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July 23, 2009

Vol 7 • No 28

Follow the bouncing lotto ball

On June 5, Ernie Passailaigue was hired as the executive director of the Arkansas Lottery Commission at a salary of $324,000, a six-figure pay boost over his job as leader of South Carolina’s lottery.

Finish the job on smoking

During a celebration of the third anniversary of the law limiting smoking in public places, anti-tobacco advocates said they favored plugging holes in the Arkansas law, which stills allows smoking in hundreds of places -- mostly bars and restaurants -- that nominally prohibit entry of people under 21.

Bang for your collegiate buck

Here's the 2009 version of an interesting survey -- ranking colleges on the average starting pay and mid-career pay of their graduates.

Who is Mike Ross?

Others are trying to figure what makes Rep. Mike Ross tick in fighting the Obama health plan.

Gun nuts lose one

Needing 60 votes, the gun lobby got 58 in attempting to add a provision to a defense spending bill to allow people with a concealed carry permit in one state to carry that weapon into another state with similar laws.

The line is open

Your comments here. I'm done.

In brief, July 23

It’s a bill full of young, energetic indie-poppers at Revolution, with Copeland, Sherwood, Anchor and Braille and Barcelona, 7 p.m., $13-$15.

July 15-21, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … BLACK APATHY. The Democrat-Gazette reported that black voting in 2008 was at its lowest rate in a decade – 44 percent – while blacks elsewhere in the South turned out in record numbers to vote for Barack Obama.

Government by computer

State government is preparing to ask for bids on the contract to provide on-line state services, such as tax payments, corporate filings, and criminal-background checks.

A.’s in search of Q.’s

Here’s another current-events test, this one based on the old Jeopardy premise of my telling you the answer and you supplying the question.

Praying for freedom

Hi, my name is Charles Jason Baldwin and 16 years ago I was convicted for a crime I did not commit.

Wagging the tail

With 3/4-inch plate steel and a good sense of humor, the Argenta Downtown Council’s first public art project — “Me and My Dog,” by Elena Petroukhina and Rhonda Reeves — will put the dog back in Dogtown.

To-do list, July 23

Venus Mission, Mike Epps and Friends, 'Follie Holidays,' Big Smith, Big Boots, Former Members Of, Rick Springfield, Jim Rose Circus Versus Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' round out a few of this week's entertainment options.

Words, July 23

“When somebody says ‘nexus,’ I hit ’em in the solar plexus.” — Battling Bob Fitzsimmons:

What's cooking, July 23

A note for travelers (via our Eat Arkansas Blog): The signs have changed, and so have the offerings at the familiar red restaurant at Pickles Gap north of Conway.

The King of Arkansas returns

Two and a half months ago, Kris Allen returned to Arkansas a star.

This modern world, July 23

Sheriff makes good

“Passailaigue said he believes that all law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical service employees ‘are underpaid.’ ”

The observer, July 23

It’s an Arkansas story, our friend said. About her 88-year-old parents.

Orval, July 23

Sympathy for the sheriff

I got Lance Huey on the phone shortly after lunch Monday. He broke off the conversation periodically to bid goodbye to friends who’d dropped by his going-away party.

Burger House

In a city brimming with excellent hamburgers, it’s no small feat that, a little more than a month after opening, the House appears ready to stake claim to the local burger crown.

Ross: Master of deceit

Of all the flanking attacks on national health reform the most deceitful is the one that says it should be stopped because it will not do enough to rein in rising health-care costs.

A&E news, July 23

“Slumberland,” the surprise winner of the Charles B. Pierce Award for Arkansas Film at the Little Rock Film Fest, is coming back to the big screen.

Editorial cartoon, July 23

The televisionist, July 23

Ah, the 1980s. It was a simpler time, wasn’t it? A pair of acid-washed jeans on every butt, a synthesizer in every song and a semi-lucid geriatric with his finger on the nuclear button in the White House.

Second pick

Former Grant County Sheriff Lance Huey went to work Tuesday as security director of the Arkansas lottery, at a salary of more than $115,000 a year.

