The line is open. Closing thoughts:
* FREEZE-DRIED PETS: The New York Times has a big feature today on the Romance, Ark., taxidermists who’ve become stars in a reality TV show about their skill at freeze-drying dead pets.
* FREEZE-DRIED UNIVERSITY: I’m getting the big chill out of Arkansas Tech administration on questions about the future of the school’s theater program and cancellation of the spring schedule of drama productions. Supporters of the program think the ax is falling for good. Friends of President Robert Brown have made it clear to me how much he detests the department and the problems it has caused him. (Actually, that he’s caused himself by some silly actions, such as attempting to stop a play using a fake pistol.) Some of it’s just math. Drama doesn’t attract many majors. Colleges like majors that produce a lot of paying students. UPDATE: I hear a news release is coming. I don’t think it’s going to be a happy ending. UPDATE II: See jump for news release. Cancellation related to continuing administration concerns about safety of workshop for productions; review of program still planned for spring; courses will continue. The long, slow goodbye? Critics will say so. The administration insists it’s interested in theater and supports artistic expression.
* JOHN GLASGOW CASE: I have little to add to Channel 4’s report about a jailhouse statement suggesting knowledge of what happened to the missing business executive. A tipster says, however, that the Little Rock police are taking the claim seriously enough to keep watch over a bean field that will be gridded and scanned by a device used in archaeology to identify unusual things deep below the earth. The site has been searched previously without success. Roger Glasgow tells Channel 4 today he thinks there may be something to the lead on his missing brother.
* LOTTERY COMMISSONERS E-MAIL: I heard about a roundup of Lottery Commission e-mail related to a search for a new director (by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette it turned out) and got the batch myself. Not a lot there. The notable items include communications between Commissioner Bruce Engstrom and a friend, Richard Knight, former head of racetrack and casino, who’s applied for the job. Engstrom also checked to be sure his application had been received. The most interesting aspect of their emails were largely academic mentions of articles about a coming hot topic — Internet gambling and expansion of lottery gambling to expand revenue. A new Justice Department opinion on Internet gambling has spurred the talk. Realistically, that’s an obvious topic for discussion in the gambling business, though the likelihood is Arkansas will run far behind the curve. Politically, even mentioning it is a hot potato given opposition from religious groups and the existing racetrack/casinos. Breeze through it all yourself.