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March 4, 2010

Vol 8 • No 8

Gone

Wilbern Road near Sweet Home is a metaphor for the life of Hannah Grace Dowdie: a short, dead-end roller coaster of pavement, pressed on both sides by dark and murky woods.

Now it's for real

March 1 polling by Rasmussen (link corrected) continues to show all Republicans leading Blanche Lincoln in the race for Senate and with greater leads over Bill Halter.

AFL-CIO endorses Halter, Elliott

Least surprising news of the day is Arkansas labor's nod to Bill Halter for Senate and Joyce Elliott, an old union hand herself, for 2nd District Congress.

Sen. Judd Gregg, come on down ...

... and receive today's Blithering Hypocritical Dick award. He was for using reconciliation by Republicans before he was against its use by Democrats.

What's Cookin, March 5.

Sanjeev and Rashmi Jain, owners of River Market Grocery in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall, have opened a new gift shop and lunch counter in the ground floor of the Arkansas Studies Institute on President Clinton Avenue. 4 Square Gifts offers Arkansas T-shirts and gifts as well as salads, sandwiches, soups, smoothies and wraps. The Jains also bake cookies and pies daily and sell Yarnell’s Ice Cream and coffee.

To-do tonight

Sensitive woolyboogers, this group. Cadillac Sky is all beards, Rascal Flatts harmonies and bluegrass soundscapes, with a healthy dollop of mom-approved ganache.

Busted

This reviewer doesn’t tend to be the bloodthirsty sort of dining reviewer who relishes hurling harpoons at every dining establishment in town, but I’ve written some nuke-em-from-orbit reviews over the years. The new Lagniappe Buffet, inside Oaklawn is memorable, sure, but not in a good way.

To-Do List, March 4-9

Best bets this week: Cadillac Sky, Mix Master Mike, George McConnell, Inga Swearingen, Arkansas Chamber Singers, 'Cabaret,' 'Ferdinand the Bull,' George Strait and Reba McEntire, Trainwreck and Xiu Xiu.

In Brief, March 4-6

Cody Belew, Three Days Grace, Charlotte Taylor benefit and more.

Return of the fanboy

While the films of Kevin Smith are admittedly not everyone’s bag, I tend to like his stuff. Smith, like his 1990s indie-flick classmate Quentin Tarantino, tends to go for the geekgasm in his movies, seeding in both broad and incredibly narrow references to the things he loves — comic books, Star Wars, weed, sex and movies.

You don’t need a …

When it comes to the science behind the climate-change debate, most climatologists (and by most, I mean somewhere around 98 percent of them) are in agreement. It’s real. But if you ask the general public, for some reason, the issue isn’t settled.

Flashback

Do any of you remember the 20th Century? I remember it a little, but the memory is fading fast. It already seems like a dream, and maybe a dream that somebody else dreamt.

Editorial

Last call

We started with somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 local acts, pared those down to 16 semi-finalists and now, after five weeks of competition, here we are. The final showdown. Friday, at Revolution, five acts, none of which sound anything alike, square off to join the likes of 607 and Velvet Kente as a winner of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase.

The Week That Was, Feb. 24-March 2.

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …POLITICS. Has there been a year with so many candidates vying for federal office in Arkansas? Or so much chance at changing the usual order of things?

Orval

Remembering Gene

Gene Prescott’s photos brought to life thousands of news articles in the Arkansas Gazette for almost 40 years. When Gazette readers picked up their paper every morning, Gene’s photos were there to give them a good visual sense of what happened in the accompanying news articles. That was not an easy task but Gene did it superbly.

Internet at warp speed

Imagine if you could download an entire movie in less than five minutes.

New work for CB

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (aka Alice Walton) made public a couple of acquisitions for the future Bentonville showplace last week: Kerry James Marshall’s “Our Town” and Mary McCleary’s “The Falcon Cannot Hear the Falconer.”

This Modern World

By the book

Little Rock District Judge Mark Leverett visited inmates at the Pulaski County Detention Facility at least nine times last year, signing in as “attorney” in a book reserved for lawyers visiting their clients, even though a three-judge panel had earlier said he could not represent criminal defendants in Pulaski County.

