Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
The ARKANSAS LOTTERY. Early sales estimates seemed to hold steady at more than $1 million per day.
SEN. GILBERT BAKER. The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate announced he'd raised $500,000 for the race in his first month of trying.
The STATE FAIR. Weather cooled down just as it's supposed to do for the opening of the fair this Friday. Among the attractions: Fried Coke (as in Coca-Cola).
PREGNANT PRISON INMATES. A federal appeals court said an inmate kept shackled in leg irons during labor and delivery could proceed with a lawsuit over her treatment in the Arkansas prison system, still a cold and brutal world.
It was a bad week for …
The STATE BUDGET. A double-digit drop in state revenue in September likely means a new look at the state's budget for the year and, absent some good news, probable cuts.
ABSTINENCE-ONLY EDUCATION. A Fort Smith man who worked in an abstinence-only sex ed program in local public schools was arrested for sexual indecency with underage girls who attended the group's programs. He asked for sex and naked photographs from the young teens.
The ARKANSAS SUPREME COURT. Acting apparently on criticism from our senior editor Mara Leveritt, it returned an illegally sealed court record in the West Memphis Three case to a lower court rather than allow the public to see the record as the law and court rules should have required. (See Leveritt's column this week on Page 15.)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK MAYOR PAT HAYS. It was a bad time for the mayor to be freshly returned from Spain, where he studied high-speed rail, a jillion-dollar idea in the dream stages for Arkansas. A more pressing concern is his city's reported $2.5 million shortfall in tax revenue.
SANCTUARY. State Rep. Beverly Pyle said she intended to try again to pass legislation to allow concealed weapons in church.