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January 15, 2009

Vol 7 • No 1

No. 2 man our No. 1

Until Nov. 4, Bill Halter was the politician who had made his way to a second-tier political office with a shoeshine and a resume.

Arkansas: cutting edge

You can't say it often. But Arkansas stands nearly alone among the states in spending tobacco settlement money solely on health purposes.

Involuntary pay reductions

I mentioned yesterday a new program at the Democrat-Gazette seeking employees willing to take voluntary reduction of hours as a cost-cutting tool.

Open line

Another week more than half gone. Oh, by the way, the truly wackjob anti-immigration crowd will invade LR tomorrow.

Ben Nichols

At its most basic, art — music, writing, photography, painting, whatever — is about telling a story.

Rough week for John Pelphrey and the Upsetters

Funny how weeks can go from good to bad so fast.

Cigarettes and trauma — how and why

It begins with the fact that Arkansas is the only state in the country without a system of advanced trauma care in emergency rooms as verified by the American College of Surgeons.

What's cooking, Jan. 15

On Dec. 31, Lex and Ellen Golden and their children Alex Golden and Amy McCay purchased the venerable Heights grocery store Terry’s Finer Food from longtime owner Gene Lewellen.

This modern world, Jan. 15

Resolutions for ’09

I’ll not waste time trying to figure out what George W. Bush’s legacy is going to be.

Loving mothers raising healthy boys

In 2004, Stephanie Huffman adopted a 2-year-old born with hydrocephalus through the state Department of Human Services.

Digital TV in stir

The switch to digital television broadcasting has created some confusion for TV viewers across the country.

Editorial cartoon, Jan. 15

Out with the old

So it’s January, the Sunday ads are full of shelving systems and plastic bins, and you’ve got a pile of Christmas presents/post-Christmas clearance purchases you need to make room for in your closet.

Unreal

If you ever wanted to see the world the way a crotchety old racist sees the world, then you’re lucky that they’re still letting Clint Eastwood make films.

Jan. 7-13, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … HOT AIR. The Arkansas legislature convened for a session that now, thanks to voters, is to become a regular annual event.

To-do list, Jan. 15

'Factory Girl,' Off Center's opening, 'Joe Egg,' Brad Paisley, Oaklawn's opening, The Gourds, 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,' Inauguration Day and the Harlem Globetrotters should offer a few entertainment choices this week.

Smart talk, Jan. 15

The group Americans United for Separation of Church and State has sent a letter to the Fountain Lake School District over what it says was the dedication of a room at the public school to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Words, Jan. 15

Maggie Smith writes: “Max made a blog entry this morning and concluded it with ‘General McDaniel, your thoughts are welcome.’

Election day robbery

For many boys and girls, Election Day did not bring new hope; it robbed them of it.

More meanness

Use their water supply for a toilet. Close their zoo. When it comes to tormenting people, Sen. Bob Johnson thinks big, like Satan.

Eight-bit pop stars

On a recent Thursday night, members of David’s Pegasus were keeping it down the best they could.

Free ad

The Jan. 8 cover article merely shows what you will do to promote those who agree with your politics.

In brief, Jan. 15

Chicago metal standouts Born of Osiris headline at the Village, 7 p.m., $10, with Impending Doom opening.

The Observer, Jan. 15

After a couple of weekends hunkered down in the hermitage, we decided to step out into the crisp weather and go catch some music downtown.

Orval, Jan. 15

The scourge

Members of the Arkansas General Assembly arrived at the Capitol Monday without the proper welcome that hastened the lawmakers on their journey into history nearly every odd-numbered year for the last quarter-century.

Good food if you can get it

Good food and reasonable prices are two thirds of the secret to any good restaurant.

They also served

As is customary, the staff and readers have contributed names to an (incomplete) roster of those who helped make Arkansas what it was in 2008, for better or worse.

Arkies commit in RNC race

Two Arkansas members of the Republican National Committee have endorsed incumbent Mike Duncan for the chairmanship.

