As of last Friday, 25 couples from all over Arkansas had joined two lawsuits to challenge Arkansas's Amendment 83, which makes it illegal for persons of the same gender to enter into a marriage contract.
Vol 39 • No 48
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning the federal ban on same-sex marriage, two groups filed ballot language with the state attorney general's office that would put the issue to a vote in Arkansas.
Channel 4 and Fox 16: The Department of Emergency Management is reporting a search is on for a sheriff and Game and Fish officer in a flooded portion of Scott County.
The line is open. Closing words: * READ ROCK CITY TIMES: Somebody ought to paint that slogan on the black roof of a red barn.
The art of flower arrangement is one that escapes me entirely. You too?
Tonight is the opening night for "Crossing Borders," the inaugural exhibition in South on Main at the Oxford American.
Here's the full forensic metallurgical report ExxonMobil ordered after its Pegasus Pipeline split.
Tres Divas features, from left, Heather Smith, Stephanie Smittle and Charlotte Taylor.
The North Mississippi Allstars play at Revolution Thursday.
PIeces of a Dream perform Saturday at Clear Channel Metroplex.
Comedian B.T. performs at The Loony Bin Thursday-Saturday.
Everybody loves a good sex scandal, and these days nobody’s disappointed. Politicians in particular appear constitutionally incapable of keeping their intimate arrangements from public scrutiny. In the case of New York mayoral candidate Anthony D. Weiner, it appears, the more public the better.
An Arkansas Times editorial said "Regardless of your personal belief, I would hope that you shutting up about your personal belief and letting me decide these things is something we can all agree to." Richard W. Chapman finds fault.
Pearls was on momentary hiatus for a tick, but the summer didn't offer much racket from the Hill anyway. Trust me — had the opportunity availed itself, I would've emerged from hibernation to mouth off.
NLR native talks 'March,' missing Arkansas.
Also, Tres Divas at The Joint, Kevin Gordon and Isaac Alexander at White Water Tavern, "A Work of Art," The Main Thing's "Arkansanity" at The Joint, Everclear at Magic Springs and KABF 2013 Summer Pledge Drive Picnic.
One of the scary things about the proposed merger of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and St. Vincent Health System was that it would have forced Arkansas defenders of religious freedom to fight on two fronts.
Also, Crystal Bowersox at Juanita's.
There's always a sense of apprehension when a long-time favorite restaurant changes hands, especially one such as Leo's Greek Castle, the Hillcrest mainstay that operated under the leadership of Hector Parodi for two decades.
Aaron Rodgers, the all-pro quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, will hawk casualty insurance for State Farm in funny TV spots again this fall, but neither he nor any other National Football League star will sell health insurance.
Know where this slice of life in Arkansas is? Send along the answer to Times photographer Brian Chilson and win a prize.
Our announcement that the four Arkansas Times blogs will move behind a metered paywall beginning Thursday, Aug. 1, drew more than a hundred comments on the Arkansas Blog.
'Fruitvale Station' starts strong, but runs out of time.
Strolling back to the Fortress of Employment from the Little Rock Farmer's Market this morning (The Observer's haul: two tiny watermelons and a loaf of tomato/herb/cheese bread from the Old Mill), Yours Truly was standing at the red light at the end of President Clinton Avenue waiting to cross when we heard our dead father call our name.
Last week, after hearing that a court in Georgia overturned the state's denial of a motorist's request for a personalized "GAY PWR" license plate, state Rep. Jonathan Barnett, Republican of Siloam Springs, asked the state Department of Finance and Administration to review the list of words that are verboten on the state's personalized license plates.
It was also a good week for Acxiom and Mike Ross. It was a bad week for Bill Halter, a merger, ExxonMobil and Central Arkansas Water.
Hoskins was his employee.
Other artists too, for South on Main show.
Arkansas Democrats, battered and bruised from the Obama era, are giddy at the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy in 2016, which they see as a key component of the party's political turnaround in the state.
I said two weeks ago that fund-raising told the story of the Democratic primary race for governor.
I give the floor this morning to Jim Lynch, former city government administrator, retired academic and eternal civic activist, on the Little Rock Board of Directors vote next week on a sewer impact fee.
You don't suppose this has ever happened in an Arkansas club or restaurant do you?
Republican State Rep. Bruce Westerman was out of the country yesterday when word of the formal announcement of Rep. Tom Cotton's Senate candidacy put in motion a chain of related pre-announcement leaks and signals, one being that, as expected, Westerman will seek Cotton's congressional seat in the 4th District.
Here's the long and short of an article in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about ongoing talks to settle the final remaining piece of the decades-old Pulaski County desegregation case — declaring the Pulaski County Special School District unitary, or desegregated to the extent required by law.
