'Assuming without conceding' that officials 'withheld' DNA evidence, the state attorney general presses for his execution.
Vol 37 • No 22
Should we kill on technicalities?
It's done but for Gov. Mike Beebe's inauguration to a second term. Say hello to the 2011-2015 slate of leaders: Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, State Treasurer Martha Shoffner, State Auditor Charlie Daniels and State Land Commissioner John Thurston.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is finally coming to Little Rock. A corporate spokesman said the restaurant, located in the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center at 11525 Cantrell Road, is scheduled to open sometime in early spring.
Rep. Tracy Pennartz gives Rep. Loy Mauch a schooling on how to represent a bill in the legislature.
The U.S. attorney's office has announced a guilty plea by Little Rock securities broker Mark Madison to a securities fraud scheme.
The Root, the long, long-in-the works local foods cafe, finally has a permanent home — 1500 South Main, the former home of the Sweden Creme dairy bar.
MaryMac writes: "If Cliff Lee is a star baseball picture, that thing in the square accompanying the article must be a pitcher of said picture."
The art-blues duo take round one; now four more bands line up for round two.
Greater central control is 'very, very bad idea,' Gearhart says.
The big release of the month came earlier this week, when Pantheon released "The Illumination," the latest novel from Little Rock author Kevin Brockmeier.
State legislators seem quite proud of themselves for ethics legislation unveiled this week. That is altogether pitiful.
The Green Cart Deli upgrades the classic hot dog stand in Conway.
We got a chance to head back to Mark Abernathy's Red Door restaurant recently, one of our long-time faves.
You've likely never heard of Edie Windsor. Advocates for changing marriage law in the United States, however, hope that many will come to visualize her when they think about same-sex marriage.
It's hard not think of today as the golden age of government transparency. That is, until we start thinking of counterexamples.
The Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase returns with Echo Canyon, The Smittle Band, Year of the Tiger and The Yipps; Faulkner County Library screens Spike Lee's "4 Little Girls;" Elise Davis hosts a singer/songwriter night at Town Pump.
The Arkansas Lottery announced Tuesday that the drawing for the Million Dollar Raffle game will happen on April 7 of this year, rain or shine, meaning whether all the tickets are sold or not.
In recognition that our attention span grows ever shorter ...
In the name of humanity, find these clowns another site and, please, as far away as possible from those who enjoy the simple pleasure of walking.
Local site offers first-hand account of Egyptian protests.
'Blue Valentine' pokes love, draws blood.
>Even a red-hot Arkansas sports enthusiast like The Observer was unfamiliar with James Rector until T.O. visited the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame last week.
Rich Little at UCA, Eliot Lipp at Revolution, David Garrett at Robinson Center Music Hall, Spike Lee at UCA, 'Abie's Irish Rose' at Murry's Dinner Playhouse, Hayes Carll at White Water Tavern.
Good week: good health, human development centers, coming clean, bond dealers, Gary Dunn, judicial romance. Bad week: good health, Fred Smith, State Sen. Bruce Holland.
State Republican Chairman Doyle Webb would have done better suggesting this remedy at the outset.
Andrew Bagley's blog reports on the continuing shutdown of the Helena-West Helena city government by a budget fight between Mayor Arnell Willis and the City Council, which among other reported objections to the mayor's budget are his proposed 56 percent pay increase for himself and continued hiring of new employees (including some with criminal histories) while claiming the city is bankrupt.
Luke Gordy, the former state Education Board member who now lobbies or advocates fulltime for the cashroots groups (Walton/Hussman/Murphy/Stephens money) working to legislate the backes' vision of school reform, has graciously sent along a newsletter outlining his employers' education "reform" package.
Republicans who normally decry legislating judges are loving the Florida federal judge who struck down the entire health care reform law.
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in the Central Arkansas Library System has created a fellowship to honor the memory of Mahlon Martin, the former Little Rock city manager, state finance director under Bill Clinton and leader of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Now I know why people are raving over this West Little Rock coffee-and-gelato shop.
The report on state tax revenue in January generally continues a pattern of meeting the forecast and running slightly ahead of last year, but barely.
The former Hog and USC quarterback has been arrested for selling prescription drugs in Los Angeles, various news outlets are reporting based on a Los Angeles radio station report and a booking record for a 22-year-old Mitchell Mustain.
It's the greatest interview ever.
Ethics bill passes House Rules Committee
The deadline to reserve a seat to hear registrar Thom Hall talk before the Fine Arts Club is tomorrow, Feb. 3.
