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December 5, 2013

Vol 40 • No 14

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Big Ideas for Arkansas

Since 2010, the Arkansas Times has solicited suggestions from readers and a variety of experts on how to make Arkansas a better place to live.

The time is nigh for Razorback football and basketball to reemerge from the cellar

At the crossroads in Hogville.

Arkansan behind Doritos Locos taco has died (Updated)

Todd Mills, who launched a Facebook group that resulted in an iconic fast food product has passed away at 41.

Humpday line

Open line.

Give us your Big Ideas for Arkansas

We're inching towards the final days of collecting Big Ideas for Arkansas for our the next edition of the annual issue.

Have a cup of cheer and chocolate at Loblolly

Whatever it takes to get some—snowmobile, dog sled, snowshoes—try this hot chocolate. Your holiday season will be infinitely brighter because of it.

Thursday: White Glove Test, Little Rock Wind Symphony and more

White Glove Test plays at White Water Tavern Thursday.

Several weekend events nixed ahead of winter storm warning

Several upcoming weekend events have been canceled or postponed because of the possibility of inclement weather this weekend.

Pryor, Cotton condemn National Republican Senatorial Committee attack on Pryor's faith

Wednesday, after Sen. Mark Pryor's campaign put out a campaign ad featuring Pryor holding a Bible and talking about it his faith, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out the sort of email response that's typically ignored by everyone but party loyalists. But this one made such a reach that Tom Cotton's camp was forced to rebuke it.


For-profit corporations are trying to take religious liberty away from individual Americans. And if that's not scary enough, they've got a chance to do it, too.

Memory hole

The Observer, as you may have gleaned from this column, is fascinated with memory: what we remember, what we forget and why.

UA needs to be held accountable

Thanks for the outstanding coverage of the continuing fiasco at the University of Arkansas with Chancellor David Gearhart and his personal PR minion Mike Masterson.

Big taste at Little Greek

Fast-casual chain impresses.

On Karzai's side

Republicans and other enemies of President Obama have a real chance this month to achieve their dream of sabotaging the president's legacy and do good for the nation at the same time, but it is not by denying health insurance to as many Americans as they can or by encouraging as many people as they can not to buy it.

Where in Arkansas? Dec. edition

Know where this slice of life in Arkansas is? Send along the answer to Times photographer Brian Chilson.

Getting Southernisms right

For all the regional tensions in American politics, have you ever stopped to think what a boring country this would be without the South? Also without black people, of course, which may be another way of saying the same thing. Would there be any music at all?

Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' is worth your time

Straight from the heartland.

nconsequential News Quiz: Black Friday hangover edition

Play at home.

'Because of Winn Dixie' opens at the Rep

It's the the first pre-Broadway musical to star a live dog in a leading role.

Texas Hippie Coalition comes to Revolution

Also, Living Sacrifice at Downtown Music, 'Scrooge! The Musical' at the Weekend Theater, Holiday Hangout at White Water Tavern, Jimmy Buffett at Verizon Arena, Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade and 'Belew Christmas' at Wildwood.

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown come to Stickyz

Also, Arkansas Choral Society presents a performance of Handel's "Messiah."

Lake Conway spared from Mayflower oil spill catastrophe

But testing shows cove needs more cleanup.

Researchers point to ecological concerns for Lake Conway's Dawson Cove in wake of Mayflower oil spill

Log Cabin Democrat funds independent testing.

Drop football

For years, there's been a debate over whether the University of Arkansas should drop intercollegiate football. The events of last weekend prove that the time has come.

Barth: College football's crossroads

It's clear that football — at all levels, but particularly at the major college level —is nearing a breaking point as a sport. It is a test not unlike that which it faced just over a century ago but, this time, it's unclear that the sport can emerge from the crisis.

Editing czar

Not much in the way of language error gets by the Arkansas Times' managing editor, Leslie Peacock. I've had personal experience with this. Leslie advises me there's a television series on AETN about a character named Doc Martin, "who is phobic about blood."

