← Back to issues
2017 Bar Guide

2017 Bar Guide

June 29, 2017

Vol 43 • No 43

Read the print version

Central Arkansas Bar Guide

Our guide to the drinking life.

Mobley at Maxine's

Also, Pyro Science at Science After Dark, Goatwhore, Dave Rosen Big Band, Ginsu Wives, Arkansas Travelers vs. San Antonio Missions, Live Cinema from Brent Green and Sam Green, Dick Gregory at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Blaming Obama

A couple of months ago, on May 10, President Trump invited two Russian diplomats into the White House to celebrate his firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Give us mo' momo

Katmandu Momo serves up crave-worthy Nepalese dumplings.

Beyond repeal of Obamacare

The proposed Medicaid cuts in the new U.S. Senate bill could impact coverage for 400,000 Arkansas children.

Adieu, 'Silicon Valley'

Hello HBO, for T.J. Miller.

Inconsequential News Quiz: Let Madeline Stay! Edition

Play at home with your cat!

Gun politics

"You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you." Despite that promise by President Trump at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in April, the days ahead are going to produce challenges for the gun rights lobby.

Arkansas sentencing changes

New standards should help plea deals.


A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.

New plan for LRSD

Massive poor to rich transfer, Griffen ruling and more.

Dead man walking

A look at Little Rock's jukeboxes

Here's a quarter.

The intern

The Observer has an honest-to-God intern this summer, a bright young stargazer we've known since she wasn't bigger than a minute, wrapped in swaddling clothes, but who has now grown into a young woman of good sense and purpose right before our very eyes. Yours Truly has haunted these halls that long, Dear Reader.

Look to Kansas

The grand austerity experiment of the once great state of Kansas has finally collapsed.

A lesson in the law for Jason Rapert

Matt Campbell,the Little Rock lawyer who writes Blue Hog Report, has posted some lessons in 1st Amendment law for Sen. Jason Rapert, who has continued to defend the Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds against plans by the ACLU and others to sue over placement of a religious sect's text on state grounds.

Don't take your gun to the medical marijuana dispensary

Arkansas is moving forward with its new medical marijuana law, with applications available beginning Friday to obtain medical marijuana cards. But note, lawful medical marijuana use will mean the end of lawful use of firearms.

Agreement with Steve Womack. Maybe we need a new team?

Quotable in Wall Street Journal today from Third District Republican Rep. Steve Womack:

Halter firm strikes solar power deal with Clarksville utility

Scenic Hill Solar, the company headed by former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, has struck a deal with Clarksville Light and Water to build a solar power plant in the city that will supply about a quarter of the utility's power needs.

How bad are Trump's judges? A Little Rock native illustrates

Little Rock native John Bush, hoping to save his appointment to a federal judgeship, is avoiding questions about or sometimes repudiating outrageous things he's said on a blog he and his equally conservative wife write. It's an illustration of how bad Donald Trump's judicial appointments have and are going to be.

Presidential? No. But that's what his voters wanted, right?

Donald Trump went nuts on Twitter this morning, slamming the hosts of "Morning Joe," including a reference to a supposedly "bleeding" Mika Brzezinski.

Finalists announced for next chancellor of UAMS

Univesity of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt has announced two finalists — from North Carolina and Texas — to succeed the retiring Dan Rahn as chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Walton Arts Center 2017-18 season features Taj Mahal, David Sedaris, Bela Fleck

The Walton Arts Center announced the programming for its 2017-18 season earlier this week.

Heineken exchanging Bruno Mars tickets for crowdfunding dollars

As part of what it calls "The Cities Project," Heineken and The National Trust for Historic Preservation are giving away an allotment of Bruno Mars tickets in exchange for a contribution of $150 to one of eleven selected Indiegogo campaigns.

Gov. Hutchinson says major change needed in Senate health legislation

Gov. Asa Hutchinson outlined four major changes he'd like to see in Republican-backed health legislation pending in the Senate.

