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April 16, 2009

Vol 7 • No 14

Bragging Rights

Rick Bragg — via his books “All Over But the Shoutin’,” “Ava’s Man,” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning feature stories he once wrote as a reporter for the New York Times — has spent his whole life telling stories about other people.

From “The Prince of Frogtown,” by Rick Bragg

The East Side was the fashionable part of town, but the West Side bent its back to the place, powered it, made it run. The East Side wore a lace of dogwoods, azaleas and wild plums. Here were the college professors, the merchants and professionals, the landlords and the necktie men, prominent First Baptists and Episcopalians.

Q&A with Rick Bragg

A former reporter with the New York Times and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Rick Bragg is the author of the bestselling memoirs “All Over But the Shoutin’ ” and “Ava’s Man.”

Best Bets

There’s a lot to see and do during the weekend of the Arkansas Literary Festival — so much, in fact, that there are often multiple readings and panel discussions scheduled at the same time.

Arkansas Literary Festival 2009

Here's the complete lineup for the festival.

Book 'em

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s springtime out there.

U.S. arms drug gangs

Interesting story. How lax U.S. gun sale rules have made the country a prime source of weaponry for Mexican drug cartels.

Good for workers, good for business

Hobby Lobby says it will increase its minimum wage to $10 an hour. (Didn't the small business lobby just successfully defeat legislation to put the state minimum wage in line with the federal minimum wage, now $6.55 an hour and going to $7.25 in July?)

Gas leak

21t W. Capitol, KATV says. Anybody in the vicinity with a report?

Early out

I'm slacking. The readers take over.

Good riddance

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talked Texas secession today in his talk to Lone Star teabaggers.

What's new in the galleries

A list of new exhibits and events in Arkansas galleries.

Words, April 16

But permissible only if he’s a good provider:

April 8-14, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … ARKADELPHIA. A civic group is organizing again — and this time even more carefully — to gather sufficient signatures to put an alcohol sales measure on the local ballot next year. A 2008 effort fell just short.

The observer, April 16

Last week, Mena was preparing to honor one of its war dead, PFC Herbert A. Littleton, who died April 22, 1951, in Korea.

Reaching legislators

In this state, to communicate with many legislators, we have to deal in terms they can understand — $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, guns, sports (make that winning sports teams).

For free choice

I read with disappointment Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s statement that she cannot support the Employee Free Choice Act as it is now written.

WM3 revelation

In its final review of the trial of Damien Echols, one of the men known as the West Memphis Three, the Arkansas Supreme Court last week agreed to consider an affidavit filed under seal last year by a Little Rock attorney.

To-do list, April 16

Dinosaur Jr., Real Deal in the Rock, The Excuse Party, Doo Wop in Concert, Nickelback, 'Jesus Christ Superstar', The Original Wailers and Disney on Ice are happening this week.

Smart talk, April 16

Of the 13,163 local school districts in the United States in the 2006-07 school year, 5,771 enrolled fewer than 1,000 students.

The perps walk

So far, nearly everything about the national financial meltdown was predictable, including the collapse itself, and was in fact predicted when the government lifted the restraints on commercial banks in 1999 and told them to go risk their depositors’ and shareholders’ assets in the most profitable way they could.

Centennial Church is falling down

Stories out of Helena-West Helena always seem to be about conflict, often conflict with a racial angle. Even stories about historic preservation tend in that direction.

Chopped Up

Where’s the beef? The North Little Rock Police Department recently purchased an $80,000 unmanned mini-chopper.

No comprendo

It’s not an Einstein ciphering away in the Ol’ Moi upstairs, but it’s not a Glenn Beck either. I figure I can hold my own with the generality in the ratiocination department, if not with such prodigies Bro. Caldwell, Mike Tyson and Chuck Norris. Somewhere around the mythical norm. But there are some things I don’t understand, and thought you might help me out.

A&E news, April 16

After throwing a passive-aggressive fit on the Q, a radio show broadcast across Canada, Billy Bob Thornton and his “modbilly” band the Boxmasters canceled the final leg of their Canadian tour.

Eat local

Old news: green is the new black.

