TOP STORY > >Businesses react to vote on annexation

By RAY BENTONLeader managing editorAmong Gravel Ridge business owners, the choice for annexation is almost unanimous. When the choice between Jacksonville and Sherwood is clearly laid out, businesses prefer Sherwood. The main reason given for choosing Sherwood is the widely held belief that Sherwood would provide better police protection. Jacksonville held its annexation vote last Tuesday, with that city voting […]

TOP STORY > >Economy overstocks pawnshops

By ALIYA FELDMAN & JOAN MCCOYLeader staff writersThe pawnshop business has a rough reputation for good reason. Jim’s Pawn Shop in Jacksonville sits next to an abandoned furniture store on a quiet strip along North First Street, but for a few cars and an occasional passing train. Owner Jim Pate suffered a concussion and fractured skull when two teenagers barged […]

TOP STORY > >City agrees to add land to battlefield

By RICK KRONLeader staff writerFour more acres of land were added Thursday to the Reed’s Bridge Battlefield off Hwy. 161 when the Jacksonville City Council voted to spend $100,000 to buy the acres.“We’ve got to grab the green space when we can,” said Tommy Dupree, president of the Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society, which operates the battlefield site.The council agreed […]

TOP STORY > >How they voted on annexing neighbor

By RICK KRONLeader staff writerSeventy five percent of Jacksonville residents who voted Tuesday favored bringing Gravel Ridge into the city.“We are excited about those numbers,” said Mayor Tommy Swaim.About 30 percent of the Gravel Ridge residents also voted for the annexation, bringing the totals to 3,319 votes, or 66 percent for the annexation, and 1,733 votes, or 34 percent against […]

TOP STORY > >Base thanks mayor for support

Little Rock Air Force Base last weekend honored its best, presenting awards to a dozen airmen and civilian employees.Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Swaim was the recipient of the first Team Little Rock Cornerstone Award for his contribution to base relations. Brig. Gen. Rowayne Schatz, commander of the 314th Airlift Wing, came up with the idea for the award as a way […]

TOP STORY > >Impact fee still being examined by council

By JOAN MCCOYLeader staff writerThe committee appointed to investigate whether or not the impact fee on building in Cabot is making builders leave the city met for the first time Thursday evening. After two hours of mostly venting about the need for money for infrastructure versus imposing a tax on the biggest industry in the city, the group decided to […]

TOP STORY > > Sales tax receipts good

By RICK KRON & JOAN MCCOYLeader staff writersThe talk about a slowing economy has not caught up with local taxes. Jacksonville and Sherwood are reporting continued upswings in the collection of city and county taxes. Even Pulaski County collections have been solid.The gas wells that are now pumping in White County have stimulated the economy there and tax collections are […]

EDITORIAL >>McCain up, Hillary down

A year ago, as this interminable presidential campaign was taking shape, the easy bet was that Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton would battle for the office this fall. Half of that expectation has now been realized, but the other half seems more and more unlikely. Barring a cataclysmic event, McCain will be the Republican nominee, but that cataclysm may […]

SPORTS >> Cabot’s Tarrant chooses Harding

By JASON KINGLeader sportswriterThe college journey will be a short one for Cabot senior L.J. Tarrant. The former Panther defensive lineman signed on Wednesday to attend Harding University in Searcy. Tarrant, who earned All-Conference and All State honors his senior year as a starter for the Panthers football team, secured his spot at the school with a 3.5 GPA and […]

SPORTS >> Sylvan Hills’ Miller takes offer from Mississippi

By KELLY FENTONLeader sports editorSylvan Hills two-star standout Hunter Miller signed a letter to play football with Ole Miss on Wednesday in the Sylvan Hills High School library.Miller was an All-State and All-Conference quarterback and free safety for the Bears, rushing for 1,379 yards and throwing for 1,128 more in his senior season.“He’s one of the best players in the […]