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Hey, big spenders
The ancient advice that seems to be most often rewarded is the biblical injunction to beware those who announce their arrival by bragging about their piety. They always turn out to be undeserving.

Supporting better roads
The trucking industry gave up its claim to a sales tax exemption for big tractors and trailers in the face of wide criticism last week and everyone agreed not to hold an election on a nickel-a-gallon tax on diesel fuel. We are tempted to say, like all the players in the imbroglio, that all’s well that ends well. But only tempted. The taxpaying and motoring public is still a big loser.

Politicizing ice cream
We won’t have Yarnell’s Premium Ice Cream to savor any more because the venerable Searcy creamery announced Thursday that it was closing immediately. Far too few people will mourn the loss of Yarnell’s deluxe ice cream, which is the big reason the company closed, but you would never guess by the lamentations from politicians and parties.

New leader for PCSSD
The Pulaski County Special School District desegregation case gets more complicated every day, but at least now there’s a longterm superintendent in place to succeed Bobby Lester, who stepped in temporarily last week to replace Charles Hopson. Lester was an emergency fill-in when the state Education Department took control of the failing district and fired Hopson and the school board.

Sylvan Hills grad helps revive Memphis sound
Last month in Overton Park in Memphis, the young trumpet player on stage left was blasting away with the Bo-Keys, an eight-man band that has revived the soulful sounds of Memphis from the 1960s and 1970s.

High school here ranks with Delta
Three failing high schools down in the poverty-stricken Delta received multi-million-dollar federal grants last week. So did Jacksonville High School, the only one that’s not in the Delta.

Arkansans praised
around the world

The water’s receding. Most roads are open and homes are drying out. The cleanup continues as the worst flooding in decades moves south, although pockets of Arkansas remain underwater. Neighbors have helped each other cope with the disaster, although some were hurt and at least one person was killed in our area. Little Rock Air Force Base had a close brush with calamity as it survived a tornado that struck homes and several C-130s.

Sad to see old bridge torn down
Scott Fryer took his family Saturday to inspect Fryer’s Ford Bridge, which had served the rural community near Solgohachia in Conway County since 1890.

Bluesmen from Delta
passing on

Joe Willie (Pinetop) Perkins, who was the oldest living bluesman and Grammy winner until he passed away Monday at 97, sat recently in a wheelchair in a little alcove just offstage at Stickys Chicken Shack in the Rivermarket District in Little Rock.

Dictator fooled
by coverage?
Did Fox News goad President Obama into taking action in Libya?
Every hour until the missiles started flying, Fox showed Obama goofing off: Doing everything except his job, but there was a reason to the March madness, and it had nothing to do with basketball.

Hate speech is protected,
court decides
(The U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld the right of Westboro Baptist Church members to demonstrate at military funerals. This column about the Kansas-based group, which demonstrated in Beebe nearly five years ago, appeared on Aug. 2, 2006.)
Members of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., were again busy this week picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, but lawsuits filed by families who have lost their loved ones could stop the church group from taunting grieving relatives. [FULL TEXT]

Ex-Stax chief still has soul
Al Bell, the former Stax Records executive, is back in the spotlight with a new Web site, All Bell Presents American Soul Music, where you can hear classic Stax artists and new soul singers who are keeping the Memphis sound alive. [FULL TEXT]

Minihan: No break
for wing since 9/11
Col. Mike Minihan, commander of the 19th Airlift Wing, sent off 40 airmen and a couple of C-130s into combat before the storm hit last weekend. [FULL TEXT]

From this poor little girl, special request for Santa
(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. [FULL TEXT]

Base could depend on Snyder as real friend
Rep. Vic Snyder, a Democrat who is retiring from Congress at the end of the year, is getting some heat from Republicans for wasting time on the House floor to praise this community’s support of Little Rock Air Force Base. [FULL TEXT]

Panama president
ex-UofA roommate

John Mason, a Jacksonville real estate broker, was in Fayetteville with his wife Ien for homecoming weekend on Oct. 30, when the Razorbacks played Vanderbilt. [FULL TEXT]