In brief, April 16

?Popular alt-rockers Egypt Central headline Juanita’s Thursday with help from Kind and Altus Pocket, 9 p.m., $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.�ight Nov. 4 say the event was a peaceful celebration until cops arrived, and insist that accounts of rock and bottle throwing and an assault on an officer are false or overblown. � href="http://www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog/2008/07/the_uca_money_trail.aspx">here.�e assailant had “turned” and “pointed a gun” at the officers, prompting them to open fire and kill him. �im." �ve his mother. I’m extremely unhappy, but every time I try to talk to her she starts to cry and tells me she couldn’t live without me. I do believe she would do something drastic, as do all our friends. Should I stay with her and hope things get better, or should I leave her and hope she’s bluffing?
—Dismayed
�derived from the natives, who believe that it is caused by a wind, which comes immediately from the court of their great and benevolent God Cautantowwit, or the south-western God."�or the Times to begin its yearly look at how Arkansas’s philanthropy is progressing. In our first philanthropy issue in 1998, we reported that the Walton family was about to endow a family foundation with sales of 25 million shares of Wal-Mart stock. But the Waltons didn’t make the Slate 60 list until its 1999 publication of the list, when the Waltons suddenly appeared in 12th place for gifts totaling $91.7 million, which included the $50 million gift that created the Sam Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas. 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Orval, April 16

Editorial cartoon, April 16

Rock Candy 500

The stars aligned last week at the River Market Pavilion for the Rock Candy 500.

No help for workers

“Without organization the wageworkers are helpless victims of the industrial forces that are seeking their own self-interest. The right to organize is a sham, a trick, a deceit, unless it carries with it the right to organize effectively and the right to use that organized power to further the interests of the workers.”

Getting Twitter, and not

A funny thing happened on this Twitter thing on April Fool’s Day, appropriately.

Pub or Perish!

Right now, I’m nervous.

Mall-adroit

A recent New York Times profile of Jody Hill included a description of one of the director’s earliest scripts, and one with which Hill hoped to break into Hollywood.

What's cooking, April 16

The Pantry, located in the spot once occupied by Gypsy’s Bar and Grill, is now open.

This modern world, April 16

Cheap cheep.

Chasing the elusive food bargain?  I have over the past couple of years been asked to pontificate on matters monetary... as in "where do you get those great deals?"  One of the many answers is Russellville's Chicken Mart, purveyers of fine frozen goods at more than reasonable prices.  More at Tie Dye Travels.

The senatorial twins

The metaphorical reference -- if it were meaningful to more than old codgers -- would be the Bobbsey twins.

Judicial candidate ill

Steve Harrelson's Under the Dome Blog reports that Circuit Judge Jim Hudson of Texarkana, one of three nominated by Arkansas's senators to fill a federal judgeship in South Arkansas, has had setbacks in his treatment for cancer.

The endless election

More good news in the upstate New York congressional race. More good news in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race.

Money to preserve history

I just got word of a historical effort of interest. The National Park Service has a $1 million grant program to preserve and interpretthe sites of World War II internment camps for American citizens of Japanese descent.

'Something's happening here'

"What it is ain't exactly clear. There's a man with a gun over there.

Thursday To-Do: Dinosaur Jr.

DINOSAUR JR.9 p.m., Revolution. $16-$22.Dude.

Spa death

Bob Wheeler, who was Mister Hot Springs for decades, passed away this morning. He had been ill for several years.

One-man crime wave

LRPD today announced arrest of a suspect in a lengthy string of car burglaries, muggings and till tappings.

Anti-immigrant suit loses again

The state Supreme Court today upheld a Fort Smith judge's dismissal of angry immigrant basher Joe McCutchen's lawsuit challenging the State Police's bilingual instructions for obtaining a driver's license.

NLR cops see vindication UPDATE

The NLR SWAT team that busted in unannounced on a North Little Rock man and then shot him after he took up, but didn't fire, a gun at what he thought was an unlawful intrusion got vindication for their action yesterday.

NLR cops see vindication UPDATE

The NLR SWAT team that busted in unannounced on a North Little Rock man and then shot him after he took up, but didn't fire, a gun at what he thought was an unlawful intrusion got vindication for their action yesterday.

