Since the election of Donald Trump, undocumented immigrants and the groups that work with them in Arkansas are dealing with a wave of fear.
A Time of FearMarch 30, 2017
Vol 43 • No 30
The Little Rock City Board illustrated the capital city's division again last week.
With the legislature refusing to correct the law, the fight is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Blasphemy and devotion in Netflix's 'The Most Hated Woman in America.'
Junior, that peach-fuzzed philosopher of Maple Street, who stands now head and shoulders taller than the mother who birthed him 17 years and change ago and eye to eye with his old man, got his ACT test results in the other day.
The Republicans' House Bill 1405 (on its way to the governor as this is written) would reduce a worker's eligibility to receive unemployment benefits from 20 to 16 weeks.
The Arkansas Democratic Party recently elected House Minority Leader Michael John Gray (D-Augusta), a Woodruff County farmer, over Denise Garner, a retired oncology nurse practitioner and founder of Feed Communities of Fayetteville, to replace outgoing chair Vince Insalaco of Little Rock.
It's all love and discord.
Women's work in wire, metalpoint, fabric, glass, cut paper at Hearne.
Also, Paul Rucker at Inverse Performance Art Festival, Funkanites kick off Jazz in the Park, Kate Campbell, Sad Daddy and more
The debacle of the repeal-Obamacare movement left the president and the Republican Congress ruminating about the terrible lessons they had learned from the defeat — mainly that neither ever had a health plan or even a clue about how to frame one.
Also, execution dates draw near, no justice and more.
Play at home, while accepting the horrible fact that the "Beat the Boss" phone in item three is a real thing.
The sting of the "Grifters in Greenville" incident having finally dissipated somewhat, I am prepared to assess Razorback basketball anew.
Unlike his personal hero Vladimir Putin, President Trump can't have his political opponents thrown into prison, shot dead in the street or flung off fourth-floor balconies.
A vote for the Clinton Center's restaurant.
North Carolina may or may not have a "bathroom bill" compromise. Either way, it might not satisfy new rules from the NCAA on ensuring non-discriminatory conditions in places it holds championship events. Arkansas would have a hard time complying.
Texas and Arkansas, two deeply red states, have proved resistant to school voucher bills. That has only increased the pressure from rich lobbies who favor sending public money to private schools.
On its fourth try, a bill to require collection of the sales tax on Internet commerce cleared a House committee today.
The Sun Belt Conference, whose members sports teams include Little Rock and Arkansas State, has added its voice to opposition to allowing guns in college sporting events.
Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, unable to get her bathroom bill out of committee, formally withdrew it Wednesday and it will go to interim study.
Harvard Law School's Fair Punishment Project says Arkansas has "ignored compelling evidence that undermines the constitutionality" of eight executions planned over a 10-day period in April.
The House today defeated SJR 7 urging the U.S. Congress to propose a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the definition of marriage as anything other than the union of one man and one woman.
The Thursday open line and daily video.
The House today approved SB 724, the cleanup of some questions raised following passage of a bill expanding where concealed weapons can be carried in Arkansas.
An amended version of a bill that would allow for racial impact assessments for certain criminal justice bills advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee Thursday on a 10-7 vote with three members not voting.
A judge has ruled the state must reveal some information about execution drugs that the state wants to keep secret.
Campus carry bill creates expensive, bureaucratic maze that seems likely to apply only to major sports, such as Razorback football
The version of Arkansas gun legislation likely to be approved in the Senate today creates a bureautic morass and significant campus expense to keep concealed weapons out of college athletic events. Realistically, the procedure is likely to be followed only for the biggest events, such as Razorback football.
A new AETN documentary on Little Rock's West Ninth Street black business district of yore is a cinema masterpiece and no period piece. It is achingly relevant today.
UN experts are speaking out against danger to freedom of assembly in legislation proposed by Sen. Trent Garner in Arkansas and mirrored by Republican legislation in 18 other states.
A nursing home lawsuit appears to be at the root of one of the worst bills of the session — to eliminate class action lawsuits under the deceptive trade practices act. It's heading to the governor, who should veto it.
The Senate thrashed House Speaker Jeremy Gillam's proposed constitutional amendment on amendments this morning, but it could get another vote.
The state filed at the open of business today its request that the Arkansas Supreme Court stay Judge Wendell Griffen's order that the state Correction Department must turn over some manufacturer's information about an execution drug not specifically covered in the law that grants broad secrecy to the execution process.
