It took a group of clever and obstinate young Republican legislators who refused to go along with Medicaid expansion but weren't ready to close the door on other ideas. They helped force a crafty veteran Democratic governor who was eager to go forward with expansion to consider alternative approaches. Throw in tireless and creative state health officials who happened to have a cozy relationship with their federal It took a group of clever and obstinate young Republican legislators who refused to go along with Medicaid expansion but weren’t ready to close the door on other ideas. They helped force a crafty veteran Democratic governor who was eager to go forward with expansion to consider alternative approaches. Throw in tireless and creative state health officials who happened to have a cozy relationship with their federal counterparts. Probably some luck. And, among everyone involved, it took a slightly crazy, seemingly unjustified optimism that somehow a solution was possible.
Vol 39 • No 35
The Body recently signed to the Thrill Jockey record label.
Vore plays at Downtown Music Hall Thursday.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms announced today it was investigating the fire that destroyed the First Baptist Church of Highland Park last Sunday.
The Sierra Club said today that the ExxonMobil cleanup effort after the pipeline break at Mayflower remains several thousand barrels short of accounting for the estimated 5,000 barrels of heavy crude from Canadian tar sands territory that spilled before the pipeline was shut off.
Mark Edgar Stuart plays at White Water Tavern Thursday.
The state Finance and Administration Department today issued revised forecasts for state tax revenue through the end of fiscal 2014 (June 30, 2014).
Blake Rutherford, who's been chief of staff to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, is moving to the McLarty Companies to be a vice president advising on "communications, strategy and social responsibility."
The line is open. Final thoughts: * PERENNIAL CAMPAIGNER: Former state Rep. Bobby Tullis has talked about entering many a political race and even entered some since his days in the legislature. Now it's U.S. Senate.
Perfect American cuisine for those comfort food needs.
Scott outpost serves up barbecue and local edibles.
There's an old and morbid joke whose punch line is, "Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" It came to mind after U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton of Dardanelle recklessly compared President Obama's record for holding off terrorists with that of Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush. Bush's record was practically impeccable, Cotton said, except for 9/11.
With tech talks that matter.
LR resident prepares to fight City Hall — and seemingly contradictory ordinances — for her non-traditional pet.
"Despite the help, Mustain couldn't usurp Barkley, and when Carroll left for the Seattle Seahawks, new coach Lane Kiffin stuck with the incumbent."
Also, de-ducktions. It was a bad week for U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, lottery reporting, animal survival in an oiled marsh and breaking into cars.
I am a resident of Massachusetts and the aunt of Lauren Rousseau. You might recognize her name; her body was blown apart by some of the 154 shots of the Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle that Adam Lanza used in his massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There were 20 innocent children and 5 other adults also murdered that day.
Lamentably, the Boston Marathon bombing re-opened some of the most poisonous arguments in American life. Specifically, are the Tsarnaev brothers "white"? It's a meaningless question.
Also, Cinco de Mayo at the Clinton Center, the Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast in Argenta, the KABF Pledge Drive Launch Party at Revolution, Whale Fire at White Water, Titus Andronicus at Stickyz and The Devil Makes Three at Revolution.
Plus, Pokey LaFarge at White Water Tavern.
The latest from the Arkansas-born directors should be a crowd pleaser.
"The hardest thing about any political campaign," Adlai Stevenson said at the end of his last race, "is how to win without proving yourself unworthy of winning."
The city of Beebe or Mike Beebe? It's not an easy question. They're both from White County, both have their merits, and their advocates. The town has gained fame for its dead birds; the man as a competent and moderate governor, perhaps the last of his kind.
"Mud," the third feature-length film from Little Rock native Jeff Nichols, was released in town last Friday. Here's what critics, the film's actors, and Nichols himself are saying.
Spring is upon us at last, it seems, fingers crossed and no takebacksies, Ma Nature. We were beginning to wonder if it would ever get here, seeing as how we had to break out the jacket once again last weekend when a front pushed through and had us rushing to switch back on the heater.
To most Arkansans, Cajun French is a foreign language. But that doesn't mean Arkansans can't relate to the Lost Bayou Ramblers, who will perform at the Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast on May 4.