Levon Helm delivers 'Electric Dirt'

Just a few weeks after he comes to Walton Arts on June 18, Levon Helm will release "Electric Dirt," his follow-up to 2007's Grammy winning "Dirt Farmer."

Beebe appoints

Gov. Mike Beebe announced a batch of appointments today, including John Chamberlin of Little Rock, who heads a research company, to the seat vacated by steelmaker Tom Schueck on the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.

Jeff Matika in Rolling Stone

That's Matika hiding behind the keyboardist. At DNA Lounge.

Done your background checks?

Big hubbub in Jacksonville this week. The Leader has the details.

Thursday: Archie Bell and the Drells, Egypt Central, Chris Denny and more

Archie Bell and the Drells with Scott Minor at Lucky Dog in LR. Famed soul act Archie Bell and the Drells, famous for the song "Tighten Up," are in town this week making a commercial, for Energy Efficiency Arkansas.

The torture memos

They stole our country. 11 days of sleep deprivation OK. Obama statement. Terrible.

Billy Bob gets another interview

He talks here with Evan Smith of Texas Monthly. Thornton is on better behavior. Didn't insist on a music-only format.

Pay to sue -- WSJ nips McDaniel, Dems

A vigorous Texas advocate alerts me to a Wall Street Journal editorial today about influence peddling by a high-powered lawyer.

Over to you

I'm going to make roast beef hash with leftovers. Meanwhile, I'll take a point of personal privilege to mention that John Madden announced his retirement today.

Tightening up

Lesson I: Always read Rock Candy. I do.

Pub or Perish!

Right now, I’m nervous. No, it’s not about my stock portfolio, but thanks for asking. The problem — as it always is for me this time of year — is Pub or Perish.

Beer comes to Fayetteville

Talk about news. On a split vote, the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has approved beer sales in a Fayetteville convenience store.

Foreclosure blues

The NY Times today features the Fayetteville couple, Robert and Katherine Shoulders, facing foreclosure on loans for their athletic club.

School thievery

The LRPD has charged a Mabelvale Middle School employee with using school credit cards to make personal purchases -- total not disclosed so far -- over a three-year period.

Ark. Literary Festival: Friday

It's underway now, but the first can't miss reading doesn't come until noon, when memoirist and reporter Rick Bragg talks about his new book, "The Prince of Frogtown," at the Darragh Center in the Main Library.

Weekend To-Do: Real Deal in the Rock

Jared Sullinger. REAL DEAL IN THE ROCK4 p.m., Jack Stephens Center, UALR, and gyms all over Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Foxy lady

We mentioned the other day former Little Rock newswoman Susan Roesgen's partial meltdown in the face of antagonistic teabaggers whiile covering the tax protest in Chicago for CNN.

Friday To-Do: The Excuse Party

THE EXCUSE PARTY9 p.m., Juanita's. $10Those Conduit Ent.

Feds go green

The federal Environmental Protection Agency at last acts as if its name has meaning. It is moving to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Feds go green

The federal Environmental Protection Agency at last acts as if its name has meaning. It is moving to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Another Obama disappointment

I know. They'll say it's not time. That there are more important things to be done now.

Last night: Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.April 16, RevolutionLast night, before he quit talking between songs and instead started making guttural animal noises, Lou Barlow told a joke.

Dry sabbath in Green Forest

The story that broke in Green Forest the other day -- the state has ended the requirement for local option elections for Sunday alcohol sales in Arkansas -- has stirred a fuss there.

Dry sabbath in Green Forest

The story that broke in Green Forest the other day -- the state has ended the requirement for local option elections for Sunday alcohol sales in Arkansas -- has stirred a fuss there.

The Weekend: Go Fast, Four on the Floor, DJ Killah Cam, the gay rodeo, more

DJ Killah Cam(eron Holifield) is a vampire. Truly.

Saturday To-Do: Doo Wop Celebration

Shirley Alston Reeves. DOO WOP IN CONCERT7 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall.

Organizing Wal-Mart

Union steps up effort to sign up Wal-Mart workers. Resistance stout.

