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The dog issue

The dog issue

July 12, 2018

Vol 44 • No 45

Read the print version

The Greatest Dog: Rufus von Schmufus

And yours too.

Rescue, rehab, repeat

Meet Charlene, rescued by the dogged efforts of the HSPC.

Paws in Prison gives dogs, inmates and owners a new leash on life

About a thousand dogs have been trained in the Arkansas Department of Correction's program.

Six under 6

Because puppies deserve special attention.


Power: not for the people

Monday night, I joined around 40 people in a small room on the third floor of the Fayetteville City Hall for an emergency meeting of the Fayetteville Housing Authority.

Punishing the poor

It behooves nearly every generation of Arkansas political leaders to write another chapter in the enduring and simple annals of punishing the poor.

Cathode ode

There's been an addition to the Observatory lately, one that's so old, it's new again to us — broadcast television.

Inconsequential News Quiz: 'Thou Shalt Not Grab Balls in Anger' edition

Play at home, while realizing that there's a TON of weird stuff in the Bible.

The Legendary Pacers perform at South on Main

Also, John Paul Keith comes to White Water.

Two for 2nd Friday

Brewer family at Butler, Bryant at HAM.

Let's vote

The potential for exciting November elections grew last week with filing of petitions for three ballot initiatives to add to two already cleared by the legislature.

Redneck cinema podcast zooms in on 'White Lightning'

A Q&A with "Jackie Broyles" and "Dunlap" on their new podcast, "Redneck Matinee."


Game and Fish ponders banning turtle harvest

Suspends licensing on importing venomous snakes.

Adia Victoria comes to White Water

And much more.

New state Board of Education appointees

New at zoo, truth telling and more.

Soccer and the world

As I write, the first of two World Cup semifinal games, Belgium vs. France, is set to kick off in Moscow, and as soon as this column is finished and filed I'll be enjoying the spectacle on TV. Largely for the sake of my old friend Alain in Montpellier, I'll be pulling hard for France.

Casey's is reborn on Cantrell

It's a barbecue revival.

Don't arm teachers

It's been roughly five months since 14 high school students and three staff members were shot and killed in their school in Parkland, Fla.

Report: Tom Cotton backing away from limit on Chinese telcom UPDATE

Is Sen. Tom Cotton backing off his push (illustrated above) to prevent the U.S. from doing business with the Chinese telcom ZTE. Donald Trump has been pushing for an arrangement with ZTE.

Live fire from Charlie Collins

Duck and cover! Charlie Collins is on Twitter.

Big Brother Walmart

Buzzfeed reports on technology patented by Walmart — audio sensors — that could allow them to monitor worker productivity and, incidentally, listen in on conversations with customers and others. There are privacy concerns.

Supreme Court reinstates rape conviction

In a 4-3 decision today the Arkansas Supreme Court reinstated a rape conviction of Edward Darnell Rogers that had been reversed by the Arkansas Court of Appeals because Pulaski Circuit Judge Herb Wright didn't allow the defense to offer evidence of a past misdemeanor theft conviction of one of the three victims.

Out with the maples in the River Market

The Little Rock Planning Commission will consider today a change to the River Market overlay district that could change the fall palette of the district from red to yellow: The city will ask to remove the maple trees planted along President Clinton Boulevard and elsewhere in the district and replace them with gingkos.

Teacher Retirement case reveals memo about favors done for Arkansas legal work

A court filings refers to favors done to get a law firm a lucrative piece of work representing the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System in a class action lawsuit against an investment firm.

Arts Center director off to North Carolina

Todd Herman, the executive director of the Arkansas Arts Center, is leaving the institution for a job at The Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C.

Thursday: Headlines and the open line

Here's the news roundup so far and your open line.

Police announce four arrests in 2017 homicide

Little Rock police today announced the arrests of four men in the July 24, 2017 slaying of Cyncere Alexander, 14, at 1502 Green Mountain Drive.

ACLU opposes more secrecy in execution process

The ACLU of Arkansas has issued a statement condemning a proposal supported by Gov. Asas Hutchinson to make more secret the drugs used in executions.

Lawsuit challenges Issue One on torts, court rules as constitutional overreach

A lawsuit was filed today in Circuit Court saying Issue One, proposed by the legislature, should be removed from the ballot because it unconstitutionally proposes four separate constitutional amendments to voters in one ballot measure and fundamentally rewrites the balance of power in the Arkansas Constitution without informing voters of the fact.

Marijuana commission seeks rule allowing use of consultant to score applicants

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission moved forward Thursday with an emergency rule change that would allow it the option of retaining an outside consultant to score dispensary applications.