'Mental health concerns' cited at arraignment of monument destruction suspect

Michael Reed of Van Buren, charged with destroying the new Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol early Wednesday, was arraigned today by County District Judge Wayne Gruber.

Opponent for Rapert starts campaign tonight

Maureen Skinner begins her campaign for state Senate against incumbent Republican Sen. Jason Rapert with an event in Conway tonight.

Talk tonight with Police Chief Kenton Buckner

Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner begins a series of "chat with the chief" events at 6 p.m. tonight at the Roosevelt Thompson Library, 38 Rahling Circle.  The public is invited to hear the chief talk about police work, crime and community relations and ask questions.

Judge rules Jeff Herweg ineligible to serve as Jacksonville police chief

Circuit Judge Alice Gray ruled today that Jeff Herweg is likely to lose a lawsuit contesting his eligibility to serve as Jacksonville police chief.

Trump nominates Cody Hiland to be U.S. attorney for eastern district

As expected, Donald Trump has nominated Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland of Conway to be U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He must be confirmed by the Senate.

Thursday's open line

The Thursday open line, plus news and comment leading with the governor's criticism of the Senate health legislation.

Trump's voter commission already stirring criticism

Donald Trump's appointment of an "election integrity" commission including Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach raised red flags from the start and its activities have already spurred more concerns.

'Morning Joe' hosts fire back at Trump

Mika Brzezinskiand Joe Scarborough fired back at Donald Trump on their "Morning Joe" show on MSNBC this morning following his Twitter blast at them yesterday.

Arkansas's Rutledge joins effort to end protection for immigrants who came as children

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state legal officers, including Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, have asked Donald Trump to end the Obama program that allowed people who came to the U.S. as children to remain and work without fear of deportation.

Nate Powell just dropped 40 Soophie Nun Squad tracks on Facebook

Little Rock native Nate Powell, National Book Award-winning comic book artist, dropped 40 songs on Facebook via a Dropbox link containing songs recorded between 1994 and 2003 by the extant Little Rock DIY punk band/performance art collective Soophie Nun Squad.

Texas Supreme Court bends to politics on same-sex marriage benefits. Bad news everywhere

Texas Republicans haven't given up the fight against same-sex marriage and their political pressure on that state's Supreme Court today paid off.

Class action lawsuit filed against makers of addictive opioids

A class action lawsuit was filed Thursday in the federal court in Fayetteville against makers of opioid drugs for deceptive marketing of the addictive drugs for chronic pain, leading to a crisis of drug addiction.

Wyden questions contact between Medicaid director and Arkansas

Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, is raising questions about talks between Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Dennis Smith, a Medicaid advisor to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

The mean streets of Little Rock

Susanne Brunner tweets for KARK/Fox 16 that a shooting this morning in downtown Little Rock was explained by police as a "drug deal gone bad." It was the 11th shooting in 10 days in Little Rock.

Friday's open line

Here;s the open line. And the last news roundup of the week.

How Neil Gorsuch screwed up dissent in Arkansas birth certificate case

An important analysis in Slate by Mark Stern explains how badly Neil Gorsuch got the facts and legal analysis wrong in writing a dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that Arkansas unconstitutionally discriminated against married same-sex couples by preventing the listing of both parents on birth certificates.

State revises revenue forecast again, this time upward

The state Finance and Administration Department announced today that it was putting $60 million back into the forecast for revenue for the year ending today, after an earlier $70 million cut.

The Asa's Health Care Pitch Edition

Governor Hutchinson’s critique of the Senate health care bill, the erection and destruction of the 10 Commandments monument, the U.S. Supreme Court and birth certificates for same-sex married couples and the appointment of Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland to U.S. Attorney — all covered on this week's podcast.

UA says no gun-free zone required by charter school on Little Rock campus

The University of Arkansas legal counsel sides with the gun lobby in giving an expansive interpretation on where guns may be carried on campus. The presence of a charter school does NOT prohibit guns right up to the doorway of such facilities, the atorney said.

