One for the our-small-state file:
About 7 a.m. this morning, about 100 people of Indian descent gathered on the steps of the Capitol for the Friends of India's annual commemoration of India's independence from Great Britain in 1947. Mayor Mark Stodola was the scheduled speaker, but he'd been delayed. Jonathan Runnells of the secretary of state's office, who'd made arrangements for the event, was on hand and felt the pain of an absent dignitary. He spotted Gov. Mike Beebe pulling into his parking space by the tunnel under the Capitol steps. He dashed over and asked Beebe to fill in.
No problem. As our reporter told it, Beebe put on his coat, strolled to the lectern and gave a warm speech about the love of one's motherland and adopted motherland. The boy from Amagon could have a future in politics, they say. A rising star. The group, said M. Manjunath, was delighted with the substitute.