The Main Thing's "Arkansanity" opens Friday at The Joint.
Kevin Gordon performs at White Water Tavern Friday.
Quaker City Night Hawks play at Stickyz Friday.
More positive news on the redevelopment of downtown Little Rock as a residential neighborhood. Moses Tucker Real Estate announces today plans to build an 84-unit, $13 million apartment project on Capitol Avenue on the site of the old Arkla gas headquarters building.
Let us know if you have problems.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who presides over criminal cases that frequently involve racial considerations in Pulaski County, has written an essay on "cultural competency" in the Trayvon Martin murder trial and posted it on his website.
New videos on Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's YouTube page go behind the scenes to illuminate the importance of exhibition installation.
A legislative panel has convened for at least the third time to question Community Correction officials about parole practices and lapses in the system, particularly the release of a multiple rules violator charged in a Little Rock murder.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee offers an elaboration on U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin's claim that he has worked for a $500,000 increase in spending by the federal pipeline safety agency.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has announced the arrest of Tequila Fitzgerald, 21, of Little Rock for billing the Medicaid program for more than $17,000 worth of attendant-care services she did not provide.
Polling reveals a small lead for Mark Pryor in race against Tom Cotton.
The U.S. attorney's office in Fort Smith has announced that Dennis Nooner, 52, who once had a business office in Northwest Arkansas for assisted living centers he ran in Mississippi, will get 30 months in prison and a $50,000 fine for failing to pay employment taxes he'd withheld from workers' pay.
Here's national news with a local angle. The Chattanooga Times Free Press, which is controlled by Walter Hussman, owner of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has fired the editorial page editor who wrote this headline, which drew national attention on President Obama's recent visit to Chattanooga: "Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough."
It's sunny, you're thirsty and starved for art, and you're in luck: It's First Thursday in Hillcrest.
The House, which can rarely agree on anything, tonight passed 392-31 a compromise deal on student loan interest rates.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has just thrown a wrinkle in plans by school districts to use the private security guard licensing law as a means of arming teachers and staff as security.
Well. We've begun our digital memership with hundreds of inaugural members and remarkably few glitches so far.
Chicken wings worth crowing about.
The Daily Caller, whose politics lean far right, is out with a story on Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, the freedom-loving independent thinker who's going to announce for U.S. Senate next week.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel set off a flurry of news stories and political eruptions with his office's issuance of an official opinion that Arkansas law doesn't allow public school districts to use the artifice of training staff as private security guards to enable them to carry weapons on campus.
An overnight news scan cries out for a police blotter roundup: * COPS IN BAR FRACAS CHARGED: Fox 16 reports that a Fayetteville prosecutor has approved warrants for the arrests of two men who pulled loaded guns in a Fayetteville tavern and charged them with disorderly conduct and harassment.
City Wire has a good reportton a federal lawsuit arising from the newly opened liquor market in Benton County.
House Republicans, who failed in an earlier effort to cut $40 billion in food spending for the poor, now are planning to try again and double the cut in food stamps to $80 billion, Huffington Post reports.
Everclear plays at Magic Springs Saturday night.
The Bernice Garden host a fundraiser picnic for KABF Saturday.
Feedback like your life depended on it. Because it does.
Fossils of Ancient Robots performs at Bear's Den Pizza in Conway Saturday.
Well, this could be an interesting political season. A media advisory this morning from U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton's office says credentialing will be required for media planning to attend the congressman's free barbecue from 5 to 7 p.m.
Austin Lucas returns to the White Water Tavern Saturday night with John Moreland, 9:30 p.m.
I'm late to this party, but nonethless: The U.S. should boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The kneejerk Republican reaction to the attorney general's legal opinion that state law doesn't currently allow school districts to arm staff members (though they may bring local law enforcement officers on campus or hire private licensed security) has been to decry the opinion or urge swift passage of a state law to allow more guns in elementary, middle and high schools.
Phillip Huddleston, who organizes the Garland Art House, 1114 Garland St., is planning an evening of art, literature and music tonight.
I'm late getting this on the record, but I should note the resolution of the subject of a David Koon cover story for the Times in April.
The state report on tax revenue for July shows money came in ahead of last year and ahead of forecast.
It's art night in Hot Springs, as the monthly gallery walk introduces August to the Spa City.
Police have arrested a man suspected of robbing the Bank of Little Rock while wearing fake dreadlocks as a disguise.
The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has released a poll of 1,600 Arkansans that its says shows U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is in trouble in his re-election bid.
