Sept. 17-23, 2008
It was a GOOD week for …
HISTORY. A happy crowd gathered for the opening of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a state-run museum that remembers the once-thriving black business district that surrounded the property.
LAWSUIT DECISIONS. The Family Council filed one to prevent a vote on a proposed state lottery amendment. The religious group says the ballot title is misleading and could legalize casinos. On the other legal hand, opponents of a Family Council-backed initiative to make it more difficult to adopt children said they would NOT file a lawsuit after all, as they'd originally intended.
CASINOS. The group proposing the state lottery responded to the Family Council lawsuit by saying there's no constitutional bar to casinos in Arkansas. It takes only a vote of the legislature, the group said. Stupid argument politically. That means the legislature could turn the state lottery into a state casino, not to mention turn monopoly racinos at Oakland and Southland Parks into full-blown casinos. This will not be exactly reassuring to voters.
A BIRTHDAY. Officials marked the 60th anniversary of the opening of War Memorial Stadium with a rededication ceremony around the stadium's new 25-foot “Stars and Stripes” sculpture.
It was a BAD week for …
CHILDREN. A federal-state raid of so-called evangelist Tony Alamo's compound in Fouke followed an investigation of more than a year into allegations of child sexual abuse, polygamy and pornography. Six girls were taken into temporary custody by the state. The Arkansas Times reported this investigation was underway last November.
The PULASKI COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT. A federal court monitor said the district has fallen short of important desegregation goals. It continues to discipline blacks at a disproportionate rate and failed to meet a 50-50 racial goal for the new, majority white elementary school in Chenal Valley. This could slow an effort to end the county desegregation case and the state's efforts to end payments in that case.
The HOGS. Alabama thrashed the UA football team 49-14 in Fayetteville.