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December 3, 2009

Vol 7 • No 47

The honor roll

Despite sharp declines in foundation assets and individual worth, the charitable giving scene in Arkansas has had its high points.

On the clock

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Chancellor Joel Anderson doesn’t pretend that $75 million is, in the world of university fund-raising, a big number.

Top grant-making foundations

Walton Family Foundation, Bentonville

The philanthropic scene: Catch 2009

Like the snake devouring its own tail, the picture of philanthropy in the recession that began last year is a circular one of greater need ? by the unemployed, the non-profits who help the unemployed and the grant-makers who help the non-profits. �hree more kitchens for function rooms.�pace he occupies. A couple years back, when his daughter Morgan was in grade school, he would occasionally go and eat lunch with her in the cafeteria. Once, he said, a little black boy ran up to him and asked why he always wore his church clothes when he came to school. �lost “some land and some geopolitical influence.” But losing the current war means “we give up our own lives, because no less than that is the goal of the jihadists.” �able if maybe also predictable, which probably amount to the same thing. �s police "tricked" him and led him to say things that were not true. � it is caused by a wind, which comes immediately from the court of their great and benevolent God Cautantowwit, or the south-western God."�or the Times to begin its yearly look at how Arkansas’s philanthropy is progressing. In our first philanthropy issue in 1998, we reported that the Walton family was about to endow a family foundation with sales of 25 million shares of Wal-Mart stock. But the Waltons didn’t make the Slate 60 list until its 1999 publication of the list, when the Waltons suddenly appeared in 12th place for gifts totaling $91.7 million, which included the $50 million gift that created the Sam Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas. 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Let us pray for Rick Warren

Rick Warren, the popular preacher who President Obama included in his inauguration ceremonies amid some controversy, now refuses to take a stand on legislation supported by his friends in Uganda that would give life sentences, even the death penalty, to homosexuals.

Bill Bowen to Supreme Court

Talk is picking up that retired banker Bill Bowen, 86, is in line to be tapped by Gov. Mike Beebe to serve in place of retiring Supreme Court Justice Annabelle Clinton Imber until election of her successor next year.

About that lottery

Gerard Matthews is Twittering from the hearing on Sen. Sue Madison's request for a lottery study.

More of same for Lincoln UPDATE

Yet another front group for ultra-right-wing rich folks has set out to attack Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Late breaking violence

The Times Record in Fort Smith says police there have shot a man who pulled a gun and a grenade on a bus.

The magnificent seven

OK, then. The seven announced Republican candidates for U.S. Senate have qualified for a Republican Party fund-raiser, also known as a straw poll, in Hot Springs this Saturday.

Something in common

Like his benefactor, Maurice Clemmons saw a lot of bad in other people.

Trifles over truffles

Antiquated liquor laws prevent sale of candy in North Little Rock.

Mr. Fantastic

I haven’t researched either of these assertions, but I think at this point it’s fair to guess two things about Wes Anderson: the man loves dollhouses, and he has some serious daddy issues.

Words, Dec. 3

A semi-professional lawyer quotes the opening sentence in an Arkansas Court of Appeals opinion: “This case illustrates the proverb, ‘When a piece of paper blows into a law court, it may take a yoke of oxen to drag it out.’ ”

Eye On Arkansas, Dec. 3

Hispanics in Arkansas

Hispanics make up 5 percent of the Arkansas population, but account for 9 percent of Arkansas births.

The other bridge

With so much hubbub over the supposedly imminent renovation of the Rock Island Bridge downtown (former President Clinton said construction would begin in 2010), everyone almost forgot about that other bridge, the one that will connect River Mountain Road to Two Rivers Park on the west side of Interstate 430 and extend Little Rock’s riverside trail hiking/biking trail.

Politician Huck, R.I.P.

Everywhere but at Fox News, his employer, they were writing Mike Huckabee’s political obituary Monday, only 24 hours after the discovery that a man he had freed from the state penitentiary in 2000 was wanted for executing four police officers in a Tacoma, Wash., suburb.

