EDITORIAL >> Why deficits do matter

Yesterday marked the beginning of either the most important or the most pointless work to be undertaken by an agency of government since well back into the past century. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly known as the bipartisan deficit-reduction commission, began its work under the darkest circumstances, a Congress more bitterly divided than it has been […]

TOP STORY >> JHS grad goes from track to bomb finder

By JOHN HOFHEIMERLeader senior staff writerEight years ago, Alexander Mack would have been tearing up the Jacksonville High School track most afternoons in the 800-meter run or a leg of the 3,200-meter relay.Today, Staff Sgt. Mack can be found behind a .50-caliber machine gun atop a Humvee, walking alongside or out front looking for improvised explosive devices, helping to clear […]

TOP STORY >> Report cites graduation differences

By RICK KRONLeader staff writerThis is the third in a series of three articles focusing on the 2009 Arkansas School Performance Report Card.Lonoke High School’s remediation rate is almost as high as the school’s graduation rate. The remediation rate is 64.8 percent, while the graduation rate is 73.7 percent.Beebe High School, on the other hand, has one of the highest […]

TOP STORY >> Cotton gin closing as crop is no longer king

Dick Bransford, president of Pettus Gin in Lonoke County, says the facility will not reopen this year because cotton crop is down.By JOHN HOFHEIMERLeader senior staff writerIn a small, detached office, eight farmers and hands gathered at a kitchen table Tuesday morning—they were drinking coffee, talking about the weather, the high cost of farming and low commodity prices.About 40 yards […]

TOP STORY >> He’ll help Jacksonville, new district chief says

By NANCY DOCKTERLeader staff writerThe condition of Jacksonville schools is already on the radar screen of incoming superintendent for Pulaski County Special School District, Charles Hopson, who says he intends to make them a priority of his administration.In an interview Monday, Hopson said he was aware of the presentation last week to the PCSSD school board by senior students at […]