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September 11, 2014

Vol 22 • No 29

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Prosecutors have all the power

But little oversight. Is a violation not a violation if a prosecutor says, 'I didn't mean to'?

A Q&A with Shabazz Palaces

The experimental rap duo's Ishmael Butler talks internships, weed and Lil B.

Little Rock School Board candidates acknowledge quick work must be done to avoid state takeover

Challengers Jim Ross and Joy Springer take on Jody Carreiro and Norma Jean Johnson.

The turnout game and alcohol

Recent polls showing the divergence of "likely" and "registered" Arkansas voters clarifies that the outcome of the major 2014 races on the Arkansas ballot will be determined by turnout.

Victory at Texas Tech crucial

For God's sake, Hog Fans, just enjoy it! So much social media grumbling was afoot after Arkansas obliterated Nicholls State, 73-7, on Saturday to finally kill off the damnable 10-game skid the program had been mired in. "Congrats on beating a JV team!" "Who scheduled this?" "If this is how we have to win, it's not worth it." "How did I get this drunk before halftime?"

GOP rule No. 1: Win

The Republican Party's devotion to principle was on display last week. After months of opposition to a proposed initiated act to raise the Arkansas minimum wage, Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson flip-flopped to say he'd vote for the measure.

Armadillo Rodeo returns to The Joint

Also, 'Thea Paves the Way' at the Clinton Presidential Park.

High-end at Heritage Grille

New Marriott restaurant impresses, but at a price.

Left out

I was disappointed to see I was not included in the "Visionary" issue [Aug. 28]. I think I should have gotten in on the merit of my idea for Little Rock to sponsor the first-ever Cold War Re-enactment.

A tree grows in Little Rock

When Darla talks about the tree, she calls it "he" sometimes, blurring the seam between the tree and the memory of her son.

Cable TV is dead – long live cable TV

Three new comedies from

Woo pig sooie, Dustin!

Why is Attorney General Dustin McDaniel advertising his office during Razorback football radio broadcasts?

Not giving up on Fred

We ended up adopting Fred due to his incorrigible stubbornness. Originally bred to track game, basset hounds can be amazingly persistent. It sometimes appears that when their noses are working, their hearing shuts down.

Eric Church to Verizon

Also, '40 Years of the Arkansas Times' at the Historic Arkansas Museum, KABF Girls Night at White Water Tavern, the Arkansas Times Latino Food and Music Festival in Argenta, "Northville Cemetery Massacre" and "Death: Live in L.A." at Riverdale, "Rushmore" at Ron Robinson and Tony Joe White at Juanita's.

Obama vs. GOP philosophy

If you have followed the Arkansas election ads you know that each party faces a single challenge. Republicans must overcome a philosophy problem, Democrats an Obama problem.


After three years, this half-sunken houseboat in the Little Maumelle River, visible from the I-430 bridge, is being cleaned up by the Commissioner of State Lands office. The cost of removal will be between $30,000 and $35,000, some of which will be footed by the houseboat's owner.

The law in Faulkner County: Special justice in divorce cases for special people

The Democrat-Gazette today reveals special handling of divorce cases in Faulkner County, including for scandal-plagued Judge Mike Maggio, courtesy of future Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood.

Supreme Court orders immediate removal of Judge Maggio from bench

The Arkansas Supreme Court today accepted an agreed settlement of a disciplinary proceeding against Circuit Judge Mike Maggio except in one respect: It ordered his immediate removal from the bench.

What price football at Arkansas State University?

Terry Mohajir, the athletic director at Arkansas State University, has not covered himself in glory in response to the matter of Christian crosses being made a part of uniform dress of the ASU football team this year.

Faulkner County word association: Follow the money to Fort Smith

Follow the money in Faulkner County to Fort Smith nursing home tycoon Michael Morton, who's spent tens of thousands to elect judicial candidates and is currently betting heavily on the Republican candidate for attorney general.

A tribute to Laman Library's Jeff Baskin

Debra Wood's tribute to her late boss, Jeff Baskin, talks about his grand idea: That libraries are public spaces that should offer the community more than books.

Pryor and Cotton to debate on Oct. 14

Rep. Tom Cotton has finally gotten on board a televised debate with Sen. Mark Pryor sponsored by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. It will be broadcast from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 (a Tuesday) by KATV, KAIT and KHBS/KHOG. Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics will moderate, joined by three TV reporters.