Our error given wide circulation
We’ve received lots of calls, comments and complaints over an error in Wednesday’s paper about a Christmas program in Cabot. [FULL TEXT]

Comparing pardons
by governor

Did you see Gov. Beebe’s latest list of pardons? Last week, he announced his intent to pardon a handful of small-time criminals, emphasis on small-time. [FULL TEXT]

POWs recall their
World War ordeal

The former POWs who were shot down over Romania during the Second World War arrived at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History in their tour bus a little after 11 a.m. Thursday. [FULL TEXT]

Annexation plan: Many in area say they're against it
People who live north of Jacksonville near Hwy. 67/167 met at a church Monday evening to fight the city’s plan to annex the area.[FULL TEXT]

Lighthouse plans to build middle and high schools
The headline in Saturday’s Leader: “Cabot schools about to hit 10,000.”[FULL TEXT]

J’Accuse: Smearing
of general

Air Force Gen. John D. Lavelle, who died more than 30 years ago, after he was falsely accused of insubordination, is a four-star general again. [FULL TEXT]

Petraeus salutes
camp liberators

It was 65 years ago Monday that Beryl Wolfson helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp in southeastern Germany.

Marker recalls fire at Twist

There's finally a marker honoring B.B. King in Twist in Cross County, where the great blues singer escaped from a fire at nightclub with his guitar and named it Lucille.

Justice Jim fought tough final battle
Arkansas bloggers were the first with the news of Justice Jim Johnson’s suicide over the weekend. The local TV news on Sunday ignored his passing, probably because no one in the newsroom knew who he was. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot man in raid
on POW camp in 1970
Mst. Sgt. Paul Poole, who helped to liberate Americans from a Vietnamese prison camp, died last week. [FULL TEXT]

Trial could get Muhammad
his death wish

Last June, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad killed a soldier from Conway and injured another soldier from Jacksonville in front of a recruiting station in Little Rock.

What a little girl asked
from Santa

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.

Tuskegee legend
at holiday reception

A tall elderly man stood in a far corner in a large banquet room at Little Rock Air Force Base on Sunday afternoon during the holiday reception hosted by the wing commanders.

Gas shut off
as hospital bills pile up

A couple in Beebe have been without heat for several months after the natural-gas company took out their meter because they were not paying their bills.

Huckabee our worst governor?
Who is Arkansas’ worst governor? Is it Orval Faubus, who defied federal authorities i in 1957, when he wouldn’t allow nine black students to attend Central High School in Little Rock? He brought shame and ridicule on the whole state, but at least no one was killed. Or is Mike Huckabee our worst governor ever?


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July 6, 2011

Fourth of July in Jacksonville
Jacksonville Police Officer Greg Oginski, who served as a sergeant with the Army in Iraq, looks at a display honoring his fallen comrades during the Jacksonville Patriotic Spectacular Friday night. Fireworks closed out the program.

First day is productive
IN SHORT: State commissioner is looking to form an advisory board with Lester and others to help school district. [FULL TEXT]

Old theater burns in Beebe
IN SHORT: Building was supposed to house shelter for the town’s homeless. [FULL TEXT]

School to move sidewalk
IN SHORT: Board agrees to request by city council and mayor to ease traffic. [FULL TEXT]

Centennial Bank outfielder Bryson Morris, 13, slides safely into second for a stolen base during Cabot’s wild 17-16 victory over Sheridan in the first round of the tournament in Jacksonville.

Exemplifying the spirit of American Legion
IN SHORT: Adversity in sports is usually a game-time occurrence. In baseball, it’s a pitcher struggling through a jam, or a team facing deficits and trying to overcome. [FULL TEXT

Bruins upset top seed, need one
IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills’ junior team needs one more win at Zone to advance to the state tourney. [FULL TEXT]

Gwatney gets yet another late win
IN SHORT: This one took longer than usual, but the Chevy Boys won in the 11th. [FULL TEXT]

Centennial stays alive at Zone 3
IN SHORT: Cabot beat Rose Bud in district tourney after a first-round loss. [FULL TEXT]

14-under All Stars go 1-1
IN SHORT: Jacksonville beat England, but lost twice to Hot Springs.Lakewood. [FULL TEXT]


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