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Golden golfers

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Tiger Woods’ benefit appearance in late May at the Alotian Club, Warren Stephens’ ultra-private facility overlooking Lake Maumelle, will be the first of a five-year run of big-name pro golfers who will grace the club and help raise money for several charitable organizations, including the national First Tee organization. Word is that Stephens plans to bring in Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson and another star over the next four years for benefit pro-ams and exhibitions.

Outside of a few kids from First Tee and the Episcopal Collegiate School invited to attend an exhibition by Woods, only Stephens’ invitees, Alotian Club members and others with fat checkbooks will be watching the action. Ticket price for club members and local First Tee board members is $1,000 per. The price to play in the event was a five-year commitment in the five figures. Corporate sponsorships were in the six figures, but then so is membership in the club.

New lawyer

Holly E. Dickson has been hired to succeed Grif Stockley as the staff attorney for the ACLU. She’s been practicing with the Paul James firm.

There’s plenty of work for the ACLU, as usual. For example, a number of issues are simmering regarding the death penalty that might interest the ACLU, including the desire by one inmate nearing execution to open up the process to more public inspection. Correction officials have always imposed secrecy about many parts of the process, including the executioner. The inmate reportedly is interested in televising his execution, though the case law doesn’t seem supportive on forcing that in Arkansas.

Humane killing

Speaking of Death Row: Terrick Nooner, sentenced to die for a 1993 Little Rock murder, sued in Pine Bluff last week saying Arkansas’s administration of lethal injections is inhumane. His pleading recounts gruesome glitches in earlier Arkansas executions — frantic searches for veins, sounds of distress, extended periods to accomplish executions. The pleading mirrors suits in other states that say improper administration of the lethal chemical “cocktail” can leave the condemned inmates in excruciating pain as they die, though unable to speak.

Party vacancy

Cydney Pearce, who left U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s office in March to direct the state Democratic Party’s 2006 coordinated campaign, returned to Lincoln’s office last week.

Jason Willett, the state Democratic Party chairman, said Pearce left because her family obligations did not allow her to devote the necessary amount of time to the campaign position. “In the two months she was there, she did a great job getting the coordinated campaign off the ground,” Willett said.

Willett said he may not appoint a replacement for Pearce. Currently he plans to manage the coordinated campaign along with Chris Masingill, who is managing Mike Beebe’s gubernatorial campaign, and representatives of the Democratic Governors Association. “We may possibly bring someone in after the primary, or we may continue to oversee it ourselves,” Willett said.

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