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Roll It

Roll It

April 2, 2015

Vol 41 • No 30

Read the print version

Readers Choice 2015 results

Voters talk with food in mouths.

Best restaurants of Arkansas 2015

Foodies, rejoice: The Arkansas Times, for the 34th year, brings news of where to eat what when you want a great meal.

Dreaming of dumplings

With Lisa Zhang of Three Fold.

Champagne days

Down and out (and brunch) at the Arlington Hotel.

Farmer's Table Cafe

Where food, community meet.

Yellow Rocket's secret weapon

Amber Brewer explains how a restaurant comes together.

Rollin' on the river

Dondie's in Des Arc offers catfish, White River views.

Ozark Foothills FilmFest returns

Also, the Bennie Wallace Quartet at South on Main, Mulehead at White Water, Errol Westbrook at the Quarter Note, Iska Dhaaf at White Water and the Delta Symposium at ASU.

Too Long Didn't Read at The Joint

Also, Mark Spitzer at WordsWorth Books & Co.

'Video visitation' expanding in Arkansas jails

Critics say it costs poor families.

God and guns, gays and the poor

Sure, it is presumptuous to assign a place in history for a session of the Arkansas legislature on its final day rather than from some vantage point far into the future, but the 90th General Assembly seems to beg for it.

Tom Cotton and American fascism

Tragically, many Americans unknowingly support fascism. Many prominent leaders are de facto fascists and their followers are clueless.

When gentrifiers attack

'Home' balances cartoon trifle with timely allegory.


The Observer is a great lover of language, which makes us a great lover of conversation, which makes us a great lover of debate. We've been witness to a lot of debate in recent days over House Bill 1228.

Making everyone the Pope

t's a good thing Americans have no serious problems, because the time and energy we expend fighting over symbolic issues could become a problem. Sure, symbols can be important. The swastika is a symbol, also the U.S. flag. But this week's farcical casus belli involves a couple of spectacularly ill-conceived "religious freedom" statutes in Indiana and Arkansas.

Arkansas Republicans versus the world

Also, a trade war dies on the vine and budget priorities, by the numbers.

Scenes from a protest

Protests over HB 1228, Arkansas's so-called "religious freedom" bill, have dominated the final days of the 2015 legislative session.

Now we get Natchez

Downtown upscale diner delights.

Last-minute dirty work

Readers of this space know of our suspicion of Sen. Jon Woods, the Springdale Republican who has no discernible means of support outside the legislature, where he's made a living on the ethical margins.

'Nine' will be a 10

So says The Rep's Castanera, who directs at the Studio Theatre.

Compromise religion legislation won't bring LGBT equality

Whatever happens in the legislature today, it will still be legal to discriminate against LGBT people in Arkanss.

Yes, there will be constitutional amendments, chiefly to provide corporate welfare

Yes, we'll have three constitutional amendments on the ballot, including a giant corporate welfare proposal to allow an increase in the state debt and legalization of taxpayer susbisides for local chambers of commerce.

Weiner schools may rise again through little-noticed bill

Rick Fahr, a former newspaperman and proud graduate of Weiner High School, wrote me yesterday about a little-noticed piece of legislation that he believes is intended to lead to the re-establishment of the Weiner School District.

Stonewall Democrats propose an executive order for the governor to issue on workplace fairness

The Stonewall Democrats have suggested to Gov. Asa Hutchinson an executive order that would add five little words that would mean a great deal in bringing equal treatment in the workplace to state government.

Libraries take a beating to pay for capital gains tax cut

The state budget includes a whopping 18 percent cut in a small but important allotment for local libraries.

DiPippa: proposed 'fix' bills for HB 1228 won't prevent potential discrimination

We reached out this morning to UA's William H. Bowen School of Law Dean Emeritus John DiPippa to get his take on the two HB 1228 "fix" bills passed last night by the Senate — SB 229 and SB 975 — after Gov. Asa Hutchinson asked the legislature to recall the bill. His opinion: the "fix" isn't much of a fix if the goal is to prevent discrimination.

Supreme Court injects still more delay in the marriage case

The Arkansas Supreme Court today extended still further an answer to the question of which members will decide the challenge of Arkansas's same-sex marriage ban.

Skulduggery afoot in House Judiciary Committee

High-powered lobbyist Bruce Hawkins, through rules dodging and high-powered Republican legislative help, is on the verge of passing a bill to let an out-of-state company off the hook for paying for damages to people exposed to asbestos.

