Activists wanted their rights. Businessmen wanted the Little Rock economy to grow.
Vol 40 • No 1
The Little Rock police have arrested Josh Todd, 28, as a murder suspect in the death of a still unidentified man found shot to death yesterday morning near a MacArthur Park playground.
The Texarkana Gazette (subscription) says that city board of directors couldn't reach a decision last night on whether to rehired Harold Boldt as city manager.
Pornhub, which markets just what you might imagine, compiles data annually on the taste for pornography among the states.
As reported here earlier, today is the day Acxiom begins opening some of its data to consumers, who can amend or end access.
Arkansas National Guard to follow federal directive on processing benefit applications from same-sex couples
The Arkansas National Guard says it will follow a Defense Department directive in processing applications for benefits — if any — for same-sex married couples.
Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, joined by Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, is getting a lot of attention this morning for an aggressive op-ed (again with free comments in Washington newspapers if not to reporters back home) in the Washington Post backing a use of force resolution against Syria.
The August numbers on state tax revenue again topped both last year and the forecast.
Former President Clinton's speech in support of Obama administration health care policy was to begin at 10 a.m.
Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, the Tea Party Express plans a press event in Little Rock Thursday that will also give a perceived lift to a Republican congressional candidate.
The attorney general's office said today that former Perry County nursing home employees had been charged with felonies for using residents' personal funds to buy clothes, jewelry and makeup for themselves.
[embed-1] The Arkansas Court of Appeals today upheld a circuit court ruling that reinstated the firing of Little Rock office David Edgmon for off-duty behavior in 2010 at a River Market bar.
Award is for his scholarly research into surrealist photography.
In a decision that could produce new business for VA facilities in Arkansas, the Obama administration today said that the Department of Veterans Affairs would provide spousal benefits to gay men and lesbians despite a federal statute that limits such benefits to veterans’ spouses who are “of the opposite sex.”
Clinton makes the pitch for Obamacare, urges opponents and supporters to work together on improvements
Almost a year to the day after his argument for the re-election of President Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention, President Bill Clinton today made the pitch for the president’s healthcare reform law.
"The Big Shootout" will screen Thursday at the Clinton Presidential Center.
The line is open. Finshing up:
The Oxford American's South on Main hosts a celebratio of the SoLost Video Series Thursday night.
Benji Hardy at the Legislative Digest reports today on the Review Subcommittee of the Legislative Council, which effectively stripped $600,000 from a planned $4.5 million federally funded campaign by the state Insurance Department to encouragement enrollment in the "private option" version of Medicaid expansion and Obamacare approved by the Arkansas Legislature.
Grand Funk Railroad headlines Saturday night at the Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally.
"The House I Live In" screens Thursday at Philander Smith College
This week, another video of state Sen. Jason Rapert of Bigelow/Conway went viral, this one featuring selections from his speech to an evangelical Christian rally in Ohio, with Rapert telling the assembled faithful that, among other things, those who supported Texas Sen. Wendy Davis in her pro-choice filibuster were akin to demons from hell, that Christians are engaged in "spiritual warfare," and that the opinions of the people in his district aren't anywhere near as important to him as the opinion of his Bro Upstairs.
Also, 'The Big Shootout' at the Clinton Center, Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally, SoLost Video Celebration at South on Main, Arkansas v. Samford at War Memorial, Bethel AME Church 150th anniversary celebration and The Black Crowes at the Arkansas Music Pavilion.
And Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers play White Water.
Broadway vet helps Rep launch new season.
There'll be tacos, tamales, salsa and salsa.
Five months after an ExxonMobil spill, those who say it made them sick will get free medical attention.
You'd think that the University of Arkansas was a privately held family corporation. The Fayetteville campus is secretive, defensive and unfriendly to those who think the UA has broader responsibilities.
Right-wing critics of President Obama say he wants to increase the size and authority of the federal government, at the expense of the states and the people. If they're honest about their own alleged desire to shrink the government to bathtub size, they now have the opportunity — some would call it an obligation — to say something nice about the president for a change.