A family law professor tells Talking Points Memo that — contrary to assertions by anti-abortion forces — a proposal to end Medicaid coverage for abortions in the case of many rape and incest cases would indeed amount to a dramatic change in law with a large impact on minors.
A Bank of America branch on University was robbed today, the second BOA branch robbery in two days.
Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters today that he was open to an idea — still unspecific — on limiting the 1.86 percent pay raise for state employees, at least for employees in higher pay grades.
Ronald Reagan's solicitor general says the health care reform law is constitutional. Your witness, Representative Ross and Co.
Hendrix College reports that one of its students studying abroad in Egypt has safely left the country.
A Pew study says the immigrant population in the U.S. isn't increasing and that the supposed "anchor baby" trend to establish residency would appear to be a myth.
Today, Match.com announced that it has acquired OKCupid.com, a dating website co-founded by Little Rock native Christian Rudder, for $50 million in cash.
The Arkansas Republican Party wants a primary to choose a nominee for the vacant House District 54 seat in Crittenden County, where Democrat Fred Smith resigned after a felony conviction.
TV reporters say the jury has reached a verdict in the trial of convicted killer Curtis Vance on a charge that he raped a Marianna school teacher.
Randy Dixon, news director at KATV Channel 7, announced today that he is stepping down.
We've talked more than we'd like to about the SyFy movie Megapython vs. Gatoroid, the horrifically bad reptile-showdown flick directed by Helena native Mary Lambert and starring 80's pop-princesses Tiffany and Debbie Gibson as a crusading park ranger and an whackjob animal rights activist, respectively We couldn't resist posting one more thing, however: this delicious Q&A with Gibson and Tiffany, featuring clips of scenes where they chew the scenery so thoroughly that it was later bagged and sold as garden mulch.
A summary of what happened today at the Arkansas legislature.
Surprise. John Casteel of Newport has resigned as Jackson County Republican chair.
Thursday night offers up Joshua and Isaac Alexander at White Water Tavern, a screening of Spike Lee's "4 Little Girls" at Faulkner County Library and more.
The Yipps play the second round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
Year of the Tiger play the second round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
Echo Canyon play the second round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
The line is open. I've been distracted this afternoon by my annual chore of organizing the applications for our annual Academic All-Star Team recognition.
The Smittle Band plays the second round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
A bipartisan group of mayors in border cities from Texas to California say Mike Huckabee is wrong about border security and that he's exaggerated the security threat in American cities from Mexican gangs.
John Brummett writes further today about the changed political landscape on redrawing congressional districts to reflect population changes, as is done every 10 years.
Republicans — and presumably co-sponsor Rep. Mike Ross — have decided not to push forward with a new, more limited definition of rapes for abortions covered by Medicaid.
A reader provides an entertaining link to a daily feature provided by his Nook reader.
Approval of a hostile amendment from Rep. Jeff Wardlaw caused tabling today in the House Public Health Committee of SB 113 that would effectively make it impossible for private insurance companies participating in new insurance exchanges from providing abortion coverage.
A Senate committee today approved 11 federal judicial nominations, including that of P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith for a western district of Arkansas judgeship.
New York Press film critic and notorious troll Armond White professes his love for Evanescence.
Robert Todd Gatrell, the older of two cousins accused of killing Michael Palmer in Dec. 2009 and then killing Palmer's 23 month old daughter Hannah Grace Dowdie by setting her on fire while she sat strapped into a car seat plead guilty this morning before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza.
Ever thought about taking a cruise but wondered how the food might be? Check out a visual guide to offerings aboard a Carnival cruiseliner.
An Exhibits USA offering, "Southern Journeys: African American Artists of the South," work by 55 artists, opens today at Mosaic Templars.
What's that you say? Rover, Fluffy or Spot is gone, but you can't bear to part with them?
A pizza shop owner quitting a location on account of repeat robberies wasn't exactly an advertisement for Little Rock progress in fighting crime.
Arkansas Sports 360 delivers the news that quarterback Mitch Mustain won't be prosecuted on a felony charge that he sold a prescription drug on-line.
There'll probably be no retrial of Curtis Vance, Anne Pressly's killer, on a charge that he raped a former Marianna school teacher.
Derek Fisher will appear on the game show "Minute to Win It" and donate his winnings to UALR.
Polling finds support in Arizona for stronger gun control laws, much stronger than support nationally.
Fayetteville Underground is under ice, like everything else in NW Arkansas, and has rescheduled tonight's art opening to next Thursday, Feb. 10.
