Odds and Ends: Ark. legislators change law denying toddler marriages

By The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas’ marriage-age crisis is over. A law that mistakenly allowed anyone – even toddlers – to marry with parental permission was repealed by a measure signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Mike Beebe. Lawmakers didn’t realize until after the end of last year’s regular session that a law they approved, intended to establish 18 as the minimum age for marriage, instead removed the minimum age to marry entirely.

Some lawmakers called for a special session last year, saying the error would make it easy for pedophiles to take advantage of the law. Gov. Mike Beebe said he didn’t see any imminent crisis and the chances of children marrying under the law were slim.

Legislators repealed the botched law this week and reinstated 17 as the minimum age to marry for boys and 16 for girls. Rep. Will Bond, the sponsor of the botched 2007 law and its correction, apologized for the error and asked his colleagues to “throw me a rope and bail me out here.” “I always thought if you put your name on a bill, you should be ready to take the blame if you’re willing to accept the credit,” Bond said Wednesday.

Bond, a Democrat, said there hadn’t been any reports of young children attempting to marry under the 2007 law.

Woman bites pit bull after dog attacked her Labrador

MINNEAPOLIS – Amy Rice feared for her dog’s life when a pit bull jumped over a fence into her yard and attacked her pooch. So she took matters into her own mouth. Rice says she bit the pit bull on the nose Friday after trying to pull the dog’s jaws off her Labrador retriever, Ella. “I didn’t plan it, that’s what happened. I broke the skin and had pit bull blood in my mouth,” said Rice, 38. The pit bull was quarantined Wednesday. Rice’s doctor will determine whether she needs shots for rabies.

“I was sure that my dog was dying in my arms; it was horrible,” Rice said. Ella is recovering with staples and stitches to her head and a crushed ear canal, but she is afraid to go for walks, Rice said.