Literary Festival: Saturday and Sunday

Dorothy Allison. David Koon put together a strong, diverse list of "Best Bets" for the paper this week.

Sign of Spring.

We would be remiss if we didn't note the opening of the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market Saturday morning at 6th and Main in North Little Rock.  This week's opening features: strawberries, greens, onions, eggs, meats, squash, radishes, cut flowers, plant starts, baked goods and fresh-brewed coffee.

You don't need a Weatherman ...

... to know which way the political wind is blowing at Lyon College in Batesville.

You don't need a Weatherman ...

... to know which way the political wind is blowing at Lyon College in Batesville.

Ashton Kutcher's stupid twitter feed feud encroaches on the real world

Maybe you've already been minding your business, driving down the interstate, seen this, spit out your coffee in shock and horror and ruined your shirt.

Here comes the lottery

The first meeting of the Arkansas Lottery Commission will be at 1 p.m. May 5 at the University of Arkansas System Board Room, 2404 North University.

Friday follies

They're on.

Geeking Out

I love a festival, but a literary festival is particularly exciting for me because I studied creative writing in grad.

Lottery 'oversight'

All that talk. All that legislation.

Dreaming dreams

Slow day, so why not a link to a nice feature in today's NY Times on the dowdy small-town Scottish woman who bowled over Britain in its talent competition the other night and has become a YouTube sensation.

I-40 traffic deaths

Looks like the early morning word of a wreck on I-40 was worth notice. Related accidents between Brinkley and Wheatley led to multiple fatalities and extended blockage of westbound lanes.

Stillborn chimp

The Little Rock Zoo today announced a stillborn chimpanzee.

Kim Hendren for Senate

It's official. U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln has Republican opposition in 2010.

Kim Hendren for Senate

It's official. U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln has Republican opposition in 2010.

Open line and cocktail call

I'm off to various things, including the Arkansas Times (it's more accurate to say David Koon's) Pub or Perish event in the Arkansas Literary Festival.

Pub or Perish 2009

Great turnout tonight for Pub or Perish 2009, the bar reading sponsored by the Arkansas Times.

Going along to get along

John Brummett writes about freshman Rep. Davy Carter's recent talk to Cabot-area Republicans; a newspaper account of same, and Carter's subsequent explaining and amending.

Turning point?

An apocalyptic TV ad following approval of same-sex marriage in Iowa and Vermont has been greeted, when noticed at all, by derision.

Get out your change jar

House Speaker Robbie Wills is confident you can throw your pennies away on a state lottery before the year is out, despite a little bellyaching here yesterday on the subject.

Now What Do We Do? Tips on Surviving Until Fall Practice

It seems like ages have passed since Casey Dick went out a winner in Little Rock last November.

Past bedtime

Another early hours tragedy involving young children in a car (remember the SWLR parking lot shooting?): KTHV reports:

Clean slate

Mark it up.

Newspapering today

In case you missed it, I'd like to highlight Doigotta's recent open line comment on a change in newspapering at the venerable Pine Bluff Commercial:

Best Seat in the House

I went to Pub or Perish last night.  I thought I was there early enough, but I didn't see any seats available.  After loitering around for a few minutes, I saw some guys get up and leave, so I casually wandered over to their table.  I put my hand on the back of one of the chairs at about the same time that an older lady came up and did the same thing.  We smiled shyly at each other, and she asked, "Oh!  Are you sitting here?"  I admitted that I'd been thinking about it, but the lady, whose name is Ann, agreed that since we'd both come alone, we'd just sit together.  We chatted a bit, and when another lady sidled up to our table, Ann asked if she was looking for a place to sit.  She offered our extra seat, adding, "We just met!"  When she said it, the arrangement seemed like a such a lark.

Centennial Church is falling down

Stories out of Helena-West Helena always seem to be about conflict, often conflict with a racial angle. Even stories about historic preservation tend in that direction.

Tea brewers

Brummett heaps scorn on failed Republican politicians -- Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich -- who helped whip up teabaggers' frenzy last week.

Preserving marriage

I'm just now noticing an interesting book review in Sunday's Times on "The Marriage-Go-Round." It's demographer and sociologist Andrew Cherlin's look at the institution.

