March 11-17, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
U.S. SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. Vice President Joe Biden came to town to help her raise $800,000 or so for a re-election campaign that, so far, hasn't produced a Republican opponent.
LEAH THORVILSON. The Little Rock resident won the female division of the Little Rock Marathon, which drew 6,000 runners on a day cool enough for distance running.
LOOSE LIPS. Anne Pressly murder suspect Curtis Lavelle Vance apparently has twice initiated jailhouse conversations with police detectives about his case. Defense attorneys aren't happy, but what are they going to do about a talkative client? Fume, is what. Subject of police-Vance discussions is unknown at this time.
TAX CUTS. Cuts in the grocery tax and manufacturers' sales tax on electricity won near unanimous approval in the Arkansas legislature. Gov. Mike Beebe has decided tobacco users should finance government.
It was a BAD week for …
TEACHERS. What with tax cuts on groceries and industry electric rates and a declining economy, they seem unlikely to get overdue help on ever-more-expensive health insurance. (See Max Brantley's column.)
BASKETBALL. Can anyone in Arkansas (at the Division I level) play this game? What's more, the University of Arkansas found itself in communication with the NCAA — again — about men's basketball recruiting activities.
CIRCUIT JUDGE L.T. SIMES. A state judicial panel recommended removal of the Helena judge from the bench for continuing in private law practice as a judge. Further complaints against him are pending.
COUNTY JUDGE BUDDY VILLINES. He remained an implacable opponent of the best land use plan for the Lake Maumelle watershed. He continues to stand in the way of minimum lot size rules, though just about everybody else with a stake in clean water, save developers, supports them.