March books calendar

Unless indicated, event is a reading and/or book signing.

Ladies man

T-Model Ford's story is ubiquitous. And for good reason. It encapsulates all the animal spirit of the blues. In a nutshell: abusive father, loving mother; unschooled and (still) unabashedly illiterate. As an 18-year old, he kills a man in self-defense; spends two years on a chain gang. Five wives, 26 children. He doesn’t pick up a guitar until 58, after his wife gives it to him as a “divorce present” before leaving him.

Smart Talk, March 4

“Stepping,” a dance competition long the province of black fraternities and sororities, was integrated in a big way recently by an all-white sorority from the University of Arkansas, Zeta Tau Alpha. A team of Zeta dancers won the Sprite Step-off, a national competition, worth a $100,000 prize. They were the first white group to win the step-off.

Words, March 4

“The field is expected to enlarge again Wednesday when former state legislator Gunner DeLay of Fort Smith plans to announce his candidacy. DeLay is a partner in the Fort Smith law firm of Rush, Rush and DeLay.” I’ve heard he may have an opponent from the firm of Hurrey, Upp and Waite.

Leverett's jail visits

Who the judge visited.

Internet at warp speed

Imagine if you could download an entire movie in less than five minutes.

Arkansas goes national

John Brummett describes how Halter v. Lincoln is a nationalized contest, a fact that will create burdens for both candidates.

Will they race?

The NY Times reports at some length today about the ballyhooed $5 million fillies' race set for Oaklawn Park.

Of Hubcaps and Smaller Things

I have been accused of having no love for an Arkansas standard, one delicacy that is apparently above reproach here in our Natural State.

Of Hubcaps and Smaller Things

I have been accused of having no love for an Arkansas standard, one delicacy that is apparently above reproach here in our Natural State.

'One tough lady' UPDATE

Blanche Lincoln at last hits TV. A little humor.

Thursday To-Do: Cadillac Sky

CADILLAC SKY9 p.m., Juanita's. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.Sensitive woolyboogers, this group.

Black Crowes, Blake Shelton and Cross Canadian Ragweed headed to Riverfest

The Memorial Day fest's shaping up.CCR opens for Gary Allan on Friday at the Clinton Center.

Bossier is ready for terrorists

This just beats all. In my day, Bossier City, La., was an infamous gathering point for underage drinkers, wowsers and louts who peopled the clubs on the Bossier Strip.

Ark. out in Race to the Top

Thanks to Josh McGee at the Mid-Riffs blog for the news that Arkansas didn't make the finalist cut in the first round of competition for federal education money in the Race to the Top program.

Tussling in the 3rd

So many candidates, so little space. Steve Womack, Rogers mayorissimo, one of the Republican candidates for 3rd District, yesterday issued a news release that consisted mostly of shopworn and ineffective ideas to make it sound like he was for better health care, when he isn't (if it costs anything).

A traitor to her gender

Emily's List won't support Sen. Blanche Lincoln. The influential group, formed to assist women's candidacies, is dumping her because she broke a pledge to the group by supporting  a late-term abortion ban that contained no exceptions for women's health.

Roll 'em: another local movie in the works

In progress. Move it on over, Hank: another film is shooting in town.

It's Speaker Moore

Rep. Robert Moore of Arkansas City got the votes of 63 colleagues today to be elected as House speaker in the 2011 legislative session.

Ol' Kim Hendren had a cow

Tweets of the day from Republican senatorial candidate Kim Hendren's Twitter account: Marylea and I just filed papers with the Rep Party of AR to run for US Senate.

Memphis in May lineup announced

Extract the pee and dirt from that mud and you've got a solid Hurricane. Memphis in May, err, the Beale Street Music Festival (but who ever calls it that) has posted the official (and hilariously misspelled) lineup and, like with every year, it's pretty hit or miss. But the hits hit hard.