Tom Cotton to gays: Get perspective. At least they don't hang you

Sen. Tom Cotton says gay people need a little perspective in complaining about anti-gay laws proposed in Indiana and Arkansas. They hang gay people in Iran, he says.

State tax take drops in March

The state revenue report for March doesn't paint a rosy picture for those anticipating robust growth to pay for tax cuts and the like.

Delay on the 'religion' bills

House Judiciary hasn't convened yet. Word from the floor is that Gov. Asa Hutchinson is still talking to Sen. Gary Stubblefield, who has yet hadn't acceded to having his legislation reworked into a compromise on the "religious freedom" bills introduced to allow use of religion as an excuse to discriminate against gay people.

Add iced tea to the list of dangerous substances — if taken in excess

Doctors at UAMS, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, say they concluded kidney failure in a 56-year-old Arkansas man could be traced to his habit of drinking a gallon of iced tea each day.

Ferritor to lead UA-Fayetteville on interim basis

Dan Ferritor will serve as interim chancellor at the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville during the search for a permanent replacement for David Gearhart, who will leave the job July 31.

ACLU offers measured praise for changes in Indiana 'religion' law, but notes continuing problems

Indiana has moved to lessen the harmful effects of a so-called "religious freedom" 

David's Burgers has move to River Market on the grill

It is not a done deal yet, but Arkansas chain David's Burgers is hoping to move into the River Market, into the space now occupied by Boulevard Bread. Don't panic, Boulevard lovers! According to Ryan Rooney, marketing director for David's Burgers, should the deal go through, Boulevard would likely take over the large space once occupied by Coast Cantina. Coast Cantina, an original vendor at the market, has left.

Frank Broyles bill fails in committee

Benji Hardy reports from the Capitol that a House committee this morning rejected a reworked version of Sen. Jon Woods' legislation introduced in behalf of the family of former UA Athletic Director Frank Broyles to restrict commercial use by others of a person's image.

There Huckabee goes again, hating on the gays

Mike Huckabee says gay rights supporters are intent on driving Christians out of America. Because, of course, no true Christian would believe in loving and treating gay people equally.

Missing in Arkansas law change, explicit protection

To fix its controversial "religious freedom" bill, Indiana will add statutory language to explicitly prohibit discrimination against gay people. Arkansas has done no such thing.

Sierra Club, Little Rock extend settlement of sewer overflow problems

The Arkansas Sierra Club and the Little Rock Wastewater Utility have agreed to extend until 2023 oversight in a settlement agreement to reduce sewer overflows.

House approves corporate welfare amendment over pointed opposition

The House today approved SJR 16 70-22, which means Arkansas voters will consider a constitutional amendment in November 2016 to take the cap off the amount of bonds the state can issue to finance private industrial development and also legalize taxpayer subsidies of local chambers of commerce.

State Police report a $10 million meth seizure

The State Police today said 276 pounds of methamphetamines had been found in a tractor-trailer stopped on Interstate 40 in Lonoke County and put the retail value at $10 million.

Compromise 'religion' bill becomes law; session ends

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed SB 975, a compromise version of the bill originally aimed at creating a religious pretext to discriminate against gay people. The House passed SB 975 earlier this afternoon, 76-17, with two voting present.

The open line: Legislature slouches home. Also: Comments on the religion bill 'fix'; Tom Cotton is heard from

Here's the open line and today's video roundup.

Senate rejects amended bill to close 'coordinated communications' loophole in campaign finance

Here's another minor outrage from the last days of the session: A pared down version of Rep. Clarke Tucker's bill to close an especially egregious loophole in state campaign finance law was killed by the Senate yesterday.

Asa Hutchinson is no Mike Pence

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence produced a much better fix for a piece of anti-gay legislation than Asa Hutchinson produced in Arkansas.

Tom Cotton: More poor reviews for crack about gay legislation

Sen. Tom Cotton's attempt to turn a question about anti-gay legislation in Arkansas into another comment on the evil Iran — they hang gays in Iran, he said, urging critics of the law to get some "perspective" — continues to draw fire.

Asa's broken promise: Pork barreling by the Arkansas legislature continues

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he would end pork barrel spending of the state surplus by the legislature. He didn't. And it wasn't the lowest allotment in a decade, as he said in defending his decision to back away from the promise.

