The Leader

Huck distorts DuMond Fiasco
Alas, Mike Huckabee did not learn the most salient political lesson of the last 50 years, one that Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton grasped too late: Confronted with an embarrassing lapse in judgment or behavior, tell the unvarnished truth right away and put it behind you.
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Texas pushes FOI envelope
Ordinarily, we do not look to Texas for either wise jurisprudence or ethical example, but we hope other venues, including the Arkansas Supreme Court, will ponder a ruling by a state district judge at Dallas.
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Agency watch
The Bush administration makes you wonder sometimes who the government is looking out for, the victim or the perpetrator.
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Huck keeps moving up
It was a good-news, bad-news week for Mike Huckabee, who is beginning to be more than a favorite-son candidate for president. [FULL TEXT]

Resurrecting a straw man
Straw men never go out of fashion in the American political system. [FULL TEXT]

Support Fallfest
This year’s Sherwood Fallfest had everything a town could have wanted in a festival except attendance. [FULL TEXT]

 

Department plays games with scores
The state Education Department last Friday sent out a poorly written press release that bragged about how much progress public schools are making, although if you read far enough into the press release, you realize schools are doing less well than the year before.
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Quillin’s relatives stand by their man
Ron Quillin’s mother-in-law wasn’t too happy with my column Wednesday about the former Pulaski County comptroller who’s in prison for stealing more than $40,000 to finance an affair with a lady friend who was doing business with the county.
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Emails out, but in-laws still pay up
It was nice of Ron Quillin’s in-laws to mortgage their home so he could repay Pulaski County more than $42,000 he stole while he was the county comptroller, but after they saw the infamous emails he sent to his girlfriend printed in the papers, they must wonder if the bum is worth keeping as a son-in-law.
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It doesn’t take long to get out of prison
You’ve probably noticed how criminals get their names in the papers over and over again.
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It’s Biscuit time in Helena
The Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival in downtown Helena — formerly the King Biscuit Blues Festival, although it’s still the Biscuit for most fans and it’s still free — will kick off next Thursday with several strong acts and will continue through next Saturday with plenty more good music, and there’s still lots more across the river the following afternoon in downtown Clarksdale, Miss.
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Classmates meet, recall friendship
Ernest Green, perhaps the best known of the Little Rock Nine, was walking up a couple of flights of stairs at Central High School after Tuesday’s ceremony marking the integration of Central 50 years ago this week.
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No troops when you need them
Most people in Little Rock resented the arrival of the 101st Airborne Division to ensure the integration of Central High School 50 years ago — many of those troops were flown into Little Rock Air Force Base — but almost exactly the year before, I would have welcomed the 101st into my native Hungary.
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All voices need to be heard now
No one at the Little Rock School District or at Central High School will tell us if the city will honor white students and their teachers who stood up to the bigots outside Central High School when Gov. Faubus tried to keep nine black kids out of their neighborhood school 50 years ago this month.
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Recognizing others who were there
Gene Bowman of Jacksonville is one of about 4,500 people who’ve received invitations to a ceremony Sept. 25 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the integration crisis at Central High School in Little Rock.
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Pizzeria closes after move and owner’s surgery
The state Highway Department is completing work on an on-ramp at Hwy. 67/167 in north Jacksonville, where the Pizza Company did pretty decent business for more than a decade.
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Sad news hits us hard this August
A death in the family and deaths of friends have made us think about mortality.
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My father: A witness to 20th Century
When my father passed away at the age of 85 late in the afternoon on Aug. 5, one of the doctors at the emergency room at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami called my brother Steve with the terrible news.
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Is Villines trying to hide more disgrace?
It’s hard to figure out why Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines has opposed the release of emails written by a disgraced former employee — unless Villines thinks they will make his office look bad and raise questions about what his workers are doing when they’re on the clock.
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Americans who make a difference
While we visited the other day with Brig. Gen. (Select) Rowayne Schatz, the commander at Little Rock Air Force Base, and later with members of a local church, they reluctantly mentioned some extraordinary things they’ve done — one in the line of duty, the others going overseas with a church group.
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Local TV closes in on killing
When it comes to local TV news, they say if it bleeds, it leads.
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Kids, dope don’t mix with driver
He’s been driving a bus for the Pulaski County Special School District for 22 years, and this summer he drives a van for special-education students who attend a summer program at the Jacksonville Middle School for Boys.
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Stax marks 50 years of great music
If you remember Isaac Hayes’ “Theme from Shaft,” the Staples Singers’ “Respect Yourself,” Eddy Floyd’s “Knock on Wood,” Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay,” Booker T. and the MGs’ “Green Onions” and the Mar-Keys’ “Last Night,” you would have enjoyed a concert last month in Memphis commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stax record label.
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Air strategy saving lives
Brig. Gen. (Select) Rowayne Schatz is in his office at the headquarters of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, where he’s the commander, and he reaches for a dagger he’d brought back from Qatar a couple of years ago, when he was in charge of running airlifts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Payday series wins award in competition
(The Arkansas Press Association awarded The Leader first place in the Better Newspaper Contest for our in-depth reporting on payday lenders. This column from March 22, 2006 was part of that series.)
A populist state like Arkansas, which once had the lowest usury rate in the nation — 10 percent was the interest limit until 1982 — now allows payday lenders to charge outrageous interest rates — often several hundred percent interest.

