Acclaimed Little Rock photographer Tim Hursley has turned his camera closer to home.
Best of ArkansasJuly 26, 2018
Vol 44 • No 47
The winners and more.
Lisa Fischer retires – sort of.
And also in charge, in Trenton Lee Stewart's books.
Exotic sodas, cool relief in July, sweet treats on the cheap and more.
Hyperleap offers no-hassle, blazing internet speeds.
And much more.
CALS event honors the late bluesman Michael Burks.
What T Rump did in Helsinki is consistent with who T Rump is.
As you know if you watched this space, The Observer and family are recently returned from our summer sojourn in Washington, D.C., having hit all the monuments and a good bit of the Smithsonian museums, plus several of the greater and lesser burger joints and burrito rollers on Capitol Hill.
Play at home, while sunbathing to get that Perme-like glow!
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's veteran education reporter, Cynthia Howell, wrote this week about the third-year use of a new standardized test, ACT Aspire, for judging public school students. A key factor was missing in the discussion about Little Rock schools.
On the precipice of prior Razorback football seasons, Pearls has set forth a few questions that face the team as the season draws near. For 2018, the inquiries far outnumber the certainties, as you might expect, because there's been a coaching change for the fourth time in 11 years, and it comes on the heels of one of the lowest points in recent memory for an Arkansas fan base that is starving for a team that actually contends.
How long do you suppose, before the initial "R" signifying "Republican" is also understood to mean "Russian?"
Also, ACC head ousted and lawsuit filed in oil spill you've never heard of.
But it needs to get its act together.
Over the weekend, Forbes published an article from Panos Mourdoukoutas, the chairman of the Department of Economics of Long Island University and a frequent columnist, calling for all public libraries to be replaced by bookstores. Specifically, Amazon bookstores.
Glory Boats are caskets for outdoorsmen.
Also, DeFrance comes to Stickyz.
The past week's tweet storms illustrate with stunning clarity the secret to both the disgrace and miraculous survival of Donald Trump after 18 months of spectacular failures. He controls the news of the United States.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge yesterday approved the form of a proposed constitutional amendment to change theway congressional and legislative districts are drawn every 10 years. This is a good idea, if far removed from reality at this moment.
Michael Poore, the superintendent of the state-controlled Little Rock School District, says he opposes arming teachers.
Donald Trump has already told backers not to believe what they see or read. Now they must also not believe their lying ears.
Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, says Attorney General Leslie Rutledge seems to be siding with financial institutions against the interests of disabled people seeking better access to financial institutions.
Little Rock City Director Ken Richardson, who's been crusading unsuccessfully for a de-emphasis of marijuana enforcement by city police, sends news from New York city on pot enforcement: Tickets for users. Why not?
With Arkansas's new rule requiring work for Medicaid benefits underway, timing is good for this extensive Vox report on the heavy research that has been done into past efforts to tie welfare benefits to getting a job. Bottom line: The supposed work incentives don't work much and they make it harder for people to get out of poverty.
Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce heard arguments this morning for a preliminary injunction to bar voting on Issue One, the proposed constitutional amendment that would severely limit damage awards, limit attorney fees and transfer power over court rule-making from the Arkansas Supreme Court to the legislature.
The Thursday open line and the daily news roundup, with some notes from the resistance, including good news in Texas.
Razorback football coach Chad Morris' home purchase has hit the public records in Washington County.
Metroplan has submitted its views on the environmental assessment of the 30 Crossing concrete ditch widening project through downtown Little Rock. Unsurprisingly, the staff concludes that the board of the agency — overweighted to suburban members, but also getting no help from urban members — chose best plan in widening the already neighborhood-destructive freeway to 10-plus lanes.
Carla Emanuel, wife of Dr. Peter Emanuel, who is leaving his job as director of the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute at UAMS on July 31, has sent a bill to the institute seeking $4,000 in reimbursement for services provided the institute.
The Root offers a provocative look at the circumstantial case that Russian election hacking went beyond disinformation and into access to voter rolls and perhaps even changing votes.
The Washington Post has assembled data on where unsolved homicides have occurred in major cities through the U.S., now including Little Rock. About half of almost 55,000 homicides in 55 cities including Little Rock remain unsolved.
And speaking of number crunching: Here's a searchable map with a by-precinct look at the 2016 presidential election. It reveals, unsurprisingly, islands of blue, generally in cities, amid the sea of rural red.
