Pentagon has
to pay bills,
so it cuts back
___The C-130J program is the latest casualty of the war in Iraq. As we reported here on Saturday, the Defense Department could soon halt production of the new airlifter, saving $5 billion. Little Rock Air Force Base will get seven C-130Js rather than the 16 it was scheduled to receive, and construction plans for an additional training center have been halted at a savings of $26.5 million. [FULL TEXT]

Teenager's dangerous
job in Iraq
___Five soldiers from Arkansas flew home last week from Iraq for a couple of weeks of vacation.
___They got on an airplane in Kuwait and flew to Ireland and then went on to Dallas, where they caught a commuter flight to Little Rock. Specialist Jordan Lackie of DeValls Bluff was one of the soldiers flying home. He's only 18, but he's a big fellow, and he was the only soldier who didn't seem tired. [FULL TEXT]

When my friend Jack Sallee was with the Jaycees in Fayetteville, they'd put an ad in the paper at Christmas-time, saying that for $2 you could have Santa come to your place. [FULL TEXT]

Don't let lenders
prey on military and working poor

___The state Supreme Court on Thursday could put the so-called payday lenders out of business in Arkansas. Consumer advocates are challenging Act 1216 of 1999 that allows predatory lendin in the state with rates as high as 650 percent. [FULL TEXT]

Legislature should get down to work
The openings of regular legislative sessions are always fine days, full of mutual admiration, optimism and promises of cooperation and consultation, but we hope we are not amiss in detecting a more genuine attitude in the beginning hoopla at Little Rock this week. It needs to be because to achieve the big goals that both legislators and Gov. Huckabee outline will require higher taxes and public debt. Harmony alone won't get those done but it is indispensable.

Huckabee doesn't want to lead_After eight years, Gov. Huckabee's style of governing remains far beyond our grasp. It is a model that we frankly have never witnessed anywhere else, at least not in the higher councils of government.

Don't put off facilities funding
___Already, legislators are talking about postponing until a special session next year any consideration of the school facilities issue because it is just too complicated for the regular session, where lawmakers will have to wrestle with 3,000 bills. House Speaker Bill Stovall, D-Quitman, said representatives were enlisting his support for the postponement but that he was undecided. [FULL TEXT]

Huckabee is blowing smoke
>>> IN SHORT>>>_State college presidents and their trustees, the latter all appointed by Gov. Huckabee, must have been cheered the other day by the master's pep talk, in which he invited them to join him in a crusade to fatten their budgets by nearly $55 million next year. But the wisest of them knew just how little the governor's heartening words were worth.[FULL TEXT ]

TIFs fad drains school resources
>>> IN SHORT>>> What you don't know really can hurt you, and it usually does if it gets into the Arkansas Constitution. Four years ago, voters ratified Amendment 78. If most voters understood anything at all about the intricate proposal, which was written by bond lawyers, they thought they were giving city and county governments the power to incur short-term debt so that they could buy equipment and pay for it over a span of up to five years. [FULL TEXT ]

How Huckabee can cut more
>>> IN SHORT>>>_
Gov. Huckabee is shocked --shocked!-- that a few of the 57 small Arkansas school districts that were consolidated this year are engaging in a little featherbedding... [FULL TEXT ]

The military's

>>> IN SHORT>>>_All indications are that Donald W. Qualls of Morrilton, Ark., is just as patriotic as President Bush, under whose aegis he is putting his life on the line every day at an outpost near Baghdad. . [FULL TEXT ]



Reservists get medals for Iraq service
>>> IN SHORT>>>Youngsters welcome Aerial Port Squadron [STORY]

TIF districts get warning
By DOUG THOMPSON-Arkansas news Bureau
>> IN SHORT>>> _Tax Increment Finance districts cannot touch any part of the state-mandated 25-mill minimum for school maintenance and operations, including tax revenue growth, the state attorney general concluded Tuesday [STORY]

General: Public should lobby

for more C-130Js

By JOAN MCCOY- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Civilians must carry the fight to keep production going, Hodges tells LRAFB community council.[STORY]

Panthers make loud statement with upset

Leader sports editor
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Cabot boys control West Memphis throughout evening to pull off early season upset of defending conference and state champion Blue Devils.[SPORTS]

Plan could alleviate congestion

By RICK KRON- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
The state Highway Department doesn't know when or how, but it does know what it wants to do to solve some of Jacksonville's traffic flow problems.


