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November 21, 2013

Vol 40 • No 12

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A late-night video, a donut-shop confab, and how the Republican primary for treasurer got weird

The Republican primary race for state treasurer between Rep. Duncan Baird (R-Lowell) and Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan has taken a turn for the bizarre.

Texas law restricting abortion remains in place for now

A divided Supreme Court yesterday allowed Texas to continue enforcing laws restricting abortion. The case is still on appeal at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and will likely end up back at the Supreme Court once a ruling has been made there.

Reading, launch party for new book by poet Justin Booth Dec. 1 at Vino's

We've written from time to time about Justin Booth, a formerly-homeless poet who lived on the streets of Little Rock for five years after descending into a hell of drug addiction.

Weather Service predicts 'wintry mix' for NW Arkansas, possibly Central Ark. this weekend, into Monday

The National Weather Service in Little Rock just issued a forecast which calls for heavy rains Thursday which will turn into a "wintry mix" of freezing rain, sleet and snow as a cold front moves through late Friday.

Human Rights Campaign scores cities on LGBT friendliness; Arkansas cities rate low

The Human Rights Campaign yesterday released the second annual edition of their Municipal Equality Index, which measures cities and towns on the basis of how inclusive their laws and policies are of LGBT people.

Tyson Foods ends contract with pig farm after abuse film aired

Animal rights group says Walmart hasn't responded.

Nate Bell endorses Duncan Baird in GOP primary for treasurer

Okay, not the most exciting news, but Rep. Nate Bell's endorsement of Rep. Duncan Baird, running for the GOP treasurer nomination against Dennis "Krispy Kreme Creeper" Milligan, is pretty great: 

Police investigating two bank robberies, same suspect in both

Little Rock Police Department and the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office are investigating two bank robberies that happened within less than thirty minutes of each other in Little Rock.

Vote in our annual Readers Choice poll

And talk in our open line.

Oh fun, another Mike Ross committee vote for Republicans to obsess over

Based on the furiously repetitive trumpeting of this story today on social media among a few GOP politicos, some Republicans seem to have decided that they have a smoking gun in a 2009 committee vote of Mike Ross, then a Congressman from the Fourth District.

Friday and Saturday To-Do: Steve Kimock and Friends

Steve Kimock performs Friday and Saturday at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville.

It was a good week for a school settlement

It was also a good week for Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Circuit Judge Jay Moody, gunning for votes and buying votes in North Little and the Arkansas Razorbacks. It was a bad week for Pulaski County Jail.

A Fertle Family Holiday jingles into Argenta

Putting the fun in dysfunctional.

A monumental school settlement in Central Arkansas

The state of Arkansas has been in court for three decades over its role in contributing to segregation in Pulaski County's three public school districts. It has spent more than $1 billion in reparations as a result of a 1989 agreement.

Drink local

I have been picking up on a lot of enthusiasm for local sourcing from the Arkansas Times. Getting food from local farms, using local products, etc. I love the enthusiasm as I myself love supporting local farms and restaurants. However, there is a big lack of people putting their money where their mouth is, or in this case, their local product where their mouth is.

Suds and curry

The Observer hates doing laundry. We always have. Even as a small child, The Observer operated on the "Can Get Another Day of Wear by Adding Cologne" method of laundry control, and that was when we had ready access to washing powders, limitless hot water, and our own washer and dryer.

Primary colors

The color and unpredictability created by the human element in party primaries have been on vibrant display around the country in recent weeks.

Argenta Film Series hosts 'Smokey and the Bandit'

Also, Steve Howell and the Mighty Men at the Afterthought, Steve Kimock and Friends at George's Majestic, Arkansas v. Mississippi State at War Memorial, Moscow Ballet's 'Great Russian Nutcracker' at Robinson, The Sword at Downtown Music and The Revolutioners at Stickyz.

Ha Ha Tonka returns to Stickyz

Also, Matt Stell and Deep Roots at Revolution.

