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September 5, 2013

Vol 40 • No 1

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Integration was the answer for downtown Little Rock in 1963

Activists wanted their rights. Businessmen wanted the Little Rock economy to grow.

Arrest in MacArthur Park death

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.

Texarkana tussling over city manager

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.

NSFW: Arkansas still a leader in porn viewing

Pornhub, which markets just what you might imagine, compiles data annually on the taste for pornography among the states.

Acxiom begins consumer access to some data

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.

Tom Cotton continues to push for military action in Syria

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.

State tax revenue ahead of forecast in August

The August numbers on state tax revenue again topped both last year and the forecast.

Clinton pushes Obama health care policy in Little Rock speech

Former President Clinton's speech in support of Obama administration health care policy was to begin at 10 a.m.

Westerman to join Tea Party in Obamacare opposition; Koch Bros. fire up TV campaign

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.

Former Perry County nursing home employees charged with stealing from patient accounts

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.

Court upholds firing of Little Rock cop who used racial slur

[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.

Portz Prize goes to Alex Leme

Award is for his scholarly research into surrealist photography.

Obama administration expands VA care to same-sex spouses

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.”

50 50 50 choice: Cheryl Goldsleger


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.

Thursday To-Do: 'The Big Shootout'

"The Big Shootout" will screen Thursday at the Clinton Presidential Center.

The Wednesday line — abortion, marriage equality, state Senate, college enrollment

The line is open. Finshing up:

Thursday To-Do: SoLost Video Series Celebration

The Oxford American's South on Main hosts a celebratio of the SoLost Video Series Thursday night.

Legislators reduce Obamacare ad spending; object to spending in Ark. Times and Ark. Business

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.

Thursday-Saturday To-Do: Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally

Grand Funk Railroad headlines Saturday night at the Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally.

Thursday: 'Pal Joey' panel, 'The House I Live In' and more

"The House I Live In" screens Thursday at Philander Smith College

Rapert roulette

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.

Alabama Shakes in Fayetteville

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.

Food Truck Fridays returns

And Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers play White Water.

A new 'Pal Joey'

Broadway vet helps Rep launch new season.

Make plans to attend the Arkansas Times Latino Food and Music Festival

There'll be tacos, tamales, salsa and salsa.

State offers health screenings for Mayflower residents

Five months after an ExxonMobil spill, those who say it made them sick will get free medical attention.

UA's corporate culture

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.

Good move

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.

Not there

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 a bad week for Mark Darr

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.

Fear Obamacare

Fiat Flux

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.

'Grandmaster' mixes kung fu, romance

Mood master Wong returns to unrequited love theme.

Beware of tar sands oil exposure

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.

Calm victory for Hogs

Well, this is awkward. Pearls is gonna be pretty complaint-free this week.

Where in Arkansas, Sept.

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 to guess this week's photo or for more information.

Setting the Dem-Gaz straight

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.

That jacket

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.

Matt Campbell's Blue Hog Report shines light on public malfeasance

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.

Asian standby

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.

Arkansas judgeship nomination moving forward

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.

Proposal drafted to end corporate spending in Arkansas elections

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.

Republican leaders still silent on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's spending

The state Ethics Commission is reviewing the egregiously improper campaign finance reports filed by Lt. Gov. Mark Darr.

Friday: Backroad Anthem, '100 Saints You Should Know' and more

Backroad Anthem plays at Stickyz Friday night.

Friday To-Do: Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes perform at the Arkansas Music Pavilion Friday.

Arkansas hungriest state; Tom Cotton solution — cut food stamps

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.

Mann on Main project opens today

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.

UA's Sturgis Fellows include Times' Academic All-Stars

The University of Arkansas today announced the selection of four incoming freshmen as Sturgis Fellows.

Small town Italian at Ari's Little Italy

An Italian surprise in a small town worth seeking out.

LR cop fired for pulling gun in Fayetteville bar incident

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. 

Governor's deputy chief of staff carjacked on Asher Ave. last night

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.

UALR reduces non-personnel budget 10 percent to cope with enrollment drop

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.

Occupy LR demonstrators acquitted on arrest in demonstration

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.

Chew on this: Churros from El Torito

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 open line: Arkansas Baptist College; Metropolitan Bank bidder; fracker subsidy; gun nuttery

The line is open after one busy day. Final stuff:

Last call for Rembrandt

Exhibition closes Sunday with a toast.

Legislature approves money for pollution testing on hog farm near Buffalo River

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.

Beatles' doc 'Good Ol' Freeda' highlights best line-up ever for Hot Springs Doc festival

The festival runs from Oct. 11-20 at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs.

