Under the guise of 'synthetic civility.'
Killing SpreeApril 6, 2017
Vol 43 • No 31
Veteran pop-punk trio Blink-182 made its case at Verizon Friday night.
As is typical, President Trump has tweeted about any number of subjects in recent days. They ranged from advising former NSA head Michael Flynn that he should seek immunity for testimony related to the Trump/Russia case to personal insults directed toward "Meet the Press" host Chuck "Sleepy Eyes" Todd.
Game and Fish creates research division.
I would like to add my voice to those expressing horror about our planned Arkansas April executions beginning on Easter Monday.
Session wraps up, 30 Crossing and more.
New Hot Springs boutique hotel restaurant wows with food — and prices.
The 2017 legislative session concluded without passage of a bill to encourage internet merchants to collect and remit taxes on sales in Arkansas, though internet giant Amazon has begun doing so voluntarily.
Big-budget remake whitewashes an anime classic.
Also, "The Invisible War," Sierra Hull, Succulent Party, Local H, Beethoven and Blue Jeans, Tank, Sandwiching in History Tour of Dibrell House, Junior Brown
The state of Arkansas is planning on killing eight men soon, one right after the other, in 11 days. They are doing this to punish them for having killed people. The Observer used to be very much a capital punishment believer. But then, we sat through a death penalty trial, start to finish.
You wonder if Attorney General Leslie Rutledge would be so eager to execute if her grandpa, Leslie Rutledge, who was imprisoned for killing neighbor Joe Beel and mortally wounding his brother Frank, had been sentenced to death in 1952.
To many people, politics is essentially tribal, an Us vs. Them struggle between cartoon enemies.
Play at home!
The Ford Motor Co. brought the Pinto to America's highways, even though it knew the car had serious safety problems. Indeed, Pinto after Pinto burst into flames in rear-end collisions, causing severe injuries and deaths. Ford's lack of moral and economic judgment brought shame to the company's brand for decades.
The national ACLU is distributing a video saying Arkansas is risking "torturing prisoners to death" in its "rush" to execute eight prisoners in 10 days.
U.S. Rep. French Hill yesterday said he endorsed the announced delay in an Obama-era regulation known as the fiduciary rule, which he said would limit access to retirement planning. It's a rule change that favors the financial industry over consumers.
Add another book to the reading list on the Little Rock school desegregation crisis of 1957, "Remember Little Rock," from the University of Massachusetts Press by Erin Krutko Devlin. It has great relevance today.
It is Arkansas Gives Day, the day when contributions to many local charities can bring additional contributions. Our pick: Lucie's Place.
ArkansasGives is a 12-hour online giving event hosted by Arkansas Community Foundation. The Foundation is challenging all Arkansans to make a donation to the charity of their choice in recognition of the vital work our local nonprofits do in our communities.
Judge Griffen says NO to LR school taxation without representation; no 'field hand' for chamber, Waltons.
Wendell Griffen, a circuit judge and Baptist pastor, has joined the opposition to the Little Rock school tax proposal May 9 with a sharply worded condemnation of the business community backing 14 more years and $600 million worth of additional property taxes.
The Arkansas Supreme Court issued a batch of orders today related to appeals from Death Row inmates. They included cursory denials of stays of execution for Ledell Lee and Stacey Johnson, both scheduled to die April 20.
Democrats in Texas enjoy the same low estate that Democrats enjoy in Arkansas, But at least one of them has a wicked sense of humor, which is sometimes a good weapon in legislative halls. Why not a 24-hour waiting period and other invasive stuff before men can fill a Viagra prescription.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has rejected a three-drug lethal injection process in Ohio because, in part, use of the anesthetic midazolam is unconstitutional. Arkansas is preparing to use the drug in eight state killings.
KATV reports that a federal court jury in Little Rock this morning returned guilty verdicts on all counts against two people charged in a multi-million-dollar scheme for claiming federal money for feeding phantom poor children.
Federal Judge Price Marshall this morning ruled that the state's hurried consideration of clemency requests by Death Row inmates was not flawed enough to stop the executions.
The Little Rock Zoo has added a 10-year-old eastern black rhino to its collection, in a transfer from Zoo Atlanta, in hopes of breeding. She joins a male rhino in the African exhibit next week.
"Dream Land: Little Rock's West 9th Street," an hour-long documentary on the storied street by the Arkansas Education Television Network, premieres tonight at 7 p.m.
Arkansans have a heart for giving. On April 6, 2017, Arkansas Community Foundation is encouraging us to join together to grow the love for our state’s nonprofit organizations. Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., ArkansasGives is a challenge to all Arkansans to give to the charities of their choice. Visit ArkansasGives.org to donate.
Thursday: An open line and news roundup.
