Political primaries in Arkansas have become somewhat ho-hum, now that we have a two-party system. Most of the interesting races will be in November.
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What comes first: A successful major-college basketball program or a solid fan base to support it? As “March Madness” fades into history, that’s a question pondered by Arkansas State University supporters.
Since Arkansas’ public colleges and universities submitted their reports of administrators’ compensation for the 2013 fiscal year, the second highest paid academic executive has been fired for incompetence.
With much of the job growth at public colleges and universities going into administrative positions, the compensation packages for people filling those positions should be of concern.
For years, leaders of public higher education have complained about the decreasing support from government and used that trend to justify hikes in student tuition and fees. The numbers prove their point.
Advertising for candidates for governor and U.S. senator from Arkansas thus far focuses mostly on inane arguments such as who is closer to Nancy Pelosi and who is the biggest threat to Medicare. Arkansas would be better served if the candidates would tell us what they will do about our crumbling infrastructure, especially the highway system.
Legislators are taking time out from their “private option” session this week to conduct a hearing on why parts of interstate highways 40 and 55 in eastern Arkansas got jammed for three days after a March 2 winter ice storm.
My friend Rex Nelson wrote a piece titled “The Shame of Hot Springs” and posted it on his blog, www.rexnelsonsouthernfried.com , on Feb. 21. In it he decried the deterioration of downtown Hot Springs, symbolized by the nailing of plywood over the windows of the old Majestic Hotel on Park Avenue.
A task force has been appointed by the chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and members of the Arkansas news media have been invited to meet with the group Friday.
State Rep. Butch Wilkins, D-Jonesboro, reminded his 500-plus Facebook friends over the weekend about the absurdity of Arkansas law’s requirement that county officials stand for election every two years. Because Wilkins is term-limited, he won’t be able to do anything about it, but someone should.
In a bloodless coup the leader of the Arkansas Senate occupied the office of the lieutenant governor last week, just in time for the fiscal session of the General Assembly, which started Monday at the state Capitol.
Responding to my column last week about a report showing that the salaries of faculty members at Arkansas’ two-year colleges rank below that of the state’s public school teachers, a University of Arkansas professor commented in an e-mail that “being a professor is way easier than being a high school teacher.”
While Arkansas political leaders debate the future of the “private option” health-care plan, other problems go unnoticed and could be adversely affected by the outcome. One of those is highlighted in a report to be presented Friday to the state Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The special election for the vacant state Senate District 21 seat could have been quite controversial if it had been closer. Perhaps the result will at least provide state officials with a hint that they should be prepared for disputed election results under a new law.
One of the things we surely have learned from Arkansas politics of the past year is that term limits for public officials don’t guarantee integrity. One can violate the public trust in a short time.
While the special election for the District 21 state Senate seat came about because of a lapse in ethics, that seems to be a non-issue in the campaign, which will wrap up next Tuesday. The district covers the western half of Craighead County, including Jonesboro.
Rather than look back at the top stories of 2013, let’s discuss a few people who made news because of their heroism. In some cases the heroism was a body of work, accumulated over many years and often resulting in greater good; for others a single, unexpected event brought out their courage.
Attending the annual news conference introducing Arkansas State University’s new head football coach has become almost as much a Christmas tradition as picking out a tree, putting up the lights and hanging stockings from the mantle.
A state legislative committee reacted with a collective yawn last week when presented with two audits showing incompetent record-keeping by employees of the taxpayers.
When Gus Malzahn bolted from Arkansas State University, which had given him his first head coaching job, about this time last year, he nearly tripled his $850,000 salary, generous by the standards of most Arkansans who work for a living.
One of the casualties of the do-little 113th Congress will be the 2013 farm bill, which is two years overdue.
After almost 80 years of producing commissioned military officers, you would think the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Arkansas State University has proven itself. But that’s obviously not the case as the program on the ASU-Jonesboro campus is one of 13 nationwide placed on the chopping block by the U.S. Army.
Fifty years ago this Friday I was a freshman journalism major at Arkansas State College, working as a part-time sports writer for the Jonesboro Evening Sun . Since it was an afternoon newspaper then, my duties included reporting to work at 6:30 a.m. — quite a challenge for an 18-year-old — and working two or three hours until time for class.
The Reserve Officer Training Corps programs at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and 12 other institutions have been given a reprieve, not a free pass from closure. In notifying officials at the colleges and university, U.S. Army officials were merely acknowledging that they had bungled the process and will now try to do it right.
County jails are beginning to fill up in many parts of Arkansas, a logical consequence of the Arkansas Department of Correction reaching its capacity for housing inmates.
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