Oct. 21-27, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
STATE-SPONSORED RELIGION. The cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock (particularly NLR) and the North Little Rock School District promoted and helped stage with public employees, facilities and equipment a two-day Christian revival on North Little Rock's riverfront. Imagine if North Little Rock public school buses had been used to shuttle people to a Muslim rally.
BUDGET CUTS. The Little Rock City Board trimmed almost a $1 million from this year's spending and gave City Manager Bruce Moore power to cut more in the final months of 2009 if tax revenues continue to erode.
It was a bad week for …
CURTIS VANCE. The accused killer of KATV's Anne Pressly lost his bid to suppress incriminating statements he gave to police investigators. His lawyers also failed to delay his trial for more mental evaluations.
The eSTEM CHARTER SCHOOL. The board of the highly touted school, backed by Walton money and Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman, whacked the management budget by $560,000, including cutting CEO Roy Brooks' pay almost in half because somebody finally figured out the operation would end in a deep hole otherwise. The school's board also talked of elementary students falling on the state alert list for insufficient academic progress and of the school's declining percentage of lower-income students, supposedly one of the school's main targets.
NEWSPAPER COMPETITION. The Justice Department cleared a combination of Stephens and Hussman family newspapers in Northwest Arkansas to create a profit-sharing print monopoly in the thriving region and end daily newspaper competition. Historic irony: Hussman opposed a Stephens newspaper acquisition in Fayetteville years ago because he said it would lead to a market monopoly, then a terrible thing. Now, not so much.
The HOGS. They got a whipping from Houston Nutt's Ole Miss Rebels, a big letdown after the big game against Florida.