Quote of the Week
"Then what's [the] purpose of public comment? ... How can I ignore that?"
— Stuart Hill, a member of the Independent Citizens Commission, which on Monday ratified dramatic pay increases for legislators, judges and constitutional officers. Since the commission made its recommendations last month, Hill said, 90 percent of public comment has been against the steep raises. Hill and fellow commissioner Larry Ross voted "no," but the vote carried 5-2.
Marriage is so sacred in Arkansas we do it over and over again
According to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Arkansas leads the nation in the percentage of remarriages. Among Arkansans who have been wed at some point, 24 percent have married twice and 10 percent have married three or more times. That's a remarriage rate of about 35 percent, as compared to 25 percent nationwide, despite our stated emphasis on preservation of the family. Every single one of those not-quite-forever Arkansas marriages was between straight people, by the way.
Paul Bookout, the former Democratic state senator from Jonesboro, entered a negotiated plea to one count of felony mail fraud last week. He'll have to pay about $150,000, thanks to his egregious spending of campaign contributions for the benefit of himself and his family, including a home entertainment system, club dues, clothes, booze and other sundries. He awaits sentencing.
Glasgow remains discovered
A skull found on Petit Jean Mountain was determined to belong to John Glasgow, the Little Rock construction executive who went missing in 2008. Investigators said the remains were found at the bottom of a cliff in a rocky, remote area, and that the skull showed no signs of trauma; dental records allowed the State Crime Lab to positively identify the remains as Glasgow's. Bone fragments have been recovered since.
Mark Martin identifies the real problem
A reader in Northwest Arkansas was drawn into a Facebook exchange with Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin concerning the "rehoming" controversy surrounding Rep. Justin Harris (see article, this issue). When a friend posted an Arkansas Times article on the issue, the reader commented on the post, saying that Harris should resign. Martin jumped in to defend Harris. He told the reader she was "making a judgment based upon misinformation by a vile socialist anti-Christian propaganda blog about one of the most righteous seeming, humble, and gentle men I have ever met in my life."
The reader stood her ground and pointed out that the Harrises have now admitted to rehoming their adopted girls. Martin told her, "People like you are what makes people refuse to risk fostering or adoption. I believe it is people like you who are the problem. Not people who try and fail like the Harris.' [sic]"
Leave us out of it
After being attacked by his own pet zebra on Sunday night in Searcy, White County District Judge Mark Derrick is now in serious condition at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, according to the Searcy Police Department. Searcy police Cpl. Steve Hernandez said the department won't be taking any further action, since the animal belonged to Derrick. "If this would have been someone else's zebra that attacked him, there would be more to it," Hernandez explained.
The daily newspaper business, by the numbers
$336 - The full cost of a yearly subscription, before the deal. The cut-rate cost would be $168.
38,000 - The approximate decline in the D-G's average weekday circulation over the past two years, from 184,033 subscribers in 2012 to around 146,470 in 2014.
$1.68 million - The drop in revenue resulting from cancellations of every 10,000 subscriptions.