Will fill job
Dan O'Byrne, informed by e-mails from City Director Ken Richardson that it was high time the CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau filled the director of diversity sales position, said Monday a national search will begin once the city's human resources office approves the job description. The position, which focuses on business from such groups as LULAC and Alpha Kappa Alpha, has been vacant since September.
The previous director, Sherri Brown, was hired after a national search and worked in Little Rock for a year before moving to Tampa, Fla. O'Byrne would like to offer the new hire his or her own office — as opposed to the cubicle available now — and an assistant to keep the director longer.
The Advertising and Promotion Commission's real estate committee has been updating what the LRCVB's financial obligations are on maintaining the space it already owns; O'Byrne said he has been waiting on their report to know what he could offer a new director. Though the commission has not approved expansion of LRCVB offices, O'Byrne met Monday with Flake and Kelly real estate agents Monday to inquire about possible space.
O'Byrne said the director of sales and marketing and an account representative have been handling the diversity business in the meantime.
Not guilty, finally
City Director Doris Wright will plead not guilty in Sherwood Traffic Court on July 7 to a citation for driving 57 mph in a 40 mph zone. Wright says she's glad she'll finally get it over with; the ticket was issued Feb. 6. Because it was her first speeding ticket, City Attorney Tom Carpenter suggested she go to court to avoid the fine of $135 (probation is typically offered on first minor traffic offenses), but he asked that her case be transferred out of the city traffic court to avoid a conflict with a director who determines its budget. North Little Rock and Maumelle apparently found the case too hot to handle as well. “I could have paid it by now,” Wright said. Carpenter said it's not unusual to transfer a traffic ticket. “One of my kids got one and they kept bumping it around.”
UALR pulls church post
After a protest from faculty, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock pulled from its website a solicitation for used books for a store the Mosaic Church plans to run as part of its Vine and Village Community Development Corp. An e-mail from Ron Copeland, director of the University District, which works with the UALR neighborhood on revitalization and safety issues, to faculty and staff making the request was posted as a “University News” item. Several faculty members complained on their listserv that Mosaic church considers homosexuality immoral and allows women only limited roles in church governance and questioned whether posting the request for books violated the separation of church and state. The item was pulled a week after it was posted. Copeland said he was “surprised” at the reaction.
The Arkansas Times brought home three national awards in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies annual journalism competition last week.
Winning first place in the Media Reporting/Criticism category were David Koon and Gerard Matthews for their article, “Fear Factor,” on the fallout among local TV personalities of the slaying of KATV anchor Anne Pressly. Matthews, Koon and John Williams won a third place in the public service category for a series of articles and a new blog, Shale Watch, that focused on drilling for gas in the Fayetteville shale and its environmental impact. Finally, the Arkansas Blog won third place in the blog category. All competition was among weeklies with circulation of less than 50,000.