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Union strife

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Union strife

A vigorous race is developing for a seat on the Little Rock School Board between incumbent Micheal Daugherty and Michael Nellums, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat three years ago. News this week: Nellums declined to fill out a questionnaire and thus wasn't able to participate in an interview with the committee of the Little Rock teachers union that endorses candidates.

Nellums said Cathy Koehler, president of the union, had met with Daugherty in advance of the committee meeting and expressed her support for him. (She contended she met with Daugherty individually and is not a member of the endorsement committee.) In a letter to her he wrote, "Although I have been projected and portrayed as anti-union, be assured that is not the case. I do however expect teachers, union or nonunion, and all other staff to be accountable and to act in the best interest of the students we serve." The union supported Daugherty three years ago.

Blood money

The Monroe County Republican Committee came up with a sure-fire way to raise money last week. It staged a testimonial dinner for Michael Neal, the wildlife officer from Brinkley who rammed his truck into a van occupied by two men suspected of killing two West Memphis police officers in a traffic stop about two months ago. The two suspects were killed.

The Republicans charged $25 a head for tickets to the dinner at the Brinkley Convention Center last Friday ($10 for children) with proceeds to campaigns of two Republicans — Anna Grizzle, who's running for state representative, and Dennis Davenport, who's running for county judge. Said an announcement of the event: "Everyone is encouraged to come and show support for our hometown hero." By making a contribution to the Republican Party? State employees may raise money for political candidates while off-duty, the state Ethics Commission says. They may not use state property, such as a vehicle, in the process.

Old school ties

The wedding last Saturday of former first daughter Chelsea Clinton to Marc Mezvinsky produced a torrent of national media coverage, but ended up leaving many onlookers in Rhinebeck, N.Y., disappointed by the low number of celebrities in attendance. Family and friends of the young couple predominated.

Among the bridesmaids were two friends from Chelsea's school days in Little Rock (she was 12 when she moved to Washington). They were Elizabeth Flammang Puthoff, now of Austin, Texas, and Elizabeth Fleming Weindruch, now of Boston.

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