Gov.'s Radio Column: Arkansas Heritage Month

May 16, 2015
Arkansas Times

This week's Governor's Radio Address is delivered by Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Not long ago, I was in Hot Springs as the Arkansas Arts Council named the 2015 Arkansas Living Treasure recipient. It’s a big deal. This year’s honoree was Lorrie Popow, who is famous for her Ukrainian Egg Art.

I didn’t know there was such a thing as Ukrainian Egg Art. But then I saw Lorrie’s painted and carved eggs. Their designs and colors make each one gorgeous and unique. Just like Arkansas.

Authorities say a former Lonoke County assessor faces charges including credit card fraud and property theft.

Sheriff's deputies arrested 58-year-old Jack McNally of Cabot on Thursday following an Arkansas State Police investigation into the findings of a 2013 Legislative Audit on Lonoke County.

Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Graham said McNally was taken into custody without incident.

Edwin Keaton

An Arkansas district court judge has been reprimanded after he said he forgot about a divorce case that took him 20 months to rule on.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission on Friday said Judge Edwin Keaton had agreed to a series of corrective actions. Keaton has agreed to conduct a quarterly docket review and take other steps to avoid delayed rulings.

The commission says the judicial district has stopped assigning him domestic relations cases.

The Pulaski County clerk's office has certified a petition from the roughly 380-person community of Little Italy asking to become a town.

Organizers of the effort said Friday that the necessary signatures from qualified voters have been approved. The community 35 miles from downtown Little Rock will plan for a public hearing and, if no challenge is launched, an election later this year.

Authorities in northwest Arkansas say a deputy was fatally shot while responding to a reported burglary.

Johnson County Judge Herman Houston said Friday that the reserve deputy was fatally shot overnight in the east of the county. Houston said the suspected shooter was in custody.

The deputy's identity hasn't been released.

Arkansas State Police Spokesman Bill Sadler says the Johnson County Sheriff's Office requested assistance from state authorities but declined to provide other details.

Governor Hutchinson Facebook
Arkansas Economic Development Commission

You haven’t seen much out of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s public schedule the last two days. That’s because the new Arkansas governor has been on the West Coast for a little R & R. Not “rest and relaxation,” but for a few “rendezvous and recruitment.”

Bishop Woosley Arkansas Lottery
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The director of Arkansas' lottery says cutbacks from an overhaul of the games will increase the amount of money available for college scholarships next year, but said its revenue is behind expectations so far this year.

Lottery Director Bishop Woosley told a legislative panel on Thursday he expects net proceeds for the games to increase by $1.4 million in the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The gain comes primarily from cuts to the lottery program, including the closing of three claims centers and positions that were eliminated.

Superintendent Baker Kurrus sitting at his new desk in the LRSD administration building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Newly appointed Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus gave a report to the State Board of Education Thursday on his assessment of problems in the district. 

Kurrus said poor communication, budget issues, and a lack of respect between employees had led to a dysfunctional culture in the district.

Lee Theater
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas has identified several historical locations in Arkansas that it says are endangered. The alliance announced its findings Thursday in Little Rock.

On the list are:

Timothy Lamont Howard
Arkansas Times

An Ashdown man reconvicted in the 1997 slaying of a couple could be eligible for release due to time already spent behind bars.

Timothy Lamont Howard recently was found guilty on lesser charges in the deaths of Brian Day and Shannon Day and attempted killing of the couple's son.

The Texarkana Gazette reports Howard was convicted in 1999, but it was overturned in 2013. He has been in custody since December 1997, which is around 17 years and five months.