When parents fail their children, relatives often want to step up. But Kimberlee Herring and Karisa Hardy say the system shut them out, and instead placed three kids into a home where they were abused.
Blood BiasOctober 29, 2015
Vol 42 • No 8
Ghost Hunting 101.
The Observer's friend Mr. Photographer got over to Dyess a while back to shoot some pictures of the restored childhood home of the late singer Johnny Cash. It's a beaut now, restored back to the way it looked when the Cash family first moved in during the darkest days of the Great Depression, complete with period furnishings inside.
From the preview write-up of Leon Russell (To-Do List, Oct. 22), who graced our city with a visit last week, you wouldn't know the author was talking about one of the great rock 'n' roll musical talents. Whatever one thinks of Russell's voice or "style," or "the '70s," for that matter, the man deserves more respect.
The Interstate 30 bridge may need to be replaced. The south and north terminal interchanges could use improvement. But the city doesn't need a wider Berlin Wall between east and west in our city.
Michael Fassbender stars in "Steve Jobs."
It's difficult to categorize the kind of catharsis that Arkansas rightly earned Saturday in its four-overtime, 54-46 win over Auburn, but that's what we'll endeavor to do here.
Brookings Institution economists have taken a fresh look at the effect that tax cuts for high earners have on economic growth and jobs, 35 years after Jude Wanniski and Arthur Laffer persuaded Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp that it would be nothing short of spectacular.
South American restaurant needs tweaks.
Also, Hillary stands tall, state Supreme Court stays executions, unsportsmanlike conduct from Elkins' football coach, same-sex marriage equals marriage and more.
ABC's news magazine's hour on the 'rehoming' scandal leaves out half the facts.
Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series on our Rock Candy blog in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying lately. This edition is all about Halloween.
Also, Tulsa Music Showcase at South on Main.
Also, Rick Springfield at Reynolds Performance Hall, 'Gone with the Wind' at Ron Robinson, 5th Annual World Cheese Dip Championship at Bernice Garden, Halloween, Dia De 'Lost' Muertos at Lost Forty and Babes in Toyland at Juanita's.
State Treasurer Dennis Milligan has entered a $450,000 contract with a Washington firm to provide on-line financial education to elementary school children. One question: Can he do that?
KARK reports that the Batesville police department is spending $57,000 to arm the force with fully automatic rifles.
Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz stood out in the Republican debate last night on CNBC, particularly Rubio with his putdown of Jeb Bush when Bush challenged him on his absenteeism from Senate votes.
Gossip from the gym: New clues emerge that Judge John Dan Kemp will challenge Justice Courtney Goodson to be chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Also, some potent arguments emerge against the I-30 widening project, including racial discrimination. The state Highway Department has been clueless.
There's more than just juice at I Love Juice Bar. Spring rolls, salads and soups round out a healthy menu full of local goodies and delicious flavors.
Nonpartisan groups interested in money spent in judicial elections says the 2014 Supreme Court race in which dark money helped elect Justice Robin Wynne to the Arkansas Supreme Court over Tim Cullen was the first since 2000 in which outside money went into TV ads.
Four people are reported dead in the crash of a small plane on Crow Mountain in Russellville, KTHV is reporting. It apparently crashed into the yard of a home after taking off from the local airport.
Dorothy Hall Dorothy Hall kicked off her campaign today for Arkansas House of Representatives District 10.
Highway Department Scott Bennett, who seems to be a prickly sort who really doesn't like Little Rock, judging by his weekend Twitter posts and today's quoted remarks
The Arkansas Supreme Court today agreed with the state Education Department that it was immune from lawsuit over the takeover of the Little Rock School District.
Lake Village held a public hearing last night to change the name of Confederate Street to Sgt. Thomas Armour Jr. Street. for a Lake Village resident who lost his legs while serving in the Army in Vietnam. As with similar debates in Little Rock and elsewhere, the idea has drawn opposition.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Baptist Health, St. Bernards Healthcare, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Washington Regional Medical System announced today that they have formed a "shared services organization," named The Partnership for a Healthy Arkansas.
Today's open line and video roundup, plus investigation of a child's death in Hampton and El Dorado city government promoting religion on its Facebook pages, despite complaints.
The U.S. Senate voted 64-35 early this morning to approve a budget bill that avoided a government default.
Republican presidential candidates are plotting ways to make the televised debates more to their liking. Here's a model for a new direction: The Benghazi hearing.
