Even with DNA evidence that would have been ironclad in most courtrooms, the blacks on a Marianna jury refused to convict Curtis Vance of Rape. The question is: why?
Vol 37 • No 29
"We protect his rights, we protect everyone's rights."
Porter's Jazz Cafe hopes to open on Main Street by May.
The legislative roundup. Republicans like higher taxes, corporate welfare and more government.
The celebrated local chef tackles the 223-mile Ouachita Trail to raise awareness and money for Potluck Food Rescue of Arkansas.
You don't? It's got burgers and fries, too.
Mayor Mark Stodola delivered his state of the city address last week and the message wasn't uplifting.
Secretary of State Mark Martin helped himself to whatever he wanted at the state Board of Apportionment, unconcerned that the property belonged to someone else. Ethics has never been Martin's best subject.
A Chamber of Commerce spokesman told a legislative committee last week that opponents of the Chamber's legislation were guilty of "class warfare."
Starting next fall, the Conway college will offer "gender-neutral" student housing for students who are openly gay or are questioning their sexuality.
Democrats and Republicans worked out a $35 million package of tax cuts.
One problem with blind partisanship is that it can lead you to betray your own principles and the well-being of the people you represent.
Considering that it now appears we might end up living with this wild concoction for the next 10 years, let us begin with a definition of terms.
Highlights include contemporary shorts from France, screenwriter Gordy Hoffman and a screening of the original cut of Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis' with a live film score.
Subscribers to the Arkansas History Listserv have been wondering if anyone will remember that Arkansas will turn 175 on June 15.
The spring issue of Intelligence Report included two Arkansans on a list of 23 "right-wing extremists" who ran for public office in America last year.
Researchers at U of A's Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies have contributed to the cover of this month's National Geographic.
Also, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre announces its 36th season.
Rock on, Weeniecat. You're an inspiration to us all, and you don't seem to be letting your short little legs slow you down.
The more of "Paul" you get, the more you are, in fact, the butt of the joke.
And HBO remakes a classic with 'Mildred Pierce'
Also, G. Love & Special Sauce at Revolution, Sommore and 'The Aluminum Show' at Robinson Center Music Hall, Days of the New at Juanita's, Destroyer at Stickyz and the South Center Bike Polo Championships at MacArthur Park.
Is Lt. Gov. Mark Darr getting reckless on the interstate?
It gets a little pricy, but it's hard to complain about the quality.
There's nothing subtle about spring. What the black tulip magnolia does is not bloom so much as detonate.
Also, American Aquarium and Mandy McBryde & the Unholy Ghost at Stickyz.
Springtime has nothing to teach us mole people of today. What insights does it have to offer on Charlie Sheen?
'Anyone who promotes tax breaks for billionaires, and is not a billionaire, has been played for a fool and used as a tool.'
Little Rock and its environs abound with antique stores and antique malls of different stripes, offering many options for discerning shoppers. A few (particularly one in Bryant, which shall remain nameless) are so packed as to be panic-inducing or at the least worthy of an appearance on "Hoarders." Those did not make the cut. This selection, gleaned from years or scouring and searching, runs the gamut — from stores that require a bit of digging to the higher-end variety where the editing has already been done for you.
Also, Boulevard Bread Co. moves to South Main Street.
To some people, seeing a noun become a verb is as horrifying as seeing Lon Chaney Jr. become The Wolfman.
Once more with feeling: Will the Senate, once again, protect Arkansas from baser instincts? The issue today is Republican Sen. Jake Files' proposed constitutional amendment to allow cities and counties to set up so-called redevelopment districts with bonding authority.
A House committee got on board one of xenophobic Rep. Jon Hubbard's anti-immigrant biills yesterday, the one to require that driver's license tests be given only in English.
Recommended: New York Times' journalists recount their time in Libyan captivity.
As everyone must know by now, Elizabeth Taylor has died, at 79. Norma Bates hasn't promised, but will disappoint, if she doesn't file a tribute.
H.L. McGill, who was named director of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in December, is already gone.
One of those days. Gerard and I both have independent projects this morning that interfere with Capitol coverage.
New menu changes are afoot, including new sandwiches, gumbo and pizza options.
The "Queen of Comedy" visits Robinson Center Music Hall.
The Democratic plan for congressional redistricting apparently will be unveiled in committee this morning by Rep. Clark Hall.
The tenacious hip-hop bluesman returns to Revolution.
