Is there a faster-growing film festival in the country than the Little Rock Film Festival?
Vol 37 • No 40
Our must-see picks from this year's festival.
The LRFF's Arkansas-related offerings.
Hal Needham, in town for the LR Film Festival, has spent his life getting punched out, burned, blown up, run over and pushed off buildings. In between, he directed one of the most beloved movies of all time.
A Q&A with writer/director/stuntman Hal Needham
With picks, a complete schedule, an interview with pioneering stuntman and director Hal Needham and more.
Judge James Moody today invalidated a permit granted by the Capitol Zoning District for a five-story office building at Sixth and Woodlane Streets across the street from the Capitol.
Tuesday thoughts? Fire away.
'Slow Southern Steel' taps into underground metal at the LRFF.
Do California-style cuts really save money?
You won't walk alone when Elvis exhibits open at the Clinton Center.
Among other visiting authors in the month of June.
More on the Keystone Kops-styled bumbling of Pulaski County School Board member Tim Clark and district principal Michael Nellums of Mills High.
A few observations last week's annual Arkansas Rural Development Conference in Hot Springs.
Burgers, atmosphere make The Ohio Club a Hot Springs destination.
See an overview of the maximum and median salaries and wages and number of employees in all of Little Rock government.
Two years after opening in North Little Rock's Lakewood area, the restaurant is still offering plenty of fresh Mexican-influenced favorites.
That Medicare will decide many Americans' votes seems to have come as a shock to Republican lawmakers, although many owe their offices to that fact.
Have pirates seized control of the state's flagship university?
"How dare you assume to know how we took care of our elephant?"
One of Ed Jakubowski's Disc Dogs performs for a crowd at this year's Riverfest in Little Rock. The three-day festival set an attendance record of more than 260,000.
Around 13.7 billion years ago there was a bang. And what am I doing? Sitting at a computer. Eating a cheese sandwich.
A look at some of Little Rock's more left-field sports offerings.
Also, the RiverTop Party returns with live music from The Venus Mission.
Jason Meier, one of the developers of the proposed Sterling Center downtown, the focus of an article in last week's Arkansas Times, was charged in March with forgery in the second degree and felony theft of property.
An attorney for the Hempstead County Hunting Club says SWEPCO is trying to complete construction on the plant before the matter is settled before the state Public Service Commission or the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Is it merely coincidental that some see similarities between characters in a new novel and some people they know in Little Rock?
I'm sorry, everybody, I can't do the column this week. I'm just too bummed. All the available topics are too depressing.
The same formula doesn't work in 'The Hangover Part II.'
When we returned on Monday, we heard all kinds of reports on the music festival from our friends who braved the crowds to attend. Some were good. Others weren't that great. But one story we heard topped them all.
The city has decided that the five solar-powered compacting trash receptacles you may have seen around were not worth their $4,000 price tag.
Dumb apparently ain't illegal yet, but the prosecuting attorney's file that backs up Jegley's report reads like a James Bond parody.
Also, Big K.R.I.T. plays Cornerstone.
And this week's Netflix pick: Ken Burns' documentary series "The War."
The annual festival enjoyed three days of sunshine, a rarity in its recent history. Some 260,000 people attended, which broke the previous record by 10,000.
The new sit-down Mexican restaurant in the former home of Flying Burrito makes its debut.
And how many were killed if the forces didn't fire?
Reporting in Texas says Walmart heiress Alice Walton is a force behind legislation awaiting the governor's signature to ban noisy airboats on scenic stretches of the Brazos River.
We've written before about Rep. Justin Harris, the government-cutting Republican from West Fork who took offense when a public records request revealed the extent of state support for his "faith-based" daycare center and the possibility that this basher of illegal immmigrants might be receiving public money for caring for same.
This shouldn't be remarkable, but, because of the Bush years, it is. The New York Times reports that the Justice Department has resumed hiring lawyers with civil rights experience for its civil rights division, rather than conservative ideologues with political agendas.
Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District has approved a new 10-year waste recycling contract with Waste Management.