Behind closed doors at UA

John Brummett writes further about former Hog football player Jim Lindsey's effort to install his cutout, farmer/lawyer Stanley Reed, as the next president of the University of Arkansas in a fait accompli backroom deal.

Here comes the tobacco lobby

House Speaker Wills reports that the tobacco lobby is generating robo-calls to legislators to oppose the cigarette tax increase.

The old revolving door

Until the secretary of state gets a backlog of filings updated, it won't be easy to check on-line, but I suspect the number of legislators who rolled through the revolving door from lawmaker to lobbyist Jan. 1 will be more than the three listed in a recent Democrat-Gazette article -- Jack Critcher, Daryl Pace and Scott Sullivan.

Video flyering

  See number three on my "Five things to anticipate in 2009" list in last year's year-in-review package.

Last night: Off Center and 610

If half the city's reveling population isn't hung over this morning after raising the roof during the grand opening of Norman Jones' two new entertainment venues, then they probably will be tomorrow.

'Waterboarding is torture'

Seems so simple. But, for eight years, it hasn't been. Also, the rising attorney general Eric Holder said, nobody is above the law.

The new day in D.C.

The House today Wednesday passed legislation expanding the federal health insurance program for 4 million children.

New record store in Little Rock

  There's a new record store in town.

Buzz cut, here I come

Shirley Nipper, who has been the barber for thousands of Arkansas men at her Tower Building Barber Shop, is retiring to her Searcy country estate at 4 p.m. today.Those who have depended on Shirley to give them a haircut (no stinking "styling" allowed) for more than two decades are now left to shift for themselves.

Words and video on David's Pegasus

Read this week's A&E Feature, "Eight-bit pop stars," on Fayetteville's David's Pegasus, by Derek Jenkins, here.Then watch the companion video Derek made on our homepage in the video player.

Thursday To-Do: Off Center (and 610) is open

OFF CENTER OPENS8 p.m., Off Center, $5.Last night was the grand opening, but the hits keep coming at Off Center, the latest incarnation of the space on Seventh Street that previously housed Easy Street.

Best schools in Arkansas

Business Week has joined the high school rating game, with a state-by-state assessment of schools.

It's not easy doing good

A spokesman for Heifer International says the international hunger relief organization has laid off four people and a part-timer, three of them in Little Rock, as part of a restructuring.

Solidarity forever

Unions nationally are making a push for their Free Choice Act, which is considered near radioactive by Arkansas politicians and viewed as a critical vote for Sen. Blanche Lincoln, up for re-election in 2010.

Sing on, judge

Circuit Judge L.T. Simes of Helena-West Helena has ongoing problems with the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission over his conduct on and off the bench.

Thursday: Born of Osiris,

Born of Osiris. Chicago metal standouts Born of Osiris headline at the Village, 7 p.m., $10, with Impending Doom opening.

Snyder boys home

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder's office has announced that the triplet sons of the congressman and his wife, Rev. Betsy Singleton, came home from the hospital Monday.

Pressly killing suspect pleads innocent

Curtis Vance, the Marianna man accused of fatally beating KATV anchor Anne Pressly, pleaded innocent today in Circuit Court.

Pressly killing suspect pleads innocent

Curtis Vance, the Marianna man accused of fatally beating KATV anchor Anne Pressly, pleaded innocent today in Circuit Court.

Plane down in NYC

US Airways flight from New York LaGuardia to Charlotte, N.C., with 151 on board, down in Hudson River in New York City.

New blood at UCA

Gov. Mike Beebe announced appointments to several university boards today, including an opening on the UCA Board of Trustees.

Thursday To-Do: 'Factory Girl'

‘FACTORY GIRL'7 p.m., Market Street Cinema. $7.50.As “Andy Warhol: 15 Weeks of Fame” draws near its conclusion at the Arts Center, the Times is teaming with the museum and Market Street to host a mini, three-week film festival.