In our Aug. 8 discussion of the phrase "out of pocket," we quoted various sources as saying that it properly means "out of funds," but that "Somehow over the past year or so, 'out of pocket' has become a new business catchphrase meaning 'unreachable, out of communication,' which is incorrect."
It was also a good week for Arkansas college football and Mayflower residents. It was a bad week for Rep. Andy Davis, T-shirt cannons, Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington.
The Observer has been reading around a bit this morning in a new book just out from the University of Arkansas Press called "Fiat Flux," edited by historian William B. Lindsey, which collects the diary and other writings of philosopher and country doctor W.R. Bachelor, who moved from Tennessee to Arkansas's Franklin County in 1870 and died there in 1903.
Mood master Wong returns to unrequited love theme.
Thank you so much for your work to publicize the horrific situation in Mayflower. Your articles are the only coverage being given to this terrible tragedy.
Well, this is awkward. Pearls is gonna be pretty complaint-free this week.
Know where this slice of life in Arkansas is? Send along the answer to Times photographer Brian Chilson and win a prize. Once a month in this space, we'll post a shot from a relatively obscure spot in Arkansas for Times readers to identify. We also invite photographers to contribute submissions to our eyeonarkansas Flickr group. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to guess this week's photo or for more information.
For every complex human problem there is an answer that is simple, attractive — and wrong. When H. L. Mencken made that observation he might have had Arkansas in mind because he often did when he was most cynical.
It was nearly 100 degrees in Fayetteville Saturday and most people were removing as much clothing as they could without getting arrested. When the Razorbacks' new coach, Bret Bielema, came running onto the field in a zipped-up windbreaker, astonishment was general, from fans to TV announcers. After the initial shock, we were reminded of another Razorback coach who made his debut unconventionally attired.
Seventeen days. That's how long Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's campaign for U.S. Congress lasted, thanks to the muckraking efforts of local blogger Matt Campbell.
Chinese Kitchen does the classics well.
When people call for a national "conversation" about race, what they really have in mind is a lecture. Sometimes President Obama is among them. So at the expense of alienating critical race theorists, some heresy: If the president wants to understand why he heard car door locks clicking as he walked down the street, he should study those two appalling homicides in Duncan, Okla., and Spokane, Wash., that Fox News is beating the drums about.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has set a hearing next Wednesday on a group of judicial nominations, including that of Timothy Brooks of Fayetteville to a federal district judgeship for the western district of Arkansas.
Little Rock lawyer David Couch, who's done work in a variety of public interest causes, and Paul Spencer, who organized the Regnat Populus grassroots drive for better ethics laws, have a new idea cooking.
The state Ethics Commission is reviewing the egregiously improper campaign finance reports filed by Lt. Gov. Mark Darr.
Backroad Anthem plays at Stickyz Friday night.
Alabama Shakes perform at the Arkansas Music Pavilion Friday.
The Arkansas Food Bank reports: Yesterday, Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual report on food insecurity in the U.S., finding that more than 48.9 million Americans lived in households struggling against hunger in 2012.
A ceremonial opening is planned this morning for Mann on Main, a redevelopment of the old Blass Department store business for office, residential and commercial use.
The University of Arkansas today announced the selection of four incoming freshmen as Sturgis Fellows.
An Italian surprise in a small town worth seeking out.
The Little Rock Police Department announced today that Officer Jeffrey Harris had been fired for several rules violations in his involvement in an incident in a Fayetteville tavern.
Lamar Davis, 42, Gov. Mike Beebe's deputy chief of staff, was carjacked about 1 a.m. this morning and roughed up by three robbers.
In a memo sent to staff Friday, UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson said he was directing an immediate 10 percent reduction in non-personnel spending because of a drop in campus enrollment.
An early afternoon roundup: Politics and a movie tonight; a UA departure; spell-checking the Republicans
Stuff keeps pouring in. Let me pass some along, including information about events tonight.
Blue Hog Report: Records indicate Lt. Gov. Mark Darr charged campaign and taxpayers for same tripsUPDATE: Taxpayer-paid fishing trip
Blue Hog Report has another installment today examining the campaign and public spending of Lt. Gov. Mark Darr.Looks like he's been double-dipping on expenses.