A new design for 30 Crossing: No, not narrower.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation has made a few changes to the 30 Crossing project that will widen the seven-mile Interstate 30 corridor through North Little Rock and Little Rock, the most significant for downtown Little Rock being the creation of a four-lane Second Street from Mahlon Martin Drive east of I-30 to Cumberland Street west of I-30. The new street would serve as relief from traffic to and from the interstate, to be concentrated at Fourth Street.

Monticello pellet mill scrapped

Monticello Live reports that Zikha Biofuels' plans for a  pellet mill in Monticello have been scrapped.

Trump protest underway in London

The whining Trump balloon is flying and sign-waving crowds are deriding the U.S. president in London today. Perhaps he'll tune in to  TV coverage.

Arkansas lands on election security watch list

Arkansas is among 18 states listed as vulnerable to election hacking, though it is viewed as a lower risk than some others.

Marijuana Commission's new Catch 22. No court appeal possible for losers.

We reported yesterday that the state Medical Marijuana Commission had voted to keep marijuana cultivation permits "active" for two years so that should any of the five winning permit applicants fall by the wayside another could be elevated. This, however, amounts to a Catch 22 to prevent lawsuits by losing applicants.

UPDATE: Death Row inmate Don Davis attempted suicide Thursday at Varner unit

State Department of Correction officials refuse to talk about an unspecified "incident" yesterday involving Don Davis, a Death Row inmate at the Varner unit for his 1994 capital murder conviction in Benton County. UPDATE: State Police now confirm Davis has been hospitalized following an attempt to commit suicide by cutting his throat with a razorblade.

'The Conversation' with Baker Kurrus

In this week's episode of "The Conversation," host Matt Price interviews Little Rock Mayoral candidate Baker Kurrus. Kurrus talks about his views on the I-30 expansion and why projects like Woodland's Edge are what Little Rock needs more of.

Community Correction reports drug-related death

Melissa Maier, 28, died at a Memphis hospital Thursday after transfer from the East Central Arkansas Community Correction Center in West Memphis for treatment of distress believed to be drug-related.

Russian interference? What Russian interference?

12 Russian nationals have been indicted for hacking Democratic and Hillary Clinton campaign accounts.

Judicial Discipline Commission censures Judge Mary McGowan for demeanor

The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission today censured Circuit Judge Mary McGowan of Little Rock for her treatment of people in her court.

The line is open

TGIF: Your open line and the daily news roundup.

UAMS restarts cardiac surgery program

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, which had to suspend its cardiac surgical care in May when its heart surgeon, Dr. Gareth Tobler, retired before a new hire had been made, has resumed its program.

Work rule 'works' in first month report; 26 percent flunk

As anticipated thousands failed to report sufficient hours to qualify for eligibility for Medicaid coverage under the work rule put in place at the beginning of June. About 26 percent of those covered didn't satisfy the reporting requirement.

Arkansas PSC increases energy efficiency goals for electric utilities

The Arkansas Public Service Commission today ordered higher energy efficiency goals for electric utilities. The Sierra Club and Audubon Arkansas lauded the PSC decision.

DHS continues to reimburse Medicaid managed care company co-owned by Preferred Family Healthcare

The Department of Human Services continues to use a provider-led Medicaid managed care company that is part-owned by Preferred Family Healthcare, despite a recent decision to cut other ties with the Springfield, Mo.-based nonprofit enmeshed in multiple corruption scandals.

NRA used shell company to funnel millions to elect Tom Cotton, others

Politico has taken a deep look at a mystery outfit that spent $19 million to shift three U.S. Senate seats to Republicans in 2014, including the successful effort by Tom Cotton to oust Sen. Mark Pryor.

There'll always be an England

The open line tips a hat to Jolly England's treatment of Donald Trump.

Bills arrive for petition campaigns, including term limits

Filings are expected next week on the campaigns to put a minimum wage increase and casino gambling expansion on the November ballot. One other campaign reported financial information last week

Welcome to the United States, children

Recommended reading: The New York Times' report on the conditions for the hundreds of children being held in detention since they arrived at U.S. borders seeking asylum. There are many rules and they included no touching of other children, not even a hug for a little brother or sister.

We have met the enemy: The open line

The open line with a dose of Trump and other unhappy news.

The billionaires and their charter schools: Point-counterpoint

A convergence of coverage today on charter schools, the play toys of the Billionaire Boys Club and a growing threat, particularly in Little Rock, to community public schools.

Judge Griffen files appeal of case dismissal

Judge Wendell Griffen has filed his request for the entire 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear his appeal of a 2-1 decision dismissing his lawsuit that his constitutional rights had been violated by the Arkansas Supreme Court in removing him from all death penalty cases.

The Malvern connection: Millions flow through it

How a couple of former senators from Malvern find themselves in a legal controversy over a $4 million finder's fee paid to a Texas lawyer.

One dead, another wounded in NLR skate park shooting

North Little Rock police say one man was fatally shot and another wounded  in an apparent robbery about 3:45 a.m. today at the Riverview Skatepark along the Arkansas River at 2800 River Road, North Little Rock.