Or so claims 40/29 TV, quoting an unnamed but "direct" Hog sources. Anderson — if you're from Neptune — is coaching at Missouri and once was an Arkansas assistant.
Tonight offers more Valley of the Vapors, a Sufjan-affiliated multi-instrumentalist at ACAC and rowdy cow-punk from Brooklyn at White Water Tavern.
Just eight months out from its opening, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced today new hires: the deputy director of art and education, a director of curatorial and a curator of American Art.
Don't have the vote yet, but a message from publisher Alan Leveritt says the House has defeated Rep. Jon Hubbard's bill to require that driver's license tests be administered only in English.
More on the diesel tax increase, which came out of Senate committee yesterday in a speedy voice vote.
The thing about the paintings of Benini is that they sometimes require you to befriend the circular and the shaped. UPDATED WITH NEW IMAGES.
The actor, musician and self-help author closes out Philander Smith's successful lecture series on April 1 at Central High.
I have been utterly remiss... I should have already been beaming strongly about the Chef Ball this weekend at Pulaski Technical College's main campus.
Redistricting debate rages on. Mike Anderson goes to Arkansas.
Eureka Springs' long-enduring opera festival returns for another year, offering operas by Strauss, Mozart and Mark Adamo.
What’s that there? That, my friends, is the latest craze in the world of desserts.
Anthemic rockers Brenn bring synthesized grandiosity to Vino's alongside Magnolia pop punk act belair, indie rockers Ellison's Cage, and guitar thrashers The Alexei, 9 p.m., $5 adv., $7 d.o.s. Chris Henry sings and strums at Grumpy's, 8 p.m., free.
The rightful "poet laureate of Pulaski County" films an episode of "On the Front Row" at AETN Studios.
The AM roundup: * DO THE MATH: So the final motions are underway for a $35 million tax cut package.
Reno's Argenta Cafe offers a half pound Argenta Burger on a Kaiser roll that's packed with red onions, tomato and your choice of cheese. Add this to your list of must-have burgers.
The Blue Arkansas blog throws down on U.S. Rep. Mike Ross for standing in the way of a supposed redistricting plan worked out between Democrats and Republican Sen. Johnny Key.
Special notice for the five Republicans on the eight-member Senate Transportation Committee. Sen. Linda Chesterfield, the chair, has called a committee meeting immediately after adjournment.
Country Club area owners benefit.
Death Star Jason Rapert, the insurance salesman/revivalist who is living up to the standard set by the previous Bigelow senator Bob Johnson, failed in Joint Budget today to block implementation of health care reform legislation.
The Judsonia native joined the New Wave kings for a live, Lynch-directed, take on "Notorious" last night.
The Country Club of Little Rock-area home above, owned by retired Alltel CEO Joe Ford, figures in a story I've posted elsewhere on the website.
Rep. Bryan King won House committee approval this morning of his bill to allow concealed handgun permits to take them into church.
Thanks to Talking Points Memo for this John Stossel quote: "Why is there a Bureau of Indian Affairs?" he said.
Only twenty-five members of the House objected today to passage of Rep. Jonathan Barnett's proposed constitutional amendment to raise the sales tax to build freeways.
Fayetteville artist LaDawna Whiteside, whose "Animal Architecture Drawing" installation won the Grand Prize at this year's Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center, is showing works on paper at the University of Arkansas's Fine Arts Building.
The internationally syndicated radio show is looking for stories from the WW2 generation.
A Senate committee has approved Sen. Sue Madison's bill to prohibit lottery ticket sales by vending machines. Blue Hog Report identifies the "fabulous Five" legislators who don't take pay enhancements.
The weekend in Central Arkansas offers critical darlings from New Zealand at VOV, another installment of 'Cool Shoes' and Red Dirt country at Revolution
You could make a case that the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is one of the country's top doc events.
The touring dirtbike race visits Verizon Arena.
The '90s post-grunge act visits Juanita's.
The Little Rock Bike Polo league hosts the South Central Regional Bike Polo Championships at MacArthur Park.
The acclaimed Canadian pop scientist visits Stickyz.
Floridian Mike Huckabee leads polling for the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Gallup reports. But it's a midget wrestling match at the moment.
The Sierra Club vows to fight to the last full Senate vote on the legislation to make it far more difficult to get court review of Public Service Commission rulings in power plant cases.
