by Max Brantley
Significant opposition had arisen from Eric Jackson, general manager of Oaklawn Park (the full-time casino and part-time race track that is the dominant political force in the city) and Bishop Anthony Taylor, the Catholic bishop of Little Rock. That opposition seems to have been among the obstacles that led to collapse of the deal. Jackson resigned from the Mercy board in protest.
On a related topic: Oaklawn Park shouldn't be pivotal in UAMS/St. Vincent Infirmary hospital merger discussions in Little Rock. Bishop Taylor is another matter.