Smart Talk, Aug. 13 

Deadbeat parents could lose jackpot


Oklahoma Child Support Services reported last week that, since October 2005, the Oklahoma lottery has collected almost $105,000 in past-due child support from 55 lottery winners.

State law there provides that winners of large prizes are checked for past-due payments before receiving the money.

Arkansas lottery legislation provides that “attachments, garnishments or executions” can be withheld from lottery winnings, but only “if timely served on the Arkansas Lottery Commission.”



More prime seats


When the deal was announced for a War Memorial Park land swap involving Ray Winder Field, a revised lease with the War Memorial Stadium Commission mentioned plans for construction of a new $7.5 million press box at the stadium. It is to be completed by August 2010. Commission Chairman Gary Smith said the cost would be covered by a $1.5 million general improvement allotment from Gov. Mike Beebe, a $1.5 million grant from the state Natural and Cultural Heritage Commission, a bond issue or short-term debt supported by stadium revenue (principally rent and parking fees from Razorback games) and other stadium-generated money. The new facility will include more space for visiting team officials as well as new press facilities, but (here's a moneymaker) it also will expand premium club seats for big boosters from 220 to 500.


Spud muffin


Herbivorous hunk. Tofutti cutie. That's how PETA (People for the Ethical Treament of Animals) describes Henderson State University professor and poet Marck Beggs, who is in the running for PETA's coveted “Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50” award.

Beggs, 51, author of “Catastrophic Chords” and other books of poetry, threw his non-meat-eating mug into PETA's ring and after interviews with the top dogs there was selected as one of 20 finalists for the prize. PETA's contest — previously just for celebrities — is part of a push to publicize that vegetarianism can be a lifelong choice, not just a young person's fad, and “show that you can still look like a regular person and not eat animals,” Beggs said. Beggs quit eating meat as a 15-year-old in Alaska, after he killed a rabbit on a hunting trip and regretted it.

Lydia Guevara, granddaughter of revolutionary Che Guevara, posed topless wearing a beret and a bandolier made of carrots for PETA. Beggs said he doesn't expect PETA will ask the same of him if he wins. He said he's encouraging friends (but not his students) on his facebook page to vote for him at www.petaprime.org.



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