UPDATE: Little Rock police say 25 people shot, none fatally, in club on W. 6th Street

Little Rock police are reporting 25 people wounded by gunshots, none fatally, in an incident they first reported about 2:30 a.m. this morning at the Power Bar and Ultra Lounge at 220 W. 6th Street.

City, moms, governor, grassroots group, rapper react to club shooting

Reactions are pouring in about the mass shooting in a downtown Little Rock nightclub early this morning.

ABC outlines suspension of club in mass shooting

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division issued a formal release this afternoon about the suspension of the permit for the bar where Friday's night's mass shooting occurred.

Chief: Police at club when shooting broke out; no suspects in custody

City officials provided an update this afternoon the mass club shooting Friday night, including information that police officers working private security had stopped at least one person from entering the club with a gun, but apparently not others.

Saturday's open line

I'm out of pocket temporarily. Here's hoping for a quiet evening.

Landlord orders club out of building where mass shooting occurred

Mitch McCoy of KARK/Fox 16 notes that a notice was posted at the Power Ultra Lounge at 220 W. 6th ordering the owner of the lounge to vacate for failure to maintain a safe premises.

Fire engulfs units in Lake Hamilton resort

KARK video illustrates the size of a fire that engulfed at least four units of the Four Seasons Villa Resort at 301 Kleinshore Drive on Lake Hamilton outside the city limits of Hot Springs. A fifth unit was damaged.

Grappling with Little Rock violence means grappling with race

The city can't come to grips with gun violence without also coming to grips with race. Events Saturday weren't encouraging.

Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.

Russian election hacking's Whitewater nexus

Trump opertive tied to Russian hacking has — guess what? — a tie to the old Whitewater scandals.

Rapper performing at club shooting arrested in Alabama on unrelated charge

Rolling Stone reports that the rapper performing at the Little Rock club where 25 were wounded in a gun battle early Saturday was arrested on a warrant on an unrelated charge in Alabama.

Three more dead in Little Rock

One homicide and a murder-suicide are being investigated today by the Little Rock police department.

Police report sheds little new light on mass shooting

A police report sheds little light on the mass shooting Saturday at a downtown club.

Sunday's open line

The Sunday open line.

Trump's voter data haul draws increasing resistance

Bipartisan opposition is growing to the effort by a so-called election integrity commission appointed by Donald Trump to amass a vast trove of data on every voter in America. Still silent: Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin and David Dunn, an Arkansas lobbyist who has a seat on the commission.

Bullets follow rapper on stage during Little Rock shooting

Finese 2Tymes, the rap name of Ricky Hampton of Memphis, has been on stage when shooting broke out before.

John Oliver takes a look at Sinclair Broadcasting and local news

John Oliver's weekly show on HBO takes a look at Sinclair Broadcast Group, the growing collection of TV stations that includes KATV in Little Rock and recent acquisitions n Northwest Arkansas and Memphis.

8th Circuit affirms conviction of Mike Maggio in bribery case

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction of Mike Maggio, the former circuit judge from Conway, for taking a bribe to reduce the verdict in a nursing home negligence case.

Rapper faces federal gun charge for shooting at Forrest City club

A federal criminal information was filed in federal court in Little Rock today against Ricky L. Hampton (aka Finese 2Tymes or Finese Twotymes) charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Freedom eve open line

Warm up for the 4th with this open line and lots of gun talk on the daily video.

Victims describe Power Ultra Lounge mass shooting

Four victims of the Power Ultra Lounge mass shooting talk about their experiences.

Wendell Griffen: Thoughts on July 4

Outspoken judge and pastor Wendell Griffen has some not-so-festive thoughts on July 4.

Stone County investigates a switching at church camp

A sheriff's office in Arkansas (Stone County) is investigating as abuse the use of a switch as punishment at a church camp.

