From sausage to steak and purses to political TV shows, the Times offers its favorites.
Best of Arkansas 2013July 25, 2013
Vol 39 • No 47
The state representative was the readers of the Arkansas Times pick for 'best liberal.'
Times readers named him best artist.
Pro-tips for braving WRC.
It unseats longtime winner McDonald's.
It's our church in the religion of More.
You'll need lots of dough.
For the 18th year running, the readers of the Arkansas Times have spoken.
Our annual survey reaches adulthood.
The State Police today announced the arrest of Kareame Cotton, 37, of Little Rock on two negligent homicide charges and a third-degree escape charge in the deaths of two people Jan. 1 in a crash on Interstate 30 near Scott Hamilton road.
And that's all I have to say about it. For now.
The food selection at the new West Little Rock chain location is less than impressive.
Arkansas has at least four too many statewide "constitutional officers."
Also, Mothwind come to White Water Tavern.
Also, The Almost at Juanita's, Chanel West Coast at Discovery, Theory of a Deadman at Magic Springs, Wiz Khalifa at First Security Amphitheatre and 'The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain' at White Water Tavern.
Releases 'Broken Heart' EP Friday at Stickyz.
Health centers raise objection to Medicaid waiver.
"They were sued with the reasoning that they were negligent, allowing terrorists to board airplanes and overtake their crews before plunging the planes into the trade center complex. ..."
Mamacita's comes up short.
It was also a good week for family ties. It was a bad week for Secretary of State Mark Martin and Rep. Tim Griffin.
This column is about matters of little moment, unless petty waste and vanity aggravate you inordinately.
here's troubling news from Florida for state Rep. Debra Hobbs of Rogers, who's seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination and says she has God's backing in the race.
The media try to keep an eye on government, to expose official misdeeds, but sometimes the best work in this line is done by citizen watchdogs such as Matt Campbell of Little Rock.
Shelby Brewer spotted this mosquito crossing sign near a creek in Keo.
A plague has descended upon Little Rock and beyond. Not locusts or frogs but the helmeted, multi-colored, spandex-wearing, two-wheeled variety of pest, hundreds of which spill out of every park and back road and onto our major highways.
If insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, it's tempting to observe that congressional Republicans have gone stark, raving mad. My own GOP congressman Rep. Tim Griffin recently delivered himself of an opinion column boasting about having "voted more than 30 times to repeal all or parts of Obamacare."
Animated 'Turbo' doesn't bring much new to the table.
The Observer is a parent to a toddler who's in that phase of toddlerhood, when, though we know he is constantly changing — from walk to run, blank stares to a sort of ability to carry on conversation — it still happens incrementally enough that we rarely, if ever, catch the change in the moment.
I'm giving the floor for the time being this morning to Arkansas Times Publisher Alan Leveritt's announcement of our digital membership.
We can’t continue to produce aggressive, trenchant, independent reporting and analysis without increased reader support. A new model for funding, in which readers bear a share of our costs, is vital to the future of the Times.
Chef Bell has managed to accomplish a rare thing. Extraordinary food, beautifully designed and decorated dining space in a setting that is accessible to practically everyone. This may be the most important restaurant to open in Little Rock for years.
Volumes headlines at Downtown Music Hall Thursday night.
The Arkansas Family Council isn't right often in our editorial view — and downright mean-spirited in the process for an organization putatively founded on Biblical principles — but we'll give credit where due.
Korean folk art.
The mayor and county judge turned out with developer Scott Reed for a ceremonial introduction of work getting underway on the K Lofts at 315 Main, a project announced years ago but delayed.
Answers to all your burning questions about digital subscriptions to the Arkansas Times.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today dismissed as moot the lawsuit challenging an Arkansas school choice law because the legislature has passed a new school choice law.
Bobgoblin plays at White Water Tavern Thursday.
A newsletter just arrived with a report on the 2013 class of Arkansas Commitment, a Little Rock program that works with bright area African-American students and points them toward demanding colleges and, it is hoped, return to further diversity the city's business and professional leadership as adults.
The state Highway Commission yesterday signed off on County Judge Buddy Villines' plan to dress up a replacement Broadway Bridge with flags, painted walks and installations honoring veterans.
Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers perform at The Joint Friday.
Kiplinger's personal finance magazine has put together a top 10 list of best places to live.
Sam Eifling, newly at work for us on our Mayflower oil spill project with Inside Climate News, is at work on a news story about ExxonMobil's notice to owners of property in the Mayflower subdivision soiled by the pipeline burst that the oil giant is cutting off temporary housing assistance Sept. 1 to displaced residents.
On ARTnews list.
A challenge of a Florida voter purge has been dismissed because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gutted the voting rights act.
