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EDITORIALS
If it bleeds, it sure leads
You’ve probably noticed that Little Rock television stations are airing more crime stories at the exclusion of serious reporting, which disappeared from local screens years ago.
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School case drags on
It came as no surprise that the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals this week overturned U.S. District Judge Brian Miller’s order earlier this year ending state desegregation funding for Pulaski County schools.
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Free postage
and Congress
The holidays would not be the same if a few politicians, or a lot of them, did not try to gain some political advantage from Christmas. For the last dozen years or so, it has been to join the forces of the righteous against the mythical “War on Christmas.”
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Griffin’s top priority
is creating more jobs
My top priority is fighting for policies that encourage private-sector job creation in Arkansas, and the more than 900 votes I’ve cast this year reflect that focus. I have hosted more than 25 town halls as well as a “jobs conference” that brought together Arkansas job creators to discuss the challenges they face.
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Invaders swoop inat sunset
On Saturday afternoon, children and their parents were walking down the street in Beebe’s Windwood subdivision near where blackbirds roost at night on West Center Street.[FULL TEXT]

Young girl asks Santa
for a very special gift
(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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Shovel-ready work:
Look when you dig

Residents of the Sunnyside neighborhood in Jack-sonville are breathing easier now that the relocation of utility lines is nearly completed before the start of the Graham Road widening project. [FULL TEXT]

Arkansas bluesman
left mark
The great Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s longtime guitarist, died last weekend at the age of 80. He’d been in poor health for several years — he carried an oxygen tank with him during performances — but he was a down-to-earth character who grew up in east Arkansas before he headed for Chicago some 60 years ago. The Rolling Stones will pay for his funeral. [FULL TEXT]

Eyewitness remembers
Pearl Harbor
(This column about the late McLyle Zumwalt first appeared here on Dec. 9, 1989, and is reprinted to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He died in 2001.)
Most people think of retired Col. McLyle Zumwalt as one of the organizers of Pathfinders, which trains the developmentally and physically disabled in Jacksonville.
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Vietnam vet is in military
hall of fame
Lex (Butch) Davis of Sherwood was among the first 15 inductees into the Arkansas Military Veterans Hall of Fame at the Agora Center in Conway on Friday. This column appeared here in February 2007.
Butch Davis sat at a round table near the corner where the Singing Sergeants entertained in the big gym on Little Rock Air Force Base, which was honoring its top personnel at the annual awards banquet Saturday night.
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Colonel won’t be home for Christmas
President Obama said Friday all U.S. troops would leave Iraq at the end of the year.
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Designers snub
Civil War buffs
Earlier this year, a couple of interior designers from Europe named Simon Davies and Tomas Cederlund came here for an episode of their show “Home Takeover” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
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State won’t rescue cities
like schools
Cities across Arkansas are going broke in the double-dip recession. Alexander down in Saline County is questioning a former bookkeeper about shortages in two city funds.
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Comparing pardons by governors
(This column won first place in the Arkansas Press Association’s Better Newspaper contest. Winners were announced Saturday during the APA’s convention in Hot Springs. The column was published in The Leader on Oct. 19, 2010.).
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A Murdoch News Corp.
should hire

Wendi Deng Murdoch, who jumped to her husband’s defense when a British comedian threw a shaving-cream pie at the mogul yesterday, is the one Murdoch who deserves to run the beleaguered media empire.
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Soulful sounds still amaze
The Bo-Keys are keeping the Memphis sound alive with their brash, funky music and vocal backing from great soul singers like Otis Clay, William Bell and Percy Wiggins.
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Gutsy newspaper
goes after villains

A tenacious investigative reporter, a great editor and a courageous newspaper — Nick Davies working under Alan Rusbridger at the British Guardian — helped bring down the most powerful media company in the world: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, now exposed as a criminal enterprise, with several present and former employees facing prison sentences for hacking into cell phones and computers for more than a decade.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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Jan. 4 , 2012



Birds pull town together
IN SHORT: Beebe officials wanted to avoid a repetition of last year, and birds survived New Year’s with minimal deaths. [FULL TEXT]


Invaders swoop in at sunset
IN SHORT: On Saturday afternoon, children and their parents were walking down the street in Beebe’s Windwood subdivision near where blackbirds roost at night on West Center Street. [FULL TEXT]

Several schools do well on test
IN SHORT: Arnold Drive and Mountain Springs score high, but others are still lagging. [FULL TEXT]

New year seen as turning point for area officials
IN SHORT: Many want to improve schools, while police chiefs hope to reduce crime and Jacksonville mayor still wants to bring state fair to the area. [FULL TEXT]

Cypert releases agenda for 2012
IN SHORT: After listing his accomplishments in The Leader last weekend, the first-term Cabot mayor says he’s not resting on his laurels this year. [FULL TEXT]

County judge stresses efficiency
IN SHORT: Erwin says he’s focused on trimming expenses to reduce waste. [FULL TEXT]




Beebe’s Zach James shoots while Pulaski Academy’s Hunter Henry defends during the Bruins’ 50-41 win in the Beebe Holiday Classic.

Beebe falls to young Bruins
IN SHORT: Despite lacking two starters in the second half, PA wins Badger Holiday Classic.
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Wildcats stall for win over ’Rabbits
IN SHORT: Harding Academy slowed the pace and held off speedy Lonoke for 10-point win.
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Warriors host JHS’ first East road test
IN SHORT: Jacksonville starts league play Thursday at LR Hall to accommodate Cotton Bowl.
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Lady Badgers defeat Sacred Heart for third
IN SHORT: Beebe girls get solid effort from sophomore post in easy win in holiday tournament.
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Bears lose first game, close well in tourney
IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills lost to Tupelo at Poplar Bluff, but beat Hillcrest and Forrest City.
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IN THIS ISSUE
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Public works head hired
Sherwood passes budgets
Police departments get new patrol cars

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