Mixing it up

A traditional Thanksgiving for us Assmunches this year.

What's Cookin', Dec. 3

Two area restaurants recently shuttered.

Revolving door

There is much to like about Red Door, even for those who are bummed that Bene Vita, its predecessor, had to die so the new restaurant could be born.

This Modern World, Dec. 3

Juke Joint Duo

Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm's Hill Country blues — the raw rhythmic sound of North Mississippi — always turns White Water Tavern into a dance party without compare.

Smart Talk, Dec. 3

Room for one more Central High School book on your bookshelf?

Droid changes life

I’m a Luddite. My friends mockingly refer to me as Matlock because I cannot perform the most basic of technological functions and react to new advances in tech gadgetry in about the same manner as a typical 80 year-old man might — grumpily.

Vanishing juries

I thoroughly enjoyed your article, “The Vanishing Jury.” It is a sad but true story.

The Observer, Dec. 3

The Observer was headed into the Pulaski County courthouse the other day to pick up some paperwork when we got in line behind a young man at the metal detectors.

Huckabee revealed

We beheld a flurry of Mike Huckabee news over the weekend.

It’s that time again

If it’s December, it’s time for the “Collectors Show and Sale” at the Arkansas Arts Center, the Christmas Showcase of the Arkansas Craft Guild and other various and sundry annual opportunities for gift-buying from creative folk.

Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … PULASKI COUNTY EMPLOYEES. They’ll get a 4 percent pay raise next year, on top of a recent 4 percent bonus, on top of fully paid health insurance while other local government employees face layoffs, cuts in hours, pay freezes and uncertainty.

Orval, Dec. 3

I see a darkness

It’s hard for your rational mind to regain a hold after a weekend like that.

In Brief, Dec. 3

The acclaimed Janaki String Trio, from Los Angeles, comes to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church courtesy of the Chamber Music Society, 7:30 p.m., $10-$20.

Holidays with ‘Joseph’

Some shows have all the luck. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say — at least in the case of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” — that some shows are more blessed than others.

True grit

Senator Lincoln has a lot of work to do if she’s going to be remembered as a transformative political figure in Arkansas.

To-Do List, Dec. 3

Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Hill Country Revue/Lee Boys, Lucero, 'The Last White Class,' Paul Wall, Central Arkansas Roller Derby/Frontier Circus, Misfits and Cursive are this week's top picks.

War between the states UPDATE

The Washington-Arkansas dispute over parole procedures in the case of suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons rises to the national stage.

Morning news of note

Comcast has bought NBC. If you like your cable company ....

Wanted: True grit

The Coen brothers, at work on a remake of "True Grit," the movie based on Arkansan Charles Portis' novel, are looking for an unknown local-type gal to play Mattie Ross.

The Arkansas Gift That Keeps On Giving.

More Arkansas food-based gift ideas this morning... and this one's a biggie.  I mean, really, what says "I love you" more than three months of good, Arkansas-grown food?  Well, just because the harvest is over, doesn’t mean you have to go without fresh Arkansas-raised vegetables and fruit for the winter.

The all-white Supreme Court UPDATE

Wendell Griffen, the former state Court of Appeals judge, will ask the Democratic Party's Faith Caucus, which is meeting this weekend, to endorse his statement of disappointment that Gov. Mike Beebe has failed in two opportunities to fill Supreme Court vacancies with a black appointee.

Arkansas Flavor.

That, my friends, is a bowl of fried black-eyed peas... which are complimentary to diners at the Capital Bar & Grill in the Capital Hotel.  I've been asked quite a bit lately... what are fried black-eyed peas?  How are they made?  WHY fried black-eyed peas?  Hey, let me tell you what... it's better than peanuts in a bar.  Those little crunchy morsels are addictive.  And they go great with a little iced tea.

POLLS ARE OPEN!

HUCKABEE HAIKU CONTEST FINALISTS! Today's your last day to vote!

