We open the reader comment line with news of another bank robbery — at 3:30 p.m. today at the Iberia branch at 6420 S. University Avenue. No one hurt. Robber escaped with cash. And there’s also news from the ongoing efforts to further spread the retail sale of alcohol in Arkansas.
* ALCOHOL: Little Rock lawyer David Couch has filed organizational papers with the Arkansas Ethics Commission for Let Arkansas Decide, a group that will work for the proposed constitutional amendment to allow retail sales in all 75 Arkansas counties, about half of which are currently “dry.”
Officers of the group, which must get about 78,100 signatures by July 7 to qualify, include Linda Bowlin of Pocahontas, Ross Jones of Batesville, Denise King of Mount Judea and Harrison Mayor Jeff Crockett, all of whom have worked on wet/dry issues in their home counties. Harrison succeeded, but the others came up against the too-high bar of a 38 percent petition signature requirement for local option elections. Local option is, for a volunteer effort, virtually no option. The statewide amendment is actually an easier target, more signatures, but a much smaller percentage of the pool of voters.
A private canvassing firm, National Ballot Access, is working on the drive for as-yet-unnamed financial backers, but presumed to be from the retail industry, such as grocers and convenience stores.