It was a good week for ...
THE CLINTONS. The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport hosted the former president and former secretary of state to herald an expansion project and celebrate the formal renaming of the airport. The construction project — a new ticket lobby and baggage handling system — cost $67 million. Clinton said he'd love to see the airport become international and that he was "profoundly grateful" that the airport was named for him, particularly since the name had included "the airport's lawyer." Hillary Clinton represented the airport when her husband was governor.
A LAWSUIT. A coalition of conservation groups announced plans to file a lawsuit over Agriculture Department approval of a major hog feeding operation at the C&H Hog Farm at Mount Judea, located near a creek that flows into the Buffalo National River.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF AN ERA. State Auditor Charlie Daniels, a nearly eternal state officeholder, announced he's hanging it up. He won't seek re-election in 2014. He'd previously served as land commissioner (five terms) and secretary of state (two terms). He's 73 and won 70 percent of the vote in 2010, but said he's ready to retire. This further opens the field to a Republican challenger in reddening Arkansas. Republican State Rep. Andrea Lea of Russellville has said she might run. A Republican even more conservative than Lea, Ken Yang of Benton, is already in the race.
A HOG ROAST. Tasty, heritage-breed hogs slow roasted overnight, live music, cold beer — if the weather had been a little more spring-like, the first annual Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast would've been perfect.
AN OPT OUT. The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees and Hendrix College Trustees voted to opt out of the new state law that allows concealed guns to be carried on campus. The law, by Republican Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville, passed with the provision that governing bodies could choose to continue no-gun policies.
It was a bad week for ...
THE SLOAN-HENDRIX SCHOOL DISTRICT. The tiny school district in the Northeast Arkansas town of Imboden was rocked by the negative publicity surrounding reports that Bryant Huddleston, a former TV news anchor and successful TV producer, was invited to speak at graduation of his alma mater, Imboden's Sloan-Hendrix High School, but then disinvited because at least two school board members didn't think a gay man should speak at graduation.