AETN sets debate schedule; key Republicans missing so far

Four top Republican candidates are so far no-shows on the RSVP list for AETN's schedule of political debates — Tom Cotton, Rick Crawford, French Hill and Mark Martin.

Senate Republicans kill amendment to fix campaign spending ruling

The Senate today killed progress on a measure to amend the U.S. Constitution to correct the tidal wave of political spending opened by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United. Sen. Mark Pryor supported the measure.

UAMS reports improved outlook thanks to Obamacare; UALR talks about neighborhood improvements

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn reported an improving financial situation at the medical center thanks in part to help from the Affordable Care Act.

Bank robbery reported in the Heights

The LRPD is responding to a bank robbery at 1800 N. Taylor Street in the Heights.

The open line: Plus a tip of the iceberg Supreme Court case

The open line tonight includes a prediction of wider court action thanks to an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling today on debt collection.

Ozarks recreation areas closed because of search for felon

Several recreational areas in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest have been closed because of a search for a felon from Mississippi. The release:

Democrats holding their own in TV spending in Arkansas

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is holding his own against Republican Tom Cotton in terms of money spent on TV advertising in their race for U.S. Senate, a new analysis shows.

The rot in Jefferson County election machinery

Political infighting in Jefferson County worsens, with Democratic officials contributing to a taint on the election process.

Leslie Rutledge has questions to answer on her job history

It's time for Leslie Rutledge, the Republican nominee for attorney general, to reveal circumstances of her departure from the state Department of Human Services with a "do not rehire" label. New questions also exist about her brief service in the governor's office.

Anti-abortion groups endorse Asa Hutchinson

It's hardly a surprise that the national and Arkansas "Right to Life" groups have endorsed Asa Hutchinson. He note only opposes abortion, he supports the unconstitutional 12- and 20-week abortion bans by the Arkansas legislature. He also has made clear for decades that he opposes abortion even in the case of rape and incest.

Bob Denman to be interim athletic director at UALR

UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson today named Bob Denman, the school's vice chancellor for advancement, to be interim athletic director.

Psych of the South: The Barefacts' 'Tell Me' (1968)

The Barefacts recorded the infectious, stripped-down garage rock tune “Tell Me” on the Country Color label out of Osceola, Arkansas in the summer of 1968. They originally formed in Bear Creek, Alabama, in the late `50s, as the Shirley Family Band.

40 years of the Arkansas Times, plus tacos with salsa (music): How can you lose?

Fun for the weekend: An exhibit on 40 years of the Arkansas Times opens at the Historic Arkansas Museum and you can see it and enjoy other downtown arts happenings from 5-8 p.m. Friday. Saturday, its' the 2nd Latino Food and Music Festival, with lots of home-made food and salsa and mariachi music in downtown Argenta.

Argenta Gallery opening tonight

Argenta Gallery, John Gaudin's new gallery at413 Main St. in downtown North Little Rock, hosts its opening reception tonight from 6 to 8 p.m.

2nd Friday Art Night: TONIGHT! Times covers! ALA artists! Aj Smith! More!

Where has the time gone today! Starting RIGHT NOW, galleries downtown are serving up wine and whatever for 2nd Friday Art Night. Check these out!

Arkansas Tech moves to 3rd on college enrollment list

Arkansas Tech University now has the third-largest enrollment among the state's colleges, moving ahead of UALR and UCA.

A cool open line; plus crazy Mark Sanford

The advent of cooler weather seems to have slowed news production. So here's an open line and today's video comment. On tap this weekend: A gallery walk tonight downtown and the Latino Food and Music Festival in Argenta tomorrow.

The Max Despairs Edition

The latest on statewide political races, Leslie Rutledge’s past, top secret divorces in Faulkner County, a victory for Little Rock private clubs and something rotten happening in Crittenden County — all covered on this week's podcast.

Staff Picks: Boulevard Bread, Bolaño, Bernice Garden, Bill Callahan and the Bible

I'm kind of a nut on vampire films. For one thing, none of them — from "Nosferatu" to "Twilight" — are really about bloodsucking. They're always about something else: xenophobia, fear of having your metaphorical, jingoistic bloodlines polluted by a menacing foreign Other, hangups about sex, guilt about living so well in the West while countless millions in the Third World get paid pennies an hour to make Nike shoes and cute clothes for The Gap (drink up, you vampire you).

Get out your chalk for Thea Paves the Way

The Thea Foundation's annual sidewalk chalk art event is tomorrow at the Clinton Center.  CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “Thea Paves the Way,” sidewalk chalk art event for students, 8 a.m.-noon Sept. 13, with music, family activities; “Chihuly,” studio glass, through Jan. 5, 2015; permanent exhibits on the Clinton administration.

