by Max Brantley
It's open. Final notes:
* NEW GAMBLING WRINKLE: No sign of this in Arkansas yet, but file away this article about a new form of on-line parimutuel wagering for states where parimutuel wagering is already legal (they include Arkansas.) It's pitched as a way to provide on-line gambling, with a take for the track and, naturally, the noble horsemen. California may be on the verge of rolling it out.
* SEX, POLITICS AND A SENSE OF HUMOR: Gene Lyons trips lightly in his column this week, now on-line here.
* STATE MONEY: The state Finance and Administration Department said today it expects Arkansas to have $4.7 billion in net revenue (an amount after an off-the-top reduction for certain offices) in the year beginning July 1. That's about 3.5 percent more than this year. Gov. Beebe said yesterday he expected a possible small increase in base support for schools, but flat spending in most of the rest of state government. A third year without a pay raise isn't good, but it would be the third year without a cut in jobs, to look at it in a brighter way. Here's the full report by DF&A.
* TURK PLANT TUSSLE: The state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission will consider Friday SWEPCO's request that a stay be lifted on a wasterwater discharge permit for the Turk power plant under construction in Hempstead County The stay was issued when the Sierra Club appealed granting of the permit. SWEPCO says it will incur heavy costs if it is not allowed to make provisions to discharge wastewater at the plant, which is 80 percent complete. Until now, SWEPCO has gotten its way with every state regulator, not counting the courts.
* FRAT BOYS GONE WILD: A UCA fraternity feud apparently turned into a home break-in and bust-up in Conway, according to reports from the local proseuctor, via Fox 16.
* NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR LITTLE ROCK POLICE: Please note a variety of updates in legal events surrounding Little Rock police records on David Hudson, who beat a restaurant patron at a Halloween party then arrested him. He's used force at least three times before and a defense lawyer wants details. The city is fighting him, fighting my FOI requests and generally asserting a policy that makes it impossible for the public to see internal information about complaints of brutality by police officers. Really makes you trust them with $500 million new dollars, doesn't it? It's just wrong. As Judge Griffen wrote, there's no conceivable privacy interest for Hudson in keeping the public from knowing what his superiors determined about his use of force.