Spa City is swiftly becoming a polestar for pizza.
February (first magazine)February 1, 2019
Vol 45 • No 18
Can the city's first elected black mayor heal the racial divisions that have long plagued the city's fire and police departments?
Arkansas Times readers named it the "Best New" restaurant in Central Arkansas.
Our readers pick the best.
Here's the open line. Also the daily video with news headlines and comment. Also check your newstands. The first monthly Arkansas Times is out and it's full of good reading, with a cover story about the mayor and lots more bubbling in Little Rock.
The Associated Press notes that all of the Arkansas execution drugs have expired, as expected. No executions are scheduled and the state can't kill anyone until new drugs are obtained.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has completed an analysis of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's income tax cut plan and, as I predicted this morning, it's an even bigger boon to the rich than the first. It also may be more costly in lost revenue.
But it looks like medical marijuana will finally roll in.
To be paired with a very special spiritual mentor.
A pitmaster with a cult following prepares to move his joint across the street — and into another state.
An extensive guide to eating, drinking, dancing, karaoke-ing, strolling and Carnivaling in the Crescent City.
Play while you scarf down volcano wings with Satan's mother-in-law.
'Compromise is not a bad word,' the freshman legislator from Fayetteville says.
What's lost when we consider the history of racial violence from a white perspective.
The 411 on Little Rock's new e-scooters.
How a kitchen cosmetologist built — and handed down — a 90-year legacy of black hair care.
Tax cuts for the richest Arkansans top the agenda for the ledge.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced, according to the Democrat-Gazette, that he had donated $200,000 remaining from his inaugural festivities to the Arkansas Economic Development Foundation. So we decided to get a fuller financial report.
The governor's tax plan is a windfall for the rich. And, no, it's not in line with their existing tax burden.
The first monthly Arkansas Times is on the streets and available free at the usual pickup points in Central Arkansas. But suppose you'd like to receive a mail subscription?
Thanks to Emily Walkenhorst, new to the higher education beat at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, for coverage of a University of Arkansas Board of Trustees meeting Thursday at which trustee Kelly Eichler of Little Rock went off on a diversity program.
Mike Anderson’s still, in the humble opinion of Pearls, coaching for his short- and long-term job security. He remains upbeat about his young team’s future, but a lot of tough games are on the schedule yet, and this team really doesn’t have a signature win to speak of.
The second round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase was as wildly varied as the first, with sets that shifted from from dark wave to front porch harmonies to pop anthems to sax-seasoned geeksta rap.
Good reading today from The Atlantic: It's about white families discouraging kids from playing football because of evidence of the risk of long-term brain injury. The trend is less evident among black families and shows up in a rising percentage of blacks playing college football.
A personal anecdote in support of the need for easier voting — such as online voting.
Friday: The roundup of news and comment and the open line.
This week, Max and Benji discuss the governor’s income tax cut for the rich, a state Supreme Court ruling against Fayetteville’s civil rights ordinance, friction between a charter school and its hosts on the UA Little Rock campus, and new legislation (sponsored by Republicans!) to reform the juvenile justice system.
If you didn't see the video going around social media or missed Max's post earlier this week, you missed some of the most important commentary of the year on the state of politics from Democratic Sens. Linda Chesterfield and Joyce Elliott during Tuesday's debate on Senate Joint Resolution 3. The resolution calls for the United States Congress to convene a convention to amend the United States Constitution. Some supporters of the resolution hope to use the convention to pass a balanced budget amendment. Both Chesterfield and Elliott point out that, instead of a convention, we should use the electoral process to accomplish the same goal, and, more importantly, tinkering with the Constitution could be dangerous for some Americans.
Gov. Ralph Northam, blackface and the question of a statute of limitations on past sins.
A talk worth hearing: Two lawyers who grew up on different sides of the racial divide in Little Rock in the 1950s talk at the Clinton School this week about their youth and subsequent friendship.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson pitched his revised income tax cut for the wealthy udring his radio message this week and the spin demands some additional information. Call it another chapter in the book: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.
John Goodson, the Texarkana lawyer and member of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, filed Thursday for divorce from his wife, Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson of Fayetteville.
The Saturday open line.
Improve 30 Crossing, a group devoted to improving the Interstate 30 corridor in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock, wants to talk about the planned $600 miillion project to widen the road and build a new river bridge.
Some reading for a slow day: Time's inside view of Donald Trump's briefings from his own intelligence officials, whose knowledge he scorns.
Arkansas fans, you may well have witnessed SEC and Arkansas history on Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
Go Saints. Here’s the open line.
County judge says the county will seek private funds.
Public pensions, free drinks, abortion and a legislative battle over health insurance bureaucracy are among items of interest at the legislature today.
The hint in this Washington Post article seems to be that Ralph Northam may yet resign as Democratic governor of Virginia over the racist photo on his medical school yearbook page 35 years ago.
Am I alone in detecting a bit of irony in the dilemma about extinguishing a dump fire in Northwest Arkansas? Republican Benton County has its hand out for state and federal money to fix the problem. And its millionaires will have hands out to share in a whopping income tax cut for the rich this legislative session.
Poor timing for a lackluster monthly state revenue report, what with income tax cuts for the rich at the top of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's legislative agenda.
Julie Adams, with credits including Miss Little Rock and 'Creature from the Black Lagoon,' dies at 92
Julie Adams, a Little Rock High School graduate and 1946 Miss Little Rock known for a long acting career including "Creature from the Black Lagoon," has died at 92.
Politico reports that U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is writing a book for release in May that focuses on his service and others in the Old Guard, the Army unit that oversees services at Arlington National Cemetery. He reportedly received a $500,000 advance on the book from publisher William Morrow.
A bipartisan group of senators and representatives announced legislation today to stiffen state ethics laws. A quick summary from Jessi Turnure of KARK/Fox 16:
The windfall income tax cut for the wealthy — a 14 percent cut in the top marginal tax rate in two years that will give 70 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent of taxpayers — zipped out of Senate committee today.
Well, that escalated quickly. An index card on a police bulletin board in 1990 calls the cliffhanger at the end of “True Detective’s” fourth episode the “Woodard Altercation,” in the understatement of the decade.
Republican state Rep. Mickey Gates, facing felony income tax charges, reports that he piled up more than $50,000 in debts to the state over a 10-year period, but says he's paid it down significantly and is current on a repayment plan.
The legislature dominates the daily video with headlines and comment. Here's the open line.
The Network for Public Education, an organization that supports traditional public schools, has issued a state-by-state evaluation of the states based on the extent to which they support public schools or, by lack of accountability, favor privatized school choice in the form of vouchers, scholarship programs akin to vouchers and charter schools. Arkansas got an F, along with 16 other states.
Sen. Missy Irvin of Mountain View has another proposal for replacements for the Arkansas figures in the National Statuary Hall in Washington —U.S. Sen. Hattie Caraway, the first woman elected to a full Senate term, and, from close to home, James Morris, better known as the musician Jimmy Driftwood.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has named Ed Fryar of Rogers, a former agricultural economics professor at UA and poultry executive, to succeed David Pryor on the UA Board of Trustees.
The so-called ethics reform legislation announced this morning by a bipartisan group of legislators is hitting the public record and, on first read, it is short on real meat. One of them, Sen. Will Bond's bill, seems to provide new loopholes for legislators — with a built-in preference for incumbents — to live high on corporate cash.
At the last minute, stand your ground legislation was removed from the House Judiciary Committee today. Opposition was expected to the bill, which would increase the state homicide rate, based on experience elsewhere.
KTHV reports that an 18-year-old UA student died after being struck Saturday in a campus crosswalk by a 17-year-old driver using a "hand-held device"
Ethics, schmethics. Where are the freebies for legislators? Today, they include a UA 'tailgate.'
Tomorrow the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear SB237, a bill sponsored by Sen. Ronald Caldwell (R-Wynne) and co-sponsored by a handful of other GOP legislators that will double the amount of the jail booking and administration fee imposed on all those convicted or receiving a deferred sentence on any felony or a class A misdemeanor from $20 to $40.
Great story in the New York Times about the East Baton Rouge School Board taking advantage of a change in state policy and denying a property tax break to Exxon Mobil, which has long had a major refinery in the district. The business lobby has gone nuts.
