The Leader

Wal-Mart does right
Wait, for a change there is some good news on the health-care front and it is Arkansas originated. How often do you get to say that?
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Gas tax for schools
Pick almost any issue between Mike Beebe and the good Republican Sheffield Nelson and the governor in our sights would own the higher ground.
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Nelson’s severance tax
The last time we heard from Sheffield Nelson he was helping the Bush-Cheney re-election effort in Arkansas and working closely with his best political friend, Mike Huckabee, who put him on the state Game and Fish Commission. [FULL TEXT]

A profile in courage
The brave on the battlefield will find their heroism acknowledged by medals and commendations, but unusual courage in politics may have to wait on the accumulation of time and wisdom for its recognition. [FULL TEXT]

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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Parties still looking for their savior
While Republicans and Democrats are slugging it out over who should get their party’s presidential nomination — for many, the choices aren’t all that terrific, which is why minor candidates like Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul are pulling up from the rear —the good news for Lonoke County Republicans is they have squelched a rebellion to humiliate the mayor of Cabot and an alderman.
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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 14 , 2007

Brig. Gen. Rowayne Schatz, Little Rock Air Force Base commander, receives a plaque from American Legion Post 91 Chaplain Willard Crain (middle) and Post 91 Commander John R. Voss after his participation in the post’s veterans ceremony held Monday in Beebe.

Communities honor vets
IN SHORT: Gen. Schatz tells American Legion in Beebe that veterans have always made sacrifices in the past, and today’s young service members still pay the ultimate price. [FULL TEXT]

Two file for seat as judge in Cabot
IN SHORT: Longtime jurist O’Bryan faces competition from alderman and former city attorney Williams for municipal court. [FULL TEXT]

Group wants to save schools
IN SHORT: A coterie of friends may help build a new Jacksonville middle school by 2014 if they can convince voters to approve a millage. [FULL TEXT]

Sherwood revamping ’08 budget
IN SHORT:Sherwood Mayor Virginia Hillman and her budget committee continue going over next year’s budget, which she called “the city’s livelihood.”
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Phone workers protest
IN SHORT: CenturyTel employees demonstrate in Jacksonville and call for a new contract. [FULL TEXT]

 




Sports

Lonoke’s Tyler Crow fights through a tackle during the Jackrabbits’ victory over Clarksville Friday night during the first round of the state football playoffs.

Speed concerns Gravette
IN SHORT: Gravette coach Bill Harrelson believes that Lonoke’s quickness will pose a problem for his No. 1 seeded Lions when the Jackrabbits travel to northwest Arkansas this Friday. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot, Lonoke lose in final
IN SHORT: The Lady Panthers and Lady ’Rabbits both lost Saturday at LR Hall. [FULL TEXT]

Academy glad for chance to avenge last season
IN SHORT: The Wildcats will make their second playoff trip to Springdale in as many years to face the 9-1 Shiloh Christian Saints. HA coach Tommy Shoemaker believes this year’s game is more winnable than in ‘06. [FULL TEXT]

 




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