Back at it Monday Arkansas happenings!

The federal government observes George Washington’s Birthday today. State and local offices observe Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day.

Sierra Club, National Audubon Society and Audubon Arkansas filed a federal lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers to block construction of the coal-fired plant in Hempstead County. In a separate case, the Arkansas Supreme Court is to hear oral arguments April 15 for Swepco’s appeal of a ruling that found the Public Service Commission did not follow proper procedures before issuing a permit.

The Democrat-Gazette reports that 20 lawmakers collected more than $50,000 in per diem, mileage and expense reimbursement last year, including one, Sen. Jimmy Jeffress of Crossett, who drew $60,092.

By ordering an inquiry into Entergy possibly becoming a standalone utility, the Public Service Commission “sends a strong signal” to act only in its best interest and those of its ratepayers and not those of other states, said David Cruthirds, a Houston regulatory lawyer and publisher of an energy newsletter.

Former State Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson is dead at 85. He was a former candidate for many offices and wrote the segregation amendment to the state constitution, which has since been repealed.

People attending Tuesday’s speech by former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at Verizon Arena will not be allowed to record video or audio of the event.

UAMS has a new chair of its Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. J.D. Day comes from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He’s described as a leader in the field of skull base surgery and specializes in Gamma Knife surgery.

Plans for an infusion of millions of dollars in new funding for substance abuse treatment programs for teenagers and pregnant women have been shelved indefinitely because of budget cuts.

Arkansas’ food banks distributed nearly 25 million pounds of food in 2009, up from 19 million pounds in 2008.

Wal-Mart has joined retailers that impose penalties on suppliers that fail to deliver products within the company’s prescribed four-day window.

Acxiom is branching out to sell to individuals a criminal background check — on themselves.

Franklin Electric is closing its Siloam Springs plant.  About 50 jobs will be eliminated.

State Police are investigating the murder of the Malvern mayor’s son. 32-year-old Shane Northcutt was found dead outside a local home, apparently shot in the head.

Jonesboro school shooter Mitchell Johnson can appeal his sentences on identity fraud and drug possession charges even though he pleaded guilty, the state Supreme Court ruled.

Two Arkansans are dead after their auto collided with a bus carrying members of country music star Trace Adkins band in north Louisiana. Adkins was not on board and none of the band was hurt.

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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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