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Consent Denied

Consent Denied

July 14, 2016

Vol 42 • No 45

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How Title IX hurts the sexual assault victims it's supposed to protect at the University of Arkansas

The federal government is investigating the way the UA handles allegations of rape.

Kongos play the Metroplex

Also, The Creek Rocks come to WWT.


A woman in a flower print dress who identifies herself as Miss Lula sells flowers at the Little Rock Farmer's Market.

Maxwell comes to Verizon

Also, "The Drowsy Chaperone" at the Weekend Theater, Louisiana Soul Revival at South on Main, Big Silver at the Whiter Water Tavern and Malcolm Holcombe at White Water.

Two or more

The Observer is, of course, a shameless and admitted addict when it comes to drinking in all the delicious wonders of the human condition.

Separate but equal

Minutiae for the mixtape maker

The '33 1/3' book series.

Sewage plant battle, round 2

Like Kanis group, Nowlin Creek neighbors say no.

The week's lowlights

Andy Davis has spent much of his taxpayer-paid time in the legislature working on legislation to make easier the lives of people who operate plants he sells and who dump materials in waterways.

Which bathroom does General Leslie choose to use?

Who gets the job of verifying the plumbing? Who will pay the notary public?

Shadow of Iraq War

From William Hope "Coin" Harvey to Gerald L.K. Smith, Arkansas has always offered a refuge for the reviled, so it is perfect that Tony Blair and George W. Bush flee here this week to escape the slings and arrows of their nations' brutal politics.

Lots of braying in 'Mike and Dave'

It's good for a snort-laugh

Weighing justice

Martin Luther King asked, "Where do we go from here: chaos or community?"

'Sultan' rising

New Bollywood film a must-see.

Bielema vs. Harbaugh

What makes Bielema likable while Harbaugh is seen as bristling is this distinction: While Harbaugh is rapidly tweeting jabs at foes and putting his chiseled chin and felonious stares in front of the cameras, Bielema seems content to be a bit more subtle, and maybe even reserved after the Hogs laid two memorable eggs against presumptive underdogs Toledo and Texas Tech last September.

High on Skye's

Bistro's French fare worth a visit.

Can't be proven

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, specifically to September 1992, when Attorney General William Barr, top-ranking FBI officials and — believe it or not — a Treasury Department functionary who actually sold "Presidential Bitch" T-shirts with Hillary Clinton's likeness from her government office, pressured the U.S. attorney in Little Rock to open an investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton's Whitewater investment.

'This must stop'

Also, reeling, bogarting the ballot, from chaplain to convict and Rutledge joins bathroom lawsuit.

Being a U.S. senator while black: Tim Scott speaks up

While Donald Trump was out driving a racial wedge in the electorate, appealing to white grievance, a leading Republican was standing on the Senate floor and telling colleagues that, yes, police do profile black men.

Another court strikes down state punishment of Planned Parenthood

Add the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to the list of courts that has struck down laws like that adopted in Arknasas to deprive Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood because politicians disapprove of the organization's abortion services. The money cut off is not for medical exams, but for a range of other health services, mostly for women.

Bathroom politics in Cleveland for GOP convention

OK, Sen. Tom Cotton, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former Gov. Mike Huckabee aren't afraid of damaging their reputations unduly by appearing as speakers at the Republican National Convention to affirm Donald Trump's nomination for president. But will they be afraid to avail themselves of restroom facilities in Cleveland?

Post-racial America: Jonesboro edition

The director of Jonesboro parks and recreation has been suspended for two weeks for a racial remark on Twitter about recent Black Lives Matters protestors in Memphis.

Transportation alternatives: Why not talk about moving people, not just cars?

Wider freeways are not the only topic of importance when the subject is transportation. And they may be the most damaging. News today about bikes, pedestrians and different ways of doing things, from Denmark to the banks of the Mississippi River.

Walton Family Foundation contributes $2 million to economics education

The Walton Family Foundation has made a $2 million grant to the Economics Arkansas Foundation for its aim to train teachers and reach students grades pre-K through 12.

State Board of Education ignores court orders, approves school transfers; charter school train rolls on

The Asa Hutchinson-controlled state Board of Education demonstrated its preference for school choice, even when federal court orders might be in conflict.

UA journalism school gets $1 million gift

A Houston couple has given the University of Arkansas Department of Journalism $1 million to expand Kimpel Hall with new rooms for TV production, news reporting and controls.