Pizza perps picked up

The Little Rock police announce two arrests and a pending warrant in the mass robbery Nov. 22 of a Razorback Pizza and a house full of customers.

Thursday To-Do: Hill Country Revue - The Lee Boys

The Lee Boys. HILL COUNTRY REVUE/ THE LEE BOYS8:30 p.m., Revolution.

Poll tolls for Lincoln

Another Rasmussen poll, another round of bad numbers for Sen. Blanche Lincoln against any Republican.

Haiku polls are open

Our Damsel in Distress, Norma Bates, has opened voting on five finalists in her Huckabee Haiku contest.

Thursday To-Do: Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm

Photo by Jerry Colburn. CEDRIC BURNSIDE AND LIGHTNIN' MALCOLM9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern.

Housing market boomed in Oct.

The Arkansas Realtors Association's monthly housing report for October is the best since the boom days of 2005, says ARA's Ethan Nobles.

Unlock the West Memphis 3

David Mitchell, writing in the Arkansas Law Review, argues that a circuit judge used too narrow a standard for considering post-conviction relief based on new evidence in the West Memphis Three murder case.

White House security breach

Three people have been put on leave on account of the White House gate crashers.

Lincoln makes things worse

Sen. Blanche Lincoln is hard at work trying to improve health legislation with amendments. Such as one to gut state insurance regulation, as per the desire of the health insurance industry.

Poll: Lincoln v. Halter

Daily Kos has polled a potential Blanche Lincoln-Bill Halter matchup. (Kos is a progressive blogger, but his polling operation is straightforward and has a good track record.)

Thursday: Janaki String Trio, Thirsty Thursdays, Colourmusic, Uglysuit and more

The acclaimed Janaki String Trio, from Los Angeles, comes to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church courtesy of the Chamber Music Society, 7:30 p.m., $10-$20.

Estate tax vote in House

The House today voted 225-200 (all Republicans were nays) to prevent the federal estate tax from expiring next month and crippling the budget.

Something we can all agree on: The Grammys are dumb

Save Levon Helm's nomination, in the Best Americana category, for his album "Electric Dirt." It's good stuff.But man is there some perplexing logic at work with this year's nominations (as usual).

Cake Brag.

Sorry, folks, this was too cute to keep in the family album.  This is the cupcake for Hunter's first birthday cake... 

Cake Brag.

Sorry, folks, this was too cute to keep in the family album.  This is the cupcake for Hunter's first birthday cake... 

Court split on robbery case

The state Supreme Court today upheld, on a 4-3 vote, a Pulaski County robbery conviction of Hutson Burks despite unanimous agreement that the prosecutor's office used testimony obtained improperly by promise of  reduction of a sentence already in effect for the critical witness.

The line is open

Fire away.

LRSD on charter schools

I'm not going to explain this much, because I know school issues have a limited audience.

Book Notes, Dec. 3

In the introduction to “Blues & Chaos” (Scribner, hardcover, $30), the new anthology of Robert Palmer’s music writing, Robbie Robertson captures Palmer’s loves of music in an interview with Anthony DeCurtis, who edited the collection.

Lottery slots

When the Arkansas Lottery awarded a contract to the Greece-based Intralot in August of this year, one requirement was that the lottery services company provide 100 ticket vending machines.

Horns a-plenty

Lucero's bringing it all back home. Or home away from home. Two months after the Memphis rockers unveiled their sixth studio release, “1372 Overton Park,” Little Rock gets a taste.

No to government health care

I got a letter yesterday from a phone bank worker who'd been calling Arkansas numbers in support of health reform legislation.

Lake Maumelle delay UPDATE

A clean water advocate writes to say the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission has removed from its agenda today a proposed rule to limit surface discharge of wastewater in the Lake Maumelle watershed, a proposed rule developed in a watershed management plan aimed at preserving the major water supply.

Unemployment drops

Nationally, it dipped to 10 percent in November. Further job cuts were the smallest since the recession began.

