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March 12, 2009

Vol 7 • No 9

Sweet Deal

Because the New Deal — now the Old New Deal — was a product of 1930s America, the youngest, end-of-the-alphabet generations probably don’t know that when they go to a concert at Robinson Auditorium they’re in a make-work project of their Uncle Sam.

Fatal crash on Chenal

Following is an LRPD report on a fatal crash late last night on Chenal Parkway:

Progress on Pilgrim's

The Arkansas Blog's El Dorado bureau chief sends word that a buyer is in the works for the Pilgrim's Pride poultry plant in Farmerville, La., whose employees included many Arkansas workers.

Universal spring break

This sounds like a good idea to me, but I'm guessing somebody can quickly explain why I'm wrong.

Open mic

Fire away.

Late ledge notes

Just seeing some notes from John Williams at the legislature: Rep. Jim Nickels' bill  to enable the State Contracting Board to punish contractors who hire unauthorized immigrants failed in House State Agencies committee again.

A reason to splash

For me, most of the fun of playing in the rain is actually getting soaking wet.

Editorial cartoon, March 12

To-do list, March 12

Martin Sexton, T-Model Ford, Smoke on the Water BBQ Fest, Hank III and the Damn Band, 'The Foreigner,' 'A Little Light Music,' Rock Street, Reverb, Gringo Star, The Honorary Title, Valley of the Vapors, Bishop Allen and Mudvayne provide ample entertainment opportunities this week.

Max’s law

It’s safe to predict that the Arkansas Senate will follow the House’s lead and complete action this week on a bill that will close the records of concealed weapon permit holders.

What's cooking, March 12

The turnover at the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall continues.

A fanboy watches

So there’s this new big-budget superhero movie you’ve probably heard about called “Watchmen.”

March 4-10, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … HEAT. The temp rose to a record 84 in Little Rock on Sunday, causing air conditioners to crank all over town. Good thing it wasn’t LR Marathon day.

Words, March 12

In for a penny, in for a pound:

A&E news, March 12

At press time, Riverfest had confirmed 11 national acts, most recently R&B nostalgia-act super-group Heads of State (Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant) and post-grunge rockers Hinder.

Smart Talk, March 12

This weekend, one of Arkansas rap’s finest represents in the Ivy League.

The observer, March 12

The Observer has long been a history buff.

Who’s a socialist?

As a political hatchet, “socialism” had better days when it was wielded by smarter men than Rush Limbaugh and Mike Huckabee — Herbert Hoover, Joe McCarthy and Robert Welch, to name three — but who knows when a stray blow might find its mark with lots of voters?

SEC up in the air

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

That’s a wrap

In the sixth week, we found a winner.

Water ways

How do you protect one of the state’s largest sources of drinking water? It depends on who you ask.


I see they’re having a “No Cussing” week somewhere in California, and I’m sure hoping they don’t bring the son-of-a-bitch here.

Wheel grinding

It is mostly quiet on the Nigel Haskett front, but a prehearing conference has been scheduled for April 6 at the Workers Compensation Commission.

Staying down

You don’t have to tell the House of Representatives twice to take cover.

On primary care

In a recent article on the Lee County Clinic, Ms. Sip Mouden was quoted as saying, “Unlike outposts of the state’s Arkansas Health Education Centers, community health centers function as ‘medical homes,’ keeping clinical records on their patients in the same way private health care providers do.”

Say cheese

Old Chicago, one in a slew of new Conway eateries, might not be the best thing we’ve ever had but, by damn, you can get alcohol there.

This modern world, March 12

In brief, March 12

At On the Rocks regular Thursday night music series, local party band Weakness for Blondes takes the stage, 9 p.m., $5.

Orval, March 12

Divorce at UCA

Some kind of demonstration takes place outside the student center. A young man stands next to a large placard as he shouts. A few students, maybe 20, gather around casually.

Lottery details

Links in this article on the fleshed-out lottery bill. Scratchoffs, Power Ball, etc., to arrive in 2010.

GOP sound and fury

Brummett has tired of the Republican-generated din about Sen. Blanche Lincoln and card check legislation.

GOP sound and fury

Brummett has tired of the Republican-generated din about Sen. Blanche Lincoln and card check legislation.

No newspaper towns

We once decried the loss of daily newspaper competitition in cities across America. Now the serious talk is of cities with NO daily newspapers.

School super shuffle

The Pulaski County School District bought out embattled school superintendent James Sharpe's contract last night for $185,000.

Alas, Michael ... UPDATE

Doesn't sound like Michael Steele is long for the world (link fixed) as Republican national chairman.

Kris Allen lives to sing and smile another week

Racist America sent home young black woman and Puerto Rican man with massive eyebrows.Kayne was predictably terrible.I'm ready to not care about American Idol again.