The Garland County sheriff's office announced today that it had arrested Glenda Estell, 54, for assisting in the recent escape of her son, Derrick, who's still on the loose.
He'll play a character who wasn't in the Coen brothers' film.
Mainland Divide plays an album release show Sunday at Vino's.
The 2013 legislature talked quite a bit about the courts but, in the end, didn't do much to upset the current order of things.
At Trio's Restaurant in the dog days of August.
Brooks Museum-sponsored bike tour of sites memorialized in artist's work.
The Pulaski sheriff's office release surveillance video today as it searches for a suspect in the robbery about 6:30 p.m.
I'm about done I think. Finishing up: * GUN POLICY UNHAPPINESS: Clarksville School Superintendent David HopkinsI gather from an interview with AP that he's not happy about an attorney general opinion that his plan to put about 20 staff and teachers in classrooms with concealed weapons this fall isn't allowed by state law.
Work by realist painter Eric Forstmann, who created a painting just for the Thea Foundation, will be shown at Thea starting Aug. 5.
Buffalo Grill West, at Markham and Bowman Road, closed yesterday, folks at the Buffalo Grill on Rebsamen Park Road have confirmed.
Bill Halter dropping out of the governor’s race, Tom Cotton’s expected entry into the Senate race, the presumed race to the bottom between Mark Darr and Bruce Westerman in the Republican primary for the Fourth District, Will Bond stepping down as Democratic Party chair, Tracy Steele’s new gig, talk of a school desegregation settlement and guns at school — all covered this week.
News of state Rep. Bruce Westerman's coming entry into the 4th District congressional race reminded me of an unfinished piece of high-dollar taxpayer spending by Westerman.
Headline in morning Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: New policies on parole fill jails, prisons Where have I heard that before?
The state of Arkansas has embarked on a significant marketing campaign to get people to sign up to participate in Obamacare through health exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid approved by the Arkansas legislature.
Cantrell Road Mexican restaurant phones it in and charges a premium.
Dr. David Hopkins, superintendent of the Clarksville School District, called today to say that after further study he's convinced Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's opinion on arming of school district staff members is wrong and Clarksville will challenge that interpretation if a state regulatory agency sides with McDaniel.
Anybody there. Here's some fresh space for tagging.
Interesting story in New York Times. Guy goes to Belgium for a hip replacement.
The annual "back-to-school sales tax holiday" ends at 11:59 p.m. today Not too late for another reminder about how it falls short on policy, consumer protection and local business protection.
A slow Sunday where I'm sitting.
I've mentioned previously, but now have the full poll conducted by AFSCME the public employees union, on a handful of political questions and a longer list of questions about a ballot initiative — not yet underway — to raise the minimum wage in Arkansas.
Crystal Bowersox performs at Juanita's Tuesday.
Republican governors, even Wisconsin's Scott Walker, are warning Republicans in Congress that it would be a bad idea to shut down the federal government as part of an effort to block Obamacare.
We had a conversation last week with Chris Stroup, the executive chef at Pancetta, the restaurant in the newly-rebranded Marriott Hotel on Markham, which used to be the Peabody.
BUS STATION RELOCATION A reader comment about potential relocation of the Greyhound bus station on East Washington Avenue in North Little Rock piqued my curiosity and I ran down some information from Danny Bradley, the mayor's chief of staff, and Terry Hartwick, the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce chief, who attracted the bus station downtown when he was mayor years ago.
I dropped the ball in following up on a recent story about continued efforts by two Quapaw Quarter residents to find a way around rules limiting the height of front-yard fences to 40 inches, in keeping with historic practice in the Governor's Mansion Neighborhood of the Capitol Zoning District Commission.
Common Cause and the Center for Media Democracy put out details today about how the American Legislative Exchange Council funnels corporate money into a "scholarship fund" for state legislators to attend ALEC conventions and then introduce cookie-cutter corporate-friendly legislation back home.
The Democratic Party didn't wait for Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton's free barbecue in Dardanelle Tuesday to welcome him to the U.S. Senate race against incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor.
Leslie Rutledge, a Republican candidate for attorney general, seems to be threading a needle here.
Cissy Rucker, director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, says a three-member search committee has come up with four potential locations for a new state veterans home, to replace the one closed in Little Rock.
Washington Post reports that Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat and former Mississippi governor, is leading formation of the Southern Progress Fund, a PAC to help elect Democrats in down-ballot races in Southern states.
I've written before about Republican animosity toward free speech that is not their own. Now today:
One of my community photographers sent photos today of demolition work beginning at 7th and Cross Streets, where the old Howard cleaners building is being torn down.