Wendell Griffen, the pastor, and judge, writes for Baptist News about Va. Gov. Ralph Northam's problem and the larger issue: “White Christianity in America has long tolerated, and continues to be complicit in, the sin of white supremacy.”
Tax cut bill falls short in first Senate vote after defeat of effort to limit benefit for the richest 1 percent
The Senate today fell two votes short of passage of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's income tax cut for the rich after first turning down an unsuccessful effort by Democratic Sen. Will Bond to limit the cut provided the very richest Arkansans.
Harvest Dispensaries, Cultivations & Production Facilities, LLC, the Tempe, Ariz., cannabis growing and dispensary company that will operate Natural State Wellness Enterprises' cultivation facility, will also operate a dispensary in Little Rock "on behalf of Natural State Wellness Dispensary shareholders," according to Ben Kimbro, director of public affairs for Harvest DCP.
A tax cut for the rich and pretty much only the rich is the lead topic on today's news video.
Former Sen. Jon Woods and his friend Randell Shelton, both convicted in a kickback scheme involving state money sent to Ecclesia College, have filed a motion in their appeal seeking sealed documents filed in the case.
Watching the so-called State of the Union? File your reports on the latest episode here. I'll leave it by saying that we know from two years of experience is that whatever he says could be inoperative before morning.
It's church meeting day but that doesn't mean free drinks won't be pouring for Arkansas legislators. Topics include a new tax for cell phone users.
The Nuremberg-rally style chanting in the House chamber for Donald Trump's speech last night seems to be reflected in poll numbers — strongly favorable. But the viewing audience was heavily skewed toward Trump supporters.
Soccer Mommy gives a concert at Hendrix College's Worsham Performance Hall Wednesday night.
Remember when Republicans worried about the national debt? Turns out they are ignorant.
A study says now is not the time to start football at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.
Virginia is for politics lovers, if you like a good disaster. The latest: Attorney General Mark Herring says HE once donned blackface — 39 years ago, as a 19-year-old college student, to join pals in impersonating a musical group they admired.
After more than an hour of debate, the House Insurance and Commerce Committee this morning approved the legislation proposed to merge the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace agency into the state Insurance Department.
The Arkansas Health Department has begun distributing medical marijuana registry ID cards, which are necessary to purchase medical marijuana when it becomes available in Arkansas.
House Speaker Matthew Shepherd of El Dorado has appointed Nathan Evers, an El Dorado CPA, to the independent citizens commission that meets annually to decide on pay raises for state elected officials.
Becky Bell, in a special to the Magnolia Reporter, reports on the verdict in a bizarre lawsuit in Columbia County over the sale of a family heirloom that turned out to be a fake Confederate Battle Flag.
Sen. Jason Rapert, responding to a poster for a metal show that features a photoshopped Rapert biting a baby, calls for a boycott of the venue hosting the show.
A Senate committee today approved a so-called trigger bill that makes abortion illegal in Arkansas should the U.S. Supreme Court reverse Roe v. Wade, which limits the states' ability to outlaw abortion.
Mayor Scott says he's "looking into" a no-knock warrant policy for Little Rock; city board passes resolution to donate undeveloped city property to Depaul USA
Roderick Talley, the plaintiff in a civil rights lawsuit with the City and Little Rock police officers over abusive police practices in drug raids, addressed the city board Tuesday about a lack of action taken against the LRPD's no-knock search warrants.
The governor's bill to cut the income tax by more than $150 million, with most of the benefits going to the wealthy, passed on a second vote without debate today thanks to Democratic votes.
The Senate today passed Sen. Bart Hester's bill to strip local government of design control of housing developments.
Another sorry day at the legislature leads the video roundup. Here's the open line.
Linder Mathis of Dumas has claimed the winnings from a $2 million Mega Millions lottery ticket sold for the Jan. 29 drawing at a Super Stop in Pine Bluff.
Also says infrastructure problems need to be addressed.
Arkansas Medicinal Source Patient Center is finalizing paperwork for a permit to renovate its facility at 406 Razorback Drive, according to Erik Danielson, an owner of the dispensary. It hopes to open by May 1.
Whenever I encounter words like “Boomer,” “GenXer,” and “Millennial” used to explain political behavior, it’s normally my practice to quit reading. Cant invariably follows. As anybody old enough to remember the Kennedy assassinations and the Vietnam War understands, so-called “Boomers” have been bitterly divided about every significant issue in American politics all their lives.
In a non-binding vote, the Arkansas Senate today expressed support for civil rights figure Daisy Bates and musician Johnny Cash to represent the state in the national Capitol’s collection of state statuary. Former Sen. James Clarke and lawyer Uriah Rose stand there now.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports here that devoted civic gadfly Jim Parsons' latest public-spirited endeavor is a self-filed lawsuit to make those responsible for the dump fire near Bella Vista rather than taxpayers pay for the environmental disaster, a cleanup that could cost tens of millions. Imagine, putting responsibility for problems on those who created them rather than asking Uncle Sam and Arkansas taxpayers for a handout as the Tea Partyers in Bella Vista and their enabler in the governor's office would prefer.
A light freebie schedule for legislators today, but a good one.
Little Rock police deserve a mention for solid work yesterday on an arrest in my neighborhood of a man who pointed a loaded gun at them.
BBC reports on the latest death of an electric scooter rider, one of at least 1,500 scooter-related accidents in the U.S. since 2017. A scooter vendor, safety efforts are underway, including in Little Rock.
The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today upheld lower court decisions in the suit seeking damages for the mother of Bobby Moore, killed by police officer Josh Hastings during the investigation of a car burglary.
An effort to declare by resolution that no permit is required to carry a weapon in Arkansas, concealed or unconcealed, ran out of time this morning.
November are fighting back against Republican Sen. Bob Ballinger's proposal to wipe out not only the 2018 increase but also an earlier increase approved by voters. A new social media campaign is underway to urge calls to legislators.
Coming and publicized recently by Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. is an event being sponsored by Immanuel Baptist Church March 1 at Robinson Center featuring preacher D.A. Horton. His views might not go over in many parts of Little Rock.
Former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson filed a motion in federal court to dismiss his felony indictment on account of allegations of misconduct by the FBI in the investigation. His father, former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson, has alerted his followers to the motion.
Get your daily video news roundup here. And contribute to the open line.
New legislation proposes a brand-new bureaucracy to establish a "uniform security protocol" for public events — such as football games and rock concerts.
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. won the election but he finished in the red, with a debt of more than $74,000.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has moved Arkansas National Guard members assigned to border security duty to Texas after New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham ordered Guard troops out of her state.
For the record: Here's this year's proposal to guarantee some degree of habitability in rental housing as opposed to current law giving the hammer to landlords in what is the country's worst state for rental tenants.
North Carolina country star Luke Combs takes the stage at Verizon Arena tonight.
The news was bad yesterday for women's medical rights, in a couple of happenings that should have been no surprise.
A bill filed yesterday by GOP Rep. Jana Della Rosa (Rogers) requiring at least 40 minutes of recess for all public school elementary students has the support of Parents for Active Learning (PALs), a group pushing for more unstructured play in Arkansas schools. Della Rosa's bill requires the recess to be outside when weather permits and allow for "free play and vigorous physical activity."
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock has issued additional findings from a review of files of clergy and updated the diocese disclosure of cases of suspected sexual abuse.
Little Rock police say a man died in a homicide during an apparent robbery early this morning at 7313 Fairways Drive in Western Hills.
The Morning Consultant's monthly polling shows Donald Trump still enjoys a 10-point net favorable rating in Arkansas, trailing only eight states — Idaho, Wyoming, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Out in Arkansas's hosts Traci Berry and Angie Bowen talk about all the things because all the things are LGBTQ things. They are back! Traci and Angie return from hiatus and catch up on life, politics, and more. Thank you for listening! #outinarkansas #beinggayinthesouth
Blogger Russ Racop offers a photo of Lisenne Rockefeller with Arkansas State Trooper Keith Eremea to support his theory that Eremea has the inside track to be chosen by Mayor Frank Scott Jr. from 10 finalists for the next Little Rock police chief. I have no idea if there's anything to that, but there is a connection worth noting and it's also a good occasion to mention Scott's recent Republican outreach.
