The week that was, July 18-24 

It was a good week for …

A SPY IN THE SKY. The city of Lowell is installing a 24-hour surveillance camera atop a 200-foot cellular tower. City officials conceded the camera would likely catch residents in lawful, but potentially embarrassing actions from time to time. They promised employees who saw such things would be urged to keep quiet.

THE FIRST AMENDMENT. Rather than play dead before a vindictive state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen filed suit in federal court to halt a proceeding in which the commission seems bent on punishing him for speaking about a variety of issues unrelated to matters in his court.

It was a bad week for …

NORTH LITTLE ROCK. Sunday was doubly tragic. A bystander was shot to death by a man who’d just snatched a purse in the Wal-Mart parking lot on McCain Boulevard. Tulsa Drillers first-base coach Mike Coolbaugh was struck in the head and killed by a line drive foul during a game at Dickey-Stephens Park.

THE STATE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT. A 4-3 state Supreme Court ruling said e-mails on a Pulaski County government account weren’t necessarily public records. The decision will throw up another impediment to discovery of public officials’ misconduct — in this case an illicit relationship between a county financial official and a supplier of computer services.

WEST MEMPHIS POLICE. The agency dismissed any notion that others could be responsible for the 1983 slaying of three children in the West Memphis Three case, although no DNA of those convicted was found in a recent study of physical evidence. DNA was found of a stepfather of one of the children, a finding of little consequence, police said. Prosecutor Brent Davis echoed police certainty about the tissue-thin case, thereby showing that he probably is too close to the West Memphis police to investigate a recent police shooting of a 12-year-old. Special prosecutors were appointed to handle that case. He should request the same for the West Memphis Three murders.



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