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Arkansans of the Year: Women

Arkansans of the Year: Women

January 18, 2018

Vol 44 • No 20

Read the print version

Arkansans of the Year: Women

Trumpism stirs Arkansas women to action.

March and candidate info

Will Arkansas join the red state revolt? Part II

Looking ahead to state Senate elections.

What Womack and Trump meant

Along the civil rights trail

A convergence of events in recent days signaled again how far we have come and how far we have yet to go in civil rights.

Pot and politics

The politics of medical marijuana in Arkansas will be an interesting story as it evolves.

On shitholes

The Observer is at home today in our kitty cat socks, weathering a combination sick day and snow day. Way down in Stifft Station, we live at the top of a hill that slopes away in all directions. That's good in a flood, but piss poor other than for sledding during snow and ice, especially when you only have access to a two-wheel drive car.

'The Post' a powerhouse.

It's likely to win big at the Oscars

Kimchi's ginchy

And Korean food is comfort food.

Sex crusaders

Some years ago, a married woman of my acquaintance confided that a locally famous physician kept squeezing her thigh under the table at a dinner party. Actually, the fellow was famous for that, too. Removing his hand hadn't worked. She'd thought about stabbing him with a fork, but hadn't wanted to make a scene.

On the bubble

Arkansas's basketball season has been mercurial to say the least. Two narrow wins at home and three losses in SEC play ranging from frustratingly close to inexcusably gross have set these Hogs on the bubble or near it, and that's not what fans expected after this team shot its way up the national RPI and into the Top 25 for a fleeting moment.

Cotton rotten

I find Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to be disingenuous in his denial of President Trump's racist remarks on the DACA program. Don't cover up Trump's ignorance and disdain for non-white immigrants. Cotton lied to protect the president.

The Oval outhouse

One thing all Americans finally can agree upon is that public discourse has coarsened irretrievably in the era of Donald Trump and largely at his instance.

Inconsequential News Quiz: I (Heart) Dick Edition

Play in your favorite shithole country!

Shitholes and their defenders

Also, hog farm permit denied and Walmart money talk.

Jeff Coleman and The Feeders share the stage with Sabine Valley at Vino's

Also, The Joint Venture kicks off a new show.

Windgate Center of Art and Design at UALR inaugurates gallery season

And much more.

Can't miss CAMA

Central Arkansas Music Awards on Jan. 23.

Trump's 'Actual malice'

While his words away from cameras in the Oval Office the following morning will have a more immediate impact on the futures of DACA recipients and America's reputation around the globe, President Trump's statement on libel law in the United States last week represents a more thorough assault on the country's fundamental values through its disrespect for the rule of law and lack of understanding of the nation's history.

Entergy asks customers to cut power use this morning

Entergy has asked customers to reduce power use this morning because of potential power shortages in the supply system in which it participates.

The controversy brewing at Arkansas Baptist College

A website called Black Agenda Report has posted an extensive report on the many controversies bubbling at Arkansas Baptist College, which saw its president forced out last month.

UAMS employees plan discussion on employment rights

UAMS faculty schedules talk on academic freedom, employee rights and job security.

Amazon narrows HQ search to 20 cities

Amazon has announced the 20 cities still in the running for a second headquarters operation, the search from which Little Rock showily dropped out as a publicity gimmick.

Democratic candidate withdraws to unite opposition to Charlie Collins

Adrienne Kvello, a Fayetteville lawyer who'd announced as a candidate to oppose Republican Rep. Charlie Collins, sent a message today saying she was going to run instead for Washington County circuit clerk and throw her suupport in the House race to Denise Garner.

Supreme Court reverses two decades of precedent, says legislature can't waive sovereign immunity

The Arkansas Supreme Court this morning reversed long court precedent — that the state legislature may pass laws waiving the sovereign immunity provision of the state Constitution that says the state may not be made a defendant in its court.

Kontiki introduces African food to Central Arkansas

Rice akara (banana, sugar and rice flour with spicy red pepper sauce). Fried plantains. Skewers of beef and peanut butter. Cassava-based soup with beef, smoked turkey, tripe and smoked fish. Peanut-based soup with steamed basmati rice, chicken and beef. No, we are not in Kansas anymore. We are in Arkansas, though, at the Kontiki African Restaurant, on state Highway 111 in Alexander.

Women on the march

Women will be marching in Little Rock Saturday for reproductive rights and for broader political aims.

Activists say Tom Cotton has issued do-not-call-or-write notice to some constituents. UPDATE. Such letters sent in 'extreme circumstances' says Cotton's office.

Ozark Indivisible, the activist group that has been pressing members of Congress from Arkansas on health care, immigration and other issues, reported on its Twitter account last night that people calling Sen. Tom Cotton's office had received cease-and-desist letters and posted the image above.

