March 18-24, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
POLITICAL WAR STORIES. Three former governors — two of them also former senators and one a former president — gathered to tell tales in Little Rock last week. David Pryor dubbed his appearance with Dale Bumpers and Bill Clinton the “antiques road show.” They and a couple more governors appeared at the opening of the library's Arkansas Studies Institute the next evening.
LITTLE ROCK. The Central Arkansas Library's new Arkansas Studies Institute is a stunning model of public architecture, an adaptive reuse of historic buildings that will serve and delight users for decades to come.
DR. DANIEL W. RAHN. The Georgia medical school president was tapped to be the next chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He'll be paid about $700,000 a year.
GAMBLERS. Legislation to create a state lottery was sent to Gov. Mike Beebe for signing. Legislators hope to have a lottery running before the year is out. Profits from gamblers' losses will finance college scholarships.
RON QUILLIN. The man who rose from a beaver trapping job to be comptroller of the state's most populous county — a position in which he embezzled tens of thousands of dollars, in part to carry on an illicit affair with a Pulaski County computer vendor — was released from prison after serving 16 months of a 12-year sentence. Whereabouts not publicly announced.
It was a BAD week for …
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. He suffered criticism from left and right on his efforts to address the financial crisis.
The ARTS. The Democrat-Gazette reported that Arkansas arts institutions have been buffeted by declining contributions and the fall in value of their investments. The downturn has forced delay of a couple of major planned additions at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and the Museum of Discovery.
CASH FLOW. A decline in state tax revenue could force a revision of budget estimates and that, in turn, could impact state spending.