The League of Women Voters, a traditional supporter of school taxes, says it is undecided on the vote May 9 to extend 12.4 mills of taxes for 14 years in the Little Rock School District to finance various construction projects, at a cost to taxpayers of at least a half-billion dollars.So it will have a debate on the tax at a general meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, at the Hall High School media center.
The Senate today approved SB 724 to provide exemptions from a new expanded concealed weapon bill to allow them to be banned from college athletic events. The vote was 23-7 and the bill goes to the governor.
HB 2179, a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Richey (D), designates "portions of various state highways" to honor one of the state's chief assets and cultural exports - its music.
The House today defeated SB 746 to begin a school voucher program to put public money in private schools.
The open line and daily video.
The House today rejected Sen. Joyce Elliott's bill to allow a racial impact statement on certain criminal law changes.
A Garland County jury today found Kevin Duck, 33, guilty in the murder of his girlfriend, Dawna Natzke, a Hot Springs Village Police Department dispatcher whose body was found floating a remote pond near Hot Springs Village in December 2011.
Federal Judge Kristine Baker today dismissed complaints by abortion protesters who'd been arrested, but acquitted on charges of violating a noise ordinance for refusing to turn down a loudspeaker during a protest outside an abortion clinic in Little Rock in September 2012.
A song of resistance and persistence for the season.
Fabric artist Bisa Butler, collage artist Phoebe Beasley and metalpoint artist Marjorie Williams-Smith will be at a reception at Hearne Fine Art tonight in conjunction with the exhibition, "Beyond Magic," reviewed here. The reception is from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; tomorrow, at 2 p.m., the artists will gather for a panel discussion on the show, which features women artists working in non-traditional mediums, including the glass and found art works by Lillian Blades (see image above) and the wire mesh sculptures of Anyta Thomas.
Pleased as punch artists have been posting on Facebook the good news that their artworks have been accepted into the 59th annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center. Here's a slideshow of works posted by accepted artists.
The nearly concluded legislative session, the state’s troubled financial picture and more — covered on this week's podcast.
The hearing was not acrimonious, but the substance of the public comment illustrated divergent visions for the heavily regulated industry-to-be. Will Arkansas marijuana be dominated by out-of-state marijuana interests?
Might Edgar Allen Poe have found his muse in the work of a 19th century Arkansas poet? That's what it says here in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History.
Save Our Schools is pressing Education Commissioner Johnny Key to meet about his decision to close Little Rock schools without considering community impact. The broad group makes it pitch while Key is asking for $600 million in new tax authorization from Little Rock voters, who have been without an elected school board for two years.
Own a vacant warehouse? It's could be worth more today now that Arkansas has legalized medical marijuana.
An Arkansan, identity not yet revealed, won $177 million last night with these numbers in the multistate Mega Millions lottery. The win is payable in a lump sum of $107 million.
Stephanie Flowers speech, guns, manatee
Caterpillar announced Friday the closure of an 800-worker plant in Aurora, Ill., and shift of those jobs to other sites, including 150 to North Little Rock.
In case you missed it: Living in the right senatorial district can sometimes produce cash dividends for property owners.
Members of the Little Rock City Board seem to believe the Internet is the primary cause of lagging tax revenue in the city. There are other factors they've helped create.
Arkansas Public Service Commission Chair Ted Thomas is getting attention for calling out Trump administration climate policy. He even acknowledges the role of carbon burning and humans in climate change.
The open line.
Indivisible, the grassroots movement to hold members of Congress accountable in the age of Donald Trump, has produced a guide for those faced with dodging congressmen, such as U.S. Sen. John Boozman and U.S. Rep. French Hill.
Sen, Joyce Elliott of Little Rock, a public school champion, has posted a message on Facebook urging a NO vote on the Little Rock School District tax election May 9. She says to do otherwise is to endorse taxation without representation and give in to "tyranny."
The legislature is meeting to tie up loose ends today and the biggest issue on the calendar thought likely to get a meaningful vote is one last run at a bill aimed at making Internet retailers collect the Arkansas sales tax.
Still no announcement of the $107 million lottery winner in Arkansas. Taxman is a winner too. State and federal treasuries should reap almost $50 million of winning.
The House defeated a bill to collect the sales tax on all Internet commerce, not just that by companies with a physical presence in Arkansas.
The Senate went into recess this morning shortly before 11:30 a.m. and, if we're lucky, they'll return May 1 and routinely adjourn sine die, with no further business (until inevitable special sessions.)
The Little Rock School District has received seven ideas for using two schools to be closed next year as a result of budget cuts approved by the state, which controls the school district. The ideas include multi-family housing in the Woodruff buildings and community services, including health care, for the Franklin building.