Let's talk about Razorback basketball

So long as we've still got our sanity after two rip-roaring fun months of nonstop losing on the football field, let's concentrate on another Razorback program that has set off on the right foot at 3-0, but has a far better prognosis ahead for more short- and long-term prosperity.

WWII for kids

'Book Thief' is probably not for you.

Obamacare will help people, not politicians

It was predictable that the rollout of the new insurance markets under Obamacare would be troubled, maybe even nightmarish. In fact, that was exactly what was predicted when Republicans first proposed mandatory market-oriented insurance — 40 years ago in the case of employer-sponsored insurance and 25 years ago in the case of an individual mandate.


Rep. John Walker, attorney for the Joshua Intervenors, and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel embrace Monday night.

UA cozy with D-G columnist

An interesting element of the ongoing story of budget problems in the University of Arkansas Advancement Division has been a divide in outlook in the pages of the state's dominant news medium, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Remembering Catcher, Ark: 90 years after the race riot

The Catcher community lies in the rich bottomland just southeast of Van Buren in western Arkansas, not that far from Hollis Lake, an old oxbow left behind when the Arkansas River changed course long ago. Like that lake, the violent events that happened at Catcher 90 years ago have also been largely left behind by the mainstream of state and local history, though there is a growing movement to tell the story of how the black community was forced, en masse, to abandon their homes and flee for their lives, never to return.

The Inquizator: Steve Barnes talks Fulbright, how to dress well and the strangest political gossip he's ever heard

Steve Barnes is surely the most familiar face in Arkansas political news.

Federal report: Exxon put off repairs, ignored data

Pipeline agency orders Pegasus plan overhaul.

Lyons: Fix the website and ACA succeeds

Bad news for CLNN, the Chicken Little News Network, that is, just about all of them lately: In states which have set up their own Affordable Care Act marketplaces, enrollment is proceeding apace.

Anatolia faces stiff competition

New Mediterranean restaurant needs work.

A bag of brittle from Juanita's Candy Kitchen in Arkadelphia

Ms. Juanita’s picture still hangs proudly on the candy shop’s wall. She began making brittle in 1974—producing the candy in a small building behind her home and traveling around the state to sell it out of her car. No matter how you make this happen, if you’re a believer in brittle, I can’t recommend this candy enough.

Friday: Cruz Way, 'A Fertle Holiday' and more

Cruz Way performs at Juanita's Friday.

Arkansas's Overman gets a wedding day assist from Trump

The New York Post's Page Six blog reports that Brett Overman, the Arkansas-born founder and CEO of the country's largest post-disaster cleanup and restoration company, National Disaster Solutions, looked to be in for a disaster of his own last Saturday after a storm knocked out power during his lavish Florida wedding. 

Food drive in River Market today; coat and clothing drive ongoing

Several folks from the local music community have initiatives going to help the needy this holiday season. Today, DJ, party promoter, bartender, man-about-town Mike Brown has partnered with the River Market, the Little Rock Air Force Base and the Arkansas Foodbank to host "Give to Get."

Johnson-Mumford on 'breaking into the big bad art world!'

Susan Johnson-Mumford, the London art consultant who organized the "Crossing Borders" inaugural art exhibit at the Oxford American earlier in the year, is giving a talk at her alma mater, Hendrix  College, tonight on the art business.

Replica solitary confinement cell, doc screening, panel discussion tonight at Philander

Little Rock's Philander Smith College will host an event tonight that includes a screening of a documentary about the cruelty of solitary confinement in prisons, a panel discussion featuring Arkansas Times contributor Mara Leveritt, and the public unveiling of a life-sized replica of a solitary confinement cell.

Ikea supplier coming to Morrilton

Vinh Long, a Vietnam-based manufacturer that supplies to furniture and cabinets to Ikea and other retailers, will spend $5 million to convert an existing factory in Morrilton to suit its needs. The company said today it plans to hire 75 workers.

Poster, trailer released for 'Devil's Knot'

The poster and trailer (trailer seen above, poster below) have been released for the film version of Mara Leveritt's book "Devil's Knot."

