From the Arkansas Blog


The darkest day yet at the Arkansas Capitol

Republicans take a victory lap, having cleared the way for voter suppression, violent intimidation and forcing women to bear children conceived in rape or incest.

Today's news mostly at the Capitol and the line is open

The governor puts finishing touches on bad legislation.

UPDATE: Coronavirus today: Still the cases grow, though more slowly than during the peak period

The trend of moderate growth in cases continues.

House approves abortion ban, sends it to the governor

An unconstitutional abortion ban is now heading to the governor.

Hutchinson will sign stand-your-ground and voter ID bills and hints abortion ban will also be approved

A license to kill and a restriction on voting. The governor's good with legislation that accomplishes this and hints he'll also sign an unconstitutional abortion ban.

Dark money bill fails in House Rules

A bill to channel campaign contributions to dark money political groups failed in committee today.

Cotton falls flat at CPAC

Tom Cotton's attempt to succeed Donald Trump didn't go over well at the CPAC conference, the New York Times says. He's just not 'real mayonnaise,' said one in the audience.

Watson Chapel school shooting suspect to be charged as an adult

Adult charge filed against 15-year-old.

Jones Bar-B-Q should be smoking again

The outlook is bright, based on financial support, for the rebuilding of Jones Bar-B-Q in Marianna.

Tom Cotton has a problem with Biden nominees, particularly a certain sort

Tom Cotton doesn't much like Joe Biden's Cabinet nominees. Women of color particularly.
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From Rock Candy

MacArthur Park reboot: A Q&A with Victoria Ramirez of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts

The Arkansas Arts Center has a new name to go with its $142 million new building in MacArthur Park. We talked with Executive Director Victoria Ramirez about the renovation and what it means for art in Arkansas. 

A review of the late John Churchill's "The Problem with Rules"

Churchill’s book arrives a year and change after his death, in a dispiriting moment. The foreword, written by his youngest son Hugh and his brother Larry, notes that liberal arts deliberation is sorely lacking through the pandemic as we struggle to balance public health services and the needs of the economy.

Jason Weinheimer of The Libras on pandemic-era collaboration, being a reluctant frontman and "that Little Rock thing"

Weinheimer, along with bassist Chris Michaels and guitarist Charles Wyrick, will play a set on the front porch of Control Records in the Hillcrest area of Little Rock, 6 p.m. Thursday, March 4 for the neighborhood’s monthly Shop and Sip happy hour hang.

"Minari," set in rural Arkansas, takes home Best Foreign Film at Golden Globes

"Minari," Arkansas native Lee Isaac Chung's semi-autobiographical film about his childhood in rural Washington County, took home the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in a Foreign Language.

A virtual weekend To-Do List: Mutants of the Monster, 'Minari,' Dreamland Shakedown, ASO's 'Serenades,' Trillium's '1,000 cranes for peace' and more

Mutants of the Monster, ASO's "Serenades," a Dreamland Shakedown and more this weekend.

Sci-fi feature “The Chariot” starring Thomas Mann, John Malkovich, wraps filming in Little Rock

“The Chariot” is writer/director Adam Sigal’s third feature film. “It's a science-fiction dark comedy,” Sigal told us. “It’s a very strange, sort of quirky David Lynch-esque film.”

‘Dreamland Shakedown’ event this Saturday is ‘making history sexy’ with a tribute to vintage Black art

Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles and Duke Ellington have all performed in the Dreamland Ballroom at Taborian Hall, which has stood at Little Rock’s West Ninth St. for over 100 years now, and this weekend, a lineup of local Black performers hits the stage for “The Dreamland Shakedown: A Celebration of Vintage Black Art.”

Julia Roberts to play Pine Bluff's Martha Mitchell in Starz Watergate drama

Julia Roberts will star as Martha Mitchell, the Pine Bluff native who was married to John Mitchell, attorney general under President Richard Nixon, in a forthcoming Starz adaptation of Slate's "Slow Burn" podcast.

Blackness, whiteness, art and anti-democracy: A Q&A with Dr. Nell Irvin Painter

We talk with scholar and artist Dr. Nell Irvin Painter ahead of her discussion tonight as part of CALS' Six Bridges Book Festival.

Arkansas film 'Minari' snags 10 Critic's Choice Awards nominations

Sundance darling "Minari," set in rural Arkansas, scored 10 nominations from the Critic's Choice Awards. Arkansas Cinema Society hosts a virtual screening of the film Thursday night.
More from the Rock Candy blog

Restaurant owners can open up dining capacity to 100%, but many think it’s too soon

Arkansas restaurants can now fill to capacity in spectacular pre-pandemic fashion. But we’re still in a pandemic, with a largely unvaccinated workforce of servers and front-of-house staff facing the public.

Chef Payne Harding of Cache Restaurant competes in worldwide Favorite Chef competition

Harding noticed in an email that he’d been selected for the contest shortly after going through two casting rounds for the Food Network’s Guy Fieri show “Guy’s Grocery Games.”

Coffee delivered

There’s no shortage of locally roasted, delicious coffee in Arkansas. Roasters that sell online and will ship beans to your door include Brave New Restaurant, Fidel & Co., Doomsday Coffee (Fayetteville), Stirling Roastery (Booneville), Guillermo’s Gourmet Coffee, RoZark Hills Coffee Roastery (Rose Bud) and Big Cuppa Roasting (Morrilton). 

Arkansas Food Hall of Fame winners announced in virtual ceremony

Over 2,000 nominations were received this year from all 75 counties, which is a record for the program. In in the first Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, five years ago, "We were thrilled to get 300 nominations," Hurst said.

Main Street restaurants still flooded and shuttered following water main rupture

Williams said he hopes to be opened back up on Monday or Tuesday of next week and that today, the first Friday of lent, is not an ideal day for a popular fish restaurant to be closed.

Basements of Main Street restaurants flood after water main ruptures

“Everything we had down in the basement was underwater,” said Chris Tanner, owner of Samantha's Tap Room. A water main break forced a road closure and caused significant flooding to multiple businesses. 

A Central Arkansas snowpocalypse dining guide

We praise all restaurants that are choosing to remain closed to keep staff and customers safe. But we're also here to let you know that there are some places braving the elements to provide some snow day provisions.

Pridgin Family Brewery joins growing list of small-town Arkansas beermakers

Opening a brewery was a gamble for the Pridgin family. Even with Country Monks and Prestonrose seeing success nearby, beer tastes in Logan County still tip towards cheap industrial lagers.

‘It’s fine, though, all I had this morning was a smoothie’: A pandemic food diary

An assignment to compile a list of cheap eats in Central Arkansas in December coalesced, for Arkansas Times Associate Editor Rhett Brinkley, with a “Twin Peaks” viewing streak, a stubborn commitment to drinking water and a local restaurant takeout scene scrambling to weather the weirdest of winters.

Filmmaker Jesse Burks to open Burks Brothers Brewing this spring in Bryant

We talked with surgeon, filmmaker and now brewery owner Jesse Burks about Burks Brothers Brewing, lake beers and the strange origins of some of B3's abundant wall art. 
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