Has Trump picked Mike Pence for vice president? That's the story

Even if Donald Trump says it himself, it's not necessarily so, given the experience on other issues. But nonetheless the Wall Street Journal says Donald Trump is telling key Republicans that Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, a dyed in the wool religious righter, will be his running mate.

Search on for shooters of Sonic carhop

Police are still searching for suspects and theories in the shooting last night of a Sonic drive-in carhop on Chenal Parkway in western Little Rock.

The trailer for Jeff Nichols' 'Loving' looks great

The latest from Little Rock's Jeff Nichols hits theaters Nov. 4. It's Nichols' telling of the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose marriage led to the landmark civil rights case Loving v. Virginia, which ended laws preventing interracial marriage. Ruth Negga's performance as Mildred Loving generated Oscar talk after the film debuted at Cannes.

Thursday's open line

Here's the open line and today's video roundup.More news yet to come from the Ted Suhl trial by Benji Hardy and from Tom Coulter on the Presidential Leadership Scholars session, which includes a panel with three members of the Little Rock Nine and appearances by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Tony Blair.

Nursing homes pour more into drive to limit lawsuits over nursing home abuses

The committee working to amend the Arkansas Constitution to put a chilling effect on lawsuits against nursing homes for abuse and neglect reported today contributions of another $293,500 to the cause, almost all from nursing homes.

Lights out here; more terror abroad

Lights out in Little Rock and a new attack in Francekills dozens.

Planning Commission denies sewer treatment plan application

The Little Rock Planning Commission voted 10-1 this afternoon to deny a conditional use permit that would have allowed developer Rick Ferguson to build a package wastewater plant on Nowlin Creek in West Pulaski County, two miles outside the city limits. The plant would serve the Mountain Valley subdivision Ferguson hopes to build on 36 acres on Highway 10 adjacent to the treatment plant. He wants to put 134 homes in the subdivision; that application will go before the commission in August.

The trial of Ted Suhl, day 2: The Texas de Brazil

More details emerge on the alleged bribery scheme.

No power and a dying phone

The storm-related power outage will hamper the blog this morning

More Tony Blair in Little Rock today via the web

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will deliver a lecture in the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Lecture Series to an invitation-only audience at noon today at the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center. But the speech will be available to the public on the web at this link.

'Anatomy of a right-wing hoax:' The Planned Parenthood attack videos

Today's recommended reading: Amanda Marcotte writes in Salon abou the developments  in the year after the release of dishonest videos by an anti-abortion group trying to destroy Planned Parenthood with bogus accounts of body part sales.

Cotton in the minority against new head of Library of Congress

It's never too late to point out another example of Sen. Tom Cotton's inability to play well with others.

Attorney general illustrates another meaningless law, on school nurses

More empty gestures from the Arkansas government — a requirement for a minimum number of school nurses.

Will state be back in court for aiding segregation?

The question lingers from Thursday's state Board of Education meeting at which the Board ignored federal court desegregation orders and allowed students to transfer out of Jacksonville and El Dorado school districts over objections of the districts.

The truck terrorist: Details of life emerge

Details emerging on French truck terrorist. He was not devout.

Judicial candidate written up for claiming erroneously to be judge

The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission has issued a letter of "informal adjustment," a minor punishment, to an unsuccessful judicial candidate who claimed he was a judge when he was not.

City opens cooling centers on account of slow power restoration

Entergy just tweeted that all customers without power in Little Rock could expect to be back on the grid by Tuesday. Tuesday!?!

UPDATE: UA clears union because of suspicious package

The University of Arkansas announced that it had cleared the student union in Fayetteville because of a suspicious package. The bomb squad of the Fayetteville police department is investigating. It may only be coincidental, but the incident occurs amid wide rumors of a protest event by the Anonymous collective.

Arkansas Times Recommends: The Water Edition

Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.

And, if rumors are not enough to worry about ....

Add this to your watch list: A military coup attempt is apparently underway in Turkey. And the U.S. government has finally released withheld pages of the 9/11 report that suggest terrorist links to the Saudi government.

Enough's enough

Here's the Friday open line and week-ending video roundup.

The Radically Segregationist State Board Edition

The State Board of Education defying federal court desegregation orders, the state’s acquisition of a drug used in the lethal injection process, the trial of Ted Suhl and more anti-LGBT action from the legislature in the guise of religious freedom — all covered on this week's podcast.

