IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
RAZORBACKS. They won their first Southeastern Conference game in nearly a year, beating Ole Miss 28-17.
GAMBLING. Voters in Hot Springs and West Memphis approved the installation of new electronic gambling machines (video poker, most likely) at their local racetracks.
BLUE DOGS. Conservative Democrats in Congress, including Arkansas Reps. Mike Ross and Marion Berry, declined to support a Republican budget plan that would cut spending on social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and child-support enforcement.
CHILDREN’S WELFARE. The state Division of Children and Family Services reported an increase in caseworker trainees, a hopeful sign that the agency was making progress toward filling vacant positions.
HIGHWAY BONDS. Sen. Jim Argue, D-Little Rock, the president pro tempore of the Senate, said after meeting Monday with Gov. Mike Huckabee, that he supported the governor’s proposed interstate highway bond program. But … see below.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
HIGHWAY BONDS. Rep. Bill Stovall, D-Quitman, the speaker of the House of Representatives, who was with Sen. Jim Argue when he met with the governor, said the proposal, which would give the state Highway Commission the right to issue bonds without a vote, may violate the state Constitution.
CRIME IN LITTLE ROCK. Three people were fatally shot and at least two more were wounded by gunfire.
GOOD HEALTH. A federal study showed that the percentage of Arkansas adults who smoke increased in 2004, despite the state’s heavy investment in smoking-prevention programs.
CONWAY ELECTRICITY USERS. The city council approved a 16.9 percent increase in electric rates, the first increase in 21 years.
VISIONS. Deputy sheriffs raided the “adult entertainment” club in northern Pulaski County, seized gambling machines and suspected pornographic material, and arrested two employees.