Friday night line | Arkansas Blog

Friday night line



Over to you. Closing out:

* CHARGES IN CHILD'S DEATH: KFSM reports that the great-grandparents of two-year-old Joniah Darius Chronister have been charged with negligent homicide. They are William James Staten, 51, and Margette Inise Staten, 61, shown in Springdale police photos below. They allegedly left the child in the car last Friday for more than two hours during extreme heat while they went shopping in a Walmart.


* RICK CRAWFORD SKIPPING REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION: The Republican congressman from Jonesboro will skip the Mitt Romney coronation to, he says, work in his district on farm issues. Too bad he didn't work better on farm issues in Congress. Anyway, can't blame him or anyone from skipping these scripted and largely meaningless events. I'd just like for the Republicans who've been yammering incessantly about Democrats who've chosen not to attend THEIR convention to put a sock in it.

* DON'T BOGART THAT SIGNATURE, MY FRIEND: Backers of the medical marijuana initiative think they have the necessary valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot. They'll turn them in next Monday, but the push continues. The drive was about 26,000 signatures short after the first review for validity.

* SO MUCH FOR THE HONEY BADGER: LSU Coach Les Miles has booted Tyrann Mathieu from the football team for violation of team policies.

* ANOTHER SUSPECT SHOOTING DEATH: Now another suspect in custody — this one in an Alabama patrol car — has reportedly shot himself.

* EXEMPLARY SCHOOLS CITED: The Arkansas Education Department today cited 19 schools as exemplary for meeting objectives on math and literacy testing for all students, but particularly on students from at-risk groups targeted for achievement gaps.

* WATER WOES: Kent Walker, attorney for Lorie White, paid a visit. She's a landowner in the Lake Maumelle watershed opposed to pending proposals for land use regulation and her complaint led to a state environmental review that cited a Central Arkansas Water pipeline contractor for some minor violations on its construction site. I've commented that reporting about the violations has been overblown. But I also agree that CAW should ride herd on its contractors sufficiently to avoid even small violations (a damaged silt fence and litter on the job site, for example) and that contractors should pay for violations. CAW shouldn't cover its embarrassment by abusing those who complain At least one CAW official remonstrated White for prompting state action. Bad form. CAW needs to demonstrate its commitment to the letter of watershed law if it expects others to join in support of land use proposals, not act like the bullies who are fighting watershed rules (Kochs, Deltic Timber, Arkansas Farm Bureau). Walker fired off a letter about the "repugnant" behavior by CAW's Robert Hart. UPDATE: Hart responds:

I’m not sure if the recounting of the events at the meeting that you received only came from Ms. White and Kent Walker, but I am honestly interested in knowing how I “remonstrated” Ms. White for her reporting of what she thought were her concerns. CAW did not deny that the violations occurred, nor did I state that the violations were “not a big deal” (Ark Dem Gaz). My presentation was to help the Commission put the violations in perspective given the media publicity of a couple weeks ago. I did point out that at no time did the Whites or Walker contact CAW to express their concern. I and Graham Rich stated that we appreciated Ms White bringing the matters to our attention and asked her to be just as diligent on other non-CAW projects in the watershed, an example of which was pointed out during the meeting. To assume that she would have conducted such a publicity seeking campaign about her concerns had it been anyone other than CAW overseeing the project stretches believe.

* LR POLICE SHOOTING: Multiple media are reporting an "officer involved shooting" at Leawood and Gillette in the Leawood subdivsion this afternoon. Ambulance on the scene. KARK updates:

Officers responded to a disturbance between a man and woman Friday afternoon around 4:30 in the western Little Rock neighborhood.

A verbal exchange occurred between the man and officers, before one or possibly both officers opened fire, hitting the man.

Reports indicate that the man has died after the shooting.

His name is yet to be released.

It is currently unknown how many shots were fired or if the man was armed.

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