The trial of Ted Suhl, day 3: "I had friends that were fishes"

After being confronted by the FBI, the defense attorney said, Carter "told the government [he] would get the ‘big fish' and asked them how they wanted those fish prepared — blackened, fried or grilled."

Johnny Key names Little Rock school advisory board; political slant evident

Education Commissioner Johnny Key told the state Board of Education yesterday his choices for the community advisory board that will provide some input into operation of the Little Rock School District while in state control. The political bent was predictably apparent for a Republican appointee with past devotion to the school agenda of the Walton Family Foundation and other backers of so-called "reform."

Sandwiches on the City Board agenda

The Little Rock City Board will consider Tuesday night an appeal of the Planning Commission's denial of a request to allow a Jimmy John's fast food sandwich shop at 4520 W. Markham, previously occupied by a branch bank.

Black Lives Matter T-shirts no longer for sale at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Will they be restocked?

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen alerted me yesterday that Black Lives Matter T-shirts, once banished and then returned to the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, are no longer for sale at the state's museum of the African-American experience.

A Q&A with Nikki Hill

We spoke with North Carolina belter Nikki Hill on her way from Canada to New Mexico in advance of her show Saturday, July 23 at the White Water Tavern.

Cherokees invest $1 million in casino campaign

The Cherokee Nation has put $1 million into the drive to legalize three casinos in Arkansas, a plan that would have the Cherokees operating a casino in Washington County.

The Trump and Turkish charter school open line

The Saturday open line includes news of a Donald Trump performance with Mike Pence and an Arkansas connection — yes Arkansas — in the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

The Fayetteville shale bust and lessons likely not learned

A recap of the Fayetteville shale exploration boom and bust offers some lessons for Arkansas on environmental regulation and severance taxes. If history is a guide, the lessons won't be learned.

Multiple shootings of law officers in Baton Rouge

Multiple law officers have been shot in Baton Rouge.

Sunday. A troubled open line.

Here's the Sunday open line. Another day of senseless slaughter with no immediate answers for many questions.

Libertarians point to House election for two-month term

The state Libertarian Party says it will hold a special nominating convention July 30 to pick a candidate to run in a special election to finish the term of Republican Rep. Kelley Linck, who's resigned the seat to work in the Hutchinson administration.

Less Huckabee is more at National Convention

Mike Huckabee, the former governor, won't be speaking at the Republican National Convention after all. He opted instead for his paid gig as a commentator for Fox News, which said he couldn't be a convention speaker and paid commentator at the same time.

LR police residency issue: Us vs. them

A residency requirement for Little Rock police is on the table. It won't happen, but it shouldn't prevent a discussion about the unavoidable issue of race and police-community relations.

Shooting death on Elm Street

Police say they found Mikhal Dalove Bailey, 22, shot to death in the 2400 block of Elm Street shortly after midnight last night.

Rock on: Dallas O. Bump, chair craftsman, dies at 98

Dallas Oliver Bump, 98, of Bear, Arkansas, died Saturday. His passing deserves a note because he was judged a living treasure of Arkansas for his custom-made rocking chairs, "the best oak rocking chairs ever made," says his obituary. One is on permanent display at the Smithsonian


Quote of the day, from Jane Mayer's New Yorker article interviewing Tony Schwartz, the ghost writer for Donald Trump's best-seller, "The Art of the Deal."

Tom Cotton launches his 2020 presidential campaign

Sen. Tom Cotton's appearance today before the South Carolina Republican National Convention delegation, an appearance that he read more as an introduction of Cotton as a future presidential candidate than an endorsement of Donald Trump.

Victim complains about light sentence for prison rapist

When Kenneth Dewitt, a former prison chaplain, pleaded guilty to three charges of raping inmates at the Women's Unit at Newport, the prosecutor defended a five-year plea bargained sentence (which likely will mean as little as a year of time served) by saying Dewitt had admitted guilt and was "willing to accept" prison time.

Asa tamps down Clinton sex talk

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who was a House manager of Bill Clinton's impeachment, has discouraged the Republican National Convention from delving into Clinton's sexual past, as Donald Trump has said he would do.

Baton Rouge shooter declared himself a 'sovereign citizen'

Gavin Long, shot by police after he killed three police officers and wounded others in Baton Rouge, had filed court papers in Missouri declaring himself a "sovereign citizen."

Monday's open line

Here's the Monday open line and the daily news roundup.

