Over to you for the time being. Clearing out some loose ends:
* MONTEL WILLIAMS ON MARIJUANA: Talk show host Montel Williams will have a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the State Capitol to endorse the medical marijuana initiative on this year’s ballot. He has multiple sclerosis and uses “medicinal cannabis” to treat symptoms. Maybe the Family Council and the Arkansas Baptist Convention can pull a Gomer Pyle and make a citizen’s arrest while he’s in town. This is a moral issue, see, and pain relief is not a valid purpose for use of a naturally occurring plant. Or so the good Christians have told us.
* PULASKI DEPUTY RESIGNS: Pulaski County Deputy Sheriff Corey Lawson, charged for ramming a gate at a Garland County marina, has resigned from the sheriff’s office, Fox 16 reports.
* RULE SAYS TIM GRIFFIN DUCKING DEBATE: Democratic 2nd District Congressional candidate Herb Rule says U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, the Republican incumbent, hasn’t agreed to appear with him on Channel 4 in noon-hour debates of the sort in which 4th District candidates Gene Jeffress, a Democrat, and Tom Cotton, a Republican, have participated. I’ve sought a response from Griffin, but he typically doesn’t respond to the Arkansas Times. Rule and Griffin and two other candidates will appear Oct. 23 on AETN. Rule, who said Griffin had been a “hatchet man” for Republican political efforts added: “The more opportunities the candidates have to express their views and defend their records, the better served the voters will be.”
* STILL MORE ETHICS QUESTIONS: David Couch, a Little Rock lawyer who’s worked on a variety of ballot questions, shares a letter he’s written to the Arkansas Ethics Commission related to questions he has about the Family Council’s participation and financial support for opposition to the medical marijuana proposal. Everybody’s looking at everybody’s forms now and mistakes — both benign and malign — are easy to find. The sad truth about all this is that the Ethics Commission has a tiny staff and is almost entirely reactive. It can respond only to sworn complaints. Arkansas could use a robust ethics watchdog, but that would require funding from the legislature and the less oversight they get the better (in their view).
* FUNGAL MENINGITIS: The Arkansas Health Department says six hospitals and two clinics in Arkansas received products made by New England Compounding Center. All its products are now part of a national investigation into an outbreak of fungal meningitis. The state is in the process of identifying all products shipped into the state to assure they are not being used. Nothing shipped to Arkansas has yet been associated with an illness.
* BOMBER FOILED: Bangladeshi man arrested in alleged plot to blow up Federal Reserve Bank in New York.