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EDITORIALS
A big boost
for air base
Politicians who have been demanding less government spending are furious that the Defense Department is making cuts at military bases across the country.
[FULL TEXT]

A successor in waiting
Mike Huckabee will soon kick off his syndicated radio talk show to compete with Rush Limbaugh, whose program is in serious trouble after his mindless attack last week on a young Georgetown University Law School student named Sandra Fluke. Some 25 advertisers have quit Limbaugh’s program.
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Big-tent party
not open to all
One of the most dramatic changes we’ve seen since The Leader started 25 years ago is the Republican Party’s takeover in Lonoke County.
[FULL TEXT]

‘Clinton’ no masterpiece
Here’s an assignment for local high school history and civics teachers: Show the recent PBS documentary about the Clinton presidency and discuss the program’s strong points and its weaknesses.
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A memorial honors those who served in Vietnam
(This column appeared on March 4, 1987, in the first issue of The Leader. We’re reprinting the column as we mark our 25th anniversary.)
Wanda Shireman of rural Jack-sonville remembers when she heard the news that her son, Paul Jr., had died in Vietnam.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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!

March 10, 2012


Fiery explosion at vacant Jacksonville warehouse
A vacant furniture warehouse off School Drive behind Knight’s in Jacksonville burned to the ground late Friday afternoon after the heat from a contractor’s welder apparently simmered and sparked the dry timber. Contractors had been hired to part out the old building and had been working on it for a week, taking out windows, flooring, lumber to be used to build a drug-rehab house. The contractor was cutting steel beams Friday afternoon, but when he left with a load of supplies at about 2:30 p.m. and everything seemed fine. About an hour later, the pre-World War II structure was engulfed in flames and plumes of black smoke could be seen from Hwy. 67/167. The fire department sent nearly every truck and two-dozen firefighters to battle the blaze. The fire eventually spread to a dozen units in a nearby storage facility. Crews from Cabot, Gravel Ridge and South Bend responded to cover the rest of the city in case of fires or alarms. No injuries were reported.

More airmen slated for LRAFB
IN SHORT: Up to 1,100 active-duty and reservists are scheduled to arrive at the air base while cuts are implemented elsewhere. [FULL TEXT]


Gun-toting teacher fired
IN SHORT: Jacksonville High School teacher dismissed after bringing pistol to class. [FULL TEXT]


Woman with seizures relies on dog
IN SHORT: Faithful friend makes sure he alerts his owner when attack starts. [FULL TEXT]


Company sets its sights on Walmart
IN SHORT: Local business wants public’s help to get its products on store’s shelves.
[FULL TEXT]


Cabot Lady Panthers celebrate with the student section after earning a spot in today’s championship game.

Cabot girls facing storied Northside
IN SHORT: Panthers set to battle Grizzlies for 7A state championship.
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Seniors fulfilling dream
IN SHORT: Senior leadership has been the heart of this year’s Cabot Lady Panthers team. [FULL TEXT]

Bears very clear on final strategy
IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills’ march back to title game has one step remaining.
[FULL TEXT]

Devils earn first win over Beebe
IN SHORT: Jacksonville no-hit the Badgers in a 2-1 final on Wednesday. [FULL TEXT]

 

IN THIS ISSUE
Subscribe to The Leader for these and other stories found in the printed edition.
• Howard, Sansing running
• Young marketer announces
•Cabot City Council candidate
• Award honors late instructor
• Wilkinson running for sheriff
•Lawman joins sheriff's race
•Incle running for Lonoke constable
• Mother arrested for choking infant
•Mother dies after crash; child unhurt
• Tip leads to drug arrest

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