They all have stories to tell.
Five Arkansas artists you should knowJune 5, 2014
Vol 22 • No 15
Here it is. But there'salso this: a 3.8 earthquake near Fairfield Bay this afternoon.
Jeff Koons, the internationally known artist known for his "inflatables" — including the "Hanging Heart" in restaurant Eleven, will give a lecture at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on July 11.
In our daily video roundup, Max also talks about the Arkansas attorney general approving a ballot title for a proposed constitutional amendment that would decriminalize marijuana, the Little Rock Technology Park Authority offering Brent Birch the Tech Park Director position, developers considering the old Brandon House Furniture store site for a hotel and UAMS looking for a new dean.
he car wreck that is the Republican primary runoff election between Leslie Rutledge and David Sterling has become hard to watch even for comedy's sake.
Earth to Glenn Greenwald: If you write a book slamming the New York Times, it's naïve to expect favorable treatment in the New York Times Book Review. Been there, done that. Twice as a matter of fact.
Also, the Little Rock Zoo hosts the Cheetah Chase 5K.
Jon Nichols submitted this photo of a rain drop on a spider's head to our Eye On Arkansas Flickr group.
Also, Screaming for the Screen at the Argenta Community Theatre, Kevin Gordon at White Water Tavern, Arkansas Times Celebrate the Grape in Argenta, Global Kids Charity Dodgeball Championship, Joseph Ellis at the Clinton Center and Bruno Mars at Verizon.
What do Alexander Hamilton, state Sen. Jason Rapert of Bigelow and the opinion editors at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette have in common? Not much.
Entrees are good, but dessert makes it stand out.
Rita Sklar has been the director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas for 20 years. The New York native has led Arkansans' battle to maintain their rights at the legislature, in the courts and in one-to-one communications. Under her guidance, the ACLU has challenged the new Voter ID law that even its proponents admit is a tool to help Republican candidates, successfully overturned the 12-week abortion ban legislated in 2013 and the state's ban on foster care and adoption by same-sex couples, and fought for free speech and against state-imposed religion in school and at the Capitol
Don Tyson died on Jan. 6, 2011, and afterward Willie Nelson dedicated a concert to his friend. He called it the "No Bad Days" picnic, a reference to Don's outlook on life. He was survived by three daughters, Carla, Cheryl and Joslyn, and a son, John H. Tyson, who took over the family business after his father's death. The family business was chickens.
By now, most of Arkansas knows about the factory hog farm of 6,500 pigs located in the Buffalo River watershed on Big Creek in Mt. Judea. You've read about the pollution and the threat to America's first National River. But what you haven't heard is how the C&H Hog Farm affects local people living at ground zero.
No need to know Shakespeare to get the jokes.
Director Vincent Morris has innovated technological solutions to help those who can't get legal aid.
Voters motivated by religious beliefs are invariably sincere. But it doesn't mean they aren't useful foils. A couple of good examples concern drinking and gambling.
If you require more than Charlize Theron in a movie, avoid 'A Million Ways to Die.'
Receiving a bevy of attention in the aftermath of this year's political primary season was the fact that Republican primary voters outnumbered those casting votes on the Democratic side for the first time ever ("for the first time since Reconstruction" was regularly misused, as primaries did not replace elite-dominated party conventions until several decades later). No matter the distinctive elements of the 2014 cycle that prodded the turnout dynamics, it's a noteworthy historical fact that marks the cementing of two-party competition in the state.
Brian Kearns has the potential to do great things at Arthur’s and Oceans. He’s an incredibly amiable guy, with a determination to provide his customers with a dining experience that’s second-to-none. If you haven’t ventured out to the western edge of Little Rock lately, perhaps its about time you stopped by to see what Kearns has got cooking.
A Republican Arkansas legislator likes points being made against Walmart in wet/dry election in Faulkner County. He wishes Sam Walton was around. But his kids still call company shots and they'll be on hand this week for a raft of questions raised by company critics, from beer in Faulkner County to bribery in Latin America.
The University of Central Arkansas is working to commission an opera on the 1957 school crisis and has engaged Tania Leon as composer and Henry Louis Gates Jr. as librettist.
Kenton Buckner, soon to take over as Little Rock police chief, talked to Fox 16 last night.
The Jacksonville, North Little Rock and Benton police departments soon will release mobile apps for phones and tablets.
Candace Martin says country singer Jo Dee Messina should cancel a concert in El Dorado to help Republican Tom Cotton because of his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act. Domestic violence is a cause Messina has championed.
