It was a good week for...
ARKANSAS WORKERS. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel signed off on the popular name and ballot title for a proposed initiated act to raise the state minimum wage. The ad hoc group, Give Arkansas a Raise Now, includes labor, church and other groups. It would raise the existing state minimum (which is lower than the federal minimum and applies to workers not covered by federal law) from $6.25 to $7.50 Jan. 1, 2015, $8 the following year and $8.50 on Jan. 1, 2017. Backers will need to gather 62,506 signatures to qualify the measure for the 2014 ballot. McDaniel's opinion noted new state law — currently under challenge in court — that stiffens requirements on petition canvassing.
ANOTHER DELAY FROM EXXON. The company once again asked the federal agency that regulates pipelines to extend a deadline to submit a plan for correcting the problems that caused the Pegasus pipeline to rupture in Mayflower. The outage has cost Exxon as much as $127 million in lost revenue and is unusually long relative to other recent spills.
FROSTBITE. Brutally cold temperatures swept through the state, leading to incessant complaining, burst pipes and several overwhelmed electrical utilities.
CHARLIE STRONG. The Batesville native and UCA alum was named head coach of the University of Texas football team, long considered one of the biggest jobs in college football. Strong went 37-15 as head coach of Louisville in four seasons. He's the first black head coach of any men's team at Texas.
It was a bad week for...
LT. GOV. MARK DARR. Despite calls for him to resign from the governor, the Arkansas congressional delegation, a number of state legislators and right thinking people everywhere, Darr told reporters on Tuesday he didn't plan to resign despite using more than $14,000 in taxpayer money illegally or without proper documentation and more than $31,000 in campaign money on illegal personal expense.
GUS MALZAHN. The Arkansas native came seconds from football glory, nearly leading his Auburn Tigers — whose record last year nearly mirrored Arkansas's this year — to a national championship, but ultimately falling in the final seconds to Florida State.