Sept. 9-15, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
ARKANSAS. A poll showed that a majority of Arkansans are smarter than the people they send to Congress. A solid 55 percent said they favored a government administered health insurance option as part of health reform.
U.S. SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. Thanks to a leadership shuffle necessitated by the death of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, Lincoln became chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. It's good for still more campaign money for Lincoln from that sector, already fond of Lincoln. It is presumed to be of at least some value among voters in a state with a strong rural population.
TOM KIMBRELL. The head of the Arkansas school administrators' lobby was picked by Gov. Mike Beebe to be the next director of the state Education Department.
The LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT. Preliminary figures indicate enrollment is up slightly in the district this year, a happy switch from last year when numbers tumbled in the wake of controversy over an administration change and opening of charter schools aimed at skimming some of the best students from the district. Also: Central High School returned to its accustomed spot as the state's biggest producer of National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists, with 20. Fully a quarter of the state's National Merit honorees come from Central and Fayetteville High Schools.
HOT SPRINGS. The Hot Springs National Park will be commemorated on the first of a series of new quarters that will begin rolling out of the U.S. Mint next year.
It was a bad week for …
RAZORBACK MEN'S BASKETBALL. No criminal charges were filed over an allegation that three players were involved in a sexual assault of a freshman at a fraternity party. But the woman continued to insist she was raped and, at best, players admitted group sex acts had occurred. Plus another player made a crude reference to the event in a Twitter post. What will UA officials do about a program that has been beset by one problem after another?