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September 24, 2009

Vol 7 • No 37

Slowing the bleeding

The big picture of Arkansas’s emerging trauma system, a statewide web of ERs and ambulances and doctors and nurses fashioned to save lives and improve outcomes for the injured, can be told in numbers.

More fun in the 2nd

Says here that Bruno's restaurant owner Scott Wallace will be a Republican candidate for Second District Congress, joining Tim Griffin and perhaps Tom Cotton and others in trying to oust incumbent Rep. Vic Snyder.

Questions for Mike Ross UPDATE

I reported yesterday on ProPublica's investigation of U.S. Rep. Mike Ross' million-dollar-plus (nobody knows the full tally) windfall from a family pharmacy and, later in the day, his angry response at what he characterized as an attack from "leftists."

Let us entertain you

Lottery sales  begin Sunday night at a Murphy Oil station at Cantrell and Chenal (it wouldn't do to have the first sale pass through a pay drawer from an attendant behind bullet-proof glass at a ghetto convenience store).

Mike Ross: Touchy UPDATED

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is mighty touchy about the ProPublica reporting of his pharmacy windfall.

The line is open

Batter up.

Half Nielsen

We always hear about television ratings but very few of us actually understand how that information is collected.

Pill pusher

It’s no secret that U.S. Rep. Mike Ross and his pharmacist wife, Holly, owned a Prescott pharmacy that they sold to USA Drug. It’s also no secret that Ross has been a reliable friend of the pharmacy industry in Congress.

Smart Talk, Sept. 24

UCA President Allen Meadors recently sent an email to all faculty members instructing them on how to deal with the H1N1 flu, which has struck UCA along with other campuses.

A&E News, Sept. 24

The first single from Kris Allen’s forthcoming album is available for streaming on the blog.

More than mummies

It’s with relief and pleasure that I can report that you won’t regret for a minute the $22 you spend to see “World of the Pharaohs: Treasures of Egypt.”

Q&A with ...

In advance of his first ever tour stop in Little Rock, I spoke with John Legend on the phone last month about his new album, the state of R&B and Ohio State football.

Why Jerusalem matters

Israel and Palestine have been on the fringe of the American consciousness for half a century, but what most of us know and think about the bewildering moil of issues there can be distilled into four words: Muslims bad, Israel good.

What's Cooking, Sept. 24

Through Saturday, most all of the restaurants in downtown North Little Rock are participating in Restaurant Week in Argenta.

To-Do List, Sept. 24

Central High Symposium, Avett Brothers, Silversun Pickups, Cool Shoes Presents Treasure Fingers, John Legend, Taylor Swift, Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe and Dave Matthews Band are this week's top picks.

In Brief, Sept. 24

From the Catskills, the Felice Brothers play a rough-hewn folk-rock at Sticky Fingerz that’s earned them comparisons to the Band, 9:30 p.m., $10.

Words, Sept. 24

President Obama’s use of gin up has gotten people’s attention. Luckily, I’d just finished reading a discussion of gin up when Dan Limke stopped by and asked what I knew about the origin of the phrase.

The Observer, Sept. 24

A parent writes to The Observer:

Gun safety

Pike County Sheriff Preston Glenn’s safety dramatization (secretly taking a sawed-off shotgun into a Quorum Court meeting, Insider Sept. 10) might have been an eye opener, but it was also stupid and very dangerous.

That game was ugly

Everyone loves a shootout, but what a waste of bullets.

Dog days

Though we love a night out at the linen tablecloth kinda places with waiters, matching china and polished copper microbreweries stashed in the back, we’ve also got a soft spot in our heart for the little joints.

Bold program

In honor of the 52nd anniversary of the desegregation of Central High, Philander Smith, UALR and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site team to offer a two-day symposium, “Speaking the Truth on Social Issues and Politics in the 21st Century.”

Orval, Sept. 24

Sept. 16-22, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … GOV. MIKE BEEBE. Despite legislative pressure, he nixed a request to release money for a tunnel between the Capitol and new legislative offices in Big MAC.

