Supreme Court race
Ray Abramson of Holly Grove, currently serving by appointment to complete an unexpired term on the Arkansas Court of Appeals, is letting it be known that he plans a race for Arkansas Supreme Court in 2012.
Abramson apparently plans to run for the seat currently held by Justice Jim Gunter. Gunter has not yet made a formal announcement, but he is expected to announce he is not seeking re-election next year.
Glasgow death declaration
Our Arkansas Blog broke the news this week that Melinda Glasgow had filed a petition in probate court to have her husband, John Glasgow, declared dead.
Glasgow, who had been the successful chief financial officer of CDI Contractors, a major construction firm, disappeared Jan. 28, 2008, and exhaustive searches and international publicity have failed to turn up any evidence he is alive. No one has found a reason yet for Glasgow's disappearance and the petition doesn't offer one.
Arkansas law generally holds that a person may be declared dead after disappearing for five years. But an earlier declaration can be sought. Mrs. Glasgow's petition said the "near certitude" that her husband is dead "is overwhelming and unbearably painful. Yet, they have no body and no closure. They need to begin moving beyond this painful tragedy."
The petition said that Mrs. Glasgow, who earlier had been granted a power of attorney over the couple's assets, said the declaration would allow issuance of a death certificate and "she can the start the process of healing the loss of her beloved husband and begin an orderly administration of the estate."
A legal notice in this week's Times gives John Glasgow 60 days to contest the declaration. It is considered a legal formality.
Lawyers in Little Rock have been receiving a questionnaire from the American Bar Association's committee on judicial appointments on Amy Russell, who Sen. Mark Pryor apparently is pushing for a federal judicial vacancy in Little Rock. She was among three candidates initially rejected by the White House (former Sen. Blanche Lincoln favored another candidate at the time), but changing politics and a failure to fill the seat seem to be working in Russell's favor. Several have expressed opposition because of a lack of practice experience, her past financial support for a Republican presidential candidate, George W. Bush, and the appearances of giving the lifetime appointment to the wife of Pryor's former chief of staff, Bob Russell.
A bridge too far?
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has set aside $45 million to replace the Broadway Bridge in Little Rock. State Rep. John Walker has been pressing highway officials to have a public process before taking that step over a less costly project to cure structural deficiencies. Walker questions such an expenditure by a department that says it is short of money. He also questions the community impact of changing the major transportation artery. He said too little thought was given the segregative effects of the Mills Freeway, discussed in David Koon's recent cover story.
Pants on the ground
Rep. Tracy Steele told Broadway Joe on his Power 92 radio show this week that he had plans to introduce legislation to ensure that school districts enforced dress codes that prohibited the wearing of pants that sag so low underwear is exposed. First question: Does the legislature really need to waste time on a "fashion" statement that most school districts, if not all, already prohibit? Steele, who is term-limited but reportedly planning a race for North Little Rock mayor, naturally thinks this is an important topic. As yet, he doesn't seem to be proposing to emulate some lawmakers elsewhere and make saggy pants a law violation. Steele said Broadway Joe's listeners overwhelmingly liked his idea.