St. Patrick’s top o’ the day

The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired Matt Jones after he served a week in jail for violating terms of his probation.

Entergy Arkansas’ residential customers will see an 8 percent reduction in their electricity bills, beginning next month as part of its annual adjustment in the fuel and purchased power costs.

The Arkansas attorney general’s office is preparing to defend the state against a civil liberties lawsuit that challenges a new state ban on unmarried couples adopting or fostering children. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on the state’s motion to dismiss the case.

Tourism expenditures statewide in 2008 totaled $5.572 billion, up 9.09% over 2007. The state figures also show that more than 23.81 million business and tourists visits in 2008.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released $918,000 in federal stimulus funds to support foster care and adoption assistance programs in Arkansas.

Arkansas Business reports that Metropolitan National Bank has taken a reduction  in year-end profits to reflect losses and write-downs on commercial real estate loans.

Windmill blade manufacturer LM Glasfiber, which announced 150 layoffs and the shuttering of a plant in Little Rock in January, announced plans Monday to build a new plant in China.

The Arkansas Board of Education voted to return local control to the Bald Knob School District, which the state took over in 2007 because it projected a $2 million debt.

The legislature is in high gear. House committee beat bill to prohibit naming of public facilities after living public officials . Senate committee rejected bill to give motorcyclists a choice between wearing a helmet or pay for more health insurance.

The measure to organize a state lottery will likely move out of the legislature this week.

A one-cent cut in the state sales tax on groceries and a cut in taxes on electricity used by manufacturers has passed the legislature.

Craighead County officials are asking people to use caution when traveling along Arkansas 18 after a teen-age girl was pulled over by someone using a flashing light on their car Friday night.

Defense attorneys for the man accused of killing TV news anchor Anne Pressly are heading for their first courtroom confrontation with prosecutors over police questioning of Curtis Lavelle Vance

Monday late morning update

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones was released from jail Saturday, a day earlier than he was originally ordered to stay for drinking beer in violation of his plea agreement for a drug charge.

Arkansas fell 73-58 at the hands of the Florida Gators in the first round of the SEC Tournament. No Arkansas teams in March madness.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln is running for a third term, and says her top priority is to get unemployed Arkansans working again.

Gov. Mike Beebe made clear tax cuts for grocery shoppers and manufacturers will be the only revenue-reducing measures coming out of the Legislature this year.

Gov. Mike Beebe supports repealing the Arkansas Constitution’s prohibition against state investing in private companies.

Transportation Department on Friday approved plans for spending most of the $351.5 million it will receive in federal stimulus money and voted to partner with the state of Missouri on trying to obtain a grant to build the Bella Vista Bypass.

The launch of a satellite medical school in Northwest Arkansas is set for July 7. Six medical students will begin classes that day at the new University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences-Northwest. Colleagues in pharmacy, nursing and allied health professions wil join them.

A disciplinary panel has recommended that Helena-West Helena judge L. T. Simes be removed from the bench after finding he acted as an attorney while serving as a judge.

The final phase of the Vilonia bypass tops the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department’s list of stimulus-funded projects, money-wise, but its place on the second tier of projects means the last round of work is still months away.

Circuit judges in Jefferson and Lincoln counties voted to quit routinely sealing arrest affidavits, a practice that open-records advocates said was overbroad and violated the public’s right to know the information.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network Foundation says its fundraising efforts are 50 percent behind projections “due to the recession and the loss of two transmitters.”

Proposals to allow the Legislature to appropriate lottery revenue, to repeal annual legislative sessions and remove language from the state constitution banning atheists from holding public office are among the measures that could come before lawmakers this week as they begin considering proposed constitutional amendments.

A bill mandating stricter requirements for proving voter identity failed along party lines in a state House of Representatives committee Friday.

A $15,000 bond was set Friday for 28 year-old Delores Woods of Pine Bluff who allegedly beat her daughter with an extension cord, then sent the girl to school where welts and blood were observed.

PB man accused of raping 5-year-old Little Rock police arrested a Pine Bluff man Friday night on a rape charge involving a 5-year-old girl, police said.