Law professor: Religion 'fix' bill not a complete fix

UALR Law Professor John DiPippa talks about religious freedom legislation and the incomplete nature of the law passed in Arkansas this week.

State budget bill lets attorney general spend $6 million of lawsuit settlement

The state omnibus spending bills reveal how some $21 million won by the attorney general's office in a class action lawsuit will be spent, including some $6 million left to direct spending by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge herself.

The 'de-evolution' of Arkansas

Beth Arnold, a native Arkansan and writer not long back in the country after time in France, writes for Huffington Post about change of Arkansas from Democratic to Republican politics. She's not entertained.

Artist's 'End Hate' installation heading to the Lincoln Memorial.

Check out Rock Candy for Leslie Peacock's report on a coming appearance of artist V.L. Cox's doors of discrimination at the Lincoln Memorial on April 17.

Justice recuses from decision on who'll vote on marriage case

Judge Rhonda Wood recuses from a Supreme Court case and corrects a columnist on social media for twitting her.

New mixtape from Pepperboy, 'Pottersfield'

Little Rock native and living legend Pepperboy is back with a new mixtape this month, "Pottersfield," which is probably the year's most existentially fraught and death-obsessed local record to date. Pepperboy has always walked a lonely road (marched to the beat of his own 808?), with conceptual LPs focusing on the horrors of war, etc., but "Pottersfield" finds him in the new and harrowing position of contemplating his own impending mortality, even somewhat enthusiastically on tracks like "Gold Casket" and "Dead Heaven."

New 'Road to Arkansas' photo essay in the New York Times

Freelance photographer Nina Robinson has a pretty remarkable new photo essay up at the New York Times titled "Love and Loss on the Road to Arkansas." The images document her family in Dalark, Ark., as well as the surrounding community, a project inspired by the loss of several family members based in the area. As they explain:

What's that smell? Big tobacco's move on vaping

A tale of a Big Tobacco regulation bill, jammed through the legislature in the last crazy days. And some familiar political names in the thick of the action.

HB 1228 could have cost Little Rock a big convention

Gretchen Hall, director of the Little Rock Bureau of Convention and Visitors, said she was notified this week by a potential convention client in 2016 that it would cancel the plans if the legislature approved HB 1228, the bill aimed at allowing religion to be used as a pre-text for discrimination against gay people.

Georgia drops religion bill after Indiana, Arkansas outcry

"Religious freedom" legislation has died in Georgia because of the outcry in Indiana and Arkansas.

Blanchard Springs Caverns tour re-routed

The Forest Service says some loose ceiling rock in the Blanchard Springs Caverns has forced some changes in a tour route at the popular site near Fifty-six while safety is reviewed.

An open line: And a piece of cake for Tom Cotton and a computer task force

An open line, news headlines and a scoop from the New York Times on Sen. Tom Cotton: He likes to eat birthday cake. Every day.

Staff Picks: Lost Valley, Funkadelic, The Great Discontent, 'We are the Best!' and more

As a designer, reading design news is nice. But only to a certain point. Design news is a quick way to feel dead inside. Reading stories about design is preferable. Enter The Great Discontent, a quarterly print and online publication that brings design back to it’s source, the people and experiences in design and all of design’s cousins. From the website, “Focusing on beginnings, creativity, and risk, TGD provides a memorable look into the lives of its subjects via long=form interviews and short features collected into a beautifully designed print artifact." Wonderful! I recommend it.

The Thank God They're Gone Edition

On this week's podcast, Max and Lindsey talk about how the just concluded Arkansas General Assembly’s obsession with God and gays erupted in a national controversy. We’ll also offer a quick review of what this legislature left in its wake. It won’t be pretty.

DHS says it probably cannot determine whether preschool received fraudulent funds for adopted Harris girls

According to new information we've received from the Department of Human Services, it appears that Growing God's Kingdom, the preschool owned by Rep. Justin Harris, was eligible to receive federal food money for Harris' two adopted daughters. Five former workers at the school previously alleged that the young girls often were falsely signed in on days that they were not in attendance. DHS said it may be impossible to confirm whether that's true.

Trickle-down fails in Kansas; schools to close early

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's tax-cutting miracle has turned into a disaster for Kansas schools. There might be a hint of Arkansas's future in it.

