The Times' coverage of the case since 1994.
Vol 37 • No 52
The hows and whys and sights and sounds.
An insider's view of the legal maneuvers that freed the West Memphis Three.
The sights and sounds of the day the three were set free.
Friendship, freedom and a principled stand.
No backing down for WM3 supporters.
It turns out we were not alone in being struck weirdly by the image adorning a recent cover of Front Porch, the publication that goes out to those served by members of the Arkansas Farm Bureau.
Sometimes belief is a personal choice, not a logical deduction. Sometimes people would rather be finished with something than right about it. You hear people talking more about closure than about perfection.
How do we account for the climate-change enigma of 2011, the lack of any serious debate about what to do about global warming in the midst of one of the most turbulent weather years in modern history?
Let me recreate a scene for you. Fayetteville. An August scrimmage. Your team was ranked 12th in the final AP Poll of 2010 and is returning 15 starters from a 10-3 record that resulted in the first BCS Bowl appearance in school history. You have 14 pre-season All-Southeastern Conference Team selections, the second most of any conference school.
Plus, The Toneadoes, The Band of Heathens and more.
Plus, the first Berlinger-Sinofsky documentary, "Brother's Keeper" on Netflix Instant.
The filling of an airport job last week inadvertently exposed internal airport political friction.
Sometimes we the people complain so hard about the government not working that we fail to notice when it does. There have been two such happy occasions in Central Arkansas in the last week and a half.
Lately, Mark Martin has been squandering taxpayers' money on legal advice that he could have gotten for nothing.
A film adaptation of "Devil's Knot" is in the works, plus Lucinda Williams is coming to Little Rock and Fort Smith has a four-day music festival coming up soon.
Martin is fighting the unemployment claims of a former employee of his office who left because she said she was instructed to destroy an e-mail that would have been subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Damien Echols had some culinary firsts after being released from prison recently.
Also for Arkansas Razorback Football. Bad week for Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Alice Stewart.
UAMS researchers find a surprise in the brain.
Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
The New Apostolic Reformation wants to overtake — that is, catch up with and possibly surpass — the U.S. government? In what way, I wonder?
For cooks looking to dig deeper in a foreign cuisine, it's hard to beat Central Arkansas's ever-expanding number of ethnic groceries.
Plus, Half Off Depot has a host of dining- and drink-related deals.
Little Rock's clubs bring in bluegrass, rap and everything in between.
Central Arkansas is the urban heart of Arkansas, but that doesn't mean it's all concrete and office buildings. In Little Rock, the Parks and Recreation Department has promoted the moniker "City in a Park," and North Little Rock can lay claim to one of the largest urban greenspaces in the United States, the 1,575-acre Burns Park.
In the same way that each person has his or her own spirit animal, every individual also has his or her own thrift store.
Restaurant re-do fashions Mexican grill as neighborhood hangout.
The Fayetteville Roots Festival expands in second year.
A rare rerun from The Observer's Jan. 18, 2011 column about a visit with the then-jailed Jason Baldwin.
While I am sure that Kathy Wells, Jim Lynch and others have honest motives for attempting to sabotage Little Rock's revenue equalization effort, I submit that they miss the point on the upcoming sales tax vote.
It's hard to find the funny in "Our Idiot Brother."
Plus, West Memphis Three: Past, Present & Future, Culture, Lightnin' Malcolm and the 48-Hour Film Project screenings.
Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford reports that 900 people have asked for seats at our program Thursday night on the West Memphis 3 case.
The state of Washington, D.C. schools and Michelle Rhee naturally arose when I talked this week with Heritage Foundation representatives touting a new push for school vouchers and more charter schools in Arkansas.
A suspicious homeowner provided a key lead to police that led to the recent arrest of George Sedberry, 39, of Benton accused of serial lockbox burglary.
Two police officers say they were fired on, but not struck, by two men reported to be firing shots shortly after midnight at the Eastview Terrace apartments in the 1200 block of Geyer Street, on the east side of Interstate 30.
Drowning Pool plays Downtown Music Hall Wednesday night.
A Grand Canyon artist reminds this traveler of home.