Smart talk, July 23

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who wrote a book about his famous weight loss a few years ago, has put some pounds back on, though he hasn’t said how many.

Cronies? But are they rascals?

Pondering the tentacles of state Sen. Bob Johnson of Bigelow into the Lottery Commission’s developing staff sent me to the dictionary. I sought a definition of “cronyism.”

War and snogging

This was the scene after the first midnight showing of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the sixth cinematic installment of J.K. Rowling’s magical bildungsroman.

The Unofficial “American Idols Live”

Tour Set List* First Act:

Charter schools and resegregation

Little Rock School District attorney Chris Heller has compiled a certain-to-be-controversial report to the School Board today on the impact of open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County on the three public school districts.

Woo, Pig, go blog

Welcome to the Arkansas blogging community the Blog Hawgs. In it, former political campaigner Brett Kincaid and lawyer Adam Butler will mix it up on politics and sports from the progressive end of the spectrum.

The county official rooky-doo

We don't yet know how many county officials have engaged in the fake retirement funny business Rep. Allen Kerr (R-Little Rock) has unearthed, but I am beginning to believe it extends far beyond the three Garland County elected officials already nailed for "retiring" (by not taking a paycheck for three months) and staying in office without ever formally vacating it so that they could then capture retirement pay for their elected office and the elected job's pay at the same time.

Leaders of tomorrow

For some reason, this news release on behalf of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter reminds me of the time in the early 1970s that a young journalist in Newport wrote a free-lance article for the Arkansas Gazette about rising young Arkansas journalists.

Family Burger.

 The family dining experience… hometown restaurants that include ads for local businesses on their menu, where trophies and plaques for school sports dangle on walls and there’s sometimes even an item on the menu named after a school mascot.

Korto to compete in 'Project Runway's All-Star Challenge'

Lifetime announced yesterday that eight "Project Runway" alums, including Mabelvale's own Korto Momolu, will compete in a two-hour all-star challenge that'll air on Thursday, Aug. 20, just before the sixth season debuts.

Bun B coming to a shopping mall near you

A long lunch break on Friday is in order. From 1:30 to 3 p.m., arguably the South's finest— and almost certainly most respected — rapper is giving a free concert in the parking lot of Park Plaza.

More on double dipping

A county official -- not a double-dipper -- encourages me to mention what is nothing but plain fact.

Thick Syrup can't stop-won't stop

Thick Syrup Records is collaborating with Pearl Jam's Matt Cameron* on an upcoming compilation. The local label's Travis McElroy is currently at work on two compilations: one that'll feature bands that influenced McElroy in his youth, like Teenage Fanclub, the Posies, Mudhoney and Sebadoh (or at least side projects featuring members from those acts), and another that'll serve as the follow-up to McElroy's Arkansas compilation of the best in local rock and folk.

What's wrong with Mike Ross?

Not a thing is wrong with the Fourth District congressman insofar as his resistance to health care reform is concerned if you measure his performance by the feelings of the people he represents.

Citizen Hussman

Newspapers are going cheap these days -- sometimes for no more than the value of the real estate on which their buildings sit.

Thank goodness for Arkansas

If it were not for tone-deaf Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, what would national political blogs do for material?

The Economist won't dignify King Biscuit's stupid new name either

There's a new piece in the Economist about summer music festivals being a boon to small Southern and Midwestern towns that name checks the American Princes, cites the $6 million Wakarusa brought in for the Mulberry Mountain area and mentions that the blues festival formerly known as King Biscuit is charging now.The Economist doesn't use bylines, but I bet this is the work of local writer Suzi Parker, who's written about Little Rock Kickball for the magazine before.

Thursday: Copeland and co., Jet 420, Spillyards Bros Jazz Trio, more

Copeland. ALSO: You can't love contemporary indie rock and take band's names too seriously.

Pryor on guns: Both ways

One of our readers pointed out this vote change yesterday, but it didn't get the attention it deserved.

Alamo trial UPDATE

After five hours, no verdict from the federal jury considering sex crime charges against Tony Alamo, who mounted essentially only a technical defense to charges of serial sexual contact with underage girls.