On their blog over the weekend, our fellow plucky altweeklyThe Memphis Flyer put up a sixth-anniversary plug for a rather outstanding piece of writing that slipped under our radar when it was first published in August 2007: a cover-length obituary from an alternative timeline in which Elvis Presley survived his overdose in 1977, got clean, opened a chicken restaurant chain named after his mother, sang "Islands in the Stream" with Dolly Parton and "(I've Had)The Time of My Life" for the "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from superfan Bill Clinton in 1995, had another kid, and lived thirty more sober and healthy years.
Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 Ozark Foothills Film Festival screenwriting competition, with a cash prize of $1,000 for best feature-length screenplay.
TNA Wrestling is coming to Verizon Arena for a televised event on Thursday, Sept. 26. Tickets, which go on sale via Ticketmaster and the Verizon Arena Box Office, range from $17.50 to $127.50.
State Police reports: Arkansas State Troopers are investigating the death of a woman whose body was discovered along the access ramp from Highway 161 onto Interstate 440 (east) near Jacksonville.
State Rep. Mark Perry of Jacksonville has asked the attorney general for a legal opinion on whether lottery retailers can conduct draw games where winnning numbers are displayed on video monitors.
Plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit over damage from the ExxonMobil pipeline break in Mayflower today filed a response to the oil company's request that the suit be dismissed.
If you've ever been interested in having thousands of buzzing little minions (or are a certain yellow bear with a speech impediment who may, in fact, have a problem with addiction) you're in luck!
The line is open. Closing out: *NEWSPAPERS FOR SALE: Hard on the news of the Boston Globe's sale for a bargain basement $70 million (after the New York Times purchased it for more than $1 billion) comes the stunning news that Amazon's Jeff Bezos has bought the storied Washington Post for $250 million.
Sculptor's work on exhibit in the atrium.
The Los Angeles Times reports on the entry of Teach for America into the politics of education on the side of its benefactors.
Here's an ad from a $45,000 purchase made by Mark Pryor's campaign to introduce Republican Rep. Tom Cotton to Arkansas voters in advance of his announcement this evening that he's going to oppose Pryor's re-election bid.
The gap between the House and Senate on the federal, as outlined in this profile of Sen. Barbara Mikulski, seems headed to impasse.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson today announced his endorsement by Jerry Taylor, a former Pine Bluff mayor, who ran as a Democrat for two terms each in the state Senate and state House.
A regular reader alerts me to the appearance of a former Little Rock resident in the business page of the Dallas Morning News.
Another day, another poll, this one by a conservative source — the Conservative Intelligence Briefing — described as "your best source for insider news and information about Conservative Republican candidates and politics."
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld the convictions of Jason Gilbert, a former Little Rock police officer, and three other men in a 2007 armored car service robbery.
The Little Rock police have distributed this photo in the search for a man who robbed the Direct General Insurance Company at 6818 Col. Glenn Road about 5:40 p.m.
A coalition of groups filed suit in federal court in Little Rock today to set aside $3.4 million in loan guarantees by the federal Farm Service Agency and Small Business Administration to C&H Hog Farms, a 6,500-pig feeding operation on a major tributary of the Buffalo National River near Mount Judea.
The Arkansas State Police today responded to multiple Freedom of Information Act requests and released all available paperwork from the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies pertaining to the Clarksville School District's effort to license itself and many staff members to carry concealed weapons in school as an additional measure of security against "active shooters."
North Little Rock will have a formal opening at 9 a.m. Wednesday of a new fishing pier extending into the Arkansas River from Burns Park.
The line is open. I'll have something later from Dardanelle on Republican Rep. Tom Cotton's announcement for U.S. Senate, probably sometime after 7 p.m.
Two venues offer photographs, contemporary art.
The State Police have announced an arrest in the death of a woman found nude this week on I-440 near Jacksonville: Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have arrested Haywood Stricklen, III, 28, of Jacksonville in connection with the death of Brandie D. Thomas, 27, formerly of Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
The state of Arkanass today submitted its application to the federal government for a waiver that will allow it to expand Medicaid under federal Affordable Care Act support (Obamacare) through the so-called "private option" plan.
It took several tries, but today Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approved the latest version of a proposed initiative to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.The proposal came from Arkansans for Responsible Medication, which failed to pass a medical marijuana initiative in 2012.
It's 5:39 p.m. and the Tom Cotton announcement for U.S. Senate is underway in the Dardanelle Community Center.
The Italian Kitchen, known as Lulav until earlier this year, will soon see another name change. Businessman Burch Wilson recently bought the restaurant from Matt Lile and plans to call it Cellar 220, according to Donnie Ferneau, who’s working for the restaurant as a business and kitchen consultant.