Senatorial smoke signals

No word if white smoke rose from the chimney of the Marianna farmhouse at which former Farm Bureau president Stanley Reed was supposed to reach a family Thanksgiving decision on running for U.S. Senate as a Republican.

Friday To-Do: 'The Last White Class'

(From left) Kelani Campbell, Crystal Mercer, Patti German and Hannah Lackoff. ‘THE LAST WHITE CLASS'7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater.

Friday To-Do: Lucero

LUCERO8 p.m., the Village. $15 adv., $20 d.o.s.Lucero's bringing it all back home.

Wonderful Copenhagen

Yes, I'd rather fly to Copenhagen than attend a North Little Rock City Council meeting at which next year's difficult budget will be discussed.

Weekend To-Do: 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'

'JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT'7 p.m., the Rep. $20-$35.Some shows have all the luck.

Romney filets Huckabee

Tim Pawlenty cheesily took advantage of Mike Huckabee's clemency decision in the cop-killer case by suggesting he'd never do such a thing.

Joey Lauren Adams to star in new TV show you probably won't be able to watch

The North Little Rock native's one of the latest additions to the cast of "Tough Trade," a Nashville-based drama created/produced by novelist and TV writer Chris Offut ("Weeds," "True Blood").

Marshall nominated for judgeship

President Obama has nominated Arkansas Appeals Court Judge Price Marshall for a federal district court judgeship.

More layoffs in plane business

This was strongly rumored during the last round of job cuts at the Hawker Beechcraft aircraft completion facility at Little Rock National Airport.

Cookbook Kudos.

More kudos for the recently released Big Taste of Little Rock cookbook by the Junior League of Little Rock.  The compilation has been named Best Fundraising Cookbook in the United States by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

Is there life in Lincoln?

What? Has Sen. Blanche Lincoln begun to run for re-election?

'Joseph' in technicolor

Nice preview video from the Rep for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," which opens tonight.

The Weekend: Jackopierce, Benjamin Del Shreve, Cameron Holifield, Rehab, Good Time Ramblers, Kevin Kerby and Battery, River City Men's Chorus and more

Rehab. FRIDAY 12/4Hugely popular Christian, soft-rock act Casting Crowns comes to Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m., $19-$76.75.

Saturday To-Do: Paul Wall

PAUL WALL10 p.m., Revolution. $18 adv.What do household-name rappers do when their star dims?

Sunday To-Do: Central Arkansas Roller Derby - Frontier Circus

CENTRAL ARKANSAS ROLLER DERBY/ FRONTIER CIRCUS5 p.m., Skate World. $10.Arkansas's favorite performance rock miscreants (as someone at the Times once called them) the Rockin' Guys may be on semi-permanent hiatus, but the Goat Hill, Ark.-based act's particular voodoo appears to have taken root in a new group.

Over to you

I have been otherwise engaged most of the day and I might as well just call it quits.

For real estate junkies

I think former Sen. George Hopkins is doing a good job trying to clean up the mess at the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, where corruption and old boyism held sway for so many years and hundreds of millions of dollars were at issue.

NLR hijinks

Scott Miller notes that, unless he resigns or something, Alderman Sam Baggett is scheduled to be acting mayor at the next meeting of the NLR City Council.

I miss George Fisher

When you've become a sitting duck for national cartoonists ... MEANWHILE: Garrick Feldman writes that Huck is the worst Ark. governor ever.

Grills, gleaming

What do household-name rappers do when their star dims? If you're Paul Wall, Houston's favorite white rapper/torchbearer for DJ Screw, you diversify.

The Medicare scare

John Brummett reassures his 79-year-old mother that Democrats aren't out to cut her Medicare. That she'd ask -- and that Democrats have utterly failed at communicating what they are about -- is the story of the moment in the health care debate.

Girlfriend troubles

Sen. Max Baucus, the leading Democrat in the Senate health debate, now has a new headache to deal with: He apparently proposed his girlfriend for appointment as a U.S. attorney in Montana.