Nobama for Repubs

Here's the House vote on a resolution for a General Assembly adjournment through Tuesday so that legislators could watch the historic inauguration of the country's first black president.

Bridges to the 21st century

  Now for some cultural news. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art may be heavy on ponderous 19th century portraits in some of its galleries when it opens (next year?

SEC Basketball Power Poll: Week 2

The latest SEC Basketball Power Poll has been released and is available for your viewing at the outstanding South Carolina blog Garnet and Black Attack.

Dipping into tobacco

John Williams details a lurking disagreement among tobacco producers on how to assess the $10 million tax increase Gov. Beebe wants on smokeless tobacco.

Gearhart's touch

The new UA chancellor, G. David Gearhart, sure has a defter touch than some other academicians I can think of.

Home, bankrupt, home

Roby Brock reports that foreclosures in Arkansas in 2008 exceeded the total for 2006 and 2007 combined.

Budget talks continue

Another letter today on the LR School District budget situation and it is, I think, significant.

Just for you

Fresh turf.

STFU

Bush's farewell. Don't let the doorknob hit you.

Commodore Hays hits iceberg

Oops. An NLR insider had told me last week that Ultimate Dictator Pat Hays would persuade the NLR School District  not to sue over his outrageous gerrymander  to redirect taxes from schools to a downtown parking deck in a tax increment finance district perverted beyond even the dreams of Dustin McDaniel and Bruce Burrow, the architects of the school tax grab.

Killers collared

A reliable source reports: Just  received a call from Police Chief Stuart Thomas saying that 3 individuals were being arrested in the 1800 block of Reservoir Road and that some or all of these individuals will be charge with the recent homicides and robberies that have plagued Reservoir Road and other areas of the city.  He said that Fox 16 and another TV station was at police headquarters waiting for the charged individuals to be brought out to be transported to the County Jail.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Sometimes I think I'd like to live in a big city like Boston or Chicago, but this is always the time of year I know that's probably never going to happen.  The only way I'd make it through winter in Boston is if I had a blanket made of Irish Catholic men I could take everywhere I went.  I'm a wuss, and I know it, but it's more than just that I don't like cold weather.  Bitter cold--much like tequila--makes me mean.  At my last job, I got into a little tiff with the guy who was in charge of the thermostat in our building and refused to let the heat get above 68 or even to understand why we would want it any warmer.  At one point, I glared at him and willed laser beams to shoot out of my eyeballs, reducing him to a smoldering pile that I could use to warm my hands and feet.

Steak and Eggs, Lilly's Style.

Lilly's DimSum ThenSome is a popular favorite with Arkansas Times readers, and there are many good reasons for that.  The hip-suave music and calming decor is a good start.  The primo service advances that.  And of course, there's the food.

Gambling fever

The expected bill has been filed to deregulate "charity" bingo. The end of taxation, regulation and other limits on bingo parlors would produce exactly what the lawless operators wanted to achieve with legalization of charity bingo -- an eventual return of the status quo without fear of prosecution.

Still more LRSD budget talk

Here's School Board member Jody Carreiro's letter on Little Rock School District cost-cutting. I now count four firm commitments on the seven-member board to, as he puts it, "right sizing" the administration.

Forget, hell

Paul Krugman makes the case that there should be proper investigations of the abuses of the Bush administration.

UA politics

All seem in agreement that the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees will not pick Stanley Reed today to succeed Alan Sugg as president of the system, as trustee Jim Lindsey had hoped to accomplish.

Coy's burns

Hot Springs correspondents tell us the venerable Coy's Steak House, a fixture in the Spa City since at least the 1940s, burned to the ground last night -- the eve of the opening of Oaklawn's live racing season.

Coy's burns

Hot Springs correspondents tell us the venerable Coy's Steak House, a fixture in the Spa City since at least the 1940s, burned to the ground last night -- the eve of the opening of Oaklawn's live racing season.

Mom loses kids

Remember the mother charged with endangerment after a carjacker stole her SUV, with a child strapped in a safety seat, when she dashed into the Children's House Montessori School on Lee Avenue to pick up another foster child?