Airport access to reopen

A city spokesman said the Bankhead Drive access to Little Rock National Airport will reopen about 5 p.m. today after weeks of closure for drainage repair work.

Cambridge cop apologize? No way

Fueled by President Obama's response to a question last night, the controversy over the disorderly conduct arrest of famed Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. got further life today when the arresting officer said he wouldn't apologize.

More booze options at Ciao

Ciao, the longstanding Italian restaurant at 405 W. 7th, has obtained a mixed-drink permit. Now it's serving martinis and the like as well as wine and beer.


We glowingly reviewed the House this week (short version: best burger in town, nice atmosphere), but grumbled at the end about breakfast.

One bid for lottery contract -- UPDATE

Bids were opened today for the "on-line" or computer operating end of the Arkansas Lottery. Make that bid, singular.

Pryor, Lincoln, health care

Arkansas's senators took questions in separate conference calls today on health care. Paul Barton in Washington listened in for us.

Dum da dum dum

The faux retirement story broken here yesterday thanks to information from Rep. Allen Kerr (R-Little Rock) appears to be growing legs.

Your turn

The line is open.


  Know your Reps. Yes, Razorbabies, THIS is the face of Arkansas! All six of ‘em!

Barbecue's Back in Greenbrier.

Backwoods Barbecue closed in January when one of the owners, Doug Chrestman, passed away. But now a new set of owners has opened up a barbecue restaurant in the same location.

Take a while to bake it

Today, July 23, a Little Rock park group will get $150,000 as the first step in a multi-million-dollar redo.

The King of Arkansas returns

Two and a half months ago, Kris Allen returned to Arkansas a star.

A.’s in search of Q.’s

Here’s another current-events test, this one based on the old Jeopardy premise of my telling you the answer and you supplying the question.

No more partying down by the river...

...after tonight's concert by Venus Mission, one of the area's hottest touring bands, at the Peabody's final RiverTop Party of the season. Some 800 revelers have been coming to these get-downs each week.

Cronies? But are they rascals?

Pondering the tentacles of state Sen. Bob Johnson of Bigelow into the Lottery Commission’s developing staff sent me to the dictionary.

Waiting for Alamo verdict

The jury instructions seem critical in the jury's deliberation of sex crime charges against cult leader Tony Alamo, charged with multiple sexual encounters with children.

Waiting for Alamo verdict

The jury instructions seem critical in the jury's deliberation of sex crime charges against cult leader Tony Alamo, charged with multiple sexual encounters with children.

Worth Checking Out.

We talk a lot about the big farmers markets here on the blog -- the 35 year old Little Rock Farmers Market at the River Market and the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market in Argenta.

Diner Dinner.

  The recent laments over a lack of good local places to have a cheap breakfast or lunch lead me to Bryant’s Home Plate Diner -- that, and all the signs proclaiming it the town’s best place to eat.

Double-dip watch

Stephens Media today followed our reports on the investigation of a potentially huge abuse of the public retirement system by elected officials, particularly at the county level.

Governor's School bailout

An Arkansas Governor's School advocate (as I am) calls attention to an idea floated to Gov. Mike Beebe at a Q&A at the school this week.

Friday To-Do: Venus Mission

VENUS MISSION9 p.m., The Peabody. $5.The RiverTop Party finale signals the crest of summer, when it's too hot to hang out at night down by the river.

E. Lynn Harris is dead

E. Lynn Harris, the best-selling Arkansas author known for contemporary stories about African-Americans, died today during a West Coast book tour.

The Weekend: Bun B, Magic Hassle, Benjamin Del Shreve, Vulture Whale and more

The Weisenheimers. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Who's on first? Huck or Romney

Bragging rights, modest ones, for both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney in two recent polls on the GOP presidential nominee for 2012.

Obama: Drag on Dems?

Here's a bit of polling ephemera that has some interest in the current news context.

Geek out on the '80s, ghosts, says the Televisionist

Broderick and Sheedy think war gaming. 1980s MOVIE MINI-MARATHON7 p.m.

Double-talking Mike Ross

The left end of the blogosphere has begun to get exercised about Rep. Mike Ross' roadblock to health care, particularly under the fiscal conservative banner.