Got a question or three for U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin? Ask them Monday night from 5 to 7:30 p.m. when he meets with constituents at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce offices.
Sweet Baby James is headed to Verizon Arena on Friday, April 29.
Hat's off: To Rep. Jeff Wardlaw, D-Warren. Three cents: The House voted to allow the Public Service Commission to charge three cents per month to cell phone users - the fee is currently charged to those who use land lines - to fund equipment that helps the hearing impaired use telephone services.
It's the readers' turn. I thought I'd leave you with this clip of a speech Tuesday to Iowa legislators by the son of a lesbian couple.
There are few better eat-over-the-sink handpatted burgers out there that rival those outta the joint at Kanis and Shackleford.
Year of the Tiger wins the second round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase.
Iconic comedian Rich Little brings his family-friendly mimicry to UCA.
Brooklyn DJ/producer Eliot Lipp comes to Revolution with dubstep diva Ana Sia.
Death Row inmates are pressing a claim — so far unrefuted — that states including Arkansas have relied on a virtually bootleg (and dubious) source for the chemical used in executions.
In case you're wondering why schools are closed with clear streets, here's the National Weather Service forecast for Pulaski County today:Snow before noon, then snow and sleet.
The culture of incestuous politics and feuding that has been a perpetual blight on Helena-West Helena continues apace.
Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings reports a vice squad raid last night on the Paper Moon, a Mabelvale Pike strip joint of long standing.
Talking Points Memo notes dismissal of a lawsuit in Mississippi by that state's lieutenant governor challenging the health care reform law on 10th amendment grounds.
The University of Arkansas now has a weblink to obtain tickets for the Dalai Lama's visit to the Fayetteville campus May 11.
The Daily Beast has examined state spending of federal stimulus money for transportation work. A new study shows that most states didn’t end up making the most of the windfall.
Sheffield Nelson (does he need an introduction?) plans a "major announcement" at his law office at 10:30 a.m. Gas severance tax is likely topic.
Scott Miller provided the photo of the aftermath of a wreck on Interstate 40. He warns: Just tried to get to WLR from NLR.
A video recap of round two.
You have to get up mighty early in the morning to get ahead of former Ark. governor Mike Huckabee on self-enrichment schemes, but Sarah Palin may be the woman for the job.
Ever searching for ways to marginalize President Obama, a Fox outlet jumped him recently for misquoting the Bible.
Gov. Mike Beebe made 41 appointments today. All at the link.
Anti-abortion Republicans haven't given up the fight to prevent private insurance companies from using private premium dollars to insure limited abortion coverage in Arkansas.
Says here that Georgia is thinking about getting out of the textbook business for public schools and going exclusively to iPads for text delivery.
The whistle has blown early here. The line is open.
In case you missed it: New Republican legislation would let hospitals refuse abortions even to save a woman's life.
Forbidden Hillcrest, the blog that's a trove of digital delights, both historic and current, Friday night captured about six minutes of North Little Rock police radio traffic following the theft of a police cruiser and the ensuing chase on snowy roads.
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are in a hot race to see which can lend the most discrediit to the impartiality of the court by their overt political activities.
The Grand Taverne's nouveau French-tinged cuisine is the perfect sort of thing for that very special occasion, grand food in a beautiful, not-too-big space.
Enjoy the thaw. There's increasing chatter on weather websites of another big snow in Arkansas mid-week.
The Sunday New York Times visits Guy, Ark., where the recent earthquake swarm has raised questions about the possible influence of gas drilling in the Fayetteville shale.
Reaction to round two and the night's winners, Year of the Tiger.
Elwood proudly notes, and gives rights to re-publish, his letter to the editor in this morning's Democrat-Gazette in which he seconds U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin's admiratation of China.
John Lyon of Stephens Media rounds up early-session failures on the agenda of what he describes as social conservatives.
John Brummett noted a comment by a putative legislative ethics reformer, Rep. Anne Clemmer, that I also had meant to swat.
It's going to be one of those weeks. Everyone is going to be tuning into weather forecasts for the growing predictions of a snowpocalypse.
Yes, Kat Robinson has eaten a lot of burgers. It's your chance to help fill in the blanks on great burgers she might have missed.
German superstar violinist David Garrett shreds rock classics at Robinson.
MIA in legislature so far: A resolution calling for Arkansas ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
One more reason to be happy Mike Beebe was on the ballot for re-election in this year when barely functional human units were elected on the strength of white faces and Rs behind their name: Legislative agenda piece today by Stephens Media says that the governor, in addition to the Arkansas Sheriffs Association, opposes an open carry gun bill scheduled for consideration this week.