Trump-Putin: As bad as expected. At least.

The reviews of Trump's meeting with Putin are not kind to the American.  Those who think the United States has been demeaned and diminished by a lying thug, it might be time to take a knee.

Campaign finance reports begin, first the minimum wage effort

Arkansans for a Fair Wage have made their first significant financial report on their campaign to put an initiated act on the ballot to raise the minimum wage.

Another week begins

The open line and the first news roundup of the week.

Re Trump: The Arkies say......

Trump getting trashed for cozying up to Putin, from Fox News to John McCain. Now Arkansans are being heard from. Example from Sen. John Boozman: "Russia is not our friend."

Reports filed on casino amendment

Initial financial reports have been filed by groups pushing a casino expansion amendment and the major financial force so far is the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma, which is in the casino business. Another Oklahoma tribe, a gambling machine organization and a Mississippi gambling enterprise also are listed.

Suddenly, Rutledge is interested in state's terrible landlord-tenant law

Crocodile tears from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on the state's terrible landlord-tenant law. Given a chance to do something meaningful about it before, however, she didn't.

Meet the Russian Rifle Association

Russia, NRA and the Republican Party. Kind of hard to tell them apart.

To work or not to work in the days of air conditioning when a-c fails

Is a non-functioning air conditioning a good reason to allow employees to go home?

Complaint filed over NRA support for Tom Cotton

The Campaign Legal Center has complained to the Federal Election Commission that the NRA used a shell company to unlawfully coordinate spending to elect Tom Cotton and others to the Senate in 2014.

Laquanda Jacobs to be freed today after 26 years in prison for murder advocates say she didn't commit

Laquanda "Faye" Jacobs, 43, is to be released from the women's prison unit in Newport today after serving 26 years for a murder her advocates  insist she didn't commit.

150 lose jobs at Walmart optical facility in Fayetteville

40/29 reports the layoff of 150 workers at a Walmart optical lab. The company statement referred to "changing business needs."

Vincent Tolliver announces agenda for LR mayoral run

Vincent Tolliver announced on Facebook today his candidacy for Little Rock mayor. He'd earlier been among those packing up materials necessary to file for the office.

Tuesday's open line

Here's the open line. And headline roundup.

Trump ducks for cover but still refuses to criticize Putin

The Trump Helsinki horror show was so bad that he had to come close to admitting error at a White House session today. But while acknowledging Russian election interference that he disputed the day before, there was a key omission.

Ned Perme to retire

Ned Perme is retiring. Talk about news.

Garrard Conley memoir adapted for film

Arkansas native Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir “Boy Erased” has been adapted for film. The trailer — released this week — is already generating buzz as a potential Oscar contender.

UPDATE: Cardi B, Toby Keith, Gucci Mane, George Clinton, Sammy Hagar headline El Dorado's Musicfest

Cardi B, [CANCELLED] Toby Keith, Gucci Mane and George Clinton are among the headliners for Murphy Arts District's Musicfest this year.

More concerns about election security

Motherboard reports on more reasons to feel insecure about fair, secure elections in the United States.

John Burkhalter back with scaled-down building across from Capitol

John Burkhalter, a former candidate for lieutenant governor whose controversial plan for a five-story office building on Sixth Street across from the Capitol ran into roadblocks, is back with plans for a smaller building on the property.

Asa finally mans up on deadbeat GOP lawmaker, says Gates should resign

Under political pressure, Gov. Asa Hutchinson finally said Tuesday what he should have said almost three weeks ago — tax deadbeat and Republican state representative Mickey Gates should resign.

State suspends search for execution drug

KARK reports that the state Correction Department has temporarily stopped searching for midazolam, one of the drugs used in executions. That likely means no further executions until the law can be changed to provide more secrecy in the process.

Another city challenged over ordinance aimed at banning inexpensive mobile homes

A group that successfully sued McCrory over its effort ban inexpensive mobile homes has filed a similar complaint against the city of Newark.

Lawsuit seeks halt of Interstate 630 widening work

A federal lawsuit was filed today to halt work on an expansion of Interstate 630 between Baptist Medical Center and University Avenue because the Arkansas Department of Transportation didn't perform an environmental assessment of the work. UPDATE: The state refused service of the lawsuit, an unusual happenstance that a federal judge might hear about Thursday.

Wednesday: An open line and the world according to Trump

Here's the open line. Also, the daily news roundup beginning with the latest episode of the Real President of Capitol Hill.

Baptist Health to buy Sparks Health System hospitals in Fort Smith, Van Buren

Community Health Systems,. a publicly traded hospital company, is selling its Sparks Health System hospitals in Fort Smith and Van Buren and related physician clinics and outpatient services to Baptist Health of Little Rock.