Sad eating news

Strike another legendary name from the Hot Springs lineup. A Spa correspondent reports the closure of Mollie's on Grand.

Shoe tosser to slammer

Iraqi to serve three years for hurling shoes at George W. Bush.

Edgefest unveils

Slipknot. Everyone's favorite scary-masked nu-metal act headlines this year's Edgefest on May 9.

World traveler McDaniel

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is blogging today from Gaza over on Rep. Steve Harrelson's blog.

Thursday To-Do: Martin Sexton

MARTIN SEXTON8:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $20.Just weeks before he embarks on the Mayercraft Carrier II cruise (that'd be John Mayer's concert cruise from L.A. to Cabo), Martin Sexton comes to town for an intimate solo gig.

It ain't chicken feed

Louisiana has upped its offer for the Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant in Farmerville, La., to $60 million.

Lawyer sanctioned for sex

A Jonesboro lawyer, David Rees, has been fined $2,500 by the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct for allegedly trying to coerce a client to have sex with him. Earlier, he'd also had his license suspended.

Newspaper verdict

The Arkansas Supreme Court today upheld dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed against The Courier in Russellville.

Lawyers Acting Badly

A Jonesboro attorney was fined $2,500 and suspended for 3 months for trying to coerce a client to have sex with him.   I thought people normally went to jail for that....

Beer and snacks -- on us

A Chicago-based maker of toaster pastries and granola bars announced today plans to hire 250 for a production facility in Searcy.

Pizza d'Salmon

Pizza D'Action is still rolling, roof problems or not. Trey McCorkindale supplies the photo above and this note:

Doc guilty in sex case

40/29 reports a guilty verdict from the Crawford County jury considering the case of an Alma doctor accused of sexually assaulting a patient.

Shag Madonna or Mick Jagger and you've shagged Sweet Sweet Connie

And possibly Go Fast. Perhaps inspired by "Six Degrees of Paris Hilton: The Global Reach of One Vagina," MTV Brazil has launched a new safe-sex ad campaign, wherein the alleged sluttiness of Mick Jagger and Madonna is linked and re-linked to just about every famous person you can think of.

The economics of race

Another interesting installment in UALR's ongoing study of racial attitudes here. This one focuses on finances and economic well-being.

TV tonight

A pointy-headed elitist from Fayetteville objects that ABC affiliates in Arkansas are pushing Grey's Anatomy until 2 a.m. this morning so that the Hogs' opening -- and probably final -- appearance in the SEC basketball tournament can air in prime time.

Why you shouldn't be sarcastic in legal pleadings

I have written hundreds of appeals and I always try to avoid "flying off the handle" or being excessively flowery.

607 is going to Harvard

I've mentioned this before and I blipped it in this week's "Smart Talk," but big, big up to 607, who's Harvard bound this weekend to rub elbows with Ryan Leslie the dude from the Fugees you've forgotten about and industry bigwigs at the Harvard Law School's Black Law Student Association's spring conference.He's part of a panel discussion, entitled “The Bizness Behind the Business,” that's aimed at high-risk teens.Joining Six on the panel is songwriter and R&B crooner Ryan Leslie, who got a 1600 on his SATs when he was 15 and graduated from Harvard at 19; Conrad Dimanche, senior director for A&R of Bad Boy; Tone Capone, executive vp of Universal Motown/CMG and Toledo youth worker Najja Campbell.Pras Michel, late of the Fugees, is a moderator.Not long after the panel, he's spending time in Russia and Africa, but he's committed to his weekly remixes.Here's the latest.Animal Collective "Taste" (607 Remix)

7's on your side

Channel 7 mildly objected the other day to a plug here for news coverage by Fox 16 on a story that KATV had reported earlier.

Thursday: Korto helps Defeet Poverty, Weakness for Blondes and more

Korto Momolu's latest, Erin Lorenzen's recreations and the work of Mann Magnet Middle School's Design Group will be on the runway tonight at the Clinton Presidential Center Great Hall for Defeet Poverty, a style show and silent auction cosponsored by Tom's Shoes, Heifer and the Clinton Foundation, 7 p.m.At On the Rocks regular Thursday night music series, local party band Weakness for Blondes takes the stage, 9 p.m., $5.

Stop the presses

The University of Arkansas, meaning the campus in Fayetteville, has announced that it hopes to hold the line on tuition next year.

Runway jam

The beat don't stop for Velvet Kente's joshua.He's got a new track, composed for Korto's models to have something to walk down the runway to tonight.It's dreamy funk.  Check it out.

All hat, no stimulus

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is going to turn down extra unemployment aid.

Sue Your Parents For Fun And Profit

Here is an interesting case - Henry Mills v. Henry Mills.  The younger Mr. Mills sued his father for the child support he never paid while he was still a child.

