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The path of the Pegasus pipeline

The path of the Pegasus pipeline

August 29, 2013

Vol 39 • No 52

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The path of the Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas

Exxon's pipeline cuts across the watersheds that provide drinking water for 770,000 Arkansans.

Judge Griffen denies defense motions in Hastings case

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued a 12-page order today denying a round of defense motions on evidence in the c oming retrial of former Little Rock patrol office Josh Hastings on a manslaughter charge.

Tom Cotton: NOW he's for disaster aid

The Arkansas congressional delegation joined Gov. Mike Beebe today in urging a major disaster declaration for six Arkansas counties hit by flooding in August — Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion and Newton.

Republicans high on more guns in school

I've been 'watching' the legislative committee discussion on guns in school via Twitter. Easy to catch the drift:

Cloar, Alkazzi shows open Thursday at ASU

Drawings by Cloar, paintings by Alkazzi.

A dish for all seasons

I get the question all the time: “What’s your favorite restaurant in Little Rock?” My knee-jerk reaction is to go with The Pantry.

Ask Asa: The Republican candidate on Twitter

Asa Hutchinson, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, took questions on Twitter tonight. They were mostly softballs.

Thursday-Monday To-Do: Arkansas Travelers

The Arkansas Travelers close out the 2013 regular season over the next several days.

Thursday-Sunday To-Do: Hot Springs Blues Festival

Zac Harmon headlines the Hot Springs Blues Festival on Saturday night.

Thursday: LR 48 Hour Film Project, Jason Eady and more

The Little Rock 48 Hour Film Project screens films this weekend.

Thursday: The Wailers at Revolution

The Wailers play at Revolution Thursday.

Bloodless Cooties at Stickyz

Also, Arkansas Travelers, Hot Springs Blues Festival, The Hood Internet at Revolution, 'Pregnant by the Pastor: The Aftermath' and DJ Paul.

The Little Rock 48 Hour Film Project debuts films

Also, Slobberbone at Revolution.

The new racism

August adieu

By the time you lay hands on a paper copy of this issue (does anybody really do that anymore? Somebody must, as the boxes we pass are nearly always empty), August will be almost done.

Now Mark Darr in ethics barrel

I wrote last week that the ethics violations by Sen. Paul Bookout were only the beginning of the story.

Interpreting the dream

Fifty years today back in the mists of history, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the Rev. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech changed America, but it is anybody's guess whether they produced something approximating King's vision of "a beautiful symphony of brotherhood," merely drove racism underground, or did something else entirely. A century may offer a clearer lens.

It's the end of the world and they feel drunk

'The World's End' does genre mash right.

Renauds find new outlet: Al Jazeera America

Little Rock filmmaking brothers do work for new network.

Back to school

Those of us who spend the bulk of our professional lives in the classroom get the benefit of two "new years" each year. In addition to Jan. 1, we get an opportunity every August for another round of reflections and resolutions. As I complete my syllabi this week for the new semester, the reflective moments seem a little more pronounced than usual.

Protect voters

Mark Pryor and Democrats generally believe that people should be allowed to vote. Arkansas Republicans, including presumably Tom Cotton, believe that people should be allowed to vote if they'll vote the right way. This additional requirement for participation in American democracy is a large issue in the U.S. Senate race.

Save democracy

Speaking of restoration, and democracy, and the Supreme Court, it is terribly important that American democracy be returned to its former healthy state, by undoing the Court's noisome Citizens United decision.

Cut administrators to save schools

When I listened to Claudio Sanchez's Aug. 20 story on NPR about the increased performance of Miami-Dade County's perennially troubled schools, I shouted out loud, "I told you so!" For years I have espoused that many of the budget shortfalls suffered by school districts since the George W. Bush era's assault on public schools began could be helped tremendously by making the cuts in more logical ways, namely, against the bloated and often redundant salaries of district administrators. Yes, school districts need administrators.

Cajuns could give Hogs trouble

Every coaching chapter of Arkansas's sometimes-tortured football history has its own wrinkle. The natural progression of things is that an incoming coach is there because the predecessor measurably faltered in some way.

Home cookin' no longer served daily

Brian Cormack submitted this photo of Bullock's, an abandoned restaurant in Helena, to our Eye On Arkansas Flickr group.

The Arkansas Times Inquizator: Ashlie Atkinson

Born in Little Rock in 1977, Ashlie Atkinson is an Arkansas girl made good in theater, film and now on TV. (She's also a former Arkansas Times intern.) Her new show "Us and Them," an American remake of the British comedy "Gavin and Stacey," is currently being shot as a midseason replacement for Fox.

