Under the lights this Friday | Arkansas Blog

Friday, June 10, 2011

Under the lights this Friday

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 4:30 PM

BEARLY VISIBLE: On Pleasant Ridge
  • BEARLY VISIBLE: On Pleasant Ridge
The line is open. Maybe if you wander out to this parking lot in the 11600 block of Pleasant Ridge Road tonight you'll encounter this critter spotted last night near a dumpster. Thanks to Matt Coffield for sending Scott Rypkema's photo. The Game and Fish Commission has received several reports of a bear on the urban fringes, which might make it a candidate for relocation.

Or maybe, the visitor was just confused, and thought that patio at Bar Louis next door was a Bear Garden. Heh.


* ARE YOU LEGAL?: A question arose earlier today on the thread about Amazon ending affiliate programs in Arkansas because of the new law requiring on-line retail affiliates to remit the state sales tax on purchases. A reader reminded us that, in theory, Arkies are supposed to pay a voluntary use tax equal to the sales tax when they purchase something from out of state. If you incur less than $25 in taxes in a month, you may pay once yearly on your state income tax form. And how many thoroughly honest people are there? It's hard to quantify, says Finance Director Richard Weiss. But he said his staff estimates 500 to 1,000 people a year voluntarily report a use tax amount owed on their tax forms each year. Some are small businesses that are more observant of tax rules than, say, individuals. It is safe to say far more sales go untaxed than taxed.

* MORGAN NICK REMEMBERED: The family held a ceremony today for Morgan Nick, the six-year-old who disappeared from Alma 16 years ago. The family is hopeful this could be the year that answers might come. Some cold-case detectives are poring over the case file in hopes of reaching a conclusion.

* PULASKI SCHOOL EMERGENCY: The Pulaski County School Board has a meeting Tuesday, but it has also scheduled an "emergency" meeting Monday for an executive session, subject of that session not identified. Superintendent Charles Hopson told me today he expected the investigation of Mills High Principal Michael Nellums to reach a conclusion next week. The investigators will complete a report and make a recommendation to him. He'll then suggest a course of action that might require School Board action. Just a guess on a possible topic for that special personnel session. Nellums was suspended for his reported role in what the prosecutor said was a plot to discredit School Board member Gwen Williams. Board member Tim Clark will presumably have the good taste to absent himself should this be the subject of executive session discussion, since he was in cahoots with Nellums on the scheme.

*ERNIE P. TO THE VIDEO POKER LOBBY?: The South Carolina-based political blog Fits News reports that a future lobbying job might be in the works for Arkansas Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue. A quick look at the blog gives the impression that at least a few South Carolinians are glad to be rid of Ernie P. According to the post:

Sources tell FITS Passailaigue is being tapped to run a lobbying effort aimed at bringing video poker back to South Carolina. We’re also told his wife is sick of Arkansas. Frankly, we’re sick of him … and we think taxpayers in a couple of states would agree with that assessment.

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