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January 14, 2010

Vol 8 • No 1

Latinos in Little Rock

When I first arrived in Little Rock on May 21 of last year, I knew precious little about the region and the state of Arkansas in general.

Tax plan anarchy

The D-G today got around to mentioning last week's ballot title approval of a constitutional amendment aimed at repealing most state taxes and replacing them with a much fatter sales tax.

Great minds and Harry Reid

One of the most puzzling aspects of the flap over Sen. Harry Reid's reported racially oriented remarks about President Obama was how quickly most of the Washington press corps regurgitated a new book's take that the remarks were somehow offensive.

Trouble in Republicanville

Benton County Judge David Bisbee, the former state senator, is in the middle of controversy.

Open courts? Not for gay rights

Surprise. The U.S. Supreme Court, in the five-person majority of the court's right-wing Catholics (Scalia, Alito, Roberts, Thomas, Kennedy) won't allow televised proceedings of the California challenge of Prop.

Over the hump

The Wednesday line is open.

Why Huckabee is a threat in ’12

With evangelical favorites Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. John Ensign indelibly scarred by sex scandals, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has become the natural Christian right candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential primary.

Orval, Jan. 14

‘Diversion’ on right track

“Will this place make it?” is a natural question to ask the first time you go to a new restaurant, given the volatility and riskiness of the industry and the fickleness of the dining public.

Eye On Arkansas, Jan. 14

God and football

I found myself with a short wait and nothing to read. I rummaged around in the truck though and came across a once read copy of the Arkansas Times from 8 October.

Swami sez

Below are a few predictions for the year 2010.

Vehicle for anarchy

Forty-nine states are still governable because they haven’t yet imitated California, which indulges the contradictory whims of its voters.

Jan. 6-12, 2010

It was a GOOD week for: UAMS. The med center’s Rockefeller Cancer Institute received $10.5 million in federal stimulus money to help in construction of a 12-story addition with labs and new research jobs.

Tale of two senators

No amount of hypocrisy or insincerity will keep Republican campaigners from their appointed rounds of trashing Democrats.

To-Do List, Jan. 14

Oaklawn Opening Day, "Sordid Lives," 'Grieg's Romantic Piano Concerto,' Jemina Pearl, Blacklist Royals, 'A Day Of Service: Live The Dream, Make Change Happen," Harlem Globetrotters and Shen Yun are this week's top picks.


Saturday in Argenta, the Oxford American hosts its biggest music issue party to date, featuring Sonny Burgess, Jim Mize, the True Soul Band, Larry Donn and Sleepy LaBeef.

A&E News, Jan. 14

New on Rock Candy: Watch the pilot episode of “The Bloodstone Diaries,” the new web series written by the Times’ David Koon, directed by local filmmaker Gerry Bruno and starring Katy Allen (wife of Arkansas’ “Idol”).

Wood, Taiwan to Laman

Debra Wood, owner of the late ArtSpace Gallery in the River Market, is back in the art business again, as exhibit and event manager for the relatively new gallery space at the William F. Laman Library in North Little Rock.

Thanks, but no thanks, on the super sales tax

Brandon Woodrome, a 22-year-old construction businessman, and Jett Harris, a minister with whom Woodrome was close, were together on a Fort Smith Baptist church’s youth retreat several months ago.

Blood thirst

“The Daybreakers” imagines that somehow, the 2010s turn out worse than the 2000s did: By 2019, an outbreak of vampirism has gone from epidemic to default setting.

“Next year” is here

I’m willing to bet the actual messiah could convert at least one third down against ECU.

In Brief, Jan. 14

At Sticky Fingerz, New York singer/songwriter Joey DeGraw mixes pop hooks with roots rock and shares the bill with Atlanta singer/songwriter Michael Tolcher, 9 p.m., $10.

Finally, some peace

In April, the Times brought you the story of Mark and Renell Cothren, a Conway family whose life had been disrupted by the noise coming from Frac Tech, an oil and gas services company located about 200 yards from their home.

