Let's play Powerball! | Arkansas Blog

Let's play Powerball!



The governor signed the lottery legislation today.

We'll be scratching and losing by the end of the year if legislators have their way.

First appointments came today to the nine-member group that will oversee (unpaid) the lottery operation.

Senate President Pro Tem Bob Johnson is first up with his three appointees -- former U.S. Rep., Supreme Court Justice, college chief, law school faculty, etc. Ray Thornton, Patty Shipp of Morrilton and Derrick Smith, a lawyer at Little Rock's Mitchell firm. If you're demographically oriented, you have a senior, a woman and an African-American.

The governor and House speaker will appoint three each, as well, and they'll pick the hired director of the new enterprise.


Senator Bob Johnson of Bigelow, President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas Senate, has announced three appointments to the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Commission.  The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act was signed today by Governor Beebe and carried an emergency clause, taking effect immediately. 
Under provisions of the Act, there will be nine Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Commissioners, three appointed by the Governor, three by the Speaker of the House, and three by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.  For these initial appointments, each appointing authority must specify terms of two, four, and six years for their three appointees.  Once these terms expire, Commissioners will be appointed for six-year terms.
Those named today by Senator Johnson and their terms of office:  Ray Thornton, six years; Patty L. Shipp, four years; Derrick W. Smith, two years.  Their biographical information is attached.

Ray Thornton
Ray Thornton has served since 2005 as the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law Public Service Fellow.  He was an Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court from 1997 to 2004.  Before his election to the Court, Thornton served as Arkansas’s Second District Congressman for six years.  He has also served as President of the University of Arkansas System, President of Arkansas State University, Arkansas’s Fourth District Congressman, and Arkansas's Attorney General.  From 1956 to 1970, he engaged in the private practice of law.
Thornton holds a bachelor's degree from Yale University, a J.D. from the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, and honorary degrees from the College of the Ozarks and Harding University.
Thornton has been a member of the Committee on Government/Industry Cooperation in Biomedical Research of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  He served both as Chairman of the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as Chairman of the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee.  He also chaired the state Board of Law Examiners, served as a corporate officer in a number of business enterprises, and represented clients in matters relating to finance, government regulation, antitrust litigation, utility litigation, and patenting and licensing.
Thornton is the author of a number of publications, including a chapter in Recombinant DNA and Genetic Experimentation and the book A. J. Stephens: As Remembered by His Family, a tribute to his grandfather.  He received the 1979 Winthrop Rockefeller Award for Contributions to Human Services in Arkansas and the National Humanitarian Award from the Arkansas Council of the NCCJ in 1986.  He served in the U. S. Navy for three years, including combat duty during the Korean War. He and his wife Betty Jo have been married for fifty-two years.
Patty Lynn Shipp
Patty L. Shipp of Morrilton, with her husband Kenny, has been a small business owner since 1979.  The two have owned and operated retail businesses including a clothing store and a convenience store.  In 1985, the couple moved from retail to wholesale business, purchasing Hightower Oil & Petroleum, Inc., in Plumerville.  Hightower, Inc., is a distributor of fuel and lubricants to retail, wholesale, industrial and trucking operations.  Ms. Shipp serves as the company's Chief Financial Officer.
Ms. Shipp, a native of Morrilton, received an associate's degree in automated office management at the University of Central Arkansas and a bachelor's degree in organizational management at Central Baptist College.  She continues to take courses in technology and computer information at UA/Morrilton and holds a CompTIA A+ Professional Certification. 
In addition to her extensive business experience, Ms. Shipp is active in education and public service.  She was a member of the local school board for five years and continues her 12-year service on the South Conway County Public School Foundation, an organization that raises money to implement technology in the schools.  She is on the Steering Committee of Conway County School Counts!, a grassroots effort to fund tuition assistance to local students attending UA/Morrilton. 
Her volunteer service includes the following:  Saint Anthony's Hospital Governing Board, Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Child Development Board of Directors, Morrilton Parks and Recreation Commission, Conway County Community Fund Board of Directors, multiple offices including presidency of the school district's PTA, service positions at the Morrilton First Baptist Church, and Pure Joy International Retreat Ministry board of directors and financial and technical administrator.
Derrick W. Smith
Derrick W. Smith is a partner in the Mitchell Williams law firm of Little Rock, Rogers and Austin.   His practice focuses on insurance corporate and regulatory law, appellate practice, and administrative law.  He received a bachelor's degree with distinction from Hendrix College and a J.D. with honors from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law and was admitted to practice in Arkansas in 2000.  He since has been admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and before the United States Supreme Court. 
Smith is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association, and the Pulaski County Bar Association.  He is author of several published works, including a chapter in the American Bar Association publication Superseding and Staying Judgments. 
He is a member of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and serves on the  boards of City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock and Just Communities of Central Arkansas.  Smith also is a past president of the Hendrix College Alumni Association Board of Governors. 
Prior to joining the Mitchell firm, Smith clerked for the Honorable Olly Neal on the Arkansas Court of Appeals.  During law school, Smith was a Bowen Scholar and was elected to lead the student body as President of the Student Bar Association. 
He is married to Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, M.D., who practices in radiology at the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital.  He grew up in Lee County in the Arkansas Delta

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