Farm Aid not that far this year

Farm Aid, the annual benefit concert aimed at shedding light on the plight of family farms, is coming to the Heartland.

Alamo guilty on all charges

About 10:40 a.m. today, the jury returned in the sex crime trial of cult leader Tony Alamo.

John Legend coming to Robinson

The throwback crooner is at Robinson Center Music Hall on Saturday, Sept. 26, with Laura Ibizor, who's apparently huge in Japan.Tickets go on-sale on Saturday to people with American Express cards, Monday to fan clubbers and Saturday, Aug. 1 for the rest of us.Think he'll do "Heartbreaker"?

Cash for clunkers

The government's program to give you up to $4,500 to take an old gas-guzzler off the street and replace it with a more fuel efficient car is up and running.

Cash for clunkers

The government's program to give you up to $4,500 to take an old gas-guzzler off the street and replace it with a more fuel efficient car is up and running.

Beebe will go to Cuba

Are times changing or what? Gov. Mike Beebe talks in his weekly address about a trade mission to Cuba the last week of this month.

KABF on NBC Nightly News

Dig the bent-note montage. Twenty years ago.



Conway crime scene

The home intrusion comes to Conway (if it hadn't already). Two women held at gunpoint while armed men who had broken into their house about midnight robbed the place.

A letter to Ernie P.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has written a letter to Ernie Passailaigue, the Arkansas lottery director.

Saturday To-Do: Mike Epps and Friends

MIKE EPPS AND FRIENDS8 p.m., Robinson Center, $37.50-$41.50.Mike Epps, best known as Ice Cube's weed-burning accomplice in several “Friday” flicks, offers a sharp stand-up performance.

Saturday To-Do: 'Follie Holidays'

‘FOLLIE HOLIDAYS'1 p.m. and 7 p.m., The Rep. $10.Most professional theater companies around the country have programs for young artists like the Rep's Summer Musical Theater Intensive, but few, if any, put those young performers on their Main Stage, which is what the Rep will do twice this Saturday (ages 16 to 23) and twice again Saturday, Aug. 8 (ages 10 to 15).

Saturday To-Do: Rick Springfield

RICK SPRINGFIELD8 p.m., Timberwood Amphitheater, Magic Springs, $35.99-$45.99.Calling all cougars, cubs, and “Tiger Beat” readers.

Saturday To-Do: Big Boots-Former Members Of

Big Boots. From way back.

Saturday To-Do: Big Smith

BIG SMITH9 p.m., Revolution. $6.No band owns the Ozarks like Big Smith.

Saturday To-Do: American Idols Live!

AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE7 p.m., Verizon Arena. $40.50-$69.50Two and a half months ago, Kris Allen returned to Arkansas a star.

Trailer Gazing: Clark Duke stars in the year's best-named movie

This is NSFW without headphones. Or at least he's the lead in this Red Band teaser trailer for what could be the greatest we-were-stoned-when-we-came-up-with-this title for a movie —"Hot Tub Time Machine."

Obama: Poor choice of words

Belatedly, President Obama says he could have "calibrated" his words better and not said police acted "stupidly" in arresting Henry Louis Gates, the black Harvard professor and writer.

Open line and preview

It's open to your comments. But a note: For those interested in double-dipping state employees, I have a Saturday special coming up.

McClard's: Top 10

USA Today provides a list of 10 great regional places to eat. McClard's Bar-B-Q in Hot Springs makes the list.

Judge opens Prempro evidence

A public interest law firm has won approval from a Little Rock federal judge to see evidence that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals "ghostwrote" articles about its Prempro horomone therapy drug for medical journals.

The King of Arkansas returns

Kris Allen, the state's biggest pop star star since...ever(?), headlines the American Idols Live concert at Verizon tonight.

Pryor and the Family

Brummett today gives U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor another chance to distance himself from the Family, the right-wing religious organization with which Pryor has worked on prayer breakfasts.

