The Leader

Constitution requires bids
No, this is not a parlor game but an exercise that actually took place in an Arkansas courtroom — specifically the Pulaski County Circuit Court on Monday.
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Don’t defy laws
No, the framers meant what they wrote when they said “all.” Holding down the cost of government was in fashion in those days. Now it’s an inconvenience.
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Program helps wrong people
Gov. Beebe added his voice to the plea for a little compassion from Washington in this dreary winter of discontent, but there is precious little hope that it will make any difference.
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Texas fights polluters!
No state government anywhere, unless it is Arkansas, is supposed to be kinder to the big energy companies than Texas.
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Better ranking
School rankings come out by the dozens every year and Arkansas lands all across the spectrum, making it hard to draw much elation or sorrow from any of them.
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Vote bashes big media
Election nights are refreshing even when they are personally disappointing because they keep reassuring us about who ultimately is in charge. It is not the cacophonous media but the voters.
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Requiring photo IDs
Arkansas has a sad but improving history of voting fraud, but the solution is not less democracy as a few Republicans lawmakers advocate.
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Whose tax cuts?
We tire of pointing it out, but someone needs to keep the record straight.
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Huckabee can rejoice
Whatever happens hereafter to his campaign for president, Mike Huckabee must forever be accorded recognition for having pulled one of the most improbable political upsets in a century.
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Water users get soaked
Between the lawyers and the reporters who record their pleadings, the legal jousting over building subdivisions west of Lake Maumelle leaves most of us baffled.
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Don’t know geography
An endless succession of blunders once he attained center stage in the presidential race suggests that our man Mike Huckabee needs to stick to what he does best, one-liners and clemency, and leave foreign policy to others.
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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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Huck prays for miracle after losses
An obvious sign that his presidential campaign is sinking and out of money, Mike Huckabee is throwing the national media off his plane and bus and will probably soon abandon Florida, placing all his bets on Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.
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Huck’s main adversary is not running
Mike Huckabee’s most formidable opponent is not running for president.
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Central book is suddenly more timely
Ralph Brodie dropped in at the Jacksonville Rotary Club on Monday to talk about his book, “Central in Our Lives: Voices from Little Rock Central High School, 1957-59.”
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Hillary hurt, Huck boosts McCain for nomination
Until a year ago, Mike Huckabee was an obscure governor from a small state that has a knack for producing national political figures.
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Aretha releases record of the year
Record of the year: Aretha Franklin’s “Rare and Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul,” a two-CD set from Rhino that discounters sell for about $15, which is a bargain. [FULL TEXT]

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]

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

January 30, 2008

This oak tree at 980 Colonial Drive in Jacksonville broke in half and fell into Billy White’s backyard during the wind storm that swept through central Arkansas yesterday. The tree brushed against the back door, barely missing the White family’s fence.

Thousands in the dark after harsh wind storm slams area
IN SHORT: Winds caused power lines to wave and collide, causing power outages; one Lonoke woman pinned to her bed by fallen tree. [FULL TEXT]

Growth slows in Cabot, but not Ward or Austin
IN SHORT: Lonoke County’s two northernmost towns are growing rapidly as Cabot looks at downturn.[FULL TEXT]

Early voting underway in area
IN SHORT: Many people came out to vote at local polls on the first day of early voting. Jacksonville also votes on annexing Gravel Ridge. [FULL TEXT]

Sherwood to take on big debt with course
IN SHORT: City uses condemnation powers to acquire 106-acre property and could be $9 million in the hole.[FULL TEXT]

Murderer gets 30 after plea
IN SHORT: Jacksonville man pleads guilty to the beating death of his girlfriend last summer and is sentenced to 30 years. [FULL TEXT]

Cities will get FEMA checks for firefighters
IN SHORT: Cabot and Sherwood will be awarded federal assistance for their local fire departments. [FULL TEXT]

 




Sports

Cabot’s Sam Bates launches a jump shot in a recent game. The Panthers won their fourth straight on Saturday, beating Russellville 59-37.

Cabot boys make it four in a row by beating Cyclones
IN SHORT: The Lady Panthers fell to Russellville despite Ashcraft’s 21 points. [FULL TEXT]

Foul-plagued Devils fall
IN SHORT: The Jacksonville boys couldn’t overcome starters on the bench in suffering first conference setback. [FULL TEXT]

Tank’s latest dream-come-true
IN SHORT: Former Harding linebacker Torrance Daniels heads to the Super Bowl. [FULL TEXT]

Coach recalls Roark as more than a great athlete
IN SHORT: Former Sylvan Hills baseball and football standout was killed on icy Interstate I-30. [FULL TEXT]

 




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