Arkansas Business' 25 Great Whispers (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

There have been at least two other fights at Chenal Country Club in west Little Rock during the last five months.

One was apparently a Sunday afternoon melee on the 18th green that included, in varying degrees of participation, Kent Norris of Insurance Center Inc., Scotty Caroom of Excel Lighting & Maintenance Corp. and Mark Madison of Madison Financial Services, all in Little Rock.

Members of the group who returned our calls acknowledged that there was an "incident" but declined to comment further. That battle royal included some of the parties "rasslin'" around on the green in front of a surprised gallery of witnesses near the clubhouse.

Another recent scuffle apparently included Clif Kelley of State Farm Insurance in Little Rock and three other golfers. Kelley didn't return a phone call in time for comment.

Walker, the former University of Arkansas basketball All-American, NBA player and coach, and Johnson, secretary to the UA System's board of trustees and a physician at Little Rock's Fairpark Medical Center, apparently got into a disagreement over whether or not Johnson's group could "play through" Walker's group.

The ensuing fracas allegedly resulted in Walker whacking Johnson with a golf club, which Walker's lawyer said caused a fracture that required surgery.

When we called Bill Toney, the general manager at Chenal, for a comment, he was quiet for a moment then began saying, "Hello? Hello?" as if he could not hear.

Nov. 1, 2004
Curiouser and Curiouser
The news last month that a Lonoke goldfish distributor had been charged with obstructing a federal grand jury investigation was enough to raise the eyebrows of even the jaded "Whispers" crew.

It's not just the sheer novelty of the idea that there could be price-fixing in such an esoteric industry as feeder goldfish, which appears to be what the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division in Cleveland was investigating.

What really had us curious was the fact that the lead prosecutor in the Pool Fish Distributors Inc. case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Culum, was the same one who last year charged three other Arkansans with running a kickback scheme in Michigan.

They are Dan Whitt of Maumelle; his son, David Whitt of Little Rock; and Dan Whitt's former attorney, Keith Moser of Little Rock.

They were popped as part of an antitrust investigation of the video reproduction industry, which is entirely different from the goldfish industry.



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