In Benton and Washington counties, jailing youth is increasingly used as a last resort. Can the rest of the state follow suit?
Youth unboundJanuary 11, 2018
Vol 44 • No 19
For good food, drink and fun.
The century-old drive to give everyone access to medical care has a new creed: Success is failure.
Here's some arcana reeking of 2017 that I'm banning from consideration, attention, even out-loud mention in 2018. I'm unfriending all this 2017-reminding shit. It's dead to me in 2018.
Also, Doug Dicharry comes to Four Quarter.
I woke up Monday singing, "I'm Every Woman," the Chaka Kahn song that served as the theme to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in the early 1990s. After Winfrey's Sunday night speech at the Golden Globes, I, like many women, was moved and motivated.
Alexander Payne's conceit goes big, falls flat.
A brief confession: the only "reality TV" I ever watch is sports. Real, unscripted contests, I mean. Professional wrestling I gave up after eighth grade when the story lines became too predictable to be funny. I never saw "Jersey Shore" or "The Apprentice."
Arkansas basketball is the great deceiver. The minute you start sensing that a special team is coalescing, a quick road swing will jar you back toward Earth.
Also, Gov wants colleges to keep tuition flat, big Medicaid cuts and more.
And much more.
Socks must be worn.
Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana restrictions on states where cannabis has been legalized.
The Observer has waivered on religion throughout our life, from a good church-going lad in our younger years to where we are now, with our belief in hocus-pocus of all types shed at some point like the paper skin of an onion.
Fact of the matter is murders have dramatically decreased after this past summer's spike and the increased patrols coincide with the drop. Fact of the matter is, if you see a patrol car is close by, the odds of you breaking in that car, house, etc. go down.
Some Democratic House members reportedly plan to bring victims of sexual assault to State of the Union
NBC News reports that some Democratic lawmakers are planning to invite victims of sexual assault to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address this month in order to highlight the issue
A new poll out from Talk Business & Politics, Hendrix College and Impact Management Group checks in with residents in Benton and Washington County and shows evolving opinions and demographics as newcomers enter the region
PBS reports on a new study out this week that finds that states that failed to enact the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, which expanded coverage to low-income adults, suffered an increase in hospital closures while expansion states saw a decline.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has terminated its weight loss program due to budget constraints. The move was part of UAMS' termination of 600 positions, including 258 employees, on Monday.
KARK Channel 4 has an interview with an African-American man in Jacksonville who says he has been the victim of racially-fueled harassment and vandalism at his home, including having his dog poisoned, his truck stolen and his garage and its contents destroyed by arson, with the perpetrator spray painting "Move n****r' on the outside of the burned building.
Governor Hutchinson sent a letter to the Arkansas Public Service Commission today requesting that the commission lower utility rates in the wake of the federal corporate tax cut.
Over to you.
Washington Post and other outlets are reporting that during an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers today, President of the United States Donald John Trump grew tired with lawmakers discussing restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and war-torn countries in Africa and said: "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
The Department of Finance and Administration today released a list of all the names and proposed locations of applicants for medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers.
Recode reports that Facebook is testing a new local-news section from vetted sources called "Today In," testing it in six cities, including Little Rock.
Trump disputes "shithole" language, Cotton slams proposed deal but no word on Trump's comments; UPDATE: Cotton "does not recall"
Donald Trump issues an implausible denial. No comment from Tom Cotton, who was at the meeting, on the president's salty language — but he has plenty to say about the substance of the proposed DACA deal. UPDATE: Cotton "does not recall the President saying these comments specifically."
Since we live in the South and it's a little below freezing with some rain, we've got a slew of mishaps that occurred overnight or this morning including energy outages, icy roads and schools closed.
The Congressional Budget Office this week released a new budget score for a ten-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — which provides health coverage for 9 million lower-income children, including 400,000 kids who are covered by ARKids — and found that it would actually save the federal government $6 billion versus letting it lapse.
