The Week in Review
We’ve covered some of those events here at First Arkansas News, but certainly not all of the events followed by Arkansans this week. In the interest of providing a quick summary of some of the stories we’ve followed this week, we’ve put together a synopsis of some of the more intriguing stories that have come out this week. And, yes, we’ll do the same thing every weekend.
Before getting into all of that, let me make a quick plug for two convenient ways to follow this site and always catch the latest news around here. Perhaps the most convenient option for those who rather like the idea of getting a daily digital newspaper is the subscribe by email feature. We’ve also got an RSS feed and push the latest posts immediately through our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Let’s see what happened this week. By the way, all links open in a new tab (or a new window if you’re using a horrible browser):
* Arkansas’ unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in November. That’s down from the national rate of 9.8 percent but up 7.6 percent from the same month a year ago. Yes, the economy is still a mess, folks.
* Whose money is it, anyway? Congress talking about getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction.
* The Fallen Heroes Memorial came to Searcy, thus kicking off an entire week of events honoring military veterans.
* Our friends at the National Lum and Abner society turned an old time radio script into a Christmas short story. We’re partial to Lum and Abner — a couple of Arkansas boys — around these parts. You can find out more about them here.
* We begged for money. Failed. Aww.
* Looking for work? Here are some local resources that will help. ‘Nuff said. Happy job hunting.
* Malzahn sticking with Auburn. Rumor had it that Auburn Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn was heading off to coach at Vanderbilt. Turns out he was offered the job but declined. So, Malzahn got a nice raise from Auburn and Maryland Offensive Coordinator James Franklin to the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. Malzahn has come a long was since he was the offensive coordinator job for the Arkansas Razorbacks a few years ago, hasn’t he? We can thank Houston Nutt for running him out of Arkansas.
* First Arkansas News launched a religion section. We’ve got an Assembly of God minister, a Baptist preacher and two Methodist pastors signed up who will provide columns here and there. They have been asked to write about whatever they want, so it’ll be a lot of fun to see what they get. Meanwhile, we’re hoping to find sponsors for those columns and return part of the proceeds back to area churches for their charitable programs. Of course, this feature is still under development so stick around see what happens.Cli
* Cliff Lee signs with Phillies — again. The Benton native has bounced all over the MLB. Hopefully, he’s found a place to call home.
* So Long, uTorrent. The makers of everyone’s favorite music/movie/software stealing software wants to get paid for its efforts (dig that irony, folks). A lot of loyal users threw a fit after getting stuck with an unwanted toolbar/browser hijacking program powered by Conduit, a company that has been accused of bilking people into installing adware and spyware . Yes, uTorrent has apologized for its mistake, but we’re still hearing complaints from angry users.
* Phyllis M. Reding, an Arkansas author, was profiled.
* A winery opened in Tontitown. Anyone who has lived in this state for awhile will tell you that makes sense. Tontitown was originally founded by Italians, features great Italian restaurants and seems a logical place for making wine.
* The November housing market report from northwest Arkansas reveals an area that is still struggling through a rough economy. We’ll post one from central Arkansas as soon as we have the numbers, but we’re willing to bet sales will be off in that area of the state, too. Why? The tax credits for home buyers expired and sales dropped off immediately.
* First Arkansas News goes mobile. Indeed, we’ve got a couple of themes here — one for those checking out the site on desktops and laptops and one for people who get their latest news on their cell phones. You get all the same great stuff with the mobile theme — the content, the Google ads no one clicks, etc. — it’s just easier to read on your iPhone, Android, Blackberry Torch or other snazzy mobile device. Head on over to First Arkansas News on your cell phone and the new, mobile theme will be served up automatically. Cool.
* Congress extends unemployment benefits. Well, they’ll dodge the “Scrooge label” for a little bit, at least. Right before heading home for Christmas, Congress decided to help out millions Americans still looking for work and worried about making ends meet until they find jobs.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.