Fifty years ago, the Freedom Riders came to Little Rock.
Vol 37 • No 45
To mark the 50th anniversary of the five Freedom Riders' attempt to integrate interstate bus terminals in Little Rock, UALR's new Institute on Race and Ethnicity will host a pair of events this weekend.
Jacksonville's entry into Louisiana-style dining features an all-the-time all-you-can-eat buffet. The better offerings, though, are on the regular menu.
One day in Little Rock a bluejay ate the only tomato on the only backyard tomato plant I've ever grown. I don't normally avenge wrongs committed against me by creatures doing what comes naturally. But this whorehopper had attitude, and had it coming.
A Longview, Wash., teenager is leading a campaign to get rid of the city's cameras that catch people running red lights, and an Associated Press article about the campaign mentioned that nine states have banned red-light cameras statewide. Arkansas is one of the nine.
Given how expensive it can be to keep a person in prison, it's understandable that a lot of counties in Arkansas are looking at parole and probation for non-violent offenders rather than spending more money to feed, shelter and clothe them in the hoosegow.
The Times' collection of searchable databases, which already includes salary information on all Little Rock, Pulaski County and Fayetteville government employees and lists of state agency cell phone expenditures and license plate numbers for all state legislators and constitutional officers, continues to expand with the addition of data from Hot Springs.
Plus Dark From Day One, The Year of the Tiger and The Blue Party
The owners of the month-old Banana Leaf Indian food truck — which received good marks from the Times last week — got an unwelcome surprise just before the July 4th weekend: a visit from Little Rock code enforcement, and the news that the lot where they've been set up since they opened isn't properly zoned.
The Third Street pizza joint continues to impress
Better known as an accomplished poet, Jo McDougall has turned her considerable talent to writing a memoir about the vibrant rice farm where she grew up in Southeast Arkansas.
Plus, Arkopolis, Sonny Burgess, Scream the Prayer and more.
Perhaps some day, Gov. Mike Beebe's grandchildren will feel ashamed at his support of discrimination against gays and lesbians.
From Southern classics to Latin-inspired dishes to Asian favorites, Central Arkansas restaurants offer a wide variety of choices for mid-morning weekend dining.
No promise yet forthcoming in Arkansas.
It was a good week for: Dr. Jerry Guess, Shane Broadway, Mireya Reith, economic recovery and Arkansas taxpayers. It was a bad week for Yarnell's Ice Cream and Gov. Mike Beebe.
imagine The Observer's thrill when on the Fourth of July we saw three young men labor mightily, in the great outdoors of Murray Park, to launch a baseball with a weapon once used in the 13th century.
Evidence grew in the last week that Democrats hope to retake the District 1 congressional seat held by freshman Republican Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro.
Jay Grelen's thrice-weekly column "Sweet Tea" will be no more and Linda Caillouet's "Paper Trails" column will make only one weekly appearance instead of three.
An excerpt from 'Johnny Cash's American Recordings' examines the Man in Black's domestic life.
"So to hear Brantley is going to be spending even more time and energy on this endeavor is like an answer to my prayers. I wish him continued good health, fine sources and sharp thoughts."
Acting terrible, but visuals great.
That snow-day controversy in Washington County Circuit Court in Fayetteville has now been elevated to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Republicans oppose raising taxes on the rich and corporations and, in fact, want to reduce or eliminate them, but they do not want to cut significant spending or else they want the president or the governor to do it and take the blame.
The latest Republican presidential primary will be scary for sure — they all are — but this one may be scary in an entertaining way, "Mama Grizzly v. Mad Michie."
Preston Carpenter's death last week, at 77, is reason enough for old-time Razorback fans to once again celebrate the 66-yard touchdown pass that beat Ole Miss in 1954 and more or less began the modern - that is, "successful" - era of Arkansas football.
A moll, sometimes referred to as a gun moll or a gangster's moll, is "a female companion of a criminal."
Mayor Mark Stodola floated a reduced city sales tax plan last night and the powers-that-be will rubberstamp it next Monday.
