grab bag of other programs (weekend cooking courses?). UA officials promised no state money will be required to support the operation. Ever? Not a dime for payroll? We’ll check back on that pledge in a couple of years. Did we mention that Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller (isn’t he a candidate for governor in 2006?) helped drive this gift?
SECRET GOVERNMENT. Vice President Dick Cheney flew in to Stuttgart for a duck hunt and the local newspaper was not only barred from the airport but from two miles of airport access road when he arrived.
PROSECUTOR LARRY JEGLEY. His call for outgoing County Clerk Carolyn Staley’s instant resignation prompted her to rethink her refusal to meet with successor Pat O’Brien. She invited O’Brien in for a session on transition.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
The NURSING HOME INDUSTRY. They say there are no bad nursing homes. So how do they characterize the Little Rock “home” reported by state regulators for a profusely bleeding patient, a couple of poorly treated injured patients and rampant urinary tract infections? Another example of why Attorney General Mike Beebe had no cause to apologize for saying there are bad nursing homes.
ST. FRANCIS HOUSE. The long-time mission to the homeless will lose a $100,000 grant from the city to operate its shelter at Capitol and Scott. It apparently was far too successful in attracting people who need help. The homeless caused discomfort for neighbors. The city will look for another place for a homeless center it can support.
What with the big, clear-the-decks Road Trip issue last week — which we're sure you stuffed immediately in your motorcar's glove box, turtle hull or catchall, for when you get a hankerin' to gallivant — The Observer has had two glorious weeks to Observe since the last time we conversed.