Around the South for June 30: Fires, AR & OK

Fires: Six black churches burned. Six African-American churches in five Southern states have burned in the past few days. The fires in Charlotte, NC; Knoxville, TN; and Macon, GA are being investigated as suspicious or arson, possibly hate crimes, reports National Public Radio (NPR). The cause of a church fire in Warrenville, SC, is unknown at this time. A fire in Gibson County, TN, may have been cased by lightning and one in Tallahassee, FL, by electrical problems. Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, told NPR that the church fires are “very, very suspicious.” ……. Arkansas: Beebe leads Boozman. US Sen. John Boozman (R) is in trouble next year if former Gov. Mike Beebe (D) challenges him. According to a recent poll commissioned by Talk Business & Politics, Beebe leads by 45% to 37% for Boozman. Moreover, the result goes against other trends in the state, with Mike Huckabee leading Hillary Clinton 51% to 37%, suggesting that Beebe, in spite of his party affiliation, has substantial strength in the state ……. Oklahoma: Fallin on Obamacare ruling. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said in a statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act that the decision “means that taxpayers will be, for the time being, stuck with a law that is deeply flawed, disruptive to the lives of American families and a destructive force in our economy.” She added that Congress should “use its powers to move the country towards constructive, market-oriented solutions.” …….