LRSD Board member: Go after state

Little Rock School Board member Micheal Daugherty has distributed an impassioned note to other Board members urging them to press action against the state for steadily increasing open enrollment charter school seats in Pulaski County without considering the impact on desegregaton.

Why does Mike Ross hate poor people?

U.S., Rep. Mike Ross of Prescott was again front and center Friday in the fight to block President Obama's health care legislation.

Saturday special: Double dippers

I promised yesterday a little added value for Saturday readers and here it is. The state Department of Finance and Administration has compiled a list of all state employees who have taken advantage of the state law that allows them to retire from their jobs and, after meeting the required minimum time off work, seek to be rehired so they can claim two checks at once.

Nate Powell, Eisner winner

Last night at Comic Con, North Little Rock native Nate Powell won the closing award of the night, Best New Graphic Album.

Open line

It's on.

Kris Allen comes home

More than 14,000 happy fans filled Verizon Arena in North Little Rock Saturday night for the American Idol tour stop featuring Conway's Kris Allen, winner of this year's editon of the talent competition.

Highway grumbling

John Brummett provides an update on so-far clandestine muttering about a lawsuit over the constitutionality of how the state Highway Commission distributes spending.

Double-dip watch

The Democrat-Gazette finally reported today on the developing controversy over the elected county official flim-flam to fake-retire for a few months as a means of drawing both retirement (at the double counting rate provided only elected officials) and regular pay.

Time to read?

A couple to recommend in the NY Times today: 1) A magazine article on a West Virginia lesbian couple's battle to continue parenting a foster child with great needs.

Deaths in the family

Publisher Alan Leveritt asked that I pass along sad news concerning former members of our publishing family.

Sunday comments?

Here's a fresh sheet of digital paper. I'm cooking fresh Arkansas corn and pink tomatoes in a casserole (with cream, parmesan, bread crumbs, basil) and have some Arkansas peaches in a cobbler.

Pity the poor Blue Dogs

Or pity the Democratic Party's ability to govern on account of Blue Dogs like Rep. Mike Ross, Brummett writes.

Taking aim on the nation

Thanks to Talking Points Memo for compiling a pictorial of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, embarking now on a new career and perhaps a 2012 presidential run.

How Sweet It Is.

 Over the years, when there’s been something special going on, I’ve received a white box with a little gold and green sticker.

Wishes Granted.

Local food and local chefs combine for a fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation at Farm Fresh Wishes this coming Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at North Little Rock's Argenta Market.  Chefs Shane Henderson (Argenta Market), Jason Godwin (Simply the Best), Brian Deloney (Maddie’s) and Jason Knapp (Governor’s Mansion) will create dishes utilizing produce from the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market for six courses that will be paired with wines for a delightful experience.  Tickets are $75 and can be obtained by calling (501) 376-9474.  More information at the Make A Wish Foundation website.

Mayor has Ray Winder plan UPDATE

Mayor Mark Stodola has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference to discuss a proposal for disposition of Ray Winder Field, the vacant former ballpark.  With some tweaks, the plan will be the one we uncovered earlier.  UAMS will purchase the city's portion of the baseball park property.

The Parole Board double-dip

Saturday, I posted the state-compiled list of more than 300 state employees who've taken advantage of a statutory retirement deal since 2001.

Kris Allen basks in the love

Photo by Brian Chilson. 14,532 packed into Verizon Arena on Saturday to scream for Kris Allen and co. on Saturday.

Pulaski taxes heading up

Arkansas Business reports that property values in Pulaski County rose, overall, by 2 to 3 percent from 2008 to 2009.

Art & Dim Sum.

Dig some dim sum?  If you'd like to learn how to create some dim sum at home, check out the cooking class tomorrow night at The Eggshell Kitchen Company on Kavanaugh.  Kathy Webb from Lilly's DimSum Then Some will bring some recipes and some ingredients and create some dim sum that then some folks can dine on and then some.  Sounds like something someone might like in your sum of folks?  Or want some know-how to share some with yours?  Class is tomorrow night at 6pm and runs $50... more information at The Eggshell Kitchen Company website.

State Fair to Cabot?

