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October 29, 2009

Vol 7 • No 42

Gossip in Little Rock

Even though it could probably fill a room three times as big, Gossip is playing Vino’s on Friday.

Hot Gossip

This is a story of a band born out of prejudice and will. Less grand things, too: church singing, boredom, riot grrrl feminism, outspokenness.

Who needs health care reform?

Roby Brock's new polling would lead you to believe there's no point in supporting health care reform in Arkansas.

An open line

This one's for you.

This Modern World, Oct. 29

Burger bliss at Bobby’s

This reviewer is a diner food freak, so it came as a little bit of a shock that we’d never heard of Bobby’s Cafe in North Little Rock until a few months ago.

Editorial Cartoon, Oct. 29

NLR revival tab: $10,000

The City of North Little Rock’s sponsorship of last weekend’s Christian event downtown, the two-day City Fest featuring evangelist Luis Palau, should cost the taxpayers around $10,000, commerce department head Joe Smith says.

In Brief, Oct. 29

Former members of Taking Back Sunday soldier on in Straylight Run, a Long Island-based emo-ish, indie-rock trio headlining at Revolution, with the Dangerous Summer and Mansions opening, 7 p.m., $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.

The Arkansas irony

In the historic eruption of insanity and ignorance that has been the public health-care debate of 2008-09, the most nonsensical idea that surfaced was that the world would end if the government ever got into the business of insuring something.

Blown away

I’ve suddenly run out of opinions.

Young Hog team takes its lumps

Here’s how smug I am: I laughed, bitterly, when Houston Nutt got the Gatorade treatment for beating an unranked team in midseason.

Crafting ideas

Sometimes a teapot doesn’t find its highest calling in life as a vessel for tea.

Orval, Oct. 29

Fog warning

We must be coming to a conclusion to the health care debate in Washington. How do I know this?

Pulitzer winner reveals nation’s debt

Douglas Blackmon grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in a small Mississippi town along the big river’s delta.

Words, Oct. 29

Angst for the memories: “Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said the Razorbacks had a ‘great’ practice and a lot of fun Wednesday. ‘Really fast-paced,’ he said. ‘Execution was really good. Very little angst.’ ”

Humanity restored

Arrogance and spite were hallmarks of the Bush administration, and these unattractive qualities were flagrantly displayed in the “war on drugs,” which, as we’ve noted before, is really a war on people.

Doc fest digested

Well, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way in case you hadn’t heard.

To-Do List, Oct. 29

Joe Nichols, Boo Bash, 8Ball and MJG with Hill Country Revue, Punkinhead and the Screaming Mimes, ACAC Halloween Cover-Up, the Moving Front / the Good Fear, 'Little House on the Prairie,' King's Singers and the Meat Puppets are this week's top picks.

What's Cooking, Oct. 29

Times’ readers, it’s time to have your say. You’ll find a ballot for our annual readers’ choice Restaurant Poll on page 13.

Smart Talk, Oct. 29

Some Fayetteville residents lobbied City Hall, unsuccessfully, to decree that Halloween be held on Friday, Oct. 30, rather than Oct. 31 so trick-or-treating wouldn’t conflict with Razorback football (it’s homecoming, with Eastern Michigan the expected treat for the Hogs).

Oct. 21-27, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … STATE-SPONSORED RELIGION. The cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock (particularly NLR) and the North Little Rock School District promoted and helped stage with public employees, facilities and equipment, a two-day Christian revival on North Little Rock’s riverfront.


One of the winners of our KISS essay contest offers a tale of innocence, innocence lost and betrayal. It'll get you in the mood for tonight's concert at Verizon Arena.

Company towns

The author of a new book on the impact of Wal-Mart on Bentonville claims she had offers for two appearances at libraries in Northwest Arkansas rescinded after library trustees expressed concern over how the book portrays Wal-Mart.

The Observer, Oct. 29

Piggott is a far piece from Little Rock — in fact The Observer has never been there that we can remember.


One of the winners of our KISS essay contest offers a tale of innocence, innocence lost and betrayal. It'll get you in the mood for tonight's concert at Verizon Arena.