Advanced techniques

So. Waterboarding someone 183 times is not torture, under the Bush administration definition.

KUAR fund drive

Somebody asked: Yes, Rosi Smith of Children's Hospital and I will beg for money for public radio in our usual time period, 6:30 to 9 a.m.

Lots of nearby opportunities to see Matika and White do rock opera

Green Day today announced the first leg of its first North American tour in three years, and judging by all the nearby dates scheduled, the pipe dream of the band coming to Alltel on this tour, in a future leg, looks to be just that.Therer are gigs scheduled in Nashville, New Orleans, St. Louis and Kansas City.

New Nate Powell

Nate Powell's latest comic, "Cakewalk,"  is online for free reading. A short collaboration with writer Rachel Bormann, it follows an adolescent girl in Indiana who naively dresses up in blackface, as Aunt Jemima, for Halloween.

Submariners gather

TV crews looking for a little human interest? Here's a little as close as the NLR riverfront.

Weekend Theater announces 2009-2010 season

From 'Rent.' The Weekend Theater announced it's 2009-2010 season over the weekend, and like previous offerings it's a mix of familiar and obscure, classic and contemporary and broad and challenging.

Insurer won't pay on Chenal fire

Surprise. The insurance company is refusing to pay a claim on that mysterious fire at a Chenal Circle mansion (photographed pre-destruction), which owner Aaron Jones claims was torched by robbers who first tied him up.

Monday To-Do: 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

‘JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR'7:30 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $18-$52.'Tis the season.

Kris Allen, the 16-year-old with magenta hair and eight people we don't want to see in concert coming soon

The American Idol tour is coming to Alltel Arena on Saturday, July 25.Tickets go on sale May 9 at 10 a.m.

Daily carnage

Aggregating Twitter newsfeeds in Arkansas can be a dispiriting thing. White County jailer and wife shot dead in apparent murder-suicide while young children present.

Seinfeld to Robinson this summer

The comedian comes on Friday, July 10. According to this Ticketmaster page, tickets go on-sale to season subscribers at 9 a.m.

Political number crunching

Ah, the computer age. Latest digital marvel is how it has upgraded reporting on the legislature.

Political number crunching

Ah, the computer age. Latest digital marvel is how it has upgraded reporting on the legislature.

Beware of drillers bearing gifts

I'm reminded again of the man up in Faulkner County who described the Fayetteville shale gas drilling boom as a gift from God.

I Hate To Say It...

Google Earth Image from a "land-farm" near Greenwood, AR But I told you so.  From Max's Arkansas Blog: I'm reminded again of the man up in Faulkner County who described the Fayetteville shale gas drilling boom as a gift from God.

Monday: Chris Michaels and the Cranks, the Isaac Alexander band...4-20, dude!

Isaac Alexander. At White Water, it's all about friends helping friends as Boondogs Isaac Alexander, Chris Michaels, Dylan Turner and Jason Weinheimer play once as the Isaac Alexander Band and then again as Chris Michaels and the Cranks, 9 p.m., $5.

Hendrix alum wins Pulitzer

Hendrix College proudly announces: Hendrix College alumnus Douglas A. Blackmon has received the Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for his book Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.

More on triple fatality

Authorities are treating the drowning of three children whose mother drove her car into a Conway County lake as an accident.

Speaking of legislative research

A new player in the legislative research field in LR is Capsearch. Matt Price of Capsearch passes along a tidbit mined from its database of campaign contributions, drawn from public records and, unlike some free on-line services, updated almost instantly with the latest reports.

Q&A: Greg Skulman, Part 1

If you've come here looking for a detailed breakdown of Saturday's Red-White game, you are bound to be, uh, disappointed.

Trojans in motion

You perhaps recall I dipped a toe in the recent great UALR cheerleading controversy. Acrobatic cheerleaders or sexy dance squad?

The line is open

Fire away.

What's new in the galleries

Upcoming exhibits and events.

It's time...