Hankwatch 2010: WWT shines

White Water, ready for her closeup. (Picture by John Earney, click for full size) And Hankwatch 2010 keeps rolling.

Another for U.S. Senate

Political unknown D. C. Morrison, 60, of Little Rock filed for U.S. Senate as a Democrat today.

Tie me kids down, sport UPDATE

Thanks, DM, for the item about House passage of legislation that prevents schools from tying, restraining, drugging or isolating children in school as discipline, except when their behavior poses an immediate danger to others.

Proctor fights on

Ousted judge Willard Proctor of Little Rock hasn't given up his fight to regain a seat on the circuit court bench.

Rock Candy sold our souls for rock 'n' roll

\m/(those are metal fingers, btw) For a couple of minutes this afternoon, Rock Candy's Facebook page was sitting pretty at 666 Facebook friends.

Bill Clinton backs Lincoln

He promised Sen. Lincoln his support some time ago and is sticking by it.

National Guard data missing

The Arkansas National Guard says personal information on 35,000 current and former Guard members (dating back to 1991) was contained in an external hard drive reported missing Feb. 22.

News from abroad: Fayetteville

A damn fine town. After the closing of Opal Fly's Feel Good Lounge, the Fayetteville Flyer reports that a new club is soon to open.

Cammack chief scores again

Cammack Police Chief Peter Powell, and his trusty K-9 colleague Tango, have again collared malefactors who made the mistake of wandering through his quiet little enclave surrounded by Little Rock.

You're up

The line is open. And this special note for a devoted reader who wanted to know: The opening date for the Target under construction on University Avenue is projected to be Oct. 17.

The Observer, March 4

The Observer’s woman in the field was in Hot Springs over the weekend, enjoying an early dinner at Angel’s Italian Restaurant on Central Avenue.

By the book

Little Rock District Judge Mark Leverett visited inmates at the Pulaski County Detention Facility at least nine times last year, signing in as “attorney” in a book reserved for lawyers visiting their clients.

A political page-turner

“Game Change,” the book on the presidential race of 2008 that is all the current rage, manages at once to entertain, comfort and disconcert because, like those best-sellers of Bob Woodward, it recreates lengthy quotes from private conversation based on "background" interview in which the authors use information without attributing it..

Not a nice guy

Baptists are nothing if not fratricidal. They despised Brother Jimmy Carter, a pious Baptist president, and their aversion to Carter was mild compared to their hatred of the next Baptist president, Bill Clinton. That hatred continues undiminished, obviously, though Clinton is long out of office. Yet Kenneth Starr has just been hired as president of the world’s biggest Baptist university, and Starr’s not even a Baptist.

Are liberals smarter?

A widely debated study published in the current issue of the scientific journal Social Psychology Quarterly tries to explain why most of us attach ourselves to broad political concepts like liberalism and conservatism and embrace different social and religious values.

Halter v. Lincoln

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter’s decision to challenge U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary wasn’t a big surprise. In recent days, his camp had worked its way into a number of national stories critical of the incumbent senator. Also, liberal voices had predicted his entry for a week or so.

Last call

We started with somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 local acts, pared those down to 16 semi-finalists and now, after five weeks of competition, here we are. Friday, at Revolution, five acts, none of which sound anything alike, square off in the finals of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase.

Call to Hurst draws police

A man who left a message on City Director Stacy Hurst’s phone last Friday in which he admits to calling her a despicable person for her support for changes to the War Memorial Golf Course got a follow-up call from police Monday.

Karl Rove's candidate

TV coverage last night of Karl Rove's new book naturally led me to thinking about his former employee, Tim Griffin, now running as a Republican for 2nd District Congress.

Obama gets rolled

If Obama indeed rolls over on the question of military trials for 9/11 suspects, he'll have the worst of both worlds.

Friday To-Do: 'Ferdinand the Bull'

‘FERDINAND THE BULL'7 p.m., Children's Theatre, Arkansas Arts Center. $11-$14.You know Ferdinand.

