It was a good week for...
THE DUGGARS' EVER-EXPANDING BROOD. People magazine reports that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are expecting their 20th child this spring. Michelle is 45 and had a rough time with her 19th, Josie, born prematurely weighing 22 ounces.
HYPOCRISY. Last week, the U.S. Senate approved a spending bill that would provide $60 million for the National Center for Toxicological Research at Pine Bluff. Sen. John "Dr. No" Boozman voted against the funding bill that included the NCTR. Nonetheless, Boozman spokesman Sara Lasure gave this statement to Stephens Media: "He is pleased to see more funding for this important center in the Senate version of the appropriations bill."
THE SOUTH MAIN DISTRICT. SOMA, as the district calls itself, hosted its inaugural Arkansas Cornbread Festival on Nov. 5 and drew 2,600 — far more than expected. The Times also reported that The Oxford American had signed a five-year lease in the buildings that formerly housed Juanita's. With plans to host a wide variety of entertainment, the magazine's presence in the neighborhood seems likely to enhance South Main's rebirth.
It was a bad week for...
HOUSTON NUTT. The former Arkansas football coach and Little Rock native was forced into resigning as head coach of Ole Miss. Nutt will finish the season. His contract included a $6 million buyout clause.
LITTLE ROCK POLICE LT. DAVID HUDSON. A video posted to YouTube showed the officer repeatedly striking a man in the face outside of Ferneau Restaurant. The man, Chris Erwin, was later charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. Hudson was working as off-duty security for Ferneau at the time of the incident. LRPD spokesman Terry Hastings said a use-of-force investigation and an internal affairs investigation are underway.
TAX-SUPPORTED RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. The state spends $100 million a year to subsidize preschool programs in some 300 places around the state, but despite the specific requirements of a state law, has never done the required auditing that the money not support religious instruction. Two pre-schools, run by state Sen. Johnny Key (R-Mountain Home) and Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) respectively, have come under scrutiny for teaching Bible lessons while receiving taxpayer funding.