The line is open. But I leave you with:
* JENNINGS OSBORNE’S MOTOR POOL: Above is a picture snapped recently of a few of the cars in the late Jennings Osborne’s fleet of collector cars and other vehicles, including the utility trucks the out-sized philanthropist used to take barbecue, Christmas light displays and other gestures of goodwill to people far and wide.
I confirmed in a brief phone conversation this morning with Ralph Evans, general manager of Evans Motors in Maumelle, that his company had purchased Osborne’s vehicle collection, perhaps three dozen or so. I wasn’t able to speak with Evans longer about the specific inventory and what he’s thinking about resale prices should you wish to motor around town in the manner of the city’s most famous pharmaceutical researcher and mastodon rib purveyor. I’m told by somebody familiar with the collection that it includes a low-mileage Rolls Royce and Ferrari, multiple vintage Corvettes and T-birds, a DeLorean, a 1934 Ford, race cars, golf carts, a Jaguar, Mercedes Benzes and a variety of Harley and Triumph motorcycles.
Osborne died in July at 67. His wife, Mitzi, is overseeing the research firm he began after the lawsuit-marred fallout from the sale of his original firm to the Stephens financial empire. His financial affairs on occasion over the years were as messy as one of his gargantuan plates of free barbecue. This included some tax disputes. The odds are that unwinding his estate won’t be simple. No probate file has been opened yet in circuit court, but a couple of parties, including Metropolitan National Bank, have filed papers requesting notice if an estate administration is filed because of outstanding claims.
* DR. WORTHIE SPRINGER DIES AT 80: Dr. Worthie Springer, a pioneer black physician, died Sunday at age 80. He hadn’t practiced in many years, but Times readers may remember him as a font of information about his family’s long history in the Granite Mountain and Sweet Home neighborhoods. David Koon talked to him at length in 2005. Springer Boulevard is named for the family. A funeral is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Bethel AME Church on W. 16th Street in Little Rock. Arrangements are being handled by the Willis Funeral Home of McGehee.
* BRYANT SHAKEUP: KATV confirms a story I mentioned a couple of days ago. Bryant Mayor Jill “Republican” Dabbs has sacked two city officials — Finance Director Gary Hollis and City Attorney Nga Mahfouz. Only a gobbledegook statement on her reasons for demanding resignations. Competency maybe? Benton Courier recounts the huge house cleaning Dabbs has done. Surely there’s no truth to rumor circulating that Doyle “Republican Party chair” Webb of Benton will be hired to do city attorney work. But you know what they say: Where there’s a will there’s a Webb.
* NONSTOP TO DC: US Airways is adding daily nonstop service between Little Rock and Reagan National Airport in Washington beginning March 25.
* BODY IDENTIFIED: The Garland County sheriff’s office said remains found Saturday near Hot Springs are those of Dawna Natzke, 46, a Hot Springs police dispatcher last seen alive Dec. 23.
* HOMICIDE ON GREEN MOUNTAIN: Fox 16 reports one dead and another wounded in shooting in the Pleasant Pointe Apartments on Green Mountain Drive.
* POLICE CHIEF WRECK FOLLOWUP: I had a couple more questions related to the accident in which now-retired Assistant Police Chief Carlos Corbin was involved in the fall. He retired with the accident under investigation. I reported last week that no charges would be filed or ticket issued although investigators had found the cause of the one-car accident different than Corbin had described (another hit-and-run driver). A police spokesman said they believed Corbin thought he was telling the truth. Sources suggested he might have been confused or hallucinated that night on account of a prescription drug he was taking. I asked about a city policy that requires a blood or breath test when a city employee has a wreck in a city vehicle and why none was done that night. Lt. Terry Hastings responded:
Policy does not require a test when there is no injury and the officer is not a fault. There were three supervisors, sergeants, on scene that night and from Chief Corbin’s initial statement the accident did not appear to be his fault and he was not injured. He did call to report the accident. The supervisors did not detect any odor of intoxicants so they did not take him to be tested. That is a policy issue we are reviewing.
* BANK ROBBED: Arvest branch on Broadway robbed this afternoon. Does anybody else think Little Rock might have a crime problem?