Editorial cartoon, Sept. 24

Ahead of Mississippi

The state of Mississippi still allows insurance companies to consider “domestic abuse” as a pre-existing condition for which health insurance can be denied, according to the Jackson Free Press.

Lists

Opinion writing in this era of the short attention span is mostly an exercise in list-making.

Q&A with ...

In advance of his first ever tour stop in Little Rock, I spoke with John Legend on the phone last month about his new album, the state of R&B and Ohio State football.

This Modern World, Sept. 24

White-collar comedy

The camera during the opening credits of “The Informant!” dwells lovingly on images of reel-to-reel tapes spooling and unspooling, to the rising swell of a lounge-style orchestra.

Political meddling in public retirement

The biggest problem with public employee retirement systems has always been that they are vulnerable to legislative meddling.

That pricey tunnel

There’s been a bit of good stewardship practiced at the Capitol lately, if too late for some really big savings.

Lincoln talks bull

There was much the new chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee might have told the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, for the cattlemen’s own good and the nation’s.

CAW land to city

The city of Little Rock will use $625,000 from its recent bond refinancing to build soccer fields on land behind the Lake Maumelle dam.

Talk about a death panel

Read about a "safety net" hospital in Atlanta in court trying to close its dialysis unit to save money.

What's wrong with Dems?

The public gets it. Republicans are lying about the health care bill.

Ross: Limited hangout route

Roby Brock reports receipt of more information from U.S. Rep. Mike Ross relevant to the sale of his pharmacy.

Toasting Fall.

A week... a whole week to wait until the premiere wine tasting event of the fall... heck, the whole year.  The Heart Association's Festival of Wines is October 1st at Dickey-Stephens Ballpark.  The popular event pairs cuisine from dozens of area restaurants with more than 600 different wines to sample.

Toasting Fall.

A week... a whole week to wait until the premiere wine tasting event of the fall... heck, the whole year.  The Heart Association's Festival of Wines is October 1st at Dickey-Stephens Ballpark.  The popular event pairs cuisine from dozens of area restaurants with more than 600 different wines to sample.

Thursday and Friday To-Do: Central High Symposium

CENTRAL HIGH SYMPOSIUM8:30 a.m., Philander Smith College. Free.In honor of the 52nd anniversary of the desegregation of Central High, Philander Smith, UALR and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site team to offer a two-day symposium, “Speaking the Truth on Social Issues and Politics in the 21st Century.” That bold goal confronts on five topics — education, race relations, economics, politics and health and wellness.

Halloween weekend planning

With Silversun Pickups/Manchester Orchestra/Cage the Elephant, the Avett Bros., John Legend, Taylor Swift and the Dave Matthews Band headed our way in the next days, we're about to embark on the fullest, big-name short-run of concerts I can remember ever coming this way.

HOMOSEXUALS = SOCIALISTS!

  It seems every time I turn around there are all these socialist homosexuals!   I thought they were supposed to be just 5% of the country!

What's my excuse?

I spent the morning at Philander Smith College. I heard an engrossing talk by Kerry Kennedy, the human rights activist and daughter of Robert Kennedy.

Sweets for the campaign

Little Rock businesswoman Margaret McEntire (CEO of Candy Bouquet) will be campaign chair (not manager as I originally wrote) for Tim Griffin, the former Republican White House political hit man who hopes to win the Republican primary to oppose U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder.

Huck, yes!

Ongoing 2012 presidential polling continues to put Mike Huckabee at the top among Republican candidates, though still behind President Obama 48-41.

Ben Nichols is a muppet

"Darken My Door" by Alex Mecum. Lots of Lucero news to report:*The limited edition blue vinyl version of "1372 Overton Park" is available for sale on the band's website.

Ind. lottery cools

A sharp drop in Indiana lottery proceeds reported here. Why?

Thursday: The Felice Brothers, Cory Morrow, Suzi Parker and more

The Felice Brothers. From the Catskills, the Felice Brothers play a rough-hewn folk-rock at Sticky Fingerz that's earned them comparisons to the Band, 9:30 p.m., $10.

