In an era of mass incarceration, more women are going to prison and for longer. An often overlooked consequence: More children are ending up in foster care.
Cost of incarcerationJune 9, 2016
Vol 42 • No 40
Amelia White coming to South on Main.
For many years, I volunteered at the Governor's Mansion as a docent and in other roles. Docents are part tour guide and part historian. The Mansion is full of our state's history, and our tours were absolutely nonpartisan. As tours began, we would make a point to say: "The governor and first lady want you to know that this is your house, and they have the privilege of living here."
"Popstar: Never Stop Not Stopping" flopped last weekend, earning about a tenth of what a quartet of Ninja Turtles hauled in, and that fact is enough to have you weeping for America.
In elementary school we were solidly Team Harriet, who we learned about as a voracious reader in the kids' section of the library.
Ideas from the staff of the Arkansas Times.
Also Erykah Badu at Verizon Arena; Late Romantics, Rodney Block and Vision Control at White Water; "The People Rule" at the Old State House;
Sarah Huckabee, responding to Donald Trump's suggestion he won't get a fair trial from a judge of "Mexican heritage," says Latinos will "come on board" with Donald Trump.
'Seinfeld's' Jason Alexander directs play premiere.
Since 2011, the year River City Comic Expo founder Brent Douglass put on the first Expo in Sherwood for about 300 attendees, people have been telling him that a comic book convention would never work in Central Arkansas.
Arkansas schools are progressing with interventions, but major gaps remain.
The web is brimming with comments on the Middle East, global warming and presidential politics. But what do they know about the Pulaski County Quorum Court or the Little Rock City Board of Directors?
State funds detoured.
Andina thrives on Third.
Why do people not like Hillary? Because she is obsessed with privacy.
The crowd at Riverfest 2016 watched Sunday's closing fireworks show from the First Security Amphitheater in Riverfront Park. Riverfest officials said 140,000 people attended the festival over its two days of concerts.
Helena-West Helena has passed an ordinance to increase the legal age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21, KATV reports. The ordinance takes effect Sept. 1.
The deadline passed this week to publish notice of efforts to change state law or Constitution by voter initiatives and five have been published. They cover marijuana, casinos, term limits and damage lawsuits.
The Arkansas Democratic Party has landed a Clinton — former president Bill Clinton — to speak at the party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, the last to be named for the former presidents on account of objections to some inglorious elements of their records.
State Police say Phillip Sloan, 66, of Mena was the pilot killed when his single-engine plan crashed Wednesday in a clear-cut area of rural Jefferson County near the Grant County line.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today reversed the death sentence of Steven Wertz, convicted in 2007 of the 1986 slaying of Kathy and Terry Watts of Ash Flat. Terry Watts was then in a custody dispute with Wertz's then-wife.
A case brought under the Arkansas Whistleblower Act revealed a division on the court on whether that act can override the state's protection from lawsuit under the sovereign immunity doctrine.
Outgoing Superintendent Baker Kurrus is reporting to the state Board of Education on the Little Rock School District this morning. Watch live here. He began shortly before 11 a.m.
Darren McFadden, the former Razorback who now plays football for the Dallas Cowboys, has filed a federal lawsuit against Michael Vick and other unnamed parties for alleged mismanagement of his finances.
East Hall Recording's Chris Moore has released a free five-volume compilation; a retrospective of tracks recorded in the cozy Fayetteville studio.
President Obama's endorsement of Hillary Clinton was posted on her Facebook page today. It included praise for opponent Bernie Sanders and a call for the party to unite in November.
Here's the day's video and the daily open line.
The Arkansas Medical Board voted 9-3 today to suspend the license of Dr. Robert Rook, a Conway family practitioner, because of two pending sexual assault charges.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has roiled the gun lobby with a 7-4 decision upholding a lower court finding that the 2nd Amendment does not provide the right to carry a concealed weapon in public. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is among the gun lobbyists upset by the opinion, but she chooses to ignore some important background in her criticism.
The city's consultants that examined the Arkansas Highway and Transportation's plan to widen Interstate 30 to 10 and 12 lanes provided the mayor and board of directors a white paper this week that they say should serve as background for a work session with AHTD, though the deadline for comments to the highway department is tomorrow, June 10. Meanwhile, the mayor has written a letter to the AHTD and has asked directors to append their comments.
Elizabeth Warren brutally took down Donald Trump over his attempt to subvert the rule of law by his racist attack on the judge hearing a Trump U. fraud case.