Matt Campbell files ethics complaint against nursing home lobby

Matt Campbell, the Little Rock lawyer and author of the Blue Hog Reports blog, has filed an ethics complaint today against the Arkansas Health Care Association related to the nursing home lobby group's spending on a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at discouraging lawsuits against nursing homes and others for negligence and abuse.

Trump opponents denied Convention rules challenge with Steve Womack in the chair

Politico says "chaos" erupted on the Republican National Convention floor after Trump forces, on a voice vote, turned back a rules challenge by forces opposing Trump's nomination.

Democrats challenge GOP effort to put new candidate in Washington County judge race

The Democratic Party of Arkansas has sued to stop an attempted 11th-hour maneuver by the Republican Party to field a candidate for Washington County judge.

The Ted Suhl trial, day 4: A problem for the prosecution

Now in its fourth day, the criminal trial of Northeast Arkansas businessman Ted Suhl on federal bribery charges looks to wrap up earlier than expected.

Tom Cotton flat on his big night

Sen. Tom Cotton's big Republican National Convention speech was nothing to write home about.

Melania Trump's big night: Tribute to Michelle Obama

Melania Trump's Republican National Convention speech included lines drawn verbatim from Michelle Obama

Another City Board race takes shape

Clayton Johnson, a high school teacher who's long taken an interest in City Hall affairs, says he's firmed up plans to run against incumbent Gene Fortson for the at-large Postion 9 seat on the Little Rock City Board of Directors.

Obstructionist Tom Cotton: Speech light on Trump references

Sen.Tom Coton was in the spotlight yesterday — for a Republican National Convention speech that barely mentioned the party's nominee and also for his continuing obstruction of judicial confirmations in the U.S. Senate.

Life and death and the nonsensical Arkansas Supreme Court

With his usual command of history, Ernest Dumas writes this week about how a slim majority of the Arkansas Supreme Court stood the state Constitution on its head by creating law to preserve the death penalty.

Fact-free politics: Chris Christie and Leslie Rutledge edition

Faced with facts, Republicans create their own alternative universe. So it is with Melania Trump's use of lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic convention speech. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, citing her Arkansas English degree as authority, delivered the party line on CNN — no plagiarism

Arkansas Times Film Series Presents "Night of the Hunter"

In concert with Film Quotes Film and Riverdale 10 Cinema, Arkansas Times Film Series presents Charles Laughton's grim fairy tale, "Night of the Hunter."

Tom Cotton roasted in the Twittersphere

The Twittersphere wasn't kind about Sen. Tom Cotton's speech Monday night to the Republican National Convention. Biggest ouch: Implication that he got his signature refrain from John Kerry's 2004 DNC speech.

Hutchinson administration moves include Betty Guhman to Youth Services

Some moves in the Hutchinson administration while he's away in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, including senior adviser Betty Guhman to temporary head of Youth Services.

Mortuus Pater Pictures films "Antiquities" in Arkansas

We talked with Graham Gordy and Gary Newton about their new production company, Mortuus Pater, and their plans to expand Daniel Campbell's Charles B. Pierce award-winning short "Antiquities" into a full-length feature film shot in Arkansas.

Ted Suhl takes stand in bribery case

Benji Hardy reports that the defense has begun putting on its witnesses in the trial of former mental health services provider Ted Suhl on bribing public officials to help his business, which took in $125 million in Medicaid money in four years for residential and community-based services for youths.

Brad Neely weighs in on Taylor Swift

From Fort Smith's Brad Neely, an alternate theory on Taylor Swift's power that has nothing to do with Hiddleswift or who's winning in the Taylor/Kim/Kanye/et al beef.

Roundabout construction set in War Memorial Park

The city is going to begin construction Thursday of a roundabout (traffic circle) at Fair Park Boulevard and Zoo Drive. Construction will take about four months. Expect occasional snafus.

Tuesday's open line and the daily video report

The Tuesday open line, plus video news and comment.

Blue Hog says Ethics Commission will hear ethics complaint against Gov. Hutchinson

Matt Campbell, the Blue Hog Report blogger and Little Rock lawyer, has been notified that the state Ethics Commission will hold a probable cause hearing on his ethics complaint against on-the-job campaigning by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

"March: Book Three" set for August 2 release

Little Rock’s Nate Powell’s triptych depicting the struggle of civil rights activist U.S.Rep. John Lewis, is slated for release on August 2.

Conner Eldridge blasts Sen. Boozman's globetrotting

Democratic Senate candidate Conner Eldridge today ripped incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman for heavy travel on taxpayers.