A slow train through Arkansas

Barack Obama's coming inauguration provides an opening for the Washington Post to send a feature writer to Arkansas to probe the reasons for the deep enmity to Obama here, as expressed in McCain's electoral landslide.

Trailer gazing: '$5 Cover'

  MTV Shows Here's the trailer for "$5 Cover," the web-series from Craig Brewer I told you about way back when.

Everyone's a reporter

It's an eon late in new media time, but I still thought I'd pass along this photo, which I just got from a blog reader.

Arrests in robberies

            SUSPECTS: Brandon Johnson (left) and Shamar Womack. The LRPD today provided details on arrests last night in a series of robbery/shootings at apartment complexes.

Justice reprimanded

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Gunter (photo) has agreed to a letter of reprimand from the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission for a physical confrontation with his sister that prompted a police report.

Justice reprimanded

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Gunter (photo) has agreed to a letter of reprimand from the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission for a physical confrontation with his sister that prompted a police report.

Friday To-Do: 'Joe Egg'

‘JOE EGG'7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.Never one to shy away from difficult subject matter, the Weekend Theater opens the New Year with a tragicomedy from British playwright Mike Nichols.

Weekend To-Do: Oaklawn

OPENING DAY AT OAKLAWN1 p.m. Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs.

Friday To-Do: The Gourds

THE GOURDS10 p.m., Juanita's. $12.Long one of Central Arkansas's favorites, the Gourds return to Juanita's fresh off the release of their brand spanking new album, “Haymaker!” Like all of Austin's favorite sons' albums, it's a rollicking collection of country rock, filled with accordion breakdowns, keen fiddle work and all sorts of other gypsy-hillbilly flourishes.

Short circuit

Circuit City has failed to find a buyer and will liquidate its remaining 500 or so stores.

Friday To-Do: Brad Paisley

BRAD PAISLEY7:30 p.m., Alltel Arena. $32-$46.50.Brad Paisley's on quite a roll.

New University hospital

UAMS dedicated its new 10-story hospital today, replacing a structure started in 1956. More details than you'd ever need.

Abortion politics

Thanks to the Bush Supreme Court, so-called partial birth abortion legislation is back on the Arkansas agenda.

Ben Nichols on NPR

Talking about his new solo record, songwriting (at Nichols furniture) and "$5 Cover."

UA Board: nothing to see here

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees took no action on Friday toward getting a new president, after the current president, B. Alan Sugg, told the Board he hadn’t decided when he wanted to step down.

UA Board: nothing to see here

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees took no action on Friday toward getting a new president, after the current president, B. Alan Sugg, told the Board he hadn’t decided when he wanted to step down.

Oaklawn Bound.

Thousands of folks have undoubtably dined on the famous Oaklawn Corned Beef sandwich this opening weekend.  But for those traveling to go bet on the ponies this racing season, there are other options.  My favorite across-from-the-track place to eat is Facci's Italian Ristorante.  I wrote about it last year on my blog... a particular favorite of mine is the Veal Marsala, but if you're trying to save a buck or two you really can't go wrong with the All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti ($2.99 with unlimited garlic bread).  So, what's your favorite?  Are you one for Rocky's?  Ready for Rod's Pizza Cellar?  Share your favorite Hot Springs hot spot you just might visit this racing season.

Oaklawn Bound.

Thousands of folks have undoubtably dined on the famous Oaklawn Corned Beef sandwich this opening weekend.  But for those traveling to go bet on the ponies this racing season, there are other options.  My favorite across-from-the-track place to eat is Facci's Italian Ristorante.  I wrote about it last year on my blog... a particular favorite of mine is the Veal Marsala, but if you're trying to save a buck or two you really can't go wrong with the All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti ($2.99 with unlimited garlic bread).  So, what's your favorite?  Are you one for Rocky's?  Ready for Rod's Pizza Cellar?  Share your favorite Hot Springs hot spot you just might visit this racing season.