40/29 reports that officers shot a man who advanced on them with a weapon during a domestic disturbance call late Thursday in Springdale.
This week on "No Small Talk," we catch up on some arts and culture news and implore you to get outside this weekend.
I call baloney on a state official's attempt to explain away Arkansas's abysmal and declining college-going rate.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will visit the Lake Hamilton School District in Garland County next Wednesday to talk about school safety.
Sam's Club, the division of Bentonville-based Walmart, is hiring 100 tech workers for a new office in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Morning News reports. It's leasing 45,000 square feet in a renovated historic building.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson traveled to Northwest Arkansas today to announce the establishment of a new state crime lab in Lowell that he said would ease a bottleneck in the lab in Little Rock.
Here's a study well-timed to Arkansas officials' lame attempt to blame low college-going rates on people fleeing to private schools. A new study finds private schools aren't all they're cracked up to be.
Here's the open line. And the daily news roundup, from the dirty Buffalo River to the Russian candidate, Donald Trump.
The body of a middle-wged white male was found in the pond in War Memroial Park this afternoon. The cause of death isn't kinown.
Cartoonist Tommy Durham hit a homer this week.
A new Pollution Control and Ecology Commiission member started his stint with a conflict of interest and refused to acknowledge it. Thank Asa Hutchinson.
This week, Max and Benji talk the latest on the medical marijuana commission, the battle for the Buffalo River, diminishing college-going rates, an upcoming visit from Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions and two freeway widening projects in Little Rock.
Recent gun deaths in Arkansas include a teen shooting his mother and death of a Saline County youth in a game of Russian roulette.
Arkansas is on the road to Kansas. It's a road full of potholes.
Readers take over
A national school survey by organizations that support democratically governed, traditional public schools gives Arkansas an F.
Little Rock City Director B.J. Wyrick drew a challenger on the first day of filing for municipal offices.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today wrote its story about a topic we reported Friday — the decision by new Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Mike Freeze of Keo to vote in favor of permits for the C and H factory hog farm in the Buffalo River watershed despite having supported the permit as a private citizen before joining the commission. There's more on the conflict-of-interest front.
Medicare has been slashing its quality ratings for nursing homes after the discovery that many were inadequately staffed. The Medicare ratings now on-line show 30 of 231 Arkansas nursing homes at the one-star level on a five-star scale, meaning "much below overage" care.
There's a Russian flavor to today's open line.
Forehead-smacker of the morning from the Washington Post: It concerns one of the regular meetings of the financial supporters of the Koch political organization.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called The Buzz radio show this morning to announce she'd given birth Friday to a daughter.
City Clerk Susan Langley has provided the list of candidates who filed Friday for open seats on the Little Rock City Board and the mayor's office. Filing began Friday and continues through Aug. 17. The candidates:
The Satanic Temple, a group contesting the placement of a 10 Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds, will bring its Baphomet statue to the Arkansas Capitol for a "Rally for the First Amendment" from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 16.
The Associated Press reports on plans by Caesars Entertainment to add sports wagering at casinos in New Jersey and Mississippi (in Biloxi and Tunica, just across the river from Helena.)
Here's the Arkansas story that circled the world this weekend: A 69-year-old Jefferson County woman shot her 65-year-old husband dead with a .22 pistol for defying her with repeat video porn purchases.
Maumelle police are investigating a shooting Sunday morning in which a Maumelle woman shot her boyfriend in the abdomen as he tried to enter her apartment. No charges have been filed so far.
The backers of an initiated act to increase the state's minimum wage fell short of the required signatures to qualify for the ballot but gathered enough for a 30-day extension of signature gathering.
Members of Arkansas Community Organization and others will rally at the Governor's Mansion this afternoon to mark the 53rd anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. Some will join a bus trip for an Aug. 1 demonstration in Washington. It's a good day to remember Wilbur D. Mills, the Arkansas congressman who was an architect of the programs.
Here we go again. Open line and news roundup.
Give a read to the new public school basketball star LeBron James is backing to serve at-risk kids in Akron. Imagine if a wealthy philanthropist would try this in Little Rock,
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who we'd already said would be at Lake Hamilton schools Wednesday with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to talk up more armed staff in schools, also plans a stop in Little Rock to talk crime.
Comcast and the parent of KTVH, Channel 11 yesterday appealed Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling blocking the airing of TV ads critical of Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson, who's in a runoff with David Sterling to hold onto her court seat. Does this mean special justices will hear the case.
