by Max Brantley
The night line is open. Close-outs:
* MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: Tour guide throws message in a bottle off a cruise ship. Five years later, it's found in the Bahamas. Finders: Some vacationers from Little Rock, Ark.
* MORE SANYO JOBS LEAVING FORREST CITY: Forrest City Times Herald reports the loss of more jobs at the Sanyo plant, once a major industrial site for the area. Sounds like the end of anything resembling product. Only 75 workers remain there; it's not clear how many will remain after the next transition March 31. Some call center, sales and customer assistance jobs will remain.
* SEARS SPARES ARKANSAS: So far, no Arkansas stores are on the list of those Sears and Kmart stores scheduled for closing by Sears Holding after a dismal holiday sales season.
* HOW REPUBLICANS KILLED A PIPELINE: What you'll read here is that builders of the proposed Keystone pipeline are now working with Nebraska (Republican) officials to find an environmentally safe route for the line through the state to avoid sensitive aquifers. What you won't see there is what Ernie Dumas wrote previously. Republican insistence on putting President Obama on a short deadline to approve this pipeline guaranteed that it wouldn't receive approval. Thanks Rep. Tim Griffin for your demagoguery and dishonesty on this issue. As the linked story says, the new route is not developed and, when it is, it will take months of review.
* POLICE RECORDS: Note that I've updated my earlier item on the police shooting at Park Plaza with the LRPD's compilation of past uses of force by the officer who shot a man at the wheel of a car in the parking deck. The officer said the car appeared to be backing up in a way threatening to him and others. The records provided me show no previous use of a firearm by Officer Chris Johannes, though dozens of self-reported uses of physical force and some of pepper spray to subdue resisting suspects, primarily in drunk and domestic disturbance calls. There are no records of any citizen complaints about that use of force in his seven years as an officer.
UPDATE: The police now say they HAVE formally charged Joseph Williams, who was shot at Park Plaza. They also say a further search of the car he was driving turned up guns (not specificallly identifed) and additional drugs. He's been charged with aggravated assault, fleeing, possession of drugs with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia (scales), possession of guns and drugs, possession of dilaudid and obstruction of governmental operations. The report states that he tried to flee because of the drugs and guns in his vehicle and drove reckelessly. It said cocaine was found on his person, the dilaudid pills and guns were found in a subsequent vehicle search. Several outlets are reporting Williams has been released from the hospital and transferred to jail. UAMS told me earlier he didn't appear on their directory, but because of confidentiality rules couldn't tell me if he'd left or if he'd simply chosen not to allow his presence there to be revealed.
* ANOTHER SHOOTING: Fox 16 says it will be reporting shortly on another police shooting, this one fatal, in Bismarck. CORRECT THE INITIAL REPORT. Police had a home surrounded because of a domestic dispute involving a weapon, according to Channel 7 tonight. But before police acted, a gun fired and a man was killed.
* STILL MORE SHOOTING: KATV reports here on a 23-year-old man found fatally wounded by a gunshot after his car crashed at 12th and Pine. It was Little Rock's 36th homicide of the year, a 50 percent jump from 2010.