Wednesday morning Arkansas update

The 51-48 roll call in the U. S. Senate rejected a plan that would allow Americans to import low-cost prescriptions from abroad. Sixty votes were needed to pass the measure. Senators Pryor and Lincoln both voted “yes.”

About 2,900 of the nearly 800,000 doses of swine flu vaccine that have been recalled because of questions about potency were distributed in Arkansas. The CDC says the vaccine in question does not pose a safety risk.

Arkansas’ preparedness for a public health emergency is among the best in the nation. The seventh annual “Ready or Not?” report finds that this is one of eight states that met nine out of 10 key indicators for preparedness. No state met all 10.

Mike Huckabee, the former presidential candidate and Arkansas governor, says he commuted the 108-year prison term of a young felon now believed to have murdered four Washington state police officers as a stroke for greater racial parity in the criminal justice system.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is one of several “freethinkers” featured in a secular holiday display that will be erected at the Arkansas state capitol. The display, which stands 8 feet tall, also features Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Warren Buffett, John Lennon, George Carlin and many other “freethinkers.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, wants a stamp commemorating the watermelon.

ESPN.com’s Chris Low reports that former Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino will make $475,000 calling plays for Illinois.

Ouachita Baptist is adding men’s wrestling and women’s golf to its athletic program. The additions, bring its total number of teams to 16. President Rex M. Horne, Jr. said his school will be the first in Arkansas to offer college wrestling.

The executive director of the lottery tells lawmakers that he plans to propose an annual demographic study of the lottery’s players.

A proposed initiated act that would raise the excise tax on all alcoholic beverages to pay for treatment, prevention and law enforcement programs was rejected by the state attorney general’s office because of ambiguities.

Allied Wireless, a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-network, will locate corporate headquarters in the capitol city. Some 200-300 jobs will come with it and a $200 million investment.

Whirlpool Corp. in Fort Smith will call back 400 employees from layoff to meet production needs through summer 2010. A shift will be added to the production schedule by the end of January,

War Memorial Stadium will have a new $7 million press box structure by next season and there will be around 300 new club seats. No price details are available on premium seating.

Baptist Health of Little Rock is starting construction of a $2.2 million Transplant Institute. It will combine the heart and kidney transplant programs under one roof.

City officials in Garland City have been contacted by a man looking to repossess a missing fire truck and three police cars. State police say they found the cars in Louisiana last month where a former Garland County police chief tried unsuccessfully to trade them for another vehicle.

The Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers has sued the Pulaski County School District for the School Board’s decision last week to end recognition of the union as a bargaining agent for teachers. Breach of contract alleged.

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About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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