The Harvest Music Festival, hosted by bluegrass icons Yonder Mountain String Band, has announced its 2014 lineup, set to be held at Mulberry Mountain October 16-18. In addition performances by the hosts (with a special guest, the Grammy-winning producer and lap steel player Jerry Douglas), the festival will feature Trampled By Turtles, Railroad Earth, The Jayhawks, Carolina Chocolate Drops and a lot of others (check the complete list at their site), including local favorites like Swampbird and Shawn James and The Shapeshifters.
Thanks to Evin Demirel's Sports Seer for digging out the local angle on a new USA Today ranking of sports spending by the nation's colleges. The University of Arkansas ranked 14th in the whole United States in 2013 with $99.7 million in revenues. That's a whopping $4,000 for every single one of the almost 25,000 students on the Fayetteville campus (or about $16 million just for the Texans.)
The latest attack on the private option: opponents are criticizing the contraceptive coverage in the health insurance that 170,000 low-income Arkansans have gained via the private option.
Powerful storms hit Northeast Arkansas today. They took down trees and power lines and caused other damage in numerous places. Lots of pictures from the region on KAIT-8's Twitter feed. Storm deaths have been reported in Black Rock and Jonesboro from falling trees.
The Coalition of Greater Little Rock Neighborhoods has joined the Downtown Little Rock Neighborhood Association (and many others) in opposing a Planning Commission-approved plan to put a Mapco convenience store and filling station at Third and Broadway.
Police say two people were shot around noon today at a home at 723 S. Maple, just east of the UAMS campus. Early press reports indicate the victims will survive.
Kelly Gee, North Little Rock's most infamous rogue grill master, shares with us his recipe for smoked chicken wings with a very different style of sauce.
The Faulkner County Quorum Court is going to take up a resolution on short notice tonight to urge voters NOT to sign petitions calling for an election on whether Faulkner County should allow retail sale of alcohol. It's the Faulkner County Taliban at work. We thought Bro. Jason Rapert, a leader of those forces, WANTED people to vote.
Plus, more coverage from Max on the biggest stories of the day in Arkansas: strong storms sweep through Northeast Arkansas, the state Sen. runoff in North Arkansas between Scott Flippo and Rep. John Burris gets crazier, a neighborhood group opposes a gas station at 3rd and Broadway and a state legislator speaks critically of Walmart.
The line is open. To finish a bad weather day for Jonesboro and the region comes a bit of better news — Trinity Industries is going to take over the former Nordex facility in Jonesboro for a railcar maintenance facility that could employ 350.
Today, I'm talking doughnuts. It's Food Feedback Friday, y'all. Let me hear about what I should be eating...even if it's not doughnuts.
Leslie Rutledge, in the runoff for the Republican nomination for attorney general, is calling down her opponent David Sterling for taking a campaign contribution from a payday lender.
The 70th anniversary of D-Day is observed in Normandy today. Events include World War II re-enactor groups and a gathering of world leaders at burial grounds. Another war story, of the Navajo code talkers, is also in the news today on the death of the last of the original 29, Chester Nez.
It was custom-made for the Daily Show's Jon Stewart Texas gun nuts intimidating restaurants in Texas with group displays of semi-automatic rifles. The NRA criticizing. The gun nuts going ballistic, The NRA backing down.
Talk about revolving door. The Pulaski sheriff's office tracked down the suspect in a minor shooting — victim suffered a wound to the right foot — by getting state parole officials help in finding him by means of the ankle monitor the parolee was required to wear.
Louisiana has turned New Orleans schools over to charter operators and the results are in: "spectacular failure," writes a Louisiana educator based on test scores.
Digital commerce and improving the lot of workers stood out in remarks by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon at the annual stockholders meeting of the retail firm today in Fayetteville.
Further proof that the new Voter ID law is being misapplied and that the people in charge — from secretary of state on down — haven't done anything about it.
A fire broke out early this morning in room near the intensive care unit of the Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis and 14 patients had to be removed from the hospital, which has now been closed, KAIT-TV reports.
The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees will meet by conference call Monday to approve early retirement agreements from UAMS.
Lawyer says petition drives for alcohol sales elections in three counties and statewide are progressing well. The county measures should make the ballot. A campaign sidelight: Alcohol sales foe Sen. Jason Rapert has benefitted financially from alcohol-scented money from Conway County, where dealers would prefer to keep their regional monopoly on alcohol sales.