What’s a liberal to do?

Until last weekend, I was inclined to dismiss liberals’ call to vote next year for a Green Party candidate or even a Republican as a protest vote of U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s wishy-washy moderation

In a corner

John Brummett analyzes the tactics of Sen. Harry Reid to include a public option in the senate health care bill, a move that is helping to paint Sen. Blanche Lincoln into a corner. 

Flu Q and A

Craig Gilliam, director of infection control at Arkansas Children's Hospital, will be answering questions about the H1N1 flu pandemic tonight, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., through the hospital's Facebook fan page.  Gilliam will also talk about flu shots and the hospital's new visitor policy.  Don't forget about the free mass vaccination clinics being held today at at the Jacksonville Community Center in Jacksonville (8 a.m. - 6 p.m.), the Church at Rock Creek in Little Rock (9 a.m. - 7 p.m.) and at Dickey-Stephens Ball Park in North Little Rock (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.).  

Uncommon cents

The opposite of progressive is regressive, right? So the Jackson (Steve) Stephens-engineered ad that paints a New York Republican candidate as "progressive" -- pro-gay, pro-stimulus -- in order to cost the candidate votes says a lot about today's ultra right.

You Ask, We Respond.

One astute reader responded to yesterday's Facebook lunch suggestion with one of his own.  Wes Holden suggested I check out Morrilton's Blue Diamond Drive-In, and since I was headed that general direction I decided to take him up on it.

You Ask, We Respond.

One astute reader responded to yesterday's Facebook lunch suggestion with one of his own.  Wes Holden suggested I check out Morrilton's Blue Diamond Drive-In, and since I was headed that general direction I decided to take him up on it.

On the media

Arkansas writer Gene Lyons has a terrific piece in Salon on the mainstream media's knee-jerk defense of Fox.

Put the deer gun down

Flooding along the Ouachita River has caused the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cancel the 2009 Modern Gun Quota Deer Hunts in the Felsenthal wildlife refuge.

Thursday To-Do: Joe Nichols

JOE NICHOLS7:30 p.m., Electric Cowboy. $15.Joe Nichols is coming home, new album in tow.

Put the candy bag down

Boo hoo! There will be no Boo at the Zoo tonight because of predicted heavy rains, the Zoo spokesperson just announced.

Thursday To-Do: KISS

KISS / BUCKCHERRY7:30 p.m., Verizon Arena, $19.50-$127.95.Glen Hooks, one of the winners of our KISS essay contest, offers a tale of innocence, innocence lost and betrayal.

Thursday: Straylight Run, Woody Pines, 'Rocky Horror' more

Former members of Taking Back Sunday soldier on in Straylight Run, a Long Island-based emo-ish, indie-rock trio headlining at Revolution, with the Dangerous Summer and Mansions opening, 7 p.m., $12 adv., $15 d.o.s. From Asheville, N.C., Woody Pines specializes in a cheeky brand of old-time at White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $5.

The scary seven

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee takes some shots at the potential challengers to Sen. Blanche Lincoln, or the "Arkansas Scary Seven."  The ad plays on some of the early campaign missteps of the GOP front-runners and labels Sen. Gilbert Baker the "craziest of all." 

I'd rather be golfing

Arkansas native Cliff Lee helped propel the Phillies past the Yankees (God, don't you just hate the Yankees?)

Taking out the trash?

Perhaps you saw the story in this morning's Democrat-Gazette (no link available) about the city of Little Rock possibly looking at privatizing the city's landfill. The article talks about the logistics involved, as well as some of the complications with putting out an RFP for such services (i.e. the landfill already has more than $14 million in debt). The article does mention the only other landfill currently operating in the city, the BFI landfill that, as you may remember, caused such a stink (literally) earlier this year that neighbors complained. The landfill was accepting drilling waste from natural gas drillers in the Fayetteville Shale.  The city passed an ordinance preventing BFI from doing so, but BFI sued and a circuit judge ruled that Little Rock did not have the authority to retroactively apply such an ordinance. You can read that opinion here.  What the article didn't mention is that BFI, who would more than likely bid on the city's RFP for the landfill, will probably seek damages from the city in a separate trial in May of 2010, around the same time their current facility is scheduled to close. One attorney for the landfill said the company lost $60,000 per day because of the ordinance. The city has not appealed the circuit court decision, but likely will if BFI decides to pursue damages.

