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The Insider, Dec. 20

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Judicial changes

We forgot to catch up last week on an Insider item from the week before that become outdated after we went to press but before the paper hit the streets.

Alice Lightle, who had been considering a race for circuit court, will be running for the Little Rock district court seat being vacated by the retiring Judge Lee Munson. She'll face Deputy Prosecutor Hugh Finkelstein in that race. She's currently completing a vacancy as a district judge for Little Rock's environmental court.

Lightle's race, and another development, will leave District Judge Herb Wright as the only announced candidate for that circuit judgeship, being vacated by the retiring John Langston. The other development is that City Attorney Tom Carpenter has decided not to run after all.

Finally, Greg Almand said he won't be running after all against incumbent Circuit Judge Collins Kilgore.

Free shot?

March brings the filing deadline for political office in 2008 and with time running out, the Republicans still haven't fielded a candidate against U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor. Will there be a Republican candidate at all? Perhaps not, one Republican source says. Any Republican will prompt Pryor to crank up his get-out-the-vote machine. Some of that effort would involve tapping the traditional Democratic constituency of black voters. Republicans aren't anxious to see that turnout cranked up because it could translate to votes against the Republican presidential candidate. Arkansas has been in the Republican column for president for decades, save Clinton exceptions.

There had been some talk of a candidacy by Rogers Mayor Steve Womack, he of the high anti-immigrant profile. But that's been scrapped now.

No decision

As we reported last month, David Cross, a Sherwood high-schooler, was found dead on Larry Staley's Sherwood property on Oct. 23. At the time, Staley said he accidentally hit Cross with warning shots as Cross fled from an attempted theft. Staley, however, gave multiple accounts of events and a second man who didn't figure into Staley's original story, Lamarcus Dunn, was later arrested for theft and trespassing on Staley's property.

Will charges be filed against Cross in the shooting or will his action be found justified?

Two months after the shooting, the case file remains backlogged. Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley, the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney, said that the file is on his desk, but that he doesn't expect a decision until after Christmas.

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