It was a good week for ...
CHARLES ROBINSON. In a pick that was widely hailed, Gov. Mike Beebe appointed Robinson, retired director of legislative audit, to complete the term of former state treasurer Martha Shoffner.
UALR. The university unveiled its new George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center, which features technology that provides high-definition three-dimensional visualizations of information. It'll be used for everything from construction projects to surgical prep work. The new center is funded by a $5 million grant from the Donaghey Foundation.
DASSAULT FALCON. It announced that it will spend $60 million to expand and refurbish existing Falcon jet finishing facilities at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. State rebates, $2 million from the governor's quick action closing fund and $43 million in incentives from the airport helped the deal along.
It was a bad week for ...
WEATHER. Thirteen tornadoes touched down in Arkansas May 30. The accompanying storms caused widespread flash flooding. In Scott County, Sheriff Cody Carpenter and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officer Joel Campora were killed trying to rescue two women from their Y City home. They and the women died as the home collapsed from the water, a Game and Fish spokesman said.
MARTHA SHOFFNER. The plan for the former state treasurer to plead guilty to a federal extortion charge fell apart when she wouldn't admit to elements of the crime in questioning by federal Judge Leon Holmes. He refused to accept her guilty plea.
LT. GOV. MARK DARR. The lieutenant governor tweeted a screen shot of a text exchange between him and his nephew during Times senior editor Max Brantley's annual speech to Arkansas Boys State (see more on page 6), where Brantley outlined his progressive ideals. The tweet said, "Even my nephew at Arkansas Boys State knows crap when he hears it." The accompanying screenshot included a text from Darr's nephew that said, "Some flaming liberal is speaking right now and needs [sic] slapped," followed by one, presumably from Darr, that said, "Do it."
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GRAVEL RIDGE. More are likely to follow, but First Baptist of Gravel Ridge was the first to trumpet its forsaking of Boy Scout troop sponsorship because of the national organization's decision to allow gay members. The Bible does say discriminate against gay children, doesn't it?
FORT SMITH. Workers with the energy utility Oklahoma Gas and Electric discovered a mineral oil spill at a utility substation in Fort Smith on Saturday. A transformer fell in the substation and leaked a large amount of cooling oil nearly three miles, spilling into a creek. An EPA official said the oil has a low toxicity.