The wheels of justice grind slowly .... .... but it's exceedingly fine news to learn from lawyer David Couch of a signal victory in Little Rock District Court for Caitlin Lott and Greg Deckelman.
Our wonderful neighbor to the south, Mexico, is responsible for sending us many great and important things—tacos, piñatas, and Carlos Santana, just to name a few. But let’s not forget their contributions to the world of fried, sugary pastry. Specifically, let’s take a moment to recognize the beauty of the churro.
The line is open after one busy day. Final stuff:
Exhibition closes Sunday with a toast.
The legislature’s Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) joint subcommittee today approved Gov. Mike Beebe’s request for $340,510 to implement pollution testing and monitoring at the C&H Hog Farm in Mt. Judea.
The festival runs from Oct. 11-20 at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs.
Fitz Hill, president of Arkansas Baptist College, got back to me tonight as promised on reports of financial difficulties there.
Music in MacArthur Park kicks off Sept. 11.
"Searching for Sugar Man" screens Sept. 19 at Argenta Community Theater.
Local farmers market favorite takes a big step into a new retail space.
I have received a response from Rep. Kim Hammer of Benton concerning whether he thinks an audit is necessary for reports about Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's use of office expense account for personal travel, a father-son fishing trip and other questionable expenses, such as a trip to Texas to see Gov. Rick Perry.
It's been a rich week for political controversy in Saline County, where Sheriff Bruce Pennington continues to insist he not only won't resign, but will seek re-election and claims broad forgiveness for his guilty plea to being drunk and resisting Benton police arrest at a nightclub.
Don McLean performs at Robinson Center Music Hall Saturday.
Kirk Whalum will perform at Bethel AME Church Sunday.
More reporting from Blue Hog Report on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's use of his taxpayer-paid office expense account:
A couple of "cut ups" at Gallery 360.
When I inquired yesterday of the governor's office about the reported carjacking of Lamar Davis, the deputy chief of staff, I suggested to spokesman Matt DeCample that separate reports by Davis and a woman at a Roosevelt Road motel sounded like the same robbery, though they differed in location (both along the Roosevelt-Asher corridor) and other details.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has announced it will hold a confidential supporting meeting next Wednesday at the downtown library.
... or wear nothing at all, to shop at the gallery's "Clothing Optional" online art show and sale, which started today at this link.
I have received the rest of the information I requested from the University of Arkansas Athletic Department on those who are exempted from the requirement to make payments to the Razorback Foundation to get priority seating at Razorback football games.
Arkansas Business' Mark Friedman reports on a guilty plea today by Jennifer W. Smith, 47, former executive director of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, for using a Hall of Fame credit card for clothes, meals and trips.
I mentioned yesterday the study that showed Arkansas lead the nation in the percent of people in hunger.
Noon was the deadline to file for special primaries for the election to fill Paul Bookout's District 21 Senate seat in the Jonesboro area.
Justice of the Peace Bob Johnson of Jacksonville, who ran as a Republican, has announced he's changing parties and will run as a Democrat for state representative for the seat currently held by Democrat Mark Perry, who's term limited.
Huffington Post gives national attention to the drive by an Arkansas group, Regnat Populus, to overcome the Citizens United ruling that extended personhood to corporations for purposes of political campaign spending.
Saline Sheriff Pennington says he'll quit Oct. 1; Quorum Court to meet Saturday to declare vacancy in office
Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington is again saying he'll quit Oct. 1. This time, his announcement comes with notice of application for state retirement benefits Oct. 1.
Folk rock heroes The Avett Brothers will play Verizon Arena Friday, Nov. 8.
She'll perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11.
The University of Central Arkansas joins the University of Arkansas in reporting an enrollment increase this fall, based on preliminary numbers.
It's Friday and the Hogs are playing some church school out at War Memorial tomorrow.
The latest dirt on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, the latest move to retire by Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington, Clinton in explainer in chief mode, Arkansas Baptist’s struggles, a new judge for the state case challenging the same sex marriage ban, a new dress code for the LRSD and more — all covered on this week's edition.
