Jan. 13-19, 2010
It was a GOOD week for …
RON SHEFFIELD. The former deputy insurance commissioner was appointed to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court. He's black, which solves a political controversy that arose when Gov. Mike Beebe originally filled the seat with banker Bill Bowen, 86. Bowen resigned after a week on the court for health reasons.
POLITICAL SPECULATION. U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder's planned retirement (see below) inspired a wild burst of speculation about potential candidates for his seat and a potential domino effect in other political offices. Most interesting new name: Retired Gen. Wes Clark for Congress.
REPUBLICANS. See Vic Snyder.
OAKLAWN PARK. It got 60-degree weather for its Jan. 16 opening day of horse racing and more than 20,000 people turned out to enjoy it.
CASINO TALK. A Texas promoter says he will try again to push a ballot initiative that would give his private company a monopoly on casino gambling in Arkansas, unregulated by the state.
It was a bad week for …
The SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. Free-thinking U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder announced he wouldn't seek an eighth term in 2010 on account of a desire to spend more time with his four young children, including year-old triplets.
YARD PARKING. City directors have begun a push to pass an ordinance to ban parking vehicles in yards. Next: porch beer drinking.
WORKING POOR. A small expansion of the ARKids health insurance program has been put on hold indefinitely because of the state's budget woes.
CIRCUIT JUDGE WILLARD PROCTOR. Fighting his removal from the bench for ethical lapses, he told the Supreme Court his motives were pure. And what would Proctor tell a criminal defendant in his court who said, “Yes, I did all those things but I meant well.”