Here's the Friday open line, plus today's news video. Also this:
* SCHOOL CARNIVAL FOR THE FORTUNATE: We got complaints today about a school carnival (rides, games, DJ, food trucks) planned during the school day today at Pulaski Heights Middle School from 1:45 to 3:45 p.m. It cost kids $10 to attend the full carnival. Those who didn’t pay were to be kept in class, but allowed to attend the last 45 minutes, though not use all the added cost features such as inflatable play devices. They could patronize food trucks if they had money, but that might be a problem for those who couldn’t afford the $10 wristband in the first place. Almost half the school’s 850 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches on account of low family income. It's similar to a recent story in New York about an elementary school in Queens where students were held in an auditorium while paying students attended the year-end festival. It struck parents who called us as insensitive and stigmatizing, particularly for kids in the difficult middle school years. But all we know is what they said and the flyer for the event. Calls to the school principal and a festival organizer were not returned.
* STORM CLOSES PARK AREA: Note Ouachita National Forest officials have closed the day use area at Albert Pike Recreation Area in Montgomery County and the nearby Winding Stair trailhead on the Little Missouri River in western Arkansas north of Langley until further notice. Storms knocked out power at Albert Pike and topped trees and damaged roads. Visitors to the forest are encouraged to use caution.