Tom Cotton has a golden resume, but questions linger about whether his style and politics fit Arkansas.
Vol 22 • No 22
A U.S. appellate court has affirmed a decision that North Little Rock police officers aren't liable for damages in the death of man who died of hypothermia after they dropped him off, intoxicated, at a remote freeway exit in Lonoke County.
An update on efforts to allow a Nashville college teacher to return to the U.S. after visa problems foiled her return to the country after a local church's mission trip to Guatemala.
The Little Rock police report that Barry Livingston, 76, has died of injuries suffered from a hit-and-run while he was out running in his neighborhood along Hughes Street early Monday morning.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross gets more national attention today — a spot on MSNBC — for his domestic violence proposal inspired by an article about a murder victim in Arkansas who'd endured repeat abuse by her boyfriend.
KUAF's Jacqueline Froelich has a report on another simmering power line controversy. It concerns a big line proposed by Clean Line Energy Partners to carry wind-generated energy from Oklahoma to the Tennessee Valley Authority. The $2 billion line would cross Arkansas, though the precise route isn't set yet.
Entrance to Little Rock Air Force Base has been limited because the base is on lockdown in response to a "suspicious" person.
City Attorney Tom Carpenter says Brett Morgan is legally eligible to serve on the Little Rock Civil Service Commission though he claims a home in Scott as his principal residence for tax purposes.
The line is open. And with today's video headlines, a little explanation on how that comes to be.
Though no one said so outright, an issue before the Legislative Council subcommittee today was the Advantage Communications, a company owned by Michael Steele, former Sen. Tracy Steele’s brother, reaps a windfall from the grants, to be awarded over five years.
Republican Rep. Tom Cotton praised federal aid for flood-damaged farmers and ranchers, but didn't mention he'd voted against the legislation that provided the aid. The Pryor campaign did.
Little Rock music veterans Shayne Gray and Paul Bowling talk Techno-Squid Eats Parliament, Trusty and a new album.
The Observer turned 40 years old over the weekend, a milestone for sure, only a number, but a daunting one. The oldsters in the audience are sure to be wistfully breathing: "Ye Gods! To be 40!" Meanwhile, the youngsters are undoubtedly saying the same thing, only with awe and dread. A middle place, then, somewhere between youngster and oldster.
The 2013 legislative session, with its first Republican majority, resembled partisan-driven Washington in many ways, though the narrow 51-49 Republican edge in the House forced some bipartisan accommodation.
'Intelligence-led policing,' community interaction key to curbing crime in LR, says new LRPD head.
'Purge' sequel outdoes original, but it's still light summer fare.
Also, the Central Arkansas Library System hosts a book sale.
Technique, technique, technique.
If Arkansas is going to be an unlikely world-beater this fall, or even a better than average bunch, the onus rests upon ball, and by extension, clock control. That's something we'll observe in this space throughout the course of the season.
'Valium is my favorite color!'
Search the phrase "the most powerful man in the world" and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weight-lifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It's a cant term TV news anchors use to describe U.S. presidents, enhancing their own self-importance as chroniclers of the great.
Asa Hutchinson would politely decline my help if he were given a choice, and because he holds a tiny lead in the governor's race he may not need it, but it is one of the encyclopedic services a columnist ought to provide.
A new entry into Arkansas's barbecue pantheon.
Are Little Rock's segregated neighborhoods the result of a conspiracy? You bet. City officials admitted as much during a school desegregation suit in the 1980s, the federal courts ruled that was in fact the case, and the federal appeals court upheld those findings. We're not talking grassy knolls or faked moon landings here; we're simply repeating the conclusions that the federal courts have reached based on the evidence.
Almost three months after a quarter-mile-wide tornado tore across Faulkner County, much work remains to be done to repair the damage.
Also, Steely Dan at the AMP, !!! (Chk Chk Chk) at Revolution, Amanda Shires at White Water Tavern and 'His Girl Friday' at Few.
Voters are smart. They understand that more education before kindergarten is a necessity, particularly for kids most at risk of starting behind and never catching up.
Le Pops is a wonderful addition to the Heights neighborhood. Laurie Harrison is incredibly dedicated to her product, she still works here 7 days a week and is constantly experimenting in the kitchen to develop new flavors. Check them out the next time you need a cool down.
Eighteen consecutive federal court rulings have invalidated state bans on same-sex marriage. Might Arkansas be No. 19?
