The Leader

Staffers see too many relatives die
Several Leader staffers lost their relatives during the holidays, two of them killed in car wrecks, while another relative died suddenly from a heart attack. As we were talking about the unusually high number of sudden deaths in The Leader family, word came that the 93-year-old mother of bluesman Charlie Musselwhite was strangled in Memphis during a home break-in. Musselwhite's father died a few days later in a nursing home.[FULL TEXT]

Big Jack Johnson: Great Bluesman
Big Jack Johnson has been playing at Red's Lounge in Clarksdale, Miss., for the last couple of weekends, and if you hurry down there, you might still catch the great bluesman tonight as he rocks the juke joint down with his powerful guitar playing and soulful singing that's as deep and satisfying as anything you'll hear today anywhere in the Delta.[FULL TEXT]

How bodies come home from Iraq
(Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq are often surprised to find out that their loved ones are returned home on commercial airplanes. This column first appeared here on May 26, 2004). A couple of weeks ago, passengers on an airplane flying into Little Rock heard a pilot telling them that an officer was escorting home a soldier returning from Iraq. [FULL TEXT]

Eyewitness to attack on Pearl Harbor
(This column about the late McLyle Zumwalt first appeared here on Dec. 9, 1989 and is reprinted to mark the 64th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.) Most people think of retired Col. McLyle Zumwalt as one of the organizers of Pathfinders, which trains the developmentally and physically disabled in Jacksonville. [FULL TEXT]

How you can make big bucks at home
Does Arkansas need two people to head the state's emergency management agency? Right now we have Wayne Ruthven, the outgoing head of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, still collecting $6,600 a month while he supposedly works out of his home till the end of the year, and John Brackin, the interim chief, making about the same amount of money. [FULL TEXT]

Administration runs into trap door overseas
Every administration has its defining moment that symbolizes its successes or failures – from John Kennedy's "Ich bien ein Berliner" to Ronald Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," from Richard Nixon's "I'm not a crook" to Bill Clinton's "I did not have sex with that woman," from George H.W. Bush throwing up in Japan to George W. visiting Beijing more than a decade later and getting stuck in front of a door that would not open. (Maybe it was the first Bush's immortal words, "Read my lips, no new taxes," that got him defeated.) [FULL TEXT]


JANUARY 11, 2006

From left, Congressional Democrats Mark Pryor, Marion Berry and Blanche Lincoln at the Waste Management landfill in Jacksonville on Tuesday.

Renewable; Group Pushes Energy independence
IN SHORT: Gathered at Waste Management's Twin Pines Landfill in Jacksonville on Tuesday, Democrats in the Arkansas Congressional delegation called on President Bush to put greater focus on the development of renewable sources of energy at home. [FULL TEXT]

PCSSD hopefuls give views
IN SHORT: Candidates for the districtÕs top position have varied backgrounds working with the issues that have plagued the Pulaski County Special School District.

Cities must give back taxes
IN SHORT: Local government officials across the state said Tuesday they were dumbfounded when letters from the state finance office arrived this week notifying them that they would have to refund some tax collections.

Mayor keeping money for race
IN SHORT: The leadership of the Lonoke County Republican Committee has decided to ask Cabot Mayor Stubby Stum-baugh to give back a $1,000 donation to his campaign for Congress, but the mayor says they need not bother.

District looking at eight hopefuls
IN SHORT: Only one school official with Arkansas ties is among the eight candidates who have completed the application process for the superintendent position with the Pulaski County Special School District.

Rain helps, but doesn't cure threat
IN SHORT: Tamara Jenkins, office of emergency services director for White County, said the rain the area received Monday night and Tuesday wasn't enough to call off the burn ban that has been in place since Dec. 31.

Teacher gets suspended
IN SHORT: Following a two-and-a-half hour public hearing Tuesday night, the Pulaski County Special School District board declined to fire a Homer Adkins Elementary School teacher accused of telling fourth-graders that blacks are cursed.

Speaker contest: political hardball
IN SHORT: Failure to solidify promised votes from Pulaski County legislators cost Rep. Will Bond, D-Jacksonville, the election Monday to become the next speaker of the state House of Representatives, according to state Rep. Sam Ledbetter of Little Rock.

Remington: Working around the clock for 35 years
IN SHORT: While celebrating its 35th year in Lonoke County, Remington Arms produced close to a billion rounds of centerfire and shotgun shell ammunition and another billion rounds of rimfire ammunition in 2005. [FULL TEXT]

Jacksonville senior Will Christian shoots a layup during the Red Devil's overtime loss to the state's top-ranked Forrest City Mustangs last Friday night at Jacksonville.

Comeback falls short for Red Devils
IN SHORT: Lavar Neely saved the day twice for Jacksonville in their conference opener against Forrest City, but the Red Devils couldn't save themselves in overtime against the Mustangs. Forrest City took the overtime win 77-71 on Friday at the Devils Den after trailing most of the second half.

Cabot gets huge East road win
IN SHORT: The 10th-ranked Cabot Panthers pulled off the upset of the week of conference openers around the AAAAA classification. The Panthers repeated last year's feat of knocking off the defending state champion West Memphis Blue Devils 42-40, only this time, they did it on the road.






Previous Issues

David vs. Goliath
It was David vs. Goliath in the contest for speaker of the state House of Representatives this week, but this time the big guys beat the little guys. [FULL TEXT]

Answered prayers
With rain in the forecast for Monday night, Gov. Huckabee issued a proclamation in the afternoon asking people to pray for rain. Those who received the governor's encouragement in time got their prayers answered in much of the state. [FULL TEXT]

Rename Arkansas?
In the old days it was considered graceless to name government projects for the boss. Such honors were bestowed rarely and posthumously or at least after the leader's career was over. At the end of his 12 years as Supreme Leader of Arkansas, in 1966, Gov. Orval E. Faubus arranged, so it was said, for a new state mental health facility that would perch on the hill above West Markham Street in Little Rock to be named the Orval E. Faubus Administrative and Intensive Treatment Center. Faubus disclaimed putting any pressure on the State Hospital Board to name the building after him. But he need not have bothered. [FULL TEXT]

Convene special session
Solemn pronouncements by Gov. Mike Huckabee generally leave one with two impulses, cheering and scoffing. So it was with the governor's disclosure last week that he had set certain conditions that will have to be met before he will call the General Assembly into session to deal with the school crisis. [FULL TEXT]


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