A retired Iowa engineer says a nearly identical project in Des Moines shows a better way to proceed on the proposed Interstate 30 project in Little Rock.
Here's one of those on-the-other-hand stories as another breast cancer awareness month comes to a close, a mid a rising tide of "pink" corporate strategies as well as the big races for the cure and other activities.
Dia de Los Muertos Beer and Bicycle Event is Sunday, November 1st from 2-5:30 at Lost 40.
If you build more roads, more cars will come and thus congestion won't be eliminated by widening freeways. Students of I-30 plans, take note.
In Missouri, a court says a person legally can be harassed at work for being gay. Arkansas law is no different, even if a court hasnj't ruled on a specific case yet.
Michael Warrick, professor of sculpture at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the creator of several public sculptures in Little Rock, and Louisiana sculptor Aaron Hussey have been commissioned to create a piece commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. The work, "Straight Lines on a Round World," will be 20 feet tall and installed in front of the Statehouse Convention Center.
LaTonya Austin, a Little Rock lawyer, said today that she intends to challenge incumbent Circuit Judge Alice Gray for the 12th Division seat Gray has held since 1993.
The federal Health and Human Services Department released today a report on cost and choices in the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace. More choices and more tax credits will be available next year.
The Friday open line, video roundup and news of a change of location Saturday for the World Cheese Dip Championship.
Baptist Health and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub announced a project today to encourage development of startup companies that focus on heatlh care.
So here's a Halloween thing to do: Listen to an Arkansas Tech University professor of psychology talk about the smell of death! Ilan Shrira was a guest on NPR's "Science Friday" today, talking about putrescine, a compound found in decaying corpses. You know you want to hear it, so go to their website and hear him talk about his experiments on campus. (Guess what he discovered! People run from the smell of death of rotting corpses!)
A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction in behalf of a Lee County woman who experienced a nightmarish attempt to get certified for Medicaid by the state Human Services Department.
Jennings was a beloved figure at the college, where he had taught since 1992. He was 60.
The escalation of pushback against the state Highway and Transportation department’s plan to expand I-30 in downtown Little Rock, the third Republican presidential debate, "20/20’s" coverage of the Justin Harris rehoming scandal and Treasurer Dennis Milligan getting into the education business — all covered on this week's podcast.
The Little Rock City Board will meet two places Tuesday night — at 5 p.m. at City Hall for the normal meeting and then at 7 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center to hear Arkansas Highway Director Scott Bennett discuss the controversial plan to expand Interstate 30 through Little Rock. We offer some additional questions.
The Arkansas Republican Party has a fund-raising rally at 6 p.m. Monday for a headquarters expansion project that will include an appearance by former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be there, too.
A reminder: The World Cheese Dip Championship is still on today from noon to 3 p.m., but under roof in the River Market east pavilion. See you there.
Cool interactive map from the folks at New York Times Upshot blog tracking the uninsured rate since the enactment of Obamacare. The maps show the uninsured rate by county in 2013, then 2014 and 2015 after the major coverage provisions of the health care law were enacted (the darker purple equals higher uninsured rates). It offers a stark picture of how far we've come and how far we still have to go, particularly in the South, where most states have refused to expand Medicaid. Guess who's an extreme outlier in Dixie?
Darrell Brown, a Little Rock lawyer, has died. He is most famous, probably, as a walk-on Razorback football player in 1965. That made him the first black Razorback, a rough experience
The open line includes a report from the Cheese Dip Championship.
Move Arkansas, a blog devoted to planning issues, notes that the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department failed to win $200 million it had sought for the Interstate 30 project in the federal Tiger funding for transportation projects.
A new study suggests on-line charter school students don't do as well as students in conventional brick-and-mortar schools. Arkansas has been moving aggressively to more on-line charter schools, so be aware.
Sunday open line and news of a Halloween night crash that killed four young women.
Conduit for Action, a conservative political organization that hopes to oust several Republican legislators who voted for the private option expansion of Medicaid, claims to have a scrap of information about the ongoing federal investigation of public corruption that has so far produced guilty pleas from one former judge and one former legislator.
The Health Reform Legislative Task Force consultant flagged more than 40,000 Medicaid beneficiaries with a record of an out-of-state address. But many of these may actually be in-state residents who are eligible for the program. There is no evidence at this point that the Stephen Group uncovered an unusually high number of ineligible beneficiaries. Their Medicaid scrub offered ready-made headlines, but it's unclear whether it has any value for the state in developing cost-effective strategies for program integrity.
