Brian Chilson

Here’s the Saturday night open line, with a couple of news notes:

* HOT SPRINGS CONFLICT: Times photographer Brian Chilson says two of the people counter-protesting the Confederate gathering in the city have been arrested, or at least detained. He provided the photo above of someone in custody and another police-demonstrator contact below. He elaborated:

They were part of a group that tried to block the sidewalk as the park police were escorting the Confederates from the pen they were in by the Arlington all the way down to the monument to leave flowers there. The police led them down past the counter-protesters where a brief interaction occurred .

UPDATE (9:08 p.m.)

Jacob Rosenberg reporting. Here is the press release detailing the arrests made in Hot Springs during the protest.


Hot Springs Police Department, National Park Service, Garland County Sheriff Department, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Probation & Parole and the FBI has been collaborating for the past several days to develop a comprehensive operational plan for today’s scheduled protest.

The Hot Springs Police Department arrested Maya Williams (9/19/97) of North Little Rock and Thomas Bemberg (2/7/88) of Hot Springs, for Disorderly Conduct. The National Park Service arrested Donald Tankersley of Hot Springs for disorderly conduct and a federal burning ordinance.

We also responded to three medical calls for heat related issues.

There is no doubt that this was a tremendously successful operation because of proper planning, communication and the relationships that we have developed with the many Governmental agencies & community stakeholders.

A third arrest was made by the National Park Service when a man tried to light a bandana with Confederate imagery on fire.


“It was too soaked in sweat and wouldn’t burn,” said Tim Looper, who claimed he was the cousin of the man arrested. “No flames and just a bit of smoke — no more than a cigarette lit on the street.”

* MORE TROUBLES FOR JAKE FILES: The Times Record in Fort Smith reported today on mounting financial troubles for Sen. Jake Files, who’d earlier announced he won’t seek re-election next year. A new court filing details some $1.2 million owed by Files and his construction company to various parties, including the IRS.

He’s apparently invoked 5th Amendment privilege against testifying in some cases. He says he hopes to restructure his debt.

One lingering question posed by the article is what happened to state surplus money sent to a subcontractor for supposed work on a city recreation project that Files’ company didn’t complete. The city says the work wasn’t done and wants some $26,000 back.


* FAREWELL TO FRANK: And, yes, of course, they called the Hogs to conclude the memorial service today for Frank Broyles at Bud Walton Arena at UA.