Big news is breaking tonight. But there’s no bigger news than the state’s failure to look after children. We’ve been tussling for weeks to get the so-called Arkansas Human Services Department to provide more information about the four deaths of children in the state’s custody this year. DHS has been stonewalling and Gov. Mike Beebe, the putative leader of the state, has shown little interest in giving the public an accounting for an agency under his direct control.

Get ready for another horror story. It’s in this week’s Arkansas Times. Leslie Peacock reports on DHS’ failure to protect a battered child, the child perhaps saved from death by a grocery store worker who noticed the battered child and called authorities. A case worker’s failure to take custody of the child is one thing. The child’s temporary home with another DHS worker is another. It’s a tragedy and a disaster.


Gov. Beebe, can we trouble you to give a damn?