Contributing photographer Grav Weldon is on a boat. He's chronicling a 14 day Alaskan cruise aboard the Holland American ship Amsterdam, along with each port of call.
The Times and The Clinton School host a panel Thursday about the recent release of the West Memphis Three.
KAIT reports three gunshot deaths in Poinsett county — a man and woman founding in burning house near Harrisburg and another victim found in a Harrisburg apartment.
Breaking police news from Fox 16's David Goins: Sherwood home invasion shooting. Homeowner ok, invader isn't.
Interesting California case: A federal appeals court has declined to find a constitutional violation by a school teacher who told a high school class that creationism was "superstitious nonsense."
Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill plays Stickyz Thursday night.
This is going to shock some of you (Louie, I'm thinking of you, particularly). But the Fayetteville police went looking for people under 21 buying alcoholic beverages in the hometown of the state's flagship university and rounded up 13 of them Friday night.
Joe Sundell plays White Water Tavern Thursday night.
Guy Clark plays Revolution Thursday night.
New polling shows wide Republican voter preference for Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Which is good a time as any to remind all that there has NOT been a Texas miracle, if by miracle you mean a state with high unemployment and a huge percentage of low-wage jobs and job growth heavily in the government sector.
Iron & Wine plays UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall Nov. 13.
Arkansas Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue had plenty of questions to answer today at the legislature's lottery oversight committee.
It's open. Last thoughts: * BLACK AND WHITE AND RED INK ALL OVER: More down-side newspaper news today, the consolidation of some 11 California newspapers into two and the loss of 120 jobs.
More from the New York Times on Republican candidate Michele Bachmann's work at image control — both in appearance and screening of reporters.
With 16 different burger listings, you can't discount the everything-under-the-sun family restaurant just south of I-40 when it comes to evaluating good burgers.
Sad story of child neglect — a three-year-old child picked up by a van for a daycare center, but overlooked and not dropped off.
A new Census analysis finds — again — that people in the Bible Belt (this includes Arkansas) divorce more often.
The state announces an expansion to add 100 jobs to a Sherwood company that provides bill services for fitness clubs.
Lightnin' Malcolm plays White Water Tavern Friday night.
Remember "dead peasant life insurance" — the corporate scheme (Walmart, for one, got sued over it) to make money by insurance policies on employees payble to the company?
Dropdead Syndicate hosts Synfest this weekend.
"Paradise 3: Purgatory," Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's follow-up to their two previous films on the West Memphis Three, will debut internationally at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and nationally at the New York Film Festival in October.
Benjamin del Shreve plays Stickyz Friday night.
At noon today, Pulaski County Treasurer Debra Buckner and Saline County Tax Collector Joy Ballard paid a lunchtime visit to Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro near the River Market with the press in tow to pressure the restaurant to pay $936.43 in unpaid taxes left over from when Dizzy's was located in Benton.
Fun story in the Democrat-Gazette this morning about the firing of a coroner's office worker, Yameshia Thornton, who tossed a vase at Chief Deputy Coroner Patrick McElroy as she was leaving the office.
Rwake's new album, "Rest," will be released Sept. 27.
I'm opening it up early. I have to get over to the Statehouse Convention Center for our West Memphis 3 panel at 6 in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service.
Talk Business & Politics has the news on Gov. Mike Beebe's plans to call a special election Nov. 18 on the highway bond proposal.
Pulaski Tech plans to expand its at-capacity Arkansas Culinary School with a new state-of-the-art facility at its South Campus.
If I were to guess, I'd guess grassroots organizing has presented a stumbling block for a chamber of commerce/insider fat cat and the city of Little Rock is doing all it can to buy more time for the fat cat.
Wow. The Clinton School for Public Service set up more than 1,100 chairs for our program tonight on the West Memphis Three case and every single one was filled and people stood around the perimiter of the room.
Here's the Sherwood Police Department release on the alleged burglar killed by a state trooper after the man entered his home:
After a 17-hour day yesterday, I'm having a hard time getting cranked up this morning.
Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge John Robbins of Hot Springs, who sits in a District 4 seat on the court, is to announce today that he won't seek re-election next year.