: Chancellor Dan Rahn has told staff that he's hired Bill Bowes, a Connecticut college CFO, to be the UAMS CFO.
Jay Barth, Hendrix politics prof and Times contributor, offers the following analysis on Republican primary voting patterns and what they could mean for a candidate from outside Northwest Arkansas, the historic GOP base in the state.
Here's another look — lengthy and full of multiple poll citations — on the premise that it would NOT have been politically dangerous for the Fearful Four (Democrats Begich, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, Heitkamp, Baucus) to have allowed a vote on universal gun background checks.
Pokey LaFarge plays at White Water Tavern Friday.
This Saturday, May 4th, the Raindrop Turkish House presents the 3rd Annual Turkish Food Fest. The event will take place at the Raindrop Turkish House located at 1501 Market St., Little Rock. The event will be from 11 am — 4 pm, admission is free as is parking, and will happen rain or shine.
I joked yesterday about how Mike Huckabee ties a commercial pitch to just about every breaking news event, often soliciting Huck PAC contributions tailored to the latest Fox slant on President Obama.
The monthly report on Arkansas tax collections in April was in keeping with the announcement yesterday that the annual forecast was being revised upward because of improving economic conditions.
The Arkansas Republican Party is positively thrilled that Nancy Pelosi is speaking in Little Rock today (noon at Statehouse Convention Center to accommodate an expected large crowd).
I wasn't much impressed by the legislation to end election of prosecutors through a partisan process.
Toad Suck Daze is this weekend in downtown Conway.
A late spring snow is in the offing for a big part of the Central U.S. and some of those flakes could fall in Arkansas, in the far northwestern corner.
Bell just returned from Japan in late March, where he acquired his Advanced Sake Professional certification from the Sake Education Council. Only 109 people in the world have received this unique certification.
The Rep's "Death of a Salesman" runs through May 12.
The movie's obviously filmed in DeWitt and elsewhere in Southeast Arkansas and stars Yell County's Jacob Lofland. And those who know Lucero, undoubtedly, will recognize a few songs from Jeff's brother Ben Nichols. But you may've missed a few other local connections.
"Lioness" is from Iron Tongue's debut full length, "The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown."
From the weird file comes the news that Italian fast food chain SKK Italy plans to open their first U.S. location — in, of all places, Russellville.
Given the ethical controversy that came with former Judge Mary Ann Gunn's use of her drug court as a springboard to commercial television, you'd think a judge wouldn't even ask.
Government officials and others came together today in Little Rock to discuss the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline, currently shut down on account of the Mayflower rupture, which runs through 13 miles of the Lake Maumelle watershed.
Maryland has repealed the death penalty, the 18th state to do so. Same governor, Martin O'Malley, signed legislation to legalize gay marriage.
Chances of expansion passing, final reading: 100 percentSee here for previous entries on the Expand-o-Meter
Light start to the day: * PARTISAN JUDGES: I noted yesterday the highly partisan flavor of Appeals Court Judge Rhonda Wood's Twitter feeds, as well as those of colleague Circuit Judge Mike Maggio of Conway.
Revolution hosts a pledge drive launch party for KABF-FM 88.3 Saturday night.
The Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast is Saturday in Argenta.
Whale Fire plays an album release show at White Water Tavern Saturday night.
Marcy Doderer, an Arkansas native (LR Central High grad) who's been vice president and administrator of the Children's Hospital of San Antonio, will become the CEO of Arkansas Children's Hospital effective July 15, to succeed the retiring Dr. Jonathan Bates.
The 15th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is Saturday at the Clinton Presidential Center.
The Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast is coming up on Saturday. Do you have your tickets yet?
Good to be associated with the extremists of the NRA? In Arkansas Republican circles, the answer is a big ja wohl!
Old Crow Medicine Show performs at the Arkansas Music Pavilion Saturday.
As forecast, Northwest Arkansas got a May snow and thanks to Blog reader Charlie Hughes for sending the photo above from Fayetteville.
