Open line — plus bank fraud, protests, goose hunts UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Open line — plus bank fraud, protests, goose hunts UPDATE

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UPDATE: Several more headlines in breaking news inserted below since my original post.

The line is open. Last words:

* 10 YEARS FOR BANK FRAUD: Kevin Lewis, the Little Rock lawyer who swindled several banks of nearly $50 million through fake improvement district bond issues, was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison today by federal Judge Jim Moody. He'd pleaded guilty earlier to one count of bank fraud. He's agreed to $33.8 million in restitution, though it's unclear what ability he has to make that restitution. He's given up some assets already, but well short of full restitution. U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer earlier had called this a Ponzi scheme and the biggest bank fraud in Arkansas history. He reports to prison Feb. 7. He'll have three years of supervised release.

* CONVICTIONS IN ARMED CAR ROBBERY: A federal jury today convicted all three defendants, including a former Little Rock cop and former VA cop, of plotting an armored car robbery. (Hmmm. Wonder if LRPD would let us see the police investigation of the cop?) Three others had pleaded guilty previously. The three were taken into custody pending sentencing.

* COURT EMPLOYEES MAY BE FURLOUGHED: Roby Brock reports that continuing shortfalls in revenue in the fund that pays 120 to 130 trial court assistants around the state has prompted a notice that these employees may have to be furloughed for almost four days without pay in January unless some other solution can be found. (Makes no since for a sliver of state employees to be funded separately, seems to me. If some should suffer; all should suffer. A shortfall of this size spread over the state workforce would be pennies, if anything.)

* $2.7 MILLION SETTLEMENT IN HOSPICE FRAUD: The U.S. attorney's office today announced a $2.7 million settlement with Hospice Home Care over allegations that it had billed Medicare for acute care for hospice patients who only had rouine care — $500 a day versus about $115 a day for routine care.

* PEACEFUL PROTEST: Some crackpot religious nut protestors from Texas turned up at Central High Thursday morning with signs targeting abortion and gay people. Students didn't like it much. They staged a peaceful counter-protest against hate this morning. Facebook has some details. Good kids.

* BACK TO WORK: Sebastian County circuit judges have signed an order requiring Circuit Clerk Ken Blevins to put two assistants back to work. He'd fired them after they accused him of sexual harassment.

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* THE DOGTOWN GOOSE HUNT: NLR moves ahead with plans for its two-day goose slaughter in Burns Park, though opponents of the hunt continue to fight the good fight on a Save the Burns Park Geese Facebook page that is drawing heavy trolling from the blunderbuss set. As yet, no proof has emerged that anybody or any food bank wants any part of the goose meat to be produced by this so-called "hunt" of partially domesticated waterfowl. But proof of, well, something, about those hungering to unload on the flock has emerged. For example, from one:

So tuff. All this talk and no action. I kill my fair share of birds elsewhere. Im just doing this to PISS YOU OFF. I could care less about these geese. Poison them, drown them, shoot them, run them over, i don't care. I would love to see your face there so why don't you hop on a goose an bring your fat ass to the party and TRY and stop me. GOOD LUCK. Ill still be killing geese when this page is LONG gone. Put that in your pipe and smoke it you uneducated dumb ass.

Feel safe with this bozo toting a loaded gun in city limits?

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