I'm not going to trouble you with a recitation of the sordid tale of busted budgets, excessive salaries, University of Arkansas secrecy, special dealing and other nastiness associated with the debacle in the advancement (fund-raising) division of the state's flagship university at Fayetteville.
I open the line tonight gratified by response to our announcement of the beginning of digital subscriptions Aug. 1.
Today's blast from the past: A 1995 cover story by John Haman on Arkansas preparing for a newly passed concealed carry law to take effect.
More from Sam Eifling on my earlier report on ExxonMobil's notice to Mayflower residents receiving housing assistance as victims of the Pegagus pipeline break that the assistance will end Sept. 1: By now, four months after a pipeline rupture vomited a reeking creek of crude down the block, you’d swear North Starlite Road could be the prettiest row of homes in Mayflower.
The controversy over a proposed change in reimbursement rates for community health centers dominated today’s joint Public Health committee meeting.
The New York Times' frugal traveler is on a mid-America road trip and writes for this Sunday's edition on low-cost attractions in Memphis.
For every Tea Party booster railing against the federal Affordable Care Act there are multiple uninsured who could benefit from the expansion in health coverage it will provide.
The New York Times reports today on Chief Justice John Roberts' immense influence on the shape of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secretive body that approves surveillance wiretaps, but which has moved to broader interpretations of surveillance law and constitutional rights.
As previously predicted here, President Obama has nominated Pulaski Circuit Judge Jay Moody to a vacancy on the federal district court bench in Little Rock.
Emma's Revolution performs at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock Saturday night.
The high-profile murder case of AJ Cody is back in Pope County Circuit Court this morning, the River Valley Leader reports.
Documentary filmmaker Clint Fullen is preparing to roll out his movie about former Razorback running back Jim Lindsey, now a real estate tycoon.
Arkansas politicians who backed the law have begun touting the advent of the "sales tax holiday."
Gay White, whose late husband Frank was governor in 1981 and 1982, has endorsed Republican Leslie Rutledge in her primary race for attorney general.
Fox 16 reports that the Willow Springs Water Park has closed because a recent swimmer there was diagnosed with parasitic meningitis, a potentially fatal ailment.
Joann Coleman of Little Rock, who's been closely following the talks between UAMS and St. Vincent Health to combine parts of their opertions, has passed along the latest response from UAMS to one of her Freedom of Information Act requests.
Feedback, people! We can't do this without you!
I’ve heard from a number of lawmakers and stakeholders that the governor is having ongoing discussions about state-funded, independent testing on the C & H hog farm in Mt. Judea, which has sparked controversy because of its location by a tributary of the Buffalo River.
A report from the Little Rock Police Department about deployment of its SWAT unit this morning.
We've gotten a lot of feedback from users asking for an annual subscription option. So we've added one. For $110 per year.
Billy Bob Thornton said his favorite band is The Allman Brothers.
A report from the state Board of Higher Education indicates the college going rate in Arkansas increased sharply in 2012: Department staff also reported the college-going rate for Fall 2012 is up to nearly 60 percent, from 52.2 the year before to 52.9 percent for first-time, full-time students.
The UAMS-St. Vincent Health alliance is dead.
ExxonMobil has announced that it will not terminate housing assistance payments to Mayflower residents displaced by the rjupture in the Pegasus pipeline that spewed Canadian tar sands in their neighborhood.
The line is open. Closing out: * MORE HANDOUTS TO THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: I've started receiving an advance copy of the Little Rock City Board agenda for the coming weeks, which is distributed on Fridays.
he end of St. Vincent-UAMS merger talks, Exxon’s PR blunders, controversy at interim legislative meetings and a Democratic candidate for the 4th Congressional District — all covered on this week's podcast.
In my high dudgeon over another city of Little Rock handout to the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, i overlooked other items of interest on the coming city board agenda.
It is only coincidental, I presume, that the featured character in this animated video opposing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is Tar Sands Timmy.
The New York Times focuses on an effort, led by Republicans in Congress, to end a catfish inspection program in the Agriculture Department because it's viewed 1) as duplicative of other inspection programs and 2) as a thinly disguised effort by Southern congressmen, particularly from Mississippi, to throw up a barrier to imported catfish.
A fan of the comic strip Diamond Lil says the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette again today didn't run the scheduled strip.
When the weather gets hot, cool off with salad.
The line is open. A couple of closing notes: * A BELATED LOCAL LIME REVIEW: Time was, particularly when I did restaurant reviews for the Arkansas Gazette, that I ate most meals out and couldn't wait to try the latest place, whether dive or deluxe eatery.
I haven't heard back from Dr. Dexter Suggs, the new Little Rock school superintendent, on some questions about an e-mail he sent recently to Cathy Koehler, the president of the Little Rock Education Association, which is the union for classroom teachers in the Little Rock School District.
