News » The Week That Was

Oct. 9-14

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IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …

GOV. MIKE BEEBE. He greenlighted the end of the Huckabee-era state rule that prohibits the placement of foster children in homes with unmarried couples, no matter how strongly the circumstances that might argue for it. The state policy change amounted to a recommendation to VOTE NO on INITIATED ACT 1, which would make the child-punishing rule law.

WAR MEMORIAL PARK.
The city is finally moving to do something about the vacant Ray Winder Field by seeking bids for its use. Easy solution. Use it to expand the state's biggest tourist draw, the Little Rock Zoo, with space for popular elephants to roam.

IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …


The UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS. Its trustees had to ask the state for a cash advance plus belated approval of a $6 million credit line. This and budget tightening are all byproducts of years of enrollment growth funded by excessive scholarship awards and free-and-easy fiscal policies.

ATTORNEY GENERAL DUSTIN MCDANIEL. He looked hypocritical and dopey for taking out-of-state officials to Yellville to show off the “turkey drop,” the yuck-fest in which panicked turkeys are dropped from airplanes over the  annual turkey festival. Turkeys aren't covered in the animal cruelty legislation McDaniel hopes to push through the 2009 legislature. Obviously.

ARKANSAS JUDGES. Justices Donald Corbin and Annabelle Clinton Imber complained at a public hearing that they did not make enough money to send their kids to college. Salaries of $131,000 and up sound pretty good to the average Arkie. There's a case to be made for improving judicial pay, but this wasn't the way to do it.

PAUL DOANE.
The executive director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System spent 115 work days out of state in 13 months and was reimbursed for more than $34,000 in travel expenses. He insisted he was working — in places conveniently handy to his “other” homes in New Mexico and Massachusetts. Nice “work” if you can get it. He's paid $153,000 a year.

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