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Next move may be up to federal prosecutor
When the FBI completes its public-corruption probe into former Cabot Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh’s administration, interim U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin in Little Rock could be the one who decides whether to file charges against Stumbaugh and his cronies.
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How city wiped out vet’s investment
A veteran of Vietnam, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, Jim Eggert bought two commercial buildings in Jacksonville, but the closing of the Graham Road rail crossing killed business. He’s put his property up for sale, but he’ll have to take a huge loss.
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Famed photographer had roots in area
If you turn off Hwy. 5 at Cabot near the freeway and drive down Cleland Road for less than a mile, you’ll come to Mt. Pleasant Road.
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U.S. prosecutor demoted over bullying e-mail
Witness in Campbell trial used his government computer and official title to try to intimidate newspaper with threat of a $50 million libel suit and takeover of The Leader.
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Why didn’t feds take this case?
You may have wondered while you were following the corruption trial of Jay and Kelly Campbell in Lonoke County why the U.S. attorney’s office in Little Rock didn’t prosecute the couple, along with two shady bail bondsmen, who will be tried later.
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Politics at local level rough, just ask mayor
“All politics is local.”
— Thomas “Tip” O’Neill,
— longtime Speaker of the House
The political pros know that voters are more passionate about local issues than about national politics, even in time of war.
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You cannot judge a book by its cover
The cover of Elizabeth Jacoway’s book on the Central High School integration crisis reproduces one of the most famous photos of the civil rights era. [FULL TEXT]

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

November 3 , 2007

After enduring several minutes of kidding around by Hunter Wooldridge (right front), Heather Benton strikes back by throwing a handful of hay at Wooldridge as Robbie Barton (from left), Tristan Parker, Sarah Casasola, Abby Smith and Bryce Wooldridge laugh at the pair’s horseplay during a hayride at the Bayou Meto Fall Festival at the elementary school Friday evening. The annual festival is a fundraiser organized by the school’s PTA, which raised $1,700 this year.

Air base: We’ll get housing finished
IN SHORT: Gen. Schatz tells residents that a new contractor is being sought to continue privatization work, but the ambitious project will be scaled back from 1,200 new homes to 659 and will not be finished for at least a couple of years, with four potential developers last week taking a tour of the base housing site. [FULL TEXT]

Sheriff makes plea for jail beds
IN SHORT: Public can make contributions to Pulaski County public safety fund to build cells. [FULL TEXT]

Filing helps separation
IN SHORT: PCSSD files for unitary status with judge just before deadline. [FULL TEXT]

Sidewalks still out of compliance
IN SHORT:Justice Department tells Cabot officials they must make improvements.
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Cabot looks at ’08 budget
IN SHORT: Cabot Mayor Eddie Joe Williams presented council members Monday night with an $8.2 million proposed budget for 2008 that includes a $4,000 salary increase for uniformed employees to keep them from leaving for better paying jobs and a 5 percent increase for non-uniformed employees. [FULL TEXT]

 




Sports

Jacksonville coach Mark Whatley talks with his offense during a game earlier this season. The Red Devils host Marion Friday.

Devils, Pats battle for state
IN SHORT: Jacksonville and Marion play Friday. The winner advances to the postseason. [FULL TEXT]

Beebe fighting to stay at home
IN SHORT: The Badger football team hosts Batesville Friday with the winner getting the 5A-East’s two seed and a home playoff game. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot ladies ousted from state by Har-Ber
IN SHORT: The Lady Panthers lost in the opening round of state to Springdale-Har-Ber Tuesday afternoon at Cabot High School. [FULL TEXT]

 




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