The legislative clubhouse

A belated note on the failure yesterday of Rep. Ann Clemmer's bill to impose by law something that ought to be a simple matter of rule for all state employees and officials  -- that junketing legislators can't claim more than the cost of an air ticket or car mileage, whichever is cheaper, for a trip of more than 500 miles.

Judicial finalists UPDATED

Federal judicial update: Arkansas's senators have sent  three names to the White House for each of three coming vacancies on the federal bench, two in Little Rock and one in South Arkansas.

A small victory

Lake Maumelle advocates sign in at a rally held last week Advocates for Lake Maumelle scored a small victory this afternoon when Central Arkansas Water commissioners voted to accept the agreement between CAW and Pulaski County on tougher subdivision rules that will protect the watershed.  Check out the Arkansas Reporter from this week's Times for some background info.  Environmental groups and other concerned citizens didn't think the subdivision agreement went far enough to protect Lake Maumelle.  The agreement, among other things, prohibits the discharge of wastewater in the watershed, something advocates like the Sierra Club's Kate Althoff said was necessary.  The agreement does not, however, put limits on development as laid out in the Lake Maumelle Waterhsed Management Plan, which was comissioned and approved by CAW.  That worried some commissioners, especially after a number of those present at the meeting raised concerns that the subdivision rules didn't go far enough to protect a source of drinking water for almost 400,000 people.  Environmental advocates and others said the subdivision rules should include stipulations on five acre minimum lot sizes (a measure that would limit pollution by increasing open spaces).  The county is not willing to include those requirements in the agreement.  Judge Villines says he wants to wait until an agreement is reached, then develop a land-use plan and zone the land in the watershed.  The board voted (five to one) to accept the agreement, but only after language was included in the motion to encourage the county to move quickly on the development of a land-use plan.  One commissioner, Adrienne Bradley, voted against the agreement.  She said she didn't think it was a good idea to send a unanimous vote to the county's quorum court when the subdivision rules did not go far enough to protect the watershed.  Kate Althoff said the vote from the committee was about the best she could have hoped for and was happy the commissioners included stronger language in their resolution.

Thursday thoughts

It was 84 here Sunday? Welcome to Arkansas.

Kool-aid drinkers

It may make the papers tomorrow, it may not. But word here is that a daycare operator in a Central Arkansas county stored some blue windshield washer fluid in a refrigerator and then accidentally swapped it for beverages for 11 children.

The Rep unveils new season

The Rep announced an impressive 2009-2010 season earlier tonight.Here tis.One of the theater's most popular productions and a play that's seen a recent national resurgence, "Always...Patsy Cline," kicks off the season from Sept. 11-Oct. 4.Then the Second City Touring Company returns from Oct. 7-18.The theater's always impressive young artist's musical revue this year is called "Folly Holidays."

All done but the boodling

The lottery bill is an agreed-on deal, all the work done mostly out of sight.

Affiliated falters

A terse news release from Affiliated Foods announcing, without explanation, the departure of John Mills as CEO of the Little Rock-based grocery wholesaler suggested there was more to the story.

The race is on

It's a year until filing for the 2010 primary election, but here's a race where candidates have already announced: The Democratic primary for state Senate District 34, held by term-limited Sen. Tracy Steele.

The Southern oligarchy

Here's a viewpoint you won't hear when the usual suspects gather in our Right to Work state, with its negligible union workforce, to decry a modest labor arbitration reform that might help working men and women:

Shut the twit up UPDATE

Thanks to Lance Turner for the post about a big civil trial in Fayetteville that might be undone because a juror Twittered before, during and after deliberations.

Water Mess in PA

Photo: Reuters We've heard it all before, but here's another story from Reuters on some of the ill effects Pennsylvania residents are experiencing due to gas drilling in the area.  I've heard similar stories here in Arkansas, but with all that's gone on in the legislature this session, it looks like protecting citizens, and their water, isn't a very high priority.

ID bill beaten

Republicans lost, on an 8-10 vote, their effort to pass a bill to require proof of identity to vote.

President Chuck

I'd like to second this idea of Chuck Norris'. And suggest he take The Huckster with him as veep, interlocutor and official state talk show host of the breakaway Republic of Texas.

President Chuck

I'd like to second this idea of Chuck Norris'. And suggest he take The Huckster with him as veep, interlocutor and official state talk show host of the breakaway Republic of Texas.