The Brookings Institution has a new report out about the influence of independent activist groups on political primaries as the old party gatekeepers weaken. The report focuses particularly on Indivisible, the group with several chapters in Arkansas that has been in the news for activism protesting the actions of Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. John Boozman, and others. Indivisible aims to use the tactics of groups like the Tea Party for progressive ends
The Trump administration today approved Kentucky's request for a waiver of Medicaid rules to implement certain changes to its Medicaid expansion program, including work requirements. Next up, Arkansas?
In trying to explain the president's vulgar indictment of millions of people today, U.S. Rep. Steve Womack told 49/20 News he tries "to look beyond the exact words he [Trump] uses." The 3rd District congressman used a different word: depraved. Un-Norwegianlike.
The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau announced a new set of security screening procedures at all LRCVB-managed properties, to begin January 21.
Got any plans for the weekend?
Trump, Cotton and immigration; Governor Hutchinson navigating a primary challenger and the fiscal session; the hog farm in Newton County; and UAMS layoffs — all covered on this week's podcast.
Governor Hutchinson yesterday announced new appointments to the Board of Trustees at five universities across the state.
The anthology, "Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence," pairs new poems by prominent American poets alongside responses by gun violence survivors, family members of victims, gun control activists, law enforcement officers, clergy members, politicians, and others.
Mahony slams Womack for calling Haiti and African nations "depraved": "Steve Womack is trafficking in racist comments"
Josh Mahony, the Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Steve Womack for the Third Congressional District seat, issued a statement accusing Womack of playing "dog whistle politics" after Womack's comments yesterday that referred to "depraved countries."
Emails released under the state Freedom of Information Act reveal discussions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences about how to terminate tenure-track and tenured faculty.
Katy Perry put on an elaborate show last night at Verizon Arena.
For whatever reason, Walmart isn't crediting the GOP tax bill for this decision, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the company is set to cut 1,000 jobs, primarily hitting the retailer's headquarters in Bentonville.
The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times report on a $130,000 payoff to an adult film star who was preparing to allege an affair with Donald Trump shortly before the election.
Paul Spencer, Democratic candidate for the Second Congressional District, issued a press release Friday condemning "President Donald Trump's racist and vile comments about Haiti and African nations."
The Trump administration guidance that gave the go-ahead to states seeking Medicaid work requirements suggests that states should offer supports for beneficiaries subject to the requirements. The catch: There will be no additional Medicaid funding to pay for such services. Arkansas, which has a pending request for work requirements, has no plans to invest additional state funding into work support services such as job training, relying on existing resources even as it plans to implement the work requirement program for tens of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries.
KUAR reports that Ted Bentley, husband of state Rep. Mary Bentley of Perryville, was arrested last Sunday for allegedly violating an order or protection. The Petit Jean Country Headline reports that Bentley got the order protection against him in early December and has filed for divorce.
Lickspittles for a liar.
Tell us something good.
The advent of medical marijuana in Arkansas presents a problem for users who also own guns. Or so the federal law says.
Another report illustrates the waste of government money in drug-testing recipients of public assistance.
The weather forecast for today includes a Weather Service prediction of two inches of snow in the Little Rock area tonight.
Talk is cheap from Republican politicians on M.L. King Day when measured against their words and deeds.
Kansas basketball team reports being target of racial taunts on a visit to Harrison, Ark., the former sundown town.
State and local tourism officials this morning talked about a new multi-state effort to market memorials to the civil rights movement across the U.S., particularly in the South, where resistance was fierce.
A gift for the New Year: A revival of Bob Lancaster's annual list of things that should never be mentioned again.
The King Holiday open line, plus some comment on news of the day.
WREG TV of Memphis reports that the State Department denied a visa for the Vietnamese mother to attend the Arkansas funeral of a Navy veteran who died of cancer.
