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Week in Review — May 7-15

By: 16 May 2011 No Comment

It’s been a hectic spring here in Arkansas so far, so let’s hope the sky remains blue and the threats of flooding, tornadoes and everything else that’s hammered the state over the past few weeks stays in check.

The National Weather Service reports that there are some areas in east Arkansas dealing with flooding, but at least the White River is finally receding.

In addition to flooding in east Arkansas, quite a few events occurred in the Natural State last week and we had the privilege of reporting on some of them. That being the case, here are the stories that were featured here from May 7-15.

* Lum and Abner Coming to First Arkansas News — Maybe. This is a project that First Arkansas News has been working on with Donnie Pitchford, president of the National Lum and Abner Society, for the past few weeks. Pitchford is both a fan of Lum and Abner and a gifted cartoonist, so he came up with the idea of combining those two passions and generating a comic strip featuring the most successful comic team from Arkansas during the old time radio era. Pitchford has penned four strips and we have secured the rights to pursue funding for the project. Everything’s in place and — should we find some sponsors to pay for the licensing rights — we’ll launch the project. Take a look at the sample strip here. All interested sponsors are invited to send a note to Jim Russell, our ad representative, here.

Speaking of new projects, we started working in earnest to find voice actors for a modern audio theater project developed First Arkansas News’ own Ethan C. Nobles and Edwin E. Smith — a little production we call The Super Weasel Lawyer Team. Without giving too much away, I’ll just mention we’ve got three scripts ready to record and each of them feature the team scheming in their offices deep in the Strip Mall of Justice. Stay tuned, and click the below player to check out the theme music Nobles wrote and recorded for the series (if that doesn’t get you excited, I’m not sure what will).

Theme for a Weasel

* Stevens intriguing choice to head up Mortgage Bankers Association. Is the former head of the Federal Housing Administration the right guy to help the industry address risk in such a way that mortgages are given to people who might actually pay them back?

* Opera — well worth a look. Here’s an Internet browser that’s full of features and highly customizable. Why has it ranked consistently last among major browsers for years?

* What’s Nolan Bushnell up to these days? The co-founder of Atari is working on games that might help adults keep mentally alert and reduce their chances of mental degradation in their golden years.

* Arkansas Realtors Association sued for over $375,000. No, that’s not a typo. Real Forms — the former software provider to the ARA — has filed a breach of contract action in Washington County against the trade group. Real Forms is represented by the Asa Hutchinson Law Group in Rogers — yes, that Asa Hutchinson. Real Forms reported that the ARA had been served with a copy of the complaint on May 12, meaning the organization has until June 1 to file an answer to it.

* Congratulations, Realtors. Your dues are going up. The National Association of Realtors wants to raise dues $40 to pay for increased lobbying efforts. The increase will be in place next year, in spite of the fact the majority of Realtors are against it.

* Three Arkansas students named Presidential Scholars. Good news!

* Arkansas author: Jo McDougall. A great series continues.

* Weekend OTR: Ed and Zeb — How to Operate a Gas Pump. Speaking of a great series…

* Weekend OTR: Gunsmoke — Chester’s Mistake. Because you just can’t get too much old time radio.

* Sometimes it’s good to not be in the top 10. Mortgage fraud is a much larger problem in some states than it is in Arkansas.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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