Gunning for TV
Fayetteville Circuit Judge Mary Gunn, whose televising of her drug court came to an end after a judicial ethics panel criticized it and broadcaster Jones TV pulled out, has talked to Washington County Judge Marilyn Edwards about possibly using her old courtroom in the County Courthouse for a future TV show after Gunn retires June 11.
Edwards said she talked to Gunn "in passing" about the possibility, but no formal proposal has been made and so she doesn't know whether Gunn could use the room. Outside groups are allowed to use the historic courtroom, which has a mezzanine.
A California company is interested in producing a "Judge Judy"-styled show with Gunn this fall. Gunn did not return our phone calls by press time to confirm her plan, but it's likely this: She'd send Department of Community Correction offenders, ostensibly referred to her by another Fayetteville judge, to treatment programs on the air. Their participation would be voluntary. "Think of it as television," DCC spokesperson Rhonda Sharp said. "It's not court."
Gunn has "briefed our director and deputy director" about her TV plans, Sharp said; if those offenders do end up in a Gunn "court," "we'll have a narrow involvement."
As regular customers of the downtown Farmers Market have probably noticed, attendance has been down this year. The market is open Tuesday and Saturday. Sales for the first five dates this year were $330, $1,150, $260, $1,240 and $360. For the first five dates last year, sales were $860, $1,022, $660, $1,423 and $595. Last year, 58 vendors of produce were registered at the market. This year, that number is down to 38. More of the spaces this year are occupied by non-produce vendors – arts and crafts, locally prepared food products, etc. – than in the past. Farmers have priority on spaces at the market. It's early in the season, and the weather has been bad, so business may pick up. However, what was once the only market in town now has competition from North Little Rock and a recently-opened market in Hillcrest.
Fayetteville native Jason Moore, who left his post as director of the critically acclaimed Broadway musical, "The Book of Mormon," recently told the New York Times why he quit.
After asking one of the musical's creators (Trey Parker of "South Park" fame) to direct alongside Moore, the producers offered Moore a contract that cut two-thirds of his royalty payments. Moore left the production in June.
Moore told the Times he hadn't yet seen the show, but was keeping his options open for redress for not receiving any take-away pay for his contributions.