  The State Fair and Livestock Association has begun advertising for people interested in a pitching a new site for the State Fair, long a fixture on a fading stretch of Roosevelt Road in Little Rock.

'True Blood' embraces its trashiness

Last season, the Arkansas connection coupled with my reluctance to try something new on a Sunday night — after, what's it been now, five years of ending/beginning a week with HBO?

The price of fame ...

You can't pick up a takeout order of a double burger, fries, onion rings and an apple pie shake without someone blowing the whistle to a gossip columnist.

Movie Monday

Back from vacation now.  Thanks for bearing with the dearth of posts.  Just thought I would point you toward a couple of videos to watch today.  One is a program (above) called GritTV.  The first segment of the program talks about the disastrous effects that natural gas drilling has had on certain areas of the country.  The report includes clips from a film by Josh Fox called Water Under Attack.  You can see numerous clips from the film on Fox's website. 

On the dog (town) watch

I hope to get a report tonight on the vote in North Little Rock on the controversial apartment complex rezoning on the river in Baring Cross.

The line is open

I may return. But otherwise ....

Memory Jog.

The above sandwich has been lodged in my memory since childhood.  What a lovely thing to discover that not only is Stagecoach Grocery still open, but that it's still serving up muffelettas the same way, on French bread with homemade olive salad that has a crunch to it.  This is the stuff dreams are made of... more at Tie Dye Travels. 

Mark Pryor: 'Family' man

John Brummett revisits U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's relationship with the Family, the influential political/religious organization that happens to have provided a dorm for philandering Republicans (not Pryor).

NLR zoning delay

Observers report that the controversial rezoning proposal for an apartment complex in North Little Rock's Baring Cross neighborhood was pulled from consideration last night, but not before four people spoke against it.

Huckabee: GOP's Rodney Dangerfield?

Should Mike Huckabee be accorded more respect as a future presidential candidate? Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post examines the question here.

Boondoggle anyone?

KATV's Jason Pederson dug up another piece of state government work apparently in need of improvement.

Double-dip watch

State Rep. Allen Kerr (R-Little Rock) says as many as 200 elected county officials could be drawing both retirement and regular pay.

Pressly suspect in court

-- Brian Chilson More court proceedings today for Curtis Lavelle Vance, charged with killing KATV's Anne Pressly.

Rumor o' the day

The political rumor mill gins this up: The state Republican Party is still searching for a candidate to oppose Gov. Mike Beebe next year. Comes a whisper that state Rep. Allen Kerr of Little Rock, currently drawing wide attention for a crusade over abuse of public employment retirement laws, might be the one.

Arkansas kids' lot declines

The Annie Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Book on the well-being of children in the U.S. is out.

Soon: Justice Sotomayor

Judge Sonia Sotomayor won committee approval this morning for confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. The vote 13-6.

Lottery adding staff

With most top-paying jobs filled, the state Lottery Commission has begun hiring workers farther down the salary scale.

Smashed, grabbed, nabbed

Good video at this Channel 4 link to a smash-and-grab burglary of a WLR video store in which a plasma TV was among the items stolen.

Tuesday: Carney, Whale Fire, Angel Sluts

Carney. Fresh off opening on tour for the Veronica's, LA's Carney comes to Sticky Fingerz with a swaggering brand of blues-tinged pop-rock.

Ben Nichols is a comic book nerd

Now streaming: The first song off of Lucero's forthcoming album, "1372 Overton Park." It's called "The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo," which comic book geeks (ahem) the world round will recognize as a reference to one of Jaimie Hernandez's central characters in "Love and Rockets."

Smilin' Over Local Foods.

Nao over at GreenAR by the Day shares the scoop on Smilin' Jacks in Fayetteville, a local eatery intent on promoting local food.  In addition to the Secret Salad that's now Nao's favorite -- and the Sonoma sandwich pictured above -- she's impressed by just how far the restaurant is going to promote local farmers.

Smilin' Over Local Foods.

Nao over at GreenAR by the Day shares the scoop on Smilin' Jacks in Fayetteville, a local eatery intent on promoting local food.  In addition to the Secret Salad that's now Nao's favorite -- and the Sonoma sandwich pictured above -- she's impressed by just how far the restaurant is going to promote local farmers.

