It was a good week for...
OTTER CREEK. Otter Creek Land Co. chief Tommy Hodges finally landed Bass Pro Shops for 30 acres he's long controlled at Interstate 30 and 430, a deal he almost had done in 2004. Hodges said the $25 million to $30 million 120,000-square-foot store will employ 250 and be open by the 2013 holiday season. Bass Pro sells hunting, fishing and camping gear, including boats, and the Southwest Little Rock location will include a restaurant and 12-lane bowling alley.
ARKANSAS RAZORBACK BASEBALL. The diamond Hogs ended South Carolina's 22-game post-season win streak to advance to the winner's bracket of the College World Series, where they'll play the winner of South Carolina and Kent State, both of whom the Hogs have already beaten in the CWS.
THE ARKANSAS STATE FAIRGROUNDS. After months of flirting with relocating the state fair to Jacksonville or North Little Rock, the board of the Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show voted to remain in its current location, which the city of Little Rock has pledged, with the promise of $3 million and other assistance, to help the board expand.
It was a bad week for...
THE ARKANSAS LOTTERY. At a Lottery Commission meeting, Director Bishop Woosley revealed instant ticket sales were down $6.6 million from last May. The commission also voted to approve new contractual terms with the lottery's instant ticket vendor Scientific Games International (SGI). In April, the commission voted, 7 to 2, to reaffirm its contract with SGI, after internal auditor Michael Hyde called the contract's validity into question, and authorized Woosley to work with SGI on more favorable terms on instant tickets payments. The new terms could mean as much as $440,000 more for lottery scholarships, Woosley said. That's still significantly less than the original terms offered by SGI, according to Hyde, who submitted his resignation May 11 and will work his last day Friday.
THE ARKANSAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY. The Arkansas Democratic Party forced an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter to leave a room Saturday during congressional district-level meetings on national convention delegate selection. The Democratic Party was sensitive to participation in the events because officials had ruled in advance that John Wolfe, who got a heavy protest vote in the Democratic presidential primary, could qualify for no delegates because of failure to follow party rules, including on meeting delegate selection criteria. Wolfe later sued. The party issued an apology to the reporter Monday.