Dynamite blues riffs from the virtuosic Akeem Kemp Band, endearing singalongs from indie rock darlings Willowack, driving dulcimer-peppered rock from trio Kid City and dark, drum-forward anthems from Illusionaut.
This story is too good not to get more attention. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, says the company that publishes National Enquirer threatened to run intimate photos (read "dick pic") of him unless it backed off an investigation.
Trump, blackmail and Republican outreach in a Democratic-voting city are topics in today's daily news video. Here's the open line, too.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam apparently has told his staff he won't resign. The alternative has grown more problematic, because another woman has alleged she was raped by the lieutenant governor.
Chinese-born sculptor Longhua Xu, who has lived in Hot Springs since 1990 and is a former teacher at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, has been named this year's Arkansas Arts Council Arkansas Living Treasure, an award that recognizes Arkansas artists who have preserved and passed on a traditional craft.
The latest from the legislature, former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson’s legal case and football at UA Little Rock — all covered on this week's podcast.
Charter schools have become a growing political issue nationally (if not so much in Arkansas) as advocates of conventional public school districts with voter control come to understand the damage done to them. For reading, an essay on how charter schools are "pushing public schools to the breaking point."
Interesting tidbit from the weekly posting of the Little Rock City Board agenda: A resolution to commit $3.8 million in city spending to mitigate impact of the controversial Interstate 30 expansion project, whose design is now uncertain. After my inquiry, it appears there'll be at least a delay in consideration of the resolution.
To understand why it is so important to have more women in the Arkansas legislature, watch this video of Democratic Reps. Nicole Clowney (Fayetteville), Denise Garner (Fayetteville) and Megan Godfrey (Springdale) from Friday's legislative forum in Fayetteville. If you are short on time, I'd encourage you to skip ahead to minute 49 for Godfrey's compelling statement on the bill that will all but outlaw abortion in Arkansas if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Warning: Her words hit hard. Get some tissues ready.
The readers take over.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is in the middle of a controversy over public access to the famed beaches of the Destin, Fla., area, fully reported by a local newspaper complete with video of the scenery.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton has been getting heavy social media abuse for a crack about socialism, part of the unhinged Republican reaction to a new member of Congress.
The rich are getting richer, with a growing concentration of great wealth not seen since the Roaring Twenties, according to an analysis described in the Washington Post. So you could say Gov. Asa Hutchinson is in step with the times with an income tax cut plan that gives most of the benefits to the richest 1 percent in Arkansas.
The open line includes the schedule of tax talk Monday — income tax "relief" by Democrats and highway taxes by the governor.
A reader notes news about an Arkansas native who made political history in the Washington, D.C. area — Catherine "Cathy" Hudgins.
Screenwriter/actor/producer Graham Gordy participates in a Q&A following a free screening of this week's "True Detective" episode from the Arkansas Cinema Society.
Here's an idea: California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to review the financial impact of charter schools on real public schools — that is schools that have public money, public control and full state regulation.
Michael Wickline of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports this morning on Sen. Trent Garner's bill, apparently approved by the Republican Party, which means passage, to again move up the primary election in 2020 from May to March so Arkansas can join in the regional acclamation for renomination of Donald Trump. There are problems.
Legislative freebies today are courtesy of the Arkansas Greyhound Kennel Association, which races dogs at the Southland track in West Mempis and just got a boost from voters thanks to the casino expansion amendment that not only lowered the state tax on gambling at the racino but pumped money into the dogr racing purse fund. Here's a topic for legislators to ask about: Dog injuries.
The tortured tale of Reese's, the chihuahua shot by a Faulkner County deputy, continues to grow, witness this Log Cabin Democrat report on the latest. A dispute over a fund-raising drive, a new fund-raising drive, the seizure of a companion chihuahua (Oreo is its name), a harassment complaint. Where to begin?
KARK/Fox 16 reports on the latest message in the grocery mailers distributed by Mac's Cash Saver, a grocery chain with stores in Magnolia, El Dorado, Camden and northern Louisiana. The message: ‘Heaven has a wall, a gate and a strict immigration policy. Hell has open borders. Let that sink in.’
Arkansas Democrats unveiled their ideas for tax relief this morning and it's a marked departure from Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to give more than 90 percent of tax cuts to the top 5 percent, with the top 1 percent getting 75 percent of the eventual $150 million in tax reductions.
Combs' 14,000+ crowd at Verizon Arena was pretty impressive, especially compared to attendance numbers for these terrific artists: Keith Urban, 11,558; Shania Twain, 11,118; Thomas Rhett, 11,045; Miranda Lambert, 10,318; and Brad Paisley, 5,665.
The governor unveiled his highway plan today. It's a $300 million plan built on new taxes and diversion of casino taxes from general revenue to highways.
The Releaf Center dispensary is renovating the former Big Red Gallery & Gifts building at 9400 McNelly Road in Bentonville, and Roger Song, CEO of The Releaf Center, said it hopes to open for business by midsummer.
The Human Rights Campaign has released its fifth state equality index ranking policies toward LGBT people and Arkansas again falls at the bottom.
Things are not going well for Tom Purcell, and that’s really saying a lot. Episode 6 of this third season of “True Detective” finds him mad as hell and not taking it anymore, and marks a high mark for Scoot McNairy, who till now has played the grieving father as the embodiment of cuckolded defeat.
Maumelle police say they are investigating as a homicide the death of Anthony Thomas Jr., 19, who was found dead in his apartment Saturday morning at 1100 Union Court.
Parents of eStem middle school students were informed a gun was found in a student's possession today. Police were called and no harm was done.
Also noted on the Little Rock City Board agenda: A resolution pledging cooperation with the federal government to "stem illegal immigration."
Here's the Monday open line. Also the daily news video: taxes and more taxes.
Arkansas Citizens First Congress, a grassroots group, adds its voice to those questioning Gov. Asa Hutchinson's insistence on giving a big tax break to the wealthy. It compiled the chart showing impact of past and future tax plans.
In this week’s episode, Antwan and Charles provide perspective and conversation on UA-Little Rock’s feasibility study on football, ICE’s deportation of 21 Savage, and Little Rock’s use of Lime scooters. In addition, Antwan and Charles introduce a new segment in which they provide rapid fire perspective on Rock Topics. They also discuss fitness training with Kim Leverett, CEO of A Kick Above.
State Sen. Ron Caldwell, chair of the Senate State Agencies Committee, has written Johnson County officials to pour cold water on the idea of the legislature coming up with a way for Johnson County to have a new casino if Pope County doesn't want it.
Here's Radley Balko of the Washington Post again, this time with a review of a no-knock drug raid in Houston that left two people with no meaningful criminal records dead and five officers wounded. Little in the way of drugs, weapons or alleged security fortifications were found. There's a suggestion that officers might have hit the wrong address. Great work by local journalists.
Khaled Beydoun, a law professor, civil rights activist and author of a book on Islamaphobia, has stirred wide interest on Twitter with his account of his treatment by the pilot of a regional jet after landing Sunday evening at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.
The Arkansas Arts Center announced today that it will relocate to the old Walmart Neighborhood Market space in the Riverdale Shopping Center when the Arts Center closes for renovation.
Democrats can't pass much in the Republican-majority legislature and let's hope that continues with Sen Keith Ingram's renewed effort to cripple the ability to put popularly initiated measures on the ballot. In that many corporate interests share Ingram's anti-democratic view of the popular initiative, you never know.
Clinton National Airport says Allegiant will add flights to Destin-Fort Walton May 17.
Tuesday is a popular day for free food and drinks for legislators, courtesy of the legislatively crafted loophole to the no-wining-and-dining amendment Arkansas voters thought they had passed. Today's offerings for lawmakers (the average voter who nominally is to be admitted to meetings of the General Assembly best not try to enter):
The Washinton Post examines the fallout from Texas newspaper reporting on sexual abuse by people affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, a report that touched on Arkansas.
It's advocacy day at the legislature today for Moms Demand Gun Sense in America. Ask new highly paid state employee Charlie Collins if they are effective.
Bollywood Nights celebrates Indian fashion, dance, cuisine, and culture. The evening features a fashion show, dance performances, and an Indian-inspired dinner. All proceeds benefit Harmony Health Clinic and serve the health needs of the homeless, uninsured, and veteran population of central Arkansas.