Why Huckabee is a threat in ’12

With evangelical favorites Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. John Ensign indelibly scarred by sex scandals, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has become the natural Christian right candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential primary.

This Modern World, Jan. 14

The Observer, Jan. 14

The Observer is in the market for a new Mobile Observatory of late, which got us thinking about the rides of yore. We can remember them all, some not so fondly. Case in point: The Cursed Truck.

Smart Talk, Jan. 14

Little Rock businessman Harry Hastings Jr. (Catholic High School, 1945) has given his alma mater $50,000 to upgrade the school’s TV studio and journalism department.

What's Cookin', Jan. 14

The twice-yearly Argenta Restaurant Week kicks off on Monday, Jan. 18, with lunch and dinner deals at Cornerstone Pub, Cregeen’s Irish Pub, Margo’s Catfish Diner and Deli, Reno’s Argenta Cafe, Ristorante Capeo, Starving Artist Cafe and Ump’s Pub and Grill.

Good thinking

Wise words from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel: “Congress does bad things all the time that aren’t unconstitutional.”

Words, Jan. 14

The “Orval” comic strip by Tommy Durham recently made gentle fun of the people who write letters to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette containing the phrase “Wake Up, America!”

Book Notes, Jan. 14

New from Butler Center Books: “Beyond Central, Toward Acceptance” (paperback, $19.95), five years of oral histories recorded by Little Rock Central High ninth graders for a student-created website,

Alejandro Escovedo

About halfway through his set at Juanita’s Wednesday night, Alejandro Escovedo told a story about asking his son what he thought of dad’s music.

Ex-legislator dies

Sharon Dobbins, 44, who served one term in the legislature succeeding her husband after his conviction on a sex charge, died yesterday.

Desperately seeking highway money

An advisory group has recommended three potential new sources of highway taxes for more construction  -- 1) taking hundreds of millions from schools, prisons and health care in a raid on general revenue; 2) an excise tax on fuel at the wholesale level; 3) indexing the fuel tax to inflation.

U.S. democracy at work

Good observation by Gail Collins in the New York Times. It's in the context of how a Republican victory by Scott Brown in a special election in Massachusetts could give the GOP 41 votes, enough to kill health care reform.

Taxmanship for the library

Good story in the Democrat-Gazette this morning (sub. reqd.)

Dine Well, Dine Often.

It's back -- the wintertime installment of Argenta Restaurant Week begins Monday, with $8 two-course lunches and $25 three-course dinners at several of the district's popular restaurants -- including Cornerstone Pub, Cregeen's Irish Pub, Margo's Catfish Diner and Deli, Reno's Argenta Cafe, Ristorante Capeo, Starving Artist Cafe and Ump's Pub and Grill.  This time around, diners have an added bonus.  Each time they dine, customers can register to win one of several items.  Prizes include jewelry valued at $1000 from Stanley Jewelers and Gemologists, 4 nights at the Baker House Bed and Breakfast, two necklaces from the Argenta Bead Company, a pottery class at Claytime Studios, and a $100 Gift Certificate to the Argenta Market, slated to open in March.  Find out more at the Argenta Restaurant Week website.

Dem. challenge to Halter?

Democratic State Rep. Nathan George tells blogger Jason Tolbert that he's contemplating a race for lieutenant governor.

Good grade for Arkansas education

Arkansas ranks 10th among the 50 states and D.C. in Education Week's Quality Counts survey of education policies and student achievement.

The corporate welfare myth

Don't bother telling your friends at the chamber of commerce about this. After their desire for taxpayer subsidies for their unaccountable cheerleading activities, the good suits believe in nothing more dearly than the value of corporate welfare. Hourly wage earners should succeed by sweat of their brow.

eStem announces Brooks' departure

The eStem Charter School in downtown Little Rock called in press this morning to announce that the organization's chief administrator, Roy Brooks, is stepping down at the end of the year.