More big-time rustling

Earlier in the week, it was Kotex. Now, a woman who lives near the Marion-Boone County line has reported to Boone County authorities that 28 head of cattle -- 23 calves and five cows -- are missing from her farm.

The weather

It's getting ugly out there.  Fox 16 is staying on top of things.  Kevin Kelly and David Goins are also sending out weather updates through Twitter.  How are things in your neck of the woods?

Lottery matters

KARK Channel 4 will be the Arkansas lottery's "draw partner" when Powerball drawings begin on Saturday.  The actual drawings take place in a studio in Orlando and will air each Wednesday and Saturday night at 9:59 p.m.  The lottery will host a celebration starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday to mark the first drawing.  Press release on the jump.

Crop killer

It's getting bad for Arkansas farmers.  The Farm Bureau announced today that crop conditions are deteriorating rapidly as heavy rains continue to fall.  “It’s a serious problem right now.

In case you didn't hear...

Nancy Pelosi officially unveiled the House Democrats' health care reform bill.  Republicans are bringing the usual attacks (raises taxes, creates too much bureaucracy, might kill you, etc.).  Consider this an open line. 

Gossip Girl

She's a superstar in the UK. She's big and brash and gifted with glass-shattering pipes. And she's from Judsonia. The irrepressible Beth Ditto and her band Gossip return to Arkansas to play Vino's tonight.

The daddy card

Following up on an item that Jason Tolbert posted yesterday about some in-fighting between the crop of Republican candidates trying to take on Rep. Vic Snyder.  Scott Wallace said he was the best candidate because his kids were grown, citing Snyder's just-born triplets and the new addition to Tim Griffin's family.  Wallace said he was a better candidate than Snyder because he didn't have any "Washington baggage," and a better candidate than Griffin because Griffin was a lawyer.  He also said David Meeks doesn't have a chance.  This could be a long primarly.

The farmer took the boll weevil...

U.S. agricultural officials are saying that one of the most expensive pests of all time, the boll weevil, has been all but wiped out.  Of the 9 million acres of cotton planted around the country, 98 percent were free of the pest.  The boll weevil has been completely wiped out in four states, Arkansas being one of them.  Now if we could just get rid of the rain. 


According to a new poll by Roby Brock at TalkBusiness, most Arkansans feel that the state's economy is headed headed for a downturn, even though a majority (57 percent) also think their personal situation is good.

Blanche, can you hear us now?

A Research 2000 poll says Arkansas Democrats support a public option in the health care plan by a huge margin.

It's time

Paul Krugman says it's time to take a stand on health care reform.  The bills up for debate aren't perfect, he says, but the proposals are much stronger than anyone could have expected and would lead to near universal coverage. 

Burglary arrests

Little Rock police arrested two men after a break-in at 7 Rivervalley and found property in their Crown Vic stolen in a previous burglary at 1405 N. Hughes.

Friday To-Do: Boo Bash

Something like this. BOO BASH8 p.m., Peabody Hotel.

Friday To-Do: Punkinhead - Screaming Mimes

PUNKINHEAD / THE SCREAMING MIMES9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.It's a dream come true for fans of mid-to-late-'90s local funk.

Friday To-Do: 8ball and MJG with Hill Country Revue

8BALL AND MJG WITH HILL COUNTRY REVUE8 p.m., Revolution. $15 adv.In an interview this summer, 8ball told me that live instrumentation would play a big part in the future of 8ball and MJG.