The House Revenue and Taxation Committee rebuffed a Democratic effort to strip the governor's income tax reduction bill of a huge break for the richest 1 percent and then sent the bill to the floor.
U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland will join others in Russellville this afternoon to announce details of a 54-count indictment involving a white supremacist group, New Aryan Empire, for a conspiracy said to include solicitation of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and maiming.
The day's video news roundup and your open line.
Sen. Trent Garner, who devotes full-time to sponsoring legislation harmful to society, has the worst idea of the legislative session so far: A constitutional amendment to provide for regular sessions of the legislature EVERY year.
Acanza Health Group is renovating a space at 2733 N. McConnell Avenue in the I-49 Business Center in Fayetteville, according to Michael Mayes, spokesman and industry consultant for the dispensary. Mayes said Acanza, which received the highest dispensary scores in Zones 1 and 7, hopes to be open by the end of April or early May.
Kayla Pecchioni, who plays Nabulungi in the touring Broadway production of "The Book of Mormon," talks fitness, profanity and guilty pleasure podcasts with us ahead of the show's run at Robinson Performance Hall.
It’s not astonishing to me that a Washington Post poll reveals that Virginia’s African-American voters favor giving Gov. Ralph Northam the benefit of the doubt by 58 to 37 percent. They’ve been dealing with history’s brutal ironies for 400 years
In his latest column, Gene Lyons writes on Virginia, race relations and why Gov. Ralph Northam, who is facing calls for him to step down because of what Lyons acknowledges is a "sickening and absurd" picture in Northam's medical school yearbook, should stay in office.
Two Little Rock Police Department assistant chiefs — Hayward Finks, a 30-year veteran of the force, and Alice Fulk, a 26-year veteran of the force, are among four finalists to be the next Little Rock police chief
It's back, the perennial effort by the business lobby to limit damages that can be assessed when people are injured by negligence, malpractice and other wrongs.
The Atlantic reports on a study predicting how the changing climate will be felt in years ahead. Example: By 2080, New York's weather will be more like that in Jonesboro, Ark.
Freebies and foolishness: Legislative business today includes attacks on U.S. Constitution and Libertarian Party and a proposal to make judges partisan candidates.
Lots of free eats and drinks are on tap at the Capitol today along with the usual legislative foolishness, such as destroying the U.S. Constitution, punishing Libertarians and stripping the judiciary of even the appearance of political impartiality.
Ciao Baci's Jeff Owen is the featured chef for this year's Soup Sunday, the annual fundraiser for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families that draws in slurpers and dancers of all ages by the hundreds and is coming Feb. 24 to the Statehouse Convention Center.
News reports say a fire this morning destroyed the Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Fla., a popular restaurant and club on the Florida coast near Destin, familiar to the many Arkansans who vacation there in part because it was started by Arkansans.
Thursday, the Arkansas House of Representatives is expected to vote on GOP Sen. Jason Rapert's "trigger law" outlawing nearly every abortion in Arkansas if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The bill passed in the Arkansas Senate last week with three Democrats voting in support. I predict that the narrative on abortion in Arkansas will continue to be controlled by the GOP evangelicals who believe women either need to be punished for our choices or saved from our naivety and these goals can only be accomplished by passing Rapert's bill.
State Rep. Vivian Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) has proposed a constitutional amendment to end slavery for those convicted of crimes.
Northwest Arkansas Medical Cannabis Group is finalizing architectural plans for its new dispensary facility at 3390 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Fayetteville. Don Parker II, an owner of the dispensary, said it has no estimated timeline for opening, but the contractor has already been selected, and construction will begin as soon as plans are approved.
Speaker's committee kills expanded medical marijuana use at governor's urging: UPDATED WITH WARNING FROM HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The House Rules Committee today killed legislation to expand the list of medical conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed in the face of strong opposition from Gov. Asa Hutchinson. And then the governor's administration went full Reefer Madness.
The line is open. And here's the roundup of news and comment.
The Arkansas House today approved, 56-40, a resolution adding Arkansas to a list of states calling for a convention on amending the U.S. Constitution. This completes action on the resolution. The Senate approved it earlier.
You might think the recently opened exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville “Men of Steel, Women of Wonder” is a celebration of comic book art and aimed at a particular group of superhero aficionados. It is that — includes a rare first issue of the Superman comic — but it is much more.
Alcohol Beverage Control Director Doralee Chandler reported to the Medical Marijuana Commission today that the agency has dismissed complaints about Natural State Medicinals cultivation facility in White Hall and River Valley Relief Cultivation of Fort Smith.
The last day for filing for proposed constitutional amendments brought a basket full of deplorable ideas that boil down to a power-hungry legislature anxious for more power and to comfort their rich patrons.
This Sunday, punkers and rockers alike will gather in fond memory of a late Little Rock legend, TC Edwards, spending the afternoon at the Arkansas School for the Deaf (2400 W. Markham St.) doing a couple of things TC loved fiercely: playing flag football and eating.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports today that a would-be charter school operator in Little Rock says his job's been made more difficult by the discovery that Valerie Tatum, the former leader of Covenant Keepers College Preparatory Charter School had, in recent days, drained more than $188,000 from an account necessary to operate the school.
Maumelle police said last night that a suspect had been arrested in the fatal shooting Anthony Thomas Jr., found dead in his apartment Saturday in Maumelle.
Grassroots groups will gather at the Capitol at noon today to rally support for this year's effort to pass a fair landlord-tenant law in Arkansas.
Boxwine (Jason Weinheimer, Joe McMahan, Chuck Dodson) leads the charge for a blues-tinged Valentine's Day show at the White Water Tavern tonight.
The Arkansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning on whether John Ogles of Jacksonville should receive attorney fees for successfully challenging unconstitutional General Improvement Fund spending.
Of course a House committee today rejected a Democratic proposal for an earned income tax credit for low-income working people.
The state Board of Education voted today to reject a requested report from the Haas Hall Academy charter school in Northwest Arkansas for failure to provide all the information requested. It must report further in April
The Arkansas House today approved Gov. Asa Hutchinson's bill to cut income taxes for the rich.
The open line and the daily video news roundup.
The House today completed action on a bill to virtually ban abortion in Arkansas should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
News breaks today that the viral story about the trail runner who survived an attack by killing a mountain lion in Colorado with his bare hands is former Mountain Home resident, Travis Kauffman, 31.
Lots of talk about people getting smaller income tax refunds than expected this year after the Trump tax cut. How about some crowd-sourcing?
“The Book of Mormon” literally offers a laugh a minute, but it also serves as savage critique of the white savior myth.
Reminder: There's a public meeting tomorrow to talk about ways to improve the Interstate 30 expansion project through downtown Little Rock, a billion-dollar project that is a half-billion short in available money and seems certain to undergo radical change from models discussed in the planning process.
Action expected today on failing charter school in SWLR, with possible move out of neighborhood it was supposed to serve
The state Board of Education is almost certain to act on an emergency basis today to revoke the charter of the financially and academically reeling Covenant Keepers charter school and allow the Friendship Aspire Academy to be allowed to open a year early to take its students.
As expected, the state Board of Education this morning revoked the charter of the Covenant Keepers charter school on Geyer Springs Road and gave permission to Friendship Aspire Academy to immediately open a new charter school at another site to accommodate the more than 100 students in grades 6-8.
An experts hired by opponents of the casino expansion amendment has submitted ideas on rules changes to discourage problem gambling in the new and expanded Arkansas casinos.
The city of Little Rock has announced a program to provide up to $5,000 for down payments by first-time homebuyers with qualifying incomes.
UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson joined legislative sponsors Thursday in cheering legislation aimed at encouraging establishment of a national cancer research institute. Little was said about the necessary funding mechanism, specifically a legislative proposal that would benefit big tobacco in several ways.
Stick a fork in us. Here are the news roundup and the open line.
What would a legislative session be without resumption of Civil War-related hostilities. But, who knows? Maybe Rep. Charles Blake's idea will receive unanimous consent.
Adventureland wins Round Four of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase; Willowack wins "wild card" spot
The last semifinal round of the 2019 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase brought bouncy literary rock with mad drum fills, a band that very well might be the only Little Rock ensemble that boasts two accordion players, clever commentary paired with mandolin and reimagined reggae from Fayetteville.