Waiting for Trump

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge spoke to the GOP Convention tonight in advance of an appearance by the party nominee.

The Ted Suhl trial, day 5: The defendant speaks

Ted Suhl took the stand on Tuesday, and the trial wraps up on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Judge Wilson denied a long-shot bid by the prosecution to introduce the question of whether the Lord's Ranch, Suhl's inpatient facility, has been investigated for physically abusing children.

Nursing home lobby responds to ethics complaint

Rachel Davis, executive director of the Arkansas Health Care Association, lobby group for nursing homes, has responded to a question I posed after Matt Campbell filed an ethics complaint related to the group's support of a proposed constitutional amendment to discourage lawsuits against nursing homes and other medical providers for abuse, neglect and malpractice.

Alice Stewart: From Huckabee to Cruz to CNN

Alice Stewart, the former Little Rock TV reporter who went on to a career as spokesperson  for a string of Republican politicians, announced on Twitter yesterday that she'd taken a job as a political commentator in Washington for CNN.

Missing Lou Holtz? Not us. Immigrants either, most likely

Former Razorback football coach Lou Holtz, whose conservative politics caused a bit of friction during his days in Arkansas, is back in the limelight again for political activities at the Republican National Convention.

National attention to Waltons' takeover of Little Rock schools

Jeff Bryant, director of the Education Opportunity Network, writes in depth for AlterNet, the national progressive website, about the Little Rock School District in great detail — the desegregation struggle, the politics and the district's recent targeting for destruction by the heirs of a discount store fortune.

More on Tom Cotton's 2020 campaign for president

The New York Times writes more about the potential Republican presidential candidates in 2020, such as Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who are using the current Republican National Convention to network for the future.

Kaleidoscope Film Festival announces full lineup

The Kaleidoscope Film Festival, which will be held Aug. 18-21 mostly at the Argenta Community Theater and The Joint in North Little Rock, has announced its full lineup.

Bringing black and blue together in Little Rock

A program has been scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Arkansas Baptist College to bring together police and black males aged 12 to 18 to promote understanding.

Speech writer takes fall for Melania Trump plagiarism, but ..... whoa

The note above confirms what reportorial sleuthing was closing in on — that speech writer Meredith McIver (reportedly an English major like our Attorney General Leslie Rutledge) made the mistake of including verbatim passages of a Michelle Obama speech in Melania Trump's speech to the Republican National Convention.

The needs of the state: Kids or tax cuts

An observer reports from a legislative committee meeting this morning at which the State Police made a case for more money for child abuse hotline operators and investigators. A Republican actually said he might vote for children's needs before a tax cut.

Paragould corpse lucrative for housemate, police say

So one of those weird crime stories popped up this week — the case of a long-dead corpse found in the home of a Paragould woman by the woman's roommate of three months. Gloria Marie Tensley, 65, was arrested Tuesday after the discovery.

Appeals Court orders changes in Texas Voter ID law

Shocking. The conservative U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agrees that the Texas Voter ID law has the EFFECT of discriminating against minority voters.

Former Arkansan seeks U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana

OK, it's kind of a goof. But Kaitlin Marone, who grew up in Little Rock, IS a standup comedian. And she did qualify today for the election ballot this week as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.

Wednesday's open line and the news roundup

Here's the Wednesday open line and the mid-afternoon roundup of news and comment.

Metroplan advisers put off vote on AHTD's request for 6-lane waiver: Update

The council that advises Metroplan's board of directors voted today to wait until a 30-day public comment period has passed before deciding whether to grant the state highway department a waiver of the planning agency's six-lane limit on freeway through lanes. The panel, the Regional Planning Advisory Council, will meet Aug. 24 to consider the comments. That is the day after the public comment period, which runs July 24 to Aug. 23.

Jimmy John's loses appeal on Markham zoning request

Forget to mention: The Little Rock City Board of Directors last night voted 8-0 to reject an appeal of the Planning Commission's denial of a request to allow a Jimmy John's fast food sandwich shop on West Markham Street.

Jury convicts Ted Suhl on 4 of 6 counts in federal bribery case

After five hours of deliberation, a jury returned a guilty verdict on multiple counts. Suhl's attorneys have vowed to appeal.

A latesummer festival round-up

Like the Pompeii worm or the heat-loving cockscomb, late summer festivals are undeterred by the blistering sun.