It was a good week for the Arkansas Innovation Hub

It was also a good week for The Little Rock hotel boom. It was a bad week Arkansas Razorbacks, War Memorial Stadium and 'The Mike Huckabee Radio Show.'

Walmart, Exxon and other major oil companies planning for carbon tax

Nearly 30 of the nation's largest corporations, many of which have close ties to the Republican Party, have incorporated the expectation that they will be forced to pay a tax on the carbon pollution as a means of controlling climate change

The winter weather freakout open line

Talk sleet and snow.

Ark. Activities Assoc. calls off public school football games this weekend due to weather concerns.

The Arkansas Activities Association issued a release yesterday can Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Re: High School Football Games Winter Warning Halts All Football Play Because of a winter storm warning that was issued on Wednesday for Thursday and into Friday for most counties in northwest and north central Arkansas, the Arkansas Activities Association has postponed all scheduled games for December 6th and 7th, which will extend the 2013 football season one week.

New Slim Chickens now open on Shackleford in LR

Slim Chickens announced on their Facebook page today that the newest link in their chicken chain is now open at 301 N. Shackleford Rd., near I-430.

"Girls" star Adam Driver joins Jeff Nichols' forthcoming project

"Girls" star Adam Driver, who got roles in all sorts of compelling-looking, upcoming films, joined the cast of Nichols’ next film, The Wrap reports. “Midnight Special” is billed as a sci-fi story about a father and son who go on the run after the father learns that his son has special powers.

Lots of Arkansans in Tennessee edition of Oxford American Southern Music Issue

The Tennessee edition of the Oxford American magazine’s annual Southern Music issue and CD combo is out on newsstands now, and it’s full of music from and writing about Arkansans.

4th annual 'Big Gay Variety Show' at LR's Unitarian Church Dec. 14

The Center of Artistic Revolution, a center that helps LGBT folks all over the state in various ways, will be hosting their 4th annual "Big Gay Variety Show" on Saturday, Dec. 14

Icepocalypse Cancellations thread: everything is closed edition.

UALR just announced that night classes tonight and classes during the day tomorrow are cancelled due to the impending weather threat. 

The show will go on, at Gallery 26

Gallery 26 is still planning to be open tonight for First Thursday, and has a modest proposal in case of bad weather.

Three real estate companies seek Tech Park job

Three real estate companies seek to work with Little Rock Technology Park Authority on site selection downtown.

LRPD makes arrest in Nov. 26 U.S. Bank robbery

Detectives with the Little Rock Police Department have arrested a man in connection with the robbery of the U.S. Bank Branch at 6000 W. Markham that occurred on Nov. 26. 

Police recover child kidnapped this morning in Fayetteville

KNWA in Fayetteville reports that a child taken from an apartment this morning by a man described as "rambling incoherently" has been recovered and is home safe. 

The cupboards are bare

Arkansas Times photog Brian Chilson forwards this cell phone photo of the bread aisle at his local Kroger store.

Nelson Mandela is dead

The former South African president, who spent 27 years behind bars as a political prisoner, has died.

Arts Center reception postponed

Rescheduled for next week.

Arkansas lawmakers hear about states rights, environmental deregulation, not expanding Medicaid at ALEC conference

As winter weather starts to grind all productivity to a halt in Arkansas, a handful of state legislators are staying busy. They're rubbing elbows with the likes of Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz and attending workshops with titles like "Expandng Medicaid: Compassionate or Corrosive?" and "The Solution: A Convention Of States To Restrain the Power, Scope, and Jurisdiction of The Federal Government."

Hot Springs Gallery Walk postponed

Hot Springs Gallery Walk postponed due to weather.

Museum of Discovery closed Friday

Don't plan on enjoying the Museum of Discovery's new exhibit on robotics, “Robots and Us,” tomorrow: The museum has announced it will be closed because of the weather. 

Airport cancellations

Cancellations for tonight, tomorrow.

Time to build a fire open line

Open line.

Friday To-Do: Texas Hippie Coalition

Texas Hippie Coalition plays at Revolution Friday.

Friday To-Do: Living Sacrifice

Living Sacrifice plays at Downtown Music Hall Friday.