Chocolate-making demonstrations on this post-Valentine Argenta ArtWalk are on tap tonight at the Innovation Hub, 201 W. Broadway in North Little Rock. The Hub is also exhibiting collagraph prints by Christine Geunard, hosting an indoor artist and maker "mini-market" and making "oobleck" (aka slime). ArtWalk hours at The Hub are 5-7 p.m.; other venues will be open until 8 p.m.
Max and Lindsey talk about legislative craziness, Governor Hutchinson pushing back against medical marijuana and more.
If a beneficiary fails to report sufficient work hours for any three months in a calendar year, he or she is kicked off Arkansas Works and locked out of reapplying until the next year begins. Out of the 18,164 who lost coverage last year, 1,452 have applied for and regained coverage so far in 2019, the new DHS report says.
Donald Trump declared a national emergency to build a border wall today and at a widely panned news conference later essentially admitted it wasn't an emergency. Many Republicans aren't happy about this. But our attorney general, Leslie Rutledge, hustled out a statement cheering the great man.
A panel of speakers gathered Friday in the small Delta town of Elaine for remembrance of the September 1919 Elaine massacre in which racial tension and concerns over labor organizing led to the mass killing of hundreds of black people, one of the worst episodes of its kind in U.S. history.
A retired Air National Guard Photographer Serves as a location scout for Season Three of "True Detective."
Accountability: The future of the Little Rock School District hangs on a test. At charter schools on the other hand ....
The outlook is cloudy for the return of local control of the Little Rock School District. Also cloudy is equality of accountability standards for Arkansas schools, both real public schools and privately operated, but state-financed charter schools. And while we're talking school accountability, hang on for a charter school discussion.
State Democratic Party Chair Michael John Gray has called on Republican state Rep. Brandt Smith of Jonesboro to apologize for a "blatantly racist attack" on House Minority Leder Charles Blake, following Blake's introduction of legislation to change the law that explains the meaning of symbols on the Arkansas state flag.
Here's the open line and a question: Have you been to Oklahoma yet with your now-activated Arkansas medical marijuana card?
Mitch McCoy of KARK/Fox 16 says a man fired at a police officer who returned fire about 1 a.m. this morning near 28th and Longcoy in the John Barrow Addition. Apparently no one was hit and the suspect was at large.
Improve 30 Crossing, a group hoping to limit damage by the plan to widen Interstate 30 through downtown Little Rock, held a public meeting on the project Saturday, but no public officials attended, according to a report from KTHV.
Taxes and spending: Arkansas leads country in local sales tax rates while state starves services to cater to rich and special interests
A reader sends a link to a stunning top 10 compilation: A ranking of local sales tax burdens shows Arkansas cities occupy 12 of the top 17 places on the list, with Gould leading the nation with a combined local sales tax rate of 11.5 percent. It's a lesson in the impact of state priorities.
Pressed by City Directors Erma Hendrix and Ken Richardson, City Manager Bruce Moore has provided more data on recruitment of Little Rock police officers who are city residents, including a report spent on incentives to attract city residents.
The readers take over.
Since local political leaders couldn't be bothered to attend Saturday's public session by Improve 30 Crossing on the proposed concrete gulch through downtown Little Rock, here's some take-home reading from Strong Towns about the folly of freeway expansions and some better ideas in other major cities — Dallas, Houston, Louisville and Rochester.
Take note: The Republican Party is making moves nationwide, including in Arkansas, to extend one-party political control from the legislative and executive to the judicial branch.
Don't be misled: In addition to new sales taxes, the governor would finance his road plan with millions in casino revenue that once supported other public services.
It's a light day at the Capitol, given the holiday, but not too light for some freebies. The question arises: What free beer will be on tap?
Keep on eye on this. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote today — too benignly — about cities in Arkansas getting more heavily into the corporate welfare business.
Grassroots OpCo, which received the second highest dispensary score in Zone 5, is renovating the former Joubert's Tavern facility at 7303 Kanis Road in Little Rock. Matt Darin, founder and COO of Grassroots, said it hopes to open for business in the next several months.
Taylor's connection with the audience was palpable and he created the communal, tribal sensation that powered so much of ‘60s popular music and made musicians near cultural gods.
The sight of two broad-shouldered black Cadillacs in front of Wayne Hays’ house, and of a chicken tycoon phoning him to come outside, is the cliffhanger from the next-to-last episode of "True Detective’s" third season.
For today's holiday, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation prepared a 20-question quiz on American history. 60 percent flunked and Arkansas responses put us in the bottom five states.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he will sign today legislation that promises a $1,000-a-year minimum teacher pay increase each of the next four years.
Things are developing on the blowback I reported last week to legislation written by the tobacco lobby to theoretically help pay for a cancer research institute at UAMS, but actually a Trojan horse for Big Tobacco. One development is a new bill that would impose a meaningful tax on e-cigarettes.
Happy Washington's Birthday: An open line and the day's news roundup.
Fiddler's Green, the top scoring dispensary in North Arkansas's Zone 2, will be renovating an existing facility for its new storefront on Highway 9 in Mountain View. Lisa Murphy, CEO of Fiddler's Green, said the dispensary hopes to complete renovations and open for business in May.
In this week’s episode, Antwan & Charles provide perspective and conversation on Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival in comparison to Riverfest, UA-Little Rock’s relationship with eStem High School, and Blake’s breakdown from the Arkansas legislature. In addition, they provide rapid fire perspective on Rock Topics and discuss the differences between plant-based eating versus veganism with Dr. Tionna Jenkins, Founder of Plate It Healthy.
Arkansas’s standby excuse during the lean portions of the Mike Anderson era has been reduced to one word or its variants thereof: “youth.”
Arkansas Business Publishing Group breaks the news today of its sale to current president Mitch Bettis by a group led by long-time CEO Olivia Myers Farrell. Financial terms weren't disclosed
Still more legal paperwork today from Jon Woods, the former Arkansas senator doing 18 years in federal prison for bribery. The government has indicated, incidentally, that what he wants to see from the Jeremy Hutchinson files might implicate some unindicted people.
My parents might disown me if I don't tell you that my hometown of Searcy is one of six finalists to be featured on the fourth season of Hulu's "Small Business Revolution — Main Street," a small-town, small-business makeover show with co-hosts Ty Pennington and Amanda Brinkman. The finalist town that gets the most votes by 10 p.m. Feb. 19 wins $500,000 and appears on the eight-episode show.
Wednesday Night Poetry celebrated its 30th anniversary on Feb. 6, commemorating 1,567 consecutive Wednesdays of weekly poetry readings since it began as the first recurring art event in Hot Springs on Feb. 1, 1989.
The Senate today voted 33-0 to replace the current statues representing Arkansas in Washington's hall of statuary with statues representing civil rights leader Daisy Bates and Arkansas native musician Johnny Cash.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports a state Education Department audit has found the Little Rock School District has been providing woefully inadequate help for students with dyslexia. So who's to blame?
KATV followed up on responses to the Democratic Party's call for apologies for Republican Rep. Brandt Smith's ugly remark about Democratic Rep. Charles Blake after Blake introduced legislation to redefine the symbols on the Arkansas flag to omit the Confederacy. In short: No apologies.
Freebies galore on tap for lawmakers today, notwithstanding the alleged ethics amendment that voters thought would end free lobby wining and dining. And don't think this is just about socializing. Health care, software, corporate welfare and more figure in.
Raven Cook, founder of Foundations: Black History Educational Programming, has a new weekly segment on KUAF called "Reflections in Black" that focuses on the legacy of Black Americans.
NEA Full Spectrum, which received the seventh highest dispensary score in Northeast Arkansas's Zone 3, is building a new facility at 11913 Highway 49 in Brookland. Gerald Sale, president of the company, said it hopes to open for business by May 1.
The U.S. Supreme Court today declined without comment to hear Judge Wendell Griffen's appeal of the dismissal of his complaint alleging First Amendment violations by the Arkansas Supreme Court in punishing him for participation in a death penalty protest.
The push for unlimited public school transfers is not about race, its advocates argue. The numbers suggest otherwise, at least as to impact.
Rock Region Metro today rolled out a streetcar with sponsor branding in support of the recently begun fare-free promotion.
