Good week: Legislature 

April 13-19, 2011

It was a good week for ...

The LEGISLATURE. It completed work on congressional redistricting and went home.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK. Diamond Bear Brewery has decided to build an expanded brewery with restaurant and taproom and a riverfront deck on the north shore, leaving its Little Rock home.

U.S. REP. MIKE ROSS. The only Democrat in the House from Arkansas acted like a Democrat for a change and opposed the Republican budget plan to destroy Medicare and give a giant tax break to the rich. Republican Reps. Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford and Steve Womack voted for the soak-the-poor budget.

DR. CARL JOHNSON. The new chair of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees vowed an open process for selection of a new UA System president. Until now, the process has been run in secret to protect identities of potential applicants.

The ARKANSAS SUPREME COURT. It rapped Circuit Judge Philip Shirron for taking custody of a child from its mother because she was an illegal immigrant (issuing an anti-immigrant screed while he was at it). The father knew her immigration status at the time he agreed to give her custody. He wanted a change in custody because the mother had sought an increase in child support.

It was a bad week for ...

WEATHER. Freakish winds and tornados ripped Arkansas April 15, leaving 7 dead and hundreds of trees down on houses, cars, power lines and streets.

SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN. His executive assistant, Teresa Belew, abruptly quit. She said she couldn't go along with the office's failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act in dealing with requests for information from the Arkansas Times.

COMMUTERS. Fuel prices kept going up, topping $4 for premium at some Arkansas pumps.


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