July 23-29, 2008
It was a good week for …
The STATE GAME AND FISH COMMISSION. It struck a deal to lease more than 11,000 acres of wildlife management areas for gas exploration by Chesapeake Energy. The lease money alone is worth almost $30 million. Royalties, it is hoped, will be worth lots more. A separate agreement is supposed to protect the wildlife areas from environmental harm. We shall see.
U.S. REP. VIC SNYDER. After hearing testimony from an opponent of gays in the military who predicted an explosion of HIV and other ills from gay service people, Snyder called her testimony “just bonkers” and her claims about an HIV menace “inappropriate.” He called a nut a nut, in other words.
The WORKING POOR. The minimum wage in Arkansas rose by 30 cents an hour to $6.55. That's enough, in a 40-hour week, to buy about three gallons of gas.
EDUCATION SCANDAL. Bruce Terry resigned as director of the Southeast Arkansas Education Service Co-operative in Monticello amid a multi-pronged investigation that included a probe of allegations that teachers were being made to inflate grades for high school students earning college credits in a statewide program run by the co-op.
It was a bad week for …
The STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT. Revenue from the fuel tax — which pays for road repair and construction — is dropping as people find ways to cope with high fuel costs.
UCA PRESIDENT LU HARDIN. Has he told the public or the UCA Board the unvarnished truth about anything? The latest revelation in a series of missteps along the way to some dramatic pay increases was that he had personally drafted a memo for the board to which he attached the names of other UCA officials. The memo supported a secretive deferred payment plan for Hardin. Good news for Hardin: The board seems of a mind to stick with him, despite everything.