EDITORIAL>>Big tobacco fights tax

The cigarette industry, which keeps a gaggle of Arkansas lobbyists on contract, brought in the big boys this week to begin a full-court press against the cigarette tax. Now we will see whether Governor Beebe, who gets everything he wants in the legislature, is finally overmatched. Let’s hope not.A corporate team from Altria Group, formerly known as Philip Morris, jetted […]

EDITORIAL>>Animal cruelty bill heads for passage

Arkansas finally will have an animal-cruelty law worth the name, but who could have imagined that it would take negotiations on the order of the Irish peace talks? The Senate passed the bill easily this week and the bill had enough sponsors in the House of Representatives to assure passage next week. Governor Beebe, who deserves some credit for investing […]

TOP STORY>>Sharpe will keep job for now

By JOHN HOFHEIMERLeader senior staff writerTo Superintendent James Sharpe, it was a vote of confidence. To some Pulaski County Special School District board members, it was a rebuke of Sharpe. The board emerged from a 90-minute executive session Friday and voted unanimously to keep Sharpe for two years, but to forgo the customary one-year extension of his contract.That means his […]

TOP STORY>>Sergeant guilty in trial on air base

By NANCY DOCKTERLeader staff writerAn Air Force staff sergeant stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base was convicted of aggravated assault Friday for his part in a 2005 brutal gang initiation of an Army sergeant, who died from his injuries. At the time, both men were stationed in Germany.Staff Sgt. Jerome Jones, 25, will serve two years in prison, have […]

TOP STORY>>Commander of 314th AW loves his job

By JOHN HOFHEIMERLeader senior staff writerIf enthusiasm alone could end a war, Col. Charles K. Hyde could have brought home all the troops safely by now. Instead, he’s in command of the 314th Airlift Wing of the Air Education and Training Command at Little Rock Air Force Base, where he’s thrown himself into safeguarding the national interest by overseeing the […]

TOP STORY>>Base repels nuisance birds

By JOHN HOFHEIMERLeader senior staff writerNothing good happens when a bird and an airplane occupy the same space at the same time, as evidenced Jan. 15th when U.S. Airways Flight 1549 carrying 155 passengers and crew apparently struck a flock of birds—probably Canada geese—and the pilot was forced to ditch the plane in the Hudson River. The good new is […]