Dec. 3-9, 2008

It was a GOOD week for …



MARIANNA POLICE. The Delta town’s small force, including a one-man detective squad, got national publicity for its vital role in arresting a suspect in the slaying of TV anchor Anne Pressly. He’s also a suspect in a Marianna rape.



HOPE BROOKINS. The Bryant youth won the Daniel Cayce Award for Leadership in Public Service by Arkansas high school students for starting an adopt-a-grandparent program.



DIGGING DIRT. Local governments are prepared to spend $450,000 to uncover part of the “little rock” formation that gives the city its name. Much of the visible rock was removed in construction of a railroad bridge decades ago.


INVESTIGATIVE KNOWHOW. After the seventh suspicious fire in a poor Magnolia neighborhood, Fire Chief Greg Pinner said, “Something’s obviously going on.” But, he added, “We’re not sure what.”


It was a BAD week for …


DREAMLAND ACADEMY. The Little Rock charter school, in operation two years, has piled up more than a quarter-million in unpaid taxes and retirement payments. The charter-friendly state Board of Education nonetheless gave it more time to get its shaky house in order.


WORKING STIFFS. The November jobless number in the U.S. was the highest in 34 years. Among those looking for work are 800 people who’ll lose jobs at the Petit Jean Poultry plant in Danville, which will close in January.


The STATE department of environmental quality. With steel producer Tom Schueck participating in the debate despite his blatant conflict of interest, the commission took a virtually unprecedented step by allowing construction to continue on a SWEPCO coal-burning power plant though opponents are appealing  its air permit. Think the commission might have its mind made up, appeal or no appeal?


PUBLIC SAFETY. Among the Bush administration’s 11th hour tricks is a new rule allowing concealed weapons in national parks. The long-debated move has been hotly opposed by park rangers. Duck and cover.