It was a good week for ...
RAIN. A much-needed shower on Monday in Central Arkansas offered only small relief following the record low rainfall reported at the Weather Service office in North Little Rock and 31 other weather reporting stations around the state for May. Last month, North Little Rock got .55 inches of rain, below the record of 1.05 in 1988.
WALMART. The Bentonville-based corporation decided to drop financial support of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a thinly veiled corporate lobby that stocks compliant state legislators, usually Republican, with cookie-cutter bills to advance the corporate agenda. Anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-health care reform and pro-gun themes dominate.
It was a bad week for ...
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. The state of Arkansas gave Windstream $1 million upfront and promised about $4.5 million more to locate its corporate headquarters in Little Rock, where most of the execs were already working prior to a spin-off from Alltel. So what now? The company announced this week it might lop up to 400 management-level jobs, some of them certain to be in Little Rock.
LITTLE ROCK CHRISTIAN ACADEMY. A 4-year-old Mormon child was denied admission to the private Little Rock Christian Academy because of his religion, the Democrat-Gazette reported. Mormon doctrine doesn't align with doctrine of the school, founded by the Bible Church. The parents promised their 4-year-old wouldn't proselytize, but that didn't bring down the barrier. Carla Emanuel, a school board member, put it rather pungently. She said it was "sneaky" for kids to come in at early ages when children are susceptible to influence, adding of Mormons, "I don't believe they'll go to heaven."
READERS OF THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter Hussman announced an increase in the cost of single copies of the paper. The price will rise from 50 cents for the daily paper to $1 and from $1.25 for the Sunday paper to $2. That's a 100 percent rate increase daily and 60 percent on Sunday. Hussman hinted at raising subscription prices as well: "[W]ith continued advertising declines, we can see no other way to do this other than fundamentally changing our revenue base. In the future, we will have to rely more heavily on revenue from readers and subscribers," he wrote.