Heifer International CEO stepping down

Heifer International, the Little Rock-based hunger relief organization, announced today, as we'd indicated earlier, a transition in leadership.

Thursday: Joey DeGraw, Nicky Parrish, Typhoid Mary, more

Joey DeGraw. At Sticky Fingerz, New York singer/songwriter Joey DeGraw mixes pop hooks with roots rock and shares the bill with Atlanta singer/songwriter Michael Tolcher, 9 p.m., $10.

Wakarusa to keep it jam-y in 2010

The Disco Biscuits. The annual festival, scheduled for June 3-6 on Mulberry Mountain, announced an early portion of its line-up today.

LR filmmaker in Haiti

The New York Times has posted a video interview with Little Rock documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud about his recent trip to Haiti for a film on deforestation there.

Gay White chairs campaign

Former Arkansas First Lady Gay White will chair Scott Wallace's campaign for the Republican nomination for Congress from the Second District, he announced today.

Judge Proctor for his defense

Circuit Judge Willard Proctor appeared before the state Supreme Court today in his appeal of a disciplinary panel's recommendation that he be removed for multiple ethical violations, particularly in operation of the Cycle Breakers probation program that he created.

Court upholds DWI case dismissal

The state Supreme Court today upheld dismissal of a family's claim for damages against a Henderson State University fraternity that sponsored and charged admission to a Hot Spring County keg party in 2005.

Court upholds DWI case dismissal

The state Supreme Court today upheld dismissal of a family's claim for damages against a Henderson State University fraternity that sponsored and charged admission to a Hot Spring County keg party in 2005.

Ron Sheffield to Supreme Court

Gov. Mike Beebe has appointed Ron Sheffield to the Arkansas Supreme Court to replace Bill Bowen, who resigned this week after only one week on the bench because of a minor stroke.

Escapee caught in Oklahoma

That Wisconsin murder suspect who escaped with a van after sticking a shiv in a guard in Van Buren early yesterday?

That True Soul

Great interview at the Oxford American's website with Lee Anthony, founder of the now-defunct Little Rock soul label True Soul.

Pressly case on TLC

The TLC cable channel will feature the slaying of KATV reporter Anne Pressly on an episode of the show "TV Murders" at 8 p.m.

Dem-GOP cage match at UALR

Well, OK, it's not a cage match. Though that might be entertaining.

Barth raises big dough for Senate

Jay Barth, the Hendrix political science professor, announces that he raised more than $162,000 in 2009 for a Democratic primary race for state Senate in the center city district covering parts of Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Holt visits LR, loves freedom

Former state representative and senator Jim Holt stopped in Little Rock today as part of a fly-by tour of the state to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Blanche Lincoln.  (In response to a reader's question, the event was held at the main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System in downtown Little Rock).  For those of you keeping score at home, that's nine GOP candidates in the race now.  Holt used the opportunity to take a couple of shots at "60th Vote Blanche," and brag that he was the only candidate that met all of the Tea Party's qualifications.  "We have to ask ourselves at this juncture," Holt said, "which path are we going to take?  Continue down the path of socialism?  Or change back to the path of freedom?"   

Go rogue with the Ark. GOP

The Republican Party of Arkansas has announced a Monday news conference to announce a coming party event.

Ex-Green candidate busted

Abel Tomlinson, the Green Party candidate for Third District Congress in 2008, was booked into the Washington County jail Monday night.

New overlay area code is 327

The Arkansas Public Service Commission announced today (link now takes you to PSC news release page) that 327 will be the new "overlay" area codes that dialer will have to use for local calling of numbers in the 870 area code.

Daily Digest: Conan might get iced, pants might fall to the ground

*If you've gotten caught-up in the late night war, Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood is essential reading.

Follow the bouncing polls

An apology is in order here to Tim Griffin, Republican candidate for 2nd District Congress.

The line is open

Take it away. It's been a a busy day, I'm ambling to the barn.

Poll: Snyder in trouble

A Survey USA poll commissioned by liberal blog Firedoglake shows U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder badly trailing Republican challenger Tim Griffin.