For the Farmers Market at the Little Rock River Market.  The big season opens at seven this morning.  Not only is it the 35th anniversary of the Little Rock Farmers Market (wow, I didn't know it was almost as old as I am!), there's all sorts of neat stuff going on -- including appearances by two of the chefs from Bravo Network's Top Chef program from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Lots of great offers and several days of celebration to follow.  Check out the special 35rh anniversary website for more information.

It's an Arkansas thing

Thus, John Brummett explains the political blend that is Sen. Kim Hendren, announced opponent to Sen. Blanche Lincoln next year.

Socialized milk

The state is about to begin making direct cash payments to subsidize dairy farmers. They're hurting, I know.

Pointing fingers in Ponzi scheme

"Sir" Allen Stanford, accused of presiding over a multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme whose victims included a number of Little Rock investors, is trying to rehab himself.

Parrotgate

Argenta News photo Scott Miller, at Argenta News, reports that the Salty Parrot had been leaking for some time before the floating tavern sank in the Arkansas River and North Little Rock officials were aware of the problem.

Let's play powerball UPDATE

A public official of long and trustworthy acquaintance told me yesterday he'd heard a strong buzz about the possibility that a former state legislator was emerging as a leading candidate to direct the new Arkansas Lottery.

Let's play powerball UPDATE

A public official of long and trustworthy acquaintance told me yesterday he'd heard a strong buzz about the possibility that a former state legislator was emerging as a leading candidate to direct the new Arkansas Lottery.

Fruitful Morning.

It's a beautiful day in the River Market neighborhood, where the 35th Annual Little Rock Farmers Market is now underway.  Early morning light saw about a dozen well-supplied vendors with loads of fresh fruits and veggies quietly offering their goods to passers by.  A little spit of rain didn't really seem to bother anyone out for the pick of the crop this morning.  It's still early for most of Arkansas' crops, but there were Cabot strawberries and greenhouse tomatoes and all sorts of onions and leeks and greens.  Here too is a good place to pick up three to six inch starter plants for the garden, beautiful hanging baskets for Mother's Day, and cypress wood products.  The early morning crowd was rather pleasant, and a scone from Old Mill Bakery and a cuppa from Coast Cafe just topped everything off nicely.  Not only was I able to cinch some beautiful produce pics, but I came home with some of the bounty -- green tomatoes, sweet potatoes, glossy cucumbers and roly poly wax potatoes.  More produce porn on the jump.

The Democratic wing of the Dem. Party

The Washington County Democratic Committe has unanimously voted to urge Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln to become co-sponsors of the Employee Free Choice Act, vote for cloture and otherwise support the party's position in support of the legislation.

Here comes the money

The state Education Department has announced that specific allocations of federal stimulus money for schools are now listed on this state website.

Newspaper talk

KATV did a roundup on the newspaper industry last night -- including coverage of Roy Reed's Clinton School reading from his book drawn from the Arkansas Gazette oral history; the Pine Bluff Commercial's end of Monday home delivery, and an interview with Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter Hussman on the daily's steps to cope with the difficult economic climate.

Tuesday To-Do: The Wailers

THE ORIGINAL WAILERS9 p.m., Revolution, $12 adv., $15 d.o.s., 18 and up.First, clarification. The actual original Wailers were made up of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and several others.

The Village cares about hipster kids in headbands AND pimps

Two big shows on the horizon. First, on Friday, June 5, famously slow-rolling, pimp-game talking Bay Area rapper Too Short does his thing.

Ends and means

Here's a rogue's gallery of defenders of torture. Is our man Mike Huckabee on the roster?

Sneaky devils UPDATE

I'm embarrassed to report that the bond daddies and those who'd poach school tax money for private businesses scored a victory in the recent legislature.

Never mind Blanche ...

What about Beebe? Roby Brock explores the other great statewide race on the ballot in 2010 -- Gov. Mike Beebe's expected coronation to a second term.

Grenade doc in court

Fox 16's David Goins tweets that Dr. Randeep Mann pleaded not guilty today to unlawful possession of grenades and was scheduled for a June 1 trial.

Sharing those golden handcuffs

Hattiesburg, Miss., paper reports: OXFORD – Wanting to give something back to a place that has come to mean so much to him, University of Mississippi head football Coach Houston Nutt, along with his wife, Diana, has committed $100,000 to Ole Miss. "This is something we've always wanted to do," Nutt said.