Since it's customary to blame President Obama for any and everything unpleasant — see U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (Club for Growth, D.C.) and the Boston bombings — should he also get some credit for positives?
The Arkansas legislature opened a new stream of state money on virtual schools — a scheme in which state money equivalent to that given brick-and-mortar schools with labs, gyms, cafeterias, buses, teachers, etc. is given for home schooled students, largely to the benefit of private management companies that serve the virtual school industry.
A 360-degree painting.
What is so rare as a day in May when you'll need a coat for Gallery Walk?
Money, like water, always finds an outlet. Rulings like Citizens United have aided the flow of unaccountable money into political races, but there are other outlets.
The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees voted this morning to opt out of the new state law that allows concealed guns to be carried on campus.
The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport put on a big show today to herald an expansion project and the formal renaming of the airport in honor of the former president and former secretary of state, both on hand for the ceremony.
A pledge of $1 million from trustee C.J. Duvall and a $10 million federal loan will help Philander Smith College build a student activities building on the 135-year-old campus.
When it was first rumored last year that the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences might turn its hospital over to the Catholic-run St. Vincent Health Services, UAMS said no, no, no, that wasn't in the plan.
Lots of great things happening around Arkansas this week. We're here with your weekly update.
If you pay attention to art at all, you know Stephen Cefalo and his work.
Merger negotiations between St. Vincent and UAMS, non-partisan elections, the race for the Republican nominee for governor and more — all covered on this week's show.
I asked earlier for folks to speculate on who'll win tomorrow's Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast. One thing is certain, Local Lime's team, The Porkshank Redemption, is winning in the prepping category. Or at least they're winning at plugging their prepping on social media.
It's Friday. You're on.
To Cantrell Gallery, 8206 Cantrell Road, with a reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Don't stop — thinking about the Hog Roast, even if Fleetwood Mac played for the Clintons at Verizon last night
Today, it's the Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast on Main Street in Argenta, North Little Rock's vibrant downtown.
The New York Times reports this morning on the wave of retirements from the U.S. Senate and a lack of clamor from people anxious to join the filibuster-frozen body.
My Saturday morning ritual of taking my two-year-old by the Argenta Farmer's Market for some fresh eggs made for a nice excuse to check out the progress of the Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast teams. At 7 this morning, the scene had the flavor of an early morning deer camp — booze, coffee, camper chairs and nary a woman in sight. Oh and the mouthwatering smell of fire-roasted pork and smoke.
Winners in the Hog Roast. Asa Hutchinson speaks to NRA. Gun nuts argue that open carry now legal in Arkansas.
TV producer Bryant Huddleston disinvited as Imboden Ark., high school graduation speaker because he's gay
Our news partner Channel 4 has a news story that deserves repetition in full. More national headlines for the small people of Arkansas should follow directly.
The weather was strange, but the food was exactly right at this year's Heritage Hog Roast. Take a look at some of our favorite things from the day.
Rooting around on the school district website this morning, I noted a link with contact information for the school district, should you like to write the school district or Superintendent Mitch Walton, who reportedly forced the issue.
Dark and violent history is always more compelling than the genteel stuff. If you ever find yourself in Melbourne, Australia, for example, be sure to visit its historic jail, full of death masks of desperadoes and lots of stories about that country's violent frontier past.
Imboden superintendent: Disputes accounts on gay graduation speaker, says no outside speakers in future
From Imboden Live this sleepy Sunday comes breaking news over the viral story about TV producer Bryant Huddleston's complaint that a plan to have him speak at graduation of his alma mater, Imboden's Sloan-Hendrix High School, was scrapped because he's gay.
Not warm yet, but warm enough to cook some beer-can chicken on the ol' Weber kettle.
Items of interest this Monday morning from all over: * SWATTING ARRIVES IN LITTLE ROCK: Channel 4 reports that the "SWATting" phenomenon — making false 911 reports to draw SWAT teams to home and businesses — was reported recently at a home on Pebble Beach in West Little Rock.
Titus Andronicus plays at Stickyz Tuesday.
Good article by the AP's Andrew DeMillo on House Speaker Davy Carter's consideration of running for governor.