State Rep. Mark Lowery has filed a bill to expand the school voucher program known as the Succeed Scholarship.
I think I set off a social media rumble with a Tweet about new legislation from state Sen. Alan Clark.
School issues dominate the news roundup today. Here it is, with the open line
Dwight Yoakam took 2,950 fans back to the heyday of steels guitars, twang, fiddles and country music sounding like country music.
The anti-abortion Family Council says the House Public Health Committee this afternoon approved HB 1439 to ban abortion after 18 weeks of pregnancy It may hit the House agenda tomorrow.
Little Rock board votes to pay former Mayor Mark Stodola $160,000 in unused vacation and sick leave pay
In a bizarre meeting of the Little Rock Board of Directors that ended abruptly when police hurriedly escorted attendees out of the building, the board voted 7-2 to pay Mayor Mark Stodola $160,000 for unused time off. Scott wouldn't say what was going on at the time, Fox 16 News's Donna Terrell said she spoke with the Little Rock Fire Department, which told her, "a man called the non-emergency line saying he had a shotgun and would take hostages and shoot people."
Legislation has been introduced to prohibit sale of tobacco and electronic cigarettes and related materials to people younger than 21, except those in the military.
The Little Rock City Board decided last night to make former Mayor Mark Stodola's accrued vacation pay controversy go away by paying him $160,000. It's outrageous but it's over. Can strong Mayor Frank Scott Jr. now please take steps to clarify that elected officials are paid their statutory pay, no more or less?
Again Arkansas is an outlier. Gov. Asa Hutchinson yesterday signed an income tax cut for the rich. It's bracketed today by results of a national survey that shows broad national support — including among Republicans — for higher taxes for the wealthy. Here, we're robbing public services to comfort the rich.
The free lobby swill tonight (on a busy day chock full of freebies) includes some of the priciest vittles in town. Mullenix and Associates will be treating members of the House Judiciary Committee tonight at Arthur's, the steakhouse on Chenal Parkway.
Rich Huddleston of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families writes that the governor and legislature are creating a "perfect storm" for lower-income people with tax policies that favor the rich and reduce money for public services. Amen.
NEA Reports has the momentous news of the first publicly available legal beer in Randolph County in 70 years.
State Rep. Rebecca Petty (R-Rogers) filed a bill today to place specific limits on the last meal for people about to be executed.
I noted on the House agenda today an item that says Rep. Andy Davis (R-Little Rock) plans to withdraw his bill that purported to provide funding for a cancer research institute at UAMS.
Score one for Bernie Sanders on the Waltons' wealth
The state Plant Board public hearing on use of the herbicide dicamba has drawn the expected big crowd to the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.
“Post Pundit 2020 Power Ranking!” is supposedly based upon the hopefuls’ “holistic viability to trounce Trump,” a jokey bit of alliterative jargon seemingly intended to make light of the whole enterprise.
Taxes and cigarettes top the discussion on today's video news roundup. Here's the open line.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson had a lavish inaugural ball in January, but social media is now buzzing about some unhappiness over credit for the decor.
Gene Lyons takes the Washington Post to task for its "Post Pundit 2020 Power Ranking," which rates the Democratic candidates for the presidency with all the solemnity of a horse race: They're at the Post, and they're riding a trivial wave.
Kudos for Republican Rep. Jimmy Gazaway for legislation helping people who don't have many advocates at the legislature.
Let the debate began. Republican Rep. Dan Douglas has introduced a bill to help the terminally ill end their lives.
Big news today from the U.S. Supreme Court. It ruled unanimously that the Constitution limits governments in taking private property used to commit crimes.
Here are the details on coming public meetings to meet the four finalists for Little Rock police chief, who'll be chosen by Mayor Frank Scott Jr.
Lawyers for the ACLU of Arkansas, representing the Arkansas Times, will file today an appeal of federal Judge Brian Miller's rejection of our challenge of the state law that requires us to sign a political pledge to do business with Arkansas.
The Ameripolitan Music Awards draw nigh, and that means Bonnie Montgomery and an all-star lineup of honky tonkers are rolling through Little Rock on their way to the ceremony.
Want to feel good? Here's a story I spotted yesterday on Jason Lee's Facebook page, with this followup and photo from KARK. A familiar downtown figure is homeless no more.
Light freebies, heavy regressive taxation and a resistance to change: The Arkansas legislature at work today.
Light freebies for legislators. For the rest of us: Heavy taxation and a backward approach to tax policy.
I've written about the noise that followed Sen. Alan Clark's introduction of a bill to punish school districts with low reading scores by taking their state "school lunch money." As I explained from the beginning, this isn't food money but it's important education money. A school superintendent explains how important.
Lou Holtz is coming to Conway March 7.
The Arkansas Racing Commission, which regulates casino gambling, is holding a public hearing today on rules for expanded casino gambling in the state. Most of the talk is about Pope County.
The open line and the daily news video with comment on highway taxes, school lunch money, gambling and a number of good deeds.
Ashley Bowman, artistic director of the Tucson, Ariz., Artifact Dance Project, will give an "Art of" talk about Frida Kahlo at the Arkansas Arts Center tonight, Feb. 21.
The Senate failed Thursday to approve Sen. Bob Ballinger's bill that would open the door to reopening all alimony cases and allow a judge to call an end to permanent alimony awards.
The Arkansas Senate today passed a major part of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's $300 million highway tax bill. The vote was 27-8, the three-quarters needed, and it goes to the House.
Here's another report on Arkansas's flawed rule requiring work efforts by Medicaid recipients. More criticism.
The U.S. attorney's office announced another sentencing Thursday in the multi-million-dollar scandal of theft from the Arkansas Department of Human Services' operation of feeding programs for poor children.
Without her nomadic life’s timeline as accompaniment — the youngest of 14 kids, catapulted from Northeast Arkansas to coastal California at the age of 3 — you might hear Iris Dement’s inimitable voice and assume she never left the American South.
A shooting Thursday evening at the West Mountain Overlook in Hot Springs prompted the National Park Service to close the West Mountain Summit and some trails temporarily. They are tight-lipped about details.
Join us Friday, March 1 at the Rev Room for the best part of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, and catch the Facebook live video here to catch the order of the night's performances!
If you're not among the ticketholders for tonight's sold-out performance of "Chicago" at The Rep, go check out The Weekend Theater's nod to Fats Waller just a few blocks west.
The great yearbook search engendered by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam continues, unsurprisingly, to yield more examples, including in a 1967 University of Arkansas yearbook.
Fox 16 reported yesterday that a sex offender dressed as an elf posed for pictures with kids at Lawson Elementary at an after-school Christmas party last year and school officials were slow to report the discovery to authorities. The Pulaski County School District responded in detail today.
A Little Rock police officer shot and killed a driver after a traffic stop this morning at Rodney Parham and 12th Street, according to a report on KTHV.
An 11-member committee has been appointed to study Little Rock city government and report later this year.
Here's your daily news roundup. And this is the open line.
Retired Circuit Judge Philip Smith of Pocahontas was reprimanded today by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission..
Federal Judge Leon Holmes today dismissed the city of Little Rock and former Police Chief Kenton Buckner from a lawsuit over the use of deadly force by Officer Dennis Hutchins, but said the case against Hutchins could proceed.
The Trump administration has issued the anticipated rule shutting off family planning money to agencies that also provide abortion — a blow aimed particularly at Planned Parenthood.
Ahead of tomorrow night's performance at Opera in the Rock's gala fundraiser, soprano Keely Futterer talks with us about the social relevance of opera, about her favorite arias and about how her upbringing in Dover, Arkansas prepared her for a singing career.
Max and Lindsey talk about the latest from the legislature, paying off former LR Mayor Mark Stodola for accrued time off and the state’s new impossible exit criteria for the Little Rock School District.
Radley Balko, the Washington Post writer who's exposed Little Rock police drug raid practices, has been pressing the city on its defense of LRPD.
KFSM reports on Satanic Arkansas's joining the state anti-litter program, with a commitment to police a stretch of Highway 300 near Roland in Pulaski County.
Lead actress Damaras Obi plays Lowery in this touring performance of the story of Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest person on the legendary 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery.
Out in Arkansas’s hosts Traci Berry and Angie Bowen talk about all the things because all the things are LGBTQ things.