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne may be the best rapper alive, but that doesn’t mean he can charge $51 (or $66 or $76 for premium seats) in Arkansas and expect much of a crowd.

That’s the spirit

Mike Huckabee’s latest book, “A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories That Celebrate The True Holiday Spirit,” should cement the convictions of his loyalists, irritate those who aren’t, and, at the very least, serve as adequate light reading for those in between.

'Sordid Lives'

The Weekend Theater kicks the year off with a "black comedy about white trash."

Privacy in politics

Linda Greenhouse examines the simmering dispute over televising court proceedings that arose because opponents of gay marriage want as little widespread public exposure as possible of the constitutional case being presented against them. The TV issue combines with anti-gay activists' efforts to close to the public the names of people who sign petitions to put anti-gay referendums on the ballot.

Weekend To-Do: 'Sordid Lives'

Duane Jackson stars. ‘SORDID LIVES'7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater.

Weekend To-Do: Oaklawn

OAKLAWN OPENING DAY10 a.m., Oaklawn.Oaklawn's website currently offers a “$10 Free Play Coupon,” so print that dude out about 912 times*, nominate a designated driver and go cheer the ponies and place some video-game bets.

Tres bien UPDATE

Roby Brock says Heber Springs will get some new jobs from a French-owned auto parts maker.

Local folks sell food-records for Haiti

Tonight, the House is donating 100% of its net proceeds to Haitian relief efforts, and all this month, 100% of sales of the new Love Ghost album go to Red Cross Disaster Response Fund for Haiti.

Here we go again

  Keia Johnson, an ASU grad who currently lives in Memphis, got some nice airtime on "Idol" the other night.

Casino monopoly plan UPDATE

A Texas operator for years has been threatening to mount a constitutional amendment campaign to give a private corporation the sole right to operate casinos in Arkansas at seven locations.

Daily Digest: Kimmel murders Leno

Damn *Improbably, after his show-length Leno impersonation and this Leno takedown on Jay Leno's own show, Jimmy Kimmel is the king of the late night battle.

About the Griffin-Snyder poll

A couple of things about the poll showing Karl Rove hatchetman, Central Arkanas newcomer and virtual unknown Tim Griffin with a 17-point lead over U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder: 1) Marvin Parks had a poll showing him with a 12-point lead over Snyder at this point in 2004.

Za Za goes national

Za Za co-owners John Beachboard and Scott McGehee have formed a new company with a group of national restaurateurs in order to begin franchising their popular wood-oven pizza and salad restaurant.

Za Za: Finger-lickin' good

Check out Eat Arkansas. Za Za, the Little Rock-born gourmet pizza/salad restaurant, is going national with the help of a Kentucky Fried Chicken magnate.

Repubs squabble

Good, the Republican senatorial candidates are squabbling among themselves. I'd mentioned earlier Curtis Coleman's suggestion that Gilbert Baker really wanted to be governor -- so badly that if he were to be elected to U.S. Senate, he'd run for governor in 2014.

The Weekend: Spectrum, Greg Spradlin Outfit paying tribute to Bobby Charles, Bleu Edmondson, Brother Andy, more

Bobby Charles. FRIDAY 1/15Cameron Holifield's Cool Shoes spin-off Spectrum returns to Star Bar in its second month with g-force, Michael Inscoe, Cameron Holifield and Risky Biz DJing and Dandiwer manning a photo booth, 10 p.m., $5.

Saturday To-Do: Blacklist Royals

BLACKLIST ROYALS9 p.m., Low Key Arts Building, Hot Springs. $7.Nashville's punk ‘n' roll poster boys are bypassing Little Rock this time around, but for a good cause.

Saturday and Sunday To-Do: 'Grieg's Romantic Piano Concerto'

‘GRIEG'S ROMANTIC PIANO CONCERTO'8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $20-$58.The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra continues its search for a new conductor with a program directed by Fusao Kajima, the fourth of five candidates.