How many coffee shops can downtown Little Rock support? We’ll find out this summer when yet another new shop, Nexus Coffee and Creative, opens at 301B President Clinton Ave., next door to the departed Ten Thousand Villages and across from Revolution.
The “cold beer” call will ring out at Dickey-Stephens Park, not for the Travs but for Food and Foam Fest, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, April 14.
Little Rock school czar Johnny Key won't give voters their district back, but he has given Michael Poore a contract extension as school superintendent.
Little Rock police fatally shot a man who reportedly had rammed one car and was attempting to ram a police car in a motel parking lot at Kanis and Shackleford Roads about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Once more into a foreign state for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, this time to protect anti-abortion agencies that try to mislead women so they can lobby them not to have abortions.
Khana Indian Grill in Fayetteville is a great option for casual dining.
Syria. Your thoughts?
For your calendar: A rally against the seven scheduled executions is set for a week from today, at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 14 at the State Capitol.
Arkansas death row inmate Kenneth Williams talks about his mindset in the weeks leading up to his execution date on April 27 in the latest from the Life Inside series, a collaboration between The Marshall Project and Vice.
The Magnolia Reporter believes the Tomahawk missiles fired on a Syrian air base were made in Arkansas.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has vetoed a "mass picketing" bill and a bill to pay for panic buttons in public schools. The first he viwed as an infringement on free speech, the second as an expense school districts should bear.
The Little Rock Police Department has identified Jonathan Gonzalez, a member of the force since June 2015, as the officer who fatally shot a man after he reportedly rammed cars in a motel parking lot when officers tried to arrest him on multiple warrants.
A stolen truck drove into pedestrians in Stockholm, killing two and leaving many injured. It's a form of terrorism that seems to be becoming more common.
The Times was recently accused of "hacking" by Rep. Mary Bentley on Facebook. As silly as that is, it's a symptom of a deep misunderstanding of technology. We've taken this as an opportunity to do some educating and explain a bit about hacking and how you can keep you and your data safe.
Here you go — an open line and some news and comment.
Checking court records for developments in the pending execution cases, I came across a piece of bookkeeping minutia. Wheels of justice grind fine, they say.
The legal challenges to the state’s plan to execute eight men over a 10-day time period, Governor Hutchinson’s vetoes and a scuttled bid to return the Little Rock School District to local control — all covered on this week's podcast.
Jack Jones Jr., scheduled for the final clemency hearing today among the eight who had been set for execution in April, does not want clemency, KTHV reports via Twitter.
With seven executions set to be performed in Arkansas over a 10-day period of time beginning at 7 p.m. April 17, attention turns to a scheduled federal court hearing next week on the controversial three-drug lethal injection process.
Among those who've been speaking out against the rush to execute eight Death Row inmates is a former guard of Death Row.
The city of Little Rock has quietly been working to renew annual taxpayer payments of $300,000 a year to the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in the name of economic development. Once again tax dollars will flow to a group that works against workers' interests and also played a pivotal role in state takeover of the Little Rock School District from an elected board.
Believe what you will about capital punishment, but most of the civilized world seems a little shocked by our assembly line executions this month.
The Saturday night open line.
Another prominent black person has spoken out against the Little Rock School District tax proposal on a special election ballot May 9. The business establishment group pushing for approval of an $600 million in new taxes has a formula to victory that counts on a low black turnout in the majority black district.
Gun violence marred a beautiful Sunday in Little Rock. Here's the open line.
Remember when Arkansas legislators claimed Florida was a shining example of school-voucher-style scholarship programs? Save this report for their next run on public money for private schools.
Mayor Mark Stodola has pitched his support behind a movement for college football at UALR, in part to provide another paying customer for War Memorial Stadium, likely soon to be shorn of even the one Razorback game it still hosts. It wouldn't be cheap
Novelist John Grisham, an Arkansas native, has called on Gov. Asa Hutchinson sto stop the planned series of executions set to begin next week. He says too many risks are being taken in the name of expediency.
Here are details behind the plan for the city of Little Rock to resume $300,000 in taxpayer corporate welfare payments to the Little Rock Regional Chamber Commerce. It's as opaque and business-lobby friendly as it was before a court struck the arrangement down. Which means the City Board will probably go for it.
The hearing on efforts to stop seven executions scheduled to begin Monday will last much longer than expected.
A non-partisan report produced on California charter schools could be a template for many other states, including Arkansas, with the difference only in numbers.
Monday: the open line and video roundup.
The Arkansas Parole Board said today it would not recommend clemency for Death Row inmate Jack Jones, not surprising because he said in a letter to the Parole Board that he didn't want clemency.
Another politician done in by sex. This one Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley.
Town hall crowd comes prepared with questions for U.S. Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers. He sloughed off criticism and said, among others, "I'm with Trump."
Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore told me yesterday in response to a question that new state enabling legislation requirements on transparency would apply to his proposal to ship $300,000 a year in taxpayer money to subsidize the operation of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. In other words, there will be no transparency.
The governor today filled three judgeships, including one in Little Rock, and named a former Razorback basketball star to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
French Hill emerges to meet public — for 60 minutes, mid-afternoon on work day, with Tom Cotton UPDATE
If you have 60 minutes free mid-afternoon Monday, Republican Congressman French Hill is willing to take your questions if you'll drive out to west Little Rock for an event shared with Sen. Tom Cotton.
There's an argument for a vote for 14 years more taxes in the Little Rock School District, but the ones made last night by tax advocate Bobby Roberts aren't good ones. He's working an old dodge and putting entirely too much faith in state officials who've demonstrated they deserve little trust.
Must read: Ernest Dumas explains why coal is dead, no matter how much Donald Trump, Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas congressmen and the State Chamber of Commerce and others talk about overturning clean power rules. The future is gas, wind and solar.
Noted: The original proclamation for the May 9 Little Rock School District tax election showed that early voting would be held in two place beginning May 2 — the county office building at 501 W. Markham
Here's the daily news roundup plus a space for your comments.
The Root Cafe's not-yet-well-known dinner is delicious.
The president of the American Bar Association has urged Gov. Asa Hutchinson to slow the planned schedule for seven executions to begin Monday to protect the constitutional rights of the condemned men.
A federal court jury is to hear closing arguments Wednesday in the trial of a lawsuit by the mother of Bobby Moore against former Little Rock police officer Josh Hastings for his fatal shooting of Moore during investigation of a car burglary in 2012.
The Little Rock City Board had a brief discussion this afternoon about the plans to vote next week on resuming $300,000 a year in taxpayer subsidy to salaries and expenses of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. Short version: The continuing corporate welfare is greased.
A hearing continued into the evening before U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker at the Federal Courthouse in Little Rock, with attorneys for Arkansas death row prisoners seeking to make the cast that the state's abbreviated execution schedule — which would see eight inmates executed in 10 days this month — is in violation of the Eighth Amendment and their right to effective counsel.
Does an unexpectedly close race for a traditionally Republican congressional seat in Kansas offer hope for Democrats in the mid-term election? What about Arkansas's 2nd District?
The city of Little Rock claims a big return on its "partnership" with the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. Some details were lacking in the case made by City Manager Bruce Moore.
Religious leaders gathered at the Capitol this morning to deliver to Gov. Asa Hutchinson a letter signed by more than 200 asking him to stop the seven executions scheduled over a 10-day period beginning at 7 p.m. Monday.
Byron Tate reports this week in the Sheridan Headlight that a former Sheridan coach and teacher, Tyler Pickett, has entered a negotiated plea of guilty to charges of sexual assault and indecency with three students.
Party on the Arkansas Times Blues Bus to the home of the famous "crossroads" in Clarksdale, Mississippi for the culmination of the annual Juke Joint Festival.
Russ Racop, the blogger who complained to the state Ethics Commission about Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones' gift worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to North Little Rock cops, has received notice that the Commission will have a probable cause hearing on his complaints.
Death Row inmates Bruce Ward and Don Davis have asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to stop their executions until the U.S. Supreme Court can decide a case over adequate consideration of mental state of people sentenced to death.
The open line and daily news roundup.
Nobody should say Donald Trump is not, well, flexible.
KFSM in Fort Smith is reporting the filing of a police complaint against state Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith over payments made for roof repair to an apartment complex.
Another late night for attorneys arguing for and against a federal lawsuit brought by Arkansas death row prisoners seeking to make the case that the state's abbreviated execution schedule — which would see eight men executed this month — would violate the Eighth Amendment and their right to effective counsel. The hearing continued past 6 p.m. tonight before U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker at the Federal Courthouse in Little Rock, and resumes for a final day tomorrow at 9 a.m. In February, Governor Asa Hutchinson scheduled double executions for each of four nights, April 17, 20, 24 and 27.
Jury resumes deliberations Thursday.
Suddenly, a lot of important groups are anxious to keep key parts of Obamacare afloat. Simple. It's good for business, not to mention people who get health coverage.
Little Rock's Izard Chocolate serves up fine handcrafted chocolate.
All spirits will be lifted at the 19th annual Wine & Food Festival (a.k.a "Arkansas's Premier Feastival") at Wildwood Park for the Arts, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, April 21.
Neal Harrington, Tammy Harrington, Jed Jackson, Alan Gerson, Dolores Justus, Stephano Sutherlin: Those are six reasons — and there are many more — to head over to Argenta tonight for the monthly ArtWalk, 5-8 p.m.