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Feb. 11-17, 2009 

Feb. 11-17, 2009

 

It was a good week for …

 

ARKANSAS. The Obama stimulus package should pump $4 billion into Arkansas.

 

HEALTH. The legislature completed action on an $88 million tobacco tax increase that, with federal matches, will produce $175 million for a long list of health programs.

 

It was a bad week for …

 

HISTORIC PRESERVATION. A demolition permit was obtained by a company controlled by financier Warren Stephens for buildings, including the neo-classic former Kempner's store. He believes they are beyond saving.

 

LITTLE ROCK CITY GOVERNMENT. A legal opinion disqualified all the proposals for redeveloping the old Ray Winder Field in War Memorial Park. The process will start over, this time before a split City Board.

 

LITTLE ROCK CITY MANAGER BRUCE MOORE. He gave city employees who wore red on the American Heart Association's Wear Red Day a half-day of paid vacation. A very slippery slope.

 

NORTH LITTLE ROCK MAYOR PAT HAYS. The Democrat-Gazette gave attention this week to a long-standing complaint from local bloggers. The mayor doesn't seek general applications for slots on city boards and commissions. He does all the picking, mostly in secret, until shortly before his picks go to the City Council for approval. And he's often tardy in filling expired seats. Hays said  he had no interest in changing to a more inclusive process.

 

PULASKI COUNTY JPS. Several members of the Quorum Court begin whining about their need for a 3 percent pay bonus, though they've received 8 percent in raises and bonuses in the last few months.

 

U.S. SEN. MARK PRYOR. A Republican administration holdover is preventing implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, Pryor's signature achievement as a senator.

 

ARKANSAS BASKETBALL. Another home game, another loss for the men's team, this one to Kentucky by 16. The permanent loss of Marcus Monk because of NCAA questions didn't help.

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