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The case for cannabis

The case for cannabis

October 6, 2016

Vol 43 • No 5

Read the print version

The case for cannabis in Arkansas

A vote for medical marijuana this November is the right prescription for Arkansas. Real patients tell you why.

Arkansas's ballot questions

A guide to the measures facing Arkansas voters in 2016.

Arkansas Times Whole Hog Roast 2016 preview

Make plans to attend on Oct. 23.

Instagram famous

A survey of people from Arkansas who're famous only on Instagram.

No charges in the Walker arrest

Also, Leslie Rutledge stumps for Trump, judge on LRSD takeover and more.

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival celebrates 25 years

Also, Grassroots Radio Conference at Low Key Arts; the Arkansas State Fair; Books, Bourbon and Boogie at the Oxford American; "Rad" on the River at the First Security Amphitheater, momandpop at the Children's Library and Arkansas Times Presents "Persepolis" at Riverdale 10.

Show your Pride

Annual Central Arkansas festival and parade keeps growing.

Clinton's millennial challenge

Millennials remain relatively disengaged in the voting process this year, suggesting turnout will be low.

So many provocations...

Another bad week demands a Worst Of listing.

Leslie on The Donald

Slater Jr. and Deshon

High-class ciao

Haute Italian done right in Fayetteville.

White House sex

Illicit sex has invaded the White House since Tom Jefferson's days and sometimes also the public aspects of presidential elections, but Donald Trump threatens to make sex the central issue of a presidential election

Amanda Shires plays Stickyz

Also, Bob Newhart comes to Oaklawn.

Cheez Whiz and lye

Mr. Sniffles' ardent fans often attempt a diversionary tactic to deflect each and every criticism of their much-prayed-for sweet potato.

Old Gray Lady rides again

There was a reunion of Arkansas Gazette employees last Saturday night, nearly 25 years to the day it was shut down.

On to Alabama

With War Memorial Stadium's mystique and alleged efficacy dying by the year, it was at least comforting to watch Arkansas finally devour a purported cupcake there. Bret Bielema boosted his Little Rock record to 2-3, with those two wins coming against Football Championship Subdivision schools, after the Hogs pummeled Alcorn State 52-10 on Saturday.

No need to panic

Two weeks ago, a woman from New Jersey approached me in The Spaniard, a pub and restaurant in Kinsale, Ireland.

Death in Texarkana jail. Was it 'natural'?

Huffington Post has written a gruesome story, with video, about a jail death in Texarkana.

National Anthem protest stirs Bauxite

Channel 4 has been following a National Anthem protest episode in Bauxite, where a mother complained that her son was knocked over by a football teammate for kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem at the pep rally.

Asa pushing for discrimination-light in response to 'bathroom bill.' It's still discrimination.

John Brummett reports that Gov. Asa Hutchinson wishes the legislature wouldn't pass a "bathroom bill" to discriiate against transgender people. That wish falls far short of a belief in equal rights for LGBT people, however.

UCA prepares for presidential transition; a prosecutor might be a candidate

The University of Central Arkansas is moving toward selecting a new president and the talk about that job now includes a potential application from the prosecuting attorney in Faulkner County.

Hutchinson names three to circuit court vacancies, one to prosecutor

Gov. Asa Hutchinson today named four lawyers to fill three circuit judgeships and a prosecutor's office vacant because existing officeholders were elected to new offices.

Save the turkeys! A backlash to Yellville turkey drop

My post about the barbaric practice of dropping terrified turkeys from an airplane at 500 feet — apparently the only thing that can get a crowd to visit Yellville, Ark. — has gone as viral as avian flu through the passionate animal protection community.

Thursday's open line and the daily news roundup

Here's the Thursday open line and the daily roundup of news and comment.

A minority of states persist with corporal punishment; Arkansas remains a leader

Education Week, in a special report on corporal punishment, notes that it persists in a declining minority of the states — 21. But, as ever, they include Arkansas, which, along with other Southern states, is a leader in physically punishing children.

Arkansan on President Obama's latest commutation list

President Obama issued today 102 more commutations of people serving federal prison sentences, many on drug charges. One of them was convicted in Arkansas.

"March: Book Three" up for National Book Award

Little Rock native Nate Powell is up for a National Book Award for his work on "March: Book Three," the final installment in a trilogy depicting Congressman John Lewis' role in the civil rights movement.