Pitched in battle

Arkansas-born pitchers are 2-0 so far in this year's World Series.  Yesterday we posted about Benton native Cliff Lee and his stellar performance in game one.  Last night, North Little Rock's own A.J. Burnett took the hill and helped the Yankees tie the series at 1-1.  Both teams will now head to Philadelphia for game three.  There's an interesting piece in today's New York Times about the two pitchers and their agent, Darek Braunecker, who is based in Little Rock.  Needless to say, Braunecker is having a pretty good series so far.

Friday To-Do: Gossip

GOSSIP8:30 p.m., Vino's. $20.Even though it could probably fill a room three times as big, Gossip is playing Vino's on Friday.

King elected president

In the little surprise here category: Bernice King, daughter of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has been elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Felling the Fourth Estate

Ozarks Unbound is keeping a running tally of who's gotten the axe in the merger of the Morning News and Northwest Arkansas Times.

Last Night: KISS

Dude. Photo by Aliceson Soto.

Treading water UPDATE

KARK caught this video of a woman and a child being rescued after her SUV headed into high-water on 7th street last night.  Dramatic stuff.  Both were okay.  Let this be a warning to you.   UPDATE: The Times has managed to get hold of Thomas Hudson, the young man seen in the KARK video heroically swimming out to rescue a mother and her young child from a submerged car on 7th street last night.

More preachin' in school

Last week, it was North Little Rock High School, which promoted a Christian event in that city with posters and banners on the east campus.

Happy Halloween

I know it's early but what the heck.  The wait staff at Iriana's in downtown Little Rock was feeling festive today.  Flo, the Progressive insurance saleswoman is Dawn Merrell.  Robin Hood is Kelly Schlachter.  Be safe when you're out there trick or treating.  I guess "stay dry" would be more appropriate as far as advice goes. 

Your tax dollars at work

Here's the kind of news you can expect the House Communications Office to churn out when the legislature isn't in session: The city dogcatcher fawns all over a state rep. for her decal law.

The Weekend: Rodney Block, Improv LR, the Gettys, Cody Belew and more

FRIDAY 10/30Local jazz standout Rodney Block blows his trumpet at the Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7."Rocky Horror" continues at Market Street, 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 p.m., $10. Improv Little Rock's Halloween Headlock wraps up at the Public Theater, 10 p.m., $8.And ride rides, trick or treat and check out the animals at Boo at the Zoo, 6 p.m., $5.


Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln contemplates bleak future, hard choices, in face of re-election campaign diagnosis.LINCOLN JOB PERFORMANCE PCCC POLL: Sen. Lincoln has 41% favorable, 49% unfavorable rating.

Saturday To-Do: ACAC Halloween Cover-Up

ACAC HALLOWEEN COVER-UP9 p.m., ACAC Space. $5-7.As in years past, the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative has assembled a wildly diverse slate of local folks to not just cover but fully impersonate iconic acts.

Saturday To-Do: The Moving Front - The Good Fear

Three of the Six Tom Petties. Dunno where the Heartbreaker is. THE MOVING FRONT/ THE GOOD FEAR10 p.m., White Water Tavern.

Free Candy: Scarier than a Lil Wayne birthday cake

Epic Mystery Train Halloween Mix Our very own A Boy Named Sooie digs deep to pull out this oddball assortment of frightening boogie woogie, blues, jazz and rockabilly tunes.

Preview: Gossip live

From the the Interface on You can also watch live versions of "Heavy Cross," "Love Long Distance," "Standing in the Way of Control" and "Pop Goes the World."

WH visitors list

The Obama administration posted a record of White House visitors today.  The beggining date for the list, as far as I can tell, is September 15 of this year.  Starting in December, the White House will release the records from the previous 90-120 days.  From the president's statement earlier today:

How much is it worth?

Central Arkansas Water announced today they will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4, to discuss a lease-purchase agreement with the Trust For Public Lands (TPL) concerning the Winrock Grass Farm in West Pulaski County.  The land, over 800 acres, sits in the Lake Maumelle watershed and protecting that land has been a top priority for Lake Maumelle advocates.  The grass farm is owned by a group of investors who bought it in a deal brokered by Jay DeHaven.  For some good background info on what the land is worth, read this story by Leslie Peacock.  The long and short of it is the land was appraised in April of this year for $5.4 million dollars.  CAW CEO Graham Rich will announce the particulars at a press conference on Monday, but said the agreement reached between TPL and DeHaven was somewhere close to $12 million (give or take $500,000) for 915 acres.

