Sept. 23-29, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
GAMBLING. The new Arkansas Lottery sold more than $1 million worth of lottery tickets in the first day of business and startup seemed smooth. Gamblers gave up about a third of the wagering to scholarships.
TURKEYS. The state Game and Fish Commission scrapped the fall turkey hunting season in hopes it will help restore dwindling stocks of the birds.
CORRUPTION. The Arkansas House Rules Committee endorsed a rules change to allow legislators to accept campaign contributions during the legislative session in 2010.
It was a bad week for …
HOG FOOTBALL. They were shellacked, embarrassed, whipped, etc. by Alabama, 35-7.
The CITY OF LITTLE ROCK. It's looking for $3 million in spending cuts to meet an expected revenue shortfall.
The ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION COMMISSION. To help out Little Rock, it's agreed to take over operation of the River Market. Maybe it could also take over City Hall and call it an “entertainment venue” and makes its travails a tourist attraction, too.
U.S. REP. MIKE ROSS. Reporting on the $1.25 million he and his wife made selling a small-town drugstore dominated news headlines for days. It emphasized how much of Ross' fortune is owed to interests who aren't looking out for the uninsured and underinsured in the health care debate.
The POLLUTION CONTROL AND ECOLOGY COMMISSION. Despite an adverse court ruling, it voted overwhelmingly to allow construction to continue on a coal-burring American Electric Power plant in Hempstead County. Big business — not ecology — has always been the commission's priority concern.
MARITAL BLISS. Garland and Pulaski Counties ranked high — 25th and 33rd — in a national survey on divorce rates. Statewide, Arkansas's divorce rate — 12.5 percent are divorced people — continued to climb, well above the national average.