RETIREMENT. U.S. Rep. Marion Berry, 67, said he his health wasn't up to a run for re-election this year.
MOVING UP. At press time, U.S. Rep. John Boozman, a Republican, was considering entering the nine-man GOP primary race to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
POLITICAL SPECULATION. Two congressmen will retire. Another may seek to move up. This set off a wild game of political musical chairs that won't finally be finished until March filing.
The ARKANSAS SUPREME COURT. It was a messy case with racial overtones, but the court did its duty. It resoundingly affirmed the finding of multiple ethical violations by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and ordered the immediate removal of Circuit Judge Willard Proctor. His professed good intentions were not enough to overcome manifest bad judgment.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
DEMOCRACY. The U.S. Supreme Court sneered at precedent and went to legislating. It opened the door to unlimited corporate spending on political races.
SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. People in her own party were circulating word that perhaps it would be better if she simply dropped her re-election bid. She won't. With $5 million in the bank and plenty of gumption, Lincoln will soldier on. Against the right opponent, she'll win.
MATT MOSLER. The Channel 4 announcer got his tongue twisted and, on the civil rights' leaders birthday, wished everyone a happy Martin Luther Coon Day. He apologized for the slip the next day.
PHIL MASK. The former Saline County sheriff sued an oil company that he said promised him a return of $3,000 to $4,000 a month on a $25,000 investment that is now apparently – surprise! – worthless. If a deal sounds too good to be true, Phil, etc.
WORKING FOLKS. The unemployment rate in Arkansas hit 7.7 percent in December, a 22-year high.
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.
The Observer will be moving soon. Not out of The Observatory, thank God, as we're sure it will take the wagon from the 20 Mule Team Borax box to get us away from there after 14 years of accumulation, plus a team of seasoned Aussie wildlife wranglers to herd our pair of surly wildcats into a crate. No, just out of the office we've been in at the Fortress of Employment for going on five years, which is bad enough. We're moving to the other side of the building here in a few months.