It was a good week for...
MICHAEL TINSLEY. The graduate of Little Rock's Joe T. Robinson High, who competed in college at Jackson State, took the Olympics silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles, one of the toughest events on the track. He finished less than three-tenths of a second behind Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic.
CHICK-FIL-A SALES. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, for the chain leaders' endorsement of anti-gay causes, was a massive success, with enormous crowds turning out throughout Arkansas and across the country to demonstrate their solidarity with the restaurant owners' views on gay people. Arkansas outlets were mobbed, though greeted by pro-brotherhood demonstrators at one Little Rock store. The chain itself didn't want to talk about it.
LAYOFFS. Troubled Hawker Beechcraft, which finishes its private planes in Little Rock, notified 170 employees that they will be laid off. The company, which is in bankruptcy and has been talking about a sale to a Chinese firm, is also laying off workers in Wichita. It had employed about 450 in Little Rock.
It was a bad week for...
THE ARKANSAS VETERANS AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT. Repair and renovation of the facility in Little Rock on Charles Bussey Drive, closing because of its poor condition following a lengthy period of financial mismanagement, could cost $7.5 million to $10 million, according to an assessment by the Arkansas Building Authority. Those numbers don't include potential costs for environmental inspections or abatement of any hazards found, though the estimate cautions that design and other considerations could alter the figure significantly.
ARKANSAS STATE TROOPER ROYCE DENNEY. The State Police announced that Denney had been terminated after 11 years with the agency in highway patrol. Denney made the traffic stop in March that ultimately led to the dismissal of Michael Dyer from the Arkansas State University football team. Denney gave Dyer a speeding ticket. But the Searcy Daily Citizen began inquiring about the incident last week and Friday received video that showed Denney had found a gun and a substance believed to be marijuana during the course of the stop. State Police Director Col. J.R. Howard said Denney had appealed his firing for policy violations and "repeated demonstrations of lack of judgment."