The line is open | Arkansas Blog

The line is open



Hump day comments welcome. Final notes:

* OBIT PROTEST: A demonstration is planned Thursday in Batesville by a gay rights group to object to the local newspaper's policy of not including the name of unmarried partners — gay or straight — in free obituaries. The paper will carry partners' names in paid obituaries.

* HOSPICE FOUNDER DIES: Here's an obituary notice for Michael Aureli, founder of the Arkansas Hospice, who died at 61 of cancer under care of the organization he started.

* LOVE THOSE BRITISH TABLOIDS: For stories like this one:

He's made his name with a controversial show that catches would-be internet sex perverts in televised stings. But now Chris Hansen has found himself on the receiving end of his own hidden camera tactics, after the married NBC anchor was secretly filmed on an illicit date with a blonde television reporter 20 years his junior.

* NEWS UPDATE: Andrew Bagley's Inside Scoop blog in Helena-West Helena has news about the reconstruction of the local school district, now under state control. The trustees have rescinded a bunch of RIF orders. Looks like the ousted superintendent didn't pay much attention to the law. (This is the superintendent whose prior friendship with federal Judge Brian Miller apparently contributed to his decision to jump off the Pulaski deseg case, not a moment too soon.) Key graphs from letter to school employees:

Arkansas Department of Education employees have spent the last week closely examining the RIF process. They have determined the RIF actions taken by the former superintendent and Board were not consistent with law nor with the District's policies. It is not fair to the students and employees of the District to leave the prior RIF decisions in place.

Therefore, effective immediately, we are rescinding all prior RIF actions taken by the District. No later than July 15, the District will implement a targeted Reduction in Force (RIF) that is fully consistent with state law and with the District's policies. Because of resignations and retirements that have already been finalized, it is our hope this targeted RIF will be less severe and less widespread than the prior RIF.

Maybe Helena could make some money by making the Walton-backed KIPP school pay for use of Helena-West Helena athletic facilities instead of letting them use them for free, as the ousted superintendent and school board (including Judge Miller's brother) let them do.

Do you ever get the feeling in Arkansas that the fix is just about always in?

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