Political filing began today at the state Capitol with presidential Mike Huckabee among the first in line.
The World Cheese Dip Championship didn't let a little rain keep them down.
Martha Shoffner, the former Arkansas treasurer, was supposed to report by 2 p.m. today to a federal prison in Fort Worth to begin a 30-month sentence for taking cash from a securities salesman to whom she'd steered state investment business. AP reports.
Just a few days after Halloween: the Brasher and Rowe Monster Manual. To truly understand a monster, you have to empathize with it. You have to, like Roky Erickson said, “Walk with a zombie,” and not merely away from it. So prepare for an article that is an emotional journey, replete with disturbing references and all the juvenile hostility you crave.
Here's the Monday open line and daily video roundup of news and comment.
The board of the Little Rock Port Authority today adopted what it called its first comprehensive strategic growth plan, devised by Boyette Strategic Advisors. Coincidentally, we've also learned of progress on a memorandum of understanding with the Quapaw Tribe about land it has acquired near the port.
The Little Rock Technology Park Authority board voted this afternoon to offer Richard Mays $845,000, the sum his appraiser reached for his building at 415 Main St., while concurrently preparing to file a condemnation lawsuit. Mays has until noon Nov. 16 to agree to the offer; otherwise, the board will proceeds with a lawsuit.
A delay has been requested in government review of the Keystone pipeline route, apparently in hopes a coming presidential administration will be friendlier. Meanwhile, it's worth a review of the hypocrisy of Arkansas politicians on the project.
A libel suit that arose from 2010 Benton newspaper coverage of a Republican Senate primary race between Dan Greenberg and ultimate winner, Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, has ended in dismissal of Greenberg's lawsuit.
Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., has named the brick walk beneath its historic colonnade for Warren Stephens of Little Rock, CEO of Stephens Inc., in honor of the family's contribution of some $25 million to the university.
MoveArkansas, a blog that focuses on urban planning and design, has raised questions about the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's cost-benefit analysis for the $600 ion Interstate 30 expansion project through downtown Little Rock.
Another national poll, this one by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, puts Ben Carson at the top of the Repulbican presidential field with 29 percent support to Donald Trump's 23. Then comes Marco Rubio at 11, Ted Cruz at 10 and Jeb Bush at 8. Mike Huckawho?
The state tax revenue report for October continues to show income higher than last year and the forecast.
The State Police say David Houser, 50, of Scott has been charged with falsely claiming he was shot Oct. 24 while working as an England police officer.
The design for Central Arkansas Water's $3 million Trailhead Complex on Highway 10, a project to reforest the former Winrock Grass Farm to help protect the Lake Maumelle watershed, has won a 2015 American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
A long bubbling dispute in Pope County has turned into a lawsuit that could have some political implications for a current state senator.
The governor tries to bamboozle us.
The St. Joseph Center is holding their fall harvest festival Nov. 7, and you're all invited.
A private plane made a crash landing on M.L. King Boulevard in Fayetteville today near Fayetteville High School. Three people were injured, none seriously, according to news reports. The pilot was former Walmart CEO Bill Simon.
Mike Huckabee and other Republican candidates have been showing off their gun skills lately on Iowa pheasant hunts. But were these truly hunts, or canned shots?
State Rep. Mary Bentley of Perryville made a veiled threat about Game and Fish Commission funding to a wildlife officer who accompanied a Forest Service officer talking to Bentley's husband, Ted, about violation of rules on baiting wildlife and ATV use in the Ouachita National Forest.
We first wrote about Graham Gordy's forthcoming Cinemax show "Quarry" in April 2013 — shooting was set to begin that summer, and the Times noted, "2013 might just turn out to be Graham Gordy's year." As it turned out, things took a little longer than we predicted, but now that production has wrapped (as of August) and a teaser trailer has arrived, I think we can say with even greater confidence: 2016 might just turn out to be Graham Gordy's year.
The open line, today's video and news of sexual assault charges against a former employee of a Little Rock private school.
Since I got a date wrong in this item when I posted it previously, here goes again! Boswell Mourot Fine Art is hosting an opening reception tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 3) for its new exhibit of charcoals by Trevor Bennett, "Drawing Value." The reception is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Federal Judge Leon Holmes today ruled for the Sierra Club in its suit to require a haze reduction plan for Arkansas. He ordered a final notice of rulemaking by Aug. 31.
