It was a good week for...
THE ARKANSAS TIMES CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL. Our first celebration of suds attracted some 800 thirsty souls, who got to sample over 150 beers on a gorgeous fall night in downtown North Little Rock. Proceeds benefitted the Argenta Arts District.
It was a bad week for...
THE ARKANSAS TIMES. Our weekly deadline fell before polls were closed. Check arktimes.com for election post-mortem.
JERRY COX. After the leader of the Family Council made the specious claim that Issue 5, which would legalize the use of medical marijuana, would allow for drug vending machines that distribute medical marijuana and used a cardboard cut-out of a vending machine made by Medicine Dispensing Systems (MDS) to illustrate his point during a press conference, MDS sued Cox in federal court for defamation. The company objected to Cox characterizing its devices as "vending machines that sell marijuana without any prescription to the general public and at convenience stores." This interferes with the company's business and damages it, the lawsuit says. The suit claims defamation and also a trademark violation for using the company's trademark in an altered fashion at a news conference.
THE LITTLE ROCK POLICE DEPARTMENT. Chicago lawyer Michael Laux, who on behalf of the estate of Eugene Ellison previously sued two Little Rock police officers who killed the 67-year-old Ellison in his apartment, has filed two more federal lawsuits challenging Little Rock police actions in shooting deaths. One, filed by the estate of Landris Hawkins, contends that LRPD officers used excessive force and ignored department rules on dealing with mentally disturbed people when officers responded to a call from Hawkins' grandmother that he was threatening to cut his own throat and, later, was stabbing himself. From the porch of the residence, officers shot and killed Hawkins inside. The other suit contends that officers didn't follow proper procedure when seeking and later arresting Collin Spradling, who the lawsuit claims was targeted based on a fabricated burglary complaint. Spradling was shot by police because, they claimed, he had a gun, though three non-police witnesses said they never saw him with a gun. The lawsuit also alleges that police fraudulently concealed information.
ALSO: Michael Peterson, who was elected to the Little Rock School Board in September, died at his home. He was 63 and worked 38 years in the district, retiring in 2010 as principal of Metropolitan Career Technical Center.