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Long gone

Long gone

November 23, 2017

Vol 44 • No 12

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Long gone

lt's curtains for the Arkansas AD.

Who knows?

While we’re on the subject, has everybody already forgotten about “Jackie” of Rolling Stone and University of Virginia fame? Or Crystal Mangum, who falsely accused several Duke lacrosse players of rape (supported by a large contingent of the faculty) and who was subsequently convicted of stabbing her boyfriend to death?

Woman slain Sunday had sought protection order against husband, now charged with murder

Sad story from Mitch McCoy at KARK/Fox 16. Elke Thomas, who authorities believe was slain by her husband Sunday, had sought a court protection order last month, but it was denied for the insufficiency of her petition.

Analysis: Senate tax bill helps the wealthy most

Sen. Tom Cotton has insisted the Senate tax bill produces a tax cut for all Americans. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center says otherwise, particularly when fully implemented with restoration of temporary cuts in 2027. This analysis joins others in finding the benefits go disproportionately to the wealthy.

Fayetteville City Council fills vacancy by appointment of Kyle Smith, leader of For Fayetteville

The Fayetteville City Council decided last night to fill a council vacancy by appointment rather than special election and chose Kyle Smith, president of For Fayetteville,, to fill the seat.

30 Crossing bubbles up at City Board meeting

The state highway department's heavy-handed tactics to speed its plan to widen the city-splitting concrete Interstate 30 gulch through the heart of Little Rock is drawing some attention from the Little Rock City Board.

Former Death Row inmate Tim Howard approved for parole

Mara Leveritt tells me she's been told by people working on the case that the state Parole Board voted yesterday to parole Tim Howard, who's been imprisoned since 1997, some of that time on Death Row, for the slayings of a Little River County couple

UA chancellor hits Senate tax proposal for impact on graduate students

Joseph Steinmetz, chancellor of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, has issued a statement emphasizing the "devasting" effect of pending Senate tax legislation on graduate students.

Trolling for questions for our weekly podcast

Lindsey Millar and I will record the Arkansas Times' weekly podcast this afternoon and post it shortly after it's done. This week, we're soliciting questions from readers/listeners.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders: No thanks for your Thanksgiving shtick

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Donald Trump's press secretary, is getting tabbed a hectoring bully (just like her boss) after her Thanksgiving week shtick. In a performance often dripping with disdain, she demanded that reporters give thanks for something before being allowed to ask her a question.

Little Rock dentist sues over his arrest

KARK/Fox 16 reports that Dr. Jose Turcios, a Little Rock dentist acquitted of a charge that he'd molested a teen patient, has sued police officers who participated in his investigation and arrest.

Memphian named as new Little Rock fire chief

City Manager Bruce Moore has chosen Delphone Hubbard, a 22-year veteran of the Memphis Fire Department, to be Little Rock fire chief, succeeding Gregory Summers, who retired in August.

UPDATE: UA names search committee for new athletic director; also sets game in LR with Ole Miss next year

University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz is expected to announce today the members of a committee that will help in the search for a new athletic director.. Also in Hog news: They'll play Ole Miss in War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock Oct. 13, 2018.

The Thanksgiving eve open line

Here's an open line. And a batch of headlines for the day before Thanksgiving.

The Marshmallows on Sweet Potatoes Edition

The legacy of Bill and Hillary Clinton and answers to readers' questions on politics, ancient canoes and more — on this week's podcast.

Selling tax cuts

Making tax law is always pretty simple, despite the arcane references to S corporations, pass-throughs, carried-interest deductions and the like, which define the ways that lots of rich people get their income.

Groovement comes to Four Corner

Also, the Ted Ludwig Trio plays South on Main.

Inconsequential News Quiz: Give Thanks It Isn't Worse Edition

Play while basking in the afterglow of hot limo sex!

Noruz at Four Quarter

And much more.

Monument destroyer sent to State Hospital

Also, Hillary on Trump, tax progress and more.

An Arkansas-themed gift guide

Get out your shopping list.

42 gets a winning overhaul

At the Clinton Center.

Year one

The Observer is a bit late with this, but we felt we needed to say something about passing a year in Trump's America.

Everyone should carry a gun!

A new Snyder?

Last week, loyalists of former U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder celebrated a belated 70th birthday and fundraised to aid UA Little Rock's Center for Arkansas History and Culture's work to process his congressional papers from seven terms in Congress.

The end

If Bret Bielema is going to prep a video reel of the best moments he's had during a five-year run as Arkansas's latest polarizing head football coach, he's ostensibly going to use something like the first quarter against Mississippi State.

Ripe for juvenile justice reform

In DYS director, some see a potential force for long-sought change. Part 1 of 2.