Because it’s uncommon for older teenagers in foster care to be adopted, many are emancipated at age 18 or 21 without ever finding a permanent home. In the last state fiscal year, 235 young people “aged out” of the Arkansas system. Too old to be a ward of the state but unprepared to be cast out on their own, they entered adult life highly disadvantaged.
The Little Rock Police Department this afternoon said Bradley Blackshire, 30, of Little Rock was killed by Patrol Officer Charles Starks after a car driven by Blackshire struck Starks about 11 a.m. at Twelfth and Rodney Parham.
Here's the open line.
Little Rock police report that a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run about 9 p.m. Saturday at University Avenue and First Tee Way, a short distance south of the Col.Glenn/Asher intersection. No other details available.
Good story this morning in the Washington Post about the daughter of a Kansas legislator who shamed him for sponsoring anti-LGBT legislation aimed at finding a way to prevent same-sex marriage.
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra pairs Beethoven with spoken word performances from Osyrus Bolly, Brooke Elliott, Rosslyn Elliott, Red Hawk, Kristy Ikanih, Jamee McAdoo, Dariane LyJoy Mull, Marvin Schwartz and Shiseido Wells Sunday afternoon at Robinson Performance Hall.
Another chapter in the book Why They Kneel. This time it was Ole Miss basketball players, eight of them, who took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem at a home basketball game. Why?
Sunday: An open line includes a police news conference and mayor's promise of "full and fair" review of fatal shooting Friday
Here's the Sunday open line. It includes a news conference this afternoon by Interim Police Chief Wayne Bewley and Mayor Frank Scott Jr. on Friday morning's police shooting of the driver of a suspected stolen vehicle. The mayor promised a "full and fair" investigation.
Excellent free entertainment is on tap for select legislators Tuesday nightt courtesy of State Farm Insurance and the Mitchell Williams law firm, which makes big money from insurance-related business.
U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock wrote the state Game and Fish Commission ahead of a recent town hall with an idea for increasing revenue by raising money from people who don't fish and hunt.
Let’s appreciate for a moment what it means to a show like “True Detective” that you can stream TV now. Not simply to tape it, but watch it on devices as small as the pulpy paperback that it has, for many people, replaced. The ability to revisit it endlessly, to fast-forward and rewind and rewatch as easily as Wayne Hays’ memory skates through time. The third season of Nic Pizzolatto’s serial crime drama — destined to be remembered alongside its astonishing, fulgent first season, rather than the boggy, overcomplicated Season 2 — was a television story that skipped boldly between three timelines spread across 35 years, while living firmly in 2019.
Bloomberg, among others, is reporting that Windstream, the Little Rock-based communications company, is preparing to file for bankruptcy. UPDATE: They have indeed made a voluntary bankruptcy filing.
The Arkansas Repertory Theatre is back at it, with gusto to spare.
There's been a lot of rumbling about SB 281 by Sen. Mathew Pitsch to require state contracting with a software outfit that would track actual computer time by state vendors who bill for hours of work on computers.
A quiet day for news. Maybe the open line will be more lively.
Work inspired by the organic and by community by the artists of the Art Gap (Group of Artist Professionals) — Mia Hall, Robyn Horn, Dolores Justus, Barbara Satterfield, Sandra Sell and Elizabeth Weber — is going up Friday, March 8, at the Butler Center's "Galleries at Library Square" in an exhibition titled "Part to Whole: The Making of Art, the Artist, and the Artist Group."
The Lime scooter company has issued a warning about a potential bug in its braking system. Beware.
With little debate, the House approved a bill by Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum and Sen. Jason Rapert to ban all abortions at 18 weeks of gestation or later and sent the bill to the Senate.
Rep. Andy Davis introduced new legislation today to produce revenue — primarily from medical marijuana — to provide support for a proposed cancer research institute at UAMS. It contains a singular concession, but otherwise still stinks of the tobacco lobby.
Photography, painting, jewelry, ceramics and textiles by 13 twenty-somethings will go on exhibit Friday, March 1, at the South Main Creative antique mall at 1600 S. Main St. UA Little Rock art history students Cassy Christ and Grace Lytle were organizers of "Twenty-somethings," the debut pop-up show at South Main.
Republican Rep. Aaron Pilkington introduced today his promised legislation to alter the brand-new Amendment 100 to move one of the two newly authorized casinos from Pope to Johnson County.
Four Northwest Arkansas legislators, including Senate Republican leader Jim Hendren, introduced a $20 million appropriation bill today for hazardous waste cleanup.
When a couple of her jobs ended last March, photographer Kat Wilson of Fayetteville decided to quit struggling to cobble together various ways to make money and just concentrate on her work. The result is "The Year of the Kat," which will feature a continuation of her "Habitat" series (including the above, "The Sharps"), works in her "Warrior Women" series, a "Selfie-Throne" and her emoji paintings when it opens March 4 at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. The show is in the Windgate Art & Design Gallery; there will be a reception from 5-7 p.m. March 15.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says Sen. Kim Hammer will attempt Thursday to get committee approval Thursday of his bill that would make clear that records of nonprofits that provide direct support to public entities should be open to the public. I don't like his odds.
Wisconsin has become the third state — with New Mexico and California — to withdraw National Guard troops from the southern border in support of Donald Trump's declaration of a crisis need there. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson remains steadfast to Trump, though he shifted our contingent from New Mexico to Texas after the New Mexico governor declared the effort a waste.
I happened to pass by the future home of Hurts Donuts on Markham Street in the Block 2 lofts across from the Statehouse Convention Center and found staff busily prepping to open at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
No-knock raids a subject with first chief candidate. UPDATE: Were SWAT raids a policy of the police chief?
Public sessions with four finalists for Little Rock police chief began last night and the first candidate won headlines all over for saying in response to a question that he "generally" didn't think no-knock raids were necessary.
UA Professor Geffrey Davis has won a $50,000 Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship for his work with the touring performance "On the Row: The Prison Story Project."
Sen. Gary Stubblefield has introduced expected legislation to prohibit "sanctuary" policies by Arkansas cities.
The open line and daily news roundup by video.
More pushback on medical marijuana from a Hutchinson-aligned Republican — two bills by Sen. Cecile Bledsoe to discourage use of medical marijuana.
At the first of four community forums at Philander Smith College with candidates for the Little Rock police chief's job on Monday evening, finalist Todd Chamberlain emphasized the importance of "setting standards" for the training of new police recruits to prevent excessive use of force and police misconduct.
In the Age of Trump, it often seems that powerful, entitled men have taken to imitating the behavior of the great man himself: forcing themselves upon reluctant women (and sometimes girls), relying upon their power and money to protect them from the consequences. So go ahead and grab them, boys, because "when you're a star, they let you do it."
Gene Lyons writes in his latest column of a trend: rich, entitled men forcing themselves on women, with the Patriot's Robert Kraft the latest.
Searcy (White County) has just won a $500,000 "marketing and business transformation" from Hulu reality TV show "Small Business Revolution - Main Street," a project of the Deluxe Corporation.
Searcy wins! It will star in a Hulu series about small business revitalization.
The U.S. House voted Thursday to block Donald Trump's emergency declaration on the southern border but the Democratic majority was joined by only 13 Republicans. None of the four Arkansas Republicans in Congress voted against Trump.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Mike Laux shared an LRPD memorandum from a 2014 drug raid, which includes a portion that reads, "It is a mandate from the Office of the chief of Police that the SWAT team execute all search warrants." Three new alleged victims of no-knock search warrants also came forward.
When a Trump judicial appointee isn't extremist enough for Sen. Tom Cotton, but plenty radical enough for Mitch McConnell.
Rockin' in Little Rock. An early morning crowd for doughnuts.
The Arkansas House will take up today Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to slap a sales tax on motor fuel, put a disproportionate tax on fuel-efficient electric cars and pilfer the (reduced) casino tax as part of a $300 million plan to keep the highway construction lobby busy.
Michael Cohen dishes the dirt on Donald Trump
Talk about a tax that will hit people where it hurt — their cell phones. It's a 100 percent tax increase, more or less, on internet connectivity, to $2.25 a month for ALL devices with data plans — phones, tablets, watches.
I interrupt my normal programming to give a thumbs-up to Walmart for advertising that has the American Family Association in a snit.