The digital court docket

The Arkansas Supreme Court today put out for comment proposed rules on electronic filing of court cases.

As the world turns

Jonesboro man, 50, accused of marrying his 22-year-old daughter. Fort Smith woman may have two separate pregnancies, newborns due weeks apart.

Calling Chip Hilton

Thanks to JW for a feel-good story from an Arkansas football field -- a tribute to a dead former teammate and opponent and a story of redemption for a talented athlete.

Arkansas Lottery on the web

The state lottery's website is up and flashing.

Candid camera

Fox 16 reports that a Little Rock cop is under investigation for trying to take a computer during a response to a burglar alarm at an appliance store.

Today's school news

The day's e-mail to LR School Board members includes: Assessments of two charter school proposals from Chris Heller, the district's attorney.

Over to you

The Thursday line.

Shortening the life line

A program to provide financial help for those seeking expensive treatment for AIDS and HIV has recently seen its income eligibility threshold slashed by more than half, leaving many of those who depend on the program scrambling for other options.

The best neighborhood party of the year

This weekend kicks off perhaps the biggest five-day run of concerts Central Arkansas has ever seen (get the lowdown from the To-Do List on the following page), but for cheap, low-key good times, HarvestFest in Hillcrest, returning for the 15th year on Saturday, is tough to beat.

Expansive folk

The Avett Brothers recent bumps, from an indie label to American/Columbia, from touring clubs in a van to traveling in a giant bus to play theaters, from self-producing to working with Rick Rubin, all go back to a novel philosophy for music industry success in these blog-addled times: winning over fans one at a time

Republican leadership UPDATE

How slow is it this morning? Slow enough to refer you to a thread over at The Arkansas Project about competition between Chase Dugger and Alice Stewart to be executive director of the Arkansas Republican Party.

The people get it

Noisy teabaggers, special interest lobbyists and the lobbyists' paid shills in the halls of Congress make a fearful noise.

Toe Tappin' & Tasty.

Head over to Wildwood Park for the Arts for an evening of food and music.  It's time for Boots, Bar-B-Q, Beer & Bluegrass, a special event being put on by the Arkansas Chamber Singers.  Dine on Whole Hog Cafe's World Champion BBQ and listen to old-time string band bluegrass music by Little Rock's own Downtown Divas and Trainwreck.  Special guest Micky Rigby will be joining in on mandolin.  A separate Diamond Bear Beer cash bar will be available.

Say what, Congressman Ross?

Marcus Stern/Pro Publica U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is quoted here as saying he sold his Prescott pharmacy to eliminate a conflict of interest.

Say what, Congressman Ross?

Marcus Stern/Pro Publica U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is quoted here as saying he sold his Prescott pharmacy to eliminate a conflict of interest.

Weekend O' Food.

Plenty of food-related action going down in Central Arkansas this weekend. Today and tomorrow it's WorldFest at the Clinton Presidential Center.  Food from around the world, performers from just about everywhere, exhibits, you name it.  Use it as an excuse to head downtown and walk to your favorite River Market Eatery.   For more information, contact us at (501) 244-5483.

The Capitol tunnel

An anonymous e-mail, purportedly from a state legislative staff member, argues for construction of the tunnel.

Why do spankees spank?

Maybe this is an answer to the question of why people who were whipped as children often think it's a good practice for their own kids.

That's no lady, etc.

Campaign mailer today from U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln: The national Republicans have put a target on my back and I expect one of the toughest campaigns in my life.

Friday To-Do: Cool Shoes Presents Treasure Fingers

COOL SHOES PRESENTS TREASURE FINGERS9 p.m., Downtown Music. $8-$10.After almost a year and a half, Cool Shoes has settled into a steady groove.

Friday To-Do: Silversun Pickups

SILVERSUN PICKUPS9 p.m., Revolution. $25.The L.A.-based quartet Silversun Pickups has left several prominent music critics drunk on descriptive adjectives.