The talk of toll roads to improve Interstate 40 bodes ill for the average Arkansas motorist, who'd pay a stiff fare to benefit the trucking industry.
The Pulaski sheriff's office said the county detention facility is again open to all comers after having been closed July 1 to all but violent offenders.
Bill Simon is out after four years as CEO of Walmart U.S. and Greg Foran, who's been CEO of Walmart Asia, is in.
A majority of Americans think they or others are better off because of Obamacare. 44 percent think it hasn't helped anyone. Anyone! Those 200,000 people with new and subsidized coverage in Arkansas? Not helped. At all
A Norm Ornstein article on the rise of extremists in the Republican Party quotes Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert to make his point.
Vilonia Officer Steven Carpenter has been suspended for an investigation of complaints that he'd harassed a local teen (allegedly for insulting Carpenter's daughter), roughly handled and threatened to Tase the teen's father, and ordered the teen out of a public subdivision.
Walton money pours into a Jewish group that supports publicly financed vouchers for religious schools. Its a tradeoff for their political support of school legislation.
A legislative committee today is hearing a report on expanding the private option Medicaid expansion to cover dental and vision needs and the cost if coverage was mandated for private plans in the insurance exchange.
Interesting — make it unsettling — reporting here from the Center for Public Integrity and Inside Climate News about efforts to get the EPA to talk about air pollution monitoring in the Texas fracking territory. Reporters met a stone wall. This follows their discovery that state regulators have done little about toxic chemical emissions from gas exploration.
A day at Young Makers Camp, the week-long summer camp hosted by the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock’s Argenta. The day’s topic was 3D printing and laser cutting, but for the $400 they paid for the week, the kids will also learn programming, fabrication, manufacturing and design.
Little Rock Air Force Base has issued an explanation of what prompted yesterday's more than four-hour security lockdown at the base. In short, it appears to have been a false alarm about a security problem.
The open line includes our daily video news roundup as well as the Arkansas Times Weekly Podcast challenge for Senate candidates Tom Cotton and Mark Pryor. So far, no response from Cotton and a tentative positive response from Mark Pryor to our invitation to both men to chat one Friday afternoon — together preferably but also singly — before Nov. 4.
Alrighty...you know the drill with Food Feedback. Tell us what you're eating this week and what you thought about it. I love to hear all the suggestions and I'm frequently looking back through your recommendations to determine my next meal. So share away! Happy weekend, y'all.
Republican Stacy Hurst makes an appeal to moderate-to-liberal voters with an endorsement of the private option version of the Obamacare-financed Medicaid expansion.
Hillary Clinton sits down for a serious discussion about the lengthy list of world problems. Like her or not, she knows the material.
Gov. Mike Beebe and telecomm companies are fighting over rights to provide broadband services to schools. Is a compromise coming that might serve schools, but not everybody else?
Nate Steel, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, introduces himself here. His mama is conservative.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor has proposed legislation to encourage U.S. job creation.
Bryan McManus, 25, of Little Rock was killed Thursday afternoon when his jet ski collided with a boat offshore from St. Andrews St. Park near Panama Beach, Fla.
The Little Rock police report a robbery of the Walgreens at 3901 W. Markham, adjacent to UAMS, at 11:30 a.m. today.
There's a deadly virus infecting an estimated 38,000 Arkansans (only one in four of whom realize they have the disease) that is spread largely through IV drug use and sexual contact, but also medical procedures such as blood transfusions. It's not HIV, though — it's hepatitis C.
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock has issued a statement about the influx of immigrants, many of them children, arriving at the U.S. border. He calls for a brotherly response, including welcoming them in Catholic parishes, rather than a political outcry.
We mentioned earlier this month that Lucero had a huge, career-spanning live album, "Live from Atlanta," on the way in August, and now a few of the tracks are available to stream: "Sweet Little Thing," "Texas & Tennessee" and "Tears Don't Matter Much." Above, watch them play "I'll Just Fall," off 2002's "Tennessee," via the AV Club.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton is an extreme right-wing Republican. We all knew that. It might even make him electable in Arkansas. But his Obama mania apparently has developed to the point of irrationality. Among others, he seems to blame the president for the downing of a passenger jet over Ukraine on the president.
Go to Hillcrest Artisan Meats. Ask for a couple of chunks of the teres major. It's a little known cut of beef shoulder. It's as tender as tenderloin, but a lot more flavorful. Each individual piece is about 6 to 8 ounces. One per person should do.