Driving rain, power outages, trees down, a 53 mph gust at Little Rock Airport. But we still hope it will pass on through and the skies will clear for tonight's Celebrate the Grape in Argenta.
Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter issued a legal opinion today responding to questions about whether the city can refuse to hire Level 3 and 4 sex offenders (the highest category) and whether it could refuse to hire lower level offenders at the Zoo and Parks and Recreation Department, where work with children might be involved. The answer to both questions was yes.
The Friday night line opens with a State Police call for help in solving a hit-and-run accident Tuesday night.
Arkansas Times Recommends: 'Nutshell Library,' Custom Knives and Minnie Riperton getting attacked by a lion
Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying (or, in Max's case, not enjoying) this week.
Also, Walmart's future, UAMS's financial woes, school choice in Arkansas and Max's bright red shirt.
Walmart’s annual meeting and all that surrounds it, the coming runoff elections for the Republican nomination for attorney general and Senate District 17, the battle brewing over booze in Arkansas and the man that no matter how hard we try we can’t seem to escape—Jason Rapert. All covered in this week's edition.
That proposal — that terrible proposal — for a Mapco convenience store and filling station at the dangerous Third and Broadway intersection reaches the City Board for the first time Tuesday night.
Noticed the explosion in food trucks in Little Rock? City Hall certainly has. It proposes new rules to regulate the business.
Even Bill Clinton though the State of the Union speeches were too long, newly released White House documents show.
KARK/Fox 16 news staffs have combined efforts to produce a one-hour documentary on the April 27 tornadoes that struck Mayflower and other communities. A trailer provides a preview.
The State Police have arrested in a suspect in a hit-and-run Tuesday night that left a bicyclist seriously injured on MacArthur Drive near North Little Rock.
A sweep of registered sex offenders in Little Rock turned up no immediate violations of residency rules, the LRPD said.
A Georgia truck driver who was driving a Walmart tractor-trailer has been charged in the New Jersey turnpike crash this morning that killed comedian James McNair, known as Jimmy Mack, and left actor Tracy Morgan in critical condition.
Chef Donnie Ferenau's healthy food to go operation is moving into the former Argenta Market in North LIttle Rock.
Private insurance Medicare Advantage plans bilked taxpayers as the plans exaggerated the sickness of participants to qualify for higher reimbursements. Let us hope the private option of Medicaid doesn't encourage similar in the profit-motivated private insurance sector.
A Mississippi lawsuit illustrates the downside of privatization of state services — here in appalling conditions in privately operated prisons. It is a cautionary tale for Arkansas, become more politically like Mississippi every election.
David Boling, a lawyer who finished third in a field of five in the Democratic primary race for 2nd District Congress in 2010, has an op-ed in the Washington Post about the experience. In short: Most of a candidate's time is spent raising money.
The open line includes some fond food memories, inspired by Jon Favreau's movie, "Chef."
Time for another session of Cheer & Jeers, my periodic round-up of things that are making their way into my mouth…some good, some bad…time to lay it all out there. Fortunately, looking back at my recent life in food, I’ve eaten much more good than bad…either that, or I’ve selectively blocked those bad items from my mind. Regardless, here we go:
Texarkana illustrates the brutal divide of President Obama's health care law. Poor people get coverage in Texarkana, Arkansas. Across the state line in Texas, no such luck.
Tyson Foods has apparently won a bidding war for Hillshire Brands with a bid topping Brazilian-owned Pilgirm's Pride by almost $1 billion.
Need some guidance on the Republican runoff for attorney general? If gun nuts and extreme-right backbench legislators are your cup of tea, the choice is clear.
The Pulaski County jail reopened to minor offenders at 8 a.m. today after closure of more than a month to all but violent, felony suspects.
The Las Vegas Sun has begun reporting details on the couple who killed two armed police officers and a bystander in a Walmart before they died in an apparent suicide pact. Neighbors said they bragged of their gun collection, distributed white supremacist literature, bragged of participating in demonstrations at the Bundy ranch were known for appearing around town in costumes as characters from Batman — The Joker and Harley Quinn.
William Tsuitsui, Hendrix College's new president, is back on the news for his scholarly take on the latest Godzilla movie.
Think Progress has an extensive report on some of the worst — though not all — flaws in Arkansas's new Voter ID law, which it calls the worst in the U.S.
Democratic Party hits Rep. Tom Cotton for his votes against federal disaster aid. It does matter here in tornado alley.