Rutledge's man protects the usurious payday lenders

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's support for Mick Mulvaney to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was rewarded today with CFPB action bad for consumers, but good for payday lenders.

NLR police identify officers in shooting of teen

KARK reports that the North Little Rock Police Department has released the names of officers at the scene when a 17-year-old teen was fatally shot after he pulled a gun and fired it when being taken into custody after a traffic stop.

Thursday: The open line and the video report

Here's the open line and the day's video, leading with discussion of Snowflake Tom Cotton.

UAMS meets with employees to talk budget problems

At a closed meeting with employees today, the leadership at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences sought to explain why the institution had to lay off 258 people and end 600 positions.

City sues mayoral candidates for exploratory committee activities; mayor's violation of same ordinance not covered

As directed by the Little Rock City Board, City Attorney Tom Carpenter today sued for a declaratory judgment that Warwick Sabin and Frank Scott, candidates for Little Rock mayor, are violating a city ordinance by raising money for exploratory committees to run for mayor.

Democratic candidates set session on health care

Democratic congressional candidates schedule town hall meeting on heatlh care next week in Searcy.

Woman killed, child shot near North Little Rock

The Pulaski sheriff's office reports a woman and her young child were shot outside apartments near North Little Rock early this morning. The mother, April Harris, 30, has died. The child is in stable condition. No arrests have been made.

Little Rock native judge starts appellate career with an alarming bang

John Bush, the Little Rock native lawyer appointed by Donald Trump to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals over widespread criticism given his harshly ideological past, has started his appellate career with a bang.

Game and Fish Commission OKs open carry

The state Game and Fish Commission on Thursday officially blessed Thursday open carry of handguns on its properties.

Little Rock School District receives six proposals for Woodruff school

After a proposal to develop the vacant Woodruff school for apartments fell through, the Little Rock School District asked for news proposals and I've now received a list of expressions of interest.

Stodola defends his carryover fund

Mayor Mark Stodola defends his use of carryover campaign money in this year's mayoral campaign, despite a city ordinance that prohibits it.

No Small Talk Episode 2: CAMA, The Post and Beth Ann Fennelly

Week Two of "No Small Talk" takes on: CAMA and The Post. Jacob, Stephanie and Omaya welcome in Arkansas Times staff writer David Koon to talk about the latest Spielberg film and a love of Linotype. As always, we've got recommendations for great stuff to do in Central Arkansas this weekend.

Tom Cotton gets rapped by colleague

Sen. Lindsey Graham compares Tom Cotton to Steve King. That's no compliment.

Senator questions Medicaid chief's involvement in waiver discussions with Arkansas

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has raised questions about Medicaid administrator Seema Verma's participation in rule waivers for three states, including Arkansas because she'd previously been paid for Medicaid consulting work for those states.

Legislative Council approves dicamba ban

The Legislative Council today signed off without discussion on a Plant Board rule to ban the use of the herbicide dicamba between April 16 and Oct. 31.

Former legislator arrested for theft

The Texarkana Gazette reports that Fonda Hawthorne, who served one term in the state House as a Democrat from Ashdown in 2013 and 2014, was arrested this week for theft — making some $16,000 in questionable charges on the debit card of the Little River Chamber of Commerce, of which she is executive director.

TGIF open line

Another week done. Today's video roundup leads with the looming government shutdown.

The Tough Talkin' Tom Cotton Edition

Tough talkin’ Tom Cotton, a major state Supreme Court decision and a pivotal lawsuit for Little Rock politics — on this week's podcast.

In February, Little Rock District Court will aid those with misdemeanor warrants

This February, the Little Rock District Court's criminal division will be helping people with active warrants resulting from misdemeanors address their warrants without arrest.

Government shuts down, blame game underway

The Senate last night failed to approve the House-passed budget resolution, bringing about a government shutdown.

UA releases details on $4.6 million assistant football coach payroll

The University of Arkansas has now released details of pay for the new staff of assistant football coaches, a $4 million-plus payroll topped by defensive coordinator John Chavis, who'll be paid just under $1 million for his first year of coaching Razorbacks.

What does the government shutdown mean?

Hot Springs is open for business today, tourism officials emphasize, though some national park operations undoubtedly will be affected.

Careful what you believe on the Internet, Bud Cummins edition

Bud Cummins, Donald Trump's campaign, retweets a fake Twitter account in support of a popular Republican conspiracy theory about the FBI investigation of Trump campaigns ties to Russian meddlers.

Paywall progress

The new paywall is rolled out, folks are moving over to the new system at a satisfactory clip and readers yet to subscribe can now watch their free reads wash into the ether as we lovingly poke at them asking for financial support (which costs less than the price of one lunch per month…have we mentioned that?).