Boom! Reid opts for 'nuclear' option, passes rule change on judicial, executive nominations

The rule change takes away the right for the minority party to filibuster judicial or executive nominations, save Supreme Court nominees.

Sarah Palin is in Arkansas and there are still politicians excited to have their picture made with her

Political nonentity Sarah Palin is in Fayetteville today signing her latest book, "Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas" at Sam's Club.

French Hill a 'young gun'; GOP opponents disarmed

NRCC says French Hill has moved up to "on the radar."

How Walmart could pay workers a better wage

Walmart has been taking a bit of a p.r. hit over the wages it pays employees after an Ohio branch of the retail giant held a food drive for its own workers, who were unable to afford groceries for Thanksgiving.

Arkansas connections to the JFK assassination and its aftermath

A number of people with Arkansas connections played roles in events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Arkansas Supreme Court overturns blanket ban on cohabitation in custody cases, easing visitation rules for gay parent

The Arkansas Supreme Court today ended the "blanket ban" on unmarried cohabitation in child-custody cases. 

Tiger mom, at the LR Zoo

Suhana, a Malayan tiger at the Little Rock Zoo, has give birth to four cubs, the zoo announced today.

LRPD unveils new 'crime camera' network

The Little Rock Police Department today showed off their network of 53 surveillance cameras and monitoring station, which can watch and record locations all over Little Rock in real-time.

The cougars are coming for you open line

Via National Geographic. 

Hearing on school settlement case in morning

Federal Judge Marshall to give preliminary ruling on settlement Friday morning.

Clinton School December speakers include "Days of Fire" and "Double Down" writers

The Clinton School today released its schedule of December speakers, which includes some big names for political junkies.

Some very nice red beans & rice at The Oyster Bar

Typically the words “all you can eat” should have you turning tail and finding somewhere else to spend your money. But that’s not always the case, as I recently discovered this week at The Oyster Bar.

Saturday To-Do: Arkansas vs. Mississippi State

The Arkansas Razorbacks take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

Charlie Cook on JFK assassination and the Arkansas Razorbacks game

Don't miss yesterday's fascinating look at Arkansas connections to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and its aftermath, which took place 50 years ago today.

Saturday: Matt Stell, Big Dam Horns and more

Matt Stell performs at Revolution Saturday.

Tom Cotton gets engaged

Alice Stewart reported the news yesterday that Rep.Tom Cotton, running for Senate against incumbent Mark Pryor, is engaged.

Donovan McNabb claims he did not bully former Razorback Shawn Andrews when they were Philadelphia Eagles teammates

Donovan McNabb, the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, said he was "really taken aback" by comments from former Eagles offensive lineman Shawn Andrews, ESPN reports.

The worst of the worst

A fast food experiment with McDonald's "Mighty Wings" turns out to be mighty disgusting.

Millwork manufacturer announces $6.7 million dollar expansion in Malvern, will create 50 jobs.

Prime-Line, Inc., a 17-year-old Malvern company that makes fiberboard doors, millwork and mouldings for retailers including Lowe's and Home Depot, announced today that they would expand their operations in Malvern, investing $6.7 million in a new building and manufacturing line there.

Judge gives initial OK to Pulaski County school desegregation settlement

U.S. District Judge Price Marshall said that he believes the proposed settlement to the long desegregation case involving three Central Arkansas school districts is sound, but won't approve it until after he conducts a fairness hearing in January to consider public comment on the settlement.

The empty complaints of Republican legislators on auto-assignment in the "private option" for Medicaid expansion

I wasn't at yesterday's Joint Public Health meeting at the Capitol, which reviewed the ongoing implementation of the "private option" policy for Medicaid expansion, but I gather that it was an occasion for repetitive concern trolling from anti-"private option" legislators over the auto-assignment rules created by the Department of Human Services.

