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 18, 2006

Magness Creek fourth grade elementary teacher Tama Martin talks with students Hunter Godsey, Katie Calhoun and Lauren Montgomery about the metric system. Magness Creek Elementary had the best score in the Cabot School District, while the district's Academic Center for Excellence had the worst ranking.

REVIEW: They were never simple days
IN SHORT: Looking at salvaged Mike Disfarmer photographs displayed recently at the Steven Kasher gallery in New York City might make one think that simple times made for simple people. But such a thought would be as deceiving as the photographs themselves. At first look, Disfarmer's subjects look simple. [FULL TEXT]

Schools graded on their teaching
IN SHORT: Four area schools were among the worst performing in the state in the 2004-2005 school year, according to the recently released School Performance Index. [FULL TEXT]

Activists question the delay by Deltic
IN SHORT: Deltic Timber's petition for more time to get its appraisal of the land Central Arkansas Water has condemned in the immediate Lake Maumelle basin is not a stalling tactic to allow Deltic another chance to get its way in the state General Assembly, a spokesman said Tuesday.

PCSSD finalists excited
IN SHORT: The five finalists vying for the superintendent position with the Pulaski County Special School District better get plenty of rest before their day in the spotlight next week. They'll likely need it.

Superintendents' pay justified
IN SHORT: Cabot School Superintendent Frank Holman's salary and benefits packages put him near the top earners among Arkansas school superintendents, but local supporters say he's well worth it as Cabot continues its steady growth with new school openings plan-ned at steady intervals.

Controversy on Elm Street could find its way in court
IN SHORT: The proposed opening of Elm Street in Cabot could soon have the city in court. The city wants to buy about a quarter acre from Larry Nipper to build the 40-foot wide roadway that would reportedly keep a lot of traffic off Hwy. 89. The land appraised at $18,600 as residential property, but Nipper had it rezoned commercial and it later appraised for $60,000.


Silver Screen theater expands
IN SHORT: The growth of Cabot can be seen everywhere around town including the Silver Screen Theater at 1000 Cinema Blvd. where the addition of two additional auditoriums is nearing completion making it a six-screen theater. [FULL TEXT]

Beebe's Tristan Rettig is defended by Nettleton's Megan Simpson in the 41-36 win over the Lady Raiders at the Badger Sports Arena. The win improves Beebe's AAAA-East conference record to a perfect 3-0. The Badger boys dropped their third straight conference game, losing to Nettleton 62-54.

Beebe girls rise to 3-0 with victory
IN SHORT: The Beebe Lady Badgers made it three straight AAAA-East conference wins on Friday night at the Badger Sports Arena, holding off a stubborn Nettleton Lady Raiders team 41-36.

Sylvan Hills runs over Blue Devils
IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills pulled off an upset Friday night, going to West Memphis and coming home with a 53-48 victory to improve to 2-1 in league play. The loss was the second at home for the Blue Devils in conference play, and drops them to 7-7 overall and 1-2 inside the AAAAA-East conference.






Previous Issues

Huckabee's plea for help
We here in the first decade of the 21st century have been privy to a sudden revolution in the federal system, made evident again the past two weeks in the catastrophe that is the government's new Medicare drug program. [FULL TEXT]

Wage earners still lagging
If you work for wages in the United States, chances are that the past six years have not been stellar ones, and if you happen to toil in Arkansas they have been darker still. [FULL TEXT]

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]


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