State Auditor Charlie Daniels, a nearly eternal state officeholder, is hanging it up. He won't seek re-election in 2014, he announced today.
Fox 16 says the Little Rock police are responding to a possible double homicide at 32nd and Bishop Streets.
The Arkansas legislature just passed a new school choice law to replace one contested in federal court in a case that began over students who wanted to transfer from Malvern to whiter schools in Magnet Cove.
Dr. Charles Dunn, who retired in 2008 after more than 20 years as president of Henderson State University, died Sunday of pancreatic cancer.
A coalition of conservation groups announced plans today to file a lawsuit over Agriculture Department approval of a major hog feeding operation at the C&H Hog Farm at Mount Judea near a creek that flows six miles away into the Buffalo National River.
Over to you. Some final notes: * DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR SECRETARY OF STATE IS? The Blue Hog Report notes that Arkansas law requires the secretary of state to reside and keep an office in Little Rock and keep the official record of the legislature.
The Little Rock Technology Park soap opera offers another episode Wednesday, with a board meetingat 4 p.m.
Some other odds and ends that floated in overnight: * JOHN BOOZMAN, STOOGE OF THE NIGHT: I can't find a clip yet, but multiple readers report that U.S. Sen. John Boozman joined Sen. Mark Pryor in David Letterman's pantheon of "stooges of the night" for his vote against broadening background checks for gun purchasers.
Now that the Arkansas legislature has opened the sanctuary doors to guns in churches — if the churches choose — decisions are being made.
The Jackie Robinson movie, '42,' inspires a history lesson from Ernest Dumas this week on breaking the color line in Arkansas minor league baseball, along with a reminder that anybody who believes this a post-racial world should perhaps ask a black person before making any definitive judgments.
The Devil Makes Three performs at Revolution Wednesday.
Word comes in today of completion of a documentary on Jim Lindsey, the Razorback star who became a successful real estate developer and behind-the-scenes political power.
Oil company cheerleader Jason Rapert, the senator for the Mayflower oil spill zone, helped get out the ExxonMobil public relations message today by tweeting news of the oil company's report a month after a ruptured pipeline spewed Canadian tar sand crude on a Mayflower neighborhood.
Opens May 11 with reception.
Interesting story from Texas on the Texas legislature. Republicans, who control nearly everything in Texas, apparently suffered huge blowback from their war on women in the last legislative session that cut health care to women in the battle to destroy Planned Parenthood.
The line is open. Final words: * THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT HAS DESIGNS ON ARKANSAS: Church and State magazine reports on plans by the American Renewal Project, a Religious Right organization, to politically target 12 states including Arkansas in 2014 to "restore America to its Judeo-Christian heritage."
Fayetteville’s TheatreSquared last week announced the lineup for its eighth season. The five-play season will feature the world premiere of “The Spiritualist” by Robert Ford; “4,000 Miles” by Amy Herzog, a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize; Charles Dickens’s holiday classic “A Christmas Carol”; “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire; and Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Five-play packages start at $105.
Opera in the Ozarks celebrates its 63rd season at Inspiration Point this summer with alternating performances of "Madama Butterfly," "The Elixir of Love" and "Pirates of Penzance."
The Boston Globe reports that a startup enterprise from the University of Arkansas has won $250,000 as the winner of the MIT Clean Energy Prize.
Kind of a nicely written narrative from Rep. Nate Bell of Mena on what he says was a formative episode of his youth, when, he says, a 30-30 rifle gave him the backing he needed to scare a would-be intruder away from his Alabama home.
A manhunt is underway for Brandon Metcalf, 17, who escaped between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. last night from the Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center.
I wrote this morning about the latest development on the woebegone Little Rock Technology Park — a rump effort to take over the site selection process because of factional divisions.
John Lyon of Stephens Media examines at some length today a simmering topic in the gun nut community that is of general interest.
Little Rock recorded its 10th homicide of 2013 overnight. Kelshawn Mouton, 21, was found shot to death on Black Jack Court in Southwest Little Rock off Stagecoach Road about 11 p.m. last night.