Becoming exceptional

>>> IN SHORT>>>These schools take a little extra time for their pupils [FEATURE]

January 5, 2005

Taking office

>>> IN SHORT>>>The wives of three prominent Lonoke County Republicans were sworn into office as justices of the peace on Saturday morning, giving Republicans control of the quorum court there for the first time in history.[STORY]

People make 2004 memorable
By RICK KRON-Staff Writer
>> IN SHORT>>> A teenager gets a new heart, another youngster fights leukemia, as does a popular state trooper, a young girl undergoes several operations and a soldier gets his medals. [STORY]

Utility has first meeting in Cabot

By JOAN MCCOY- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
The new commission names J.M. Park chairman, but Eddie Joe Williams is dropped. [STORY]

Fastpitch tops last half of '04

Leader sports editor
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Red Devils shed demons in fall season[SPORTS]

Cabot council drops service

By JOAN MCCOY- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Aldermen vote to dismiss AET ambulance company and will use MEMS as a temporary replacement. [STORY]


Lonoke dive team
>>> IN SHORT>>>Rescuers get to the bottom of the situation [FEATURE]

December 29, 2004

Area recovers from weather

By RICK KRON -Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>The snow is gone, but towing services and body shops are doing a booming business after last week's snow and ice that brought the area a white Christmas. [STORY]

Cabot family distraught over suicide of surgeon
>> IN SHORT>>>The doctor who had given youth a temporary heart pump and then a new heart talked to Marcuses before he killed himself. [STORY]

Cabot officials still at odds

By JOAN MCCOY- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Mayor Stumbaugh is unhappy with a city council decision to approve seven members to a new public utilities commission and vetoed one of the appointments.Thursday. [STORY]

Devils scramble past Conway

Leader sports writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Jacksonville advances to second round for rematch with Mills[SPORTS]

Who voted for name change?

By RICK KRON- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Original members of Jack-sonville Cen-tennial had no say in handing over their nonprofit charter to a private club that has been serving alcohol for years and now offers adult entertainment. [STORY]


Homegrown talent
>>> IN SHORT>>> Beebe Elementary students get the chance to show off their many aptitudes [FEATURE]

December 22, 2004

Cabot hoping to end contract
By JOAN MCCOY-Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>The city council i s upset that it took Arkansas Emergency Transport 27 minutes to answer a call. [STORY]

Funding for future highways a dilemma
>> IN SHORT>>>Experts say toll roads likely if all elses fails. [STORY]

Area prepares for possible snow

By RICK KRON- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Temperatures will drop, bringing with it a wintry mix. Snow later Wednesday, with more Thursday. [STORY]

Red Devil Classic

Leader sports writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
JHS hosting high profile holiday basketball event. [SPORTS]

Civic group helps open private club

By RICK KRON- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Peaches and its predecessors used the cover of a historical society to get a club license in Jacksonville. [STORY]


Above and beyond

>>> IN SHORT>>>
Two Cabot School District employees awarded with grants for classroom integrity. [FEATURE]

December 15, 2004

Base impact at $502M
>>> IN SHORT>>>New construction worth about $100 million at LRAFB boosts spending to record levels, as well as the arrival of the C-130Js and other new improvements at the Jacksonville facility. [STORY]

Chili's seeking private club license
By RICK KRON-Staff Writer
>> IN SHORT>>> Chili's Bar and Grill has filed an application with the ABC to allow the sale of acoholic beverages in its restaurant to be built in Jacksonville. [STORY]

Several are voted on utility in Cabot

By JOAN MCCOY - Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
The choices have been tallied for seven positions on a new public utilities commission for Cabot and some familiar names are among the top picks. [STORY]

Falcons repeat as Pioneer champs

Leader sports writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
The North Pulaski Falcons successfully defended their title as Batesville tournament champions Saturday. [SPORTS]

Lonoke is facing budget cutbacks

By JOAN HOFHEIMER - Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
Reductions in law enforcement, at the health department, the library and the council on aging would help balance the budget, city officials say, although a tax increase may also be needed. [STORY]

Christmas around the world

>>> IN SHORT>>>
Students at Magness Creek Elemetary School discover how other cultures celebrate the Holidays. [FEATURE]

Beebe questions numbers

Superintendent says data incorrect
Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>Beebe School Superintendent Kieth Williams told the school board Monday night that the state facilities study for Beebe was inaccurate [STORY]

Camp Robinson will get $33M helicopter facility
>> IN SHORT>>> A groundbreaking cermony was held Saturday for a new Army aviation support facility at Camp Robinson. [STORY]

Schools still scrambling over costs for repairs

By JOHN HOFHEIMER- Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
For now the Arkansas School Facilities Report may raise as many questions as it has answers while officials grapple with the details on how to fix infrastructure. [STORY]

Lions win Bank Classic

Special to the Leader
>>> IN SHORT>>>
A team dominated by youth relied on an old hand as the Searcy Lions knocked off Camden Fairview. [SPORTS]

Cabot Center faces downsizing

By JOAN MCCOY - Leader Staff Writer
>>> IN SHORT>>>
As costs soar, Cabot Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh and the city council have told the architects to go back to the drawing board and figure out what, if any cuts can be made so construction can continue as hoped. [STORY]

He's making a list
>>> IN SHORT>>> Santa Claus helped light the Christmas tree in Ward as the city held its fifth annual Christmas tree lighting. [FEATURE]

January 12, 2005

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