Justice Cliff Hoofman recuses from same-sex marriage appeal

Supreme Court Justice Cliff Hoofman has recused from considering the appeal of Judge Chris Piazza's decision striking down the state's constitutional and statutory ban on same-sex marriage.

Kochs: Buying influence from college to politicians. Just like some other billionaires we know.

When the Koch billionaires give, they attach strings, whether to politicians or a college favored with their philanthropy. Their philosophy-influenced educational giving brings to mind the Walton billions' deployment in behalf of their agenda by the University of Arkansas.

Student loan money late at Pulaski Tech

KARK reports that some 700 students at Pulaski Tech haven't received expected federal student loan money. It's a scenario similar to one that has faced Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, still working its way through financial issues.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee to speak in Little Rock

Judge Wendell Griffen, pastor of New Millennium Baptist Church, says that U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland, Calif., will speak at his church at 9 a.m. Sunday at 21 Lakeshore Drive.

Yoga cinches it. Hillary Clinton must be running for president

The New York Times devotes a reporter full-time to the Clinton beat and today breaks news that Hillary Clinton is "building stamina through tough new workouts with a personal trainer and yoga." Sound like a 2016 presidential candidate to you?

Strike up the band open line: Latino Festival in NLR tonight

The line is open. At 6 p.m. Saturday, the Latino Food and Music Festival gets underway at Sixth and Main, North Little Rock. What the title says, from areas and tacos to sangria and salsa music.

Junior League takes on City Hall

The Little Rock City Board of Directors is scheduled to take up Tuesday night a request from the Junior League of Little Rock to change windows on its headquarters, the historic Woman's City Club building at 4th and Scott Streets.

Liquor stores contribute $1.2 million to fight alcohol sales

If you didn't understand the specifics, you might find irony in the fact that Arkansas liquor stores have contributed $1.2 million — so far — to an effort to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to allow retail alcohol sales in all 75 counties.

Beebe: No politics in Leslie Rutledge's poor rating at DHS

Gov. Mike Beebe dismisses Republican attorney general candidate Leslie Rutledge's suggestion that politics somehow played a role in her negative evaluation by the Department of Human Services when she resigned a staff job in 2007.

A swell Sunday open line

Here is an open line.

The big-dollar broadband battle

The Walton billions and the telecom industry are in a heavyweight battle in Arkansas over a law that prevents the state from providing broadband services to public school districts.

Davy Carter backs one Democrat for Senate, gives favorable nod to Karen Garcia

House Speaker Davy Carter, a Republican, had kind words for a couple of Democratic candidates last night — a rare bit of aisle-crossing from a party not known for much.

'Bill Clinton Show' returns to Iowa, includes a riff on Mark Pryor

Bill and Hillary Clinton appeared at Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's last steak fry, a big political event, and, among other remarks, Bill Clinton said Sen. Mark Pryor's race for re-election was "real close." Key: turnout.

Live Review: Eric Church and Dwight Yoakam at Verizon

Apparently Dwight Yoakam’s acting career is sufficiently slack enough that Friday night saw him opening for bro-country kingpin Eric Church at Verizon Arena. Hollywood is taking Yoakam in small enough doses (he has a recurring part on CBS’s “Under the Dome”) that he can lend his considerable talents to country music, which currently can use any kind of flavor it can get.

Michael Murphy will complete Mike Maggio's term as judge

Gov. Mike Beebe today named Michael Murphy, the Conway city attorney, to complete Mike Maggio's term as circuit judge, which ends Dec. 31

French Hill at last makes it clear: He is dodging minimum wage question

J. French Hill, the 9th-generation Arkansan and millionaire banker, made it clear over the weekend that he does not yet have a position on the ballot initiative to raise the Arkansas minimum wage, currently worth $13,000 a year for a full-time worker. 

Hutchinson says he had a good money month in August

The Asa Hutchinson for Governor campaign said Monday it had raised $420,000 in August, bringing the total for the general election campaign to $3.46 million. He spent more than $500,000 in July on TV time for the days ahead and reports $667,000 in cash on hand.

Child injury charge won't keep Vikings' Adrian Peterson off the field

Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings star, will continue to play football for the NFL time despite facing a charge in Texas of injuring a child through excessive physical punishment.

Mike Huckabee has been to Israel, ergo .....