Probe asked of lemur death

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants the USDA to investigate the recent death of a baby lemur at the Little Rock Zoo.

Over to you

The dog needs a walk.

Idolators

Sifting through Twitter notes this evening, I come across blogger Jason Tolbert's messages indicating that Rep. Ann Clemmer of Bryant (recently revealed as a Hillcrest-leaning legislator in Republican disguise) is among the legion of fans of Kris Allen, the Arkie entry on "American Idol."

Idolators

Sifting through Twitter notes this evening, I come across blogger Jason Tolbert's messages indicating that Rep. Ann Clemmer of Bryant (recently revealed as a Hillcrest-leaning legislator in Republican disguise) is among the legion of fans of Kris Allen, the Arkie entry on "American Idol."

From the mailbag

I was e-lerted overnight that the stealth redevelopment district legislation that whipped through the recent session unnoticed might have been intended to cut the legs from under the North Little Rock School District's legal challenge of the gerrymandered tax district created by Mayor Pat Hays.

Death at Freddie Mac

Acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac, the giant mortgage company, was found dead in his home today.

Every picture tells a story

Great minds, etc. Blake Rutherford has rolled out a new feature at his Blake's Think Tank blog.

Kris Allen tells a story. About a woman. Working hard for her money.

It's growing more obvious. Kris Allen is destined for the finals, where he'll probably lose, tragically, to Adam Lambert, who may be more vocally gifted, but whose talents seem more suited for, say, breaking glass or a Milwaukee Theatre staging of "Rent," than pop stardom.

To lead Walton Arts Center

The Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville announced a new CEO this morning, Peter Lane. Sounds like a pretty big shot, with extensive experience at prominent institutions in eastern cities.

Block that blog

David Kinkade, the P.J. O'Rourke/Hugh Hefner of Arkansas blogging, tickles me a time or three today with his list at the Arkansas Project of Arkies who SHOULD NOT be blogging.

Little Rock Film Fest line-up unveiled

"(500) Days of Summer" As we've come to expect, it's a diverse assortment of narrative features, docs, shorts and Arkansas-focused material.

Publisher out at Butler Center

Arkansas Business reports that Ted Parkhurst, arrested recently on charges arising from a family dispute, will be removed as head of Butler Center Books at the library.

Time to vote

You'll soon be seeing clickable ads on the website for this, but our ballot is now on-line for the 2009 Best of Arkansas contest.

Duh: Doc's a bomb suspect

A federal agent has stated the obvious for the record: Dr. Randeep Mann, the Russellville physician currently jailed pending federal trial for possession of unregistered grenades, is a person of interest in the bombing of the chairman of the state Medical Board, Dr. Trent Pierce of West Memphis.

Wednesday-Saturday To-Do: Disney on Ice

DISNEY ON ICE7 p.m., Alltel Arena. $15-$45.Parents, get ready to see your kids geek out as bulbous-headed cartoons come to life and skate acrobatically or at least theatrically.

Wednesday: 'Fried Green Tomatoes,' Tiffany Christopher and more

Because it's spring and the Farmer's Market just opened Movies in the Park is showing "Fried Green Tomatoes" tonight in the Riverfest Amphitheater.

Judge on trial

The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission begins a hearing Monday for Circuit Judge Willard Proctor to answer a finding that there was probable cause to believe he'd violated judicial ethics rules in operation of the nonprofit probation program, Cycle Breakers, that he started and which operates solely in his court.

France times two

General Motors apparently is preparing to close its U.S. plants for nine weeks this summer.

Q&A: Greg Skulman, Part 2

It's time for the second part of our Q&A with former Razorback basketball player Greg Skulman (here's part 1).

Q&A: Greg Skulman, Part 3

Drama. Intrigue.

30 people.

     I was trying to figure out how many people in the world I care about.

Wilson vs Mallett: There Can Only Be One

The dog days of the offseason don't bring a lot of genuinely exciting news, but tomorrow (Thursday) actually promises to be a rare exception.
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