It’s open. In conclusion:
* MAIN STREET REVIVAL: Good interview by Leslie Newell Peacock on her Eye Candy blog with the young man with a plan — and money already behind it — to revitalize Little Rock’s Main Street with projects aimed at luring artistic residents.
* BEST HOSPITALS IN LITTLE ROCK: U.S. News is out with one of its sales-gimmick ranking features, this one on the country’s best hospital. They also rank by city. Among the 23 hospitals in the Little Rock metro area, the ranking went 1) UAMS; 2) Baptist Health; 3) St. Vincent.
* DEATH ROW INMATE MAY BE SPARED: A circuit judge in Van Burean, reconsidering the case of Rickey Dale Newman on order of the Arkansas Supreme Court, has ruled he was fit to stand trial for murder in the 2002 slaying of Marie Cholette, but that he was mentally retarded. Mentally retarded people can’t be executed in Arkansas. Prosecutors tell the Southwest Times Record this likely means Newman’s death sentence will be commuted to life without parole. Newman’s appeals occurred despite his own efforts to stop them and proceed with execution.
* REPUBLICAN PITY PARTY: I think the Tolbert Report Twitter account is as good a place as any to measure the Republican displeasure with redistricting maps. He’s outraged that the House maps puts Benton, Bryant and Bauxite in the same district. Gee, whodda thunk linking communities with long sports rivalries, shared employment at major industries and the same county wouldn’t make sense? He, of course, wants each population center (now tilting heavily Republican) to have its own district to control. I guess what’s happened here is the Democratic version of Republican minority packing when they’re in charge. A little Republican packing, looks like. He notes that West Little Rock’s Republican Rep. David Sanders now finds himself in a minority black district with
Rep. Fred Love of Little Rock. CORRECTION: Sanders in with term-limited Fred Allen, not against an incumbent. Beebe’s plan also tosses DINO Rep. Linda Collins-Smith into a district with a Republican incumbent so obscure I can’t remember her name.
* BACHMANN GETS PHYSICAL: The Bachmann camp got physical with ABC’s Brian Ross when he tried to ask a followup question about her migraine headaches, which she said won’t be a hindrance to her service as president. (I’ll buy that on her migraines. It’s not the migraines that concern me, but what else goes on in that noggin.)