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It was a good week for a woman's right to an abortion


It was a good week for ...

A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO AN ABORTION. Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright granted an injunction against enforcement of Act 301, which would make most abortions illegal after 12 weeks, saying the state law's ban was likely unconstitutional.

ADJOURNMENT SINE DIE. The General Assembly convened briefly to adjourn, which meant that Gov. Mike Beebe's vetoes of three election-related bills by Sen. Bryan King stand.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. The state GOP, which has been calling for state Treasurer Martha Shoffner, a Democrat, to resign in light of her handling of state investments, got to witness her arrest on Saturday by the FBI.

ATTENTION TO A HOG FARM PERMIT IN THE BUFFALO WATERSHED. State legislators were to visit the C&H Hog Farm at Mount Judea, which will house 6,500 pigs near Big Creek, a tributary of the Buffalo River. The National Parks Conservation Association has added its opposition to the process by which the farm was permitted to objections by the National Park Service and Arkansans who want the Buffalo to stay clear of pig excrement. A protest was called for Wednesday at the Ozark Cafe in Jasper during the legislators' luncheon there.

It was a bad week for ...

STATE TREASURER MARTHA SHOFFNER. Shoffner was arrested at her home Saturday by the FBI on charges she took cash in return for official favors after she accepted a pie box filled with $6,000 from a source who was wired. The source, who has been granted immunity and who other sources say is Steele Stephens of the St. Bernard Financial Services firm in Russellville, told the FBI he had paid Shoffner a total of $36,000 in six payments every six months, plus almost $5,000 in cash for a campaign event, in return for an increasing share of the state bond business. The charges will be turned over to a grand jury to decide whether to indict. If convicted, Shoffner faces not more than 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

HEEDING CALLS TO RESIGN. As of Tuesday, Shoffner had not heeded calls for her resignation by Gov. Mike Beebe, Attorney Gen. Dustin McDaniel and the Arkansas Republican Party and the Arkansas Democratic Party. She told reporters after a hearing in federal court Monday that she was not resigning. She did not go into the office Tuesday. Update: She ultimately did tender her resignation late Tuesday.

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