Q&A: Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers

That's Bob Crawford on the right. In advance of the Avett Brothers' concert at Robinson Center on Friday, contributor Jonelle Doughty spoke to bassist Bob Crawford, the longtime brother-from-a-different-mother in the band, about working with Rick Rubin, confessional lyrics and the band's ascent.The biggest news in the Avett Brothers' world right now is your new relationship with American and Columbia and legendary producer and record exec Rick Rubin.

Friday To-Do: Avett Brothers

AVETT BROTHERS8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $26.Despite appearances, as Times' contributor Jonelle Doughty finds in her Q&A with the Avett's Bob Crawford (below), the Avett Brothers have not enjoyed a meteoric rise.

So you want to blog?

The Society of Professional Journalists has scheduled a "blogging academy" at the UALR Law School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Roy Blount looks away from Dixie

Humorist Roy Blount Jr. explains to the New York Times why he ended his regular column in the Oxford American after 15 years.

Roy Blount looks away from Dixie

Humorist Roy Blount Jr. explains to the New York Times why he ended his regular column in the Oxford American after 15 years.

Campho-Phenique!

Wikimedia Gov. Mike Beebe plans a trade mission to Europe, with stops in Paris, London and Hamburg.

Turk Plant: Keep building, PC&E says

The state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission this morning denied a request from the Sierra Club and Audubon Arkansas to stop construction on American Electric Power's coal-fired plant in Hempstead County during court appeals.

Blue Dogs waver on public option

Interesting political dynamics at work, according to Huffington Post. And Blue Dogs would probably be in the bag if they can jack Medicare rates up.

Change of Strategy

It looks like some big time oil and gas companies like Chesapeake and Range Resources are trying to hang their hydraulic fracturing service contractors out to dry.  That's the impression I get from this piece from Reuters.  Companies like Chesapeake produce natural gas but they don't actual get it out of the ground themselves.  They hire companies like Halliburton (yes, that Halliburton) to do it for them.  The chemical content of fracturing fluid has always been kept secret by these companies because, they claim, the formula for the fluid is proprietary information.  Now, probably because of backlash from environmentalists across the country, companies like Chesapeake and Range are calling on these companies to release information on what chemicals they're using.  The industry line is that these chemicals are harmless, but tell that to a farmer in Louisiana who lost 19 head of cattle because the cows drank some fracturing fluid near a well site.  Companies like Halliburton claim that 99 percent of the fluid is pure water, which may be true.  But if you're using 5 million gallons to frack a well, then that 1 percent is actually about 10,000 gallons of chemicals.  Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon said "We need to disclose the checmicals that we are using and search for alternatives to the checmicals we are using."  Now, why would you need to seek alternatives if the ones you were already using were harmless. 

GROOMING IS NEXT TO GODLINESS

Durango, Durango. Yours is not the first request I’ve received, as an internationally renowned stylist, to suggest makeover tips for Senator Blanche Lincoln.

GOP opposes motherhood

How can the Democrats be losing the battle when Republicans like Sen. Jon Kyl are arguing strenuously to be sure maternity care doesn't have to be covered by health insurance?

Weekend To-Do: Opening of 'World of Pharaohs'

Leslie Peacock offers a preview:It's with relief and pleasure that I can report that you won't regret for a minute the $22 you spend to see “World of the Pharaohs: Treasures of Egypt.” The Arkansas Arts Center's biggest show ever — in expense, prestige and sheer number of objects — opens Friday, Sept. 25.The strength of the show lies not in any one astonishing or celebrated object, like Tut's gold slippers, nor in an elaborate display a la the Wonders series of exhibits of the previous decade in the Memphis Pyramid.

The Weekend: Wanda Watson, E. Lynn Harris reading, Manhattan Short Film Fest, Wildwood Wine and Food Fest, more

E. Lynn Harris FRIDAY 9/25 Friends and fans of the late author E. Lynn Harris gather to read from his final book, “Mama Dearest,” at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 6 p.m., free; everyone's encouraged to wear Razorback attire (Harris loved the Hogs).

Contruction to Continue

From Max's post on this subject earlier: The state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission this morning denied a request from the Sierra Club and Audubon Arkansas to stop construction on American Electric Power's coal-fired plant in Hempstead County during court appeals.