Over to you

It's been a pretty newsy day here.  Be sure to scroll down and catch our earlier blog posts.  There's David Koon's interview with the "7th Street Hero," (yeah, we just coined that), there's also stuff about baseball, layoffs, Bibles in schools and much, much more.  Have a good weekend.  Start it off right by leaving your comments here.

More Halloween

One of Rock Candy's favorite DJs writes in to tell us several things we didn't know.

Local band dress-up

On Halloween, a host of local bands try to embody the look and sound of a host of popular bands at two concerts in Little Rock. At White Water, the Good Fear (left) do Six Tom Pettys and the Heartbreaker.

A thousand cuts

Well, not really.  Sam Eifling reports that a couple of high-profile firms have dropped communication staffers.  Acxiom made an undetermined number of cuts and CJRW let two people go from their Dallas operation.  But another column by Eifling notes a peculiarity in the thought-to-be improved circulation numbers for the Las Vegas Review Journal, a Stephens-owned paper.  In the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations report, the paper actually gained 6.56 percent, a pretty rare accomplishment.  However:

Last night: Gossip doing "Four Letter Word"

Courtesy of the Times' Brian Chilson. The sounds a little blown-out, but you get the idea.

Good morning, people

Had some connection problems today with the blog, so getting a late start. But here's a piece of news that will interest walkers and bikers: The River Trail behind City Hall, by the Entergy substation, has caved into the river.

Rich yet?

Powerball tickets are (theoretically) on sale now (I'm not going to buy one). KARK, in a deal with the Lottery Commission, will broadcast the numbers tonight of the winner.

Ciao, chow

At least one reader asked for a vacation food shot. So here goes one grabbed quickly.


What a beautiful day!  Hope you enjoyed a little break in the rain.  Let's open it up to you now. 

Burger bliss at Bobby’s

Little North Little Rock diner offers up fine eats.

Opening it up

Here's a morning line for folks to compare success with powerball tickets (did anyone buy one for Max as he suggested in an earlier post?), the rout by the Razorbacks, where North Little Rock might make budget cuts to make up for big tax losses and reduced electric revenues.

GOP brothers at war

Frank Rich has a pretty good summary of the fratricidal GOP battle for an upstate New York congressional seat.

Whatcha got?

Not much doing around here.  Here's an open line for you.

Whatcha got?

Not much doing around here.  Here's an open line for you.

Company towns

The author of a new book on the impact of Wal-Mart on Bentonville claims she had offers for two appearances at libraries in Northwest Arkansas rescinded after library trustees expressed concern over how the book portrays Wal-Mart.

O sole mio

Nothing Arkansas about this except the eaters, pair of Arkies the only English speakers in a joyous Neapolitan restaurant filled with families enjoying a Sunday evening repast.

More pizza

I had time to check in on Eat Arkansas with another Neapolitan pizza report. Ciao.

Arkansas pitchers duel

After stellar outings in games one and two respectively, Arkansas natives Cliff Lee (right) and A.J. Burnett (left) will take the hill tonight in game five of the World Series.  The Phillies have to win it to stay alive.  Lee gives them a good shot after throwing a complete game in game one.  The Asbury Park Press delves into the Arkansas connection between the two pitchers. 


Paul Krugman notes again that while the stimulus is helping to stop some of the bleeding, it probably wasn't enough.  Many years of high unemployment could be ahead.

Insider trades

A venture capitalist in California who knew his firm’s deal to acquire Axciom was about to fall apart tipped off family and friends, who made more than $6 million off the insider trading.

Preachin' in school, settled 36 years ago

In response to our post last Friday about the Benton School District allowing the Gideons to visit fifth graders and talk about their work and leave Bibles behind, a blog reader sends along the ruling in a 1973 case in which U.S. District Judge Oren Harris ruled that the Cross County School District, in allowing the Gideons to visit the fifth grade, had violated the First Amendment by  promoting religion in school.

