The Monday open line; news video, and a runner's death in Fort Smith | Arkansas Blog

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Monday open line; news video, and a runner's death in Fort Smith

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 4:18 PM

Here's the open line and today's video roundup. Also:

click to enlarge IN CUSTODY: John Suleski.
  • IN CUSTODY: John Suleski.
* DEATH IN FORT SMITH: KATV provides this unusual crime report. John Suleski, 24, a staff sergeant with the 118th Wing of the Air National Guard and photojournalist in the unit's public affairs office, has been charged in the shooting death of Brent Morrison, 44, on Wells Lake Road about 7 a.m. Saturday. Morrison was out running. He was shot in the torso. Authorities said Suleski, who was arrested at the scene, did not know Morrison.

"It's very difficult to understand how or why this happened. I think the victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And suspect also — wrong place, wrong time," Cpl. Barbara Williams said.

* SPECIAL PROSECUTOR IN J.B. HUNT JR. CASE: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports a special ;prosecutor is considering whether to bring a charge against J.B. Hunt Jr., 57, who allegedly assaulted h a man he'd pursued after the man reportedly hit Hunt's Cadillac Escalade then failed to stop. In the other corner of this fracas in Rogers, Ark., is one Omar Salinas.

* VENDETTA AGAINST MUNICIPAL LEAGUE FAILS AT A.G.'S OFFICE: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said today she couldn't give a solid answer to Sen. Bill Sample's question of whether the Arkansas Municipal League is a "state agency." It lobbies and provides services for city government.

Said Rutledge:

I am unable to answer this question in the abstract. The term "state agency" is defined by statute for various purposes. As a general matter, it is probably accurate to say the Municipal League does not readily fit within the term "state agency," as that term is commonly statutorily defined. But without knowing the context of, or the purpose for, the inquiry, I cannot undertake any meaningful analysis of the question whether the League can be classified or identified as a "state agency."

Sample has called for a special audit of the Municipal League, which gets most of its money from programs such as its insurance program and a small amount from city dues. It is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Sample also tried to knock employees out of the state retirement system. All this because he didn't get the support from the league he wanted on some pet issues, particularly his desire to gut zoning laws. He also had quarrels with the county lobby association. It hired a Republican as lobbyist, which might help.

* LIBRARY ELECTION: The early voting for a special library tax election in Little Rock closed today with a whopping 395 voters, including my FOR vote. That's the idea of course. Low profile. No signs. No ads. Outreach to known supporters.

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