Ron Fournier of the National Journal joins former Gov. Mike Huckabee at a session with Washington political reports in which Huckabee's frequent Holy Land jaunts seem to form the basis for a developing pitch that he's the sort of presidential candidate to lead the U.S. through troubled foreign times. Not that he's announcing mind you?

Briefs in same-sex marriage case include one defendant, Larry Crane, urging end to ban

Defendants' briefs were due today in the same-sex marriage lawsuit and one of them, Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane, agreed that the ban should be overturned. His brief is a powerful declaration in favor of equality for same-sex couples and castigates the state for wanting to move slowly.

Two new polls: Split outlooks on Senate, governor, a.g. races. Something for everyone

Polls today from Democratic and Republican-leaning sources differ dramatically on the race for attorney general. Guess which poll favored which candidate.

Group raising money to fight Fayetteville civil rights ordinance

As expected, organizing is well advanced from a predominantly conservative church-led movement to fight the new Fayetteville ordinance intended to prevent discrimination in employment and housing on account of sexual orientation.

Truck talk: mobile chefs to talk about the business at Natchez

The Main Street Food Truck Festival is coming up Oct. 4, and as an appetizer, presents "Close Quarters: What I've Learned from Operating a Food Truck" at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, at Natchez Restaurant downtown.

Religious group demands restoration of cross on Arkansas State helmets

A cohservative Christian group is threatening legal action of Arkansas State University doesn't restore memorial crosses on its football helmets.

The open line: Arrests made of disability rights demonstrators; Attorney General McDaniel makes a hospital visit

The open line and video roundup are here. Also: A demonstration in Little Rock for community support for the disabled and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel was treated at UAMS today for what was described as a reaction to a new blood pressure medication.

Texas blog Glasstire reviews "State of the Art"

So it won't be until November that I get to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's "State of the Art" exhibit, and by then it will have been reviewed by every publication in the free world. So I'm going to run the reviews other folks have written.

Arkansas submits amendments to private option for federal approval

Arkansas today submitted proposed amendments to the private option for federal approval. In order to pursue the private option — the state's unique version of Medicaid expansion which uses Medicaid funds to purchased private health insurance for low-income Arkansans — the state first had to secure approval for what's known as an 1115 waiver, a waiver of federal Medicaid rules allowing the state to experiment with a new approach. For the second year of the program, 2015, Arkansas is requesting three changes.

Quapaw Quarter Association opposes Junior League remodeling plan before City Board

The Quapaw Quarter Association is rallying its members to oppose the Junior League of Little Rock's request to the Little Rock City Board to be released from an agreement to maintain the historic facade of the Women's City Club at 4th and Scott.

James Lee Witt airs a positive message

Here's new TV from James Lee Witt, the Democrat running for the open 4th District congressional seat against Republican Bruce Westerman. It's pure positive — his time as emergency preparedness leader on the state and national level; successful businessman; down-home farmer.

Cultural issues propel Democrats in U.S. Senate races

The New York Times reports that Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate are going on the offensive by using cultural issues — anti-abortion, anti-contraception — against Republican opponents. PS: They're not talking about Arkansas, but about moderate states like Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina.

Playing dead a hit for Arkansas State — on the Internet

Arkansas State University has gone viral — not for the correct decision to stop wearing crosses on their helmets — but for a fake punt play gone awry despite some Broadway-worthy theatrics.

Baxter Bulletin: Jail 'scandal' in Baxter County touches three female jailers

The Baxter Bulletin reports that one Baxter County jailer has been fired and two others have been implicated in rules violations involving either inmates or a patrol deputy.

Clinton Airport renovations approved

The Little Rock Airport Commission today approved a $20 million plan for concourse renovations. The airport staff should construction should begin next summer and be completed in 2016.

Challenger Tyler Pearson continues to best Jason Rapert in money

As an incumbent from a district that has displayed affection for Sen. Jason Rapert's extremist politics, you have to consider Rapert a favorite for re-election. But Democrat Tyler Pearson is running a smart, energetic and focused campaign that also has been outpointing Rapert in the money department.

Searcy: Who knew it was such a party town?

Searcy may be "dry" — except for a couple of private clubs. But that doesn't mean you can't have a rip-roaring party.

The Senate race: Cotton misses a vote to raise money in Texas; Pryor nicked for debate format

Dueling news releases this morning from Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican Rep. Tom Cotton in their race for U.S. Senate. Pryor says Cotton missed a roll call. Cotton says Pryor is missing an important debate topic.