Prosecutor drops charge.
Leslie Peacock reports the news on her Rock Candy blog that Texas has decided, 23 months after the fact, not to prosecute Alice Walton on a DWI arrest.
Photos, artifacts from 9/11.
It’s tailgate time people. Football is on everyone’s brain right now. Feedback on what you're eating.
Mike Ross, whose Democratic gubernatorial campaign opened with a $2 million jump start, is undoubtedly expecting a haul from this $100-and-up fund-raiser later this month headlined by Gov. Mike Beebe.
This just in from Little Rock police Sgt. Cassandra Davis: Officers are on the scene at 7414 Mabelvale Pike investigating the city's 24th homicide.
It's a significant development when KATV picks up a news story. Politicians watch TV, even if they don't read the newspaper or liberal blogs.
This Tweet suggests that kickoff in 97-degree weather and a game featuring an obscure Bible college opponent didn't create a box office stampede at War Memorial Stadium.
Saline County Judge Lanny Fite has just told me that because of a glitch in the required notification procedure, the Saline Quorum Court won't be able to vote today on a resolution declaring the office of sheriff vacant on Oct. 1.As you may recall, the on-off-on retirement of embattled Sheriff Bruce Pennington was announced to be on Friday afternoon.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor should hit the front page of Sunday newspapers tomorrow with this:
The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is tricky business and those who aren't working to kill it are working to game it.
The line is open. Latest news is that Hendrix College remains undefeated in football for almost 53 years.
CNN reports that Pine Bluff police shot and killed a 107-year-old man after SWAT officers failed to negotiate a surrender.
The New York Times has a big profile today of Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Little Rock Zoo was closed today after staff euthanized, Jewell, a 62-year-old former circus elephant that came to Little Rock in 2011.
Thanks to elwood for a link to a Daily Mail article about a project by historians and artists to colorize historical photographs from the Library of Congress.
Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton appeared on KARK's Capitol View program Sunday morning and defended his support for military action in Syria, a position he currently holds along among the Arkansas congressional delegation and contrary to majority public sentiment.
There goes the New York Times' Paul Krugman again, trying to confuse the Republican faithful with facts.
Jars of Clay will perform at Revolution Tuesday.
It stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
Clint Reed, a partner at Impact Management, a political consulting firm, and former executive director of the Arkansas Republican Party, has written an article for The City Wire and Talk Business on where the voter bases for Democrats and Republicans lie in Arkansas.
A big crowd has gathered at the Capitol this morning so that legislators may demonstrate their concern for aggrieved public school teachers facing enormous health insurance rate increases.
Excellent new cheese from Northwest Arkansas makes its debut in Little Rock.
First to hold position.
The Pulaski County and Helena-West Helena School Districts remain under state control but Education Director Tom Kimbrell today named community advisory boards for the districts.
Matt Campbell at Blue Hog Report mines state paperwork for another find embarrassing to a Republican politician:
At the Arkansas Arts Center
An open line: George Zimmerman on 9-11 again; attorney general rumor; more on cop killing of 107-year-old
The line is open. Final notes:
The questionnaire that will determine whether beneficiaries get "private option" plans or traditional Medicaid
Under the so-called "private option" for Medicaid expansion, most newly eligible Arkansans will shop for private health insurance, with the government picking up the tab for their premiums.
Arkansaas Business reports that Simmons First National Corp. is saying that it submitted the best bid among three at a private auction today to acquire Metropolitan National Bank as part of a bankruptcy proceeding for its holding company.
We have seen the future and it is Kansas and Missouri. Kansas, with unified Republican legislature and governor, has embarked on a spree of ultra-right legislating, including massive tax cuts.
Arkansas has a way to go in joining the rest of the country in treating people of all sexual orientation with equality and dignity — discrimination in employment, not to mention marriage, is still legal here.
Headlines this morning say Syria will accept a proposal to put chemical weapons under international control.
Talking Points Memo reports the latest House Republican funny business (none dare call it governance) on funding the Affordable Care Act.