It's a dirty business....

... but somebody has to keep up with the Rethugs. Thanks to David Kinkade of The Arkansas Project for alerting me to an item from the hardest working man in Republicanism, the James Brown of Repug bloggers, the Please, Please Elect More Repubs man himself ...

It's a dirty business....

... but somebody has to keep up with the Rethugs. Thanks to David Kinkade of The Arkansas Project for alerting me to an item from the hardest working man in Republicanism, the James Brown of Repug bloggers, the Please, Please Elect More Repubs man himself ...

Friday night lights

An open line. I can barely sit still, waiting for the renewal of "Friday Night Lights."

Wally Watch: January 15 & 16, 2009

Wally Watch: Where we read Wally Hall so you don't have to. January 15, 2009: Pelphrey can't pull best from Hogs this time Primary Theme: Wally breaks down the Razorbacks' disappointing loss to Ole Miss like only he can - with folksy analogies.

Advantage Beebe

Brummett assesses the merits of Gov. Beebe's comprehensive health plan -- built on a cigarette tax -- and the Republicans' idea to do far less and use a dwindling surplus and higher fines on DWI cases to do it.

This week's hero

NY Times profiles Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III, who pulled off the miraculous Hudson River landing.

Inauguration for sale

What do you think about selling broadcast rights to inaugural events? And speaking of the inauguration: The talk of huge crowds has led to some backlash.

Brad Paisley does Alltel

And Brian Chilson was there.

We're No. 1

I may have missed this while on vacation. Even if it's old news, let's have another Hog Call for the report that the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville spends more on athletics -- as a percentage of all instructional spending -- than any other college in the United States.

We're No. 1

I may have missed this while on vacation. Even if it's old news, let's have another Hog Call for the report that the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville spends more on athletics -- as a percentage of all instructional spending -- than any other college in the United States.

Heckuva job, Bushie

The final NY Times/CBS poll puts Bush approval rating at 22 percent. Unbelievable, I know, that one in five still think he's done an acceptable job.

Death in the UCA family

Dr. Jeff Farris, president of UCA from 1975 to 1987, died Friday. He was 81.

ADULTS IN THE HOUSE? NOT YET . . .

  ‘Member when Mom and Dad told you to stand up to bullies and liars ‘cause if you don’t they’ll just get worse?

The line is open

It's all yours. NOTE: I've been catching up on missed reading during my time off.

The Hits Just Keep On Coming

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling pretty nostalgic for those heady days of early January...

News never sleeps

If only I could stay up all night, I'd have seen this note from a reader shortly before 1 a.m. today:

Woo pig sooie

John Brummett contemplates the meaning of the Hog cheer in the context of UA Trustee Jim Lindsey's preference in a university president being someone who knows what the words mean.

Woo pig sooie

John Brummett contemplates the meaning of the Hog cheer in the context of UA Trustee Jim Lindsey's preference in a university president being someone who knows what the words mean.

Two days and counting

  Above is taken (with original headline pasted on by me) from a Vanity Fair slide show of its illustrators' takes on the Bush administration.

Oh happy day

--HBO: See the replay at 6 and 10:30 Got HBO? It was all I could do not to laugh and cry at the same time.

The party never ends

Unless I get word of some news that can't wait, I'm going to leave it with you.

Inauguration mix tape

I'm back for a second. One of my duties today was to make an iPod playlist for an inaugural get-together.

Extortion in NLR

The Times of North Little Rock takes a look at Mayor Hays' school tax grab and his assist by compliant City Attorney Jason Carter.

Obama as Clinton

Brummett sees parallels between the triangulating Clinton and the Obama who reaches to accommodate foes.

Bird is the word

CNN reports that it was indeed a collision with a bird that forced a medical helicopter down near Forrest City Saturday night.

Woo pig

Arkansas produces academic achievers, too. Here's an obit on John R. Stallings Jr., a Morrilton native and 1956 University of Arkansas graduate who went on to become a groundbreaking mathematician as a long-time faculty member at the University of California in Berkeley.