Preachin' in school, settled 36 years ago

In response to our post last Friday about the Benton School District allowing the Gideons to visit fifth graders and talk about their work and leave Bibles behind, a blog reader sends along the ruling in a 1973 case in which U.S. District Judge Oren Harris ruled that the Cross County School District, in allowing the Gideons to visit the fifth grade, had violated the First Amendment by  promoting religion in school.

New chancellor at UAMS

Dr. Dan Rahn is now the chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Huckabook tour

The former Arkansas governor sits down with TIME to talk about his new book of Christmas stories.  Huck says the book and subsequent 59-city tour have nothing to do with running for president.  Yeah, right.  In the Q&A, Huckabee talks about Palin leaving her governorship, Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize and the raging health care debate. 

Call for free medical care

The National Association of Free Clinics has set up a toll-free phone line for people who don't have health insurance to make an appointment at the Little Rock C.A.R.E. free medical clinic on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Coal for competitors

Walmart is trying to corner the toy market this Christmas by making 20 percent to 30 percent cuts in its prices for most popular toys and games.

Tax prep costing the poor

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Family released a report today that said ignorance of the federal earned income tax credit and triple-digit interest rapid refunds charged by tax return preparers are costing the state’s low income population $200 million a year.

You look better?

This joint "Where the Wild Things Are" entry took home the $1000 prize at the Peabody's Boo Bash on Friday.

Vance on trial UPDATE

Jury selection begins today in the trial of Curtis Vance.  Vance is accused of the rape and murder of KATV anchorwoman Anne Pressly.  David Koon will be on hand.  We'll have more on the trial as things develop.

How's your economy doing?

According to Business Week, the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metro area is ranked fourth overall in their listing of the "Forty Strongest U.S. Metro Economies." 

Take it away

Here's an open line for your commenting pleasure. 

Hold it!

Just got out of a public information session at Central Arkansas Water about its $12.4 million deal to buy Jay DeHaven's Canterbury Park dream, the Winrock Grass Farms property.


Joel DiPippa shares more Italian pizza fare: I've been on sabattical from my Eat Arkansas posts this year, but Max has inspired me to share.  From my family's Italian vacation to Puglia this summer, this is a 4 Seasons Pizza.  Each quarter has a different focus - Mushrooms, black olives, artichokes, and ham.

Prairie songs

Melissa Gilbert, famous for her star-making run as Laura Ingalls, comes to Little Rock in the new musical adaptation of "Little House on the Prairie."

On the up and up?

Michael Tilley of The City Wire reports that economic indicators for Arkansas show some positive signs althrough unemployment numbers may continue to rise.

Backing Baker

Sen. Gilbert Baker's campaign released a list of endorsements from state House and Senate Republicans.  Who's on the list?  Bryan King, Andrea Lea, Ed Garner and Beverly Pyle, among others.  Full list with press release on the jump.

Obama, Lincoln to meet

President Obama will meet up with Sen. Blanche Lincoln tonight in the Oval Office at 5:15.  I wonder what they're going to talk about?

Crushed by the weight

Lisa Leitz, an assistant professor of Sociology at Hendrix College and the wife of a U.S. Naval aviator currently deployed in Afghanistan, was interviewed on CNN this morning.  Her commentary on the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is posted here.  Leitz says the toll the war is taking on military families and the lack of progress being made should lead Pres.

Sweet and Spicy.

I gotta tell ya, I love cookbooks.  Must have a couple hundred of them -- ranging from Apicius (ancient Rome) to Le Menagier de Paris (14th Century French) to Cake Doctor to The Joy of Cooking and about every little church and school cookbook I've been able to get my hands on.  I've kept up with a battered dogeared copy of the early '80s St. Vincent Infirmary cookbook Cornerstone Cookery with care and respect, have two copies of the gigantic tome The Best Recipe (the original and the update that came out last year) and jealously guard my mostly complete Time Life collection of The Cuisine of... books.  I keep close tabs on my signed copy of Alton Brown's Feasting on Asphalt and my autographed copy of Big Kevin, Little Kevin.  I even have the Favre family cookbook and Penn & Teller's How to Play With Your Food and Dom DeLuise's Eat This, It'll Make You Feel Better.