The Central Arkansas Transit Authority and its advertising agency were sued today in federal court for refusing more than $5,000 in bus advertising aimed at atheists and agnostics.
Polling in Minnesota inevitably raises the question of whether the results represent trending national sentiment, or just a highly local phenomenom.
The "Small Works on Paper" exhibit will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2012. Where has the time gone?
Greg Thompson's Fine Art celebrates tonight the launch of the new Oxford American magazine issue that features a Gary Bolding painting, "Double Self Portrait," on its cover.
Taborian Hall turns into a drive-in movie theater throughout the month of June.
The annual multi-day music festival hosts Elvin Bishop, Coco Montoya, Tinsley Ellis and dozens of others.
My Morning Jacket, Ben Harper, Umphrey's McGee and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings highlight the camping and music fest.
The Hank Williams biopic is, without a doubt, the most anticipated movie of the festival.
The Little Rock-centric anthology from Stones Throw is, reportedly, shipping earlier to Arkansas.
Former governor and Fox television show host Mike Huckabee spoke at the Clinton Presidential Center this afternoon to promote his book, "A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need From Washington (and a Trillion We Don’t!)."
The boyhood home of Johnny Cash in Dyess is in sorry shape, but you can help win $25,000 to save it, and all it takes is a few minutes and an online vote!
The Arkansas Highway Commission today selected Scott Bennett, the Highway and Transportation Department's assistant chief engineer, to succeed retiring director Dan Flowers.Flowers, who had to retire before his 65th birthday in December, will make his retirement official Sept. 21, though he'll quit working a month earlier and take accumulated leave time.
A local non-profit is currently raising money with a goal of building a shelter for homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.
Readers take over. Final thoughts: * BOYS STATE: I'm off to my annual debate with delegates to Boys State, where my liberal viewpoints general inspire a warm (as in heated) response.
I'm not going to belabor this. Minds are made up.
Sorry, but this needs repeating: The publicly funded Central Arkansas Transit Authority sent out one of its attorneys yesterday to peddle utter nonsense about the lawsuit by atheists over CATA's connivance with its advertising agency to avoid running atheists' bus advertising.
Arkansas Lottery Commission spokeswoman Julie Baldridge sent notice to press last night that two members of the commission — Steve Faris and Bruce Engstrom — would be at commission offices around the same time today and, in an abundance of caution about the FOI, she wanted the press to know.
John Brummett skewers the Republican Party today for its supposed fiscal interest in going after Matt Campbell, creator of the Blue Hog Report, for the so far unsupported belief that he might have posted some blog items during state time as an employee of the Arkansas Supreme Court.
You know a place is going to be good when you pull up and there’s a line out the door.
The office mail provides suggested solutions to a couple of vexing problems — one in Arkansas; the other national in scope.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today affirmed the conviction of Curtis Lavell Vance in the Oct. 20, 2008 slaying of KATV anchor Anne Pressly.
The local radio show (and a crew of LR bands) takes to Hot Springs for a KABF fundraiser.
One of our very favorite rappers comes to Cornerstone during what very well may be the height of his buzz.
Come see a panel discussion on the media and the WM3 with documentarian Joe Berlinger, Mara Leveritt, Capi Peck and Lorri Davis.
The state's report on tax revenue in May, the 11th month of the budget year, shows an increase over the same month last year and gross revenues in excess of the forecast.
With a plot like something from Dickens, this documentary is an early favorite to win an Academy Award.
The winner of Sundance's World Cinema Jury Documentary Prize and World Cinema Documentary Cinematography Award screens.
Arkansas-born actor Billy Bob Thornton's estranged daughter was convicted on Friday in Florida on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child.
I mentioned earlier today some activities that Arkansas attorney generals once pursued that don't seem to draw the same vigor from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel as beating up on Pulaski County public school children, defending white flight charter schools and setting up sexy new "cybercrime" divisions.
Hossein Keshavarz's film, made clandestinely in Tehran, comes to this year's festival.