The great trailer auction

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross says he's glad the feds have delayed a mass auction of the 15,000 trailers being stowed at the Hope Airport, but still believes the auction in a single lot should be cancelled.

Saturday To-Do: Jemina Pearl

JEMINA PEARL9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.Jemina Pearl's only 22, but she's a seasoned rock vet.

Saturday To-Do: Oxford American Party in Argenta

Sleepy LaBeef. 'NIGHT OF ARKANSAS STARS'7 p.m., Argenta.

Vic Snyder not seeking re-election

VIC SNYDER: Today in NLR.  (Brian Chilson photo) U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder of Little Rock distributed an e-mail shortly after 4 p.m.

Need an open line?

Here 'tis.

The Real Deal.

Saturday only, the big day of the year for hungry folks at Oaklawn Racing Park.


The Oxford American uncovers Arkansas’s music roots in Argenta with a concert featuring the likes of Sleepy Labeef (pictured), Sonny Burgess and the Pacers and Jim Mize.

Snyder: The morning after

Roby Brock rounds up some speculation in the slipstream of U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder's surprise retirement announcement.


Arkansas lawmakers apparently feel this will help women and their physicians make a wrenching personal decision.

They're off

Kat Robinson, writing on Eat Arkansas, just made me very hungry. It's 50-cent corned beef sandwich day at Oaklawn.

A 2nd District contender

I fired off a batch of e-mails and phone calls yesterday inquiring of various people's interest in running for Second District Congress after Vic Snyder's retirement announcement.

One of those days

Sorry. You'll have to provide the excitement on tonight's open line.

Vic Snyder's wife on his withdrawal

This is worth a spot of its own. Blog reader Never Vote Republican pointed us in comments on the open line to a blog post by Betsy Singleton Snyder (shown with the Snyders first child, Penn, in 2006), Vic Snyder's wife, about his decision not to seek re-election this year.

‘Diversion’ on right track

Thanks to food, wine, service and ambiance.

Bisbee and Benton County

John Brummett endeavors to explain why Benton County Judge Dave Bisbee's use of his own company to do some county work isn't a case of self-enrichment.

Danger: Cell phone user ahead

Driving while using a cell phone is infinitely more dangerous given a hurtling instrument of death under command of a distracted driver.

A tale of two libraries UPDATE

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch article says the Lincoln library in Springfield, Ill., remains the most popular among the presidential libraries.

End of the free lunch

Says here that the New York Times, the most read newspaper website, is preparing to begin charging for access in some manner.

Tough times all over

A reader calls to my attention the reported arrest Friday of a suspect, Michael Feuget, 43, in the robbery of an Iberia Bank branch at 4900 W. Markham Street.

Sunday line

It's open.

'A Day of Service'

If you get the day off for MLK Jr. Day, what better way to observe the holiday than by attending the Arkansas King Commission's program at Philander Smith College.

Obama hasn't done enough

To those who say President Obama's shaky standing comes from trying to do too much, Paul Krugman takes the contrary position:

The right catches up

Remember when it was thought the right had talk radio and the left had the Internet.

Richardson is King Day speaker

PROGRESS: Tributes to Martin Luther King are scheduled on these same Arkansas Capitol steps today.

Monday To-Do: 'A Day of Service'

‘A DAY OF SERVICE: LIVE THE DREAM, MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN!'10 a.m., M.L. Harris Auditorium, Philander Smith College.

Booze brothers

Look this week for a couple of Beebe administration appointments to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control board.

Haiti: A tale of two headlines

A reader notes the differing tones in two newspapers' lead headlines this morning on the situation in Haiti: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

Congrats to the 2010 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase semi-finalists

In the three years I've been managing the Showcase, we've never had more submissions than we did this year.

Sarah Palin coming to Arkansas

The state Republican Party held a news conference this morning at Verizon Arena  to announce the coming visit from the gubernatorial quitter Sarah Palin.

Things could be worse

You could live in Texas.