John Lyon at Stephens Media rounds up the mostly non-existent prospects for challenges to incumbent Republicans in the U.S. House delegation from Arkansas.
In an interview with the New York Times, President Obama talks about the gap between rich and poor in U.S.
The Arkansas Travelers start a three-game series against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Monday.
Little Rock's newest craft brewery is open at 9th and Rock with excellent beers and some local food.
The Sunday line is open. Not much to report: * GARLAND COUNTY JAIL BREAK: An intriguing initial report from the sheriff's office in Hot Springs: Derrick Estell w/m 33 years of age escaped from the Garland County Detention Center at approximately 1:40pm this afternoon, in an apparent elaborate plan, with an unknown female picking him up.
Here are two elections to watch: The NRA and supporters have set out to attempt to recall two Colorado legislators who were part of the legislative majority that passed stronger gun laws in response to the Aurora massacre.
Cynthia Howell at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette talked with Little Rock School District attorney Chris Heller about his idea for a potential settlement of lingering issues in the Pulaski County school desegregation case as a federal court hearing approaches.
Count me among those encouraged by Pope Francis. Social justice jumps to the fore.
Mothwind plays at White Water Tavern Tuesday.
Politico reported over the weekend that Cumulus Media, a major radio station owner, is planning to drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations' lineups.
KATV, Channel 7 in Little Rock is set to have a new owner. The current owner, Allbritton, has struck a deal to sell its TV stations, including KATV, to Sinclair Broadcast Group for $985 million.
More to come, but Bill Halter is out of the Democratic primary for governor. That leaves Mike Ross alone.
For the first time since 1993, Bon Jovi will perform in Central Arkansas. The band's booked a gig at Verizon Arena on Oct. 18. Tickets, which range from $34 to $159.50, go on-sale at 10 a.m. Aug. 5.
For the video for the band's song "Long List of Numbers."
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission reports that a national study has confirmed the presence of a fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats in one of the caves closed as a precaution to prevent the spread of the disease.
The U.S. attorney's office in Fort Smith has announced that Neil Parliament, 39, a former water patrol deputy for the Garland County sheriff's office, has pleaded guilty in federal court to helping a minor travel to Hot Springs to engage in prostitution.
[embed-1] The latest episode in our food video series, which Greg Spradlin and Camp Friday Films produces for the Times, features the new Big Orange in the Midtowne shopping center.
Astronaut and all-around American hero Dr. Buzz Aldrin — the second human being to step foot on the moon — is coming to the Clinton Presidential Center on Aug. 14 for a free talk about his new book, "Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration."
The Garland County sheriff's office is still searching for Derrick Estell, who escaped from the jail shortly after being returned there by the state Correction Department for a court appearance.
Hmmmmm. Not that this could happen anywhere else, but, an AP exclusive from the New York Times: ... when it appeared an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor might receive a poor grade, [former Indiana School Superintendent Tony] Bennett's education team frantically overhauled his signature "A-F" school grading system to improve the school's marks.
Former state Sen. Tracy Steele has been named to head the Arkansas Division of Youth Services.
ExxonMobil Pipeline president Gary Pruessing responded today to a letter sent last week by representatives of Central Arkansas Water, requesting data on the integrity of the Pegasus Pipeline. Pruessing's response? No dice.
Dana Falconberry, who went to Hendrix and played music in Central Arkansas during her time there, gives a "Tiny Desk Concert" for NPR.
The line is open. But I close with another reminder that the Arkansas Times begins its digital membership Aug. 1.
Chef Matthew Bell reports that his Oxford American-tied restaurant South on Main will officially open its doors for lunch on Monday, Aug. 5. Dinner will begin about two weeks later, Bell hopes, depending on how lunch service goes.
Everyone's favorite local pop hero is getting the "AETN Presents: On the Front Row" treatment Tuesday, July 30. For those who haven't been following along, that's where AETN films a live concert and then broadcasts it sometime down the road.
Reported by Leslie Newell Peacock: Furniture suitable for the state Capitol doesn't come cheap, apparently.
A roundup of political items in the mailbox this morning: * 4TH DISTRICT CONGRESS: Democrat Janis Percefull of Hot Springs says she will formally announce her candidacy for Republican Rep. Tom Cotton's congressional seat at 10 a.m.
Leslie Newell Peacock reports on an interview with UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson on a potential use of the facility to be built by the city-financed Little Rock Technology Park Authority:
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Mike Knoedl has announced the promotion of Jeff Crow, chief of the agency's enforcement division, to deputy director.
Counterparts come to Downtown Music Hall Wednesday.
I've been meaning to ask: What about arming faculty in Arkansas schools, elementary through high school?
Earlier reporting detailed the scripted Republican plan for using President Obama again as a key wedge issue in 2014 elections.