Tuesday, I revealed documents I’d received from a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Community Corrections about a deal in which state probation offices planned to work in off-hours on the reality TV “drug court” planned by Circuit Judge Mary Ann Gunn, soon to leave the bench.
Pool skater Josh 'Skreech' Patterson is profiled in this award-winning doc.
First-time director Robbie Pickering is finding acclaim for this off-kilter road-trip comedy.
The Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville is throwing a farewell party for its exhibit, "Garden as Muse," at 5 p.m. tonight.
A spate of robbery reports from the Little Rock police last night. * A gunman robbed two barbers and two customers of their wallets in a robbery about 7:15 p.m.
The lottery held the meeting to request that DIS turn over historical data on retailer contracts to be housed on the lottery’s own system, run by Intralot, the Greece-based company that holds the lottery’s online gaming contact. Engstrom and Faris raised concerns that removing that data from a state-run system would result in a lack of accountability and ultimately stopped the lottery from moving forward.
You remember that "sovereign citizens" — who recognize no form of government — were responsible for the deaths of two West Memphis police officers in a traffic stop before they themselves died in a police shootout.
The prolific Tillman Bros. release their latest on Bandcamp.
Nao Ueda's preservation techniques are just one of the many things you can find on her blog. Right now, she's covering blueberries and blackberries.
Offhand, I can't recall anything quite like this. Maybe you can.
Lobbying of Beebe puts McGill back at Mosaic Templars.
Just catching up on all the email and such that came in while I was in Chicago, and found this great bit of information about the big American Culinary Foundation-sanction competition at this year's Ben E. Keith big food show.
A house at 517 Beechwood (for sale, by the way) will be the setting for a First Thursday show.
The Thursday night line is now open. That picture? It's UCA's new multi-colored football field.
A former Little Rock city employee who work in information technology for the Little Rock Police Department was sentenced in federal court today to 48 months in prison and 10 years of supervised probation for possession of child pornography.U.S. attorney's office release here.
So, I got a tip that the Little Rock National Airport is seeking to hire someone in the communications/information realm.
If you're a part of the Arkansas film community, you'll probably want to see "The Last Ride."
Paul Krugman writes, again, that jobs, not deficts, are the problem and that big cuts in government spending will only make the economy worse.
The New York Times focuses on Nebraska as emblematic of a national shift of state legislative power from rural to urban areas in redistricting to account for urban population growth.
We've talked before about Ciao's Italian Restaurant... such a great spot for a romantic dinner or a tasty (and reasonably priced) lunch.
White Water Tavern hosts a fundraiser for the college scholarship established in memory of Luke Hunsicker.
A Willie-helmed day of country music comes to North Little Rock.
Eyes opened to Benton artist's work.
The provocative documentary is worth the hype.
I ranted a bit last night about my inability to get any answers relative to a tip I'd received that the Little Rock National Airport was in the market for a new communications job.
Former Sen. John Edwards has been indicted, as expected, on charges that support money he funneled to his mistress should have been reported as campaign contributions during his presidential bid.
The "Hats in Hot Springs" festival is coming, June 1-2, 2012.
I had one of those middle-of-the-night revelations last night relative to demagoguery by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and others about how the state of Arkansas is spending more on schools in Little Rock than elsewhere.
The University of Central Arkansas says a credit rating service has improved its assessment of UCA, a sign of continuing improvement in once-dire financial circumstances.
The screening is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, at Rave.
Pulaski County School Board member Gwen Williams has filed the lawsuit her attorney had threatened over the finding by a sheriff's investigation that fellow School Board member Tim Clark and Mills High Principal Michael Nellums had worked together on a plot to make a video in which Williams appeared to take a bribe.
One argument for firing H.L. McGill as the director of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center was that he missed a Chamber of Commerce meeting that he was supposed to attend.
The Ryan budget plan — endorsed repeatedly be every Republican in Congress from Arkansas — would end Medicare.
KUAR's Kelly MacNeil quotes Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola as saying the city sales tax election likely will be Sept. 13.