Friday To-Do: 'Cabaret'

‘CABARET'7:30 p.m., Reynolds Center Performance Hall, UCA. $30-$32.UCA sets the stage for a one-night-only engagement of the celebrated, oft-revived musical “Cabaret.” Set on a backdrop of the Weimar Republic in the early '30s, the racy play revolves around performers at a Berlin nightspot, the Kit Kat Klub, an American writer and the growing political unrest around them.

Friday To-Do: Arkansas Chamber Singers

ARKANSAS CHAMBER SINGERS 7:30 p.m., St. James United Methodist Church. $10-$18.

Friday To-Do: Inga Swearingen

INGA SWEARINGEN 8 p.m., Capitol Keyboard. $15-$25.

Friday To-Do: George McConnell

GEORGE MCCONNELL 9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $7.

Friday To-Do: Mix Master Mike

MIX MASTER MIKE 8:30 p.m., The Village. $20 adv., $25 door.

This Weekend: Three Days Grace, Damon Moon and the Whispering Drifters, Big Smith, Charlotte Taylor Benefit

Big Smith. FRIDAY 3/5 Afterthought offers a show with Ramona Smith and Carl Mouton, 9 p.m., $7, while The Ted Ludwig Trio continues its standing engagement at the Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free.

Target rises

Because someone near and dear pesters me every day about the new Target on University, I pass along a visual progress report from Brian Chilson.

Make way for the Razorblades

This is not a link from The Onion. The University of Arkansas Razorback ice hockey team has captured the Southeastern Conference championship and will play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division three national championship tournament starting March 10 in Fort Meyers, Fla.

Google, Arkansas

Other cities across the country are really stepping up their game, making their pitch to become the test site for an ultra high-speed fiber optic network that would be set up by search engine giant Google.

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase: Finals Preview

We started with somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 local acts, pared those down to 16 semi-finalists and now, after five weeks of competition, here we are.

How to save newspapers

With TV, maybe? Says here that NY Times is getting ready to start a daily newscast on its website.

Only in the 3rd District ...

... would a political candidate (Steve Womack) run an ad showing himself shaking hands with Dick Cheney.

The 'race' for U.S. Senate UPDATE

I could be wrong. But I think this issue has the danger of becoming unseemly.

The South shall rise

Filing continues. Alas, Mike Ross is in.

Saturday To-Do: Reba McEntire-George Strait

GEORGE STRAIT/ REBA MCENTIRE 7 p.m., Verizon Arena. $81.25-$91.25 Just to put this pair in a non-country context: With 68.5 million records certified sold by the RIAA, George Strait's just a million records shy of selling more than Michael Jackson.

Saturday To-Do: Trainwreck

TRAINWRECK 8:30 p.m., The Village. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s. Named after a particular strain of pot that “makes your face feel like it got in a wreck with a train” (stoners, please write a letter to the editor explaining how this is desirable), Trainwreck postures itself as the Ennio Morricone of CB radio movies.

Ray McKinnon's award night

Tonight, local actor Ray McKinnon is up for a Best Supporting Actor award for his turn as the shady Lonzo Choat (anagram: Hot Zoo Clan) in "That Evening Sun" at the yearly Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica.If your cable box is on baller status, you can check it out tonight at 10 p.m.

82nd Academy Awards: the Open Line

Okay, let's make this short and sweet.The Oscars are on Sunday, but if you're reading this blog, you're the type that already know that.

Gas lease suit dismissed

We reported this more than a week ago, but the Game and Fish Commission has now distributed a news release about dismissal of the lawsuit challenging whether more than $30 million in gas lease royalty should go solely to Game and Fish rather than to the state as a whole.

Let's call it a week

The line is open.

Late Plug: Kat Wilson's Habitat Exhibit at ACAC

Great art opening in a little bit at ACAC. It's a retrospective of Kat Wilson's excellent Habitat series, a collection of portraits of all sorts of Arkansans with the stuff of their lives arranged in the foreground. I was lucky enough to have one taken of me and two roommates five or six years ago.