Friday-Sunday To-Do: 'Scrooge! The Musical'

The Weekend Theater's production of "Scrooge! The Musical" opens Friday.

Friday-Sunday To-Do: Holiday Hang Out

It's time for the Holiday Hang Out at White Water Tavern.

Saturday's Jimmy Buffett concert cancelled

Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band return to Verizon Arena Saturday night.

Jobless rate reaches five-year low

Good news.

Friday: Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Ramona Smith, Toy Hill toy drive and more

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown will perform at Stickyz Friday night.

Food Feedback Friday: cabin fever edition

So what’s on your mind. Let us hear it.

Late-night club owners launch campaign to fight ending 5 a.m. closing time

Little Rock late-night club owners, working with the Arkansas Licensed Beverage Association, have launched an effort to dissuade the Little Rock Board of Directors from passing an ordinance to require Little Rock clubs to close at 2 a.m. rather than 5 a.m. as their state private club alcohol permit currently allows.

Santorum compares Mandela's fight against injustice to GOP's fight against Obamacare

Even worse than Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke reporting the death of Nelson Mandela as the subject of a new film with "awards buzz," former senator Rick Santorum yesterday linked Mandela with Republicans' fight against Obamacare on Fox News.

Centennial Bank branch on Broadway in LR robbed this morning, suspect detained

You may be iced in at home, but the criminals are still hard at work.

Storm fatality: Man dead after camper crushed by fallen limb

KNWA reports that a man in Dover is dead after an ice-weighted tree limb collapsed and crushed his camper.

Police seeking J'ville man on charges of child porn, video voyeurism

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office today released the attached wanted poster for William W. Chamlee, of Old Tom Box Road in Jackson

19 degrees and lots of inches in Fayetteville

Fayetteville is socked in.

Snacks and brews at the Superior

The Superior Bathhouse Brewery and Distillery is a great place for drinkers and non-drinkers alike to enjoy the best that the Spa City has to offer.

Saturday: Santa Paws Cocktail Party and more

Harpeth Rising performs at the Unitarian Universalist Church Friday, Dec. 13.

Jimmy Buffett cancels in NLR; he should have been with me in Roatan

I got a quick look at e-mail in port on Roatan, Honduras. Schools and government closed back home in Little Rock.

Check out this bizarre rendition of 'Arkansas Coal'

I've dug this tune for a long time now, but I just recently stumbled across this gem — a Vegas rendition of "Arkansas Coal" by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood.

The Don't Go Down That Hill Open Line

Open line.

GOP officials face hearings on FOI and ethics; a loser's tab escalates

Blue Hog Report rounds up several items of continuing interest in author Matt Campbell's careful examination of the public record of Arkansas Republicans.

The $46 million Rockwell and other questions

Did Alice Walton pay a record price for "Saying Grace"?

Jimmy Buffett on Verizon Arena cancellation

There are no doubt many disappointed Parrotheads across the state tonight. But Jimmy Buffett wants you all to know that he and the band really regret having to cancel tonight's concert.

Saturday line

Open line

U.S. medicine is crazy

The Washington Post reports on the huge difference in cost between two nearly identical drugs and why doctors prescribe the expensive one.

Pryor and Christianity as a political tool

Mark Pryor's bible-thumping campaign ad and controversy that a Republican flak's  What should have been a back-and-forth about the proper place of religious testimonials in the electoral process was instead, astonishingly, a contretemps over whether Pryor had flip-flopped on Scripture as a legislative how-to manual.

National Journal gives Tom Cotton the cover treatment

Ammori remembers that Cotton was a fan of Plato, loved the novels of Jane Austen and the movie Titanic, and hated American Beauty, the 1999 Oscar winner that portrayed the dark underbelly of American suburbia.

State police chase of suspected killer ends with what's believed to be self-inflicted gunshot

A state police chase o An individual believed to be wanted in connection with an Alabama homicide investigation died this afternoon (Sunday, December 8, 2013) of what is preliminarily believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sunday line

Open line

Democrats' last stand in Dixie; and other notes from afar

I'm nearing home on my long journey (near Cozumel at the moment), but thought I'd check in.