Bills to Watch Out For

A friend of Shale Watch from Prairie County passes on some information on some bills that you should be paying attention to.  First up is SB 897 which lays out a procedure for counties that do not have road maintenance agreements to be compensated for the damage caused by transportation of heavy loads of materials and production fluids from oil and gas exploration.  That bill has been sent to the Senate Committee on City, County and Local Affairs.  The second bill is SB 115, which would give city and county governments more input on who gets a permit to dispose of drilling waste.  A lot of county governments have felt like they had no recourse in dealing with the gas industry because they've had no legal authority to deal with the issuing of permits, fixing roads, etc.  This bill would give local governments more options.  The bill is slated to come up before the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor on Monday.       

Friday To-Do: Rock Street

4X4 Crew. Photo by Brian Chilson.

So much for newspapers UPDATE

Pew Survey says: An uncomfortably large number of people indicate they wouldn't be much bothered if their city no longer had a local newspaper.

Friday and Saturday To-Do: 'A Little Light Music'

‘A LITTLE LIGHT MUSIC'8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $17-$66.The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra teams with the Rep to present a “semi-staged” version of this Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical.

Friday To-Do: Hank III and the Damn Band

HANK III AND THE DAMN BAND7 p.m., Downtown Music, $25.Here's a bill you'll probably never have the opportunity to experience again.

Friday To-Do: 'The Foreigner'

‘THE FOREIGNER'8 p.m., the Rep. $20-$35.On Friday, the Rep revives what director Nicole Capri calls “one of the theater's most popular plays ever” and “definitely the most requested.” It'll be the fourth time the Rep has performed Larry Shue's comedy about an Englishman, Charlie Baker, who is so painfully shy and nervous that his friend, Froggy LeSueur, tells everyone at the fishing lodge in Georgia, where the pair are staying, that Charlie is a foreigner who can't speak or understand English.

Daycare followup

Regards Scott daycare operator, Carolyn Bynum. As we reported first last night, at least 10 children in her care were mistakenly served windshield cleaner fluid rather than Kool-aid yesterday and were treated last night at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Friday To-Do: Smoke on the Water

Mmmm ribs. SMOKE ON THE WATER BBQ FEST5 p.m., Clinton Presidential Center.

Staring Into the Void

Last night's entirely uninspiring but not at all unexpected loss to Florida not only marks the merciful end of the basketball season, it also signals the beginning of a loooong dead zone in the major Razorback sports before football kicks in again.

Friday To-Do: T-Model Ford

T-MODEL FORD9 p.m., White Water Tavern.Back in 2001, when he was still writing his own articles, Rick Bragg joked in the New York Times that T-Model Ford “did not sell his soul, as legend says Robert Johnson did, to master the blues.

Still more blame in crisis

This is inside finance baseball, but important baseball just the same. The credit rating agencies -- which supposedly attest to the strength of corporate debt instruments -- are also major culprits in the collapse.

The Gossip play Paris' fanciest party

If you didn't make the list for the Fendi party at Fashion Week in Paris on Wednesday, sounds like you missed quite a get-down.This year's Fashion Week it-girl Beth Ditto, from the style capital of Arkansas, White County, provided the entertainment with her band the Gossip (Brace Paine, with the mustache above, is from Searcy, too).

Bishop Allen gets press

Bishop Allen, who'll play Sticky Fingerz on St. Patrick's day, gets profiled in today's New York Times.Rudder is from Little Rock.

More on the water UPDATE

John Brummett writes about a hopeful outlook for Lake Maumelle.  He says if Rep. John Edwards' bill to prevent the discharge of wastewater in the watershed can make it through the House it should have no problem passing the Senate as Sen. Bob Johnson has expressed support.  Edwards says he has Speaker Robbie Wills on board, so that should help things along.  Brummett also mentions that an appraisal of over 800 acres of sod farm land in the western part of the watershed has been completed.  Central Arkansas Water has told the Times they cannot release a specific dollar amount yet, but Brummett estimates six million-ish.  According to CAW, the nonprofit Trust for Public Lands would pay for the land initially and money from the state's General Improvement Fund, along with other funds from Game and Fish and CAW, would be used to pay TPL back.  Game and Fish would manage the land as a wildlife management area.  UPDATE: Marie Crawford of Central Arkansas Water calls to say the amount of the appraisal is $5,427,000.  That's $6,750 per acre for 804 acres.  Ideally, the Trust for Public Lands would buy the property from developer Jay DeHaven.  Graham Rich, CEO of CAW, says he was a little surprised by the amount of the appraisal.  In 2007, CAW bought land from Deltic Timber at a rate of $12,021 per acre.    "It’s a deal between Mr. Dehaven and the Trust for Public Lands," Rich says.

The Weekend: Velvet Kente, Eclipse Glasses, 'Lonely Planet,' Kanis Skate Park Benefit, Justin Moore and more

FRIDAY 3/13Just a week after claiming the top spot in the Showcase, Velvet Kente shares a bill with the equally groove-oriented instrumental act Eclipse Glasses Banda at Arkansas Flag and Banner, 9 p.m., $5 (it's a benefit for the building's Dreamland Ballroom).