George and Reba

Just to put this pair in a non-country context: With 68.5 million records certified sold by the RIAA, George Strait's just a million records shy of selling more than Michael Jackson. And even though she's almost 20 million behind Strait, McEntire can boast more sales than Prince, Simon & Garfunkel and Dylan.

Good riddance Marion Berry

John Brummett reviews lame duck Rep. Marion Berry's perhaps critical decision to oppose health care legislation because of an unfounded belief it might provide federal money for abortion.

Virginia is for haters

Virginia's new attorney general, a "family values" Republican like the governor, is following in the governor's footsteps in making it clear that Virgnia is unfriendly to gay people.

Rove: still at war

Pretty good take on Karl Rove's new book by the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, who was there when the mess happened.

Need a laugh?

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2010 Ark. Times Musicians Showcase Winner: Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth

Photo by Brian Chilson. Big crowd, big fun last night.

Pick Oscar winners

Here's tonight's open line. But here's also something you can do to pass the hours tonight.

Busted

This reviewer doesn't tend to be the bloodthirsty sort of dining reviewer celebrated in film, the kind who relishes hurling harpoons at every dining establishment in town, but you do have to play it as it lays. I've written some nuke-em-from-orbit reviews over the years.

Reba McEntire in NLR

To start the day, a Brian Chilson photo from last night's George Strait/Reba McEntire show at Verizon.

Halter v. Lincoln

Brummett's back on the topic of Bill Halter as a tool of out-of-state liberals and, to a lesser degree, Blanche Lincoln as the snap-on tool of corporate interests.

The national situation

A couple of stories in the NY Times assess the Democrats' current low estate nationally.

Central High's achievers

LR Central Principal Nancy Rousseau sends word that both of the state of Arkansas's winners in the annual Siemens Foundation scholarship competition are Central seniors.

Good day for a marathon

Brian Chilson captured the throng at the start on a cool, overcast day.

The Ruler's Back!

For the first time? YES.One hundred times more awesome than a Luke-less 2 Live Crew in Eureka: Slick Rick is headed to Revolution on Friday, April 9.

Last Night: George Strait - Reba McEntire

Photo by Brian Chilson. “Amarillo By Morning,” “Ocean Front Property,” “The Chair,” “Check Yes or No,” “Run,” “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” – the list goes on and on.George Strait has sung us a lot of great country songs over the years, and an amazing 57 of them have hit No. 1.

Food as Art

Found on the Eye on Arkansas Flickr space:  this gorgeous bowl of lavendar butternut squash soup from user mcb_smith.  We have some rather talented photographers around here.

Food as Art

Found on the Eye on Arkansas Flickr space:  this gorgeous bowl of lavendar butternut squash soup from user mcb_smith.  We have some rather talented photographers around here.

Over to you

I'm an old fogey set in my ways, I know. But I can't stand the Heights Kroger.

Gone

A double murder spurs some deep questions about nature vs. nurture.

Woe is Blanche Lincoln

The New York Times parachutes into darkest Arkansas to assess Sen. Blanche Lincoln's troubled standing.

Annals of gun nuttery

Concealed weapon laws are no longer enough for the gun zealots. Open carry is the new rage (and I do mean rage) and the threats of angry gun packers have spooked, among others, Starbucks, into not adopting the law-allowed private property rules against guns on premises.

The final hours of filing

There will be a small rush today as filing closes for the primary election season.

Halter on abortion

Here's a film clip from Roby Brock on Talk Business on Senate candidate Bill Halter's answer to a question about abortion.

Race, judgeships and politics

Main Justice, a website that follows the U.S. Justice Department, provides more details on the curious case of Carlton Jones of Texarkana.

Big Burger Love

I have let the cat out of the bag.  It was a necessary thing.  After all, how would the rest of the world know about Arkansas' biggest burger?

School mergers on agenda

The state Board of Education has a handy blog to keep up with events at the board meetings almost as they occur.

Mediation ordered in school suit

A report from Doug Smith on the lawsuit by the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers against the Pulaski County School Board for voting to end recognition of PACT as a bargaining agent for teachers:

Filing update IT'S OVER

Sen. Steve Bryles joins the Democratic field for 1st District Congress. Former legislator Doug Matayo makes eight in the Republican primary for 3rd District Congress.

