May 27-June 2, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
JUSTICE. A panel of the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission recommended the removal of Circuit Judge Willard Proctor from the bench. His abuse of power and ethical lapses in handling of a probation program — and probationers — have been documented for months by the Arkansas Times.
RESIGNING. Education Department Director Ken James announced he'd leave his job by June 30. He apparently has some private job options to consider, presumably with less pressure from small-school forces intent on rolling back school standards.
It was a BAD week for …
TERRORISM. Two young soldiers were shot, one fatally, in a drive-by shooting outside a military recruiting station in western Little Rock. Police said the suspect in the case had told officers he was motivated by religion — Abdul-Hakim Muhammad is a convert to Islam — and his opposition to the U.S. military involvement in the Middle East. He reportedly told police he'd have killed more if he could have.
The STATE CORRECTION DEPARTMENT. It had little by way of explanation of how two capital murderers had been able to slip on guard uniforms and slip out of the Cummins Unit undetected for three hours last week. They departed in a car parked outside the gates. Guards on duty when it happened were relieved without pay during an internal investigation. At press time, the killers were still on the loose.
The UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS. Former Hog basketball player Patrick Beverley said he'd left the team because he'd been caught cheating on papers. He said he was not alone. The UA said it would investigate.
TOM COURTWAY. The interim president of the University of Central Arkansas dropped out of the running to be the new state lottery commission director. He said he had become a distraction to the process.
BAKED GOODS. The storied Klappenbach Bakery in Fordyce, a frequent winner of Arkansas Times awards, burned. Owners were uncertain about reopening.