April 9-15, 2008
It was a good week for …
The CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF LITTLE ROCK. It has a new bishop, Rev. Anthony B. Taylor, who comes from Oklahoma City with an impressive record of serving the Hispanic community, including opposition to Oklahoma's immigrant-bashing legislation.
ANIMALS. Gov. Mike Beebe said he favored a proposal to make animal cruelty a felony. Can he work his magic on the Farm Bureau, as he did on the gas industry?
RAIN. March downpours in Arkansas, which caused widespread flooding, were reported to exceed totals recorded over the last century.
CAMPAIGN SILLINESS. Hillary Clinton downed a shot of booze with a beer chaser and talked of her love of guns to build street cred in working-class areas. Barack Obama's well-intentioned remarks about the bitterness of some voters left adrift by the economy also turned into the latest campaign trivia elevated to a nonstop cable shouting point.
It was a bad week for …
SCHOOL TEACHERS. More than 40,000 of them face big increases in their health insurance premium — a cumulative $20 million — with little prospect that school districts or the state will help cover the increases.
The ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. Conductor David Itkin said the 2009-10 season would be his last as the ASO's music director after 16 years. He's taking a teaching job in Texas.
SEN. TRACY STEELE. He had to fess up to the Democrat-Gazette that he should have been publicly reporting numerous ad sales to state agencies by a newspaper of which he is part-owner. Next area of inquiry: Contributions he's solicited from corporate legislative players for a private foundation he's established.
The HOMELESS. Is North Little Rock trying to block a day center for the homeless at the River City Ministry in North Little Rock? There's some circumstantial evidence that Argenta is willing to support a homeless center only if it's on the south side of the Arkansas River.