Pay attention: LR grabbing school money for private development

Tommy Hodges, the developer of Otter Creek, earned deserved High Profile treatment in Sunday's Democrat-Gazette for his decades-long pursuit of retail development there.

Fire at Nuclear One under control

The River Valley Leader reports that a transformer fire outside Unit 2 of Arkansas Nuclear One power plant in Russellville has been contained and Unit 2 has been shut down.

State Police name Alabama fugitive who killed himself on I-40 after traffic stop

State Police issued a statement today releasing the name of an Alabama man who they say killed himself yesterday on I-40 near Ozark after being pulled over by an Arkansas State Trooper. 

Huckabee, religious zealots to gather in Little Rock for American Renewal Project conference

Former Bro. Gov. Mike Huckabee returns to Little Rock on Friday to serve as the keynote speaker at an extremist evangelical conference at the Statehouse Convention Center. Pastors from Iowa and South Carolina plan to meet with Huckabee to talk about him running for president in 2016

Monday line

Open line.

LRSD school bus slides off road

A Little Rock School District bus hit a patch of ice and slid off the road this morning

Congress nearing budget deal?

Congress being Congress I wouldn't hold my breath, but the Washington Post reports that Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Paul Ryan are close on a possible budget deal to fund the government past Jan. 15. 

Conservative group's poll shows Tom Cotton up 7 over Mark Pryor

Take this with a heaping of salt,  but Politico reports on a poll from conservative group Citizens United Political Victory Fund showing Rep. Tom Cotton up 48 percent to 41 percent in his challenge to incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor.

Flush time for Reggie Corbitt? Update: Corbitt on administrative leave

Sanitary Sewer Commission meeting in executive session after provision of trailer to employee is disclosed.

Dan Thornhill, at UALR

"An Abstraction of Toys"

Architecture lecture on Hillcrest tonight

“Highlighting Hillcrest: History, Architecture and a Sense of Community,” with Rachel Silva, Tommy Jameson and James McKenzie, 6 p.m.

South on Main to host Art of the Bar

Local artisans display their crafts at South on Main — and the bar is open.

Land ho open line

I spent Thursday through Monday morning on a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico with a group of good friends, stopping for a day in Cozumel (if I had known Max was coming that way I would have planted an Arkansas Times catfish flag on the beach for him).

Mayor asks independent investigation of LRWU

Wants Chief Thomas to look into allegations of vandalism and criminal activity that went unreported.

Thursday: John Two-Hawks, 'Because of Winn Dixie' and more

Live at Laman is back with a performance from John Two-Hawks, Laman Library, 7 p.m.

Thursday: Malcolm Holcombe at White Water Tavern

Malcolm Holcombe performs at White Water Tavern Thursday.

Thursday To-Do: Swearin'

Swearin' plays at The Cavern in Russellville Thursday.

Thursday-Sunday To-Do: 'Pagans on Bobsleds XXII: Nice and Naughty'

Red Octopus Theater's "Pagans on Bobsleds XXII: Nice and Naughty" opens Thursday at The Public Theater.

Feds approve Iowa's version of "private option" for Medicaid expansion


Friday To-Do: Cool Shoes: Farewell to Downtown Music

Cool Shoes' last Downtown Music Hall show is Friday.

Friday To-Do: Alvin Youngblood Hart, Vision Control

Alvin Youngblood Hart plays at White Water Tavern Friday.

Weekend: Good Time Ramblers, 9th Ever Nog-off and more

Good Time Ramblers play at Stickyz Saturday.

Saturday To-Do: Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves plays at Juanita's Saturday night.

Saturday: Kingsdown Toys for Tots Christmas Party

Kingsdown's Toys for Tots Christmas Party is Saturday at Revolution.

Saturday To-Do: Final Show at Downtown Music Hall

Downtown Music Hall's final show will be Saturday.

Tuesday: The Frontier Circus at White Water Tavern

The Frontier Circus moseys on into White Water Tavern Tuesday.