Saturday To-Do: Gringo Star

GRINGO STAR10 p.m., Sticky Fingerz, $5.The name kills me. Days before the first of eight shows in three days at Austin's South By Southwest Music Festival, Atlanta's big-beat, Southern, psychedelic garage rockers Gringo Star visit our city on the third date of a 30-stop tour.

'I didn't do anything wrong'

The Tweeting juror gives an interview to the Fayetteville Flyer. I suspect he's right.


Talk Business reports on the Highway Commission's work to pass out hundreds of millions in federal stimulus money.

Saturday To-Do: Reverb

Culture Prophet. REVERB9:30 p.m.

Struttin' with some barbecue

A weekend reminder: The Smoke on the Water barbecue contest moves to the Clinton Library this year.

Cuts are one thing ...

... but this is ridiculous. A Gannett newspaper in Mississippi did its cost-cutting at the top.

Dave Matthews' tix on sale on Saturday

Tickets go onsale Saturday for DMB's show at Dickey-Stephens on Tuesday, Sept. 29.They range from $55-$65 and are available at the Trav's box office and via Ticketmaster.

Time to crank up River Dance

Arkansas Business reports that AETN fund-raising is in the toilet -- 50 percent below projections because of economic hard times and transmission problems.

Cut for filmmakers

The mill in War Eagle was the setting for the 2007 film "War Eagle, Arkansas" Rick Saunders' bill to give a 15 percent rebate to film productions in the state passed the house today on a 94-3 vote.  Chris Crane, who works as film commissioner through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, says film productions can be an economic stimulus for small towns in the state.  Three Republicans voted against the bill.  They were Dan Greenberg, Duncan Baird and Debra Hobbs. 

Friday follies


Friday follies


Old King Coal

Majority rules? Not in the U.S. Senate.

Familiarity breeds ...

House Speaker Robbie Wills: "... the authority, the tyrant, the despot." Also, as "ubquitous" on KTHV as Craig O'Neill.

Secessionist fervor

Yesterday it was Chuck Norris with a plan for Texas to secede from the Union.

Here comes the sheriff

Vice President Joe Biden will be in town this evening to raise money for Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Checking the Queue

Thanks to Philip Martin for a shout-out in his Friday MovieStyle column.  I haven't posted my Netflix queue in a while, so here it is.Frozen River; Miracle at St. Anna; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Happy-Go-Lucky; and Cadillac Records - - all 2008 releases that I missed.

Drilling bust

The big oil-and-gas exploration boom is over for the time being on account of slumping prices.

And over to you

Sorry. I spent a good part of the day doing my annual duty as one of the judges in History Day at UALR.

Judge removal

Late on this, but for those who might be interested: here's the full report from a state judicial discipline panel recommending the removal of Judge L. T. Simes from the bench.

Regional rivalry

Fayetteville blogger isn't too happy with Gov. Mike Beebe's new NWA highway commissioner, Dick Trammel.

Blanche and Joe

Brian Chilson photo from tonight's Lincoln fund-raiser.

Diversity on UA board

Here's a NWA Dem-Gaz story that would have been a worthy addition to the LR edition: Tracie Dungan's report on David Pryor's appointment to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees in which Gov. Mike Beebe became only the latest in a long line to continue the overwhelming tendency to appoint white males (rich white males).

Daycare poisoning

Source says a second one of the 10 children mistakenly served windshield cleaner fluid at a Scott daycare last week has been admitted to Children's Hospital on a finding of methanol in a blood sample.

Tax increase impact small

Paul Barton takes a look at IRS data to assess how many Arkansans would be affected should Obama succeed with his plan to increase income taxes on those with family income of more than $250,000 (and individuals making more than $200,000).

Q: Going to church today?

A: Odds are less likely than they were 15 years ago. John Brummett considers another poll showing a decline in the number following organized religion.

The running report

Fox 16 has marathon results. Noted: LR's Leah Thorvilson won the women's division.

U-verse report

A blog reader wants to start a whole blog on the subject of AT&T's U-verse service.

Hunting and fishing for gas

Is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission acting as a "conservation" agency when it allows gas drilling on its wildlife preserves?

Fresh thread

It's open.

Garden Chronicle: Shiitake Mushrooms

This time of year, gardening is all about waiting. While waiting for things to sprout and for the weather to warm up a bit, it's easy to get tired of seedlings and compost.

St. Patty's Day Fare.