Fitz Hill confirms Arkansas Baptist College payment problems

Fitz Hill, president of Arkansas Baptist College, got back to me tonight as promised on reports of financial difficulties there.

Starting next week: Music in MacArthur Park

Music in MacArthur Park kicks off Sept. 11.

Argenta Film Series returns with 'Searching for Sugar Man'

"Searching for Sugar Man" screens Sept. 19 at Argenta Community Theater.

Mylo Coffee Co. announces move to brick and mortar

Local farmers market favorite takes a big step into a new retail space.

Kim Hammer: No comment on Darr because office audit in progress

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.

Saline County follies: Sheriff Pennington hangs on

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.

Saturday: Urban Raw Festival, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and more

Don McLean performs at Robinson Center Music Hall Saturday.

Sunday To-Do: Bethel AME Church 150th Anniversary Concert

Kirk Whalum will perform at Bethel AME Church Sunday.

Taxpayers take Mark Darr trout fishing

More reporting from Blue Hog Report on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's use of his taxpayer-paid office expense account:

Coming Saturday: Edgy Edgington, Goofy Werner

A couple of "cut ups" at Gallery 360.

Questions linger on robbery of governor's staff member

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.

Support group for clergy abuse victims to meet in Little Rock, talks about local case

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has announced it will hold a confidential supporting meeting next Wednesday at the downtown library.

Buy art in your jammies at M2 ...

... or wear nothing at all, to shop at the gallery's "Clothing Optional" online art show and sale, which started today at this link.

39 legislators, 2 college policymakers and many Hog lettermen get bargain football tickets

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.

Former Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame employee pleads to theft of $118,300

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.

House Republicans want food stamp cuts that would affect estimated 43,000 Arkansans

I mentioned yesterday the study that showed Arkansas lead the nation in the percent of people in hunger.

Seven candidates file for state Senate seat from District 21

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.

Republican JP Bob Johnson switches parties to run for state House as Democrat

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.

Group seeks to make Arkansas first Southern state to reject Citizens United

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.

Avett Brothers to Verizon in November

Folk rock heroes The Avett Brothers will play Verizon Arena Friday, Nov. 8.

Mavis Staples to give concert at Christ Church in Little Rock

She'll perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11.

UCA reports 3.8 percent enrollment increase this fall

The University of Central Arkansas joins the University of Arkansas in reporting an enrollment increase this fall, based on preliminary numbers.

The Woo Pig bargain football ticket open line

It's Friday and the Hogs are playing some church school out at War Memorial tomorrow.

The Mark Darr Gone Fishin' Edition

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.

Walton off hook in DWI

Prosecutor drops charge.

Texas drops DWI charge against Alice Walton

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.

World Trade Center exhibit opens at Laman

Photos, artifacts from 9/11.

Food Feedback Friday: broken rice, banana leaves, and beef jerky

It’s tailgate time people. Football is on everyone’s brain right now. Feedback on what you're eating.

Beebe to power Mike Ross fund-raiser

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.

LRPD reports city's 24th homicide of the year

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.

KATV on the trail of Mark Darr's misspending, courtesy of Blue Hog Report

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.

Hog fever in Little Rock?

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 Quorum Court won't be able to vote on sheriff's vacancy until Monday

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 opposes military action against Syria

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor should hit the front page of Sunday newspapers tomorrow with this:

Arkansas Blue Cross blasted for skirting federal health care law

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 and Hendrix is still undefeated

The line is open. Latest news is that Hendrix College remains undefeated in football for almost 53 years.

Pine Bluff police kill 107-year-old man in armed SWAT confrontation

CNN reports that Pine Bluff police shot and killed a 107-year-old man after SWAT officers failed to negotiate a surrender.

Jerry Jones: His Dallas Cowboys a financial success, if not on the field

The New York Times has a big profile today of Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.

Little Rock Zoo reports death of its 62-year-old elephant, Jewell

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.

Colorizing historic photographs; help wanted (needed) at Ethics Commission: And an open line

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. 

Tom Cotton: Supports entering 'proxy war' in Syria

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.

Obamacare: The facts don't matter to Republican opponents

There goes the New York Times' Paul Krugman again, trying to confuse the Republican faithful with facts.

Tuesday: Jars of Clay at Revolution

Jars of Clay will perform at Revolution Tuesday.

Check out the trailer for Pizzolatto's 'True Detective' series

It stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

The color of purple: Searching for the swing voters in Arkansas

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.

Searching for a 'fix' for Arkansas teacher health insurance

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.

Welcoming White River Creamery to Little Rock

Excellent new cheese from Northwest Arkansas makes its debut in Little Rock.

Evan Lindquist named artist laureate

First to hold position.

