A possible conservation easement deal with the chairman of the Pulaski County Planning Board has angered a group of Lake Maumelle Watershed landowners, who lodged complaints about a perceived conflict of interest this afternoon at the Central Arkansas Water board meeting.
The state Ethics Commission has found probable cause that freshman Republican Rep. John Hutchison of Harrisburg violated campaign finance laws in some of the money he drew from campaign funds to pay for personal expenses during the campaign.
Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson's recent disclosure that she received a gift of a $50,000 trip to Italy last year from Fayetteville lawyer W.H. Taylor continues to stir talk that prompted me to pose a series of questions to various parties.
This train has left the station en route to passage, but gubernatorial candidate Bill Halter, who led creation of the Arkansas Lottery, says legislation to alter scholarship amounts will inevitably reduce the number going to college, the opposite of the lottery's aim.
The House Public Health Committee (John Burris, prop.) today rejected Rep. Jim Nickels' modest bill to add a week, from 25 to 26, to unemployment benefit payments.If he'd testified that there were a number of Republican doctors on unemployment, he might have done better.
Now comes extremist Republican (but I repeat myself) Rep. Randy Alexander with constitutionally flawed legislation to protect legislators like Rep. Justin Harris who want to promote religion in their state-funded daycare programs.
A new report out from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. It's a familiar story for anyone who's followed desegregation lawsuits in Pulaski County, the reports by advocates for ending corporal punishment in schools and just about any statistical measure you can find (not every district is the same, a key finding in this report):
Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their white counterparts, according to a new report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF).
Morning notes from the mail and more:
* THE GUNS AND FETUSES LEGISLATURE: The City Wire notes how Republican campaign season rhetoric that focused on the economy, jobs, taxes and such has been supplanted in the first month of the legislature with a laser-like focus on the womb and guns.
Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
Later today: A news conference related to Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, removed from a lawsuit over execution drugs and referred to a judicial disciplinary committee for taking part in a death penalty protest on the day he entered an order in the drug case.
Photos taken Thursday night by Brian Chilson and David Koon, at Cummins Prison in Grady, the State Police barricade away from the prison and in front of the Governor's Mansion, before and after the execution of Ledell Lee.