Jay Barth, professor of politics at Hendrix College, has volunteered a useful article explaining why — however much some people may not like it — that there's no legal disqualifier in the proposed congressional redistricting that moves a portion of Washington County, including Fayetteville, into the 4th District.
The Arkansas unemployment rate in February was unchanged from the month before, 7.8 percent. Report here.
HB 2138, the bill to set up state insurance exchanges under the federal health reform law, failed to clear committee Friday morning.
Tipster notes that the Apple website now advertises (if you have iTunes account you use your info to sign in to see openings) that it is taking applications for a retail store in Little Rock, zip 72211.
Imagine the best pecan pie you've ever tried. Add pineapple for a sweeter, deeper flavor, and coconut for an exotic texture, and you have Ed & Kay's PCP pie.
The House approved legislation today to allow concealed handguns in church. The vote was 65-23.
Blow me over. The House failed for the second time to pass Tea Party Rep. Jon Hubbard's bill to require that driver's license tests be given in English only.
HB 1032, Rep. Denny Altes' bill to encourage more teaching of the Bible in public schools — ostensibly in a strictly academic fashion, but Altes' himself says he doesn't believe in keeping religion out of government — pass the House today 71-16.
... you know what that means. Hats off to Jason Tolbert, who's been dogging the great mystery of the nickel diesel tax increase, which passed the Senate yesterday with the bare 18 votes necessary, not a single one of them a Republican.
Well, sure. The Democratic Party has more to say about Secretary of State Mark Martin's early spending missteps.
"Hiroshima," the thesis exhibit of University of Arkansas Fayetteville graduate student Hisae Kimura Yale, opens March 28 in the Fine Arts Center.
A Religious Righter, Bryan Fischer, has declared that the First Amendment was written only to protect Christians.
A sculpture by Michael Warrick was unveiled today at UAMS' Rockefeller Cancer Research Center.
Thanks to Norma for a Salon link that rounds up just about everything pertinent simmering from blowback for a University of Wisconsin professor William Cronon who made the mistake of writing critically about Gov. Scott Walker's attack on public employees' unions and, more specifically, mentioning the right wing-funded think tank, the American Legislative Exchange Council.
House Speaker Robert Moore took questions from the press after today's House session. He reiterated his desire to conclude business by April 1. Notable quotes: Moore said the legislature should go ahead and pass legislation to set up the health care exchange that will be required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A bill designed to do just that failed in the House Insurance and Commerce Committee this morning.
Work by the Thea Foundation's Visual Arts scholarship winners, high school seniors from across Arkansas, is on exhibit now through April 10.
There is no bottom to how low Republicans will go to prevent a woman's right to choose abortion. And Clark Hall defends his redistricting plan.
A press release has arrived from Saline Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady, who mounted an investigation after all into Bryant Mayor "Republican" Jill Dabbs unilateral decision to raise her pay and that of new City Clerk "Republican" Heather Kizer.
Brummett today makes the Democratic Party's case for expanding the 4th District into Fayetteville in the congressional redistricting plan.
I was interested to see Sen. Gilbert Baker and Jimmy Jeffress as co-sponsors of SB 436, a charter school accountability act.
Walmart has renewed a push to enter New York City. Former CEO Lee Scott once famously said he didn't care if the retailer never entered New York.
Might as well open the line for comments now. Feeling old on learning that Geraldine Ferraro has died.
Why does a day pass without an overheated utterance from Mike Huckabee on the evils of homosexuality, Islam or abortion?
The Democrat-Gazette this morning carried another long examination of a $40 million investment by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System in Tennenbaum Capital Partners, a firm that puts together investment packages that look for profits in the debt of distressed companies and properties.
What I did last night: Watched "Inside Job," the stunning documentary on the financial meltdown and how it could have been avoided.
Politico continues its flirtation with Florida tax fugitive Mike Huckabee, noting in a piece currently leading its website his many strengths in polling of the Republican primary vote (Fox News-watching evangelical social warriors are his niche for 20 percent support) Plus, see, he's "genial."
UA professor and veteran politico Steve Smith explains why the plan to put Fayetteville in the Fourth Congressional District has merit.
University of Arkansas Trustee John Ed Anthony told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette the other day that two Arkansas business leaders and two academicians from out-of-state were interested in succeeding the retiring B. Alan Sugg as president of the University of Arkansas System.
Interesting analysis by Roby Brock of the portion of Washington County that would be moved to the 4th District under a congressional redistricting plan proposed by Democrats in the legislature.
