It was a good week for …
APPROVING A SETTLEMENT. Federal Judge Price Marshall accepted terms of the settlement of the long-running Pulaski desegregation lawsuit. Tweeted Attorney General Dustin McDaniel after the ruling: “Settlement approved! Case closed!”
ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. Disgraced Lt. Gov. Mark Darr finally succumbed to pressure and announced that he would resign. His self-pitying statement initially said, “I submit that resignation to the people of Arkansas, not an elected official,” but on this, too, he caved, stating this week that he would “comply with all formal protocols.”
JAY BARTH. The Times columnist and Hendrix politics professor received the Diane Blair Award from the Southern Political Science Association, which goes to a political scientist who has played an outstanding role in politics or government.
It was a bad week for …
20-WEEK ABORTION BAN. The United States Supreme Court declined to review a lower court decision that invalidated Arizona’s state law prohibiting most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, far in advance of when a fetus can live outside the womb. This will likely tee up a challenge to invalidate the 20-week ban passed by the Arkansas legislature in a bill by Rep. Andy Mayberry.
MAYOR JILL DABBS. Dennis Edwards resigned as finance director amidst thorny questions over city finances in Bryant, a city that has been no stranger to controversy since Mayor Jill Dabbs’ self-directed pay raise without city council approval earned her a reprimand from the Ethics Commission in 2011. A $1 million certificate of deposit was cashed before its maturity date — on orders of the mayor, according to a former alderman, to cover payment for police vehicles and fire department air packs that the mayor and police forgot to include in the 2013 budget.
SICKNESS According to the state Health Department, 15 Arkansans have died from the flu this season and many more have been hospitalized. The department urges people to get flu shots and see a doctor if they have flu-like symptoms.
CHEERLEADER MOMS A rape charge was filed against Andrea Clevenger of Sherwood for having sex with a 13-year-old boy. Clevenger is one of the moms featured on TLC’s “Cheer Perfection,” a reality TV show about a team of young competitive cheerleaders at Cheer Time Revolution in Sherwood.