Left behind in Arkansas: Who didn't get income tax cuts

New data illustrates the unfairness of the recent Arkansas income tax cut, which provided a little something for just about everybody except more than a half-million of the state's poorest workers.

Let them eat cake open line

The open line includes some additional figures on the unfairness of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's tax cuts — millions worth of benefits for the richest Arkansans and nothing for the working poor.

Jeremy Hutchinson on HB 1228 vote: 'I honestly was a coward and voted party line.'

Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, who eventually broke a tie that let HB 1228 out of the Senate Judiciary committee after it had failed there three times, continues to publicly regret his role in advancing the bill to the full Senate, where it passed 24-7 after being bottled up in committee for two days. Yesterday, he told Huffington Post that he cast the tiebreaker vote to send HB 1228 to the full Senate out of cowardice.

Axe falling on Little Rock School District jobs

Word is filtering in of dismissal notices being sent to Little Rock School District administrators.

The myth of declining public support for higher education

Does declining government support for colleges explaining skyrocketing tuition increases? No, says a writer for the New York Times. Rising enrollment is one factor. Administrative costs are another.

Your public officials at work open line

Here's an Easter open line. For fun, check out some images of the advertising specialties new state Treasurer Dennis Milligan has stocked up on to promote his brand.

ALEC moves to stifle criticism from Common Cause

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the Koch-backed political lobby that now guides the major policy decisions of Arkansas and other Republican-dominated legislatures, doesn't take kindly to criticism.

Little Rock records sixth homicide on Easter

The city's sixth homicide and a shootout at a convenience store gas pump were among the criminal incidents reported in Little Rock on Easter Sunday.

Methodist Church barred from 'Celebrate Jesus' parade in Eureka Springs

The First United Methodist Church wasn't allowed to participate in the "Celebrate Jesus Easter Parade" in Eureka Springs. Its members suspect its openness to LGBT people was behind their exclusion.

Humane Society urges governor to veto primate bill

The Humane Society of the United States is uring Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto a bill that it says will allow roadside zoos to possess primates, previously made illegal by a 2013 law.

A question for the governor: Clemency for Rolf Kaestel?

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will appear at 7 p.m. tonight on AETN's "Arkansans Ask" program. Mara Leveritt suggests a question: "Will you commute the life sentence given Rolf Kaestel in 1981 for robbing $264 from a Fort Smith taco stand?"

Little Rock School District releases positions targeted for elimination

I got a belated response this morning to my Freedom of Information Act request for the jobs that Interim Little Rock School Superintendent Dexter Suggs proposes to cut as part of budget reductions.

Veteran journalist Kathryn Joyce to join our "Beyond rehoming" project

I'm thrilled to announce that Kathryn Joyce, the author of "The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption," is joining the Arkansas Times' investigation into Arkansas's child welfare system.

So much to love about SoMa

Great food, great shopping and a great sense of community—that's Little Rock's South Main community all in one. We take a look at fun things to do in one of our city's most eclectic and interesting neighborhoods.

Obamacare worth more than $150 million to Arkansas, report says

Here are $150 million worth of reasons why Gov. Asa Hutchinson ultimately had no choice but to recommend continuation of the state's expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.

Arkansas prosecutors' 'clean' record of conduct

Mara Leveritt writes today fior The Daily Beast about prosecutorial misconduct in several states, including by an Arkansas prosecutor whose withholding of evidence put Tim Howard on Death Row for 16 years. He's scheduled for a new trial.

Governor's spokesman: No plans for executive order on LGBT state workers

Remember last week when Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was "looking at ... utilizing an executive order ... in terms of protecting against discrimination in the workplace for state government"? Apparently, he's taken a look, and it's not going to happen anytime soon.

The governor takes control of regulatory boards

A quietly adopted piece of legislation strengthens the governor's control of appointment to dozens of state boards and commissions that regulate and license various professions.

Camden woman dies at 116 after week as world's oldest

Arkansas Matters reports the death of Gertrude Weaver, 116, of Camden, just last week declared the world's oldest person after the death of a 117-year-old Japanese woman. Survivors include her 93-year-old son.

Out in Arkansas: crowdfunding a new LGBTQ publication

The Arkansas Times is launching a crowdfunding campaign to support a new independent website devoted to LGBTQ topics. We know that there are still large numbers of Arkansans, including a significant number of policymakers, who believe they don’t know any gay people, who believe that there is no discrimination against gay people. We want to introduce them to their neighbors through the power of reporting.