That kind of election

Republican blogger Jason Tolbert talks to a national Republican operator about the field of Democrats shaping up to run for 2nd District Congress now that Vic Snyder is out.

Four-star 2nd District speculation

Roby Brock says retired Gen. Wesley Clark (I shorted him two stars in originally calling him a major general) is considering a run for Second District Congress.

Appearances count

From Arkansas Business: A circuit judge says there was an appearance of impropriety in the fact that then-Insurance Commissioner Julie Benafield Bowman decided an important insurance case in favor of an insurance company then later went to work for the insurance company.

Walker faults lottery scholarships UPDATE

I was at John Walker's annual Christmas party when Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford encouraged him to be provocative and talk candidly at his scheduled King day appearance today at the Clinton School.

Speak up

The Monday line commences.

In the field

Quickie robopoll tonight at my house. Favorable/unfavorable and a horse race question on Joyce Elliott, Bill Halter, Paul Suskie and Robbie Wills for 2nd District Congress.


    Main Street’s fondly-remembered heyday in Little Rock was over 50 years ago. The glory days of Blass’s, Pfeifer’s, Kempner’s and Cohn’s. Arkansas’ exciting Capital – The Rock!

Latinos in Little Rock

Stories from the ‘invisible ones’ from an experienced bilingual journalist.

Republican vote buying

Jason Tolbert drills down into a financial report to assess which GOP Senate candidate paid how much for votes in a recent "straw poll" in Hot Springs.

What the Dems need in the 2nd

John Brummett's formula for a successor to retiring U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder: Actually, his departure might offer the Democrats a mildly improved chance to hold the seat.

What he said

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c Mass Backwards

New at Crystal Bridges

Leslie Peacock's art blog has the details on this Walton Ford acquisition for the Bentonville museum.

Massachusetts: What if?

Josh Marshall begins the analysis of what happens on health care if the Republican wins the special election today.

Local bands MIA for MLK

Reader notes that a high school band from Memphis provided the marching music in the Jonesboro Martin Luther King Day parade yesterday.

Local bands MIA for MLK

Reader notes that a high school band from Memphis provided the marching music in the Jonesboro Martin Luther King Day parade yesterday.

And Mayor Stodola says ...

... re my inquiry about trying for Congress again: I have had several folks call and ask me to consider it which I will do over the next couple of days; however, I might add that I already have one of the best jobs in the state, one where I can do more good to improve people’s lives, more quickly, than Congress has the capacity for.

Baker to the sick: Shove it

Gilbert Baker, Republican senatorial candidate, joins those goose-stepping with the 'baggers and the Club for Growth .

Farewell to The Box

USA Drug has succeeded where Walgreens did not — getting approval for plans for a 15,000-square-foot drug store on Main Street between 16th and 17th streets.

Farewell to The Box

USA Drug has succeeded where Walgreens did not — getting approval for plans for a 15,000-square-foot drug store on Main Street between 16th and 17th streets.

Conditions off LR charter school

Chris Heller, attorney for the Litttle School District, reports in a memo to the School Board that the state Board of Education today lifted restrictions it had placed on a new charter school in Little Rock targeting black males, the Urban Collegiate Public Charter School for Young Men.

Tuesday: Haiti Relief Jam, Frown Pow'r, ASO River Rhapsodies

Rodney Block. Tonight, at SpeakEasy local musicians collaborate to present a Haiti Relief Jam Session.

Latinos face medical discrimination

A report released today indicates Latinos believe they are discriminated against in receiving health care in Arkansas.

Ashlie Atkinson, going for the 'Law & Order' trifecta

Little Rock native and Hendrix alum Ashlie Atkinson is interviewed on She's currently starring in the Bridge Project's "As You Like It," directed by Sam Mendes at the BAM in New York.

No drama Beebe

Sometimes, it's just impossible not to like Gov. Mike Beebe. Once was this morning, when he was comfortably hoo-rawing with radio's Tommy Smith about Haitian relief and and other matters less important, including laughing at outtakes of his karaoke performance on his sendup of "Amarillo by Morning," redone as "Little Rock by Morning."

