Dec. 30, 2008-Jan. 6, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
KIDS. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Act 1 of 2008, which prohibits unmarried, cohabiting couples from fostering or adopting any of the many Arkansas children who need a good home.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK. Caterpillar Inc. announced that it will invest $140 million in a new heavy-equipment plant at NLR. The plant will employ about 600 workers, the company said.
REALISM IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE. Gov. Mike Beebe told radio show questioners that he believes global warming is real.
UNION-BASHING. A national group announced that it's including Arkansas in a plan to thwart proposed federal legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize.
MEDICAL RESEARCH. UAMS scientists said they'd begin clinical trials as early as this spring of a new vaccine they hope will prevent recurrence of breast cancer.
HENRY WILLIAMS. Comparatively good, anyway. The former Little Rock school superintendent who moved on to superintending in the St. Louis area was sentenced to five years' probation by a St. Louis judge for misappropriation of school funds. Some thought the sentence far too lenient. Williams could have received up to 37 years in prison.
It was a BAD week for …
THE HOUSING MARKET. The Arkansas Realtors Association reported that Arkansas home sales fell nearly 35 percent in November 2008 from November 2007, the biggest decline for a month since the association began releasing sales figures in July 2005.
DEATH ROW INMATES. A petition drive calling for a moratorium on executions failed impressively, its sponsors reporting that they'd gathered only 5,000 of the 100,000 signatures they needed.
A SQUIRREL AND A POWER PLANT. About 200 businesses in downtown Little Rock lost power for three hours after a squirrel got into an Entergy Arkansas substation. The squirrel lost power permanently.