EDITORIAL >> 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. The tempo may slow down at […]

TOP STORY >> China troupe thrills crowd at a big show

By SARAH CAMPBELL Leader staff writer More than 400 people gasped in awe and offered several rounds of robust clapping to the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe on Friday night at its first visit to Jacksonville, where they celebrated the Chinese New Year and helped raise money for a city arts center. The center could be housed at the closed Jacksonville Elementary […]

TOP STORY >> Austin is seeking vote on sales tax

By SARAH CAMPBELL Leader staff writer The Austin City Council on Monday passed a $1.4 million budget and decided to ask voters for a one-cent sales tax to generate $1.2 million that would help fix roads. Mayor Bernie Chamberlain told aldermen that Crew and Associates said the city needed the tax before it could issue bonds for the loan. The […]

TOP STORY >> Stalker leaves jail, kills woman

By JOAN McCOY Leader staff writer A man charged in Lonoke County in December with rape, terroristic threatening and false imprisonment has killed himself and the woman who accused him of those crimes. Ronnie Odell Stewart Jr. 38, of Maumelle was held for a week in the Lonoke County Jail and released on a $50,000 bond after charges were brought […]

TOP STORY >> City to sell hospital for $10M

By RICK KRON Leader staff writer The firm that has managed North Metro Medical Center for the past three years is finalizing the paperwork on a $10 million local loan to purchase the facility from the city. Allegiance Medical has worked out the loan with First Arkansas Bank and Trust, but the city had to put up the medical clinic […]

SPORTS >> Aggressive defense gets ’Rabbits win

By RAY BENTON Leader sports editor The Lonoke girls did not play one of their better games, but they got away with a conference road win. That’s good enough for coach Nathan Morris as his Lady Jackrabbits beat Clinton 36-24 Friday in Van Buren County. Morris’ bunch didn’t shoot well from the floor, and shot horribly from the free-throw line, […]

SPORTS >> Lady Bears impressive in victory over Mills

By RAY BENTON Leader sports editor The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears turned in one of the best performances of their season on Friday, beating the Mills Lady Comets 53-32 at Mills to improve to 3-2 in 5A Southeast Conference play. The Lady Bears dominated in the rebounding category and showed tremendous improvement in many aspects of the game. Sylvan Hills […]

SPORTS >> Bears win wild one at the Galaxy

By RAY BENTON Leader sports editor Those expecting high drama got what they came for when Sylvan Hills battled Mills on Friday in the Galaxy Gymnasium in Little Rock. The two teams sitting undefeated atop the 5A Southeast standings provided excitement, some good, some not. When the dust cleared, the Bears remained unbeaten in league play with a 59-53 win […]

SPORTS >> Red Devils grind out victory

By JASON KING Leader sportswriter Jacksonville used its depth and athleticism to lead most of the way during the 6A-East Conference matchup, but Marion used its hard-nosed work ethic to make things downright messy for the Red Devils as they ground their way to a 74-58 victory over the Patriots at the Devils Den on Friday. The Patriots matched the […]

SPORTS >> Cabot takes two at Bryant

By JASON KING Leader sportswriter The Cabot Panthers got back on the winning side of things last week after dropping three straight games to begin their 7A-Central Conference schedule and picked up their first league road victory on Friday with a 49-45 decision over Bryant. The Panthers (11-3, 2-3) had been hampered recently with poor free-throw shooting in close losses […]