JUDGE MELINDA GILBERT DIES: Pulaski Circuit Judge Melinda Gilbert, in her first term as a judge in juvenile court, died today after an extended illness.
She was elected to the bench in 2008 after 20 years in private practice.
I'll pass along arrangement information when I have it.
* THANK YOU OBAMACARE: Some 600,000 young adults have been added to their parents' health insurance coverage thanks to the welcome changes brought by health care reform legislation. Still want to kill it, Arkansas congressmen?
* VIDEO ALERT: The Koch-funded lobby group, Americans for Prosperity, is linking up with Radio K-NUT (also known as KARN) to bring Andrew Breitbart to town for a talk May 25. Breitbart is the master of selectively edited undercover video to be employed in misleading fashion (think the Acorn hit job) to advance right-wing causes. Bring your own camera. Edit Breitbart.
* MILLIONAIRE: The Arkansas Lottery has started a new $20 ticket game, Diamond Dazzler, with instant winners up to $1 million. There was a million-dollar winner announced the first day, a 1-in-750,000 score, sold at the Tobacco Superstore in Newport. Taxes will take a third of it, or thereabouts.
* BURNED: A Rogers Fire Department battalion chief was burned in a fire at his own home Tuesday.
* COPY MACHINE BLUES: One of our community tipsters reports seeing someone driving a vehicle with a secretary of state license plate stopping at a UPS store and paying for copies of documents on state of Arkansas stationery. Funny. As our Insider notes this week, copying charges have been kind of a hot topic for Secretary of State Mark Martin. Maybe UPS is cheaper. Or maybe this is some political copying work and thus couldn't be done on the office copier. But — if that's so — why would it would be done by someone using a state car during the state workday? Lots of questions; no answers. Ms. Stewart, if you're reading and have an explanation, that number is 375-2985.
* WALK THE WALK, RICK CRAWFORD. Blue Arkansas confirms that U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford signed up for the swell taxpayer-financed congressional health insurance while voting to eviscerate everyone else's health safety net. Don't let Rick Crawford tell you his sweet plan is just like that the Republicans want to foist on the rest of us. That's a lie.