The line is open. Close-out:
* FEDS GO AFTER WALMART FOR LABOR VIOLATIONS: The federal government has filed a complaint against Walmart for allegedly retaliating against protesting or striking workers . Walmart insists it acted legally. The National Labor Relations Board said more than 100 workers in 14 states were fired, threatened or otherwise retaliated against.
* CHEER IMPERFECTION: Yesterday, Andrea Clevenger, one of the moments featured on the reality TV show “Cheer Perfection” was charged with raping a 13-year-old boy, a friend of her daughter. That was an unfortunate headline for Cheer Time Revolution, the Sherwood cheerleading school featured in the TV show. The owner said that, of course, the business couldn’t vouch for private lives of all who pass through its doors.
Police blotter headlines hit closer to home today. TMZ reports the arrest of Ronald Dunlap, co-owner of Cheer Time Revolution, for marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia (a glass pipe). He appeared on the show occasionally. A coach there, Ryan Dahl, also was taken into custody after an officer said he found the two men in a car reeking of pot, (The gym has since said Dahl is not an employee, though he may volunteer there.) Said TMZ:
Ronald’s wife and CTR co-owner Alisha Dunlap is NOT happy either — she tells us, Ronald and Ryan are both currently suspended from the gym, which has a zero tolerance drug policy.
* WHITEWATER FIGURE PASSES: I learned today that Larry Case, a retired Little Rock private investigator, had been found dead in his home yesterday. The cause is believed to be natural. I was unable to get the official police report on the call before signing off today. Case was on the periphery of just about every bit of police and public intrigue in Little Rock for four decades or so, including playing a minor role in an earlier investigative effort by the Arkansas Times. Where Case went, surreptitious tape recordings often surfaced. Case fished a number of mainstream reporters into his web during the late, great Whtiewater scandals. He once produced a suitcase full of tapes for me at a clandestine meeting that Gene Lyons wrote memorably about, mostly about how Case had bamboozled big city reporters. The stories pre-date our ready archives I’ve also misplaced the photo of the fearsome pose he struck for me in one meeting, staring somberly from beneath the brim of his big Stetson. We talked periodically. In recent months he’d complained of lack of police response to complaints that was being stalked by forces unknown. He was a hard man to ignore. You’ll find him mentioned here in a Washington Post gallery of Whitewater role players, particularly for his involvement in the Paula Jones chapter. Case’s greatest moment probably was slugging right-wing scandal monger David Bossie at the Little Rock airport. Case said Bossie had refused to pay him $10,000 in advance for dirt he’d promised to provide Bossie. Oh, the stories he could tell.
* THE FINE EDUCATION PRINT: If you’re not following Benji Hardy’s legislative blog on Legislative Digest, you are missing a lot of the story. Here’s a link to his higher education budget discussion today. And more here on the governor’s proposed spending increase on education and prisons. Tea Party willing. Not.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
* NO S*** SHERLOCK: Gov. Mike Beebe concedes election of tea bagging Reppublican in Jonesboro “dims” prospects for continuation of private option. #budgetapocalypsenow
* MAYBE ARKIES ARE SMARTER THAN THE TESTS SHOW: Continued forecasts of decline in lottery revenue. Maybe people here CAN do arithmetic. Increases pressure for keno/bingo/slots.