Doug Martin confirms purchase of Helmich property on Kavanaugh

A Stephens Inc. executive is behind the purchase of the venerable Helmich garage at Kavanaugrh and Beechwood in Hillcrest. For now, he has no redevelopment plans.

Clawback lawsuits begin in Turner Grain bankruptcy case

As Turner Grain approached the financial brink in 2014, the Brinkley grain merchant made millions of dollars of payments on a debt it didn't owe — but that another company associated with its owners did. The purpose, the bankruptcy trustee's complaint alleges, was to "hinder, delay or defraud creditors of Turner Grain."

Save the turkeys! Animal lovers fight back

Will they or won't they drop terrified turkeys out of an airplane over Yellville at the Turkey Trot festival this year. Animal rights activists worldwide are waging a lobbying campaign to stop it and there's evidence it's getting results. Or at least embarrassment.

Supreme Court merit selection proposal in legislative hands

The Arkansas Bar Association's effort to craft a proposed constitutional amendment for so-called "merit selection" rather than election of members of the Arkansas Supreme Court has produced a draft now in the hands of the Bureau of Legislative Research.

Attorney general pork barrel benefits UALR small business clinic

The UALR Bowen School of Law has received $1 million from the Arkansas attorney general's office to create a "business innovation clinic."

Tom Cotton campaigns for Tom Cotton in Iowa

The Wall Street Journal notes that U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is appearing at some Republican fund-raising dinners in Iowa, but not campaigning for Donald Trump.

Gunner Pool cleanup scheduled for Oct. 15, volunteers needed.

The U.S. Forest Service is looking for volunteers to assist in an Oct. 15 effort to make sure the vandals' spray can devotion no longer mars one of the state's classic swimming holes.

TGIF: An open line and the day's video

Here's today's open line and the daily video roundup.

Hiland confirms interest in UCA presidency

Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland confirmed to me today that he had sent an expression of interest to the search firm roundup up candidates to be the next president of the University of Central Arkansas.

Arguments continue in case over nursing home award reduction

The attorney for Fort Smith nursing home owner Michael Morton filed several motions in court today to support a motion for exclusion of certain evidence and his motion for a summary judgement in the suit over Judge Mike Maggio's reduction of a $5.2 million jury verdict against a Morton nursing home in Greenbrier to $1 million.

As the Election Turns: Russia accused of election hacking; Trump caught on tape talking about groping women

Is Russia trying to hack the U.S. presidential election? Our government thinks so. But wait, there's bigger news — a wildly lewd tape in which Donald Trump talks about groping women.

The Turkey Drop Edition

Arkansas legislators’ plans to put us in the national spotlight again for the wrong reasons, animal cruelty, Leslie Rutledge and more — all covered on this week's podcast.

Jury gives life sentence in kidnapping and slaying of 90-year-old woman

A jury in Craighead County has sentenced Richard Jordan Tarver to life in prison without parole for the July 3, 2015 abduction and slaying of Lavinda Counce, 90, of Bay.

Trump issues an apology of sorts — with another Bill Clinton asterisk

Donald Trump issued another weaseling apology last night. Whatever he's done, the Clintons are worse. Arkansas Republican officials were noticeably silent on the latest from the Trump show.

Turkeys drop, one dies in Yellville. Another proud day for Arkansas

Turkey terrorism continues in Yellville, with domesticated turkeys tossed from an airplane at 500 feet to the thrill of the crowd. Dana Woods, the Mountain View pharmacist who leads the practice, is unrepentant in the face of an outpouring of criticism from animal lovers.

More complaints about Arkansas legislator's disaster cleanup company

Republican Rep. Dave Walace's disaster cleanup business is again causing negative headlines for its work in cleanup efforts in Louisiana.

Pumpkins, scarecrows and corn must be October!

Grab the family, head to the pumpkin patch and spend the day. But in the Arkansas Delta, our pumpkin patches also feature corn mazes, live animals, and more!

The post-Trump world. It's changed journalism forever.

If you doubt Donald Trump has changed politics and journalism in the United States, I turn your attention to the front page of the New York Times.

Arkansas: Land of .......

Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.

Open line: Arkansas Republican leaders stand firm for Trump

The Arkansas team of top Republican officials appears to be standing firm with Donald Trump. A roundup of quotable.

