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UA gets wise

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The University of Arkansas has discovered this Internet thingy is full of good info. Such as: a means to track private aircraft.

Until Monday, it appears the UA and its Razorback Foundation did not realize it could keep its flight plans off such Internet plane-tracking sites as FlightAware. Before that, anyone could log in the tail numbers of the Razorback Foundation plane or the UA Board of Trustees plane and find out what town a UA official was visiting for, say, hiring a new basketball coach. In fact, web surfers suspected last week before the media covering UA sports that university officials were in Louisville interviewing a candidate for their open position of women’s basketball coach. A couple of days later, they were introducing former Louisville coach Tom Collen as the new UA women’s coach.

No such luck this week on the men’s basketball job, open after Stan Heath’s firing. Someone apparently clued the UA in to FlightAware. For both the Foundation and Board of Trustees planes, FlightAware’s live flight tracker earlier this week read: “This flight is not available for tracking per request from the owner/operator.”

Phone fun

The hiring of a new basketball coach at the University of Arkansas will inevitably raise questions about football coach Houston Nutt. For example, will Nutt need a pay adjustment if the Hogs have to go high to hire a new basketball coach?

If so, it won’t sit well with those anxious for Nutt to find another place to coach. Unhappiness continues. The Insider learned recently about Freedom of Information Act requests filed for records of Nutt’s university-supplied cell phone. The results — including, but not limited to, calls to his agent when Nutt was professing his happiness at UA and several calls to a Nutt friend around the time she sent the notorious insulting e-mail to quarterback Mitch Mustain — have been feeding chatter on Hog Internet message boards. When a recipient of the phone records wrote members of the UA Board of Trustees suggesting that they look into Nutt’s phone calls, however, Nutt had enough. He had a Little Rock lawyer write a letter with a veiled threat of legal action to the inquisitor, suggesting he was interfering with Nutt’s contract by writing to the board. Interesting theory. Can’t a taxpayer write to a public employee’s supervisors and question the propriety of calls charged to the state? The board isn’t through reviewing the issue, we’re told.

The Beebe style

An Arkansas Blog reader reports running into Gov. Mike Beebe and his wife Ginger in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport last weekend. The Beebes were patiently awaiting one of those cramped American Eagle flights to Little Rock. Why not fly the state plane, the governor reportedly was asked. Our blogger says Beebe replied that he’d been on a political trip and, unless he was on official state business, he’d make his own flight arrangements.

Here’s another change reported from the Huckabee era. Remember when the governor’s interior decorator painted over the gorgeous hardwood paneling in the governor’s office as part of a redo financed by Jennings Osborne? When the session is over and things slow a bit, we hear the paint is to be stripped and the natural look restored, perhaps along with hardwood flooring currently hidden by carpet.

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