Follow the money

You'd expect a political controversy centered in California to include  high-tech trappings. See Proposition 8, the California initiative to ban gay marriage.

M.L. King Day thought

Today's question: Fifty years from now, will Arkansas legislators and leading editorialists still demand comparable recognition for a rebel general who took up arms to divide the Union and the leader of a great movement that finally righted the wrongs the rebel cause was meant to perpetuate?

M.L. King Day thought

Today's question: Fifty years from now, will Arkansas legislators and leading editorialists still demand comparable recognition for a rebel general who took up arms to divide the Union and the leader of a great movement that finally righted the wrongs the rebel cause was meant to perpetuate?

Tuna treasure

Peter Brave has come up with an idea to encourage a little extra business during a difficult time for restaurants and also to give a treat to eaters who'd like to tie into some of the freshest fish around.

Your tax dollars at work

The Northwest Arkansas Times (the Hussman-owned wraparound for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Fayetteville), thinks it should get city's legal notice business, even if it's the high bidder, versus the Stephens-owned paper in, shudder, Springdale.

Pardon watch UPDATE

Will Bush or won't he? UPDATE: He has commuted the prison sentences of the border agents who 1) killed shot an unarmed Mexican drug dealer and 2) tried to cover it up.

Pardon watch UPDATE

Will Bush or won't he? UPDATE: He has commuted the prison sentences of the border agents who 1) killed shot an unarmed Mexican drug dealer and 2) tried to cover it up.

The missing prayer

A Politico columnist comments on the HBO exclusive on yesterday's Obama celebration and the fact that its broadcast version didn't include Bishop Gene Robinson's invocation.

Some Razorback Show & Tell

As we go through a week with 0-3 in the conference on our minds and have to wait until Saturday and Auburn to get things hopefully back on track, I thought I would take the opportunity to show the Razorbackexpat community a favorite piece of my Razorback collection and share some words about our wonderful mascot.

Al Bell takes you there

“My fourth brother was murdered in North Little Rock, Ark., just as I was getting ready to go in the studio with them.

Imagine

If you substituted Arkansas for Tennessee in the following news story: University of Tennessee officials are discussing how the athletic departments could increase efficiency and possibly generate more funding for academics as the UT system grapples with a projected state funding shortfall of at least $66 million.

Feel strong up here to you?

Forbes reports that Little Rock is one of the country's top 25 housing markets. The boom never really got here, but neither did the bust, article says.

A Note About Ozone

One thing I try to do with this blog is talk about some of the side effects that are likely to arise with an increase in natural gas drilling around the state.  Most of the news coverage revolves around the beneficial economic impacts, but aside from basic economics, there are a whole slate of costs that don't get calculated, damage to the environment chief among them.  One thing that a couple of you have emailed about is air pollution, so I thought I would link to this article.

Monday: The Good Life

For those who have today off and plan to call in sick tomorrow, the Good Life's a pre-inauguration lovefest at Juantia's, with DJs One Eye and Discipline spinning hip-hop, R&B, pop and rock.

The Tennessee coup

If you're interested in that surprise vote in Tennessee in which a single Republican blocked the expected takeover of the House by Republicans, you'll find a thorough account of it (link corrected) on Arkansas House Speaker Robbie Wills' blog, as told by the Republican to Wills.

Free at last

The White House photo is from Sunday, but you get the idea.

The 2009 Musician's Showcase Semi-Finalists

We had large and really strong field of entrants for this year's showcase. So much so that we're expanding the semi-final rounds from four to five weeks.

Everybody's doing it

  Call answered.Check the slick video flyer for the Boondogs WWT show on Thursday with one of Nashville's finest, singer/songwriter Kevin Gordon.Indy looks like she's eating air.UPDATE: g-force reminds us that he's always been on the cutting edge.

Over to you

An open line. I have to get ready for the countdown to a new era.

