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Locked out

Locked out

November 22, 2018

Vol 45 • No 12

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Locked out of Medicaid

Arkansas's work requirement strips insurance from thousands of working people

Inconsequential News Quiz: Personal choices edition

Play in your federal prison cell!

'A Fertle Holiday' is at The Joint

Also, Sunday Soul Brunch at South on Main.

A real mayor

Baker Kurrus is trying to brand himself as an agent for change as mayor of Little Rock, but labors under a handicap.

2018: Complicated

The last two election cycles redefined Arkansas politics. In 2014, the three distinguishing elements of Arkansas's politics — provincialism, personalism and populism — with roots back to the McMath era of the middle of the 20th century, died simultaneously as a Tom Cotton-style Republicanism roared into dominance in the state.

Clean air news

Amid the biblical fires, droughts, floods, hurricanes and rising seas that beset the heating Earth, the old blue orb occasionally absorbs some good news that suggests it may still harbor some hope for a sustainable future.

Moms Demand, get results

For too long, Arkansas lawmakers have been beholden to the gun lobby, and gun-violence prevention policies that are proven to save lives have been ignored. The Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is working to change that.

Block Friday at Rev

Plus, much more!

Rachel Ammons: cactus queen

The Tyrannosaurus Chicken frontwoman talks cacti acoustics, korma and craft.

'Widows' makes heist films feel tense again

Thirty days, or else.


It's that time of year again, when we are supposed to turn a bit inward to find and count our blessings.

'Separation of powers'

'Being poor is a ... personal choice'

Also, end to coal burning planned and state budget unveiled.

Hope and despair

The weekend before Thanksgiving brought Arkansas Razorback athletics more despair on the gridiron and hope on the hardwood. We'll take what we can in this trying 2018, eh?

Platnum the hottest new thing in BBQ

It's good as gold.

Thanks, y'all (also, an open line)

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. We're thankful for all you loyal readers.

Christmas logistics at the Capital Hotel

I've always enjoyed the big old Christmas tree at the Capital Hotel but inevitably find myself squawking in an Andy Rooney voice, "Ever wonder how they got that thing in here?"

Trump spends Thanksgiving lying, praising himself, advocating for steam power

Asked on Thanksgiving by reporters what he was most thankful for, President Trump said himself, saying, "I made a tremendous difference in this country."

Black Friday open line

What did you buy today?

Betty Bumpers dies at 93

Various outlets are reporting that former Arkansas First Lady Betty Bumpers died today. She was 93.

Fourth fatal shooting this week in Magnolia

A wave of gun violence continues in Magnolia, as police yesterday identified the town's fourth shooting death since Monday, the Magnolia Reporter reports.

Open line

Over to you.

Studies finds increased pollution in Buffalo River watershed

Good story from Emily Walkenhorst in the Democrat-Gazette on the latest research from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality on pollution in the Buffalo River watershed.

FYI: Yes, there is early voting in the runoffs

Early voting in the mayoral races in Little Rock and Jacksonville and for two city council seats in Jacksonville runs 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, through Friday, Nov. 30. There will also be early voting Monday, Dec. 3, at the Pulaski County Regional Building, 501 W. Markham St.

Democratic candidates and the rural white vote in the South

Democrats lost a few close statewide races in the South. The New York Times diagnoses the problem: Those darn liberals lost the rural white vote thanks to all that excitement and bold speaking, and those toxic appeals to black people and young people.

Lack of internet access raises concerns for Census count in Arkansas, but Hutchinson happy to continue purging Medicaid rolls with electronic paperwork

Governor Busybody's electronic paperwork requirements are perfectly calibrated to strip health insurance from the state's low-income Medicaid beneficiaries in a state that lacks rural broadband access.

A 108th birthday, and an open line

Over to you...

U.S. authorities use teargas on migrants at border

Ugly scene today in Tijuana, where a group of Central American migrants attempted to evade a blockade formed by Mexican police and were met with teargas fired by U.S. authorities when they approached the border.

Temporary changes to four polling locations for mayoral runoff Dec. 4

A few polling locations will be unavailable for the mayoral runoff set for the December 4, a Pulaski County Election commissioner announced last night; voters in those precincts will instead vote at locations in nearby precincts. The changes are temporary, only applying to this runoff election.

Demagogue in chief: The morning after border unrest, Trump fans the flames

The morning after: Pro forma provocation from the prattling Prima Donald.

Ethics Commission dismisses complaint against racially charged ad

The Arkansas Ethics Commission dismissed a complaint Friday against a PAC involved in peddling racially charged slime supporting U.S. Rep. French Hill in his successful re-election campaign against challenger Clarke Tucker.

Everything you need to know about American health care politics

Get your government hands off my Medicare.

State added nearly 6,000 acres to wildlife management system in 2018

The Magnolia Reporter reports that the state's Game and Fish Commission added almost 6,000 acres to its wildlife management system over the course of 2018, thanks in large part to federal Wildlife Restoration Act funds.

Moms Demand Action founder argues gun safety winning issue at the polls

National founder Shannon Watts on grassroots progress: "When Moms Demand Action volunteers show up in their red shirts, lawmakers listen."

Your post-Thanksgiving-break Monday headlines and open line

In Tijuana, a group of Central American migrants attempted to evade a blockade formed by Mexican police and were met with teargas fired by U.S. authorities when they approached the border; remembering former Arkansas First Lady Betty Bumpers; Ethics Commission dismisses complaint against racially charged ad.

