Commands on scoreboard?
The scoreboard at the Cabot High School football field could soon display the Ten Commandments. The Rev. Don Robinson is asking local churches to help pay for the display, which he says would be permitted following a recent Supreme Court ruling that is more tolerant of the Ten Command-ments in public areas. [FULL TEXT]

Old lodge to welcome bird lovers
Bill Thompson of Cabot can't wait for fall, when thousands of bird lovers will descend on the Big Woods of east Arkansas in search of the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker. Thompson, former chairman of Community Bank of Cabot, is one of the owners of a duck-hunting lodge near Brinkley, and he and his partners are turning it into a lodge for bird watchers. [FULL TEXT]

Couple still fighting for Russian kids The Jacksonville couple who couldn't bring home the two Russian kids they had recently adopted will go back soon to fight for the right to fly their children to Arkansas. [FULL TEXT]

Russians keep couple from adopting kids
David and Monica Kraus of Jacksonville thought they had adopted a couple of Russian children and would fly them home after spending thousands of dollars and dealing for months with bureaucrats here and in Russia. [FULL TEXT]

Death of a tenor giant
John Stubblefield, a great tenor saxophone player who was born in Little Rock and worked as a jazz musician in New York with some of the most talented people in the business, died on the Fourth of July at the age of 60 after battling prostate cancer.

Editor wins prize for column
(This column from last December won first place in the National Newspaper Association's Better Newspaper Contest.)
The state Supreme Court could put the so-called payday lenders out of business in Arkansas. Consumer advocates are challenging Act 1216 of 1999 that allows predatory lending in the state with rates as high as 650 percent.

Music still fills the air over area
You can create your own endless summer festival if you travel far enough to find your favorite musicians. Over the Fourth of July weekend, fans traveled to Mississippi hill country north of Greenwood, where near the community of Avalon, off Hwy. 7, relatives and fans of Mississippi John Hurt honored the memory of the great country blues artist. [FULL TEXT]

BRAC slows base growth
Little Rock Air Force Base would have gained dozens of C-130 transport planes and some 4,000 personnel had the Base Realignment and Closure Commission agreed with the Pentagon's list of proposed military base closings, which would have saved taxpayers billions of dollars and made our military more efficient. [FULL TEXT]

Job preservation was BRAC's focus
As the Base Realignment and Closure Commission was winding down its work outside Washington Friday evening, Anthony J. Principi, the commission's chairman, offered an amendment to keep open the Niagara Falls, N.Y., Air Reserve Station, preventing the transfer of eight C-130s to Little Rock Air Force Base. [FULL TEXT]

No justice for Tucker
There is a school of thought that Jim Guy Tucker, our immediate former governor, deserves at least some of the opprobrium and suffering meted out to him by the sensational Whitewater prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, and politically charged federal courts, no matter how weak the case Starr drew against him. [FULL TEXT]

See you in court
The split between state Rep. Will Bond and former Rep. Mike Wilson, both Democrats from Jacksonville, isn't exactly like one of those big breakups you read about when lawyers leave their law firms and take their big clients with them. [FULL TEXT]

Highway spoils
President Bush signed the 2005 highway bill, the largest pork barrel in American history, and proclaimed it a great economic stimulus. The Arkansas Highway Commission, which normally is eager for every highway dollar it can get, considered it a mixed blessing. [FULL TEXT]

Insuring uninsured
The elderly and then children were the people who could not afford insurance and were "underserved" by the health-care system. Medicare under Lyndon B. Johnson and Medicaid expansion under Bill Clinton largely but not altogether solved those problems. Now a different group, reasonably young working adults, is the population in distress. [FULL TEXT]

The virtue of inaction on budget surplus
Deficits are orphans unclaimed even by the parents, but no one can avoid fondling a surplus. The state government ended the fiscal year with leftover cash of a little more than $100 million, about 2 percent of the state budget, and every day's news brings more proposals for handling it. [FULL TEXT]

Gold in them thar hills
"What was all that about?" a few of you may have been wondering when Deltic Timber Corp. moved the heavens this spring to get legislation from the General Assembly to prevent the Central Arkansas Water utility from condemning some of Deltic's land on the south shore of Lake Maumelle, the region's principal source of water. [FULL TEXT]













Don Crabbe, president and chief executive officer for First Electric, in white shirt, center, speaks to crews who left early Tuesday to help restore power in Lousiana.


Workers lending a hand
IN SHORT: As survivors assess the damage from Hurricane Katrina, Arkansas utility companies are sending employees to help restore electricity to more than one million customers. After hitting the tip of Florida last week, the massive hurricane made landfall again on the Gulf Coast early Monday morning, wreaking havoc and killing dozens of people.