The essence of Arkansas

That somewhat unflattering picture presented in the Washington Post feature about folks in Brinkley and their attitudes toward the country's first black president?

Morning mailbag

Some bits and pieces from the overnight mail report. Pulaski Clerk Pat O'Brien reportedly telling people at the Arkansas Society ball in Washington last night that he'd be running for secretary of state in 2010 .... the Little Rock Nine are featured in inaugural coverage .... the story about crowds swamping Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington following an Obama visit recalled for one reader what the Clinton presidency did for Doe's (remember the D.C. version?)

Meanwhile, back at the Capitol

Talk Business reports today on the beginning of a coming effort to alter the timing of the now-annual legislative sessions.

The South's redemption

No thanks to most Southern states, Barack Obama's inauguration today represents a measure of atonement for the dark history of Jim Crow.

Bush has left the building

He has left the White House, never to return as president. (The White House photo was taken shortly before his departure, when he walked out to greet the Obamas for the ride to the ceremony.)

Some things never change

Looks like Republican Sen. John Cornyn will hold up the speedy confirmation of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

Respect, hope and, at last, change

HOORAY: A crowd gathered at LR's Mosaic Templars Cultural Center cheers the new president. Brian Chilson photo.

Respect, hope and, at last, change

HOORAY: A crowd gathered at LR's Mosaic Templars Cultural Center cheers the new president. Brian Chilson photo.

Tuesday To-Do: Inauguration Night

INAUGURATION NIGHT7 p.m., Clear Channel Metroplex. $50.9 p.m., Revolution.

Clark Duke is 'Kick-Ass'

Stills from the forthcoming adaptation of Mark Millar's graphic novel "Kick-Ass," starring Aaron Johnson as an ignored high school student and ardent comic book fan who one day decides to become a super hero despite lacking powers or training.

Wednesday and Thursday To-Do: 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'

‘THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE'7:30 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $20-$50.This musical comedy, which enjoyed a Tony-award winning run on Broadway in 2005, took the long road to the big stage — from small improv stage to a cafeteria-turned-auditorium to Off Broadway's Second Stage (where it broke box office records) to Broadway's Circle on the Square.

Fix it again Tony

Fiat may take over Chrysler.

The solemnity of the occasion ...

... does not deter the pranksters. You'll have to click twice to enlarge to full legibility.

By the Numbers: Bush and Hogs Basketball

In a few hours, George W. Bush will become an ex-president. We will leave it to people better qualified than us to assess the full legacy of his administration.

Senators collapse UPDATE

Both Sens. Roberty Byrd and Edward Kennedy collapsed at President Obama's inaugural luncheon today and required medical attention.

LRSD budget talks, contd.

Little Rock School Superintendent Linda Watson has responded to a letter from Board president Dianne Curry about the budget cuts required by a drop in enrollment.

Country comfort

A rural correspondent reports driving several miles on a Faulkner County highway today behind a pickup flying a big Confederate battle flag.

Country comfort

A rural correspondent reports driving several miles on a Faulkner County highway today behind a pickup flying a big Confederate battle flag.

Carnegie haul

Workers at the Main Library are installing four columns from the old Carnegie Library at Seventh and Louisiana in the parking lot.

Civil rights are in again UPDATE

I dare say you'd have never found a page of promises on specific civil rights issues, including support for the LGBT community, such as these from the new Obama administration, on the Bush White House website.

Civil rights are in again UPDATE

I dare say you'd have never found a page of promises on specific civil rights issues, including support for the LGBT community, such as these from the new Obama administration, on the Bush White House website.

Free Candy: 'My President Is Black'

Your theme for the day: Jay-Z remixing Young Jeezy."My president is black / But his house is all white" etc.This is good and fitting to bounce to today, but it pales next to the raw version (give it a couple of minutes), particularly when the guy with the camera starts shouting "Hey!" offbeat.[Download via the Fader]

Tuesday talk

You're on. Thanks to DBI for noting that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has moved to put a hold on midnight rule changes by the Bush administration.