Andrew DeMillo at the AP reports on Sen. John Boozman's first day back at his Washington office after emergency heart surgery April 22. The big news is that Boozman said he plans to run for re-election in 2016.
A new audit shows long waits for care in Veterans Affairs medical facilities nationwide and many reports that the problem was covered up on orders from superiors. The new report includes data on Arkansas facilities.
The Little Rock police said a masked man fired multiple shots during a robbery of the Game Exchange at 3412 S. University Ave. about 12:30 p.m. today. No one was injured, but the gunman escaped with cash.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel keeps after the payday lenders. He announced today he had sued three online lenders for illegally making loans with interest rates as high as 782 percent in Arkansas. Defendants are two individuals and three companies, all from Kansas.
A federal judge has refused an ExxonMobil request to dismiss a federal-state lawsuit over the crude oil pipeline spill in Mayflower a year ago.
A mailer in the hot Republican primary runoff between John Burris and Scott Flippo in North Arkansas harkens back to the old days of Republican Senate influence peddling.
On today's show: The runoff election for attorney general between David Sterling and Leslie Rutledge, guns in Arkansas and elsewhere, John Boozman returning to work, a judge denying Exxon's bid to have the federal/state lawsuit over the Mayflower spill tossed and Hendrix's new president and Godzilla.
Make this the open line: With heavily armored cops; a band trip flimflam, and Fayetteville whiz kids in the news
No, let's make this the open line. And close out with the propensity of city cops to acquire military-style gear (see the over-the-top combat-style Springdale police recruiting video, which got a shout in the New York Times today); an indictment in the case of a Fort Smith band swindled on a trip to Hawaii, and some good news about a national championship from Fayetteville — no, not in sports.
The Arkansas Public Service Commission today said it would reconsider both the need for and route of a 345-kilovolt SWEPCO power line through northern Arkansas.
Walmart has issued a statement responding to press reports about the Walmart truck driver, Kevin Roper, charged in the New Jersey freeway wreck that left one dead and actor Tracy Morgan in critical condition.
The state Arkansas Economic Development Commission announced this afternoon that some 250 jobs are expected from an insurance sales call center in Sherwood.
Acxiom VP tells lawmakers the state should allow school districts to use public internet infrastructure; private internet providers aren’t happy
In yet another Education committee meeting this morning about expanding broadband internet access to school districts, an executive vice president of Acxiom said he “wholeheartedly endorsed” a report released last month that recommends a public-private partnership to bring the state’s subpar K-12 internet connectivity up to national standards.
Derek Fisher, a Parkview and UALR graduate, will be announced today as head coach of the New York Knicks.
Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright has ordered the state of Arkansas to pay more than $69,000 in the lawsuit striking down the state's ban on most abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy.
James Lee Witt has been added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue list, a sign of optimism about his candidacy.
News this morning from a group of volunteers that have been working to improve some Little Rock district schools most in need is that one of those volunteers, Jim Ross, will be a candidate for the District 5 seat on the Little Rock School Board now held by Jody Carreiro.
The Pulaski sheriff's office is piecing together information about a fatal wreck near Hensley in which a passenger who was killed was identified as a suspect in an earlier home intrusion in Hensley.
Ernest Dumas has written a fine column on the matter of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and his exchange for Taliban captives at Guantanamo. It addresses the not-so-subtle subtext of the right-wingers that Bergdahl somehow was not deserving of rescue on account of his pre-disappearance conduct.
We'd mentioned earlier that the state would participate (including $14 million in teacher retirement venture capital) in the announcement today of a new venture in Osceola, BlueOak Resources, that will recycle materials from junked electronics such as computers. Did you know this process was known as "urban mining"?
The University of Arkansas has announced it will offer an all online start-to-finish bachelor's degree in business administration starting in the fall.
After nine years in business, Argenta's Starving Artist Cafe closed down recently after struggling through months of poor business. They've said that they were unable to find a "buyer or investor" in time and decided it was "time to move on." The restaurant sold off its iconic yellow chairs last week for $25 each. More from their Facebook page:
The Federal Election Commission has hit a stone wall in attempting to get financial backing information from the American Future Fund, a dark money group that has spent heavily in the Republican race for attorney general.