Image-conscious Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he must carry out the law, even if it means a 10-day schedule of eight executions this month, barring court interventions.The decision has prompted a torrent of worldwide attention. More today from Columbia Journalism Review.
Timmons Arts Foundation's 10th Annual Designers Choice Fashion Preview was the last for designer Korto Momolu, who has been involved with the show since its inception.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson pronounced the legislative session a success. Except for maybe highways and the Internet tax and the still lingering question of the Medicaid expansion program.
An open line and news roundup.
A formal opening is set for the new Broadway Bridge and so here's another question: Will it be adorned by an LED light show like those on three bridges downstream? Maybe.
A legislative effort to ban Howard Zinn's books on American history not only failed, it wound up putting more of his books in schools and libraries all over Arkansas.
As Gov. Asa Hutchinson had warned several days ago, state tax collections in March were sharply below forecast.
Ernest Dumas takes a walk through history past and present with governors' involvement with the death penalty. He also provides a side note of famly history for another player in the process, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
The NCAA board of governors has decided to no longer boycott North Carolina for championship events because of the legislature's recent repeal of HB 2. It said a majority of its board o "reluctantly voted to allow consideration" of cities in the state.
Little Rock recorded its 16th homicide of 2017 about 10 p.m. Monday at 4300 Bruno Road in Southwest Little Rock.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has vetoed a bill restricting the law enforcement powers of one of his agencies, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. The governor said it infringed on executive power and provided for law officers to ignore law violations.
Riverdale 10 Cinema is among the hundreds of independent theaters screening "1984" today in protest of the Trump administration's policies.
Here's the open line and daily report.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen moved this morning to compel the state Correction Department to produce unredacted drug packaging on potassium chloride purchased for eight executions this month.
Prelude Breakfast Bar in Fayetteville serves a carefully curated menu of choice breakfast items.
Events commemorating the Arkansas WWI Centennial planned statewide
The tide continues to run against those in Arkansas who want to protect legal discrimination against LGBT people. A federal appeals court says the federal civil rights law extends its protection to gay people.
A closed freeway was expected to bring chaos to Atlanta. It didn't. It's not the first unrealized fear of a 'carmageddon'. It ought to make people rethink the conventional imperative for ever-wider freeways, such as envisioned in Little Rock.
A family advocacy group assesses the recent legislative session and finds a mixed bag of good and bad — but also a somewhat ominous view of the future.
11th-hour news on Neil Gorsuch, the U.S. Supreme Court nominee from Politico:Plagiarist?
Greg Yarbrough of Channel 4 reports that the state Parole Board, following hearings last week, has recommended clemency for Death Row inmate Jason McGehee, but not for Kenneth Williams.
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, who's scheduled a town hall next week in Bentonville, says he expects some frustration from constituents because of the tactics so far in Republican efforts to ditch the Affordable Care Act and come up with something different.
Walmart is cutting jobs in Arkansas, but adding them in California and India. Haven't they been reading about the amazing pro-job environment Republicans have been creating in Arkaasas.
Wednesday's open line and news and comment.
The 59th Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center, to open June 9, will feature 73 works by 57 artists from seven states, the Arts Center announced today. Read the news release here. Of the 57 artists, 41 are from Arkansas.
An idea to set a date for return of local control in the Little Rock School District seems likely to founder because of resistance from Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
A harbinger of former Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto's forthcoming debut solo album, the long-awaited follow-up to Pallbearer's "Foundations of Burden" and a new single from Sumokem.
While in southern Arkansas for a baseball tournament, 14-year-old Kalel Langford, of Centerton, Arkansas, fulfilled a longtime dream of visiting Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park. Kalel and his parents arrived at Arkansas’s diamond site on the afternoon of Saturday, March 11. By the end of the day, he had registered the 7th- largest diamond found at the Arkansas State Park since 1972.
Arkansas tourism partners from across the state honored the 2017 winners of the annual “Henry Awards” during a luncheon at the 43rd Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held March 12-14 in Little Rock. The Henry Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made important contributions to the state’s tourism industry in the preceding year.
The Hall of Fame honor is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole.
Arkansas is home to more than 600,000 acres of lakes. Among these are five in Southwest Arkansas collectively known as the Diamond Lakes. These are Lake Ouachita and Lake Hamilton at Hot Springs, Lake Catherine near Malvern, DeGray Lake at Arkadelphia and Lake Greeson between Glenwood and Murfreesboro.