George Washington's open line

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TODAY IN HISTORY: This day in 1980 controlled explosions brought down the Grady Manning (left) and Marion hotels to make way for the Excelsior and Statehouse Convention Center. I was there. It was a cold, brilliantly clear Sunday. I believe John Brummett covered it for the Gazette.
  • Pryor Center
  • TODAY IN HISTORY: This day in 1980, controlled explosions brought down the Grady Manning (left) and Marion hotels to make way for the Excelsior and Statehouse Convention Center. I was there. It was a cold, brilliantly clear Sunday. I believe John Brummett covered it for the Gazette.

Hey, that was a good line about George Washington's picture in the British outhouse in "Lincoln." On the federal observance of his birthday, an open line. Closing out with:

* LT. GOV. MARK DARR LEANING TOWARD U.S. SENATE RUN: OK then, Mark Darr seems to indicate to City Wire he's leaning toward a race for U.S. Senate. Democrats should cheer this prospect. Go, Mark, go. On the other hand, he might run for re-election. Or he might choose to run for Congress from the 2nd or 4th District should the incumbent either place decide to run for U.S. Senate. Or, hell, he might become a fireman.

* REPRESENTATIVE TO RETURN TO WORK: I wrote a bit over the weekend about freshman Democratic Rep. Mark McElroy's leave-taking from the House after some emotional events in the House, capped by a partisan political prayer by a Republican preacher. McElroy departed after a rambling speech that included a reference to the political nature of the prayer. A news release today said:

Rep. Mark McElroy (District 11) was treated and released by physicians over the weekend after medical episode on the House floor Friday morning. Rep. McElroy said he expects to return the House floor later this week.

“I want to thank my fellow members for coming to my aid Friday morning and everyone who has sent their well wishes and concerns,” said Rep. McElroy. “Doctors have made a diagnosis for a non-life threatening condition. I truly regret the timing of the incident. However, I am now receiving proper treatment and doctors are confident this will prevent any future episodes. I look forward to returning to the House and representing the people of District 11.“

McElroy has told several colleagues about his concern for how poor people have suffered at the hands of legislative activities so far. It can wear a body down.

* TODAY'S IDIOCY: If Arkansas refuses federal money to expand Medicaid, Republican Sen. J. Hendren has an idea — the feds should return $660 million in tax money to Arkansas. No, they'll send it to New York and California instead.

LE YANG: With father before accident (top) and in hospital.
  • LE YANG: With father before accident (top) and in hospital.
* ACCOUNT OPENED FOR FAMILY OF ACCIDENT VICTIM: A neighbor writes about the establishment of a bank account for people who'd like to contribute to the well-being of the family of Jinglei Yi, the nurse who died after her vehicle slid off an icy road into a western Little Rock pond on Jan. 14. Her child, Le Yang, survived the accident but remains hospitalized and will require extensive help after he is released because of damage suffered in the accident. A fact sheet on the account says that Yi's husband Dayong Yang has been on unpaid family leave to be with his son. The mother hadn't worked long enough for her child to qualify for Social Security benefits. The account is at Bank of the Ozarks in the name of Le Yang. A donation can be made at any branch bank. Neighbor Michelle Mitchell said the neighborhood gathered $3,300 this morning.

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