Saturday To-Do: Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe

DIKKI DU AND THE ZYDECO KREWE9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern. $6.Now that Matt White's got a toehold in the Mississippi blues scene — Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm play often; T Model Ford played a rare show several months back — the White Water head man is setting his aim on another roots-music-rich border state.

Saturday To-Do: Taylor Swift

TAYLOR SWIFT7:30 p.m., Verizon Arena. $21.75-$51.25.If you've seen blips of the coverage of Kanye West behaving boorishly on an MTV awards show, you might be forgiven for lumping the lanky blonde he slighted with the ever-revolving cast of pop ingenues.

Q&A: John Legend

In advance of his first ever tour stop in Little Rock, I spoke with John Legend on the phone last month about his new album, the state of R&B and Ohio State football.Early in your career, you got pegged as a throwback.

Saturday To-Do: John Legend

JOHN LEGEND8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $232.It's a banner season for soul music fans.

Going after hotel taxes

The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission and Jefferson County have filed a lawsuit claiming that on-line hotel booking services (Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, etc.) are charging customers local sales taxes at the rate for which the room is rented, but remitting only taxes on the lower room charge the travel agencies have negotiated with hotel operators.

Saturday To-Do: HarvestFest in Hillcrest

Korto's crew. HARVESTFEST11 a.m., Kavanaugh between Spruce and Walnut.

What do you see?

This is hanging from a tree near Interstate 30's Exit 123 at Bryant. The Bryant Public Safety Department received a call about it and reported that it is a Halloween decoration.

Patsy Cline at SpeakEasy

This just in from the Rep: Jessica Welch, who plays Patsy Cline in the theater's jukebox musical "Always ...

It's Miller time

Over to you.

Last chance to see 'The Room'

The incomparable Tommy Wiseau. This is the last Saturday Market Street Cinema hosts the cult favorite "The Room."

Catching the chicken catchers

The U.S. attorney's office in Fort Smith has announced criminal complaints against five people and a motion to seize properties in several citiies in two states as part of a bust of contractors accused of hiring and transporting illegal aliens to work on chicken catching crews.

Grade school politics

Been watching cable? The wingnuts are going bonkers because a school in New Jersey (in video above) taught some kids to sing a little ditty praising Barack Obama.

Teen queen

Taylor Swift's reputation rests not on an over-sexed stage show, pre-programmed pop or a wild personal life. It's all about her skill as a songwriter. She wrote or co-wrote every song on her last album, “Fearless,” including one when she was 12. The album sold more than any other last year.

The problem with Mike Ross

The congressman's drug store sale isn't the issue. (And I've about concluded Ross is getting a slightly raw deal in press coverage of the details of that sale, in part because most reporters, including me, know from nothing about accounting, business valuation, tax assessment arcana, etc.) No, it's Ross' work for voters that's the problem.

We're a (fat) poster child

Letter to editor today in New York Times: Re “The Eeuww!

Ditch the tunnel

John Brummett beholds the proposed Wills-Faris Memorial Capitol Tunnel and finds it, among others, "supremely inane" and "tone deaf" and "ill-timed."

Complaint on Clinton School

John Lyon of Stephens Media reports on concerns expressed in an unsigned letter to University of Arkansas President Alan Sugg about the Clinton School of Public Service and leadership of Dean Skip Rutherford.

Complaint on Clinton School

John Lyon of Stephens Media reports on concerns expressed in an unsigned letter to University of Arkansas President Alan Sugg about the Clinton School of Public Service and leadership of Dean Skip Rutherford.

GOP watch UPDATE

Driving home from the SPJ blogging program, I noticed a number of cars outside Republican state headquarters.

Dose of my own medicine

Dang. I just discovered I've been Tweeted.

Avett Brothers, Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers

Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers hit the Robinson Center stage to a sparse crowd.

The evil men do, etc. ...

Analyst says the Wade Rathke family coverup damages ACORN still in responding to the video embarrassment.

