IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
KILLING. Little Rock recorded six homicides in seven days. The only good news was that the slayings weren’t related. Or is it bad news that murderous people are so numerous?
CONSOLIDATION. The state Education Department took over two more financially distressed school districts — Eudora and Midland — with plans to join them with neighboring districts.
The CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER. Derided by some (mostly people who don’t like the former president), the building won the prestigious honor award of the American Institute of Architects.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS. Legislative Audit released a comprehensive report on their pay and some of them get a wad, such as the superintendent of the 367-student Turrell School District, who knocks down more than $111,000. He protests that he also mops floors when necessary.
POOR OLD PEOPLE. The Bush Medicare drug plan, built on false administration representations (sound familiar?), is a disaster. States and pharmaceutical companies are being asked to make sure old folks get their drugs until somebody can figure out a way to fix the snafu.
WAL-MART. Maryland passed a law requiring large companies (only Wal-Mart would qualify), to devote at least 8 percent of payroll to employees’ health care costs. Other states are coming.
PULASKI COUNTY. Now we get where the county’s financial crisis came from. Legislative Audit reported that the county has been deficit spending for years but making ends meet with reserve funds. The reserves are now depleted, thus layoffs of deputies. The county overspent revenue by more than $5.4 million in 2004 alone.
HOG FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL COACHES. When the state’s leading sportswriter, Wally Hall of the Democrat-Gazette, stops cheering and starts writing headlines about an “Overdose of mediocrity” in the two major sports at UA, it means the honeymoon is over.