Sunday To-Do: Moscow Ballet's 'Great Russian Nutcracker'

The Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" will be performed Sunday afternoon at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Check out the new promo vid for NLR's Rogers Archives' forthcoming search function

We've written before about John Rogers, the entrepreneur from North Little Rock who went from selling baseball cards to being a still-photography mogul and millionaire in a few short years by buying up the vast photo morgues of dozens of American and international papers. 

The JFK assassination and the Arkansas Razorback football game

Earlier today, we mentioned the Razorback game played the weekend after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Food Feedback Friday: a blind pig and one fine duck

Your turn. Go forth and feedback.

UPDATE — Suspect ID'ed in wounding of Jacksonville SWAT officer shot in raid near Cabot

Lt. Carl Minden with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office reports that an officer with the Jacksonville SWAT team was shot this morning, along with a suspect, during a pre-dawn narcotics raid.

Skyler's Jeep from 'Breaking Bad' spotted in Fayetteville

The red Jeep Wagoneer driven by Skyler White in the recen After the final episode of the AMC hit "Breaking Bad," props and vehicles from the show were auctioned off by a site called Screenbid 

Open Line

Closing out with an actual poster of a fundraiser for Dennis "Krispy Kreme Creeper" Milligan, whose campaign has been overwhelmed lately by the silliest political scandal in recent memory.

Inmate dies after suicide attempt at PuCo Regional Detention Center

Lt. Carl Minden with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office has released details on an apparent inmate suicide attempt last night.

Downtown Music Hall to close as of Jan. 1

Sad news on the venue front: According to a post from yesterday on the venue's Facebook page, Downtown Music Hall, the longtime home to many of the area's metal, hardcore and hip-hop shows, will be closing as of Jan. 1. 

Single-day tickets for Holiday Hang Out on sale now

Single-day tickets for the Holiday Hang Out are on sale now.

Every picture of Bret Bielema tells a story

SOMEWHERE IN THE ATLANTIC:  I did a quick e-mail check and found this photo by Brian Chilson from the Razorback game with Mississippi State.

Thursday and Tuesday: Willie Nelson and Family

Willie Nelson performs two concerts in Arkansas this week.

Monday: Lisa Ling at UCA

Lisa Ling speaks at UCA Monday.

The end of 5 a.m. clubs in Little Rock?

The Little Rock Board of Directors a, according to a report from the Democrat-Gazette's Claudia Lauer (paywall). 

Conway spent $133,000 on a Christmas tree

Conway spent $133,000 on what's being billed as the state's 

Sunday night open line

It's cold out there. Bundle up and tell us what's cooking...

Tuesday To-Do: The Sword

The Sword plays at Downtown Music Hall Tuesday.

New documentary short on Mayflower oil spill

Check out part one of "Shattered by Oil: Exxon Arkansas Spill and the People Left Behind." It's a co-production between our news partner, InsideClimate News and PBS' "This American Land." InsideClimate News' Elizabeth McGowan plays host.

Walmart names new CEO

Walmart announced today that the company's board of directors have named Doug McMillon, 47, to serve as its next president and CEO.

Police: three men arrested in Saturday shooting, mall shoe theft

STRIP CLUB SHOOTING: According to a police report just released by the LRPD, just after 5 a.m. on Saturday morning

WM3's Baldwin announces Kickstarter for new memoir project, engagement to long-time girlfriend.

Two pieces of happy news this morning from Jason Baldwin of the West Memphis 3: He got engaged to long-time girlfriend Holly Ballard, an

100+ lb. pot bust at I-30 and 65th St. in LR yesterday

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department says a traffic stop for a defective license plate light early yesterday morning turned into a major marijuana bust after a search fo

Rothko: More than color

The Rothko exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center will renew your faith, if it had been lagging, that non-representational art can provoke a deep visceral response.

Arrest warrant issued for boyfriend in murder of Dawna Natzke

KTHV reports that an arrest warrant has been issued in the murder of Dawna Natzke, the Hot Springs Village police dispatcher who went missing from a holiday party in XX and was later found floating in a pond near Jessieville. 