A Sushi Cafe for West Little Rock

The owners of Sushi Cafe are opening a West Little Rock location, on the second floor of Eleven Two Eleven Cantrell Center, just east of the Pleasant Ridge Town Center shopping center at Cantrell and Woodland Heights roads.

Bloomberg: Walmart PR man David Tovar departed over inaccurate resume

David Tovar, who departed Walmart without explanation after eight years with the Bentonville retailer, apparently was ushered out after the company discovered an exaggerated resume item.

Black ops in the race for U.S. Senate?

The Arkansas Democratic Party thinks undercover political operatives have targeted Mark Pryor's Senate campaign for mischief, beyond the usual "trackers" who follow candidates (on both sides) to record every public utterance. We have some photos so we can find them to clear up the question.

Activists for disability rights win support from Ross; Hutchinson on the fence

Activists from ADAPT, a national disability rights organization, attempted to occupy the Little Rock headquarters of the Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross campaigns today. They won statements from both campaigns about the Community First Choice Option — support from Ross, equivocation from Hutchinson.

Mobilizing the Religious Right vote

Right-wing preachers are gathering in Arkansas this week to figure out ways to get their flocks out to vote for the right kind of politicians. Sen. Jason Rapert is cheerleading the likes of the prominent anti-gay Rick Scarborough.

Watch Victor Epkuk paint to 'Ode to Joy'

The Arkansas Arts Center has provided this link to a video of 12th national Drawing Invitational artist Victor Ekpuk creating a work on the wall of the gallery while listening to Beethoven's masterpiece "Ode to Joy." The work will remain up through the run of the show, which ends Oct. 5, but will be destroyed after that.

Dustin McDaniel is back on the streets

News arrived via Twitter from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, hospitalized at UAMS as a precaution yesterday after what was described as a reaction to new medicine. He's been released.

County judges oppose alcohol sales amendment

Arkansas county judges have adopted a resolution in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties.

8th Circuit denies Exxon appeal of class action finding in Mayflower pipeline case

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today issued a brief order denying the Exxon Mobil Pipeline Company's appeal of the approval of a class action in the lawsuit by property owners along the Pegasus pipeline, which ruptured in Mayflower.

Feds indict 25 in drug ring based in LR garage

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer announced today a 62-count indictment naming 25 people in Arkansas, Georgia, Texas and Tennessee on drug, weapons and money laundering charges.

Now the gun money floods in for Tom Cotton

The Tom Cotton campaign is giddy about its endorsement by the National Rifle Association and giddier still about the news that the gun lobby is going to spent $1.3 million in TV ads depicting Cotton as their best friend.

Class action certification requested in Crittenden Regional Hospital lawsuit; now more than 100 plaintiffs

The number of plaintiffs involved in a lawsuit over the alleged failure of Crittenden Regional Hospital to pay for employees’ health insurance claims is growing. Attorney Denny Sumpter asked the Circuit Court of Crittenden County on Friday to certify the lawsuit as a class action. The filing on Friday listed 96 plaintiffs; Sumpter said today they’re at around 125 (“and counting,” he said).

UPDATED OPEN LINE: School elections, deferral of great historic window debate at LR City Board

Here's the open line and video news roundup. I hope to be back tonight with some school election results and a report from the Little Rock City Board on the hot debate over whether the Junior League of Little Rock will be held to a contract to preserve the historic facade of the Woman's City Club building.

State continues rail study, including high-speed passenger service

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has scheduled two meetings next week on the state's rail plan, including talk about high-speed passenger rail corridors.

KATV's new owner takes D.C. station on right turn

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the new owner of KATV in Little Rock, is drawing attention for the rightward political tilt of a new affiliate in Washington, D.C. Sign of things to come in Arkansas?

Love Obamacare, hate Obama: Kentucky story fits in Arkansas

Love Obamacare, hate Obama. That's the story in Kentucky in today's New York Times and they just as easily could have done the same story in Arkansas.

Huckabee pulled political strings to get beach home permitted

Thanks to political string-pulling, Mike Huckabee was approved to build a $3 million mansion on an eroding Florida beach where regulators originally wouldn't approve his building plans.

Fall weekends in Arkansas are delicious

Last weekend, we had our first taste of fall, and if there's a better place than Arkansas in the fall, I've never heard of it.

