Aug. 26-Sept. 1, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
FALL. Another week of non-summer, with morning temps in the 50s and the football season upon us.
A PLEA BARGAIN. DAVID PIERCE, the 29-year music minister at a Benton Baptist church, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing teen boys in his choir for years. The sentence was for 20 years, but he'll be eligible for parole in 18 months.
REFUNDS. The state Teacher Retirement System has begun the process of seeking refunds of overpayments of retirement benefits from educators who retired then went back to work for ATRS member agencies without honoring an income limitation on active work. So far, more than $700,000 in overpayments have been identified.
WES LACEWELL. The Little Rock businessman repeated as champion crossword puzzler at the Third Annual Arkansas Puzzle Day at the Clinton School of Public Service. Beth Levi repeated as the sudoku champ.
SAVING PAPER. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reduced the width of the newspaper, which, along with a circulation dip and fewer news pages, should save a huge amount in paper costs.
It was a bad week for …
MIKE HUCKABEE. He overloaded his mouth by suggesting “Obamacare” would have sent U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy home with a pain pill to die. No, that's the kind of care Huckabee and his ilk would provide for the working poor — except they wouldn't even pay for the pain pill.
The STATE POLLUTION CONTROL AND ECOLOGY COMMISSION. It rejected as late an appeal of a waste dump permit that had been filed on time at the Department of Environmental Quality, which the Commission oversees, rather than at the commission's own office. State law doesn't make a distinction on the address for an appeal and the state's materials and website were unclear.
U.S. REP. VIC SNYDER. He evinced little interest in a public health insurance plan to serve as a curb on private insurance price gouging.