"Natural Selection" plays like a drunk live action version of "Looney Tunes."
The rent is too damn high! Jimmy McMillan is the other eccentric gubernatorial hopeful to get the doc treatment this weekend.
The latest offering from "Hoop Dreams" director Steve James focuses on crime interventions in inter-city Chicago.
A semi-experimental film on atmospherics and youth screens.
The anticipated verite documentary screens.
Right now, we're leaning towards "terrific."
Following the LRFF showing of "Voices for Justice," a short film by Mike Poe that premiered at the West Memphis Three benefit last August, our own Lindsey Millar hosted a panel discussion on "The Media and the West Memphis Three" at the Argenta Community Theater yesterday afternoon. The discussion featured Joe Berlinger (director of the "Paradise Lost" films), Mara Leveritt (author of the book "Devil's Knot"), Capi Peck (founding member of the WM3 advocacy group, Arkansas Take Action) and Lorri Davis (wife of Damien Echols).
The Week in Review podcast.
I can hardly do it justice in this short review.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a one-sentence order denying an emergency stay of federal District Judge Brian Miller's order ending state desegregation aid to the three Pulaski County public school districts.
But the line is open. Close-out: * TAX CHEAT: The Justice Department announced today that Dr. Todd Richard Simpson, 46, of Fayetteville had been sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $800,000 for three years of tax evasion.
KAIT in Jonesboro gave Dr. No Boozman a 2.5-minute free editorial slot this week so he could promote more domestic oil drilling, particularly in Alaska.
John Brummett sees in Gov. Mike Beebe's developing plan to reshape Medicaid — to save it, the governor says — might be the transformative stroke that lifts his tenure from the merely careful and competent to something extraordinary.
Wait, let's find another word for "take." Article in NY Times today talks about New York's plan to start a bike-share program.
Republican Rep. Eric Cantor really is serious about holding Joplin disaster aid hostage to budget cutting imperatives.
Twitter apparently set off hysteria at Bryant High School Friday about rumors of guns at school.
Civic bulldog Kathy Wells has sent a lengthy memo to members of the Coalition of Greater Little Rock Neighborhoods decrying the secretive way City Director Dean Kumpuris engineered a deal with his old family friends in the Granite Mountain quarry business to annex more of the neighborhood for more mining.
Erma Glasco Davis, the chair of the Friends of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, writes to say that no one with the friends met with the governor.
Take it away.
This thought occurred to me last week and I'm glad John Brummett followed it up: It's about how Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is set up as something like an independent branch of government, annexing money won in consumer lawsuits and self-designating its use.
Huge story in the New York Times today about one of those apocalyptic subjects that I wish I could put out of my mind: The rapid growth in farm output that defined the late 20th century has slowed to the point that it is failing to keep up with the demand for food, driven by population increases and rising affluence in once-poor countries.
Blogger-in-self-imposed-exile Jason Tolbert may not be blogging currently, but he still writes a column for Stephens Media.
Anybody home? Here's a fresh slate.
'The Last Mountain,' 'Marathon Boy,' 'Natural Selection' take top prizes at 2011 Little Rock Film Fest
"The Last Mountain," a film about mountain-top removal for coal mining, won the $10,000 OA Southern Film prize at the LRFF tonight.
Coincidence: Gerard Matthews Friday reported on lottery commissioners' concerns about a private meeting set to discuss transferring Arkansas Lottery data from a state computer system to a system run by Intralot, the Greek company that runs on-line gambling for the lottery.
Speaking of the Arkansas Lottery: A friend driving back from South Carolina reports a double-take at crossing a bridge leaving Charleston and seeing it named the Ernie Passailaigue Connector Bridge.
John Brummett gives Republican Rep. Paul Ryan what-for for calling down President Obama for correctly depicting Ryan's Republican-endorsed plan to end Medicare as a plan to dismantle Medicare.
The unpleasant read of the day: An investigative report by the New York Times on sthe New York state institutions for the developmentally disabled.
