Monday morning Arkansas

The Democrat-Gazette reports that Congressman Marion Berry will announce his retirement today.

U.S. Rep. John Boozman said the Republican National Committee repeatedly has urged him to run for U.S. Senate against Blanche Lincoln, but “I’ve resisted that for years.” Now, Boozman is thinking about it.

Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson is gauging support for a possible congressional bid in the event U.S. Rep. John Boozman launches a Senate campaign.

Arkansas’ unemployment rate in December hit its highest level since June 1988, 7.7 percent, as the number of jobless people in the state reached an unprecedented total of 105,400.

The Pollution Control and Ecology Commission voted to finalize the air permit for the John W. Turk coal-fired power plant at their regular meeting.

Gov. Mike Beebe and others say that a state sales tax in the 20 percent range would result under a proposed constitutional amendment proposed by a Fort Smith group.

More than half of all first time college and university students weren’t ready for college-level work when they enrolled last fall, according to a Department of Higher Education report.

The local school superintendent says that, since the El Dorado challenge was announced, college enrollment among local graduates has risen from 63% to 79%.

The gap between the highest- and lowest funded two-year colleges widened to nearly $6,000 per full-time student in fiscal 2010, causing some education leaders to call for changes in the state’s higher education funding formula.

The Wickes and Van-Cove school boards in Polk County have approved a merger of the two districts.

Sam’s Club will cut its workforce by 10,000 jobs. Most of the losses are part-time workers who sample products in the stores. Those jobs will be outsourced to a Rogers company and many of the workers may be hired back.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing the limits of its customers’ willingness to change by eliminating free plastic bags at three of its California stores.

Four sites have been chosen to participate in a program that will measure wind-energy potential. The sites were revealed by the Arkansas Energy Office of the Economic Development Commission and the Department of Renewable Energy at John Brown University.

Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith has reduced the value of the goodwill it carries on its books for its subsidiary ABF Freight System Inc. by $64 million.

The Arkansas Quality Foundation has received a $43,362 grant from the Blue and You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas aimed at helping reduce the state’s high infant mortality rates.

A Franklin County man who faced a capital murder charge in the 1999 slaying of his 14-year-old niece has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of hindering apprehension.Charles “Bubba” Richart’s wife, Wanda Richart, is scheduled for trial today on a first-degree murder charge.

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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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