Ernest Dumas provides this week some Arkansas history on vote suppression in the course of explaining the recent push for Voter ID laws.
"Devil's Knot," the feature film about the West Memphis Three case starring Oscar winners Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon, saw its debut at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this week, and reviews have been decidedly mixed, trending toward a critical miss. The film is based on investigative reporter Mara Leveritt's book of the same name, and directed by Atom Egoyan.
Texas BBQ chain.
The Division of Legislative Audit today released its special audit of spending in the University of Arkansas's advancement division. It found no fraud, but found noncompliance with procedures in a number of areas, including loans and transfers that masked the size of the deficit. The deficit was ascribed to big increases in personnel costs.
The Black Crowes play at the Arkansas Music Pavilion Wednesday.
Gov. Mike Beebe spoke in Northwest Arkansas today. He said, according to Tweets from various there, on the current hot topic of public school employee insurance rates:
Club for Growth U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton is flogging a popular topic of the rabid right today — touting his legislation (which will go nowhere in any case) that purports to prevent the Office of Personnel Management from "unlawfully" providing health care subsidies for members of Congress and their staffs.
The Tuesday line is open. To close out:
Long time fans of this legend among Little Rock Italian dining will not likely be disappointed with the changes at Vesuvio. For the most part, the menu is untouched, but a spacious new dining room and more comfortable accommodations for larger groups makes the change of space a wise move on the part of Vesuvio's owners.
Some odds and ends rolled in during dinner. * FRENCH HILL TO RUN FOR STATE HOUSE: Delta Trust banker French HIll has sent a letter announcing his plan to run for the state House of Representatives, the Heights-area seat held by term-limited Democrat John Edwards.
The annual list of National Merit Scholarship competition semi-finalists is out. Little Rock Central High is back on top with 24 of the 150 in Arkansas, or nearly one in every six.
The news coverage of the release of the audit of the University of Arkansas advancement division naturally was shaped by the university's spin:
The UALR campus is buzzing with talk that the school will alter its new policy requiring all freshmen to live in campus.
The Kid Carsons plays White Water Tavern Thursday.
The Rep's production of "Pal Joey" continues this week.
While his Republican opponent, Warmonger Tom Cotton was thirsting for armed encounters around the globe yesterday, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor was responding moderately to President Obama's speech on Syria:
Yarn-bombing is prelude to Contemporaries event.
[embed-1] Americans for Prosperity has taken a see-what-sticks approach to fighting Obamacare, but their latest ad is almost surreal.
https://sites.google.com/site/ockertarchives/columns-2013/political-ethics Citizens should make ethics a major issue in District 21 special election
Reception for Little Rock artists at the South Arkansas Arts Center.
Talk Business interviewed Gov. Mike Beebe today. Topics:
The Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies is meeting this morning to hear appeals from Clarksville, Lake Hamilton and other school districts that they continue to be allowed to have employees licensed as security guards for the purpose of having a gun on campus.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen today denied another motion from defense lawyers for Josh Hastings that he step down from hearing Hastings' trial on a manslaughter charge in the killing of a 15-year-old fleeing from him in a west Little Rock parking lot.;
Just when you thought people in other parts of the country might be beginning to suspect Arkansans actually wear shoes and have air conditioning, last weekend's World Championship Squirrel Cook Off in Bentonville got play in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
The line is open. Some final notes:
John Paul Keith and Amy LaVere perform at White Water Tavern Friday night.
Spyro Gyra plays Saturday night at The Auditorium as part of the 2013 Jazz Eureka Festival.
Dumptruck Butterlips performs at Stickyz Friday.
CruzWay performs at the North Point Latino Food and Music Festival, Saturday in Argenta.
Eric Sommer performs at Midtown Saturday night.
THE GETO BOYS $10 adv., $15 before midnight, more later. Discovery.
Starroy performs Sunday at "Legends of Arkansas" at First Security Amphitheater.
LISA MARIE PRESLEY 8 p.m. Juanita's.
HOORAY FOR EARTH 9 p.m. Stickyz.
The Indigo Girls perform at Hendrix College Wednesday night.