The Times Brian Chilson was on the scene last night at the Little Rock Film Festival Gala at the Clinton Center, snapping pictures of the Trans Am from "Smokey and the Bandit" and just about all the attendees.
Every member of the state Senate signed on as a host/hostess for a fund-raiser for Sen. Larry Teague — Democrat AND Republican?
An item here over the weekend referenced civic activist Kathy Well's criticism of a deal to allow Granite Mountain Quarries to expand its mining operation nearer the Granite Mountain community, long unhappy about the blasting.
State Trooper Andrew Rhew has been fired — a second time — as a result of the fatal crash in which his patrol car collided in Manila with a car driven by Vickie Freemyer, a Blytheville teacher, will he was rushing to a call in Osceola.
Hendrix alum Hayes Carll's new music video for "Another Like You" from his album "KMAG YOYO" debuted this morning.
Little Rock lawyer Patti James announced today that she'd run next year for election to the juvenile division circuit judge seat left vacant by the recent death of Melinda Gilbert.
North Little Rock School Superintendent Ken Kirspel confirms to me that school board members were surprised not to be notified in advance that the district's attorney had supported the Little Rock School District motion for a stay of Judge Brian Miller's order to immediately end most state desegregation financial aid.
The "man who can" with the popular Little Rock food cart goes national in a big way.
Rep. Anthony Weiner admits sending sexy photos and messages to women on Facebook and Twitter. He says he won't resign.
Tuesday is the last day to see the portrait exhibit at Hearne Fine Art.
The line is open. Close-outs:
With a little time for consideration, I think it's pretty clear: * Anthony Weiner should resign.
Hunan, Forbidden City & Green Grass Rock & Roll Grocery close their doors — but a new Asian restaurant will open in Hunan's location.
Martha Hall Foose, the popular cookbook author and 2009 recipient of the James Beard Award for American Cooking, will present a tasting event and book signing at Eggshell Kitchen Co. Tuesday night.
I have a new addiction. I am in love with Chicago-style hot dogs.
Photographer Brian Chilson was on hand in Bald Knob last night when Union Pacific's No. 844 steam locomotive pulled in.
New York Times reports extensively this morning about the establishment of dozens of charter schools nationwide by a close-knit group of Turkish business people and educators.
Why would Mike Huckabee leave wiggle room about a presidential run in a speech in Little Rock last week?
Tonight: Diamond Chef at the Statehouse Convention Center, where Chef Cindy Malik-East will vy off against Chef Dan Capello for the title.
The LRPD reports a couple of robberies last night — of the Domino's Pizza at 17200 Chenal Parkway (gunman with "heavy Northern accent") and of three employees of a Wendy's restaurant at 10924 Col. Glenn (robber wore a Spiderman mask and carried a gun that might have been an Airsoft pistol police found in trying to trail him.)
The Willard and Pat Walker Foundation of Fayetteville has given $2 million to Arkansas Children's Hospital for construction of a new wing.
The staff of the Board of Apportionment will hold another hearing on legislative redistricting from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at the Fine Arts Center of the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Gov. Mike Beebe today announced appointments to one vacant and three soon-to-be vacant circuit judgeships.
Former KARK reporter Isiah Carey, of YouTube fame, will be featured on tonight's episode of Tosh.0.
Not content to dismantle single-payer Medicare — the popular, efficient and universal health care plan for the elderly — leading Republicans are trying again to privatize Social Security.
Cocktail Compass helps you drink on the cheap.
One for the collection.
Joe Johnson discusses the possibility of a lockout, what Mike Anderson’s return means for the Hogs and his future acting plans.
Hendrix College is readying to play football in the fall of 2012. Football had been in the works for some time.
If Hava Gurevich's name is familiar to you, it's probably because you are familiar with "Disfarmer," the film reviewed here last week and released in 2010.
Your comments welcome. Close-outs: * NEWSPAPER LOBBYING: The Arkansas Press Association is rallying the troops against legislation to be considered at an interim committee meeting June 15-16 that would allow governments to post public notices on-line rather than in newspapers.