'Bullets and Fire'

Arkansas's history of lynchings in the rearview mirror, barely.

The Clintons

I wasn't particularly excited about the 25th anniversary celebration of Bill Clinton's election. Life goes on.

Agent will sell insurance to growers, dealers

Also, a majority of Republicans now support legalizing marijuana.

More criticism of UA proposal to change tenure policy

Reason is among the latest to offer critical commentary of a proposal from University of Arkansas System lawyers to change the tenure policy so that a lack of collegiality could be used as a justification for firing a tenured professor.

The New Orleans charter school 'miracle'? It's a ruse

The New Orleans Tribune has a devastating piece of editorial commentary, based on local reporting and test scores, that lays bare the depiction of the charterization of New Orleans public schools 12 years ago as a miracle of the "reform" movement.

Turkeys rescued in Yellville enjoy their Thanksgiving

Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization, sends word that four turkeys rescued from the Yellville Turkey Trot after the annual drops from buildings and an airplane will enjoy Thanksgiving in friendlier places

Anybody around?

The Thanksgiving open line.

Another anti-abortion law blocked in court

CNN reports that a federal judge in Texas has stopped enforcement of a state law aimed at outlawing the most common second-term abortion procedure. A federal judge had earlier enjoined an Arkansas version of the law.

Huckstering: Money sought for film about Mike Huckabee's rise to governorship

Mike Huckabee, who needs no introduction, went on Facebook this week to solicit money for a movie being made by his son, John Mark Huckabee, about the brief drama that marked his transition to the governor's office in 1996.

Beware of Republican senators bearing tax cuts

The hits just keep on coming against the Senate tax bill that Tom Cotton says will rain prosperity on us like a mighty trickle

Black police officers complain about racial Facebook post by police recruit

The LRPD has acknowledged a complaint by the Black Little Rock Police Officers Association about a racially  ringed Facebook post by a man believed to be a member of the police recruit class.

The Bye Bye Bret open line: Bielema fired as expected

Here's the Saturday night open line. And, to no one's surprise, Bret Bielema was fired minutes after the Hogs' season-ending loss to Missouri as the head football coach.

Here's Bret Bielema's termination letter

Here's Bret Bielema's firing letter. Many details remain unclear.

Guards taken hostage at state prison unit

Two guards have been taken hostage at the Tucker Maximum Security Unit of the state Correction Department. Details are sketchy.

Garland County employee who charged $346,000 for herself, including dog tuxedo, gets probation

Kristi Goss, 44, a former administrative assistant to the Garland County judge, pleaded guilty in circuit court in Hot Springs last week to using a county credit card for more than $366,000 worth of personal charges including, famously, a tuxedo for her dog. She got no jail time, but  20 years of probation.

City Board gets resolution objecting to state freeze of highway spending

The Little Rock City Board meeting Tuesday to set the agenda for the regular meeting the following week includes consideration of a draft resolution objecting to the state Department of Transportation blockage of Central Arkansas highway projects in a dispute related to the controversial 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 through the heart of the city.

U.S. taxes are uncompetitive globally? Think again.

U.S. taxes are too high and make us uncompetitive with other countries, or so say backers of Republican tax cut plans. Facts tell a different story.

Open line. Also, death of John Lewellen

An open line, plus news of the death veteran public servant John Lewellen.

The question: Are there more shoes to drop in kickback investigation?

Doug Thompson of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has written a lengthy examination of the unusual fact that a great deal of prosecution evidence in the kickback case against former Sen. Jon Woods remains under seal. It raises, but doesn't answer, a central question: Are more indictments coming?

Football: Man's work y'all. Right?

A woman in charge of hiring a football coach at the University of Arkansas? The menfolk ain't going to stand for it.

The open line: Also, retired Judge G. Thomas Eisele has died at 94.

Another open line marked by news of the passing of a public figure. Retired federal District Judge G. Thomas Eisele has died at 94. He served on the federal bench in Little Rock for 41 years.

Deck the halls .... with lead UPDATE: two dead in LR, one in Stuttgart

Local headlines: A Monday morning homicide follows a record-breaking Friday for gun sales.

Another report finds tax legislation better for rich than the poor

Another nonpartisan report says the Senate Republican tax bill is a gift to the rich and will increase the deficit.

Jessie Misskelley of West Memphis 3 jailed on vehicle charges

WREG of Memphis reports that Jessie Misskelley, one of the West Memphis Three defendants, has been jailed in Crittenden County on auto-related charges.

Springfest to continue as family event, though Riverfest is over

Music show economics spelled the end to Riverfest after this year's edition, but Springfest, a family event earlier in the spring that channeled the early days of Riverfest, will continue.