Democratic U.S. Sen. candidate Conner Eldridge rolls out a campaign accessory this morning a red 1953 Dodge truck — made in Detroit, the news release notes. He'll be touring Arkansas with it but I doubt he'll get incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman to join him on the bed of the truck for some rolling debates
Testimony piles up about flaws in the Highway Department plan to widen the freeway through Little Rock and other cities show the way to do things differently. Alas, thinking outside the box is not the establishmentarian way in Little Rock.
The Arkansas Lottery reports that it netted $6.6 million in May for scholarships, about $200,000 above budget. That put revenue for the first 11 months of the budget year at $74.1 million, about $5 million above budget and $10 million above last year.
The Republican Party of Arkansas plans an African-American "homecoming" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the state's museum of African-Americans in Arkansas.
Greg Yarbrough of our news partner KARK captured this photo of a fire today on the playground of Carver Elementary Magnet School on Little Rock's east side at 2100 E. 6th
Tonight's 2nd Friday ArtNight activities include partying like it's 1836 over at the Old State House, a new exhibition of illustrations by Sally Nixon at the Historic Arkansas Museum, contemporary crafts at Matt McLeod Fine Art, student work curated by Arkansas art educators at the Butler Center and a continuation of the exhibition "Naturals" at Arkansas Capital Corp.
Seventy religious leaders have signed a letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson expressing "dismay" at his statement urging Arkansan's to disregard the guidance from the Obama administration that the law protects transgender people from discrimination. Specifically, they should be allowed to use public facilities that align with their gender.
Here's the open line and a video roundup of news and comment.
This week's podcast includes plenty of presidential politics and the state of women's rights in these United States.
On this final day of public comment on the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's plan to widen Interstate 30, Mayor Mark Stodola and City Manager Bruce Moore have provided the AHTD with recommendations based on an assumption the proposed alternatives — 8 lanes or 10 — will be acceptable to the city.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has swept out most of the old Governor's Mansion Commission with new appointees to serve on the largely neutered agency.
Little Rock photographer Tim Hursley tells a great story about seeing this two-headed calf in a junk store in Northeast Arkansas and deciding he had to have it. It took a while, but success was his, and now the photograph this nationally-known lensman made of the calf (now in his studio) is the $2,500 Grand Prize winner in the "Delta Exhibition" of the Arkansas Arts Center.
U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer announced Friday a new effort to rehabilitate drug offenders as an alternative to felony convictions.
The Little Rock City Board agenda session next week includes a $1 million contract with Burkhalter Technologies to use bond issue proceeds to build a roundabout at Fair Park Boulevard and Zoo Drive in War Memorial Park.
The conviction of an Alabama legislative leader on ethics charges shows why an ethically lax Arkansas legislature isn't likely to get tougher on ethics.
A Saturday open line.
John Lyon at the Arkansas News Bureau examines another of Sen. Tom Cotton's one-man Senate roadblocks — this one to a juvenile justice reform bill. Cotton objects to ending the ability of judges to jail youths for minor offenses such as skipping school.
A news article today is a useful reminder of the state's starvation of UAMS, a fact of life through state government that we're inclined to call "stealth Brownback."
A mass shooting this morning in an Orlando night club — 50 dead and more than 50 wounded. The suspect, who was killed, has been identified as a 29-year-old Florida man.
The Sunday open line.
God, guns and gays. That bedrock Southern political triad came together in an awful way Sunday in Orlando. And Arkansas politicians don't want to touch the gay part. Meanwhile, in Texarkana, voters will get a chance to express their feelings on discrimination against gays in an election Tuesday.
The Arkansas Democratic Party today offered a counter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's claim of Republican legislative successes and campaign promises fulfilled.
The U.S. Supreme Court today refused a request from 20 states, including Arkansas, to block implementation of a federal rule aimed at reducing pollution from mercury and other emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Arkansas Business reports that Acxiom is looking for a buyer for its 12-story downtown office building. Reason: It needs only a fraction of the space, maybe a floor worth.
Jon Gilmore, who was campaign manager for Gov. Asa Hutchinson's election and who has been his deputy chief of staff, has announced his resignation at the end of the month to open a consulting firm.
40/29 reports that Lloyd Jones, serving 60 years for the murder of a Lavaca teen, has escaped from the East Arkansas Regional Correctional Facility in Lee County. No details of the escape as yet.
Read all about the gun dealer who sold weapons (legally) to the man who killed 49 and wounded as many others in an Orlando club before he was killed.