The Women's March open line

Women were on the march around the U.S. today and that included with vibrant crowds in Little Rock and Fayetteville.

Benton County officers shoot man with gun

The State Police reports the shooting of a man in a Gravette pointing  a gun at Benton County officers.

Russians celebrated Trump's inaugural; guests included French Hill's contact

The Washington Post recounts how influential Russians celebrated Donald Trump's inauguration a year ago, expecting good things to come from their support of Trump's election. The crowd included a Russian who'd made contact with U.S. Rep. French Hill and whose activities are now under special counsel investigation.

Open line: Tom Cotton flip-flops, confirms Trump's profane remarks on immigration

Let's make this the open line. Sen. Tom Cotton appeared on Meet the Press today and offered at least his third version of Donald Trump's profane talk about immigrants, this time confirming that he'd used foul language, just not "repeatedly."

Congressional challenger rips Crawford for shutdown

Chintan Desai, the Helena school teacher mounting a challenge as a Democrat to Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, distributed a punchy news release yesterday on the government shutdown.

Shutdown continues for third day

Here's the latest from the Washington Post on the continuation of the government shutdown, which has a bipartisan group of senators attempting to work out a path to at least a temporary budget. The problem is immigration.

Alan Jackson at Verizon Arena: "It's Been A Crazy Bunch of Years"

The federal government was shut down and the flu bug was hitting hard all over the nation, but a little after 10 Saturday night it was “five o’clock somewhere” and all was right at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

Who knew? ISIS has targeted Arkansas politics, or so Jan Morgan says

ISIS targets Arkansas gubernatorial candidate? So she says.

Republican challenger on shutdown

Robb Ryerse, the Republican primary challenge to incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Womack, sends his thoughts on the shtudown, which Womack has blamed  on Democrats'  desire to help criminal aliens instead of American military, or words to that effect. He decries the gamesmanship.

USS Little Rock trapped in Canadian ice

The USS Little Rock, launched Dec. 24 in Buffalo, is moored in Montreal because of the sudden buildup of impassable ice.

Inmate dies of apparent suicide at Varner Unit

Gregg Smith, an inmate at the Varner Unit in Grady, Arkansas, died last night of apparent suicide, the Arkansas Department of Correction announced this morning.

Senate votes to end shutdown after Democrats and McConnell reach deal

Democrats have struck a deal with Sen. Mitch McConnell on an interim budget during which negotiations will continue on immigration legislation.

Ben Dickey and 'Blaze' draw strong reviews after Sundance premiere

"Blaze," the new bio-pic-ish feature film about cult singer/songwriter and Arkansas native Blaze Foley, and its star, Little Rock native Ben Dickey, are earning critical praise after the new film debuted Sunday at Sundance.

Monday's open line

Here's the open line. Also today's news and comment.

Little Rock police issue misdemeanor warrant for retired officer in shooting of carjacker

The Little Rock police today said a misdemeanor third-degree battery warrant had been issued for the arrest of retired Officer Ralph Breshears, 55, for negligence in firing at a carjacker trying to flee after a reported shoplifting at Home Depot. Prosecutors say Breshears was in no danger and the shooting endangered the carjacking victim.

Arts Center reveal set for end of February

The public should get its first view of what the expanded Arkansas Arts Center will look like by the end of February, Director Todd Herman told the Arts Center's board of trustees today.

Justice Courtney Goodson to seek re-election

The Associated Press announces that Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson will seek another term as associate justice.

NLR homicide reported in robbery attempt

KARK reports the fatal wounding of a man near 14th and Pine in North Little Rock about 8 p.m. Monday

'Growing pains' for eStem at UALR

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported in a front-page article about UALR faculty concerns about the impact of the new eStem charter school on campus, ranging from dropoff traffic to noise during finals and the impact of hundreds of new high school students on the gym, library and eating facilities. This reflects lingering unhappiness on faculty about the addition of the school to campus.

Immigration — the lunatics are in charge of the asylum

Democrats relented on the shutdown in return for a promise for a meaningful Senate debate and vote on legislation to help the dreamers. The future doesn't look bright.

Razorbacks get your guns

The University of Arkansas announces a campus forum to talk about the advent of concealed weapons on campus once a new licensing provision established in a 2017 law is in place.

In 2018, we learn to love the federal deficit

Ernest Dumas explains in detail why the federal budget deficit, once a key talking part for the Republican Party, no longer matters. It's simple. Republicans are in charge and the deficit isn't likely to do anything but grow.

No change in Arkansas unemployment rate

The number of people working dropped by 10,000, but the Arkansas unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent, the state reports.

Little Rock police report homicide

The police said today that a woman found dead in her home Sunday was a homicide victim.

