It was a good week for ...
A MISTRIAL. A jury couldn't arrive at a unanimous verdict in the manslaughter trial of former Little Rock Police Officer Josh Hastings in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old. Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen has scheduled a retrial for mid-September.
KEN DUKE. The 44-year-old Hope native and professional golfer won his first PGA tournament on Sunday.
LOTTERY EXPANSION TALK. In the face of stagnant revenue, the Arkansas Lottery Commission is revisiting the idea of allowing video lottery games such as keno, which offer repeat, fast, all-day gambling action. They could constitute mini-casinos of a sort in convenience stores or wherever they might be located. Various politicians and religious groups have loudly protested the addition of such games to the lottery lineup. Some questions exist on whether or not they could be instituted under the law. The commission will look at other states with the added games. It will stir a political fury in some quarters.
It was a bad week for ...
TRANSPARENCY. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in response to a letter sent by Pulaski County's mayors and the county judge, along with Arkansas congressmen (known as the Lake Maumelle Governmental Stakeholders), declined to provide ExxonMobil's "integrity assessment reports" on the pipeline that traverses the Maumelle watershed, saying that ExxonMobil has "requested confidential treatment of the records claiming that they are protected from disclosure under FOIA."
ELLIE MAE. The Chinese crested hairless dog from Gurdon reached the finals of the World's Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, Calif., but didn't win. A beagle-basset-boxer mix took the crown.
BILL JAMES. The defense attorney for Hastings was fined $25,000 for 10 contempt of court citations by Griffen. James repeatedly ignored the judge's directive not to mention juvenile records of companions of the slain youth.
U.S. REP. TOM COTTON. He joined a number of Democrats in voting against the farm bill. The Democrats opposed the bill after it cut $2 billion from proposed food aid spending. Cotton voted against because he thinks the cuts aren't enough. He was the only member of Arkansas's congressional delegation to vote against the bill.