The Little Rock Zoo has announced the largest donation in its 90-year history: A trust worth almost $3 million established by Jayne Jackson, an animal and zoo lover who died in December.
Monday's open line and the day's news video.
Special Prosecutor Scott Ellington filed the bill of particulars requested by defense in the pending negligent homicide case against Judge Wade Naramore, whose 18-month-old son died last summer after being accidentally left more than a half day in a car on a hot day in Hot Springs.
A legal eagle calls to my attention the Arkansas connection in a decision by the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a $1.8 million jury verdict in favor of Jesse Ventura, the former wrestler and Minnesota governor, in a defamation case against the estate of Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling memoir "American Sniper."
So Omar Mateen claimed allegiance to ISIS. But he also claimed kinship with opponents of ISIS. And, who knows, he might have been gay. Bottom line: Resist easy answers to complicated questions.
Looking for the right wine for you? Don't want to break the bank? Let's talk vino.
A complaint to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by a Eureka Springs resident, Martha Peine, has produced a $4.2 million refund by SWEPCO to electric customers.
The ready availability of guns in the United States may make their owners feel safer, but the gun homicide rate tells another story.
The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees will vote Thursday on final approval of a $160 million expansion to Razorback Stadium on the UA campus in Fayetteville.
Times columnist Ernest Dumas writes this week about a bar committee's recommendation for appointment rather than election of members of the Arkansas Supreme Court and other ways to clean up judicial elections — now dominated by dark money.
A trial date was set today for Aug. 15 for Judge Wade Naramore of Hot Springs who faces a negligent homicide charge in the hot car death of this 18-month-old son Thomas last year.
Dr. Robert Rook of Conway, whose medical license was suspended by the Arkansas Medical Board last week following his arrest in Conway on charges of raping two patients, has appealed the licensed suspension in Circuit Court in Little Rock.
Donald Trump has set a meeting in New York with several Republican governors, including Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas. They are from mostly red-meat GOP states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Special Judge David Laser this week signed an order extending until June 27 a response from plaintiffs for defense motions to dismiss the lawsuit alleging that then-Judge Mike Maggio took a bribe to reduce a verdict in a nursing home damage suit.
Even Texas highway builders are considering tearing down a freeway rather than widening it. In downtown Dallas!
Here's the open line, plus the daily roundup of news and comment.
On the cusp of his upcoming release "I Am Not Them: The Legacy Project," Big Piph releases a video for "Big Boi," filmed and directed by Kenneth Bell.
Erykah Badu channels Prince at Verizon.
Call it discrimination light. In the week of the Orlando mass slayings at a gay club, perhaps by a man conflicted by his sexuality, an Arkansas legislative panel signed off on a rule to allow psychiatric counselors to refuse to serve someone with different religious beliefs.
The group formed to discourage medical malpractice and, particularly, negligence lawsuits against nursing homes have already raised more than $313,000 to gather signatures to put the amendment on the ballot in November.
Five former members of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees have written an op-ed piece opposing the $160 million expansion of Razorback Stadium. Their bottom line: "this is a terrible time for the U. of A. Fayetteville to be making a commitment to this kind of debt, especially for this purpose."
Ryan Lizza writes in the New Yorker about Republicans coming to grips with a divisive candidate, particularly one that has sent such a virulent message to immigrants.
The Hill reports on the American Medical Association's declaration that gun deaths are a public health crisis and that it will lobby to allow federal research. The gun nuts won't stand for research that could make guns safer.
The Little Rock Zoo announces a couple of new arrivals — yellow-backed duikers, or small antelopes native to forests in several African countries. There's a two-year-old female from the Dallas Zoo and a one-year male from the Cincinnati Zoo.
The Little Rock police have arrested two men for robbing the Simmons Bank branch at 23816 Chenal Parkway about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
You'll need something to keep your strength up for all those games. Here's our guide to the best eats from Dave and Buster's.
Winrock International, the international development organization based in Little Rock, is combining with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced today that a Virginia-class attack submarine will be named USS Arkansas. Construction is to begin in 2018 and operations are expected to begin in 2013.
Headline news on politicians: A filibuster for gun control and a Utah Republican elected official apologizing for past mistreatment of gay people. Here in Arkansas, we can only dream.
A House committee today approved legislation by Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers intended to throw up an obstacle to the Clean Line project to move wind-generated industry across the country, including through Arkansas. The Sierra Club criticized the legislation
We're over the hump. Here's the open line and today's Arkansas news video.