Caryl Simon's 'You're So Vain' employed against Trump

For the first time, Carly Simon has allowed the use of her "You're So Vain" in a political ad.

Popeye's trying again to break onto West Markham

A Popeye's restaurant franchisee is continuing an effort to break into the West Markham Street strip near UAMS.

Breaking: The Huckster speaks on Donald Trump

The Huckster is heard from on the Donald Trump tape. He's still not as bad as Hillary, says the father of a Trump employee.

Cops arrest unhappy Hog fan after Alabama defeat

At least one Hog fan didn't take the Razorbacks' loss to Alabama philosophically last night.

Turkey terrorism continues in Yellville: UPDATE another turkey death on Saturday

Fox 16's Mitch McCoy reports that live domesticated turkeys were again dropped from an airplane over the Yellville Turkey Trot festival Saturday.

The Meet me in St. Louis open line

The open line is ready for your live blogging on tonight's presidential debate.

A desperate Trump goes nuclear: He will scorch earth with Arkansas scandals of yore

Any notion that Donald Trump would demonstrate a new person tonight? Forget about it. He's had a pre-debate news conference with women who've alleged inappropriate advances dating back almost four decades against Bill Clinton — including Arkansans Juanita Broadrick and Paula Jones.

Four weeks and one debate to go with Hillary in the lead

CNN's poll post-debate last night said Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump, 57-34, a comfortable margin if not as wide as the first debate. But, after all, what difference does it make.

Down @ The Corner, breakfast is a treat

Biscuits, poutine and thoughts of happy pigs inform a visit to @ The Corner.

Arkansas Supreme Court splits with bar on lawyer ceremony

I reported last week on the draft of an Arkansas Bar Association committee's proposal to choose members of the Arkansas Supreme Court by appointment rather than election.

Green Day and Against Me! at Verizon Arena March 8

Green Day stops at Verizon Arena March 8 on a tour in support of a new album, "Revolution Radio," with Against Me!.

Destruction alert for Broadway Bridge

KARK reports that the steel arches of the old Broadway Bridge will be imploded — or destroyed by controlled explosion — at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Fort Smith spirits maker adds rum line to serve Walmart

Pernod Ricard, which makes spirits at a plant in Fort Smith, said today it would expand the plant to bottle Malibu Rum sold to Walmart stores.

Trump messes with Warren Buffett, loses

Donald Trump invoked Warren Buffett's name in defending himself during Sunday's debate for his income tax practices. Big mistake.

Substitute judge in Sherwood hot check cases declines to recuse; allegedly said that he hoped civil suit would fail

Lawyers helping represent the named plaintiffs in the civil rights lawsuit failed against Sherwood over the way they fleece hot check defendants appeared in court this morning to ask a substitute judge to recuse himself, with an attorney for plaintiffs claiming Hamilton made comments praising Sherwood District Court Judge Milas "Butch" Hale III and said he hoped the civil suit would fail.

Monday: An open line and video report

Here's the Monday open line, plus a video roundup.

Tom Cotton, positioning for 2020, still backs Trump

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton informed Politico that he's staying a supporter of Donald Trump.

100 years of women's shoes at Esse

The exhibition "A Walk in Her Shoes" will take visitors on a stroll through 100 years of women's footwear, from laceups to platforms to stilletos, when it opens Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Esse Purse Museum, 1510 Main St.

Legislators discouraged from seeking new execution method

Though the Arkansas three-drug execution procedure has passed court muster, some Arkansas legislators are apparently interested in looking into some backup killing methods in case supplies of the drugs run low.

CALS begins telescope lending program today

CALS launches its new telescope lending program today, offering Orion Starblast telescopes for patrons to check out.

UPDATE: Two dead in Hot Springs crash during State Police chase of speeder

Channel 4 reports, quoting Hot Springs police, said that two people were killed in a Hot Springs crash Monday night that stemmed from a police chase.

Yellville's annual shame: PETA has dead bird to demonstrate cruelty

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Bill Bowden reported today that a woman who scooped a turkey killed after being thrown from an airplane Friday over the Yellville Turkey Trot was a volunteer for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. This and other complaints will linger after a year in which two of 10 turkeys pitched from planes died in the fall.

