Out with the old
Some changes are being made at the home of new University of Central Arkansas president Allen Meadors. The renovations, including removing the carpet, restoring the original hardwood floors and adding additional shelving, will cost around $50,000.
Jeff Pitchford, vice president of university and government relations, said $25,000 came from the UCA Board of Trustees' discretionary fund and $25,000 came from a private donor. The president and his wife, along with the UCA board of trustees, requested that the carpet be removed. Some of the renovations were requested by the UCA Physical Plant.
“Due to the age of the structure at UCA, it is a good time for maintenance and other work to be done,” Pitchford said.
The president's home, which is provided rent-free and staffed, is 73 years old. It was completed in 1936 as part of a Public Works Administration project and was extensively remodeled in 1995-96.
Regulars bemoaned the spring closure of Mike Selig's Vermillion, a popular restaurant and bar in the River Market District. Keep the faith. Darla Huie, who's demonstrated restaurant savvy with more than 13 years of good food and a ground-breaking private club drink permit at her Dizzy's Grill in Benton, is working on a deal to take over the Vermillion space. She's pointing to a Nov. 1 opening and would close the Benton restaurant. She'll continue Dizzy's favorites, plus some more international specials, and position her restaurant somewhere between a couple of neighbors, the Copper Grill and Sticky Fingerz.
Word has circulated in Republican Party circles of the potential candidacy of Donnie Copeland, an Apostolic Church minister in North Little Rock. He has declined to return phone and e-mail messages, but one source says he's interested in statewide office, perhaps secretary of state. Nobody can figure why he turned up on the list of recently formed federal exploratory committees, the Committee to Elect Donnie Copeland.
As expected, former state Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson has declared his candidacy for the state Senate seat being vacated by term-limited Sen. Shane Broadway. He'll face a Republican primary against Rep. Dan Greenberg, whom Hutchinson beat by a 60-40 margin in a special election for Hutchinson's initial House term. The winner will have Democratic opposition. Rep. Dawn Creekmore and lawyer Todd Witham have declared so far.