It was a good week for ...
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS. Robert H. Biggadike of West Covina, Calif., who earned his BA and MA in mechanical engineering from the UA and had a career in the aerospace industry, made a gift of more than $7.8 million to the UA College of Engineering.
It was a bad week for ...
THE LAKE MAUMELLE WATERSHED. Graham Rich, CEO of Central Arkansas Water, the utility that manages the Lake Maumelle watershed and reservoir, which supplies 400,000 Central Arkansans with their drinking water, said based on his conversations with ExxonMobil, he doesn't believe the oil giant will accede to CAW's demand that Exxon relocate the Pegasus pipeline outside of the watershed.
ANDI DAVIS. The Hot Springs lawyer, whose relationship with Attorney General Dustin McDaniel led him to withdraw from the gubernatorial race, was charged with manslaughter in the 2012 shooting death of Maxwell Anderson at Davis' Hot Springs home as well as burglary and theft for an unrelated alleged crime.
PETTY POLITICS. Sen. Jason Rapert objected to the appointment of Linda Tyler to the state Parole Board, leading Gov. Mike Beebe to withdraw the nomination. Rapert and Tyler, a former state representative, faced off in the 2012 election for the Senate District 35 seat, a contentious, no-love-lost race. By tradition, gubernatorial appointments requiring Senate approval can be vetoed by the senator of the nominee's home district, though such vetoes are exceedingly rare. A senator has objected to a nominee just three times over the duration of Beebe's term — two of them by Rapert in the last year.
THE ARKANSAS TRAVELERS. The North Little Rock-based minor league baseball team introduced a new mascot, a swamp possum in hillbilly garb named Otey, which was nearly universally panned on social media (more on page 11).
OUACHITA COUNTY JUDGE MIKE HESTERLY. Hesterly, charged in January 2013 with federal conspiracy and bribery counts in what prosecutors say was a scheme to trade FEMA disaster clean-up funds for a campaign contribution, announced he will resign effective April 3, citing "health problems, current circumstances and other concerns."