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From the Arkansas Blog

Sanders appoints family friend and former legislator David Haak to Highway Commission

Gov. Sarah Sanders has appointed former state Rep. David Haak of Texarkana to the Arkansas Highway Commission. Haak, who owns a business that makes labels for auto tires, is an old pal of Sanders' father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee. He replaces Robert Moore on the commission. Haak's term will run through Jan. 14, 2033.

Little Rock officials unveil first tourism master plan that proposes River Market revamp, hotel with water park, ‘iconic’ landmark

The master plan detailed the perception of Little Rock as it relates to crime, suggested ways to increase diversity and recommended tourism improvements. Throw in a hotel with a water park and play some DJ Khaled.

It's Thursday's open line

'Don't Say They': proposed bill addresses pronouns on college campuses

Conservative lawmakers are attempting, fruitlessly but feverishly, to codify the traditional gender binary with laws about who can use which bathrooms and who can use which pronouns.

Blue Hog Report exposes more problems with Prosecutor Bradford; more relatives in trouble

Blue Hog Report's Matt Campbell is focusing his legal and investigative skills on a  south Arkansas prosecutor who tried to protect her child-rapist uncle while she was a deputy prosecutor. As if that weren't bad enough, Blue Hog's investigation of 9th District West Prosecuting Attorney Jana Bradford also shows she accepted illegal campaign contributions.
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Good Day Farm launches Mississippi operations as medical marijuana becomes legal

Little Rock-based Good Day Farm has a cultivation facility in Oxford, Mississippi, and will have six Good Day Farm-branded dispensaries across the state.

Democrats file bill to give Arkansas teachers a raise

Arkansas House and Senate Democrats have filed a bill that would raise Arkansas's pitiful starting salary for public school teachers and give all teachers a $10,000 raise.

Lawmakers hear first big education bill of the session (it's about policing trans kids in bathrooms)

A late amendment to a bill that would dictate where transgender public school students can use the bathroom delayed a vote Thursday. But lawmakers heard public testimony and asked questions about the legality and logistics. A committee vote is expected Tuesday.

LRPD chief offers details about officer-involved shooting

An internal investigation for the discharge of a service weapon is underway. A separate criminal investigation is also underway.
Arkansas Supreme Court

UPDATE: Arkansas Supreme Court addresses state mask ban, both sides claim victory

The Arkansas Supreme Court today struck down a trial court's order that upheld a law prohibiting mask mandates in schools and other government agencies in the state.
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From Rock Candy

Little Rock short story writer Jen Fawkes has sold a novel

Her new novel is described as "a work of fabulist fiction that poses questions about war, family, prostitution, and the earth-shattering power of women; employing actual events and figures from history and in a moment when women's bodily autonomy is under attack, raising a full-throated cry in its defense."

AMFA partners with Arkansas Cinema Society and Ballet Arkansas

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA) has announced that the Arkansas Cinema Society (ACS) and Ballet Arkansas will be their "partner companies-in-residence," along with other yet to be unveiled collaborations that are currently in development.

Arkansas Tech students react to racially charged art exhibit

During the first week of classes after winter break, Jace Bridges, president of the African American Student Association at Arkansas Tech University, was approached by a handful of Black art students who were made uncomfortable by an exhibit entitled “Artifacts” that had recently been installed in the Norman Hall Art Gallery on campus in Russellville. The exhibit featured imagery that some students found to be problematic, including a sculpture called “KLAN BRIDE” that depicts a ghostlike figure with flowing lace and a Ku Klux Klan hood. 

Kari Faux puts herself first in new music video

When Faux refers to herself as "bossy bitch" with "presidential pussy," you know she's going to get what she wants, in the bedroom and otherwise.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs Prokofiev's 'Romeo & Juliet' this weekend

In addition to selections from “Romeo & Juliet,” a ballet by Prokofiev, the two-performance-only program includes a 1903 Gabriel Pierné piece that revolves around a dreamy and demanding feature from ASO’s principal harpist, Alisa Coffey, a performer who has been called “reliably magic” by Arkansas Times’ own Stephanie Smittle.
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Paula Martin headlines Potluck & Poison Ivy on Thursday

If you’ve never been to Potluck & Poison Ivy, an Argenta series that pairs live storytelling with dinner, this is probably the time to try it out, given that January’s guest of honor, Paula Martin, has tried her hand at about every kind of narrative-related venture you can imagine. Brad Williams from The Salty Dogs will provide music.