Tuesday To-Do: King's Singers

KING'S SINGERS7:30 p.m. UCA Reynolds Performance Hall.

Talking trash

Property owners in the River Market District are looking at paying up to $72,000  a year for trash pickup now that the city is no longer footing the bill.

State revenues down UPDATE

The details of the general revenue report for October have been leaked here and there over the past couple of days.  No real surprises here.

Jimson weed warning

Fayetteville school officials are sending information to parents of students in 6-12 warning of the dangers of jimson weed after five students ingested the poisonous plant at school yesterday.


The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting that a total of 172,873 were given out at mass flu clinics across the state last week.  That's 148,961 doses of seasonal flue vacccine and 23,912 doses of H1N1 vaccine.  The clinics were very well-attended drawing huge crowds at Dickey-Stephens Park and backing up traffic for blocks.  Of course, the news release doesn't say how many people didn't get the shot.  According to the release, Dr. Paul Halverson, State Health Officer and Director of the Arkansas Department of Health said, “Because of the extreme shortage of H1N1 vaccine available, the ADH had to limit H1N1 vaccine availability at the Mass Flu Clinics to include children ages 6 months through 4 years, any child 5 to18 with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women.

Tuesday To-Do: 'Little House on the Prairie'

‘LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE'8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $20-$52.Since her star-making run as Laura Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie,” Melissa Gilbert has not always lived the good life.

Remember Act One?

The Arkansas Law Review and the University of Arkansas School of Law will host a symposium on the Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 12:15 to 2:00 p.m. in the UA lawschool courtroom.  Professor Mark Strasser of Capital University School of Law and Professor Lynn Wardle of Brigham Young University Law School will be on hand to speak about the constitutionality of Arkansas' Initiated Act One.  Representativse from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and the Family Council will also be there to speak. 

Where have all the recovery funds gone?

The Arkansas Office of Recovery and Investment released a report today detailing the ways the Recovery Act funds are being spent.  So far the state has been awarded $1,111,818,225 as of September 30.  Of that, $322,858,063 has been received and $112,597,585 has been spent.  2,633 jobs have been created or saved.  You can read the full report here.  According to the report, "The success of the Recovery Act cannot be measured solely in jobs saved or jobs created.  A stated goal of the Act was to help those who have suffered most during the economic downturn.  Through the course of implementing the Recovery Act, Arkansas's state government will remain committed to high standards of accountability and reporting until the last dollar is spent."    

Black workers prevail

A federal court jury agreed today with six black employees of Nucor in Blytheville that they were subjected to racist treatment, and awarded $200,000 to each.

One dead in police shooting

One man is dead after a police officer responded to a call near Geyer Springs Road in southwest Little Rock.  KTHV reports a man armed with a knife had cut himself and family members.  Two officers responded to the scene and, fearing the man was going to attack them, fired shots.  A press release from Lt. Terry Hastings, the public affairs officer for the Little Rock Police Department says the man who was killed was Landris Hawkins, a 28-year-old black male.  An investigation into the shooting is underway.   

Still no jury for Vance trial

Photo: Brian Chilson UPDATE II: Still no jury for the capital murder trial of Curtis Vance in the beating death of KATV anchor Anne Pressly, though three more jurors were seated today.

Nothing left to do...

but open it up for you.  Have at it. 

Trick or Tramp

All of my friends dress like hookers and chances are, yours do too. Halloween.

Off-week bullet points

Yeah, it wasn't technically an off week, but ... really?

Puppet revival

Who'd have thought, after a hiatus that stretched across much of the last decade, including at least a year when brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood didn't speak, that the Meat Puppets would be on such steady, productive ground these days? Tonight, they play Revolution.

Coming? GOP mid-term bounce

Republicans won back governor's seats in New Jersey and Virginia yesterday. An omen for a hellacious -- or hellish (depending on your political point of view) -- 2010 election cycle?