Pedestrian killed by car in Otter Creek

Little Rock police report that James Kilgore, 67, was struck and killed by a car about 9:30 p.m. Sunday as he crossed Wimbledon Loop in Otter Creek.

Toad Suck, Museum of Discovery link up for STEM education

Toad Suck Daze, the annual festival sponsored by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and Little Rock's Museum of Discovery have announced a partnership to put a STEM education program in more than two dozen Central Arkansas elementary schools.

Tom Cotton: Hypocrite and liar

The surly Sand Lizard, Sen. Tom Cotton, slithered down for some friendly air time with his mouthpiece — conservative talker Hugh Hewitt — and demonstrated his hypocrisy again.

Arkansas Business: Clean Line wind power project across Arkansas appears dead

Arkansas Business reports that the Clean Line project to carry wind-generated power from Oklahoma to Tennessee via a line crossing Arkansas is all but dead.

Another school shooting, more dead

A 15-year-old student opened fire after entering a Kentucky high school today, leaving two students dead and a dozen wounded. The shooter is in custody.

Tuesday: Open line and the daily video

Here's the open line. Also the news roundup on a deadly day.

Piazza gets off city campaign finance case

Circuit Judge Chris Piazza has recused from hearing the city of Little Rock lawsuit against the state Ethics Commission and two mayoral candidates, Warwick Sabin and Frank Scott Jr., over their use of exploratory committees to raise money to prepare for a race for mayor against Mark Stodola.

Clarksville utility goes solar

The city of Clarksville will cut the ribbon today on what's said to be the state's largest solar-powered municipal utility plant.

Income tax cut helps Kimberly-Clark slash jobs, including in Arkansas

Kimberly-Clark cashes in on income tax cut, plans to fire more than 10 percent of its work force, including some in Arkansas.

French Hill's empty political gesture

U.S. Rep. French Hill's avowal to refuse pay during the government shutdown was a meaningless political stunt, Blue Hog Report writes.

The mess made by the Arkansas Supreme Court; did self-interest play a role?

The Arkansas Supreme Court's recent prohibition of lawsuits against the state has now been put to use by the court itself in defending itself against Judge Wendell Griffen's lawsuit over his removal from death penalty cases.

Blue Hog Report digs up legislative entanglement from divorce court record

Matt Campbell's Blue Hog Report has mined public record for an item likely to be the talk of the Capitol today — divorces of two Republican House members, Rep. Laurie Rushing of Hot Springs and Rep. Ken Henderson of Russellville.

Group seeks to overturn Supreme Court sovereign immunity ruling with amendment

An ad hoc group has announced plans to attempt to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would restore the right of the legislature to waive the Constitution's sovereign immunity provision that the Arkansas Supreme Court has said bans lawsuits against the state.

LRPD suspends officer who complained about racial slur in recruit's Facebook post

The Little Rock Police Department has continued punishing black officers involved in the reporting of a white police recruit's use of a racial slur on Facebook.

Sierra Club says Arkansas power plants are polluting Memphis

The Sierra Club released a report today that said coal-burning Arkansas power plants are contributing to ozone pollution in the Memphis area.

Lawsuit filed over Kentucky's work requirement for Medicaid

Think Progress reports on the first suit filed over Kentucky's recently approved plan to have a work requirement for Medicaid. Arkansas expects to impose a similar restriction and it, too, may be challenged in court.

Coming to CHARTS: Photos of protest, peace

UA Pulaski Tech, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, opens an exhibition of photographer Danny Lyon's work, "Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement" and multimedia exhibition is "A Peace of My Mind: American Stories," with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, in its Center for the Humanities and the Arts.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families assess governor's budget, find it wanting

A new analysis of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's budget by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families finds it weighted toward more tax cuts and away from adequately funding education and services for children.

Wednesday's open line and the daily news roundup

The open line and the daily video.

2018 Central Arkansas Music Award winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Central Arkansas Music Awards.

Rutledge: AG's office will investigate drug makers over opioid addiction in Arkansas

Citing what she called "staggering statistics," including Arkansas's #2 ranking for overall opioid prescriptions, and top ranking in the number of teens abusing prescription painkillers, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announce today that her office will investigate the corporate manufacturers of opioid drugs, bringing on extra help from private firms, with an eye toward potential litigation or prosecutions.

UA trustees set monthly meetings with UAMS, says deficits have 'got to stop'

Members of the UA Board of Trustees and leadership of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will hold open monthly meetings to track UAMS' financial position, trustee John Goodson said today, and he hopes the legislature, and their constituents, will pay attention.

Arkansas’s largest municipal utility solar power plant unveiled in Clarksville

The state’s largest municipal utility solar power plant was officially introduced to the public on Wednesday, January 24th in Clarksville.