It was a good week for...
UNMARRIED PARENTS. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that there is no "blanket ban" against unmarried cohabitation in child-custody cases, and that any restriction on visitation should be based on the circumstances of each particular case and the best interests of the children. The ban had been widely applied in Arkansas custody cases.
SPENDING ON HOLIDAY CHEER. The city of Conway spent $133,000 on what's being billed as the state's largest Christmas tree. It's a 54-foot-tall faux evergreen. The city used money from its hamburger tax on local restaurants and lodging.
BIG BROTHER. The Little Rock Police Department unveiled its camera surveillance system of public streets and buildings, a $500,000 effort that has installed 53 cameras encased in bullet-proof housing. The recorded footage will be kept for up to 10 days and, unless it's part of a criminal investigation, kept footage will be available to the public under the state's Freedom of Information Act.
It was a bad week for...
THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS. Mississippi State beat the Hogs in Arkansas for the first time in 113 years. Another first: Arkansas has lost eight consecutive games for the first time in team history. Only gluttons for punishment will spend three hours on Saturday watching the Hogs get run over by LSU.
EQUALITY. The Human Rights Campaign released its annual Municipal Equality Index, which measures cities and towns on the basis of how inclusive their laws and policies are of LGBT people. The study looked at 291 municipalities across the country and rated them on a 100-point scale. Factors that went in to the score include "non-discrimination laws, equal employee benefits, relationship recognition, inclusive city services and leadership on matters of equality." The average score was 57. Fayetteville came closest to that mark with a 46. Other Arkansas cities — Fort Smith (16), Little Rock (21) and North Little Rock (17) — ranked near the bottom nationally.