The bikers/walkers/runners are humming about the dedication of the Two Rivers Bridge across the Little Maumelle River.
Tomorrow kicks off Eureka Springs' first Fleur Delicious Festival, featuring French cooking, French food, French everything.
In Minnesota — as in similar battles in other states — opponents of gay marriage want to wage their fight from secret, this time by cloaking campaign contributors in secret.
Bernard Allison plays Revolution tonight.
Speaking of human rights: The Daily Beast reports on what it sees as a "startling" number of white power political candidates, including the possibility that David Duke might enter the presidential nominating run.
At Crystal Bridges.
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, interviewed by Roby Brock for Talk Business, repeated his tiresome collection of cliches about why the only solution to the U.S. budget is spending cuts (particularly on those who depend most heavily on government for support).
Dark From Day One, Daryl Hance, The Poison Control Center and more play Central Arkansas Thursday night.
Arkopolis plays White Water Tavern Thursday night.
Former President Bill Clinton told it straight to a student group: Former President Bill Clinton Wednesday compared GOP efforts to limit same-day voter registration and block some convicted felons from voting to Jim Crow laws and poll taxes.
On Christmas Day 2008, Ben Davis of Mayflower weighed 358 pounds when he made a promise to his grandmother that he would get healthy.
The Seedling Film Association, a non-profit located in Northwest Arkansas, recently announced that the 2nd Annual Offshoot Film Fest will be held in Fayetteville Oct. 27-30.
In light of the Obama administration's decision that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is unconstitutional, the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals has lifted a stay of the decision striking down the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.
Early registration for this year's Little Rock leg of the 48 Hour Film Project is now open, with earlybird teams who sign up before August 1 getting in for only $140 per team.
See payroll info on all employees of Hot Springs government employees.
Your comments here. I have something to do.
I'll believe Republican Rep. Nate Bell and his cohort opportunists are serious about saving taxpayer money when: 1) They accept the same mileage reimbursement rate other state employees receive — 42 cents a mile.
It's less than 11 months until judicial elections next May, I realized this morning when I received a news release about the candidacy of Fayetteville lawyer Niki Cung for the state Court of Appeals.
John Brummett re-examines the failure of Yarnell's Ice Cream and the state's role — through two state agencies and $3.5 million in now-delinquent debt — in propping up the business for more than a decade when private lenders grew reluctant.
A ground round burger seasoned with white pepper and garlic is the main reason folks stop by this Mountain Home staple.
Want to show off your cornbread? Better register for your chance to compete in the inaugural Cornbread Festival, being held November 5th at Bernice Garden on South Main in Little Rock.
The Two Rivers Bridge will be dedicated Friday morning in a ceremony that includes U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood
Connecticut has become the 15th state to protect people from discrimination in employment or housing on gender identity — that is transgender people.
The Pixies "Doolittle World Tour" comes to Memphis and Oklahoma City this fall.
The fight over avoiding economic calamity by raising the debt ceiling has become surreal. Republicans believe — and apparently have some polling to support them — that there's wide support for protecting the billionaires.
This is rich. Rodeo clown Rick Crawford, whose personal financial disrepair was an issue in his election as Republican congressman from the 1st District, is a professed spending hawk.
Diane Ravitch, the reformed school reformer who, at 73, has become a one-woman truth squad against the gospel of the Billionaire Boys Club, points me to an early look at a valuable and balanced article on school reform in the coming New York Times magazine.
A small update to an earlier item on Yarnell's Ice Cream from Gene Eagle at the Arkansas Development Finance Authority: We have had folks in the press requesting for access to files and records that if disclosed would give advantage to competitors or bidders.
The burgeoning scandal over years of hacking into private cell phone accounts has prompted the closure of the News of the World, the Murdoch family-owned Sunday paper that had been the world's largest English language paper.
It's First Thursday tonight in Hillcrest, and among the after-hours events on tap for neighborhood strollers is a Friends Not Bombs event given to honor the memory of artist/musician Victor Wiley.
So apparently there's this competitive singing show on NBC called "The Voice" and it's pretty popular.