Guard ready for evacuees
IN SHORT:. The Arkansas National Guard opened the Searcy Readiness Center in White County Tuesday, along with the Crossett Readiness Center in Ashley County to provide shelter for Hurricane Katrina evacuees. The two centers were opened in addition to the Monticello Readiness Center in Drew County. [FULL TEXT]

State check will pay for upgrading Lonoke jail
IN SHORT: Things may be looking up for the overcrowded, decrepit Lonoke County Jail, the result of a General Improvement Fund check for $290,000 due to be presented to County Judge Charlie Troutman at 2 p.m. Friday.

DoD has final say on base strength
IN SHORT: No one seems sure how many additional C-130s Little Rock Air Force Base will receive in the wake of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations, but ultimately that will be a Defense Department decision, not a decision by the BRAC Commission.

Gas prices skyrocket
IN SHORT: Gasoline jumped more than 25 cents a gallon from Monday night prices to Tuesday prices, and they were still rising Tuesday.

Base harbors planes fleeing from Katrina
IN SHORT: The Base Closure and Realignment Commission may have bought Sen. Hillary Clinton's argument that Little Rock Air Force Base is in tornado alley and too weather-vulnerable to be home to a new batch of C-130s, but for the second time in two months the Jacksonville base provided safe harbor to Air Force planes fleeing hurricanes.


Open Arms Shelter in Lonoke receives $28,000 gift from Dillard's department store.
IN SHORT: Lonoke's Open Arms Shelter for abused and neglected children received one of their largest gifts ever, $27,000 from Dillard's in McCain Mall.

The NLR pass rush is one of the best in the state. DE's Van Stumon and Jonathan Hicks got into the Jacksonville backfield frequently last year, and are back this season.

Devils aware of Cats
IN SHORT:The week-one battle between Jacksonville and North Little Rock could be labeled many things. One of the main things is a revenge game for the Red Devils. Jacksonville entered last season's opening game with high hopes and expectations, while North Little Rock was hoping to become a team to contend with, but were still up-and-comers.

Conway goes to air to bomb Panthers
IN SHORT: The favorite almost never wins the Cabot-Conway football game that has become a season-opening staple in the state of Arkansas. Tuesday night was no different, as the underdog Wampus Cats went to the air to down the Panthers 21-7 in the first game of the Diamond Bank Bowl doubleheader.


AUGUST 24, 2005

Jacksonville Middle School principal Angela Romney helps students at her single-gender school find classes during the first day of classes Friday.


Cabot, Beebe districts grow
IN SHORT: Official school enrollment totals aren't due until next week, but an unofficial count has the Cabot School District keeping pace with projected enrollment figures. So far, the district has 8,232 students. Last year, enrollment was just over 8,000.

General to BRAC: Closings essential
IN SHORT:. Jacksonville-area officials and local airmen can't be blamed if they keep a close eye on C-SPAN2 between now and Saturday, as the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission decides–on television–the probable fates of Little Rock Air Force Base and other military bases across the country. [FULL TEXT]

City plans to get tougher on dogs rather than ban
IN SHORT: Even though a petition with 170 signatures to ban pit bulls was presented to Jacksonville's dog ordinance committee Monday night, the group decided not to ban any specific breed of dog just yet.

Manager looks forward to contest
IN SHORT: Two days into her new job as manager of Cabot Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh's campaign for Con-gress in Arkansas' First District against Rep. Marion Berry, Andrea Allen says her candidate has a good chance of winning the race she has always wanted to be a part of – in the district she calls home.


Beebe jeweler wins design award
IN SHORT: A bracelet and two pendants made by jeweler Lyn Edwards of Edwards' Jewelry Bench in Beebe won three awards at the Arkansas Jewelers Association annual convention in Little Rock.

The Cabot Panthers line up for a play in Monday night's scrimmage game against Lake Hamilton. The Panthers now have a lot to work on before the season opener, according to head coach Mike Malham.

Cabot finds areas that must improve
IN SHORT: "We've got a lot of work to do, guys." Those were the first words by Cabot coach Mike Malham to his team after its first competitive play of the year.

Sylvan Hills coaches are pleased with Blue-White
IN SHORT: The Sylvan Hills Bears held their annual blue-white scrimmage game on Saturday night at the Sherwood Sports Complex. Parents and hometown fans came out to get the first glimpse of the 2005 squad.