41 states refuse voter data request

CNN reports that 41 states have now refused the effort by a commission appointed by Donald Trump — and led by vote-suppressing Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — to amass a vast on-line data trove on all the country's voters.

Darren McFadden family connections noted in Power Ultra Lounge shooting

Darren McFadden, the Dallas Cowboy running back, was prompted to post a message on Twitter yesterday because of reporting on the presence of three of his relatives, including a 16-year-old nephew, at the mass shooting early Saturday at the Power Ultra Lounge in downtown Little Rock.

July 4 open line

Anything to report on Independence Day?

July 4: Reverie and revolution

July 4 fireworks including amusing reactions to NPR's decision to put the words of the Declaration of Independence on Twitter.

Seeking U.S. senators on July 4

U.S. senators kept a low profile July 4 and those who did turn out heard plenty about pending health legislation.

'God's Not Dead' producers to contribute to Ten Commandments rebuilding

Sen. Jason Rapert proudly announced this morning that the makers of the movie "God's Not Dead" series of movies will contribute $25,000 to build another granite tablet bearing the Ten Commandments to replace the one knocked last week.

Mark Martin will partially comply with Trump's voter data request

Secretary of State Mark Martin apparently has decided to partially comply with the vast voter data mining operation undertaken by Donald Trump's "election integrity" commission, an effort overseen by vote-suppressing Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in hopes of digging up revidence that Trump really didn't lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

State ends the year with $15.7 million surplus

The state revenue report for the year ending June 30 showed the state ended with a $15.7 million surplus with strong sales and income tax results the last two months putting the state in the black.

Experience Thai food, support LR farming organization

The Thai restaurant kBird (see review here) sings for your supper Saturday, July 15, when the restaurant presents The Thai Food Street Experience at Little Rock Urban Farming, 5910 G St., 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In Jonesboro, judges sued for helping offenders

A new court program in Craighead County could ease the burden on misdemeanor offenders, but it has cost a private company a piece of profitable business and prompted a lawsuit.

Ideas on violence in Little Rock from City Director Doris Wright

City Director Doris Wright tells me today she was unable to attend Saturday's news conference about the nightclub shooting because she was out of town for a high school class reunion.

Grassroots group opposes Little Rock school finance plan

Citizens Against Taxation Without Representation, a group formed in successful opposition to a Little Rock School District tax extension, has announced opposition to the alternate plan to pay for a new high school and some district repairs with $92 million in second-lien bonds, which don't require a pledge of taxes or a public vote.

Loud music prompts Conway shooting

So much for the soothing quality of music.

Tom Cotton's attack on Planned Parenthood would cost money (and probably encourage abortion)

Reporters digging through the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate health coverage bill written by Tom Cotton and 12 other white men have found that the obscured provision to strip funding of Planned Parenthood would cost money.

Skydiver injured in jump to Country Club of Little Rock fireworks show

Little Rock police say Greg Todd, 55, of Benton, was seriously injured after an apparent parachute malfunction when he did a jump over the Country Club of Little Rock's annual July 4 fireworks show.

The line is open

An open line and the daily video.

Governor plans Central Arkansas 'law enforcement' announcement

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled a news conference at 2:30 p.m. Thursday to "discuss new partnerships with local law enforcement in central Arkansas." Recent violence in Little Rock seems certain to be on the agenda.

African-American speakers blast city board

Members of Little Rock's African-American community had harsh words for the City Board of Directors tonight, accusing them of insensitivity to their neighborhoods and the crime that besets them.

Chief updates LR City Board on shootings

Police Chief Kenton Buckner spoke to the Little Rock City Biard about last week's mass shooting at a downtown nightclub.

Layla's Gyro and Pizzeria

One of the few options for Mediterranean food in Central Arkansas

Breakfast at Mather Lodge

Petit Jean Mountain's Lodge offers indulgent breakfast stack