Arkansas Times Senior Editor Max Brantley and Editor Lindsey Millar talk about Tom Cotton and the latest in election news, the fight over public schools and broadband, talk of toll roads along I-40, a legal claim that could keep votes on alcohol and the minimum wage off the ballot and the state Republican Party embracing D.C. politics — all covered on this week's edition.
The Friday open line includes video headlines and a building collapse in Pine Bluff.
The New York Times reveals that an anti-Obamacare ad featuring a Little Rock businessman was financed in large part by the health insurance industry, not small businesses.
The city of Little Rock proposes to pay for design work to add a "gateway" on the replacement Broadway Bridge to link to Riverfront Park. The construction schedule and other downtown highway work are up in the air because of federal budget issues.
Pryor campaign response to straw man Obamacare ad is that Tom Cotton is a tool of the insurance industry. Maybe a reporter with an invite to his news conferences could ask him about that.
Tonight's open line.
Democrats hope a push for a minimum wage increase will help their candidates in the fall. But will it? Never mind the big question of whether the proposal gets on the ballot in the first place.
A 44-year-olld woman was fatally shot at her 11th Street Home Saturday night.
A federal district judge Saturday ruled a Washington D.C. ordinance that prohibits carrying a hand gun is unconstitutional.
Classic Little Rock eatery has issues with overcooked and below-temperature food.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Michael Wickline reported this morning that Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson claimed homestead property tax exemptions in two counties for four years — 2008 through 2011 — though state law limits you to one $350 exemption.
Here's an open line. A search continues for a missing Greenwood man and his 10-month-old son.
Shots were fired, but no one was struck after a wreck in the Riverdale area of Little Rock around 7 p.m., police report.
One killed, three wounded at Pine Bluff neighborhood gathering; press conference on Little Rock shooting
A 21-year-old Sheridan man was killed and three other men suffered minor gunshot wounds when shooting broke out Saturday night during Community Jamboree, an annual neighborhood gathering in Pine Bluff. In Little Rock, a community group seeks help solving a neighborhood death in the capital city.
Sources report movement toward a 2 a.m. closing ordinance for Little Rock private clubs, perhaps with a 3 a.m. closing two nights a week.
If you watch TV, this news in the New York Times will close as no surprise: An explosion of spending on political advertising on television — set to break $2 billion in congressional races, with overall spots up nearly 70 percent since the 2010 midterm election — is accelerating the rise of moneyed interests and wresting control from the candidates’ own efforts to reach voters.
Arkansans will be participating when a national advocacy group testifies in Washington this week for legislation to make it harder for domestic abusers to possess guns.
The StudioMAIN design cooperative is seeking artists to create sculpture for SoMa between 12th and 17th, work that will be funded by a matching gift of $45,000 from the John and Robyn Horn Foundation, the Quapaw Central Business Improvement District No. 5 and Bernice Garden and Esse Purse Museum founder Anita Davis.
At a press conference in the State Capitol rotunda this morning, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual support and advocacy organization, announced the new state director of HRC Arkansas, and the results of the largest survey of LGBT Arkansans ever conducted in the state.
The document Asa Hutchinson signed to receive an illegal double homestead tax exemption for four years shows clearly on its face that it's for a tax exemption. And it shows Hutchinson checked a blank that indicated it was for his "principal residence," though it wasn't.
The monumental Rogers, Ark. music venue formerly known as the Arkansas Music Pavilion and recently renamed the Walmart AMP (or Walmart, for short), has a truly impressive and expensive lineup scheduled for the upcoming Fall, and they're adding more dates all the time.
Another U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a state same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional, this one in Virginia.
Arkansas Democrats are ripping Republican House candidate Jack Ladyman of Jonesboro for six years of illegal double claims of a homestead tax exemption for homes in Craighead, Washington and Pulaski counties.
North Little Rock native Chris Denny, who was, as we wrote in May, "Arkansas's most promising musical talent for so long that he seemed destined to remain forever stuck on a "greatest that never was" list," made his triumphant return to Little Rock in June with a brief show at Juanita's.
Little Rock police have begun encrypting radio traffic, which could mean the end of public availability of police transmissions. That has many implications, none of them good for media and scanner hobbyists. Or criminals, maybe.
Not since the glory days of Leonard Cooper and Brock Thompson has Arkansas seen so promising a hometown Jeopardy contestant as 15-year-old Cooper Lair, who will compete in the Teen Tournament semi-finals tomorrow night (July 29) and will almost definitely emerge a very wealthy man.
