by Max Brantley
The line is open. Closing out:
* TEEN DRIVER RESTRICTIONS WORK: A news conference has been scheduled Thursday at which stats are to be released from a 2008-10 crash analysis. It indicates the graduated drivers license for teens has been effective in reducing crashes involving teen drivers. The law set several new rules for beginning and intermediate drivers, including limits on use of cellular devices while driving.
* NRA MEMBERS FAVOR GUN CONTROLS: The Mayors Against Illegal Guns hired a Republican pollster, Frank Luntz, to poll NRA members on gun control issues. NRA members are more reasonable than the leadership.
A new poll by Republican pollster Frank Luntz reveals that NRA members and other Americans who own guns strongly support a sensible approach to gun laws that balances personal freedoms with measures to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. The poll finds that both NRA members and non-NRA gun owners support various reforms the bi-partisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns has called on Congress to enact. For example, 69% of NRA members and 85% of non-NRA gun owners support requiring criminal background checks on all purchasers at gun shows. The poll also finds 82% of NRA members and 86% of non-NRA gun owners support preventing terror suspects from buying guns and explosives.
* GOING TO POT: Backers of the medical marijuana initiative hope to organize petition signing events this weekend to close the gap on 26,000 signatures they need to qualify for the ballot. They'll be at work in 20 cities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Details at their website.
* PULASKI TEACHERS UNION FAULTS SCHOOL DISTRICT: The unions that once represented teachers and other employees in the Pulaski County School District before it was taken over by the state said new figures from district officials show the district's fund balance for 2011-12 would be more than $16 million — $4 million more than projected. The point: "Draconian cuts prematurely made to Union contracts by district administration and the commissioner of education were entirely unnecessary." The unions projected a surplus for the coming school year of more than $18 million and said it was confident pending lawsuits would be resolved in their favor.
* TICKETMASTER SUIT DISMISSED: A federal lawsuit challenging Ticketmaster charges in Arkansas has been dismissed, apparently because a settlement of several suits is in the works.
* BATH SALTS INDICTMENT: The U.S. attorney's office has announced charges against three members of a Heber Springs family and three others in a conspiracy to distribute a form synthetic narcotics known as bath salts.