Advisory boards named for Pulaski, Helena school districts

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.

Blue Hog catches another one: GOP candidate for Senate suddenly getting right with law

Matt Campbell at Blue Hog Report mines state paperwork for another find embarrassing to a Republican politician:

50 50 50: Jerome Myers

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.

Arkansas Business: Simmons tops bidders for Metropolitan National Bank

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.

The cost of tax cuts: What happens in Kansas doesn't stay in Kansas

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.

March for gay pride set in Little Rock Oct. 5

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.

Partisan politics: Who'll claim a win in Syria? Also: The war on Mark Darr's ethics

Headlines this morning say Syria will accept a proposal to put chemical weapons under international control.

The latest Republican chicanery on defunding health care

Talking Points Memo reports the latest House Republican funny business (none dare call it governance) on funding the Affordable Care Act.

Voter ID: A solution in search of a problem

Ernest Dumas provides this week some Arkansas history on vote suppression in the course of explaining the recent push for Voter ID laws.

Early reviews tangle on 'Devil's Knot.'

"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.

Dickey's Barbecue opens this week in Bryant

Texas BBQ chain.

University of Arkansas audit released; former official takes the fall

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.

Wednesday To-Do: The Black Crowes Canceled

The Black Crowes play at the Arkansas Music Pavilion Wednesday.

Teacher insurance: Any solution will require more money, Gov. Mike Beebe says

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:

Tom Cotton's pants-on-fire claim about congressional exemption from Obamacare

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 hooks and bullets open line

The Tuesday line is open. To close out:

At Vesuvio Bistro, an old friend finds a new home

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.

Evening mailbag: Politics, colleges and war

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.

Little Rock Central back on top of National Merit semi-finalist list for Arkansas

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.

Will legislators buy University of Arkansas audit spin? Some on campus don't

The news coverage of the release of the audit of the University of Arkansas advancement division naturally was shaped by the university's spin:

UALR reconsidering its new residency requirement for freshmen

The UALR campus is buzzing with talk that the school will alter its new policy requiring all freshmen to live in campus.

Thursday To-Do: The Kid Carsons, Swampbird

The Kid Carsons plays White Water Tavern Thursday.

Thursday: 'Pal Joey,' Dionne Warwick, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more

The Rep's production of "Pal Joey" continues this week.

Pryor supports international effort on Syrian weapons

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:

Tangled up in blue, green, pink, etc. at the Arts Center

Yarn-bombing is prelude to Contemporaries event.

Americans for Prosperity's bizarre new Obamacare ad

[embed-1] Americans for Prosperity has taken a see-what-sticks approach to fighting Obamacare, but their latest ad is almost surreal.

Bookout's $267,000 and Darr's double-dips: They make case for campaign finance reform Citizens should make ethics a major issue in District 21 special election

Reception for the Third Floor Five

Reception for Little Rock artists at the South Arkansas Arts Center.

Beebe mulls teacher insurance fix; Darr's ethics

Talk Business interviewed Gov. Mike Beebe today. Topics:

After contradictory votes, school districts get clearance for licenses to arm staff on campus

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.

Judge Griffen denies another motion that he get off Hastings manslaughter case

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.;

Bentonville's Championship Squirrel Cookoff gets play in WSJ

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 mid-week line in post-race America

The line is open. Some final notes:

Friday To-Do: Motel Mirrors

John Paul Keith and Amy LaVere perform at White Water Tavern Friday night.

Friday-Saturday To-Do: 2013 Jazz Eureka Festival

Spyro Gyra plays Saturday night at The Auditorium as part of the 2013 Jazz Eureka Festival.

Friday: Dumptruck Butterlips, 'Pathways to Peace' and more

Dumptruck Butterlips performs at Stickyz Friday.

Saturday To-Do: Latino Food & Music Festival

CruzWay performs at the North Point Latino Food and Music Festival, Saturday in Argenta.

Saturday: Eric Sommer, Ed Bowman, Weakness for Blondes and more

Eric Sommer performs at Midtown Saturday night.

Saturday To-Do: The Geto Boys

THE GETO BOYS $10 adv., $15 before midnight, more later. Discovery.

Sunday: 'Legends of Arkansas' at First Security Amphitheater

Starroy performs Sunday at "Legends of Arkansas" at First Security Amphitheater.

Tuesday To-Do: Lisa Marie Presley

LISA MARIE PRESLEY 8 p.m. Juanita's.

Wednesday To-Do: Hooray for Earth

HOORAY FOR EARTH 9 p.m. Stickyz.

Wednesday: Indigo Girls at Hendrix

The Indigo Girls perform at Hendrix College Wednesday night.