It's inevitable... folks hear the words "St. Patrick's Day" and somehow start to gravitate to the first thing they think of that relates to Ireland.  Around these parts, that would be Cregeen's Irish Pub in the Argenta District.  The pub itself, according to its website, was built in Dublin and shipped over to be reconstructed in the budding new restaurant and arts district of North Little Rock.  Popular for both its cozy atmosphere and extensive, extensive lineup of beer both on-tap and in-bottle, the restaurant at the corner of Main and Broadway draws a decent crowd on just about any night.  For the next few days, expect it to be even more packed.

A lot of gall

Republicans have it, John Brummett writes, in dragging out a man they typically revile and smear -- George McGovern -- to support their view on union card check legislation.

Amendment time

It's about time for the legislature to begin choosing constitutional amendments. A lock, apparently, is the proposal endorsed by Ayatollah Beebe to allow the state to put taxpayer money into private companies.

Just a thought

Why are we cutting taxes -- another penny off groceries and a giveaway to industry on sales taxes -- when teachers can't afford health insurance?

Buddy Guy slated for Saturday at Riverfest

Riverfest's line-up gets a big bump with the addition of blues legend and and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Buddy Guy on Saturday night.

Monday To-Do: The Honorary Title

THE HONORARY TITLE8:30 p.m., Revolution. $8 adv., $10 d.o.s.These indie rockers from Brooklyn are on to something.

The beer that made Milwaukee famous

made a big fool out of Matt Jones. 40/29 reports the Jacksonville Jaguars have dumped the former Hog receiver.

It Was 20 Years Ago Today...

It isn't the most important moment in Hog history, but it's still one worth noting.

Another bird strike

This time, it was a Delta flight taking off from New Orleans for Atlanta. It returned to the airport safely.

Block that bonus!

President Obama says his administration will pursue every "legal avenue" to block millions in bonuses to the plunderers at AIG.

Gay cage fighting in Arkansas headed to a theater near you

A 20-minute promo of "Bruno," Sacha Baron Cohen's latest prank-comedy, screened at the SXSW Fantastic Fest over the weekend.The full version is slated to be released on July 10.Looks like at least one of the "cage fights" in Texarkana and Fort Smith we told you about last summer made the cut.Vulture rounds up the mostly positive critical response.SPOILER ALERT: MTV's Movies Blog offers a play-by-play.

Velvet Kente video

I just posted video, on our homepage player, of probably the most memorable song Velvet Kente did en route to winning the 2009 Musicians Showcase.

Tax cuts today

Tax increases are so yesterday. Sorry, smokers and dippers.

Sunshine today

Rep. Lindsley Smith's bill to open the state claims procedure to claims for legal fees in successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuits passed the Senate today.

The mayor sez...

Two years ago in August, Little Rock voters made its mayor strong, with more power and significantly more money.

Balance sheet rebalancing

Arkansas Business reports that Metropolitan National Bank has taken a reduction  in year-end profits to reflect losses and write-downs on commercial real estate loans.

Opinion leader Cheney

I'd been muttering to myself about Darth Dick's appearance on CNN yesterday. In response, I think the Obama people have struck the right tone -- mockery.

From Windfall to Headache

Good story from AP's Andrew DeMillo on the hangover Arkansas Game and Fish has from all of that Chesapeake lease money they received last summer.  DeMillo writes:

Huckabee on Madoff

Jail is too good for the swindler, writes the Huckster. He should live and work at the poverty level the rest of his life.

Legislative notes

John Williams reports from the Capitol: A deal is in the works, but not completed, to transfer some tobacco cessation money to support drug courts (where the idea is to get people to stop using drugs).

An open line

Belatedly. Sorry.

Oifig an Phoist

Sometimes I refer to myself as faux Irish.  I'm pretty sure my last name is Irish, and I like their beer.  Occasionally I refer to the Irish as "my people" because I think that's funny, but, I mean, that's a stretch.  I have a fondness for Ireland, but that's mostly because I spent a semester in Cork.  It's travel nostalgia.

Those mean old unions

John Brummett acknowledges that the Employee Free Choice Act does not abolish elections on union representation, as the business lobby's dishonest ad campaign represents.

Coming soon to a campus near you

A New York Times trend story today looks at painful job cuts and other alterations underway as major state public research universities scale back plans for growth.

Bonus frenzy

A Democratic congressman says the Obama administration had the power to stop the AIG bonuses, but didn't move expeditiously.

Borat does Fort Smith

You might have seen the news this week that put-on artist Sacha Baron Cohen had briefly insinuated himself into the Alabama National Guard under the ruse that he was a German journalist.

Education reform

The Daily Howler offers the first of what will be several posts analyzing what President Obama has said about education and news media coverage of same.

Move over Huck

I thought nobody could top Mike Huckabee when it came to over-the-top politician rhetoric. Sen. Chuck Grassley proves me wrong.