AUGUST 17, 2005

Cabot Westside Elementary School kindergarten teachers Stacy Rhodes (from left) and Mandy Coen prepare sound muncher creations to hlep promote phoenetic awareness in their classes. Schools open Friday.


Playground area given new look
IN SHORT: This summer, volunteers from Little Rock Air Force Base, led by MSgt. John Simonof of the 314th Maintenance Squadron, refurbished two Tolleson Elementary playground areas and made them into one playground. About 80 percent of the students at the Jacksonville school are children of military parents. "It's just a goodwill community project," Simonof said.

CAW to raise water rates for its customers
IN SHORT:. Although not directly related to the need for Central Arkansas Water to purchase about 1,300 acres of sensitive land from would-be developers on Lake Maumelle, water rates to some customers, including Jacksonville, will be raised. [FULL TEXT]

Council in Cabot is feisty as ever
IN SHORT: Stubby Stumbaugh is running for Congress, which means he has only 15 months left as Cabot's mayor. But on Monday night, his first city council meeting since the announcement Saturday, it was clear that nothing else has changed.

Funding lawsuit hearing is Friday
IN SHORT: General Improvement Fund projects worth $52 million, earmarked for House and Senate districts across the state, hang in the balance as Pulaski County Circuit Judge Willard Proctor holds a preliminary hearing Friday on a lawsuit filed recently by Jacksonville attorney Mike Wilson.

Complex is planned for elderly
IN SHORT: Rep. Vic Snyder was among the speakers at a groundbreaking yesterday for construction of a three-story, 44-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors adjacent to the Jacksonville Towers.

Clerk in Cabot settles lawsuit
IN SHORT: Cabot Clerk-Treasurer Marva Verkler has dropped her federal lawsuit against the city and Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh.

Austin has a clinic once again
IN SHORT: A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Austin Monday for the re-opening of the health clinic there.

Jacksonville offensive guard Keith Ransom, left, blocks defensive tackle John Ottis Monday afternoon during a Red Devil srimmage.

Stoerner stops by Wildcat workout
IN SHORT: The North Little Rock Charging Wildcats had a special guest drop by a recent practice last week.

Panthers getting over injury bug
IN SHORT: The Cabot Panthers continue to suffer through more injuries.



AUGUST 10, 2005

Col. Dave Watson, 314th Airlift Wing vice commander, says a few words at the start of the Little Rock Air Force Base-Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Community Relations Tournament held on Foxwood Country Club's new greens on Friday. A ribbon cutting celebrated the reopening of Foxwood Golf Club.


Less pop, more pep for students
IN SHORT: Local administrator fears there is not enough time in the school day for new regulations such as more physical education. [FULL TEXT]

PCSSD is accused of illegal cutbacks
IN SHORT: The state Education Department has rejected for now Pulaski County Special School District's fiscal distress improvement plan, pending a satisfactory explanation of the district's "actual authority to eliminate paid holidays, reduce the number of days in an employment contract and freeze salary schedules and steps for all employees," according to a letter received by interim Superintendent Robert Clowers July 25.

Schools hurry to remedy citations
IN SHORT: The state places Cabot High School on accredited-probationary status for not offering enough instructional time.

Cabot shelter plans low-cost clinic
IN SHORT: There will be a reduced cost spay, neuter and shot clinic at the Cabot Animal Shelter, 8000 Kerr Station Road by appointment only Aug. 23 through 25.

Preserving Lonokes history
IN SHORT: After seven years, museum finds a permanent home.

Panthers making moves early
IN SHORT:Cabot football team began practice Monday with a few players in new positions and several new faces working with the varsity squad.

Injury bug biting Cabot hard
IN SHORT:Eight players, including several key contributors, are injured and sitting out Panther practices.

Practice picking up for SH Bears
IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills players are getting used to the heat and practicing with more intensity this week. Head coach Ron Sebastian says his players are showing improvement in the mental aspects..


July 27, 2005

Suphot Phimboun (left) and Fred Marquardt decorate a more than 800-pound Buddha statue that was moved from the corner of Second and Mulberry streets in Jacksonville to a new temple at 1410 Hwy. 294 near Furlow. The new temple is big enough for the Buddha to be placed inside. In Jacksonville, the Buddha sat outside for lack of space inside the temple. A meditation ceremony will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Sunday at the new location.


Tax supporting Cabot projects on ballot again
IN SHORT: Proposal would raise $26 million for a new sewer plant, railroad overpass, community center, animal shelter and other projects, but if voters reject the tax, their sewer rates would more than double, officials say. [FULL TEXT]

Veterans get toilet after fight with city
IN SHORT: Group files suit to make Cabot officials keep promise to rebuild facilities at park.