Since the vote has been arranged to keep public comments to a minimum, I guess it's left to me to complain about Mayor Mark Stodola's tenacity in preserving a fat "economic development" slush fund in the revised city sales tax proposal (worth a half-billion over 10 years) to be voted on Monday night for a possible September special election.
Fleur Delicious has kicked off here in Eureka Springs. Been running around today sampling and savoring flavors all across town.
Tandra Watkins pairs pistachio with the fruit for an amazing dessert — available for a limited time, only.
The William F. Laman Public Library System recently announced the application submission dates for the 2012 Laman Library Writers Fellowship.
The line is open. Some final notes: * LR SCHOOL BOARD: Jody Carreiro announced today that he'll seek re-election to the Little Rock School Board in September.
His passion for art is palpable and infectious and bound to stir donors into shelling out, which is exactly what the Arts Center needs.
Paul Krugman grows wearier of President Obama's move to the right, particularly recent pronouncements on the budget.
Several have remarked to me that there must be a catch in the coming motivationalpalooza Aug. 30 at Verizon Arena featuring, among others, Rudy Giuliani, Colin Powell, Laura Bush, Lou Holtz.
It is too laugh every time the Democrat-Gazette whips up a froth about the closing of a tiny postoffice in some dusty Arkansas crossroads.
British music mag NME has named the music video for Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt" as the greatest music video of all time.
The Ozark Foothills Filmfest is accepting entries for its 2012 festival.
Punitive sentences and packed prisons cost a lot of money, the biggest expense after Medicaid for many states.
At Hearne Fine Art.
Dust off your hernia truss, folks, because something tells us just WATCHING the America's Strongest Man finals — coming to Hot Springs' Summit Arena August 5-6 — will be enough to make you blow an internal gasket.
I was just making a routine check of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals website and found this decision of wide interest: The appeals court has lifted an injunction against an NFL owners' lockout of players in their labor dispute.
At the Butler Galleries.
Polling in Pennsylvania, a key electoral state, illustrates neatly the developing Republican dilemma. Mitt Romney, deeply distrusted by evangelicals and other "base" voters on the GOP side, ties President Obama, who won the state easily in 2008.
Remember the hubbub about some melatonin-laced snack foods, jerked from Arkansas shelves because labels didn't adequately inform about additives (though widely available over the counter) not approved for food use?
By golly, Dr. Carl Johnson, the chairman of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, has done it.
The Year of the Tiger, Bear Colony, Theodore and more play Central Arkansas Friday night.
Tank and Fantasia headline an evening of steamy R&B Saturday night at Robinson Center Music Hall
Sonny Burgess & The Legendary Pacers play Maxine's Saturday night.
The Blue Party, Kingsdown, Trio Arkansas and more play Central Arkansas Saturday night.
Responding to a memorabilia-selling scandal that cost coach Jim Tressel his job, Ohio State University told the NCAA today that they will vacate their wins from the entire 2010 football season, including their Big Ten championship and their victory over Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
Blake Shelton plays at Magic Springs' Timberwood Theater Saturday night.
This Flippin soda fountain - pharmacy serves up great ice cream treats and sandwiches. But you really need to check out this pie, full of fresh slices of apple and lots of spices.
"Playing at War: Children's Civil War Era Toys," guns and drums and such from the collection of Greg McMahon paired with the real thing, is one of the attractions tonight at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third, which will be open 5-8 p.m. for 2nd Friday.
Gov. Mike Beebe today named Joe Black of Newport to the state Board of Education.
Sookie, Sookie, Sookie!
In response to my blog item yesterday about new Arts Center director Todd Herman, the Arts Center tells me there is, in fact, another exhibit scheduled for this summer.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood helped dedicate the Two Rivers bike/foot bridge over the Little Maumelle River today.
He'll talk about life and art at the Delta Cultural Center annex.
President Obama borrowed Norman Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With," which reminds us — did Alice Walton buy the study for the painting at auction last year? Hope so.