Representatives of city uniformed and non-uniformed employees were emphatic before the City Board tonight that the city should abandon the health plan offered by the Arkansas Municipal League and go with United Healthcare, and that is exactly what the board voted to do. A consultant to the city had recommended the city drop the Municipal League.
A freeway hearing in Little Rock, a new Republican governor in Kentucky and voting in Houston on a city civil rights ordinance make for a newsy Tuesday night.
Neighborhood voices are speaking up about ill consequences, unintended or not, on the $600 million plan for the Interstate 30 corridor through Little Rock.
State Rep. Mary Bentley isn't responding to other media that have raised questions about her making threats to a Game and Fish Commission wildlife officer who was with a Forest Service officer at her home in an investigation of wildlife and national forest regulation violations by her husband Ted.
Could newly elected anti-Obamcare governor in Kentucky follow the lead of Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas?
Matt Bevin, Kentucky's newly elected governor, ran against Obamacare and has threatened to dismantle the state's popular Medicaid expansion. But lately he has started to hedge, and now he's talking about seeking a Medicaid waiver to reform the program. Sound familiar?
A little devilment found in judicial pay raises in Arkansas.
Mississippi voters Tuesday turned down a proposal to give court review of inadequate legislative spending on education. Ominous.
The 2015 Arkansas Cornbread Festival is coming up.
Here's news of another report on student achievement that shows that, when you consider demographic factors, schools are not as bad as many want you to think.
The 2015 Arkansas Poll depicts a state worried about the economy, though happy with the direction the state is taking and uniformly conservative on politics and social issues, though they do like medical marijuana.
The state Highway and Transportation Department is all ears, it told the City Board last night at its special hearing at the Clinton Presidential Center, attended by around 300 people by my rough estimate. All options will be considered. But, they insist, the only option that does what they want it to do — that is, cure congestion, enhance safety, be functional, which they describe as "needs" — is the 10-lane design, which Connection Arkansas Program head and Garver engineer Jerry Holder amazingly described as not really 10 lanes. It's just six — plus four collector-distributor lanes. Got that?
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has moved another Republican regular into a top state position. John Parke, who's been an officer in his family's Little Rock printing business and made a couple of unsuccessful races for legislature, has been named to lead the Department of Human Services'
It's the time of year again when we solicit suggestions for our annual Big Ideas issue. As in year's past, we're searching for specific, potentially transformative suggestions for making Arkansas a better place to live. We're open to practical, wacky and everything in between. Also, this year we're devoting a section of the issue to ideas to make the child welfare system work better.
A look at some of the best Asian dishes in town, from sushi to dumplings and more.
A poll finds growing support for medical marijuana in Arkansas and, as it happens, a medical marijuana constitutional amendment is in the works.
Special Circuit Judge Sam Bird heard arguments today in Matt Campbell's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit attempting to force the Hot Springs police to turn over tapes of 911 calls about the death of 18-month-old Thomas Naramore, who died of heat-related causes in July. No decision today
Just 50 days until Christmas, y'all. And what better way to treat yourself to a from-me-to-me present or find a stocking stuffer for your loved ones than by buying some Arkansas Times goods? We've just launched a new online store, Catfish & Co. Our early selection is limited — many more T-shirts and apparel coming soon — but nonetheless filled with treasure. Like the vintage George Fisher T-shirt we found a hidden stock of in storage (available as a button, too!).
To eliminate congestion!
Gov. Asa Hutchinson apparently said explicitly today that he favored revenue neutrality in any plan to pay for road construction. That is, any increases in taxes for highways must be offset by spending cuts somewhere else. So who suffers?
Here's the Wednesday open line and today's video roundup.
The Energy Department has issued an environmental impact statement supportive of the Clean Line project to transpot wind-generated industry across several states including Arkansas.
Jim McKenzie, executive director of Metroplan, presented a couple of graphics to Metroplan's Regional Planning Advisory Council today that show impacts of widened highways. He said that highway departments, present only the first order of impacts: You widen the road, you reduce delay, and because that reduces stop and go traffic, drivers save money.Compared to doing nothing, the first order looks bad: If you accept congestion on your roads, you increase delays and cost of operating vehicles.