UA faculty member apologizes for cursing football coach

The University of Arkansas faculty member who was arrested after cursing Hog football coach Bret Bielema following the Razorbacks' loss has apologized for his actions.

Tom Cotton gets a follower in Iowa

Dave Weigel of the Washington Post Tweeted last night that he was in eastern Iowa last night "where I will be following Tom Cotton on the #2020 primary trail."

Molly Miller suspends race for Little Rock City Board

Molly Miller, a promising candidate for Little Rock City Board against long-time incumbent at-large director Joan Adcock, distributed a statement last night saying she was suspending her campaign because of mental illness.

From Russia with Love: Trump's agitprop prep

Astonishing story. How Donald Trump was prepped for a campaign speech with bogus material from a Russian propaganda outlet.

David Pryor suffers stroke

David Pryor, the former governor and U.S. senator, has suffered a stroke and is recovering following surgery, the University of Arkansas announced in a news release.

Casino backers claim economic boost from more gambling

Arkansas Wins, the committee hoping to pass a proposed constitutional amendment (Issue 5) to allow casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties, released a report they commissioned today that says the casinos would be an economic boon.

Cotton gets funny in Iowa

A Tweet from Dave Weigel, accompanying Sens. Tom Cotton and Chuck Grassley to town hall meetings (something Cotton is loathe to attend in Arkansas)

The Unexpected Mural Project in Fort Smith

Fort Smith hosts mural festival second year in a row

Tuesday's open line, plus the daily video

Tuesday's open line, plus the daily video.

UPDATE: Five hours late, the Broadway Bridge finally falls

UPDATE: Shortly before 3 p.m., the weakened Broadway Bridge's central arches finally collapsed into the Arkansas River, abou five hours later than planed.

Arkansas's foster care surge due to 'questionable removals' of kids, DHS consultant finds

Hornby Zeller Associates found that "the increase in foster care is due largely to two factors: DCFS removing more children [from their homes] immediately upon investigation and the courts ordering removals against the recommendations of the agency."

Faulkner clerk gets slap on the wrist for dishonesty; she's running again

The Faulkner County clerk gets a slap on the wrist for intentionally falsifying public records. The Republican, Margaret Darter, is allowed to run for office again under the deal she struck.

Enough with the paternalism on Trump's sexual assault comments

Enough with the men — particularly Arkansans in Congress — who invoke their female relatives when they deplore Donald Trump's sexist remarks. Consider it in context of their votes on women's issues and the paternalism implicit in such responses.

Fresh and fantastic Laotian cuisine at Vientiane

Danville might just have the best Laotian food in Arkansas.

Against corporate welfare? Vote NO on Issue 3

Hate taxpayer giveaways to private companies and corporate lobbyists? Vote NO on Issue 3. Ernest Dumas explains why.

Children's groups oppose marijuana measures UPDATE

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and the Arkansas chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics have announced, with  a somewhat apologetic tone, opposition to both medical marijuana proposals on the November ballot.

Good Food Guide lists 13 in Arkansas

The third Good Food Org Guide — a project of the James Beard Foundation and Food Tank — includes 10 Arkansas organizations among 1,000 food-related entities nationwide recognized for exceptional work  in food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice.

Work proceeds on clearing bridge debris from Arkansas River

Will the contractors for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department meet a 24-hour deadline from the implosion of the Broadway Bridge yesterday afternnon to clear the Arkansas River navigation channel? And what if they don't?

Swing voting in the race for president

538 has mapped the potential for voter swings county-by-county in the presidential election from 2012, with non-college-educated whites moving to Donald Trump and college-educated whites and non-whites going to Hillary Clinton. Changes modest in Arkansas, generally, except for heavily Republican Benton County.

Desperation for the Hogs

Losing to Alabama is no great sin. Watching approximately three-quarters of the players involved look helpless and  hopeless, however, may well be.

Eldridge and Boozman finally meet on AETN

Democrat Conner Eldridge finally got his one debate with Republican U.S. Senator John Boozman today on AETN (along with Libertarian Frank Gilbert) and it was mostly an hour of well-worn talking points.

Location selected for 10 Commandments monument on Capitol grounds, Baphomet monument still undecided

A meeting of a subcommittee of the Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission was held today, with the three-member group asking questions about materials and construction of the 10 Commandments Monument and the Baphomet statue proposed by The Satanic Temple. A proposed site was selected for the 10 Commandments Monument, but an official with the Church of Satan, after being told their monument couldn't be placed directly beside the 10 Commandments monument as they had requested in their proposal, will be allowed to select their preferred site at a later date.