Fox 16 reports the robbery of the Bank of Little Rock at 10901 Rodney Parham.
Businessmen and state and city officials announced this morning the creation of the Argenta Innovation Center, a place for entrepreneurial start ups in digital technology and engineering experimentation that will fill out the building now occupied by the Art Connection at 204 E. 4th St. in North Little Rock.
A question arises frequently about the landscaped park behind a fence next to the Acxiom headquarters building in the River Market neighborhood.
The Tweet this morning from Sen. Michael Lamoureux caught my attention because I didn't know the Senate president pro-tem got to appoint someone to the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, which oversees judicial conduct.
The Arkansas Democratic Party doesn't plan to let Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin became a born-again environmentalist without a fight.
Black Oak Arkansas, the early 1970's hillbilly blues-rock combo that fell on hard times but never quit rocking, announced on their Facebook page yesterday that they've signed a deal with Atlantic/Atco Records, and will release a new album called "Back Thar n' Over Yonder" on Oct. 15 after a mini-tour with eight stops (none of which, unfortunately, is here in Arkansas).
Entergy Corp., the multi-state electric company based in New Orleans, said today it would be cutting 800 jobs systemwide, including 165 in Arkansas.
The announcement this morning of the Argenta Innovation Center was missing a piece: The Museum of Discovery, which was to run the Fab Lab (the maker space), has pulled out.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has denied a state request to postpone the planned Sept. 16 start date of the retrial of former Little Rock police patrol officer Josh Hastings in the slaying of a car break-in suspect on a West Little Rock apartment complex lot.
"The Ocean Park Series" gouache.
The Tuesday night line is open. Final words: * ARKANSAS TIMES DIGITAL MEMBERSHIP REMINDER: Thursday the Arkansas Times begins metered access to our four digital news weblogs, the Arkansas, Rock Candy, Eat Arkansas and Eye Candy blogs.
Channel 4 reports here on the death of a man who reportedly fled from a Benton police traffic stop on Interstate 30.
Reuters reports on China's banning of poultry imports from Arkansas on account of what officials in the U.S. said was a low-pathogen strain of avian flu found in eight birds on a single Scott County farm.
Confident that the emergency portion of the Mayflower oil and chemical spill cleanup has ended, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is testing sediment along the path that oil traveled toward, if not indeed into, Lake Conway.
Sens. John Boozman and Mark Pryor and Rep. Tim Griffin have requested that the federal agency that regulates pipelines make information related to the Pegasus pipeline and the spill public. Their letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is on the jump.
Have the media made too much of Pope Francis' recent off-the-cuff remarks about gay people.
Great discussion on Wonkbook on the suddenly hot topic of tax reform, as encapsulated in one small business owner's quote: ‘Get rid of the deductions that don’t affect me.’ "Revenue neutral" tax reform means there are winners and losers.
Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's office says he'll have an announcement "on his future plans" very soon.
Little Rock lawyer Will Bond, a former state legislator, is stepping down as Arkansas Democratic Party chair and Vince Insalaco, longtime political player and North Little Rock development dynamo, has been tapped by Gov. Mike Beebe to succeed him.
A break from hardcore politics. The Hill does a periodic survey of the 50 Most Beautiful people in Washington, both men and women, from members of Congress to staff.
That headline is the flash headline being circulated by the Associated Press and mirrors multiple comments this morning.
Soft-rock singer/songwriter Don McClean is coming to Robinson Center Music Hall on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m for a concert to benefit the AETN Foundation.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's campaign responds to the expected news of Republican Tom Cotton's plans to oppose Pryor in 2014: Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate campaign manager Jeff Weaver released the following statement Wednesday about Tom Cotton's anticipated run for the U.S. Senate after just 209 days in Congress.
I'm beginning to think Republicans planned today as an orgy of political announcements and leaks to create a bit of a bandwagon effect.
An item yesterday about the Clarksville School District's plan to have more than 20 teaches and staff members carry concealed weapons next school year as a security measure prompted a lot of discussion yesterday, including on the topic of insurance.
Get to the market and see for yourself why farmer’s markets are one of our greatest resources for fresh, organic produce and meats while simultaneously inspiring growth, variety, and the self-made spirit among Little Rock producers and artisans. You too will be singing, "wee wee wee wee wee!" all the way home.
Good update from CNN, posted here by Channel 11, on Kali Hardig, the 12-year-old girl being treated for the presence of a usually-fatal parasite that attacks the brain.
Brandon Barber, the once high-flying Northwest Arkansas developer, pleaded guilty in federal court in Fort Smith today to three federal charges — conpsiracy to commit bank and bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.
By the end of August, the 7,000 solar panels being installed in the parking lot of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Little Rock will be supplying enough sunny day energy to cut the hospital’s energy use by 30 to 40 percent.