Run, rarebit

A food columnist's reference to "Welsh rarebit" did not go down well with Stanley Johnson, who notes that the original term was "Welsh rabbit," an English coinage poking fun at the Welsh.

It was a good week for a change in rhetoric

It was also a good week for double standards. It was a bad week for Sen. Paul Bookout, University of Arkansas Administration and the University of Arkansas Athletic Department.

El Palenque does cheap, tasty fare right

Serves authentic Mex on the north side of town.

Peddling impeachment

Sometimes politics is like high-stakes poker. If you look around the table after a few hands and you can't tell who's the pigeon, citizen, chances are it's you: the guy who plunked down $26.95 for a book called "Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office."

Central Arkansas Water fights to move Exxon pipeline

Short of relocation, the water utility takes steps to mitigate risk.

Panel split on Little Rock's pot-bellied pig problem

Fox 16 reports that a subcommittee meant to work out a solution on keeping of pot-bellied pigs in the city of Little Rock iwas as split last night as the ambiguous ordinances on the question.

How much did you pay for your Razorback football ticket?

The football season begins Saturday with the Razorbacks playing the former SLI Bulldogs (Southwest Louisiana Institute) at War Memorial Stadium.

Mark Darr drops out of 4th District congressional race

Breaking news, first out from Roby Brock at Talk Business. Statement today from Lt. Gov. Mark Darr:

Friday To-Do: The Hood Internet

The Hood Internet performs at Revolution Friday.

Friday-Saturday To-Do: 'Pregnant by the Pastor: The Aftermath'

The premiere of "Pregnant by the Pastor: The Aftermath" is this weekend.

Friday: Interstate Buffalo, Mad Nomad and more

Interstate Buffalo plays at Maxine's Friday.

Friday To-Do: Bloodless Cooties

Stickyz hosts a record-release show for the Bloodless Cooties Friday.

Securities dealer loses license over cold call to regulator

The Arkansas Securities Department announced today that it had revoked the license of a New York broker-dealer, Junmo Hong.

Ashlie Atkinson talks politics, 'Celebrity Jeopardy,' and previews her new Fox comedy, 'Us and Them,' with a haiku

Born in Little Rock in 1977, Ashlie Atkinson is an Arkansas girl made good in theater, film and now on TV. (She's also a former Arkansas Times intern.) Her new show "Us and Them," an American remake of the British comedy "Gavin and Stacey," is currently being shot as a midseason replacement for Fox.

Slayer who didn't show for Forrest City sentencing in custody

 KAIT-TV in Jonesboro reports that a man who pleaded guilty to a St. Francis County slaying but didn't show up for sentencing turned himself in to Craighead County authorities in Jonesboro last night.

Arkansas truck lobbyist subject of suspicion in lawsuits over probe of diesel rebates

Yhis article out of Tennesse has an interesting Arkansas angle. The basics:

Little Rock port breaks ground on new facility

The Little Rock Port Authority broke ground Thursday on an "Arkansas River Resource Center" to house the Port Authority offices and offices of the port's shoreline railroad and the Arkansas Waterways Commission.

17-year-old neighbor arrested in death of Gosnell girl, 11

The Blytheville Courier News reports that a 17-year-old neighbor has been arrested in the slaying Tuesday night of Jessica Williams, 11, of Gosnell.

State to provide health screenings of Mayflower residents to look for oil spill-related sickness

Gov. Mike Beebe announced today that the state Department of Health, working with UAMS, will provide health assessments for Mayflower residents who believe they're suffering conditions related to the March 29 oil spill.

Federal government won't try to interfere with state marijuana laws

The Obama administration said today it would not sue to interfere with laws in 20 states legalizing marijuana to varying degrees.

Comfort's cooking at K Hall and Sons

Exploring some of Little Rock’s lesser-known neighborhoods often yields surprisingly good meals. K Hall and Sons sits unassumingly along Wright Ave in Southwest Little Rock. It's a neighborhood that's probably a little less traveled for most foodies around town but there’s enough good eating for the time being to entice a few fearless foodies to come see what’s cooking.

Blue Hog blasts a whining Mark Darr on ethics spin

Blue Hog Report blew the whistle on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's misspending of campaign finance money and now he's blowing the whistle on pitiful whining that Darr has given to his sole media source, Talk Business.