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase 2010 Finals: Video recap

Winner Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth. Video by Brian Chilson.

Send a note to Brownie

A note from Bill Kopsky at the Arkansas Public Policy Panel about our friend Brownie Ledbetter (a brief history if you haven't had the pleasure):

Pulaski County candidates

Filing ended today, too, for local officials. Here's the list of candidates who filed for Pulaski County office.

RIP Charles B. Pierce

Charles B. Pierce, the Arkansas-raised independent filmmaker famous for 1971's "The Legend of Boggy Creek," died over the weekend in Tennessee.

Pulaski's McGill to charter school

Acting Pulaski School Superintendent Rob McGill, once the sole remaining finalist to be the permanent superintendent, won't be sticking around for the superintendent selection process, which was reopened after a semi-finalist with McGill dropped out.

Hotshoot hoopster has hot head

Good piece by David McCollum in the Log Cabin Democrat about high school basketball playoffs, particularly a couple of scenes at Carlisle Friday -- most prominently a temper outburst featuring Ky Madden, a nationally watched guard for East Poinsett.

Obama looks at race in school punishment

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration plans to go after civil rights inequities in schools and colleges, notably including racial disparity in discipline.

The open line is lit

Burn it up. But first some odds and ends: We got this all messed up last week, but the Oyster Bar gathering of politicos who'll drink beer and discuss the coming campaign season now that political filing has closed REALLY is scheduled for tonight, 6-10, Stacy Sells advises.

Weekend awards recap

As we (and every other site that lives on the internet) blogged last Friday, this weekend was awards weekend.

Satisfied Craving

We have a history, fried pies and I. And it was a particular sort of fried pie that drew the attention of this blog back in December 2007.

Satisfied Craving

We have a history, fried pies and I. And it was a particular sort of fried pie that drew the attention of this blog back in December 2007.

Heights bank robbery

Another thing before we sign off: Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings says the Summit Bank at 1800 N. Tyler St. just west of the Cantrell Road Kroger grocery store was robbed around 5 p.m. today.

To-do tonight

While they're a three-piece from San Jose, there's no use in pretending that the critically-fawned over Xiu Xiu is anything other than the brainchild of Jamie Stewart, the brilliant avant-pop experimentalist who orchestrates the band's challenging sound: confrontational and oft-disturbing but inexplicably revisitable.

Mike Ross: Hall of shame

Congressional Republicans are making U.S. Rep. Mike Ross a poster child for defeat of health reform, citing his opposition in this story about Obama's last push for the bill. Thanks, Mike.

Bank robbery photos

Good quality surveillance photos from yesterday's robbery of the Summit Bank branch in the Heights.

Mystery candidate

Roby Brock provides some info on D.C. Morrison, the mystery third candidate for U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary.

Lincoln disputes report on vote UPDATE

Big news this morning when a news article reported  that Sen. Blanche Lincoln might after all vote for health legislation under a simple majority procedure, depending on the contents of companion legislation.

When the lottery matures ....

... it's not likely to be a pretty picture. See Florida, as richly described by the Tampa Tribune, where after 22 years all the familiar lottery themes are evident -- the preying on the poor, the need for new games to keep revenues up, the loss of legislative fervor for  programs financed by the lottery, the disproportionate tendency of lottery scholarships to go to middle income families.

Green Party preparations

Lost in the shuffle of the filing deadline was the Green Party's continued effort to get the recognition it deserves from the state of Arkansas.

Blogger Lichty

Add former Little Rock City Director Larry Lichty to the blogging community. First up, he laments the city's growing infrastructure needs and hopes they won't be forgotten in the current talk about a sales tax for parks.

Citizen Halter

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's day was disrupted by confusion over where she stands on a health care reconciliation vote.

Tuesday To-Do: Xiu Xiu

XIU XIU9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.While they're a three-piece from San Jose, there's no use in pretending that the critically-fawned over Xiu Xiu is anything other than the brainchild of Jamie Stewart, the brilliant avant-pop experimentalist who orchestrates the band's challenging sound: confrontational and oft-disturbing but inexplicably revisitable.