Wednesday: An open line and the daily news roundup

Here's the Wednesday open line and today's video.

French Hill does the Hillary Pivot

The 2nd Congressional District debate demonstrates again the Hillary Pivot, a new dance in which Republican candidates avoid questions about Donald Trump;s misogyny but talking about Hillary Clinton.

Arkansas State Fair food report

Kat Robinson's Tie Dye Travels has a complete report on the all the food that will be fried, smoked, baked, chopped and otherwise assembled on the midway of the Arkansas State Fair, which opens Friday in Little Rock.

Blow this in the wind: Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for literature and the news sets off an unending loop of unforgettable lyrics, in my case particularly from the 1960s and 1970s, though his creativity continues.

Proposal surfaces for University Avenue redevelopment

A friend in the real estate community shares a proposal from SHOP Companies, a Dallas developer, for redevelopment of the former Sears shopping center on University Avenue.

Governor plans China trade mission: questions for news conference

Gov  Asa Hutchinson will talk to reporters later this morning about a trade mission to China, and other matters. It would be a good time to ask him about continuing support for Donald Trump — with four additional allegations of sexual groping appearing overnight against the Family Values Party candidate.

UPDATE: Broadway Bridge wreckage appears cleared

No official word yet, but the steel arch wreckage left in the Arkansas River navigation channel after the demolition of a portion of the Broadway Bridge Tuesday appears to have been cleared.

Arkansas Supreme Court kills amendments on new casinos, tort reform and approves medical marijuana amendment

The Arkansas Supreme Court today invalidated proposed constitutional amendments to legalize more casinos in Arkansas and to place a limit on nursing home damage suits. It cleared a medical marijuana amendment for the ballot.

How to do the Arkansas State Fair with children

Arkansas's biggest annual event is back with more to see and do than ever. Here's how to have a great time without losing your head.

Party discipline, Republican style

Call out the vigilantes. A right-wing radio talk show host has discovered that a member of the Republican governor's staff has given a campaign contribution to A DEMOCRAT!

Governor outlines China trip, continues to defend Donald Trump

Gov. Asa Hutchinson talked about a trade trip to China today, but reporters' questions were about other things, particularly Donald Trump. He's still the governor's pick.

Rooms in Robinson Auditorium to be named after nine Arkansas artists

Nine Arkansas artists and patrons will have their namesakes adorning rooms in the new Robinson Auditorium in honor of their contributions to the state's arts culture.

Michelle Obama gives emotional speech denouncing Trump's treatment of women

"A candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women." — Michelle Obama. Strong stuff in a speech by the first lady of the United States.

LR school chief talks of budget cuts and need for vote to extend bonded debt

Michael Poore, superintendent of the state-controlled Little Rock School District, outlined for the state Board of Education today possible ways to cut another $15 million in district spending next year as the district prepares for loss of state desegregation support.

Pryor family provides optimistic outlook on former senator

Through a family friend, I've gotten an update on retired Sen. David Pryor, 82, who has been hospitalized at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville since suffering a stroke Monday. The outlook is optimistic.

Thursday's open line and the daily video

Here's the open line and the day's video roundup.

UCA releases names of eight to be interviewed for presidency

The University of Central Arkansas today released the names of  eight people who'll be interviewed by the search committee working to find a successor to President Tom Courtway, who has announced plans to step down next year.

Elevate your lunch break at South on Main

Simple, creative and never boring, whether for lunch or dinner.

Hot Springs Village Discovery Center opens in Hot Springs

A new avenue to learn about the community of Hot Springs Village has recently opened in Hot Springs.

Conway's Bai Tong Thai is a solid option for tasty Thai

Bad news is, there's only one option in Conway for those looking to Thai one on. But the good news is good indeed: the food is solid.

New music from Goon des Garcons, Tan the Terrible and Cool Chris

Goon des Garcons returns from a tour of New Zealand with a video souvenir, "Okahune Freestyle."

Snag-a-Salad is solid despite some absent ingredients

Despite a few differences between menu descriptions and finished products, this Conway eatery is still worth a look.

Logoly State Park dedicates new visitors center

Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.