Arkansas Charity on 'Idol'

New embed. Last night on "American Idol," Charity Vance, a 16-year-old Arkansas Baptist High School student and vet of the Rep's Summer Musical Theater Intensive, made it to Hollywood, got a pimp spot from producers and heard only praises from the judges, including "on a record you'd sound great," from Simon.Why's Jason Harper giving Charity fist-bumps?UPDATE: Most all the major "Idol" commentators have nice things to say about Vance:

The line is open

Fire away. For tonight's the-sky-is-falling/the-sky-is-not-falling comments, here's a good discussion of the arcane rules that govern when the winner of a special election is seated in the Senate.

Greetings from the Natl. Archives

I presume letters such as everyone in my family received today have been arriving in mailboxes all over Arkansas and the world.

Cry the beloved country

I posted a hateful letter here last night that I'd received about Haiti. It was signed by someone who identified himself as Mike Ferguson of Hot Springs.

Cry the beloved country

I posted a hateful letter here last night that I'd received about Haiti. It was signed by someone who identified himself as Mike Ferguson of Hot Springs.

Globetrotters forever

The basketball icons return to Verizon Arena.

Haiti rocked again

Twitter is overloaded this morning. I'm guessing it's a reaction to a 6.1-aftershock centered near Haiti's capital this morning, a rumble that shivered buildings and sent people screaming into streets (those who still had shelter to leave).

West Memphis Three: No new trials

More later, but the breaking news is that a judge in Jonesboro has denied new trials for Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, who were convicted in the West Memphis Three murder case.

The lottery rolls on

The Arkansas Lottery Commission met this morning in it's first regular meeting in more than two months.  Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue delivered a report to the commission that outlined budget projections based on the lottery's progress so far.  Passailaigue said sales were "nothing short of astounding," as the lottery has grossed over $140 million in sales since its launch in late September.  He will deliver a similar report to the legislative oversight committee, which meets tomorrow at the State Capitol.

Done, a Do-Over.

  Ever want to have a "do-over" for something you did years ago? I've been having that sort of sensation when it comes to Facci's Italian Ristorante in Hot Springs for quite some time.

Throw another log on the fire

Want more names of "possibles" for 2nd District Congress, Democratic primary? Add John Adams, 32, an assistant attorney general, LR native and Catholic High grad.  He didn't call me, a friend of his did, but I should disclose a small personal conflict: John was the Yale equivalent of a big brother to my daughter Martha when she was a freshman there.

GOP lightning round

Duane Neal (who he?) endorses Kim Hendren ...

UA moves to balance budget

The University of Arkansas's Fayetteville campus has announced steps it will take to deal with state budget cuts without layoffs or furloughs.

Wednesday To-Do: Harlem Globetrotters

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS7 p.m., Verizon Arena. $21.75-$103.75.Even the Globetrotters aren't immune to new big-time entertainment practices.

Watch the bouncing news

I don't link them all, but I hope everyone has noticed our Arkansas news headline service on the right rail of the blog and home page.

Meet the judge

Sen. Blanche Lincoln introduced Appeals Court Judge Price Marshall of Jonesboro to the Senate Judiciary Committee today and asked for his speedy confirmation to the federal district court bench.

Beebe appoints

Gubernatorial appointsment announced today included a couple I'd mentioned earlier -- Jean Hervey of Plumerville and Martin Silverfield of Little Rock to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The VOV lands Lucero

Lucero will kick-off the sixth annual Hot Springs indie music festival Valley of the Vapors on Wednesday, March 17.Earlier this week, the festival, which runs from March 17-21, announced its initial artist roster (see it after the jump); put tickets to the Lucero concert on-sale and promised a shift in programming.

Looking for a Democratic optimist?

U.S. Rep. Marion Berry is not your man. Ron Breeding of KUAR interviews. Comprehensive health care legislation is dead.