Susan Inman, the former Pulaski County election coordinator who's the Democratic candidate for secretary of state, criticized her Republican opponent, the incumbent secretary of state Mark Martin, for a poor job of educating voters about the new Voter ID and the damaging impact on voters.
Diamond Bear is celebrating the launch of its Southern Blonde in can-form tonight at its new brewery in North Little Rock. There's be all sorts of tasty grub from the Arkansas Alehouse and enough beer for even the thrisy-est out there. Tickets, $25 in advance or $30 at the door, cover food and drink.
Sure. Why not Satanists say that, under the Hobby Lobby ruling, they clearly have a religious ground to challenge state-mandated counseling designed to discourage women from having abortions.
An open line, video highlights and a filing for Little Rock city board, a state retirement and the death of Little Rock-born Margot Adler, NPR journalist.
It was no surprise to learn that Gilbert Baker was the bagman for nursing home magnate Michael Morton's political contributions to Mike Maggio (and likely many other political candidates). An Ethics Commission investigation also indicated key players had lied to a newspaper reporter. Imagine that.
Remember Bert Dahl, the pagan priest who complained that Beebe city officials and residents had prevented him from establishing a church and shop in his home because they learned he was a pagan? He's the subject of an extensive feature today in the New York Times.
Life ain't easy on the minimum wage, an Ohio governor discovers. And the minimum in Arkansas for some workers is even lower than the $7.25 he had to work with.
I figured I'd like the Quapaw Quarter Figure Drawing Group show at Mugs Cafe, but I didn't know how much. It's definitely worth a trip, especially if like me you love figure drawing.
A new digital publication, Ratter, will launch in the coming months with ambitions to break original stories rich with unbelievable truth. Fayetteville native and Arkansas Times contributor Sam Eifling will serve as editorial director.
A video of John Harlan Norris at work gives you a good idea of what you'll see when his exhibit "John Harlan Norris: Cast" opens next week at the Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., North Little Rock.
The state Ethics Commission report on Mike Maggio's campaign contributions reveals plenty about political wheeling and dealing in Arkansas.
Asa Hutchinson twice swore he was entitled to a homestead tax exemption that was an illegal double dip. And he claims he's the honest taxpayer.
The Arkansas sculptor who made this piece ("Final Tribute to Stradivarius") will have his work featured at a Friday reception. Guess the artist and I'll tell you where the reception is.
A federal court has struck down a Mississippi law aimed at closing the state's only abortion clinic. It comes as a radical anti-choice politician in Arkansas, Tom Cotton, gets an endorsement from anti-abortion groups.
A state board has made some adjustments in deductibles for lower cost state employee health insurance plans at a meeting today.
Comedian Mike Rowe has announced a move to Arkansas to run for county judge in Lafayette County. Joke's on him. It's too late to file. But, coincidentally, things are already interesting in that particular race for office.
French Hill ran up $14,000 in legal bills this year on his campaign account. With his wife's law firm. Nothing to see here, spokesman says.
A new Walmart ID policy aimed at preventing underage sale of alcohol and tobacco has left an Iowa customer unhappy. Anybody encountered this policy in Arkansas?
Ronnie Spence, a Republican candidate for state House, has been fined $150 and issued a letter of caution by the state Ethics Commission for failing to file required personal financial and campaign spending reports.
The open line includes a new poll in the Pryor-Cotton race for U.S. Senate (Cotton is up 2 points, a virtual dead heat) and another fact-check in which a Cotton TV ad has been found "mostly false."
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston's exhibition "Jamie Wyeth," described as the first comprehensive retrospective of the artist's work, will travel to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art next year.
Fox 16 is reporting that the Greenwood man and his 10-month-old son missing since last seen in a national forest in Yell County have been found dead about a half-mile from where his truck was found. They've been missing since Friday. His wife is in custody, but details of what authorities believe happened remain sketchy.
Public school employee (PSE) insurance rates for 2015 were announced today by the state board that manages the health plans for both PSEs and state workers (rates for Arkansas state employees were announced at a prior meeting).
Juanita’s, the venerable Tex-Mex restaurant and live music venue, has new owners. Four years after they purchased the restaurant and club, Joe Cates and Jim O’Brien have sold it to Erin Hurley, Trey Jordan, Reed Lewallen, Bill Puckett and James Snyder. The new group takes ownership of the space at 614 President Clinton Ave. Aug. 1. Upgrading the type of concerts the club hosts is one of the new group’s top priorities, according to Lewallen.