Curtis Vance in court

Anne Pressly's accused slayer, Curtis Lavelle Vance, is in court this morning. Fox 16's David Goins Twitters it.

Curtis Vance in court

Anne Pressly's accused slayer, Curtis Lavelle Vance, is in court this morning. Fox 16's David Goins Twitters it.

Gas companies: not your friend

Ernest Dumas has another blockbuster of a column, on a piece of legislative trivia that embroiders an old pattern.

Tuesday To-Do: Bishop Allen

BISHOP ALLEN9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.It's a homecoming show for Christian Rudder, a Little Rock native who's built up a fairly amazing resume since going off to school at Harvard.

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself...

Don't Look Here For Help So I won't even try.  Here's a great column from Ernest Dumas on how the gas industry is running over the little guy while the legislature sits in the passenger seat.  We've covered a lot of these issues here.  This piece is further evidence that if you are one person, or a small group of people, looking for help on these issues, you're screwed.     

Street Party.

Looking for a place where you'll find all your Irish favorites?  Hot Springs is full of fine bars and restaurants that will be hauling out the corned beef and cabbage today.  But the real party will be happening on that street you see there above -- Bridge Street, the world's shortest street.  That's right, it's time for the 1st Ever Sixth Annual World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade and Pub Crawl.  The parade itself, which will be grandmarshalled by John Ratzenberger of Cheers fame, takes off at 6:30 p.m.  Apparently the official theme song for this year’s parade is a new song honoring America’s new president, “There’s No One as Irish as Barack O’Bama.”  The evening will wrap up with a street party after the parade featuring the recently reunited Rock Solid Band.  I'd suggest heading down early if you'd like to knosh Irish style beforehand -- and if you'd like to find a moderately-close-by parking spot.

Racial profiling hotline

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Sen. Hank Wilkins of Pine Bluff join hands to sponsor creation of one in the a.g.'s office.

End of an era

TRAVELING ON: Bill Valentine (right), shown with Warren Stepehns during Dickey-Stephens ballpark construction, has retired from the minor league baseball club.

Caterpillar contracts

Thousands more Caterpillar layoffs, but still no mention of impact on planned facility in NLR.

Caution: Fish crossing

What an image (photo from Wikipedia): BRINKLEY – Almost a year ago, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission fisheries biologists confirmed a breeding population of northern snakehead, an invasive species from Asia, near Brinkley.

Re lottery: Read this

Today is House Speaker Robbie Wills' lottery dog-and-pony show. Is it the beginning of meaningful debate?

Tuesday To-Do: Valley of the Vapors

Monotonix. VALLEY OF THE VAPORS9 p.m., Downtown Hot Springs.

Speaking of the lt. gov.

Blake's Think Tank says Tyler Denton, former Clinton Foundation hand who now works for Bono's One campaign, may run for lieutenant governor.

The Good Fear dance, swim on land and visually shout-out 'Say Anything' in new video

  I think I'm going to emcee the 3rd Annual Little Rock Film Fest's 2nd Annual Arkansas Music Video Competition (best official name ever), so I'll try to stay unbiased, and leave it to this: Surely this stop-motion gem, from the Good Fear's Zach Holland and local photographer Rett Peek, for the band's "Dear Daniel," will be in the mix.The LRFF is May 13-17.

Kris Allen to sing country, get votes from the "Christian bloc" and not make it to top four

So "American Idol" is on again (7 p.m., Fox). And it's two hours again.

St. Patrick's Day: World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade, Scottish Brian, Bad Veins and more

In just a few short hours, John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff on "Cheers" and apparently was on "Dancing with the Stars," will serve as the grand marshal for the First Ever Sixth Annual World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hot Springs.

Gun beat

The bill to allow guns in church is due up in Senate committe again tomorrow.

Gun beat

The bill to allow guns in church is due up in Senate committe again tomorrow.

The company store

Is it surprising -- thus really news -- that a Republican legislator wants to screw minimum wage workers?

Act One to trial

Circuit Judge Chris Piazza declines to dismiss the challenge of Act One, which prohibits adoption and foster parenting by unmarried couples.

New charge for Pressly suspect

Fox 16's David Goins reports that Curtis Vance has been charged with raping a Marianna school teacher.

Open line

That's about enough for me. Don't everyone agree at once.

Open line

That's about enough for me. Don't everyone agree at once.

The hippies are coming

It's not the second coming of Woodstock. It's not Bonaroo. But in the first weekend of June, the largest group of people to convene for a multi-day festival in Arkansas, at least in recent memory, will scale Mulberry Mountain outside of Ozark for the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival.

North to Alaska

Tim Griffin, the lawyer and former Republican White House political operative who's talked about running for U.S. Senate next year, has mentioned that his recent political work included a ballot initiative last year in Alaska (Griffin pitched in with mining industry opposition to a clean water proposal).