Wintry mix open line

It's an open line!

Wednesday: Bonnie Montgomery

Bonnie Montgomery plays at South on Main Wednesday.

Wednesday To-Do: The Revolutioners

The Revolutioners play at Stickyz Wednesday.

The progressive Pope

Yet another encouraging sign from Pope Francis. His latest exhortation is a takedown of unfettered capitalism.

Arrest made in armed robberies of Mablevale Applebee's, Heights Starbucks

Lt. Sidney Allen with the LRPD, reports that an arrest has been made in the 

Only one Razorback football game at War Memorial next year through 2018

Beginning next year, the University of Arkansas will only play one football game at War Memorial, according to Harry King with the Arkansas News Bureau. Next year's game will be against Georgia and held Oct. 18. The new contract with War Memorial and the university runs through 2018

Supreme Court to hear cases on contraception requirement

Court to hear cases involving Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp.

Metering in the market: Breakfast killer?

IMHO, there's a lot of hullaballoo involved in getting a coffee to go these days.

Zoo hatches baby penguin

The Little Rock Zoo provides today's antidote to everything that's wrong with the world: A picture of Bugsy, an African penguin that hatched two days ago.

LRPD releases photos of suspect in today's U.S. Bank robbery

The Little Rock Police Department has released photos (seen above) of the suspect in this morning's robbery of a U.S. Bank branch at 

Midweek line

Here's an open line

A look at the new culinary programs at Pulaski Tech

It’s reassuring that Arkansas is investing in its own culinary future with a facility such as Pulaski Tech. I’m confident that these programs will help boost the confidence and capabilities of those involved and I’m eager to see the cooks produced through these courses of study.

Thursday: Rodney Block at 4 Corners

If you need some jazzy neo-soul to soundtrack your holiday, check out the Thanksgiving Music Celebration at 4 Corners, with Rodney Block and The Real Music Lovers featuring Bijoux and Sean West, 9 p.m., $10 early admission.

Two big Little Rock buildings, mid-demolition

Times photographer Brian Chilson snapped this shot of the old Arkla Gas headquarters, which occupied the block between River Market Ave. and Rock St. and 4th and Capitol.

Thursday To-Do: The Swingin' Utters

The Swingin' Utters play at White Water Tavern Thursday.

Music, dance, pie at Mosaic Templars

Open house is 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the museum at 9th and Broadway.

Kevin Duck arrested in Colorado in connection with Natzke murder

Kevin Duck, the man being sought on a first degree murder charge in the Dec. 2011 death of his girlfriend, Hot Springs Village police dispatcher Dawna Natzke, as been arrested near Burlington, Colorado 

Argenta Market to host open house

North Little Rock favorite is hosting an open house on December 14.

Enrollment in "private option" for Medicaid expansion continues to grow

Here are the latest numbers on the "private option":  *80,413 have filed applications *Of those, 68,692 have been determined to be eligible (the rest are still in process)  *58,591 have completed enrollment, either by selecting a plan or via auto-assignment 

Little Rock's 2014 budget: Slow growth

Public hearings begin next week.

Friday To-Do: War(m) Chief

War Chief plays at Stickyz Friday.

Friday To-Do: (hed) P.E.

Revolution hosts hed (P.E.) Friday night.

Weekend: Interstate Buffalo, The P-47s, Mosaic Templars Open House and more

Interstate Buffalo plays at Midtown Saturday.

Saturday To-Do: Zoogma

Zoogma plays at Revolution Saturday night.

Saturday To-Do: DJs from Mars

Catch DJs from Mars at Discovery Saturday night.

Sunday To-Do: Leopold and His Fiction

Leopold and His Fiction performs at Stickyz Sunday night.

Tuesday-Thursday: 'Beauty and the Beast' at Robinson

"Beauty and the Beast" comes to Robinson Center Music Hall Tuesday.

Wednesday To-Do: Rod Bryan & Oilflower

Rod Bryan performs at Stickyz Wednesday night.