Single-gender school ready
IN SHORT: Boys principal defines the problem as the Pulaski district rolls out an innovative, if so-far unproven, approach to education.

Rainfall helps some farmers, late for others
IN SHORT: Drought has hurt some Lonoke soybean fields, but flooded fields hurt others as farmers hope for good yields.

Having a blast
IN SHORT: It's not just rocket science at Cabot space camp.

IN SHORT: The Sherwood Sharks won their sixth and final meet of the season, and clinched their second straight Central Arkansas Swim League championship with a closer-than-expected 768-730 win over the Maumelle/YMCA consolidated team. [FULL TEXT]

Joyner to coach Red Devils
IN SHORT:Former North Pulaski coach moving across town to lead Red Devils


July 20, 2005

Cabot voters said no Tuesday to a millage increase that would have paid for a community center and railroad overpass. The vote on the railroad overpass was 537 against and 493 for. The vote on the community center was 551 against and 475 for. [FULL TEXT]


Officials tell panel base can take on growth
IN SHORT: Central Arkansas top guns remind BRAC commissioners of LRAFBs ability to expand its mission. [FULL TEXT]

Beebe rejects city expansion
IN SHORT: Only voters in Searcy were in an agreeable mood, approving a 1-cent sales tax for a new fire station and to retire old debt.

Board votes to remove stickers
IN SHORT: Beebe Schools end standoff with ACLU over evolution-versus-creation disclaimer in textbooks.

IN SHORT: The Sylvan Hills Bruins A squad has been on a roll in the American Legion zone tournament at Burns Park. The Bruins won their first three games in the tournament in decisive form, controlling all three games both offensively and defensively. [FULL TEXT]

Ruff-Neks take ASA state title
IN SHORT: Things didnt go as easily as they were supposed to, but the Cabot Ruff-Neks 12-under fastpitch team did manage to win the ASA state championship game Sunday afternoon in Cabot.

Buried in books
IN SHORT: The Ward Public Library on Friday ended its summer reading program with a bang, getting a $500 donation from First Electric Cooperative's Operation Round-Up program.

June 29, 2005

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, motorists moving between Hwy. 67/167 and the adjacent frontage roads on the stretch between McCain Boulevard and Wildwood Avenue no-longer face nerve-wracking and dangerous two-way traffic. [FULL TEXT]


Were Number 1
IN SHORT: LRAFB is center of C-130 universe as rodeo team is big winner again. [FULL TEXT]

Officials say sewer woes not as bad
IN SHORT: Problems cited by state and federal officials have been addressed in Cabot.

Fourth of July family fun set
IN SHORT: Fireworks, food, frolic and fellowship abound when communities hold their holiday celebrations starting this weekend.

Gwatney misses several chances
IN SHORT: After a red-hot start to the Sheridan Wooden Bat Classic, the Jacksonville AAA team cooled off considerably the rest of the way. [FULL TEXT]

Local all-stars shine
IN SHORT: West wins All-Star game, East defense still strong [FULL TEXT]

Banding together
IN SHORT: Shepherdšs Center members mark hummingbirds [FULL TEXT]

June 22, 2005

Change along Hwy. 67/167 corridor could start next Monday evening

Barring last-minute glitches, commuters will awaken Tuesday morning to find Landers and Warden roads between McCain Boulevard and Wildwood Avenue converted to one one-way roads, according to the state Highway and Transportation Department. [FULL TEXT]


Leader gets 21 awards from APA
IN SHORT: The Leader has won 21 awards, including six first-place honors, in the Arkansas Press Associations Better Newspaper News-Editorial Contest. [FULL TEXT]

Lesson: FOI law must be obeyed
IN SHORT: Beebe board told to hold more of its meetings in public as critic is silenced. [FULL TEXT]

Sewage rates may double in Cabot
IN SHORT: Aldermen move toward raising sewer costs to build new treatment plant. [FULL TEXT]

Bank appeals ruling on new Ozarks branch
IN SHORT: First Arkansas Bank files an appeal to have Bank of the Ozarks Jacksonville branch approval reversed.

Idea House
Benefit is set in Cabot for Open Arms on July 9-10

Gwatney AAA team improves to .500
Jacksonvillešs AAA American Legion team swept Sheridan on Saturday, the team will split with Searcy Monday to move to 5-5 on the season.

Piranhas top Bryant-Lonoke team
The Cabot Piranhas youth swim team got its first win of the season Saturday against the Lonoke-Bryant consolidated swim team at the Lonoke Community Center.



AUGUST 31, 2005



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