The old college try

Since the ayatollah opposes this bill, I presume the Senate hearing is just a courtesy for Sen. Joyce Elliott.

Trial by Internet

The Twittering Fayetteville juror gets a mention in NY Times story today about the rise in trial problems created by Googling, iPhoning, BlackBerrying jurors.

DNA databases

The epic catalogue of legislation, much of it flimsy, rolled out by Rep. Dawn Creekmore includes requiring DNA sampling of people arrested in certain serious crimes.

Constitutional amendments

Rep. Steve Harrelson previews the review of proposed constitutional amendments. As I mentioned earlier, proposals to allow the state to become an investor in private businesses and to loosen interest limits seem likely to emerge from the process.

Constitutional amendments

Rep. Steve Harrelson previews the review of proposed constitutional amendments. As I mentioned earlier, proposals to allow the state to become an investor in private businesses and to loosen interest limits seem likely to emerge from the process.

Wednesday To-Do: Mudvayne

MUDVAYNE8 p.m., Clear Channel Metroplex, $25 adv., $29 d.o.s.How's this for chutzpah (or…)? Mudvayne has a song called “Nothing to Gein,” a lullaby told from the point of view of Wisconsin murderous necrophiliac Ed Gein, who made lampshades from his victims' skin.

Run Gilbert run

On the web, a blogger turns his lonely eyes to Gilbert Baker for U.S. Senate.

Tender Dawg

Last night, as part of Opry Week, Kris Allen covered what he described as "Garth Brooks'" "To Make You Feel My Love" (while Bob Dylan fans grimaced).

What about it, Gov. Beebe

Correspondent says Gov. Mike Beebe is standing in the way of legislation to increase the amount the state pays to county jails for holding state prisoners.

Wednesday Hodge Podge

* Today's Wally Hall column probably deserves a full Wally Watch, but I don't have time.

Batesville says: Si puede

An interesting little story has been playing out in the print edition of the Times.

Hip hop Repub

Philander Smith president Walter Kimbrough says the Republican National Committee's controversial new chair, Michael Steele, has confirmed he'll appear Sept. 21 in Dr. Kimbrough's Bless the Mic lecture series.

A.I.G. refunds sought

A.I.G.'s boss says he'll ask employees who got bonuses of more than $100,000 for helping create a world economic disaster to give back half of their bonuses.

A tiny bit of sunshine

John Williams reports that a Senate committee has endorsed Sen. David Johnson's bill that would allow state Human Services to release information about children who die in the state's care.

New Eat Arkansas video: Layla's

Serious food porn for lovers of meats cooked on spits. Catch it on the site's main page.

The Rock Candy 500 is mere weeks away

Now imagine adults, with beers and a DJ. So, hopefully, you've already committed the basics to memory: The first annual Rock Candy 500 pinewood derby race is slated for Thursday, April 9, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m at the River Market Pavilion.That's three weeks from tomorrow.It's open to all ages.

Wednesday: The SXSW influx continues

The Shackeltons. Another day, another crop of national acts playing for cheap around town.

The future

I just talked to a class of Donaghey scholars at UALR. Good questions.

Tweet: Head cheese

The Arkansas Blog is Twittering. We use it as a news alert, not an internal monologue.

The Three Gs

God, guns and gays. Worship the first two as ostentatiously as possible and persecute the third.

The Three Gs

God, guns and gays. Worship the first two as ostentatiously as possible and persecute the third.

What's to discuss? UPDATE

Another 99-0 House vote, this one on the lottery. I assume vote will be the same tomorrow on another, even more poorly written gambling law, the one covering "charity" bingo.

Medical pot: It's time

Attorney General Eric Holder announces a huge shift in marijuana enforcement. Feds will go after only those who violate both state and federal laws.

House litmus test

That Republican bill to screw minimum wage workers out of some of their pay  by allowing more "company store" charges on their backs failed in the House today, 42 for to 39 against.

Refreshingly simple.

Where can you really go for lunch or dinner any more, treat a companion, and pay somewhere in the $20 range?  Okay, where can you go that's not fast food?  Cafe La Pace sure isn't fast food, but it is simple food, and that's nothing to be ashamed about.

I'm a Simple Girl Really

I called my best friend today to find out where she would be doing her residency, but she reminded me that she finds out on Thursday, helpfully clueing me in that today was Wednesday.  I felt bad until she reminded me that she never calls me on my birthday.  We've known each other since we were 18, but she always thinks my birthday is the 7th instead of the 8th.  The one time she called me on the day, she apologized for the late birthday wishes.

Spring arts

Our Spring Arts package is online and on newsstands now. As usual, it's a preview of what's soon to come.