KARK's Mitch McCoy reports that there's been a change in status of Charles Starks, the Little Rock police officer who fatally shot Bradley Blackshire last week during a traffic stop.
In this week’s episode, Antwan and Charles provide perspective and conversation on Arkansas State Board of Education finally releasing criteria for LRSD to exit state control, community forums with the final four candidates to be next police chief of LRPD, and Blake’s breakdown from the Arkansas legislature. In addition, they provide rapid fire perspective on Rock Topics. They also discuss the future of public transit in Central Arkansas with Charles Frazier, Executive Director of Rock Region Metro.
Adventureland, Illusionaut, The Mad Deadly, Willowack and White Mansion face off Friday at Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase Finals
One night, five bands, mucho prizes.
KARK's Jessi Turnure reports that Rep. Charles Blake's bill to legally ascribe a star on the Arkansas flag to the state's Indian heritage rather than its participation in the Confederacy was defeated in House committee this morning.
The open line and the day's video news roundup.
A batch of casino bills were discussed in the House Rules Committee today
The traveling "Small Works on Paper" juried exhibition has landed in Central Arkansas: You can see the 39 works, all no larger than 18-by-24 inches, tomorrow night, March 1, at UA Pulaski Technical College's Windgate Gallery, in the Center for the Humanities and the Arts building. The college is at 3000 W. Scenic Drive in North Little Rock.
The galleries on Central Avenue and beyond will be open for Hot Springs Gallery Walk on Friday, March 1, from 5-8 p.m.
Some small government Republicans think some more government regulation is necessary in one emerging business — electric scooters.
You can have your "True Detective." I want to see this real-life account of events including many in Arkansas. Stars include local Satanists and a demagogue for all seasons, Sen. Jason Rapert. The Arkansas Capitol figures prominently.
The roll call to preserve a Confederate tribute in Arkansas flag. It's about slavery, said a lone Republican dissenter
Here's the roll call on the vote this morning defeating Rep. Charles Blake's cost-free but dramatically symbolic bill to say in law that one of the stars on the Arkansas flag (a flag designed in the white supremacy days of the early 20th century to resemble the Confederate flag) no longer represented the Confederacy. The committee, in short, refused to strip an emblem of the defense of slavery from the state flag.
House Speaker Matthew Shepherd has made his second appointment to the independent citizens commission that meets annually to determine pay raises for state officials — the legislature, constitutional officers and judges. He is Tommy May of Pine Bluff, former CEO of Simmons First National Corporation.
Featuring Little Rock locals Korto Momolu Briggs and Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton, the Moth brings storytellers to the stage for a night, as host Ophira Eisenberg says, consisting of “five really delightful meals.”
Donald Trump'ssummit with North Korea was abruptly terminated with an announcement that no deal was possible for now. In short:
Meat is at the top of the free entertainment for legislators today.
Shelley performs tonight with Nathan Salsburg at South on Main.
Two proposals have emerged to control legislative redistricting. One is nakedly partisan. One makes a stab at bipartisansip.
Plant Family Therapeutics, which received the third highest dispensary score in North Arkansas's Zone 2, is building a new facility at 5172 Hwy 62 E. in Mountain Home. Clint Mickle, a PFT owner, said the dispensary hopes to open by the end of the summer.
A legislative hearing this morning to improve access to birth control pills provides an illustration of a poorly kept secret — many of those in the anti-abortion movement don't want women taking birth control pills either.
Gallery 360 and Gleanings (900 S. Rodney Parham Road) host receptions for two shows openings from 6-10 p.m. tonight (March 1): "Ultraviolet: A UV Art Experience" and "Found Artists."
The Little Rock Catholic Diocese announced today that St. Edward Catholic School will close at the end of this school year.
Craighead Circuit Judge John Fogleman Wednesday entered a $9 million judgment against Jonesboro accountant Edward M. Cooper Jr. for money he embezzled from Roach Manufacturing Corporation since at least 1996.
A dispute dating back to 2007 was decided today by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the city of Little Rock, which had been sued for alleged racial discrimination for denying a rezoning for a beauty salon in Hillcrest
Legislative bill filing continues. Make them stop. Items today so far include:
The Senate today voted 29-6 to pass more anti-abortion legislation based on junk science.
Trump and the legislature occupy most of today's video news roundup. Here's your open line.
The Pulaski County Special School District Board voted earlier this month to contract with Epic Charter Schools of Oklahoma to provide online K-12 schooling that would produce some dough for the district and charter operator, too. Oops. They are under investigation in Oklahoma.
In a written statement, Gary Sallee, the chief legal officer for Youth Opportunity Investments, said Rite of Passage "did not meet the minimum qualifications for a bidder as defined by the state."
SWEPCO has filed for a whopper of an electric rate increase — 24 percent.
The 2019 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase is nearing its end. We’ve just wrapped up an intense four weeks of competition in this annual battle of the bands. Each night of the showcase, our esteemed judges – along with the crowd in attendance – picked their top band by scoring the musicians on songwriting, originality, musicianship and showmanship.
Rep. Mary Bentley's introduction yesterday of a bill to create a True Grit Trail in Arkansas — a highway route supposedly tailored to Charles Portis' famous novel — will require some fiction, as I noted yesterday.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported today that a $20 million appropriation and $10 million loan for the state to clean up an underground landfill fire in Bella Vista zipped out of Joint Budget yesterday and, with Gov. Asa Hutchinson's nephew and Senate leader Jim Hendren leading the way, is likely headed to speedy passage. Thanks to a couple of Democratic Little Rock legislators for taking note of the state's hurry to help a high-income Republican stronghold.
In the second community forum for Little Rock's four police chief candidates, LRPD Assistant Chief Hayward Finks spoke about his 31 years of experience within the department and shared his ideas for making the city a "great place for everyone to live."
In addition to providing $30 million in public funding to deal with a landfill problem for Bella Vista, effectively a bailout for wealthy the developer, Cooper Communities, Joint Budget yesterday also doubled spending on an unaccountable handout of public money to private schools.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has sued the state Correction Department for requiring inmates to attend combined religious services for three faiths — Islam, Nation of Islam and Nation of Gods and Earths.
The 61st (and last until 2022) "Delta Exhibition" at the Arkansas Arts Center, on exhibit May 3-June 30, will feature 50 artworks by 49 artists, 33 from Arkansas.
Friday: The video roundup of headlines and comment and the open line.
Since the legislature isn't meeting today, here's a bit of the kind of legislative trivia that gets buried in the avalanche of bigger issues: A little ol' bill that could help get a better state job for the wife of the chairman of the state Republican Party, Doyle Webb.
After a torrent of bad publicity about the potential loss of jobs by people who work as Walmart greeters on account of new responsibilities for that job, the giant retailer is backing up.
The hardwood Hogs’ six-game losing streak reached its paradoxical high and low of the entire season in the span of a single half against Kentucky in Rupp Arena.
The latest from the legislature, a new proposal for redistricting and Little Rock Police matters — all covered on this week's podcast.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray today denied a motion for preliminary injunction to stop the state Highway Commission from spending tax dollars to widen highways to more than four lanes.
"I know we’re here to talk about race, but we have to make certain that as we continue to move in this 21st century, there’s more than just race," the mayor said. "It’s about socioeconomic status, it’s about sexual orientation, it’s about gender identity."
This 60-minute jazz suite from Little Rock jazz pianist Chris Parker and vocalist Kelley Hurt, commissioned by Oxford American magazine and premiered in 2017 at the 60th anniversary of the Nine’s entrance into Little Rock Central High School, goes up at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center tonight.
Elise Davis performs tonight at Stickyz, with an opening set from Adam Faucett.
"Newsies" is up at Argenta Community Theater.
Akira Satake, a Japanese-born potter who wood-fires his ceramics, is coming to Arkansas to speak to the Friends of Contemporary Craft and others about his work on Sunday, March 10, at the Arkansas Arts Center.
A juried exhibition of 78 works by 63 artists that opens March 28 at John Brown University commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Arkansas Territory.
UA Little Rock is, once again, proving the folly of ignoring African-American art, with the exhibition “On Their Own Terms,” which opens Jan. 17 at UA Little Rock’s Windgate Center of Art and Design.