by Max Brantley
The line is open. But thanks to several people who clipped the photo above in the Fort Smith paper today. It is none other than Sen. Bruce "Fireball" Holland, the man who once led the constabulary in a high-speed chase across two counties, serving as the guest of honor at Mansfield High School for a ceremony awarding a grant, for, wait for it:
Gotta love Arkansas.
* FIGHT FOR THE VETERANS: A Facebook petition drive is underway by people fighting Mayor Mark Stodola's effort to pull the rug out from under a center for veterans on Main Street. Check it out.
* GRAND JURY PROBES CRITTENDEN COUNTY: County officials themselves haven't returned my requests for info, but two sources tell me that subpoenas were issued to several people, including at least one county official, in Crittenden County last week by the federal Grand Jury in Little Rock. The probe is believed to concern allegations of absentee voter fraud, which surfaced in a special election race last year for state representative, ultimately won by Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum. He eked out a primary victory with the help of a strong absentee vote. Prosecuting Attorney Scott Elllington of Jonesboro initiated an investigation into alleged irregularities, but turned his state review over to a special prosecutor, H.G. Foster of Conway. The State Police assigned an investigator to the case. The completion of that investigation has not been announced. The federal subpoenas could signal the state probe has morphed into a federal one, but that's only speculation at this point.