Supreme Court won't consider Florida's ban on open carry

The U.S. Supreme Court today passed up a chance to hear a challenge to a Florida state law banning open carry of guns in public.

What's a tax 'reform' task force meeting without free eats?

Free meals are on tap for the legislative task force looking for ways to cut taxes. Corporate lobbyists plan to provide dinner and lunch.

Today's Not the Onion edition of Donald Trump

So Donald Trump honored Navajo code talkers at the White House today. He used  the occasion to make a "Pocahontas" quip about Sen. Elizabeth Warren and posed for a photo in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson who signed the Indian Removal Act.

Monday: An open line and the video roundup

Another Monday. Another open line. Another roundup of news and comment.

Arkansas in spotlight on HBO in documentary on meth scourge

"Meth Storm," a new documentary by the Renaud brothers, debuts on HBO tonight and it won't paint a pretty picture of Arkansas.

State again cuts medical services for poor women who visit Planned Parenthood

The Associated Press notes that Arkansas moved Monday as soon as a court decision was final to again follow Gov. Asa Hutchinson's orders to stop providing Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

White males favored in Trump judicial nominations

The chance of a federal judicial nominee being a white male has increased dramatically under Donald Trump.

Parole approved for two more youthful murder offenders

The state Parole Board last week approved immediate parole eligibility for two more of the people serving life without parole sentences for murders convicted when they were younger than 18. The reviews arise from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said life without parole sentences for people that young were unconstitutional.

Judge threatens to shut down birth certificate system without fix for same-sex parents

John Lynch of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports today on a decision Monday by Circuit Judge Tim Fox that threatens to shut down the state's birth certificate system Jan. 5 unless the state and plaintiffs in a lawsuit work out an agreement to accommodate same-sex parents.

Police identify murder-suicide victims

Little Rock police have identified Stefany Teague, 23, and Christian Ramos, 27, as the victims in what's being called a murder-suicide about 3 a.m. Monday at a mobile home park at 12109 Stagecoach Road.

McCrory settles lawsuit over ordinance aimed at banishing cheap mobile homes

Equal Justice Under Law, a civil rights organization, announced today a final settlement of its lawsuit against the city of McCrory over an ordinance that attempted to banish from the city trailers worth less than $7,500.

Tuesday's open line

Today's open line and the daily news roundup.

Federal judge dismisses suit by Memphis firm ousted from probation business in Jonesboro

Federal Judge James Moody has dismissed a lawsuit by The Justice Network, a for-profit Memphis outfit that lost a long-running and lucrative probation services arrangement in Craighead County after the election of new judges.

A batch of sealed indictments have fueled the political speculation mill

The recent filing of a batch of sealed indictments in Arkansas federal courts has the political world buzzing. What's it mean? For now, who knows.

Giving Tuesday: Support journalism

It's Giving Tuesday, a day to think about worthy causes amid holiday excess. One suggestion is to help journalism by supporting the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network.

UPDATE: Outside firms hired to assist in UA search for athletic director, football coach

The University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, announced today that it had hired two firms to assist in the hunt for a new athletic director and Razorback football coach to succeed Jeff Long and Bret Bielema.

Matt Lauer fired UPDATE

Matt Lauer booted by NBC.

Pothole alert: Law firm maps every one in Little Rock

A law firm has mapped every pothole in the city of Little Rock. There are a bunch of them.

Benton County prosecutors drop Amazon Echo murder case

40/29 reports that prosecutors in Bentonville have dropped prosecution of a murder that received national attention for efforts to use information from an Amazon Echo as evidence.

Garrison Keillor fired by Minnesota Public Radio

Garrison Keillor has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of improper behavior.

Another Democrat announces challenge to Charlie Collins

Denise Firmin Garner of Fayetteville has announced candidacy as a Democrat for House District 84, making two progressive women willing to challenge the gun-loving Republican incumbent, Rep. Charlie Collins.

A call for support of solar energy at PSC hearing

The Arkansas Public Policy Panel has issued a call for supporters of clean energy be heard at the state Public Service Commission tomorrow as it considers a request from electric utilities to reduce benefits for people who use solar power.

Wednesday: The open line and news roundup

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

Get your wine at Edwards Food Giant on Cantrell in the Tanglewood Shopping Center

Your favorite wines have arrived at your neighborhood grocer! Grab dinner and drinks this week at Edwards Food Giant.

Metroplan sees revisions to 30 Crossing plan. Highway department wants 10-lane gulch

Metroplan met today and learned of changes in the highway department's planning for widening Interstate 30 through downtown Little Rock.

Walton, Ford foundations to give $6 million to increase diversity in museum jobs

The Ford Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation announced yesterday that they are committing $3 million each — a total of $6 million — to a new program, the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, to increase minority numbers in curatorial and administrative museum staff.