An interfaith event is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Clinton Presidential Center to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Amongst the dozen or so pies offered daily at Goodson's, the Cherry Crisp is king. But it's a close call.
The Arkansas River Blues Society will host a blues competition Oct. 29.
Remember of the robbery of a Wendy's on Col. Glenn Road in June by a man wearing a Spiderman mask?
A new report from the Center for American Progress details the $42 million poured by several foundations and wealthy people into efforts spreading hate and fear about Islam.
The Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival kicks off Oct. 7-8.
It's the football, right? Or is it the honors college?
The Travelers start the final stretch of regular-season home games tonight.
Don't know why, but it seems like it was a long week. Readers, take over.
America-haters look out, Toby Keith is coming to town Oct. 2.
Shoot me. I can't work up much passioin about the saga of presidential house renovations at University of Central Arkansas.
This week, we offer post-West-Memphis-Three-panel-discussion analysis and talk about the web of high-profile politicians in the background of John Burkhalter's push to get the Capital Zoning District Commission to amend its three-story height restrictions for buildings near the State Capitol.
Sorry. I heard this was coming and forgot to mention it: How did the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission deal with a mining company, UMETCO, that has long exceeded state water pollution standards on discharges into a Hot Springs creek that feeds Lake Ouachita?
Circuit Judge Jake Looney of Mena has announced he'll seek the District 4 state Court of Appeals seat from which Judge John Robbins plans to retire next year.
Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Inc., wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal the other day about ways government could encourage corporate America to spend some of the cash it has amassed — more tax breaks, for example.
Think Progress devotes more attention to U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin's efforts to suppress and intimidate critics at his public meetings.
State Rep. Uvalde Lindsey will announce for state Senate a few minutes from now in downtown Fayetteville.
Huh. After all the hype, only 200 are lined up for the opening of the Apple store in Chenal at 10 a.m.?
The local side of the Northwest Arkansas newspaper combine followed up today on our reporting earlier about then-Judge Mary Ann Gunn's anger at a drug court defendant for refusing to appear on television.
The 48-Hour Film Project screenings kick off Sunday night.
It's open. Some close-outs: * SHOOTING NEAR STIFFT STATION: Forbidden Hillcrest captures police radio traffic on a drive-by shooting of a man shot in the chest along Markham Street in front of the Arkansas Schools for the Deaf and Blind campuses.
The Pulaski sheriff's office reports that it broke up some drag racing in the 7900 block of Frazier Pike early this morning.
I hear the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is dropping Pat Lynch from its op-ed columnists lineup. That means Monday's installment will be his last weekly contribution, presuming it passes the censors.
Interesting reportorial remark in an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today on Benton's hope to improve its image with a new convention center: Saline County could have become economically stressed after the reduction of its major industry [aluminum], but during that period the county’s population began to swell as it became a bedroom community for people looking for comfortable suburban homes to complement their urban jobs.
Somehow I'd missed this: Not willing to be outdone by Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck recently weighed in on God’s communication by way of natural disasters, telling his listeners that this week’s East Coast earthquake and hurricane are a “blessing” and a message from God to “be prepared.” Perhaps what's needed here is a cage match between Beck and Mike Huckabee, who famously refused to approve legislation that referred to weather disasters (for purposes of protecting storm victims) as "acts of God."
Release of the West Memphis Three last week was prompted by a convergence of many factors: a grassroots campaign, money, new evidence.
I drove out to The Promenade at Chenal this morning. No, not for the Apple store.
Chris Monroe manages to make 100 different pies to serve up on one day at Hunka Pie... and the people respond.
Thanks for a friend for reminding me today about the New York Times article on some of the lesser-known elements of the National Park System and what recent budget cuts — $139 million this year — mean to them.
Oh, or maybe not. It's Sunday after all.
OK, there are Republicans worse than U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin. So far, he hasn't tried to confiscate cameras and cell phones from people attending his political events.
Noted: Pat Lynch's final column today for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette urged a vote against both elements of the proposed Little Rock sales tax increase.
Ah, fall is in the air. Already, a father has been arrested for trying to fight the referee at a kids' league football game (of the North Little Rock Police Athletic League, no less).