Ronnie Floyd, pastor of the mega Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, has been elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
One more quality summer jam from Little Rock's up-and-coming new school, this one courtesy of Nick Ward and BLACK PARTY (a.k.a Malik Flint), who also produced the track. Here they go on record with MC Hammer and Barry Bonds puns and open up about their (theoretical, surely) offshore bank account plans. They sound pretty savvy about the importance of insurance, too, which is unexpected but very much appreciated (I can always use financial planning tips).
The inaugural ACANSA Arts Festival will kick off Sept. 23 with a cocktail reception at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion and continue with art, theater, music and dance performances in Little Rock and North Little Rock Sept. 24-28.
[embed-1]I definitely want to hang out with James Shirley, the Capital Hotel kitchen's butcher. In this Capital-produced video, he talks about his background, what he likes about butchery and how much he likes the Capital's newly renovated kitchen.
President Obama is politicking on Tumblr today in behalf of his proposal to ease the student debt burden as an economic stimulus.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is the "most fabulous museum" there is, according to Queerty, the online gay-interest magazine. The article also praises museum founder Alice Walton for her open-mindedness in hiring.
We open the reader comment line with news of another bank robbery — at 3:30 p.m. today at the Iberia branch at 6420 S. University Avenue. No one hurt. Robber escaped with cash. And there's news from the ongoing efforts to further spread the retail sale of alcohol in Arkansas.
Arkansas Alehouse, a brewpub restaurant based in the new North Little Rock headquarters of Diamond Bear Brewing Co., is set to open as soon as next week. The restaurant will serve up European pub fare with a Southern twist, said general manager Matt Beachboard (previously of Big Orange) – savory snacks, sandwiches, soups, and indulgent desserts. “It’s all brewpub, beer-centric, and beer inspired food,” Beachboard said.
Huffington Post has posted a tape of Sen. Jason Rapert seeming to suggest some sympathy with Saudia\ Arabia-style governance. Christian rather than Sharia law, of course.
Also, urban mining, the University of Arkansas offering an online-only degree in business administration, the teacher insurance crisis, Ronnie Floyd is elected pres of the Southern Baptist Convention, a judge orders the state to pay court costs for abortion law legal battles, Derek Fisher is named coach of NY Knicks and Ernie Dumas writes about Bowe Bergdahl.
An election night for the Republican fringe: Cantor loses, Flippo beats Burris. But Rutledge wins attorney general nomination
An upset for an extremist Republican in Virginia and a couple of runoffs featuring extremist Republicans in Arkansas are the big election excitement tonight.
To avoid a calamitous rise in insurance rates for public school employees (PSEs) at the end of 2014, the legislature will need to convene in special session this summer. Gov. Beebe won’t call a session until legislative leaders are confident that the votes are present to pass whatever fix is proposed. Today, the task force created to study the PSE insurance problem met jointly with the full Ed committee to review draft legislation proposed by Sen. Jim Hendren (R), the task force chair.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton stands alone again among Arkansas congressmen by voting for a budget cut for Amtrak, which runs through Arkansas and not long ago added a stop in his district in Hope.
Ezra Klein at Vox rattled off a handy list of 11 lessons to be learned from Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's defeat in Virginia last night.
Pulaski County gave Leslie Rutledge her biggest vote in winning the Republican nomination for attorney general. Could — should — this suggest benefits of a touch of moderation for other Republican candidates. In at least one legislative race, the answer is yes.
KATV's Jason Pederson has a report on recent reporting on performance rankings of VA hospitals that put the Little Rock VA in the bottom seven in the country.
Does Leslie Rutledge's victory mean that stand your ground isn't a sellable commodity in Arkansas? Or that Arkansas voters don't approve of outside political spending? Does Scott Flippo's victory over Rep. John Burris mean the private option is finished? Max answers these questions and more.
Four images to whet your appetite for the upcoming Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center: Drawing by Louis Watts, a painting by Taimur Cleary, mixed media ceramic work by Ian Park and a woodcut by Neal Harrington.
Little Rock artist Jon Shannon Rogers will spend September in Glasgow as the Prince's Drawing School's Artist in Residence at the Dumfries House. Eat your heart out: The residency includes a private studio on the 2,000 acre royal estate in East Ayrshire, Scotland, as well as accommodations and a stipend.
State Rep. Nate Steel, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, welcomed Republican runoff winner Leslie Rutledge to the race today with a news release that, boiled down, suggests his campaign focus: He's got the chops.
James Hesterly, a former Ouachita County judge, pleaded guilty in El Dorado today to one count of bribery for rigging bidding on a federal disaster relief cleanup project in return for a 2010 campaign contribution.