Live Review: Seattle Hip-Hop Duo Shabazz Palaces Brings Sonic Attack to Rev Room

A crowd of about 60 (impressive for a Monday night) gathered at the Rev Room to be collectively slain by Shabazz Palaces’ deadly combo of droning bass, carefully layered sonic textures, live polyrhythmic percussion, and sharp rhymes. It was a flawless victory.

Scoop: Tom Cotton's senior thesis on the Federalist papers, a disturbing early look at today's elitist candidate

A new profile in The Atlantic, with an exclusive look at Tom Cotton's senior thesis at Harvard, shows he's been a rigid conservative ideologue for a long, long time. His own coolness and elitism probably explain some evident voter coolness to his campaign.

Guest Mix: The Coasts

In addition to the new and amazing Ty Segall album, here are some songs that we're currently listening to and passing back and forth as we're working on songs for our new LP. Some of them are real jammers and some are more low key, so just sit back and let the vibes do their thing. And don't think about the fact that we just said "vibes."

Supplier for Dassault Falcon to hire 75 in Little Rock

Beaudet Aviation, subsidiary of a French company, will open a 75-job facility next to the Clinton National Airport to make interior finish for Dassault Falcon Jet, which is expanding its facility at the airport.

Disability rights activists target Americans for Prosperity's offices in LR

The disability rights activists who yesterday staged civil disobedience actions at the Little Rock offices of gubernatorial candidates Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross are today going after Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the influential political nonprofit primarily funded by the Koch brothers.

Bids opened on Broadway Bridge replacement — sigh

The Arkansas Highway Commission opened bids today on the project to replace the Broadway Bridge in downtown Little Rock. Bids were higher than expected, but there's a report that the low bidder calls for a much quicker completion of the project.

Q & A: Former Arkansas Medicaid Director Andy Allison on private option, GAO report, and budget neutrality

A Q&A with former Arkansas Medicaid director Andy Allison, the state official most involved in developing the policy for the private option, the state's unique version of Medicaid expansion using Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance for low-income Arkansans. Allison reacts to a recent report from the Governmental Accountability Office on the private option's waiver process and comments on defends the state's projection that the private option will be no more costly to the federal government than traditional Medicaid would have been.

Mike Ross gets personal with new TV ad

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross unveils some bio advertising. If Republican Asa Hutchinson has his old truck and his wife's old car, Mike Ross has his mom and pop.

Hobby Lobby ruling cripples child labor law enforcement

The latest in the string of extended consequences (predicted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) in the terrible Hobby Lobby ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court: The decision has been cited by a Utah federal judge who said its religion protection shields a fundamentalist Mormon from questions in a child labor investigation.

Federal indictment dropped in child sex case

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer said Wednesday that he'd asked a federal court to dismiss federal indictments against Kenneth Wayne Thompson, 23, of Bradford; Benjamin Cade Vardell, 20, of Jonesboro, and Lucas Aaron Oden, 20, of Paragould for using phones to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.

The Wednesday open line

Here's today's open line and video news roundup.

News expected in attorney general's race

Early warning: the state Department of Human Services is expected to release today material I requested under an FOI request last weekend related to Republican attorney general nominee Leslie Rutledge's work as a staff attorney at DHS.

UPDATE: Rutledge email causes a stir, but she tells AP words were not hers and former co-worker confirms

A 2007 e-mail written by Leslie Rutledge, the Republican nominee for attorney general, caused a stir but it apparently was quoting a co-worker, not her own thoughts on abortion.

A look at catering — from the inside

There's a lot more to catering than just showing up and serving food. Here's an inside view of what it takes to serve great food to big crowds.

Arkansas State defends removal of cross decals from football helmets; but players may choose to have them

Arkansas State University has defended the removal of crosses from football helmets and indicates a discussion about the facts with a religious group had resolved their demand that the crosses be restored.

National Geographic examines Arkansas under EPA carbon rule

National Geographic writes about the challenges and opportunities faced by Arkansas in complying with the EPA Clean Power Plan, the agency's proposed rule for reducing carbon emissions from power plants. This week, the EPA extended by 45 days the public comment period on the proposed rule, which gives stakeholders — power companies, environmental groups, etc — more time to give input.

New music from Cloud 9, Ryan Cook, Pluto Maxx and Philip Martin

Here's something I stumbled on yesterday because it was produced by the great North Little Rock beatmaker IAmNawf. Cloud 9 is apparently a duo, Jonathan "J-Mazing" Bryant & Kordell "Deezy" Boykin.

sept. 19 gallery walk

Nine galleries are taking part in tonight's Argenta ArtWalk on Main and points nearby in downtown North Little Rock.