Big news in the media world is AOL's acquisition of the Huffington Post for $315 million, a deal that will continue Arianna Huffington as news boss of AOL, which will integrate Huffington with Patch, its enormous investment in providing local news in underserved communities across the U.S.
Filmmaker, social commenter and provocateur extraordinaire Spike Lee speaks at UCA.
Chesapeake Energy says it hopes to sell all its holdings in the Fayetteville shale plus investments in a couple of drilling-related companies for $5 billion to reduce debt.
The Washington Post's fact-checker feature was prompted to create a whole new category for assessing politicians in the aftermath of Mike Huckabee's extended pander to conservative Israelis on his recent trip there.
Here's the latest from the National Weather Service on snow expected Wednesday. The commentary: At this point, it appears the heaviest snow will fall in the southwest half of the state.
The artists' collaborative gallery Local Colour is putting its spotlight on Mary Lynn Nelson in February.
As predicted here Friday, former gas executive and political candidate Sheffield Nelson announced this morning an initiative campaign to put a 7 percent gas severance tax on the 2012 general election ballot.
When a black legislator prepares legislation to make it a state law violation to wear pants that bag sufficiently to expose the wearer's underwear?
I just got back from the Arkansas Arts Center, where Arts Center fixture/registrar Thom Hall gave a terrific talk on the Arts Center collection and how it grew.
... a Republican Party news release probably would have read: " A Democratic legislator has proposed a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT INCREASE in working men and women's car title fees to help provides millions in new money for STATE EMPLOYEE PENSIONS."
Roby Brock at Talk Business reports on legislation by Republican Sens. Johnny Key and Jonathan Dismang to cripple advertising and promotion commissions by requiring popular votes on all hamburger taxes and reapproval of such taxes every four years.
The horrendously-bad Super Bowl halftime show yesterday gave our little gathering a few minutes to talk amongst ourselves.
It's deadly slow at the moment, so I'll open the night's line. Don't quit just yet, though.
Here's another update from Tennessee on the health struggles of Jerry Eckwood, the former Razorback and NFL running back, whose continuing health woes are now believed to stem at least in part from concussions as an NFL player.
A petition was filed in probation court last week seeking a death declaration for John Glasgow, the construction company financial officer who's been missing since leaving his home early on the morning of Jan. 28, 2008.
Hayes Carll makes a stop at White Water Tavern.
John Brummett wades into a sensitive, but important topic today. Add to the question of whether a black person can get a fair trial from white jurors the question of whether a white crime victim can get a fair trial from black jurors weighing a rape case against a black defendant.
Russellville's newest barbecue joint serves up the traditional meats and sauces... but the Cajun coleslaw and two equally good potato salads cannot be missed.
Committees are working this morning. * Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford told a Senate committee he's implementing the health care reform law.
I don't think this fellow is alone. But he's rare in speaking up — and only after his faced a looming defeat in holding onto his position.
I admit I've been a little reluctant to plunge into the neighborhood squabble about renaming a street to honor the unsinkable Annie Abrams.
The Weather Service has updated its snowfall prediction map, dropping the amount expected in Little Rock to 4-6 inches from 8-plus.Four to six inches of snow is in the forecast in much of southern and western Arkansas, with lesser amounts in the northeast.
Pro-choice Democrats are cooking up a campaign to highlight Republican fixation on abortion. Though the election was supposedly about jobs and the economy, House Republicans have managed to produce nothing much on that pressing issue but THREE anti-abortion bills.
President Obama's budget will include a proposal to help states with big debts on account of unemployment benefit payouts.
U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is just tickled to be getting a ton of Capitol Hill coverage for the hints he's dropping that the decimated Blue Dog caucus may thrown in with Republicans on spending cuts that would reduce jobs and harm the economy in the name of the Tea Party agenda.
Some fairly big names — Bob Barker and Pamela Anderson — have been on the horn to County Judge Buddy Villines about an upcoming measure that might create a spay/neuter program for Pulaski County.
Local rapper Epiphany releases "The Wait," the third and final installment of his "Respect" mixtape series.
Will it happen? Will it fizzle?
It's easy to pick off these sorts of things in the Arkansas legislature, nonethless it's worth a reminder sometimes to see how loudly held "principles" so often differ from voting records.
Put the cheese dip on.
Burt Taggart of The Big Cats is offering 15 unreleased demos recorded for The Big Cats for Haitian charity.
The Valley of the Vapors festival releases their lineup and schedule for their 2011 festival.