GOP's favorite sons

NY Times reporting Sunday on some dissension in Republican ranks because Washington Repubs, such as the powerful National Republican Senatorial Committee, are picking favorites in 2010 races with contested primaries.

Saturday sorrows

Tiddlywinks anyone? You're on.

Avett Brothers at Robinson Center

Scott and Seth Avett. Photo by Bryan Clifton.

Dog days

Though we love a night out at the linen tablecloth kinda places with waiters, matching china and polished copper microbreweries stashed in the back, we've also got a soft spot in our heart for the little joints, like Bird Dog Barbecue.

Odds are ...

... the house will win when lottery tickets go on sale at midnight tonight. (No, I won't be staying up.

Another student lost

The NY Times Sunday magazine's closing essay this week is a sad one rooted in Arkansas.

In defense of Mike Ross

John Brummett sees U.S. Rep. Mike Ross as a victim of the politics of destruction in the uproar over his profitable sale of a pharmacy while he carries the chain drugstores' freight in Congress.

Taylor made for Verizon

Thanks to Nelson Chenault for a photo of Taylor Swift in concert at Verizon Arena last night.

If an Islamist said it, it would be labeled terrorism

Mike Huckabee continues to veer further into the crazy fringe of the Republican Party. Consider this report on his address to a right-wing nutjob conference in St. Louis.

Ross' outreach

Robert Johnston, who, as a Little Rock resident lives in the 2nd Congressional District, was surprised to find himself on the mailing list for a Hot Springs fund-raiser for U.S.Rep. Mike Ross, (?--Fourth District).  Robert says the invite says Bill Clinton will make an appearance for his former driver, Ross.

The long arm of the law

How about this? Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland for possible extraditon to U.S. on 31-year-old sex charge.

Open mic

Have at it. (But surely Bill Clinton's remark today on Meet the Press about the vast right wing conspiracy should stir someone up.)

Slowing the bleeding

The big picture of Arkansas's emerging trauma system, a statewide web of ERs and ambulances and doctors and nurses fashioned to save lives and improve outcomes for the injured, can be told in numbers.

Here come the socialists

John Brummett notes that Republicans have been rising of late in defense of Medicare, a sure-enough program of socialized medicine.

You can't pick very much Cotton

In the 2010 election, says Jason Tolbert. So much for mystery Republican candidate Tom Cotton.

Anybody rich yet?

John Lyon photo John Lyon was among the gaggle of reporters who observed the midnight hour at a WLR convenience store to watch Higher Ed Director Jim Purcell buy the first lottery ticket.

A (police) dog's life

The NLR Moose Lodge will give a check for $4,000 to the LRPD this morning to buy four bullet-proof vests for police dogs.

Trying To Bowl You Over.

I have tried really hard to like Genghis Grill. I mean, if you look at the concept, it seems pretty neat… you can have a bowl of just about anything you like for a flat rate -- as much as will fit into the bowl.

Missing in DOG's left-wing bashing

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has stood up editorially for poor U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, who made a milliion selling his family's Prescott drug store to a chain and who has been, coincidentally, honored for his work in Congress for chain drug stores. Agreed: the reporting on Ross' sale hasn't been good (by either defenders or detractors), in part because neither Ross nor the buyer has released full details.

Tightening up at UAMS

Memos are circulating at the UAMS about steps to control spending. Sounds like some open positions might not be filled.

Legislating, Ark. style

Could it possibly be constitutional to prohibit court appeals of PSC and PC&E decisions on power plants?

MADONNA TO MARRY JESUS? . . .

  It’s not what I thought either, thank god. Because THAT would’ve twisted human religious history into a Kabbalah-Catholic Mobius Strip bigger than “The DaVinci Code!”   But no.

Monday: River City Men's Chorus, Two Cow Garage

The 60-voice River City Men's Chorus offers the final performance of its season opening concert "Heroes!" a celebration of all the fit that bill.

Poor ol' Blanche

Funny given my discussion earlier about the orientation of Politico, unmentioned in the DOG diatribute about the left-wingers supposedly out to get Mike Ross.

