It was a good week for...
BISHOP WOOSLEY. The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted to hire Woosley, the lottery's chief legal counsel since it began in mid-2009. He'll be paid $165,000, nearly half what the man he's replacing, Ernie Passailaigue, earned.
A PLAN TO REPAIR THE PULASKI COUNTY SPECIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT'S FINANCIAL WOES. Jerry Guess, named to lead the district after the state took it over eight months ago, reported to the state Board of Education that without changes, the district would finish in the red more than $13 million next school year. He's already identified $6.6 million in savings, the majority from a reduction in force of 77 employees, most of which he hopes to achieve by attrition, and by continuing to leave unfilled positions vacant. There are also scheduled savings in insurance, from a bell schedule change and a new copier contract, among others. He said he'd begin negotiating with the teacher and non-certified employee unions to produce $7 million more in savings. He'll ask them to reopen their contracts.
A LEGISLATIVE GIMMICK. Fifteen state Republicans and a Democrat called for a constitutional convention to adopt a U.S. constitutional amendment to require approval of a majority of state legislators before the federal debt ceiling could be raised.
It was a bad week for...
MIKE HUCKABEE. The former Arkansas governor attacked President Obama for not giving enough to charities. Huckabee said Obama donated about 1 percent of his income instead of the 10 percent Christians are generally told to donate to the church. Tithing less is "stealing from God," Huckabee said. "If a person will rob God, that person will steal you blind, don't you ever forget it," he said. According to the Obamas' tax return, 14.2 percent of their adjusted gross income went to donations to 36 different charities.
JOHN SHANNON. The Arkansas Forestry Commission improperly borrowed federal grant money to meet operating costs, according to a Legislative Audit review. About $6.4 million worth. As a result, Shannon submitted his resignation as state forester.
THE HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL. Arvest Bank filed a foreclosure suit against the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute over more than $300,000 in loans on the Malco Theatre and related property in Hot Springs, home to the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. The festival, whose money troubles are an issue of long standing, will continue, a spokesman said.