Asa Hutchinson, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, acted today to close the books on excess property tax credits and penalties arising from his claiming of an illegal double homestead property tax exemption from 2008 to 2011.
Hot Springs’ monthly Gallery Walk is a quarter of a century old this August, and the Central Avenue arts district is celebrating with a weekend of exhibits, demonstrations, lectures, an art auction and other activities.
Recently, we held another food hack competition, taking another childhood classic, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and tried to turn it on its head, creating something entirely new and unique. Again, the results were pretty awesome. The rules were simple: Use a whole box of mac and cheese, both noodles and cheese powder, and turn it into any sinister monstrosity imaginable. We had a vote via the Eat Arkansas Facebook page to crown a winner. Here's what was submitted:
One of the things we love about Arkansas is that places like Toad Suck Buck's are everywhere, tucked into corners you wouldn't know to look for unless you're a local. It’s clear the folks who live around the Stony Point area of Perry county think they have a gem in this place, and they might be right.
Asa Hutchinson just couldn't wind up his property tax problem without another complaint about comments from political critics. All's fair in politics to begin with, but what Hutchinson's critics had to say was nothing but the truth.
Work continues behind the scenes on an ordinance to require earlier closing hours for Little Rock private clubs.
You gotta laugh — or else you cry — when Jerry Cox says you need to include straight people in any survey to measure discrimination experienced by gay people in Arkansas.
Police found three men wounded by gunshots after responding to a call about 11 p.m. Tuesday to a liquor store at 6821 Col.. Glenn Road.
Stephens Media fires 37; moves printing of Fort Smith and Van Burean papers to Hussman and Springdale plant
Stephens Media announced through its Southwest Times-Record in Fort Smith today that it would fire 37 people as a result of turning printing operations for the Fort Smith and Van Buren papers over to printing facilities in Springdale and Lowell jointly owned by Stephens and Walter Hussman's media company.
The Pulaski County treasurer corrects the record on Asa Hutchinson's effort to repay improper tax exemptions and penalties. Further, the deed has now been done.
"Voice of the People" KABF 88.3 kicks off their pledge drive this weekend (through Aug. 16). Call them at (501) 372-6119 or pay them a visit at kabf.org and give them a few dollars because it would mean a lot. They would do the same for you, I'm willing to bet.
A resolution in praise of Pope Francis is mired in a U.S. House committee because Republicans think the pope is too liberal.
The staff of the Little Rock Planning Commission called proposals to build a 24-hour gas station and four-story residential hotel at 12th Street and University Avenue "inappropriate," citing the University Park neighborhood immediately adjacent and the nearby Broadmoor neighborhood, among other reasons. The Planning Commission decided the staff didn't know what it was talking about and voted 9-1 to approve the projects.
Arkansas Business reports on the closure of Superior Industries automotive wheel factory in Rogers that will put 500 people out of work. The company still has a plant in Fayetteville, but recently opened a new facility to add to existing plants in Mexico.
David Goins of Fox 16 reports that Sedrick Reed, a former State Police lieutenant, has entered a guilty plea to a federal charge that he stole drugs from a police evidence room for resale at a $200,000 profit.
The group promoting a local option election reports on its website and the Magnolia Reporter confirms with an official source that enough signatures have been gathered to have an election in November on alcohol sales in Columbia County.
The attorney general's office today finally lodged the record from the lower court of Judge Chris Piazza's ruling that the state ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and the briefing schedule has been set.
Thursday is the last day in the state Senate for Johnny Key, who's taking a job lobbying for the University of Arkansas.
The open lines includes the day's video headline summary and a new, tough ad targeting GOP gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson.
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, the Jonesboro Republican, was one of only five House pump members who voted against legislation to pump $17 billion into improving the Veterans Affairs Department. Democratic opponent Jackie McPherson blasted him for being out of touch.
A new Talk Business/Hendrix College poll today shows Republican Asa Hutchinson with a five-point lead over Democratic candidate Mike Ross 46-41. Green candidate Joshus Drake and Libertarian Frank Gilbert had 2.5 and 3 percent respectively. About 7 percent are undecided.
Just in case you haven't navigated there on the Times website, I'm linking to this week's Art Notes column, a review of the Arkansas Arts Center's 12th National Drawing Invitational in the Winthrop Rockefeller gallery.