News tomorrow

Roby Brock says Gov. Beebe will name the new state Democratic Party chair tomorrow. John Brummett, blogging late, tosses out Vince Insalaco's name.

Animal cruelty bill gets unleashed

Last October, animal inspectors found 40 dogs packed into a tiny windowless shed, some crowded into cages stacked on top of one another. Urine and feces surrounded the dogs, there was little to no clean water for them to drink and their food was infested with maggots and other filth.

Right direction, but ...

More cell phone legislation: Here to prohibit cell phone use while driving by people under 18 and then only hands-free between 18 and 20.

Bank fraud reported

Arkansas Business is reporting that IberiaBank, which owns Pulaski Bank in Little Rock, has had to write off $3.6 million lost on account of credit fraud by an Arkansas client.

UAPB on parade

The UAPB band, otherwise known as the Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South, or M4, got some good exposure while I was watching the inaugural parade on CNN yesterday.

Help for the animals

The bill to make cruelty to animals a felony sailed out of the Senate committee this morning without a peep of serious protest.

'Love Guru' still hated on

"The Love Guru," which you might remember spawned a lengthy discussion in this space last year, has been nominated for five seven Golden Raspberry Awards, given annually to the year's worst films.

Ben Nichols, on video and in review

Frustratingly, we still can't link to videos posted to the Times video player, but on the main page, midway down, you'll find an interview with Lucero front man Ben Nichols, who's got a new solo record out now that we reviewed in last week's paper.

Wednesday To-Do: Harlem Globetrotters

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS7 p.m., Alltel Arena. $19-$94.25.As they seem to do just about every year, the winningest basketball team ever barnstorms its way into Alltel Arena.

Pazz and jopped

The Village Voice's Pazz and Jop poll came out today. You know, the list that comes out every year a month after everyone else's year-end wrap-ups that makes you say, "Still?"Still, it's an aggregate of hundreds of critics across the country, so at least in theory, more representative than most.

Unexpected turbulence

The booming business of producing executive aircraft has been a bright spot in Little Rock's economic picture.

You KNEW this was gonna happen

From the Daily Kos: "And in case you hadn't heard, some in the rightwingnutosphere are claiming that Obama really isn't President since Roberts flubbed the oath during yesterday's inauguration."

Four reasons to plan a trip to NWA

1. Hipster demigod Ira Glass is coming to Walton Arts for a lecture.

Time wounds all heels

The welcome news that justice is returning to the Justice Department reminds me of the appropriateness of this week's Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

The permanent legislature

Thoughts from House Speaker Robbie Wills on whether to repeal or tamper with the annual legislative session amendment just approved by voters.

You are known by your enemies

Sen. John McCain, class act, called for unanimous consent on the confirmation of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

Update: The Villa

THE VILLA It may be improper to refer to it as the “new” Villa – it left the old building on University Avenue years ago – but Little Rockers of a certain age will always think of it that way.

Update: Sim's

SIM'S BAR-B-QUE It’s all over but the crying: The original Sim’s is gone. That ramshackle, cinder block dive — with its bullet-hole scarred-door, Kings of Africa poster on the wall and jukebox chock full of all the latest ’80s soul — that’d been servin’ up the tastiest ribs and coldest 40s in town since 1937 (!)

New: Philam Gourmet

PHILAM GOURMET “Asian American Cuisine” is now served in the building that used to house the Frontier Grill.

What is it about Arkansas?

Blake Rutherford interviews veteran political analyst Charlie Cook about politics, including his thoughts on Arkansas's resistance to Barack Obama's charms.

Kennedy is out -- or is she?

MSNBC is reporting that Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn from consideration for the appointment to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat from New York.

Mistrial in shooting

A Pulaski Circuit Court jury couldn't reach a verdict today in the trial of Larry Staley, who killed an 18-year-old on his Sherwood property in 2007.

Rest easy

Obama took the oath again. "Abundance of caution."
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