Fayetteville cops cleared

The Morning News has a perfunctory and expected report that Fayetteville cops have been cleared in the shooting of a woman they hoped to rescue from being stabbed by her former boyfriend. The man was not harmed and faces a murder charge.

Little Rock Fashion Week recruits MTV correspondent famous for wearing giant hats

That you can't find his name anywhere on Little Rock Fashion Week's website might suggest it's not a sure thing, but some Fashion Week rep passing out flyers the other day told me that longtime MTV news correspondent, radio host and rapper Sway will be the celebrity host for the Celebrity Couture Show on Aug. 15.

Speaking of cops

Arkansas police agencies will be able to hire 60 new officers with more than $8 million in  federal stimulus money.

Open line

You're up.

Mighty fine in 2009

As he has since we started this contest 100 years ago, David Bazzel won best-looking guy in our annual Best of Arkansas readers poll. Along with their vote on Bazzel's companion winner, KATV's Beth Hunt, the readers have spoken in 100 or so categories, ranging from the best athlete to the best sushi spot.

Special needs kids

The budget cut for Arkansas Governor’s School is old news by now, but I was reminded of it when Gov. Mike Beebe visited the school last week.

Family values senator

This slow morning I think it's worth linking to a bit more detailed account than the morning paper carried on the latest family values Republican politician to fall on his, er, sword.

We can dream, can't we? UPDATE

NY Times: After a plunge lasting three years, houses have finally become cheap enough to lure buyers.

Feel that? ....

.... must be police or a fire truck coming. In the what-will-they-think-of-next department, a news release from Lt. Terry Hastings at the LRPD with announcement of a news conference:

Sweet and Tangy.

I can’t write about places I ate in my youth without including Sims Bar-B-Que. Sims was one of those places that was a real treat -- Mom would go by on her way home from work and pick up a family pack, and that and an extra loaf of bread from the bread store down the street would last us a while.


I’ve been to a lot of cooking classes over the years. Some have been very educational, and I’ve taken home bits that I’ve incorporated into my own cooking.

Here's an original idea

From Curtis Coleman, possible Republican candidate for U.S. Senate: Curtis Coleman Signs ‘No New Taxes’ Pledge to Protect Arkansas Families  LITTLE ROCK, AR – Curtis Coleman, the chief executive officer of an Arkansas-based food safety company who has filed an exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate, traveled to Washington, D.C. today to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).

Wednesday To-Do: Jim Rose Circus vs. Jake 'The Snake' Roberts

JIM ROSE CIRCUS VERSUS JAKE ‘THE SNAKE' ROBERTS9 p.m., Juanita's, $15 adv., $18 d.o.sSweet and sour Jesus, ours seems to be the go-to city for sideshow attractions these days, and serious high fives all around.

Wednesday To-Do: 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'

‘FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF'Sundown, Riverfest Amphitheatre. Free.Movies in the Park planned to launch its season with John Hughes' greatest teeny bop film, but rain in the forecast got in the way, so here we go again.

The best radio shows not on the radio

The Best Cuts Sam Houser and Robe Flax. I still love the radio (especially local noncommercial stations like KABF and KUAR), but not all the time.

Keith Urban ticket giveaway

The Times is giving away a pair of tickets every day through Monday to see Keith Urban and Sugarland at Verizon on Aug. 6.

Happy days are here again

I'd noted in an earlier report a modestly improving housing situation and updated it with an optimistic economic report from the Federal Reserve.

A tough choice coming for local music geeks

Avett Bros. on top, Silversun on bottom. Big word in coming-soon news.

More political gossip

A preacher over to North Little Rock has formed a federal political exploratory committee. Maybe this is the stealth Republican gubernatorial candidate being whispered about.

Rain has it in for 'Ferris Bueller'

All sun for Ferris in 2010. For the second time this year, rain, or at least the threat of rain, has forced Movies in the Park organizers to postpone "Ferris Bueller."


I’m all about equal rights for same-sex Americans, as you know, and more-importantly all about red-carpet-ready fashion tips.