Monday is just about done. The line is open. Odds and ends:The latest is on USA Today, which reports that Smith deferred some $600,000 of his annual $850,000 pay as interim Hog coach. Can he protect that money by postponing its receipt until after his bankruptcy? Legal minds say that might provoke a legal challenge.
* UA TO SELF: YOU'RE FIRED: Interesting story from Mark Friedman at Arkansas Business. The University of Arkansas System took bids to find a way to save money on employee health insurance and as a result is changing the administrator from QualChoice to UnitedHealthcare. UAMS is a part-owner of QualChoice.
* CRIMINAL MISCHIEF ON CONSTRUCTION SITE: The sheriff's office said $160,000 damage was done overnight when someone rammed an excavator with a bullldozer on a pipeline construction site near Oak Grove Road in northwestern Pulaski County.
* GILLETT ELEMENTARY SPARED: The state Board of Education today overruled the DeWitt School District's plan to close the elementary school in Gillett, the only community school still open after Gillett's consolidation with DeWitt. Board members said it was high-performing and instructed school officials to look for ways to preserve it, factoring in money contributed by local residents.
* ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: I see here that Republican Party chair Doyle Webb says the party won't give any more money to Reps. Jon Hubbard and Loy Mauch and former Rep. and current candidate Charlie Fuqua, highlighted here in recent days for extremist rhetoric on race, slavery, Muslims and capital punishment. He DID NOT say anybody would take back contributions already given — at the maximum in the case of some Republican contributors. He DID NOT say people shouldn't vote for these candidates. See, the only principle that counts with Webb is a legislative majority. He doesn't care what kind of Extraterrestrial Trio it takes to get him there.
* PROTEST PLANNED IN WYNNE: The Commission on Religion and Racism, a group in Memphis that has mounted frequent protests related to treatment of blacks, such as the recent death of a black suspect in Jonesboro, plans a media event Tuesday in Wynne to protest insufficient response to an incident in which a black ninth grader was threatened with a noose by white football players. Two white students were expelled for the semester and others were suspended. CORR says the event was not a joke or prank, but a hate crime. Its news release follows:
CORR NEWS RELEASE
After a thorough, on-the-ground investigation in Wynne, Arkansas, by the National office of CORR, on Tuesday, October 8, 2012, beginning at 11:00am, on Falls Blvd, at the Wynne High School, the Arkansas State office of the Commission on Religion and Racism (CORR), in solidarity with the people of Wynne Arkansas seeking justice, will open the first in a series of protest demonstrations in Wynne, AR, against the cover-up, obstruction of justice, perjury and dis-information campaign by Keith Watson (Principal of Wynne High School), Carl Easley (School Superintendent), and the School Board in their effort to repress the truth, and refusing to charge the perpetrators of committing a hate-crime, when a crowd (mob) of white male students carried out their hate-crime ritual, in initiating the hanging of a black male student (who had beat out a white male student for a position on the football team) with a hangman's rope and noose around his neck in the locker room at Wynne High School. It was no joke, prank, or bullying. It was a premeditated intentional, reality throwback to the era of lynch-law: mob violence, terror, fear and lyching, in retaliation for a black male "winning over" a white male or for "getting out of his place."
Dr. Isaac Richmond, National CORR Director, will hold a press conference at 11:30am, where critical information about the case will be released to the public for the first time; where charges will be filed against the Wynne Arkansas School System; where a petition campaign will be launched to remove both the Principal of Wynne High School and the Superintendent from office, for violating and transgressing the mandated duties and responsibilities of their respective offices; and where a petition will be filed requesting a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the "hanging incident" at the school.
CORR is also calling for a mass march on the Cross County School Board in its next scheduled meeting, requesting an appearance on the agenda, to present the African-American community's list of unanswered questions; and present the School Board with its list of demands for Justice. In the last School Board meeting, African Americans were not allowed to speak, or ask any questions, and not provided with any information about the "hanging incident." They were made to wait 3-4 hours while school officials, attorneys, and parents of the white male students that perpetrated the hanging went into "private" sessions to get their act together.