Michelle Obama at UAPB

First Lady Michelle Obama will speak at UAPB's commencement May 8, one of several graduation appearances she has planned this year.

Brace Paine, blogging

Drawing of Beth Ditto by drummer Hannah Blilie. The Searcy-born Gossip guitarist, whose real name is Nathan Howdeshell, has a pretty rad tumblr page going.

Let's debate

The debate challenges have begun. In the 1st Congressional District, Democratic candidate Chad Causey calls for one.

Tonight's thread

It's open.

Feds move against Human Development Center

The long-bubbling federal review of the Conway Human Development Center seems to have come to a full boil today.

By the book

Little Rock District Judge Mark Leverett visited inmates at the Pulaski County Detention Facility at least nine times last year, signing in as “attorney” in a book reserved for lawyers visiting their clients, even though a three-judge panel had earlier said he could not represent criminal defendants in Pulaski County.

'Obama effect'?

Stand News, the weekly newspaper that targets the African-American community, reports a surge in political filings by black candidates, a development it characterizes as a side effect of excitement about President Obama.

Jobless rate unchanged

Arkansas's unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent in January.

The Huckster chronicles

A writer for The New Yorker has been in town this week as part of ongoing research for a major profile on Mike Huckabee, media star and potential future presidential candidate.

Intimate Dinner

The hubster and I dined last night at a little place up here in Eureka Springs that I just adore, Café Soleil.

Inside politics

The irony of Sen. Blanche Lincoln running against Washington insiders and depicting the city as a bunch of children throwing stacks of dollar bills around was not lost on the Washington Post's Ezra Klein.

When judges legislate

Chief Justice John Roberts wants his cake -- legislating his ideology from the bench -- and to eat it without political criticism.

Betsey Wright case in court

Channel 4 reports on pre-trial hearing today in the case against Betsey Wright, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, on charges of attempting to bring contrabad (tattoo needles and other items) into a prison unit.

Smoking can be dangerous

From a 5-4 Court of Appeals decision today: A Jonesboro nursing home assistant, injured when she fell and broke her arm as she stepped outside to smoke while waiting for a line of employees to receive paychecks,  isn't entitled to workers compensation.

Ark. Times 2010 Musicians Showcase Finals Recap and Judges Commentary

Brother Andy. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Can we get a witness?

Again the call for comment from Republican candidates for Congress on how enthusiastically they plan to get behind Rep. Paul Ryan's widely touted budget plan.

New at the Zoo

-- Brian Chilson photo The Little Rock Zoo today showed off Bakari, its new lion, as a promo for a coming zoo event.

Remember 'Filegate'?

There is no there there. The scandal is that the vast right-wing conspiracy kept it alive for 14 years.

Charlaine Harris to visit UCA

Charlaine Harris, the Magnolia resident who brought America's favorite telepathic, vampire-friendly barmaid, Sookie Stackhouse, to bookshelves and DVRs the country over will visit UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall on April 1 for a free lecture and book signing.

Walton Arts snags Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin

Steve Martin. Good Lord.

Pulaski witch hunt

The Pulaski County School Board will have yet another "emergency" school board meeting at 5:30 p.m. tonight Thursday, this one "for investigation into improper dissemination of personnel matter at board level only."

Lucero and The Juke Joint Duo added to Riverfest

Score.Lucero will open for Black Crowes Saturday on the Clinton Stage, while the Juke Joint Duo, AKA Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm open for Robert Cray on Sunday on the Triple-S Stage.Click here to go to our running list of the roster, with info about each act.Wonder if this will meet any of Paper Trails criteria?

Give me that 'Slow Southern Steel'

This week's cover story is on Rwake, a band I've long known was a big deal nationally, but one, until this story came along, I hadn't really delved into much.

Farewell Jim

James O. Powell, the liberal voice of the Arkansas Gazette editorial page for so many years, died this afternoon.
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