Los Angeles will forge ahead with a plan to base teacher pay in part on "value-added" testing, a measure of progress students make in teachers' classes.
I've spent the weekend in New Orleans, covering the New Orleans Roadfood Festival. This week I'll have some insights for you on the festival, New Orleans food, culinary promotion and how we can apply those ideas here in Arkansas.
We reported last week an account from an I-40 motorist about the speedy, Steve McQueen-style driving of a white pickup bearing a "2" license plate.
Tropical Smoothie is opening a franchise in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall.
A House committee has recommended passage of a bill to set up a health insurance exchanges in Arkansas to implement federal health legislation.
On Thursday, April 21 at the Chenal Country Club, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Auxiliary is hosting Arkansas a la Carte, a fundraiser featuring food from 23 local restaurants.
Arkansas Business reports that Aaron Jones, the lawyer convicted of a scheme to burn his Chenal Valley mansion to reap insurance proceeds, is dropping appeal of his conviction and also moving to settle with the insurance company.
Former Washington, D.C., school chancellor Michelle Rhee, trotted through Little Rock a second time at the Clinton School recently as the Billionaire Boys Club rolled out their "education reform" legislation has taken another body blow.
Guy Fieri, the television chef and host of "Minute to Win It" comes to Fayetteville
The idea to steal school tax revenue to subsidize a Bass Pro Shops-anchored retail center in North Little Rock's Dark Hollow swamp is moribund, if not totally dead.
A Catholic Priest, Father Charles Thessing of Sacred Heart Church in Morrilton, was arrested on March 23 for what Corrections officials say was an attempt to smuggle tobacco to a Death Row inmate.
The strange modern dance/acrobatics production comes to Robinson Center Music Hall for a three-day stand.
The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees meets Friday morning in Monticello and the question is whether a decision will be reached at an executive session that morning to name a new system president.
Republican blogger Jason Tolbert commissioned a Republican polling firm to poll Fayetteville residents on the Republican-opposed idea to move the city into the 4th Congressional District.
Late night action at the state Senate included ratification of the SWEPCO/Arkansas Electric Co-op takeover of the utility regulatory process.
Feature in the NY Times today on Chinese women traveling to U.S. to deliver babies that become automatic U.S. citizens and then return home. That sound you just heard is Jeannie Burlsworth's head exploding.
I mentioned last night that the legislation for district judge pay raises including a provision to raise the maximum pay for the three Little Rock municipal court judges to $175,000 a year (which compares with $139,821 for Supreme Court justices.)
A few more days of torture are left, but it's not too soon to declare winners and losers.
SB 738, the bill that makes a stab at collecting sales tax on goods sold on the Internet, cleared a House committee today on a voice vote, putting it in position for passage.
Prolific filmmaker/producer David Gordon Green is staying busy.
Oral arguments were held this morning on the huge Walmart class action sex discrimination case.
Times Senior Editor Mara Leveritt has published a video of Damien Echols reading his short story, “Nostalgia and Marlou,” about a girl who loves Halloween.
The Insurance Department appropriation was defeated in the House today. It was approved 53-41, with 75 votes needed.
Wrinkles always develop in the final days of legislative sessions. Among those developing this year: * SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION: Tea Party Rep. Jon Hubbard caught the administration off guard today by winning House committee approval of his bill to require that test scores and finances, not just enrollment, be considered in school district consolidation.
Talk of a federal shutdown is heating up, with both parties jockeying to blame the other side.
The actor and comedian visits Russelville on Monday, April 11.
Between hard times and tax cuts, it's a lean year for Arkansas. No raises for state employees.
Our favorite photos from this year's installment of the popular Hot Springs festival, courtesy of Jim Miller, Dwayne Zeke Ezekiel and Aaron Brewer.
I spoke briefly this afternoon with Dr. Carl Johnson, who'll take the chair for the first time Friday as leader of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
The "Holy Ghost Rock & Roll Revival" returns to White Water Tavern, raising funds, as always, for SOAR and Helping Arkansas.
Carver, Whale Fire and Sea Nanners round out a triple-bill of energetic indie-rock to raise money for Heifer International.
The annual fundraiser for Youth Home returns for its 20th year.
The country superstar swings into Verizon Arena with Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker.
The multi-talented singer/rapper/actor and, now, author closes out this season of Philander Smith's "Bless the Mic" series.