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EDITORIALS
Welcome, Mrs. Obama
Michelle Obama will land at Little Rock Air Force Base on Thursday to promote the second anniversary of her “Let’s Move!” initiative geared toward fighting childhood obesity.
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Principal rising star
Henry Anderson, the new principal at Jacksonville High School, has opened a dialogue with students and teachers. He has formed a principal’s cabinet, which includes some of the brightest students at the high school.
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New leader: He’s ready
Lt. Gen. Mark F. Ramsey, commander of the 18th Air Force, presided over Tuesday’s moving change-of-command ceremony at Little Rock Air Force Base as Col. Brian (Smokey) Robinson succeeded Col. Mike Minihan as commander of the 19th Airlift Wing.
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Military cuts loom large
Little Rock Air Force Base will get new leadership next week as Col. Brian Robinson succeeds Col. Mike Minihan, just days after Thursday’s announcement of huge cuts in military spending.
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Air base rebuilds
Col. Mike Minihan, commander of the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, will depart next Tuesday for Andrews Air Force Base, where he will oversee the presidential and VIP fleet of jets. He will leave his successor, Col. Brian Robinson, an air base that ranks with the best in the world.
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System fails to protect
James Michael Davis was a habitual criminal who got out of jail because an overloaded criminal-justice system couldn’t figure out how to keep him behind bars until he allegedly killed two people in the Cabot area before Christmas.
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Church reaches out
Here’s an inspirational story.
Cabot aldermen, while working through the process of condemning a batch of derelict buildings, found themselves dealing with an irate homeowner who demanded to know why the city code-enforcement officer was snooping around his mobile home. And why they wanted him to repair it or tear it down.
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Invaders swoop in
at 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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For complete news coverage, buy The Leader today!

Feb. 8 , 2012



Legion honors heroic war chaplains
IN SHORT: Ministers, rabbi and priest gave up their life jackets so soldiers could live. [FULL TEXT]

Base units thrive amid cuts
IN SHORT: Guard and Reserves losing only three C-130s in next five years as they add personnel.
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PCSSD hoping it can escape state scrutiny
IN SHORT: The district faces a continuing fiscal distress designation, but financial officer ‘optimistic.’ [FULL TEXT]


Former legislator had Cabot roots
IN SHORT: Ex-representative’s father was Cabot’s first mayor in 1919 and was a cousin of senator. [FULL TEXT]



College All Stars speak at Jacksonville Middle School
Participants in the 2012 All-Star Classic North-South football game appeared Friday at Jacksonville Middle School to promote last Saturday’s game and to talk to students about the importance of good behavior and work ethic. All-Star speakers included, from left, Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden, Arkansas State defensive end Brandon Joiner, Henderson State defensive end Antonio Leak, LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and Arkansas Razorback safety Tramain Thomas.

Panthers take second in Central wrestling
IN SHORT: Cabot performs well, gets two champions and six in the finals at North Little Rock meet. [FULL TEXT]

’Rabs split pair with Cave City
IN SHORT: Lonoke girls win big, boys fall to 4A-2’s most unpredictable team.
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Hall whips Red Devils, wins again physically
IN SHORT: Warriors get season sweep of Red Devils with win on Friday. [FULL TEXT]

Evans leads at junior college
IN SHORT: Jacksonville native Michael Evans leads the Pioneer JUCO team in points and rebounding this season.
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IN THIS ISSUE
Subscribe to The Leader for these and other stories found in the printed edition.
• Kevin the Sign Guy doing his job
• Two run for White County clerk

• Mayor wants to follow Oklahoma
• $20K grant will build stage in Carlisle
• Science fair at LISA Academy

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