April 8-14, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
ARKADELPHIA. A civic group is organizing again — and this time even more carefully — to gather sufficient signatures to put an alcohol sales measure on the local ballot next year. A 2008 effort fell just short.
PEACE AND QUIET. The legislature adjourned.
STIMULUS. The state Education Department announced plans for spending an expected $570 million in federal stimulus money earmarked for schools in Arkansas.
OAKLAWN PARK. It drew more than 55,000 to close a season that saw more spectators and wagering and continued new money from machine gambling at the Hot Springs track. The Arkansas Derby provided exciting TV for ESPN, the same day a feature article in the New York Times called the track “the Saratoga of the South.”
It was a BAD week for …
MENA. A devastating tornado struck the city, damaging 600 or more homes and businesses and leaving three dead. The same storm system also did scattered damage elsewhere in the region.
The PULASKI COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT. The state Board of Education rejected a financial plan to build new schools in Maumelle and Sherwood. A bare majority decided it built too much of the revenue projections on cut jobs.
The UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS. Another embarrassment for the college. Latest revelation is that the school hasn't been fully disclosing student charges for athletics, booking some of them under health and student center fees, yet another violation of state protocol.
ALLTEL. The name of the once Little Rock-based telecommunications company moved closer to being a thing of the past. Verizon, which bought the company, has begun steps to remove the Alltel name from such places as its former headquarters and North Little Rock's arena.