Feb. 4-10, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
ARKANSAS. Toyota, battered by a sales slump, may never open a new assembly plant in Mississippi that was once thought headed for Arkansas. Bad news for workers. Good news for the state that didn't lay out millions for a plant that isn't coming.
JAIL SCANDAL. Police accuse a jail dispatcher, wife of the Clarendon police chief, with providing sex and a cell phone to a state inmate assigned to the Monroe County jail.
It was a BAD week for …
VIOLENCE. A bomb, apparently hidden in a tire, critically injured Dr. Trent Pierce of West Memphis, the chairman of the state Medical Board. Investigators quickly turned to cases of doctor discipline for potential suspects in the crime.
HOUSE SPEAKER ROBBIE WILLS. He marred his huge victory on the tobacco tax legislation by grumping about the bad manners of the losers. It's bad manners not to be magnanimous in victory. Then he unveiled an outline of lottery legislation that seems likely to create an even more unwieldy and incomprehensible college scholarship program than the state has now.
SWEPCO CUSTOMERS. The power company must think they are dumb. It has sent letters asking ratepayers to support a request for a rate increase between 18 and 22 percent, much of it to pay for a poison-spewing proposed coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County.
UCA STUDENTS. Fees and room rates will rise to help the college cover a cash flow deficit. Ever wonder where the college would be today if the problems of a past UCA administration had not been uncovered, more or less by chance as a result of controversy over a bonus for former president Lu Hardin?
DISASTER VICTIMS. Emergency meals sent to Arkansas ice storm victims were recalled because of fear of contaminated peanut butter.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK MAYOR PAT HAYS. Blatant disregard for a dumpster screening ordinance – including by Hays' own government – prompts the mayor to propose delayed implementation.