Miss Gay America pageant continues at Robinson Center

In this midst of all this SB43 bullshit, we somehow missed that the Miss Gay America pageant — or the "world's first, longest-running, and most prestigious" drag competition — has been happening under our noses at Robinson Center for the past two days. The event started on Tuesday but continues through Friday, Jan. 20.

R.B. Morris, singer-songwriter and poet, to play at White Water on Sunday

Lots of songwriters call themselves poets, but R.B. Morris is the real deal. Crowned Knoxville, Tennessee’s first poet laureate in 2016, the cleverly economical lyrics accompanying his sleepy folk melodies and slow-motion pedal steel feel like a proper extension of his verse. Catch him at White Water on Sunday, Jan. 22.

Arkansas Shake Shakers, the state's only all-POC burlesque troupe, performs in Hot Springs on Saturday

Looking to see Krystal Cornelius (aka Maxie Fauna), one of this issue’s Arkansas Visionaries, do her thing in the flesh? Put on whatever the hell you want and saunter over to Central Theater, a charming playhouse in downtown Hot Springs that calls itself “Arkansas’s only true performing arts venue embracing all forms of expression.”

Exhibit by Pine Bluff artist Kevin Cole opens at Hearne Fine Art

The exhibit, "Where Do We Go From Here? II: Exploring Gerrymandering and Voting," recently debuted at the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia and explores the present reality of Black voter suppression across several Southern states.
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Wright's Barbecue shares renderings of Little Rock Quonset hut location

Wright’s new digs at 1311 Rebsamen Park Road in the Quonset hut behind Town Pump and Rebsamen Liquor looks pretty sweet from this rendering shared to Twitter today.

Chef Rafael Rios sole Arkansas representative in 2023 James Beard Awards semi-finals

Chef Rafael Rios, owner and proprietor of Bentonville's Yeyo's El Alma de Mexico, has been named a semi-finalist in the Best Chef: South category in the annual James Beard Awards.

Bauhaus Biergarten brings German experience to Springdale

Bauhaus Biergarten aims to be the prototypical German experience with an indoor taproom and outdoor beer garden with classic German beers and traditional German food. If you’re into liter-sized steins of pilsner, and knockwurst that will knock your socks off, this is your place. 

Fried apple pies, like the ones McDonald's used to make

In Hope, Arkansas, food historian Kat Robinson discovered a way to once again savor a fried apple pie similar to the bubble-crusted, napalm filled parcels known from her childhood as McDonald's fried pies.

The Mighty Rib’s Cornucopia: January Edition

The Mighty Rib visits Brave New Restaurant, Maddie's Place, Fantastic China and more in this edition of Cornucopia, which includes a round up of food news and his top 10 wings in Central Arkansas.
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Winter storm looming for Northwest Arkansas, maybe a dusting for Pulaski County, so make some mulled wine

Looks like Central Arkansas will be shut out on the sledding and such, but you can still make some hot drinks and pretend.

Flora Jean's is a vibe

Beet root lattes, freshly squeezed mimosas, sweet potato pancakes and beignets are some of the menu items at Flora Jean's, the new vegetarian restaurant and fresh juice bar from the three sisters who own downtown breakfast hot spot @ The Corner. Flora Jean's has been in a word-of-mouth soft opening period for the past two weeks.

Brood & Barley's Brayan Mcfadden appointed to North Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commission

Brayan Mcfadden, co-owner and executive chef of Brood & Barley in North Little Rock, was appointed to a position on the North Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commission last week at North Little Rock City Hall.

Rock Town Distillery sold 7,217 old fashioneds in 2022

Was the old fashioned the hottest Little Rock cocktail of 2022? It sure seems that way. Little Rock bartenders, please weigh in.

Stone's Throw closing Stifft Station taproom but expanding distribution as the brewery approaches its 10th year

A press release from Stone's Throw Brewing says the Little Rock nanobrewery is closing its Stifft Station location and streamlining to focus more on distribution and its original 9th Street location in downtown's MacArthur Park.
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