by Max Brantley
The line is open. Final notes:
* MARKY MARK: Secretary of State Mark Martin said it's too late to change Senate boundaries for this year's election. This in response to a federal voter rights lawsuit by Sen. Jack Crumbly and friends, who think his district, though majority black, isn't black enough. Martin says he didn't dilute the district. He hired an outside lawyer to say this for him at $200 an hour, when the attorney general could have said it for free.
* STATE HOSPITAL IMPROVING: Another report on the State Hospital's efforts to comply with federal Medicare and Medicaid rules reports some progress for a change.
* MITCH MUSTAIN TO TRY BASEBALL: The former quarterbacking man whose football career peaked at Springdale High, has signed a minor league contract with the White Sox. He hasn't pitched competitively since high school.
* ASSISTANT POLICE CHIEF FIRED IN PINE BLUFF: That's the report from Channel 11, via the Pine Bluff Commercial, on Ivan Whitfield. Here's the background on a typically Pine Bluffian tale of official intrigue. Supposedly one of the assistant chief's guns was found on a criminal suspect. The police chief is supposedly unhappy because the assistant chief would not tell her his source of a tip on trouble her boyfriend got in at a bar. Whitfield is also a candidate for county judge. Fox 16 promising interview with Whitfield tonight.
* LATE THOUGHT: Mulling questions on Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's unilateral spending of $39 million from the mortgage lawsuit. Shouldn't the legislature decide those issues? Why didn't the money go all to banks' victims? What will ADFA use its $9 million slice for? Doesn't the state need money for forestry, court employees and drug courts, among others? Is an economic development slush fund really a better use?