Baker by air

Sen. Gilbert Baker will go on a five-city media tour of Arkansas tomorrow to "offer his solutions on health care."  I would assume most of the day will be spent talking about how Sen. Blanche Lincoln is just a Washington-establishment, tax-and-spend liberal, that she's not like us conservative Arkansans.  What do you bet?

A Weekend For Lovers...

of food and wine.  Next week, Eureka Springs is hosting its annual Food and Wine Weekend - four days of fabulous wine pairings and meals offered by 18 different restaurants in the area.  Some are extravagant -- like The Grand Tavern's $95 meal that includes House Cured Gravlox with Caviar, Lemon Lavendar Salad, Grilled Veal with a Fois Gras and Truffle Demiglas and Vol au Vent stuffed with Grand Marnier cream and strawberries.  Some are very reasonable, like Casa Colina's Tamale and Dry Aged Ribeye meal for $55.  There's even an incredible $395 per couple dinner being served at The Crescent Hotel that includes beef tenderloin, lobster tail, and wines that made my husband gasp such as a 1944 Royal Oporto Port and Grand Marnier 150 (I know, not a wine but I love Grand Marnier).

Feeling lucky?

Arkansas's first Powerball drawing will be tonight.  You can watch the drawing tonight on KARK Channel 4 at 10:00 p.m.  Drawings will be on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Tonight's jackpot is $66 million.

Clinton, Bush to debate UPDATE

The Huffington Post reports that former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will debate at Radio City Music Hall in February.  The debate is part of a series that pairs liberal and conservative thinkers and is called "Minds That Move The World."  Tickets, which go on sale Sunday, are $60 - $1,250.

A "Hero's" press release

Thomas Hudson, the Little Rock man who helped fire fighters rescue a woman and child from a submerged vehicle after heavy rains in Little Rock last week, issued this release.  In it, he questions the use of the term "hero" to describe him and calls on others to help out in their communities.

Another police shooting

In addition to yesterday's fatal shooting of the southwest Little Rock man who police said was threatening his grandmother with a knife was a second, but non-fatal, shooting incident, over a half pound of marijuana.

Budget cuts at AHD

Because of declining state revenues, the state Health Department is cutting money that would have been spent on the trauma system's emergency services, salary for trauma system staffers, the Arkansas Community Health Centers and charitable clinics.

Rendition convictions

In the first trial to be brought challenging the practice of extraordinary rendition, an Italian judge has convicted 23 Americans, 22 of them CIA agents, in the kidnap of suspected terrorist Mustafa Osama Nasr (Abu Omar).

Wednesday To-Do: Meat Puppets

THE MEAT PUPPETS8:30 p.m., Revolution. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.Almost two years to the day since they last came to town, the Meat Puppets are back.

Water board OKs land buy

Central Arkansas Water commissioners voted this morning to approve a lease-purchase agreement of 917 acres, the Winrock Grass Farms property owned by Jay DeHaven and investors, for between $3.4 million and $7.4 million.

Vance trial, day 3 UPDATE

UPDATE: Opening statements got underway at about 2:05 p.m.  Prosecuting attorney Larry Jegley began by giving a very detailed description of the horrific nature of the crime, describing the crime scene.  He said an emergency room physician would later testify to the extent of Pressly's injuries.  Jegley said the first doctor to see Pressly initially thought she was a redhead (she was blonde), and that her face had been very badly beaten. The prosecution also told the jury they would hear from a medical examiner who would testify Pressly was struck 13 hard blows, and died from craniocerebral trauma.

Beebe: still popular

Roby Brock at Talk Business notes recent poll results showing a bit of a slip in the popularity numbers for Gov. Mike Beebe.  The governor saw a slip in his approval ratings, all the way down to 71 percent.  His favorable rating in July was 77.    

Charters and desegregation

Chris Heller, the attorney for the Little Rock School District who has told federal court that open-enrollment charter schools are threatening desegregation efforts in Pulaski County, today provided school board members and the superintendent with data his office has collected supporting his position.