An open line for Monday

The Monday open line and today's headlines.

Egg artist is "Arkansas Living Treasure"

The 2015 Arkansas Living Treasure award for craftsmanship goes to Lorrie Popow of Hot Springs, who is known nationally for her egg art. She'll be honored at a reception from 5-7 p.m. May 12 at Garvan Woodland Gardens.

Suit filed over new lethal injection law

As promised, a lawsuit has been filed challenging the new law on the state lethal injection procedure.

'Art. Race. Identity.': Herman to talk about exhibition

"Art. Race.

Welfare for legislators: Low-cost housing

Forty-nine legislators get state-subsidized low-cost apartments right across the street from the Capitol in a building managed by the secretary of state's office.

LRSD budget committee discusses health insurance cuts, changes to school day

On Monday, Little Rock School District Superintendent Dexter Suggs and the Budget Efficiency Advisory Committee met to continue discussing plans for major cuts to the district's budget in advance of a loss of state desegregation funding.

The price of fame: tax liens against Josh Duggar get web attention

Radar Online reports on more than $13,000 in state tax liens filed in Washington Circuit Court against Josh Duggar and his wife back to 2009. Josh Duggar is scion of the Jim Bob Duggar clan of reality TV fame. He's also become a major operative for anti-gay right-wing religionist political causes.

Bar food contemplation at Big Whiskey's

Holding bar food to a lower standard is the accepted norm, but does that need to be the case? We submit that our bars can do better—and so can the eating public.

Two dead in North Little Rock fire

Channel 4 reports that two people have been found dead in a fire early this morning in the 1300 block of West Sixteenth Street, North Little Rock.

Dumas: Ark. Supreme Court 'baffled, cowardly' in marriage case

Veteran political writer Ernest Dumas writes for the Times this week about the foot-dragging Arkansas Supreme Court and its increasingly curious handling of the lawsuit in which Judge Chris Piazza struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

The Hive's Matthew McClure up for Food and Wine Magazine award

Bentonville's Matthew McClure keeps racking up award nominations—and this time you can help him win.

And speaking of same-sex marriage: The unspoken words of John Walker

State Rep. John Walker, the civil rights advocate, has had many fine moments in a storied career, but a speech he wrote against the anti-gay HB 1228 was one of the finest, even if it wasn't delivered on the floor of the House.

Lottery winner arrested in Baxter County on drug charge

The Baxter Bulletin reports that Rebecca Martin, a winner of $200,000 in an Arkansas lottery game last year, posted a $150,000 bond Monday to be released from the Baxter County jail after her arrest on drug charges.

New video from Pallbearer, 'Watcher in the Dark'

Here's the great new video from Little Rock doom metal troupe Pallbearer, a 10 minute long plot-less short film backed by their epic "Watcher in the Dark" directed by Little Rock native Adam Heathcott (now based in Portland). It's a kind of solemn, desert-oracle kaleidoscope, with shades of Jodorowsky and "Zabriskie Point" that finally descend into pure foggy visual abstraction

Another SOMA eatery in spotlight: Community Bakery

Office Depot features a video about Community Bakery and its owner, Joe Fox, this month in its Small Business Spotlight section.

Petition drive to refer anti-gay law underway

A petition drive is underway to refer to voters SB 202, now Act 137, which is intended to prevent local governments from passing equal rights ordinances that protect people on ground of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Latest anti-abortion bill includes a legislative double-standard

Planned Parenthood has issued a statement criticizing the latest anti-abortion bill signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson because its provisions have been blasted by doctors as medical quackery.

Tuesday's open line and Arkansas headlines

Open line for Tuesday night and today's video.

Four Arkansans are named National Achievement scholarship winners

Four Arkansas high school students are among the 800 black high school seniors named today as Achievement Scholarship winners in the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

Burglary suspect makes bad wardrobe choice

A choice of clothing made by a probationer for a drug court appearance landed him in new trouble on a burglary charge in Izard County.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposal on non-discrimination: Empty words

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has backed away from issuing an executive order on non-discrimination for state employees, but given the shape of a resolution he was considering, we're probably better off with no action at all.