Lottery: by the numbers

Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue held a press conference this afternoon with executives from Scientific Games and Intralot to update everyone on how the lottery was functioning in its first day of sales.  The answer: swimmingly.  Passailaigue said the start-up had been smooth, especially compared to the start-up of the South Carolina Lottery which he said was "a little more traumatic."  Here's a rundown on some lottery numbers.  250,000 - Dollar amount of payouts as of 2:00 this afternoon.  Passailaigue said that number is "changing by the minute."  A Pine Bluff woman came to the Little Rock claim center to cash a $1,000 winning ticket earlier today, the largest one-time winner so far.    50-60 - Number of retailers who, for one reason or another, decided not to sell tickets after all.

Crime in the city

Robbery of a shoestore on Kavanaugh today? Theft of shoes, not cash?

Falcon layoffs

Dassault Falcon is laying off 72 at its small jet completion facility in Little Rock and others may take early out options, Channel 4 reports.

Weird day

Maybe readers can give it a rousing finish.

GOP straw men

The Republican Party of Arkansas is planning a straw poll on the U.S. Senate race in December in Hot Springs.

Sleazy Mike Ross

This is what I get for cutting U.S. Rep. Mike Ross any slack on the infamous drug store deal.

Got to do some coachin'

Wendell Griffen calls my attenton to a potential new job for former UA basketball coach Nolan Richardson.

Dave

Who can touch the Dave Matthews Band? With the June release of “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King,” the band landed its fifth consecutive debut atop the Billboard charts. The 15-million-plus tickets sold over the course of an 18-year-career make DMB the highest-grossing American act ever.

Words and deeds

Brummett observes that a president, in this case Obama, has governed in ways at variance with campaign rhetoric.

Abortion and health care

An explanation of the abortion angle in the current health legislation debate. Opponents would prevent use of government subsidies to buy insurance if that policy covered abortion.

Late night school debate

Fox 16 stayed with the Pulaski County School Board meeting until 1:30 a.m. and the deciding 4-3 vote not to uphold the superintendent's recommended contract termination of Mills High Principal Michael Nellums.

Tuesday To-Do: Dave Matthews Band

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND7 p.m., Dickey-Stephens Park. $55-$65.Who can touch the Dave Matthews Band?

Jim Holt redux?

This link is from a news service operated by Religious Righter Donald Wildmon's anti-smut/gay/etc. organization, the American Family Association.

Mike Ross: Poster boy

Paul Barton in Washington talked recently to another advocate of cleaner government about the real problem with U.S. Rep. Mike Ross (D-Blue Cross).

Walton U. strikes again UPDATE

Just in time for a federal court hearing this week, the Walton U. School of Union Busting, Charter Schools and Lower School Taxes hit the front page of today's D-G with a "study" purporting to show charter schools actually promote desegregation in LR.

Double-dip watch

A blogger is suspicious about the retirement/rehirement of the Lincoln School District superintendent. Sorry, blogger, but I think this accountability story is over.

Top history teacher

I was happy to hear that Vicki Gonterman, a teacher at Gibbs elementary school in Little Rock, is the Arkansas History Teacher of the Year and will get $1,000 along with the honor.

Million-dollar day

The Arkansas lottery sold $1.2 million dollars worth of tickets the first day and paid out about $700,000 in winnings. The payoff, below 60 percent, isn't so hot for gamblers, but good for scholarship funds.

Parking scofflaw alert

Little Rock announces details of amnesty days for parking tickets. That means reduced fines for people who come in and settle up.

Who is ProPublica?

ProPublica, the nonprofit journalism enterprise, has been the subject of some hysterical commentary since it reported on U.S. Rep. Mike Ross' drugstore deal.

Blue Cross wins TWICE

As expected, the Senate Finance Committee defeated Sen. Jay Rockefeller's public option health coverage idea, 8-15.

One Day, One Community.

Lilly's DimSum Then Some is stepping out again for yet another good cause.  On Monday the 12th, the popular West Little Rock eatery will donate 15% of the day's profits to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Boozman bloviates

U.S. Rep. John Boozman, the 3rd District Republican, is nailed by The Iconoclast for appearing to take credit for federal funding he voted against.

