It was a good week for...
A SUPER PROJECT Gov. Mike Beebe announced that Big River Steel plans to build a more than $1 billion steel mill in Mississippi County. It will employ more than 500 people at an average annual salary of $75,000. Construction of the mill — which would make Mississippi County the second largest steel-producing county in the country — is contingent on the Arkansas legislature authorizing the state to issue $125 million in general obligation bonds.
A HYPOCRITE Sen. John "Dr. No" Boozman joined a number of Republicans in the Senate in opposing disaster aid for Hurricane Sandy victims, even though the legislation was stripped of money unrelated to disasters. Four days earlier, Boozman joined an Arkansas congressional delegation letter seeking disaster relief money from FEMA for Arkansas to cope with winter storm costs.
It was a bad week for...
ATTORNEY GENERAL DUSTIN MCDANIEL He withdrew from the governor's race, weeks after admitting to an extramarital affair.
BILL HALTER He announced his long-expected candidacy for governor moments before Dustin McDaniel officially withdrew. What a coincidence.
WOMEN Last year, Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) proposed a bill that would have required doctors providing abortions to test for a detectible fetal heartbeat in pregnant women. It failed when the Times and others pointed out that, for many women, such a test would involve insertion of a wand into a woman's vagina against her will. Unmoved, Rapert is back again with a new bill that requires similar testing. But now, under Rapert's bill, abortion would be prohibited if a fetal heartbeat is detected. It's almost certainly unconstitutional.
COLLECTION PLATE THIEVES Watch out, would-be robbers. Folks will likely be packing in church following the Arkansas Senate's 28-4 vote Sen. Bryan King's (R-Green Forest) bill to allow concealed-carry weapons in church. It's sure to pass in the House.
RETIRED GEN. WESLEY CLARK He's facing scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission as it tries to account for billions lost in Chinese stock offerings Clark promoted as chairman of a New York investment firm.