It was a good week for...
BRET BIELEMA. He'll be paid $3.2 million per year for six years to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks football team. That puts him in the top tier of SEC coaches, behind only Alabama's Nick Saban ($5.36 million), LSU's Les Miles ($3.75 million) and South Carolina's Steve Spurrier ($3.55 million).
BOBBY PETRINO. After losing his job and a $3.5 million salary in the wake of a scandal involving a motorcycle crash and a mistress, Bobby Petrino is making a comeback. The former head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks was named head coach of Western Kentucky. He'll be paid $850,000 annually before incentives. (John L. Smith money!) If (when?) he leaves, there's a $1.2 million buyout.
PORTENTS OF THE COMING APOCALYPSE. The water ran red in the ditches in the Plateau Street area south of Markham (due to a leak from UAMS' hot water circulation system; the color, UAMS said, was caused by a dye and isn't toxic or otherwise harmful). Meanwhile, crystal lovers gathered at a convention at the DoubleTree Hotel in Little Rock for the Cosmic Crystalline Completion. Organizers billed the event as "Our Final Process in the Crystal Vortex" and "the Completion That Triggers the Transformation."
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION. The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the state's Freedom of Information law, overturning last year's ruling from Sebastian County Circuit Judge James Cox, which found criminal penalties for FOI violations unconstitutional.
It was a bad week for...
A LANGUAGE BARRIER. The Centers for Disease Control released a report saying that a Tyson poultry plant worker who poured a solution into a 55-gallon drum, releasing chlorine gas, could not read the English label on the drum that would have alerted him to its contents. Tyson disputes the findings. Six hundred workers were evacuated from the plant after the incident, on June 27, 2011, and of those, 195 told the CDC they sought medical treatment, 152 were hospitalized and the plant nurse said five were admitted to intensive care units.