IRS clears married tax filing by same-sex couples; that creates state tax wrinkle

I'm thinking this could open up another challenge to  legal practices in Arkansas that discriminate against same-sex couples who were legally married in other states.

ACANSA: A Spoleto for Arkansas

Coming in 2014.

The climate change open line

The Thursday night line is open. Finishing up:

Jason Rapert: Serves God before his constituents

[embed-1] Sen. Jason Rapert presumably won't anger the good Christians of his Senate district with a declaration that he serves God before them.

Medicaid expansion “private option” policy details take shape

The joint Public Health committee heard more than two hours of testimony from Medicaid director Andy Allison and other officials today on the nitty-gritty details of the so-called “private option” plan for Medicaid expansion.

Suspect held on fifth burglary of same store

Talk about a regular customer. The Pulaski County sheriff's office said it got a call from the Saline County sheriff's office about a man it had in custody — David Allen Crow, 32 — as a potential suspect in the Aug. 25 burglary of Fred's on Arch Street Pike.

North Carolina: A cautionary political tale for Arkansas

The point in this opinion piece is simple: If the outside money that floods into Arkansas in 2014 elects a Republican governor and returns a majority Republican legislature, get ready for what unbridled political spending produced in North Carolina.

Saturday: KABF Birthday Bash, Hogs opener and more

Amy Garland performs at White Water Tavern Saturday.

Saturday To-Do: DJ Paul

DJ Paul performs at Discovery Saturday.

Mark Darr's ethical compass fails again

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr is just about perfect when it comes to ethical judgment — always wrong.

Goatroper Farms does peach preserves right

The Bernice Garden Farmers Market, held each Sunday at 1401 Main Street from 10 a.m.-2p.m., is filled with numerous local vendors—selling anything from burgundy okra to necklace charms.

University of Arkansas enrollment tops 25,000

Preliminary enrollment numbers at the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas has topped 25,000, the UA announced today.

A one dollar slice of Little Rock life

You don't eat gas station pizza expecting anything gourmet, and you don't eat gas station pizza without feeling a little bit of guilt.

EPA revokes waiver for Arkansas to approve water permits

Legislation has consequences. And these were predicted by environmentalists during the legislative session. 

Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington to resign

Shelli Russell at breaks the news that Bruce Pennington is resigning as Saline County sheriff.

Crime in Little Rock; a City Hall dialogue

Crime in the streets and homes. Full jails.

Negligent homicide charge filed in death of cross-country bike rider Merritt Levitan

Teagan Ross Martin, 21, of Newport has been charged with negligent homicide in the death of Merritt Levitan, 18, of Milton, Mass.

$2.5 million to be refunded from subsidies for failed Nordex wind turbine plant in Jonesboro

The state of Arkansas will be repaid $2.5 million in subsidies paid to help Nordex USA start a wind turbine manufacturing plant in Jonesboro.

Food Feedback Friday: for the love of all things truffled

Give it to us. Feedback time is upon us.

Monday: Fuel at Juanita's

Fuel performs at Juanita's Monday.

Department of Health plan for health screenings of Mayflower residents possibly suffering health effects doesn't go far enough, community group argues

We got a few more details about the program the Arkansas Department of Health will begin offering on Tuesday to Mayflower residents who say the March oil spill there made them sick.

Open line: Plus, Orbea to move to Main Street

Another week done. Finishing up:

ADEQ: EPA's revocation of waiver could lead to slowed process, stiffer penalties

As we reported earlier today, in response to Act 954 — legislation altering permit requirements for discharging minerals into streams — the federal Environmental Protection Agency is terminating the waiver of its right to review certain water discharge permits.

The Mark Darr Bows Out Edition

Mark Darr bowing out of the 4th District, Jeremy Hutchinson and rubber bullets, the EPA taking charge of certain water permits, Walmart’s decision to offer benefits to same sex partners and the talk of defunding the health care expansion in the fiscal session — all discussed on this week's podcast.

The University of Arkansas's corporate culture; who to believe?

The Democrat-Gazette reported further today on fired spokesman John Diamond's assertion that he fell out of favor for encouraging more openness about the budget mess in the university fund-raising arm that led to Brad Choate's removal.

Aladdin Kabab closes

Persian/Mexican fusion restaurant closes.

Mayflower, Maddow and the Pulitzer

A reader last night asked what happened to the thread on the Rachel Maddow Show Thursday night that had an extensive segment on the ExxonMobil pipeline break in Mayflower.