Tuesday: Suckers, the Reds, Sideshow Tragedy

Suckers, naturally. Endorsed by Stereogum as a "band to watch," Brooklyn's Suckers come to Sticky Fingerz behind their self-titled EP, produced by Yeahsayer's Anand Wilder.

Tiresome

Today's tiresome twosome: 1) Republican candidates who criticize Sen. Blanche Lincoln for voting the way they prefer on health legislation -- just to please voters.

Double-dip watch II

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued an opinion in response to state Rep. Allen Kerr's effort to get into the records of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System to learn which county officials evaded the law by pulling a fake retirement in order to capture both retirement and continuing regular paychecks.

Blazing sanctuaries

Never mind double-dips. This one's simpler and more dangerous.

Leaving the building

Fall fell today. Nice afternoon for a stroll.

Ahead of Mississippi

The state of Mississippi still allows insurance companies to consider “domestic abuse” as a pre-existing condition for which health insurance can be denied, according to the Jackson Free Press. The newspaper added that the great majority of states prohibit this practice, and that Arkansas joined the majority in April.

Shortening the life line

A program to provide financial help for those seeking expensive treatment for AIDS and HIV has recently seen its income eligibility threshold slashed by more than half, leaving many of those who depend on the program scrambling for other options.

Tuesday tunes

Nelson Chenault provided the photo of Dave Matthews, in concert with band last night at Dickey-Stephens Park.

A cancer survivor's story

Dorinda Moran Fox is an Arkansas native who now lives in Florida. She blogs.

Just For Fun: Birthday Food.

The plethora of food-related offers in my inbox this morning ahead of my annual natal anniversary along with recent conversations with friends led me to wonder if anyone's interested in finding out what bountiful birthday offerings are out there for food lovers.  I find myself innundated with offers of free food, such as a shake from Arby's,  a scoop of ice cream from Baskin Robbins, a Nutter-Butter sundae from Logan's Steakhouse (location just opened in Conway), a free sandwich from Schlotzky's, all sorts of stuff.  And heck, my birthday's still half a week away.

Death by fire

View Larger Map LRPD officers responding to a 3 a.m. fire today at Dartmoor Drive and Mann Road found the body of a woman on fire.

More Than Pub Grub.

I've been watching with interest for the opening of Khalil's Pub and Grill, the eatery going into the spot left vacant by the closing of the venerable Julie's last year.  After all, with a name like Khalil's, no telling what sort of food they offer.

The bridge to 21st Century NLR

The Wall Street Journal reports -- weeks after it was reported locally -- that $2.5 million of the Arkansas governor's discretionary federal stimulus money will contribute to renovation of the old Rock Island bridge linking the Clinton Library site with North Little Rock.

OA music issue takes on AR

Beginning this year, the Oxford American's annual music issue will focus on the music of one Southern state each year, in addition to its typical coverage of Southern music broadly.

Even nutcakes have limits

Newsmax, the ultra-right-website for loons, has finally found a limit -- it has taken down the work of a contributor who talked of a military coup to "resolve the Obama problem."

Risking Arkie Princella Smith

Politico touts Arkansas native Princella Smith, now working for a Republican congressman, as a rising Republican PR star.

Wednesday: Corb Lund, experimental film, 'Always ... Patsy Cline' and more

Corb Lund. New West Records' Corb Lund (try saying that three times fast) plays literate, tuneful country at White Water, 9 p.m., $8.

Windstream job cuts

Windstream, the Little Rock-based phone company with operations in 16 states, said today it will cut 350 jobs by the end of the year. No details on locations of the jobs just yet.

Adios Saturn

GM says a deal to sell Saturn to Penske fell through and it will shut down the line.

ACORN cuts in Arkansas

ACORN woes have reached into Arkansas. KUAR's Michael Hibblen will go on the air in a few minutes with a report that ACORN is laying off five of its seven paid workers in Arkansas.

Legislator reports self

I'm open to correction, but this might be a first. A state legislator has reported her own ethical miscue.
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