Another Arkansas export

Washington newspaper reports the arrest of an Arkansas parolee wanted on a burglary charge in Arkansas.

A bridge to somewhere

The Arkansas Times obtained some preliminary engineering plans for the Rock Island Bridge which, according to former president Bill Clinton, will be renovated in 2010.  Here, you can see high resolution images of the plans including the overall elevation of the entire bridge and the plans for what the north and south landings may look like.  The plans were submitted, along with a permit application, to the United States Coast Guard.  The drawings are dated August 31, 2009.  There's nothing really earth-shattering here, just some early designs.  You may notice however that the north end of the bridge terminates abruptly with no ramp, something that may pique the interest of bicycle enthusiasts, who see this bridge as the final link in a looped river trail extending to the Big Dam Bridge and back.     

Gilbert Baker wins GOP straw poll

The straw poll in Hot Springs today for the Republican primary U.S. Senate race (some notable potential candidates -- Stanley Reed and Jim Holt  -- were absent) has been completed.

The nightly line

It's open.

Revolving door

Mark Abernathy’s new concept shows promise.

Mike Huckabee's pattern

A precious few defenders (here are two, courtesy of The Huckster) are repeating Mike Huckabee's line that the parole board was somehow to blame for Maurice Clemmons' freedom to kill four Washington cops.

Local scribe makes good

Heard of McSweeny's, the Dave Eggers journal? Next week, it will roll out a one-time 312-page newspaper, Panorama, for the San Francisco area, where print hasn't been doing so hot.

Jodie Mahony dead at 70

Friends report that former state legislator Jodie Mahony of El Dorado died last night of complications from his long bout with cancer.

Big Shootout memories

Much reminiscing this weekend about the Big Shootout, Hogs v. Longhorns in Fayetteville before God, Richard Nixon and everybody else 40 years ago.

Insurance exec pay subsidy safe

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's amendment to cut tax subsidies of insurance executive pay above $400,000 failed in the Senate today.

Evensong

The line is open.

Chef's Celebration.

Janie Ginnochio sends in a special plate photo to share tonight: One of the advantages of being married to a chef -- a birthday dinner (a couple of weeks late) of roasted lamb with roasted sweet potatoes, red onion and Rosemary and green beans sauteed with garlic and white wine with a cranberry bourbon Demi glacé.

The honor roll

The Reynolds Foundation's $33.4 million gift to UAMS to add four floors to the Reynolds Institute on Aging tops the list of big recent philanthropic gifts in Arkansas. See the rest below.

Technical difficulties

Some overnight website maintenance didn't go exactly as planned. Sorry for the interruption.

'Culturally incompetent'

Wendell Griffen has more, lots more, to say about Gov. Mike Beebe's "cultural incompetence" in failing with two opportunities to appoint a person of color to the state Supreme Court.

Pitching for the kids

City Director Doris Wright sends a plea for the Little Rock City Board to reconsider its refusal to continue funding for a park program for mostly minority kids in her ward while continuing to funnel money to a golf course.

Oxford American in Top 10

A compilation of the Top 10 Magazines of the decades put Arkansas-based Oxford American at No. 6, ahead of Atlantic and The Economist and in the company of the New Yorker, Wired, etc. Not too shabby.

Teabaggers on the march

A new poll finds the Tea Party movement is more popular than the Republican Party on a generic congressional ballot question.

LR: Bang for the buck

According to Forbes, only Omaha is a better value than Little Rock in the U.S. in a ranking of 100 best-bang-for-the-buck cities.

Review: 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'

Jenna Coker-Jones as the Narrator, Austin Miller as Joseph and Todd DuBail as the Pharaoh.

About those coal-fired plants ...

Environmental news today: The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday will complete its determination that greenhouse gases pose a danger to human health and the environment, paving the way for regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, power plants, factories refineries and other major sources.

