It was a good week for...
A MARCH. An estimated 500 sign-wielding Occupy Little Rock protesters marched along a route that included stops at the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, the headquarters of Stephens Inc., the Bank of America building and the Federal Building. Thousands attended Saturday's demonstrations in 900 cities worldwide, including Fayetteville.
THE LITTLE ROCK ZOO. It announced a bequest of $223,632 from the estate of Lynn French, a former docent at the zoo who died last September. It was her entire estate. She was particularly fond of ferrets and the zoo's new ferret has been named for her.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS ATHLETICS. Athletic Director Jeff Long announced a $300 million plan to improve all 19 men's and women's sports programs over a 30-year period, including an expansion to Razorback Stadium. Asked if the expansion would spell the end of football games played in War Memorial, Long said via Twitter "that decision will be made sometime in the future."
RECORD BREAKING HEAT. The National Weather Service said it reached 88 in Little Rock/North Little Rock in Sunday, topping the record of 87 set 114 years ago, in 1897.
It was a bad week for...
ALICE WALTON. Details emerged of the Walmart heiress' arrest in Texas on her 62nd birthday for driving while intoxicated. Walton was convicted in a DWI case in Springdale in 1998. She was involved in a fatal accident in 1989, but no charges were filed. The timing was unfortunate. Walton is to be part of multiple activities leading up to and including the opening Nov. 11 of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. The Walton family has given at least $2.4 billion to underwrite the museum.
DONNA LESHER. The Little Rock police officer was named in a civil lawsuit filed by the sons of Eugene Ellison, the 67-year-old man who was shot to death by Lesher after a physical confrontation at his home. Both of Ellison's sons, Troy and Spencer Ellison, are veterans of the LRPD. Troy Ellison is currently a detective on the force. Their lawsuit, which also names LRPD Officer Tabitha McCrillis, Chief Stuart Thomas, the City of Little Rock and the Big Country Chateau Apartments as defendants, claims that Lesher shot Ellison after the confrontation when she was outside the apartment. Lesher was cleared of any wrongdoing by the LRPD. The lawsuit claims that the police department routinely sweeps aside complaints of excessive force and civil rights violations.
AARON BLACK An audit revealed that Black, executive director of the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission, grossly underreported his work absences from January 2010 to August 2011. Auditors determined he was absent for all or part of 91 days or 579 works hours (almost 15 40-hour weeks) during that period. Based on Black's pay of $72,000 annually, auditors determined that he was overpaid $19,576 during the period. Black resigned on Oct. 7. The findings have been turned over to Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.