Well, news today will be light apart from weather, with schools closed in a big part of the state, lots of government offices on skeleton staff or closed and a huge mess on Interstate 40 near Lonoke on account of multiple tractor-trailer wrecks.
Tom Cotton is blasted for defending Donald Trump's racism. It probably won't hurt him in Arkansas, as evidenced by defeaning silence on the topic from other Republican politicians.
A new listing touts Pine Bluff as a place with bargain home prices.
Inevitability, politics will play a role in medical marijuana in Arkansas. Example: a past alliance between a regulator and an application to be among the regulated.
Quarterly campaign finance reports are coming in today and incumbents are bragging, naturally, about the swelling treasuries incumbents typically enjoy. One example: Gov. Asa Hutchinson has $2 million on hand, the AP reports.
The UA has come up with a string of excuses for withholding information about pay arrangements with new assistant football coaches. We call horse hockey.
Arkansas remains confident that approval of a work requirement for Medicaid eligibility is coming soon. The person who'll make the decision once made money providing advice to Arkansas on Medicaid, a sore point with a Democratic senator.
In remarks in Rogers today, Gov. Asa Hutchinson plugged the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which puts him somewhat at odds with the Republican Party's nominal leader, Donald Trump.
Here's your open line. Also news and comment in the daily roundup.
The state Education Department announced this evening that the feds had signed off on the state's education accountability plan.
The Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, which is pressing the case against a hog factory feeding operation in the watershed of the national river, objects to the hog farm's request to be allowed to continue operating despite failing to meet regulatory requirements.
Everybody, come hear the good news. The Rock Candy blog — where we host all our arts and entertainment coverage here at the Arkansas Times — is starting a podcast.
It is hard to keep up with the havoc Donald Trump is wreaking on valuable government agencies, but the damage being done to an enduring treasure, the National Park Service, stands out.
Tom Cotton, under fire for lying to protect Donald Trump, deigns to take (and dodge) questions and continues to be ripped, including by conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin.
The horror of 13 children held captive by parents in a California home has an education dimension.
Little Rock schools are closed again today and state government is on a two-hour delayed schedule on account of continuing poor road conditions in some places.
This notice from the state Health Department on the value of cervical cancer screening struck me as a touch ironic, or something, given the governor's ban on use of Medicaid for such screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics.
Forgive me a little name-dropping, but a college fraternity brother of mine has made a news splash that fits with my unfashionable view of the value of liberal arts education.
A news release announces the merger of Moses Tucker Real Estate and Newmark Grubb Arkansas into what is described as the second-largest commercial brokerage and management firm in the state, with offices from Little Rock to Bentonville. Chris Moses will be president and CEO.
We've had several requests for this, so here is the complete list of nominees in the 22 categories judges considered for the inaugural Central Arkansas Music Awards just around the corner on Jan. 23 at CALS' Ron Robinson Theater.
Michael Laux, the attorney for Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, filed a 57-page response in federal court today objecting to the state's motion to dismiss Griffen's suit challenging the Arkansas Supreme Court's order permanently barring Griffen from hearing death penalty cases.
A reliable source, after a review of the incident, concludes that charges of racial taunts at a junior college basketball game in Harrison were unwarranted, a misinterpretation of noise-making.
Catholic bishop to skip anti-abortion march because death penalty advocate Attorney General Rutledge is keynote speaker
The Arkansas Catholic reports that Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock will not participate in the annual March for Life anti-abortion demonstration Sunday because the keynote speaker will be Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who supports the death penalty.
Here's a chilly open line. Also: The roundup of news and comment.
Barry Haas reports from the meeting of the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission that it has granted a stay that will allow continued operation of the C and H hog farm at Mount Judea while it appeals denial of a new permit for the factory hog feeding operation.
The "2018 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition," a juried show of contemporary small printmaking by artists from across the country, opens today with 60 works in four galleries at Arkansas State University's Bradbury Art Museum with a 5 p.m. reception.