This week: handicapping the applicants for president of the UA System, identifying the flaws in the Little Rock sales tax plan and talk about the politics and practicalities of the debt ceiling debate.
The line is open. Final notes: * ULTERIOR MOTIVE: Republican Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville is telling the world he wants a Hispanic majority legislative district created in Northwest Arkansas.
Mayor Mark Stodola isn't happy about criticism here of lacking details in his proposal to spend $38 million of $195 million in a tax increase for capital projects on hazy economic development purposes.
John Brummett writes about some inside legislative baseball today, but the bottom line is simple: If Republicans take over the state Senate in 2012 — and it sounds like even Democrats expect that to happen — Sen. Larry Teague's election as the next Senate president pro tem will be moot.
When the University of Arkansas announced Friday four candidates for president of the UA System, I renewed my request to UA spokesman Ben Beaumont for notice of all meetings of the University Board of Trustees, including those involving only two members of the Board.
A small followup on Gov. Mike Beebe's appointment of Joe Black of Newport (and Helena-West Helena, he told the Democrat-Gazette) to the state Board of Education.
My mention yesterday of a gaping problem in the bike trail on the Little Rock side of the Arkansas River brought inquiries and an impassioned call to action from Gene Pfeifer, a recreational cyclist whose persistence helped get the Clinton Library off the dime on completing its bridge link to North Little Rock.
Sublime tribute band 40 oz. to Freedom plays Juanita's Sunday night.
Your thoughts here.
Arkansas finished its budget year with more than $90 million in excess of expected revenue.
Regards an article today in Democrat-Gazette that mentions the state Senate's continued resistance to televising proceedings, committee or on the floor: Some of the best members of the Senate — Jim Luker and Mary Anne Salmon, I'm talking about you — are wrong on this issue.
A classic Mike Huckabee moment, courtesy of Beliefnet. He zings Rep. Charlie Rangel for urging members of Congress to think what Jesus would do in dealing with the debt ceiling and meeting the nation's needs.
Outside of the county fair, how many chances do you have to eat an entire turkey leg as part of a meal? It's a specialty at Caribe... and you'll be surprised just how good it is.
Maybe by starting the open line early, the temperature will drop sooner. It's 100 degrees just about everywhere.
Another installment in an important topic: Do charter schools cherry pick students, either in the admissions process or, where open enrollment is possible, by forcing out those difficult to educate?
Symbolism is a bitch. Funny report on Rep. Paul Ryan, who says it's time for poor folks to suffer by dismantling of our existing Medicare system.
The closure of a convenience store operated by a Muslim of Palestinian descent at Wright Avenue and Battery has stirred a small tempest.
The Christian hardcore tour Scream the Prayer hits Little Rock on Monday.
The Little Rock Board of Directors convenes at 5 p.m. tonight to vote on a tax proposal for a special election in September.
New revelations in the Murdoch phone hacking scandal — an allegation from British political leader Gordon Brown that investigators working for Murdoch's corporation accessed his personal financial records.
“Advancing Tradition: 20 Years of Printmaking at Flatbed Press"
The state Highway and Transportation Department will have a public hearing from 4 to 7 p.m.
The ultra-right Arkansas Watch blog lavishes some love on Secretary of State Mark Martin for opposition to creation of a Latino majority House district in Northwest Arkansas.
But really the annual event doesn't get rolling until the weekend.
Gut-wrenching report by Fox 16 on the Humane Society of Saline County. It has installed security cameras because so many people were dumping unwanted animals in its parking lot, including puppies who'd then wander into the path of cars on a highway nearby.
The University of Arkansas Athletic Department announced today that its new R.S.V.P. plan — in which everyone pays a new higher premium for choice seats to football home games in Little Rock and Fayetteville — had raised an additional $6.5 million for athletics.
Catholic Bishop Anthony Taylor has published an extensive response in the Arkansas Catholic to an anonymous complaint about improper touching of a child by a priest in Springdale.
No details yet, but the Little Rock police are reporting a fatality in an accident at the entrance to Rebsamen Park Golf Course on Rebsamen Park Road.