Scott Cook lights up the room in 'Lucy'

With his eyes! I can't figure out any way to embed it, but if you go to Julian Lennon's Facebook page, you can stream the video for Cook and Julian Lennon's collaboration, "Lucy."

For the defense -- the defendant

Stephens Media reports that it appears as if Circuit Judge Willard Proctor, who's fighting a disciplinary body's effort to remove him from the bench, will represent himself before the state Supreme Court.

Is A Pig's Butt Pork?

Mail order meat is not the be-all and end-all of holiday meat procurement. Downtown Little Rock is now home to a smorgasbord of traditional holiday meat choices, thanks to Kent Berry and his burgeoning meat counter in the River Market’s Oppenheimer Hall.

Is A Pig's Butt Pork?

Mail order meat is not the be-all and end-all of holiday meat procurement. Downtown Little Rock is now home to a smorgasbord of traditional holiday meat choices, thanks to Kent Berry and his burgeoning meat counter in the River Market’s Oppenheimer Hall.

Should be a short discussion

U.S. Rep. John Boozman has a dog-and-pony show scheduled Sunday evening at Har-Ber High School in Springdale.

At least they weren't bootlegging

Thanks to Chris Spencer at Ozarks Unbound for this tip to uatrav.com A number of reptiles, including an alligator, a diamondback rattlesnake and six pythons, were confiscated by the UA Police Department from a room in Maple Hill West residence hall Thursday, resulting in a fine for two students from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, police officials said.

Mike Huckabee's flimsy alibi

I've been ignoring this all day, but no more. Mike Huckabee has placed his Fox column blaming others for alleged cop killer Maurice Clemmons in the Washington Post, the New York Daily News and other places.

Over to you

The party line is open.

Late headlines

Lots happening: * This could be big news. A buy-in to Medicare for people 55 to 65 is being discussed in the Senate.

Lottery slots

When the Arkansas Lottery awarded a contract to the Greece-based Intralot in August of this year, one requirement was that the lottery services company provide 100 ticket vending machines. The lottery commission has yet to roll out the machines, but a non-operational model can be seen at the claims center in downtown Little Rock.

Indicted alderman won't preside

Although North Little Rock Alderman Sam Baggett has so far refused to resign his post while he fights a federal indictment for selling firearms to a convicted felon, he won't preside over the City Council in Mayor Pat Hays' absence this week, as had been reported.

Straws in the wind

John Brummett says the Republican straw poll last Saturday on the U.S. Senate race -- won narrowly by Sen. Gilbert Baker -- means little.

Take this to John McCain

Sen. John McCain will join U.S. Rep. John Boozman in Springdale Sunday for a continuation of the GOP's Scare Seniors Road Show.

Rock chalk, Nutt Jayhawk?

Report in Kansas City say Kansas has talked to Houston Nutt about being its next head football coach.

Tuesday To-Do: The Misfits

MISFITS8 p.m., Village. $21 adv., $25 d.o.s.The Misfits, named after Marilyn Monroe's final movie, were born in 1977 in a small New Jersey town at the onset of the punk movement and are widely credited as originators of “horror punk.” Primal, aggressive, confrontational and lyrically violent, the Misfits brand endures today in this post-Danzig era.

Health reports

Michelle Duggar, with No. 19 on the way, is in a Little Rock hospital. Gallstones.

A development in War Memorial

Use of War Memorial Park is a hot-button topic, though it's more often a matter of talk than action.

A development in War Memorial

Use of War Memorial Park is a hot-button topic, though it's more often a matter of talk than action.

Caution: billionaires at work

I mentioned the other day a carping call from a Koch Industries spokeswoman about my reference to the billionaire Koch family's involvement in organizations fighting progress on every front, including health care.

Palinator pities Mike Huckabee

Smackdown time. Caribou Barbie raps Mike Huckabee on the Maurice Clemmons' clemency.

Young Elvis coming (eventually) to Clinton Center

Elvis at home in Memphis in 1956 with a high school girlfriend. Early next year, a new exhibit of photographs that capture Elvis in 1956, on the precipice of of becoming the King, opens at the Grammy Museum in LA. It'll make its way to the Clinton Center in 2011.