Linda Satter of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this morning that federal Judge Kristine Baker had turned down Planned Parenthood's argument that the state of Arkansas's cutoff of Medicaid funding for medical services amounted to an unconstitutional punishment for Planned Parenthood's exercise of 1st Amendment rights. It is the other foot of the "religious discrimination" argument now being raised by Republicans.
The New York Times reports today on an effort in New Jersey to provide taxpayer money to support local newspapers. If public dollars support public radio and public TV, why not newspapers, too? Apart from the enormous philosophical question, I can see some political difficulties.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has canceled her appearance with Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday at Lake Hamilton schools in Pearcy. But Sessions will still be on hand with others.
Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, facing Democrat Mike Lee for re-election, gets some unflattering national attention from Salon for her record, back to the racist email she shared in her days as a state Human Services attorney (before the famous "do not rehire" notation on her DHS personnel record.)
Take Arkansas government. Please.
The State Police said a suspect shot by officers during a chase Monday night in which the man killed a police dog died in a hospital today.
Death Row inmate had blade in cell, was facing discipline for use of banned substance when suicide attempted
Details were released today on an apparent suicide attempt July 12 by Death Row inmate Don Davis.
The open line and the daily news roundup.
With Jeff Sessions and Lake Hamilton officials talking tomorrow about how more guns in properly trained hands are the ticket to school safety, here's a good-guys-with-guns story that went awry.
Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce today turned down a taxpayer lawsuit requesting an injunction to block the counting of votes on Issue One, the constitutional amendment to limit damage lawsuits, cap attorney fees and usurp control of court rules by the legislature. But he said the plaintiff could continue to argue that the proposal was an unconstitutional combination of multiple amendments
Two more candidates filed today for Little Rock city office, neither a surprise.
Antwan and Charles provide perspective and conversation on the petition to eliminate the at-large director positions on the Little Rock City Board, UA-Little Rock’s effort to start a football team, and lawsuits filed against the LRPD related to termination of police staff due to the use of racially charged words on social media. They also discuss the current efforts to provide resources to the homeless population with the executive director of Jericho’s Way, Mandy Davis.
The Peter Miller law firm of Little Rock is the plaintiff in a class action lawsuit in federal court in Maryland against Sinclair Broadcast, Tribune Media and Tribune Broadcasting for allegedly conspiring to fix advertising prices.
CNN"s Jim Acosta has posted a brief clip of heckling he received while covering a Donald Trump rally in Tampa. Speaks for itself. But also don't miss one of Trump's latest lies in defense of voter ID laws.
Jessi Turnure of KARK/Fox 16 reports on the arrest of a Baptist preacher who is charged with sexually assaulting a teen in Texas 20 years ago. The man, Mark Aderholt, has served pastoral stints since then in Baptist churches in North Little Rock and Little Rock.
There's good news about Arkansas education in a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board, in contrast to some recent news about stagnant overall test scores and a declining college-going rate.
The Jeff Sessions tour of Arkansas today is just for show, of course. But they took no chances. Reporters were told they would not be allowed to ask questions of him at a Little Rock news conference at the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock. Only carefully selected citizens were to be allowed to attend the "roundtables" scheduled later at Lake Hamilton School District to promote guns in schools.
Cody Wilson, the Arkansas native who's set off the frenzy over printable plastic guns, has a very dark political side:
Preferred Family Healthcare, one of largest behavioral health providers in the state, confirmed through a spokesman Wednesday morning that "it is in negotiations with an Arkansas organization to potentially acquire all of [PFH's] non-contractual services in Arkansas."
Federal Judge Timothy Brooks last week denied motions by former Republican Sen. Jon Woods and his friend Randell Shelton to set aside guilty verdicts in their jury trial for kickback schemes involving state money and Ecclesia College and Ameriworks.
The open line and a Trump-dominated roundup of news and comment.
Is that a good thing? I don't think so.
Though the $22 million reduction is tiny relative to the overall $7.1 billion spent on Medicaid in Arkansas, it amounts to a significant savings. That's because the cost of Medicaid, and most other health care costs, typically grows year over year at a rate greater than regular inflation.
Little Rock’s Scenic Hill Solar, the solar power company headed by former Arkansas Lt. Governor Bill Halter, has been named one of the top 22 solar developers in the United States by the industry’s leading trade magazine, Solar Power World.