It was a good week for ...
COACHES COMING AND GOING. At our Tuesday press deadline, Wisconsin head coach Brett Bielema was reportedly scheduled to be named the new head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Meanwhile, multiple sources were reporting that Gus Malzahn was leaving Arkansas State University, after just one season, to return to coach Auburn.
U.S. REP. TIM GRIFFIN Arkansas's 2nd District congressman was named to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He said because of his new position would keep him from running for Senate or governor in 2014.
SURPRISES AT THE LEGISLATURE. Arkansas House Speaker-Designate Davy Carter, a Republican from Cabot, hired Gabe Holmstrom, the former executive director of the Democratic Party in Arkansas, as House chief of staff, and gave the former chief of staff, Democrat Bill Stovall, the new position of chief operating officer. Holmstrom, who is a Cabot native, and Carter are old friends. Some House Republicans will no doubt be chapped.
It was a bad week for ...
THE GREAT PASSION PLAY. Thanks to declining interest, it's curtains for the outdoor performance detailing Christ's death, created in 1968 by anti-Semite Gerald L.K. Smith and Elna M. Smith outside Eureka Springs on land beneath the towering Christ of the Ozarks. Citing anonymous sources, the Lovely County Citizen weekly in Eureka reports that the Elna Smith Foundation owes $1.2 million in mortgage payments and $35,600 in back taxes and property penalties to Carroll County on its 167 acres.
REDISTRIBUTION OF SCHOOL WEALTH. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that school districts can keep property tax revenues that exceed minimum school funding levels required by state law. Gov. Beebe and the attorney general, concerned that the ruling will undo the 15-year effort by the state to create equitable funding under the Lake View School District ruling, will ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case. (See more on page 12.)