Tuesday: El Ten Eleven, Red Octopus and more

El Ten Eleven "Hot Cakes" LA duo El Ten Eleven features a double-neck, combo bass/guitar, a drum kit and lots and lots of effects pedals.

Financial advisor fined

Steve Kiefer, who offers financial advice on radio and TV, agreed to a $50,000 fine and a 14-day suspension to end an Arkansas Securities Department investigation into alleged fraudulent sales practices.

OA gets NEA grant

For the second year in the row, the Oxford American has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

'Simpsons' sticker shock

Yes! Just came across this on local artist John Kushmaul's Facebook page.

Abortion amendment tabled UPDATE

Sen. Ben Nelson's amendment to make the Senate health bill as bad as the House bill on abortion by pushing government limits on abortion into the business of private insurance companies has been tabled on a 54-45 vote.

The fun's up to you

The line is open. But be advised that the clock is running and expires at midnight tomorrow night on Norma Bates' Huckabee Haiku contest.

Enter the Showcase!

Magic Hassle from last year. Photo by Brian Chilson.

The layoff toll

Fidelity National Information Services confirms to Arkansas Business that it has laid off 55 people in Little Rock.

Logjam broken on health?

Everybody's saying the Democrats may have a plan -- drop public option from Senate health bill, expand Medicare to cover uninsured as young as 55.

Persevering

They've been together for almost 15 years, but it hasn't been easy. The members of Cursive have broken up at least once and the band's gone on a three-year hiatus twice between albums.

Yesterday's news tomorrow

It's possible I missed this in the paper this morning. But I didn't see on a quick scan news that Republican Michael Lamoureux easily won the special election to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Sharon Trusty of Russellville.

Argenta is happening

Argenta News is boasting about yet another downtown NLR development, this one a $5 million mixed use project along Maple Street by the Argenta Community Development Corporation.

Health care haze

It's going to be a while before a clear picture emerges on the Democratic deal for health legislation.

Two unions down, one to go

The Pulaski County School District has many more problems than the long-prickly relationship between administration and its teachers union and support staff, but it apparently eliminated the union problem last night by voting to decertify it as a bargaining agent.

The Rumor Mill.

Chasing down some rumors this morning... just heard that Crush Wine Bar is set to relocate to North Little Rock.  Of course, since they don't open until 5pm, I don't have firm confirmation.  But a good friend of mine apparently heard it at Diversions last night.  I'll follow up.

Complaint over McCain calls

A government watchdog group has filed a Senate ethics complaint against Sen. John McCain for his robo-calls in five states, including calls in Arkansas aimed at Sen. Blanche Lincoln, in opposition to health legislation.

Wednesday To-Do: Cursive

CURSIVE8 p.m., Revolution. $12 adv., $14 d.o.s.They've been together for almost 15 years, but it hasn't been easy.

Bryant speed trap nullified

A Saline County DWI conviction was reversed today by the state Court of Appeals because the Bryant police, which issued the 2007 ticket, didn't then have approval from the State Police to run radar on Interstate 30.

Last Night: The Misfits

Without a doubt, the Misfits — the first incarnation, at least — crafted some of the most essential punk music ever made, earning a place in the canon alongside most influential American groups, such as the Ramones and Suicide.

Lincoln and Landrieu: No deal yet

The Senate's Bobbsey twins say there's no "deal" per se on health care, just some new ideas that might be acceptable depending how costs look.

Over the hump

Wednesday night comments here. There's always Tiger Woods, a massive stock implosion story, what with cancelled endorsement deals, disappearance of advertising, etc. doing to his billion-dollar brand  much worse damage than the recession did to the market. But Playgirl also has nudies of him?

Last Stop at The Station.

Blog reader anoncow pointed out another area eatery that's saying goodbye. The Station Grocery will close its doors this weekend after its short run at Markham and Kavanaugh.
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