The Leader

Pure fiction from Rollins
When he famously directed Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984, Ed Rollins showed a knack for creating agreeable fancy about the president’s leadership.
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Huck should tell the truth
Every politician, like most of the rest of us, has a terrifying secret that he fears would turn the public against him if the word got out. In Mike Huckabee’s case, it is his record.
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Feds give us holiday gifts
Everybody complains about pork-barrel projects – or “earmarks” as they’re sometimes called – but they’re bad only when they’re for the other guys.
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Late with FOIs
To the editor: All I want for Christmas is what I asked for…
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The Christmas child
To the editor: As we celebrate this Christmas Day, let us remember the Christ child born in the hay.
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Investigate clemencies
Every week, another two or three former aides to Mike Huckabee turn up to embroider on his lengthy record as governor of Arkansas, and they are not complimentary.
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What little girl wanted for holiday
(This is a reprint of a previous Christmas column.) When my friend Jack Sallee was with the Jaycees in Fayetteville, they’d put an ad in the paper at Christmastime, saying that for $2 you could have Santa come to your place.
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Huckabee impressive, unenduring
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee is way up there in the polls, pulling almost even with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the Republican presidential nomination, although Huckabee badly trails all potential Democratic nominees.
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Pearl Harbor marks 66th anniversary
(This column about the late McLyle Zumwalt first appeared here on Dec. 9, 1989 and is reprinted to mark the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.)
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County too poor for sick inmates
Beebe police recently arrested James E. (Big Ed) Fuller for selling crack cocaine out of his apartment.
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Tough vet able to cry and smile
When you saw Bill Greer, he usually smiled like all his brothers.
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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]

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

December 29 , 2007

Jay and Kelly Campbell smile as they leave a courtroom after their corruption conviction in Lonoke County.

Looking back on 2007
IN SHORT: The trial and conviction of former Lonoke police chief and his wife tops our stories. [FULL TEXT]

School at base to go up in ’09
IN SHORT: Education center funded, as well as nine more C-130Js and three more older planes set for new training mission. [FULL TEXT]

City eyes long-term planning
IN SHORT: Jacksonville mayor submits plan for long-term capital improvement projects. [FULL TEXT]

New mills to finance buildings in district
IN SHORT: An increase would also cover $2.5 million that’s still owed for the rebuilding of Junior High North. [FULL TEXT]

Burger tax is bringing in revenue
IN SHORT: Commission approves $5,000 in grant money to improve McCraw Cemetery. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot soldier is back from Iraq
IN SHORT: Guardsman glad to have the holidays with family after his recent return. [FULL TEXT]

 




Sports

Jacksonville senior forward Shanita Johnson goes up for a layup against Dollarway’s Meoshi Bradley on Thursday afternoon at JHS. Johnson came away with the game-winning assist against the Lady Cardinals in a 47-46 win for the Lady Red Devils.

Beebe cruises in first round
IN SHORT: Badgers and Lady Badgers won their opening games easily in the Badger Christmas Classic at BHS. [FULL TEXT]

JHS girls survive Dollarway
IN SHORT: The Lady Red Devils’ first-round game against Dollarway came down to a last-second shot for the win. [FULL TEXT]

Jackrabbits slowly pull away from Academy
IN SHORT: The Lonoke boys fought through early foul trouble to handle the HA Wildcats in the first round at Beebe. [FULL TEXT]

 




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