Former governors Mike Huckabee and Mike Beebe to talk health care at Statehouse Convention Center

Former Arkansas governors Mike Huckabee and Mike Beebe will discuss health care next Monday at a forum sponsored by the Clinton School of Public Service to celebrate 20 years of the state's Center for Health Improvement.

Poll shows Scott with narrow lead in tight race for Little Rock mayor (UPDATES)

Via KARK, a new poll released by Public Policy Polling shows Frank Scott with a 5-point lead over Baker Kurrus in the race for Little Rock mayor — within the margin of error in the poll.

ACLU to appeal state citations against three Arkansas abortion clinics

The American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project and the ACLU of Arkansas today filed notice in Pulaski County Circuit Court that it will appeal citations issued by the state Board of Health against three Arkansas abortion clinics.

Grand jury begins hearing evidence on police shooting of Botham Jean

The AP reports that a grand jury began hearing evidence on Monday in the case of Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who fatally shot Botham Jean, 26, on September 6 in his own home.

Trump administration tries to bury bad news on climate change (Trump still in denial)

"I don't believe it," Trump said of the new report on climate change released by his own administration.

Police investigate homicide at Eastview Terrace Apartments

KATV and THV11 are reporting that police are investigating a homicide at the Eastview Terrace Apartments, on the 1200 block of Geyer Street.

More legal wrangling as C&H tries to hold on to hog feeding operation in wake of permit denial

C&H Hog Farms has responded to the state's official denial of a new permit by asking the Newton County Circuit Court to hold the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in contempt of court.

Arkansas National Guard trumpets promotion of its first female African-American colonel

The Arkansas National Guard is trumpeting the promotion this week of Erica L. Ingram, the first female African-American Colonel in the Arkansas National Guard.

NASA probe lands on Mars

A quick morning break from the groundbound news.

Deer crashes through Cross County Courthouse window

Civilization and its discontents.

New episode of Rock the Culture: 'Walk Around'

In this week’s episode, Charles and Antwan provide perspective and conversation regarding improving the quality of life in Little Rock and the need to convert War Memorial Golf Course into a Central Park. In addition, they interview John Brummett, of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, regarding the campaign themes of Frank Scott and Baker Kurrus in the Little Rock Mayoral race.

Jason Rapert sends out thousands of invites to join newly formed National Association of Christian Lawmakers

Behold, the spam of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Mayoral candidates Baker Kurrus and Frank Scott set to debate tonight on KARK-Fox16

Mayoral candidates Frank Scott and Baker Kurrus will face off in a debate that will be aired on KARK and Fox16 this evening at 6:30 p.m.

It's also GivingNews Day; make your donation count 12x

Help keep Benji warm and working on journalism that matters.

About that Kurrus-Scott mayoral poll...

The Arkansas Times has acquired a copy of the full results of the mayoral poll summarized in a controversial KARK report yesterday.

Tuesday's headlines and your open line

Jason Rapert sends out thousands of invites to join newly formed National Association of Christian Lawmakers; Mayoral candidates Baker Kurrus and Frank Scott set to debate tonight on KARK/Fox16; Deer crashes through Cross County Courthouse window; It's #GivingNewsDay, an effort promoted by NewsMatch, a national matching campaign to support nonprofit journalism.

Trump: "Oceans are very small"

"One of the problems that a lot of people like myself," Trump explained, "we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers."

Sinclair airs "must-run" segment on local news stations warning of "attempted invasion of our country": UPDATE

The latest from Trump's Ministry of Disinformation.

Fayetteville moves closer to 100-percent clean energy goal with solar panel project at wastewater treatment facilities

The solar panel project for the wastewater facilities represents a major step forward in the city's goal to operate all city facilities with100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2030.

Marjorie Williams-Smith wins Governor's Arts Award

Marjorie Williams-Smith, Governors Arts Awards,

Deer update: Surveillance video released showing footage of doe crashing through glass windowpane at Cross County Courthouse

Courthouse surveillance video footage has been released, showing the break-in.

Citizen sues Preferred Family Healthcare, demanding repayment of taxpayer money in wake of corruption scandals (UPDATE)

Jim Parsons, a Bella Vista activist who has frequently made use of Freedom of Information Act requests and legal actions to attempt to expose public corruption, filed an illegal exaction lawsuit yesterday afternoon in Benton County Circuit Court against Preferred Family Healthcare and its subsidiaries in Arkansas.

New show at the Arts Center: Watercolors in the Park restaurant: UPDATE

The Arkansas Arts Center's latest opening is its new restaurant, Watercolor in the Park. The Keet family of restaurateurs (Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe, Petit & Keet) is now running the show.

Setting the record straight on Baker Kurrus and local control of Little Rock schools

Did Kurrus oppose local control of the LRSD when he was appointed superintendent in 2015? Not really, but he didn't endorse it, either.

Midweek headlines and your open line

Setting the record straight on Baker Kurrus and local control of Little Rock schools; Citizen sues Preferred Family Healthcare, demanding repayment of taxpayer money in wake of corruption scandals; Fayetteville moves closer to 100-percent clean energy goal with solar panel project at wastewater treatment facilities.

Judge in case seeking Ecclesia repayment: Legislators cannot be compelled to testify in depositions, but case can otherwise proceed

The latest in the lawsuit seeking to recoup ill-gotten money from Ecclesia College.

Growers say medical marijuana could be ready by April

The Medical Marijuana Commission met today and the state's five licensed growers announced their expected timelines.