AUG. 20-26, 2008

It was a GOOD week for …



POLICE WORK. More than two years after Arkansas Tech student Nona Dirksmeyer was killed in her Russellville apartment, and a year after her boyfriend was tried and acquitted, another man, Gary Dunn of Dover, was charged with capital murder in the case.



FREEDOM OF RELIGION. The Arkansas Career Orientation Teachers Association withdrew a religion-oriented survey after the parent of a student who’d been given the survey protested. Students in a career-orientation class at Flippin Middle School had to fill out the survey, which included questions asking whether the students believed “in a God who answers prayers,” whether they said grace before meals and whether they believed they should tithe 10 percent of their earnings to a church.



HER BROTHER, THE JUDGE. Justice Jim Gunter of the Arkansas Supreme Court escaped facing a battery charge after his sister, Janet Gibson of Dade City, Fla., declined to press charges. Gibson had told authorities earlier that Gunter struck her and shoved her to the floor at their father’s home in Hope on Sept. 2. Special Prosecutor Larry Jegley called the matter a “sad family situation.”


BIG MONEY. Analysis of financial documents showed that Alltel Corp.’s top six officers received more than $495 million in compensation last year. Chief executive officer Scott Ford alone received almost $194 million.



It was a BAD week for …


SHOOTOUTS. A man identified as Steven Smith was fatally shot by police in Jacksonville after he allegedly sprayed his neighbors’ homes and cars with bullets, then barricaded himself in a house and traded fire with officers.


PREJUDICE. Supporters of a proposed ban on foster and adoption parenting by unmarried couples succeeded in getting their proposal on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.



Maudie Hopkins, 93, the last publicly known Confederate widow, died at a Helena-West Helena hospital. She married her first husband, a Confederate veteran, in Baxter County in 1934, when she was 19 and he was 86.