Politics and the Pilot Flying J lawsuit over diesel fuel rebates

More background follows on a federal investigation and lawsuit I mentioned earlier. I picked up reporting from Tennessee on proposed settlements of civil claims against the Pilot Flying J truckstop chain for failure to pay rebates owed trucking firms on diesel purchases.

The season opening open line

Hog hysteria dominates Twitter. I'm packing it in early.

UA intern injured by 'gun' misfire at Hog football game

Did you see or hear reports about the University of Arkansas marketing intern who apparently was injured during the football game Saturday by a malfunctioning T-shirt "gun"?

Acxiom prepares to open its data vault for consumers

The New York Times reports that Acxiom, the Little Rock-based data management company, will begin Wednesday allowing consumers to see some of the information the company has amassed about them for use in its business.

Candidates set on lieutenant governor, Darr or no Darr

John Lyon reports today that Republican Reps. Andy Mayberry and Charlie Collins plan to stay in the race for lieutenant governor no matter what incumbent Reublican Mark Darr does.

'Throwin' the A' for an open line

An early open line. I think going to a movie is called for on this hot day.

Wesley Clark on Syria; he invokes Bill Clinton

Labor Day starts very slowly. So, since I'm still struggling with the Syria question, I thought it might be worthwhile on matters of foreign intervention to turn to retired Gen. Wesley Clark of Little Rock, who wrote about Syria and Kosovo for USA Today a few days ago. He brings in, too, President Clinton's cruise missile strike on Baghdad.

In review: Movie ('The Butler') and Tex-Mex (Chuy's)

[embed-1] Short takes from a rare night on the town: * MOVIE: "The Butler.'

Tuesday: Austin Lucas and John Moreland at White Water Tavern, Air Review at Stickyz

John Moreland plays at White Water Tavern Tuesday.

Arkansas State moves ahead on school of osteopathic medicine

On the jump you'll find a news release on the hiring of a consultant for what the headline says is a "feasibility study" for a school of osteopathic medicine at Arkansas State University.

Former heavyweight champ Tommy Morrison dies at 44

Tommy Morrison, the Gravette, Ark.,-born boxer who once held a heavyweight title and appeared in "Rocky V," has died in Omaha at 44. 

The smoked meat open line

It's Labor Day isn't it? Time to fire up the smoker.

Controversy cooking in Saline County; sheriff says he won't quit after all

Has Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington had second thoughts about his announcement to "retire" Oct. 1?That's what I'm hearing.

Fracking documentary to be shown Sept. 10 at UCA

"Land of Opportunity," a locally produced documentary on fracking for natural gas in the Fayetteville shale, will be shown at 7 p.m.

Little Rock school district adopts a staff dress code; some grumble

The Little Rock School District has adopted a new staff dress code. But it won't take effect until next school year, after some union objections to the original proposal from new Superintendent Dexter Suggs.

Wednesday: Slobberbone at Revolution

Slobberbone plays at Revolution Wednesday.

Body found in MacArthur Park; another shot on 65th

Fox 16 reports that joggers found a body near a playground in MacArthur Park this morning.

Correcting the record on tax cuts and tax rates

I fear Ernie Dumas is wasting his breath, attempting to counter Arkansas Republican faith with facts.

Tom Cotton agrees with Obama administration intelligence on Syria

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton announces that he intends to update a blog devoted to the situation in Syria.

Re Bruno's: Make that September

Gio Bruno gave us an update today on when Bruno's Italian Restaurant should open in the Mann Lofts building at 310 Main St. He'd hoped he'd be open by late August, but ...

Saline Sheriff Bruce Pennington says he'll run for re-election; Quorum Court calls for his resignation

The saga of Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington has turned into a sad spectacle. Or, who knows?

Marriage equality lawsuit gets a different judge

Circuit Judge Jay Moody today granted a plaintiffs' motion and stepped down from hearing the lawsuit challenging the state ban on same-sex marriage.

New questions about Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's official expenses

Matt Campbell of Blue Hog Report has done some further digging into Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's official expense account, following a trail first suggested by his flawed campaign finance reports.

The guns and GOP open line

Another week begins. Another open line.

HAM offering take-out prepared dinners

Last Friday, HAM debuted their new “take-out dinners.” Best get down there this Friday, claw and scratch your way to the front of the line, and sample them for yourself.

Bobby Petrino facing criticism in new job

Would a football coach press a trainer to clear an injured player to return to the field too soon?