It was a good week for...
RON MATHIEU. The executive director of the Little Rock National Airport got a makeup for a pay raise he missed last year following the controversy over $40,000 he gave to Little Rock Christian, the private school his son attended, to install a new surface for the football field. The airport commission awarded Mathieu a $10,000 bonus, plus a $10,000 pay raise from $180,000 to $190,000.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION. The state Supreme Court ruled that the "use-of-force" records prepared by the officer involved in an altercation with a man outside Ferneau Restaurant are a matter of public record, affirming the Pulaski Circuit Court ruling in the case. Judge Wendell Griffen had previously ordered the Little Rock Police Department to turn over use-of-force documents concerning Lt. David Hudson to attorneys for Chris Erwin. While working as a private security guard at Ferneau, Hudson was filmed on video repeatedly hitting Erwin, a customer, in the face. The city earlier had contended it had provided Erwin's lawyer all it was required to provide under the Freedom of Information Act and that the use-of-force records were exempt from the state Freedom of Information Act because they were part of an internal affairs inquiry.
It was a bad week for...
PASSING A BUDGET. Minority Leader Rep. John Burris held up movement in the fiscal session with his proposal of a budget plan that shaves $21 million from nearly a dozen state departments and borrows from surplus to meet a Medicaid cost increase. In all, Burris' proposal would cost 61 state jobs. Governor Beebe has called most of Burris' ideas a "non-starter," but said he would talk to Republicans about cuts as long as they didn't come in the Health Department, the Forestry Commission, the Economic Development Commission or the Department of Higher Education.
ALICE STEWART. Having jumped from the frying pan of Michele Bachmann to the fire of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum as a spokesperson, the former Arkansas newswoman/political operative is already having to clean up after herself — for accusing President Obama of "radical Islamic policies." Just a slip of the tongue, she said.
POST-THANKSGIVING FOOTBALL IN LITTLE ROCK. As widely expected, the University of Arkansas announced that its football team will play LSU on Nov. 24 in Fayetteville instead of Little Rock, where the game has been played the last nine times the Razorbacks were the home team. In exchange, Little Rock fans will see Ole Miss at War Memorial on Oct. 27. Louisiana-Monroe comes on Sept. 8 as well.