by Max Brantley
Open now for your comments. Closing out:
* SAY IT AIN'T SO: A large quantity of marijuana — 43 pounds, 21 plants — found in a Newton County home. Pot? In Newton County?
* JEEP CREEP: Forbidden Hillcrest is all over a hot neighborhood topic, arrest of a Benton man (apparently active in the Christian music scene), suspected of indecent exposure. He was busted Friday for exposing himself to a high school student while under police surveillance.
* BREAKING NEWS: The casino plot thickens. I got word late today of filings before the Arkansas Supreme Court by the Arkansas Racing Alliance by the Friday Law firm, Oaklawn Park's long-time attorneys, seeking to invalidate the Nancy Todd Poker Palace constitutional amendment to give her backers exclusive rights to operate four casinos in Arkansas. The petition covers familiar ground — alleged fraud in signature gathering that should have disqualified the petitions; the potential impact on existing "electronic games of skill" at Oaklawn and Southland Parkk, which the petitioners agree are the functional equivalent of casinos, and the "supercharging" of casino gambling by allowing the casinos to extend credit. Here's the petition. The group asks for oral arguments. The Supreme Court already has another challenge to the proposal under review.
* CIVIC CLUB THEFT: The U.S. attorney announced this afternoon that Jeanne Hanson, 66, of Little Rock had been indicted for stealing $49,000 from the Little Rock Civitan Club while treasurer and a director of the club.
* ARREST IN ASU BOMB THREAT: Arkansas State University says Carlon Walker, 44, of Jonesboro was arrested by ASU police today for making a bomb threat against University Hall, a women's dorm. That prompted evacuation of the dorm and the International Student Center.