Jonesboro says no to non-discrimination

Graydon Carter, an active Young Democrat from Pocahontas, reports on a coalition's efforts to get the Jonesboro City Council to consider a non-discrimination ordinance along the lines of the one adopted in Eureka Springs and repealed by vote in Fayetteville. No luck.

Smart Drains call for smart art: A public art program

Audubon Arkansas, the city of Little Rock, the Arkansas Arts Center and other state and local groups are partnering on Drain Smart, a public art project in which artists will create murals on city storm drains to remind people that what goes down the drains — including trash — goes into streams that feed the Arkansas River. Deadline to submit applications along with a sketch of ideas is April 17.

V.L. Cox, Paula Morrell off to D.C., with your help: UPDATE

Artist V.L. Cox's doors of discrimination — her "End Hate" installation that has provided the backdrop to Paula Morrell's "Tales from the South" broadcasts from members of the LGBT community and has been featured on the grounds of the state Capitol — are headed to the Lincoln Memorial on April 17. Morrell will be set up with a table and recording equipment alongside the installation to hear stories of discrimination from visitors to the memorial. They need your financial help to show the nation Arkansans are not all knuckle-dragging homophobes.

New anti-school consolidation law to get its first test Thursday

The state Board of Education is scheduled to consider Thursday the involuntary consolidation of the Hughes School District because its enrollment has fallen below 350 students. However, a new state law, adopted with emergency clause, exempts schools otherwise meeting standards from consolidation when they fall below 350 students.

Tom Cotton: Only a few days necessary to bomb Iran facilities

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton continues his bellicose ways with an interview in which he said bombing Iran's nuclear facilties would take only a few days and resemble President Clinton's order for strikes in Iraq in 1998.

A state taxpayer beneficiary runs into difficulties

The Beebe administration sunk $2 million and other valuable considerations into Soul of the South, a television network aimed originally at the black market. It has struggled, as Sean Beherec has been reporting for Arkansas Business.

Huckabee goes all in against Islam with a rattlesnake metaphor

Mike Huckabee's latest presidential campaign gimmick: A video featuring a rattlesnake as a metaphor for Islamic radicals. Behead rattlesnakes, Huck advises.

New attorney general got a significant pay raise

Leslie Rutledge got quite a pay raise when she took office in January, and that was even before pay for the office went from $73,000 to $130,000.

Attorney, suspect in drug case, disappears after drug test order

James Clouette, a veteran Little Rock attorney arrested recently on a drug possession charge after dropping a bag of meth in a bank lobby, disappeared during a working appearance in court today after Circuit Judge Herb Wright ordered a drug test.

State's curious idea of accountability in Little Rock schools

More than two months after the state takeover of the Little Rock School District, the people in positions of direct responsiblity for the district's poor performance still have their jobs and there are no plans afoot yet to change that. This is accountability?

Taco Pronto hasn't changed—and that's a good thing

Some restaurants become institutions quietly by doing great things for years on end. Taco Pronto in Hot Springs is just such a place.

UPDATE: Justices Hannah and Danielson recuse from new marriage case; cite delaying tactic, ethical concerns

Supreme Court Justice Paul Danielson has recused from a new case created out of the appeal of Judge Chris Piazza's decision to strike down the ban on same-sex marriage. He did so, he said, because other members of the court had "manufactured a case" where no controversy exists.

The no-guns-allowed open line

An open lines, video headlines and news of some gun restrictions at — of all places — the NRA convention.

Attorney general rejects wording of referendum on gay discrimination law

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has rejected the form of a referendum on the law, Act 137, that prevents local civil rights ordinances that protect gay people.

Call for entries: Argenta ArtWalk

Independent artists take note: The Argenta CDC is inviting you to take part in Argenta ArtWalk, the monthly third Friday after-hours gallery stroll in downtown North Little Rock. The CDC provides 10-by-10-foot booths; you provide the tables, chairs and other furnishings. To apply, send three jpgs of work to be sold in your booth to or call 517-3127 for an application. Booths are $30.

Drinking locally in Fayetteville

We're looking at a dozen local brews from Northwest Arkansas—this list is big, these beers are great and we want to know what you're drinking, too.

New music from Tral Wayz, The See, Big Piph, headcold and more

More great stuff from Fayetteville label Let's Talk Figures. This is from an excellent new EP by production duo TAPE.SET, a.k.a. Hutch Landfair and Andrew McClain. It's the ideal soundtrack for a bike ride on the International Space Station, or for dying on the beach.