If you can't trust Alice Stewart who can you trust? And Alice says Michele Bachmann was just joking when she said God had sent an earthquake and hurricane to get politicians' attention about the need to cut spending.
Artist draws inspiration from cast-off items.
Yarnell's, the Searcy ice cream maker that ceased operations June 30, has filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.
The puppeteer daughter of the late Jim Henson opens UCA's Artist in Residence Series.
Ouachita Baptist University announces that Gov. Mike Beebe and former Gov. Mike Huckabee, an OBU grad, will be participating in activities at the school the next couple of weeks marking the school's 125th anniversary.
Gov. Mike Beebe had his news conference today, as reported earlier, to call a special election Nov. 8 on more highway bonds supported by an existing diesel tax and expected federal highway revenue.
David Whitaker of Fayetteville, who ran for 3rd District Congress as a Democrat in 2010, has announced he'll seek the state House seat Democrat Uvalde Lindsey of Fayetteville is vacating to run for state Senate.
Beth Anne Rankin of Magnolia, the Republican nominee in 2010, announced today as expected that she'd try again for the 4th district congressional seat held by Rep. Mike Ross, who said he won't be seeking re-election.
More to come, but Leslie Peacock reports from the Arkansas Arts Center that the Arts Center Foundation raised $4 million — $2 million of it from anonymous donors giving $1 million each — and gave the Arts Center $2.7 million to pay off debt remaining from the financially disastrous World of the Pharaohs exhibit.
The Arts Center's debt to the foundation is cleared.
... the two Little Rock sales tax proposals pass.
I hinted at this last week, in a report on how big business lobbyists were pressing Secretary of State Mark Martin to deliver the vote of his appointee to the Capitol Zoning District Commission in favor of John Burkhalter's plan to build a five-story building across from the Capitol.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says it's legal for Little Rock to withhold the hometowns of employees who live outside Little Rock.
It shouldn't be necessary if people paid better attention, but Ernest Dumas has written some useful background this week for the growing Republican complaint that about half the people in the U.S. don't pay taxes — or "income taxes" if they are being precise.
I was motivated to consider returning home when I hit the knot of traffic in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock this morning thanks to the hordes heading toward Verizon Arena for the Get Motivated traveling medicine show.
Any day is a good day for labor bashing by the Republican Party. The latest gimmick is a Republican effort — a la the challenge to health care reform — to round up attorneys general from around the U.S. to sue over the National Labor Relations Board adverse decision on Boeing's move of a manufacturing line to South Carolina to get away from a union workforce in Washington.
The Arkansas Realtors Association says Arkansas home sales were up almost 20 percent in July compared with the same month last year and it's a relatively straight comparison, with no tax credit factor in last year's numbers.
We've written a couple of times — here and also here — about a publicity stunt by Pulaski and Saline County tax collectors — Debra Buckner and Joy Ballard, respectively — to stage a media event over collection of $900 in business personal property taxes said to be owed in Saline county by Dizzy's, a Little Rock restaurant that moved in late 2009 from Benton.
A report from AP this morning that the Democratic Party has a challenger for 3rd District U.S. Rep. Steve Womack.
The state Highway Commission began an executive session yesterday that continues through today and, from the distant seat where I sit, it would appear they haven't convened wholly legally.
The Facebook page of Jason Baldwin has a thank-you from the West Memphis Three defendant released last week.
Talk Business summarizes word leaking of a Saline County business announcement tomorrow said to mean 100 $20/hour jobs in an expansion of the bauxite mining operation of a French company, Saint-Gobain.
The Daily Howler, written by a former teacher and journalist, is often brilliant on education issues.
Yeah, yeah the NFL and the players union agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement and averted ruining Sunday, Monday night and a lot of Thursday nights for everyone. But they messed around with the negotiations so long that they still ruined my favorite part of recent seasons — "Hard Knocks"
Negotiations have been underway between the Corps of Engineers and representatives of John Burkhalter, the Little Rock businessman who wants to build a marina on the Arkansas River about a half-mile downstream from the old Rock Island railroad bridge in front of the Clinton Library.