The Republicans are unified. They won't approve an increase in the debt ceiling for any plan that puts additional taxes on millionaires, not even if Democrats trade off important cost savings in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
It's nice to see Arkansas Delta Made get some national press.
Your comments here. Final notes: * GOOD INTENTIONS, ROCKY ROAD: Interesting report in The Nation on the unhappy outcome of an effort by the Clinton Foundation to hurry up some classrooms for children in hurricane-devastate Haiti.
Silent auctions and raffles and bake sales and benefit concerts and the like are fine and all.
Looks like the deliberation on the sales tax proposition could take a while before the Little Rock City Board tonight.
Public comments on tax proposal: * From one speaker: Raising a half-billion dollars over 10 years is a vote "against the working poor."
The Little Rock sales tax debate continues: * A speaker who said he supported the sales tax proposal and thought it generally fair objected to the disproportionate cuts in parks expenditures when the city reduced a 1.25-cent proposal to the pending 1-cent proposal.
The Little Rock Board of Directors tonight voted to put a two-part sales tax increase on a special election ballot in September.
Mayor Mark Stodola, inhis angry denunciations of my criticism of his economic development slush fund, insists I have it all wrong about the sway the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce holds over city government, their annual $200,000 unaccounted-for handout of taxpayer money notwithstanding.
The board of the Stonewall Democrats issued a statement last night putting a positive and conciliatory face on Gov. Mike Beebe's in-your-face appearance before the group recently.
Mara Leveritt reports (pay wall) that the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct won't pursue her complaint that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office had violated ethics codes by continuing to fight to uphold West Memphis Three convictions marred by evidence of juror misconduct and other violations of the defendants' constitutional rights.
It can't be repeated enough: Republicans are increasingly giving full and unembarrassed voice to their belief that the American majority favors ripping the social safety net asunder if preserving it means a tax on rich people.
This is wacky bad stuff. An undercover report on how Rep. Michele Bachmann's husband offers "therapy" to turn gay people straight by reading the Bible to them.
The smoothest, thinnest marinara around and some interesting... choices on the menu at the county line staple on Highway 5.
Little Rock police say Francis Brown, 85, of 44 Overlook, was the driver of the 2000 Lincoln who was found dead after his car veered off Rebsamen Park Road yesterday afternoon and ran into trees near the golf course entrance.
Gov. Mike Beebe took questions on a Roby Brock webcast today. I'll add a link when the episode is available.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has updated his office's Spanish-language website to better serve Spanish speakers.
A campaign to allow medical use of marijuana in Arkansas is underway and, at first blush, it appears better organized than some previous efforts that didn't reach the ballot Here's a website for the proposal, which has gained approval as to form from the attorney general.
President Obama finally has gotten serious about Republican intransigence on dealing with the debt ceiling.
Aug. 3 would have been Little Rock-born jazz musician Art Porter Jr.'s 50th birthday. The saxophonist died in a boating accident in Thailand in 1996, not long after performing at a festival celebrating the reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
This Thursday night, former Razorback and current Chicago Bull Ronnie Brewer hosts a birthday party for promoter Courtney G at Deep Ultra Lounge, with DJ sets by Greyhound and g-force.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel horned in on annual State Police awards program today, sending over a videotape of his contribution of $700,000 to build a classroom building for the agency's shooting range at Wrightsville.
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy recently recorded a tune about the earthquakes that were shaking Faulkner County.
Arkansas lottery revenue is almost $4 million lower than a reduced projection made only two weeks ago.
Chef Lee Richardson has flourished here in Arkansas, there's no doubt about it. The executive chef for Ashley's and Capital Bar and Grill has managed to bring high class to Central Arkansas, and has done it with an infusion of local produce and Southern values.
The city of Little Rock has received a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help encourage creation of a corridor for the arts on Main Street.
Read on for Leslie Newell Peacock's report on these two projects.
The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the city of Little Rock a $150,000 Our Town grant.
If you are member number 3,001 or later, you can get into Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art two days before its official opening Nov. 11.