It was a good week for ...
ARKANSAS'S EXPANDING WAISTLINE. A new study showed that, for the first time in 30 years, the nation's obesity rate held steady in every state — except Arkansas. We edged closer to Louisiana and Mississippi as the most obese state, with 34.5 percent at that level in 2012, up significantly from 30.9 in 2011.
YET ANOTHER CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS. A third Republican has entered the primary race for 4th District Congress, businessman Tommy Moll, 31. He joins Lt. Gov. Mark Darr and Rep. Bruce Westerman. Moll's resume notes a lot of schooling — an undergrad degree from William and Mary, a master's degree from the London School Economics and a law degree from Columbia. We'll see how that plays next to Darr's karaoke chops.
GUNS IN SCHOOL. Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock and Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland have been lobbying the Mount Vernon-Enola School Board about a plan to put school administrators through the 110-hour law enforcement officer training program. Then, as certified law officers like other reserve deputies, they could carry guns in school.
It was a bad week for ...
SEN. PAUL BOOKOUT. The state Ethics Commission fined the Jonesboro Democrat $8,000 for four violations of campaign finance law. Bookout was fined, in part, for spending much of the $80,000 he raised for an unopposed campaign on personal expenses. Following the fine, Bookout resigned from his job as administrative director for system relations at St. Bernards Healthcare in Jonesboro. Jonesboro Prosecutor Scott Ellington has asked that a special prosecutor be named to investigate Bookout, who has shown no indication that he'll resign.
GUNS IN SCHOOL. The Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Security Agencies suspended the security guard commissions it had granted to school districts so that staff members could carry weapons. Several school districts had taken advantage of security licensing over the years to allow a handful of school employees to have guns, but the practice has been limited, perhaps to four dozen people in the state's 270 or so school districts. The Clarksville School Board, however, recently signed off on Superintendent David Hopkins' plan to license 20 or so staff members, including a bus driver, administrators and several classroom teachers, so they could carry concealed weapons on the job.