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 25, 2006

Meth abusers are putting a strain on area emergency rooms, including Rebsamen Medical Center in Jacksonville.

Drug abuse puts drain on local hospitals
IN SHORT: While the number of meth-amphetamine busts dropped by almost 50 percent last year in Arkansas, meth-related hospital admissions continue to climb. [FULL TEXT]

Lab seizures decline in 2005
IN SHORT: Detectives with the White County Sheriff's Department say they see changing trends in the production of methamphetamine, but not necessarily a reduction in use. [FULL TEXT]

Schools get building funds
IN SHORT: Pulaski County Special School District officials, told previously that the district's fiscal-distress designation disqualified it from transitional facilities repair funds, learned Monday that the state had conditionally approved reimbursements totaling about $264,000.

Hopefuls confident they can ease woes
IN SHORT: The first two candidates interviewing with the school board for the Pulaski County Special School District's superintendent position feel they have the experience to help solve the district's many woes.

Gen. Self praises deployed airmen
IN SHORT: Brig. Gen. Kip Self, commander of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, praised 100 airmen due home Sunday from a four-month deployment to Iraq and 500 airmen deploying over the next several weeks.

Cabot names Citizen of Year
IN SHORT: Cabot's new Citizen of the Year, named Friday during the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet, is a 43-year-old native who says he takes a lot of pride in making sure the city where he grew up is growing as it should.

NFL official a big hit at chamber banquet
IN SHORT: As outgoing Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce chairman Mark Perry passed the gavel to John Farrell, chamber members and guests in the fully-packed community center Tuesday night enjoyed hearing from keynote speaker Walt Coleman.


Dakota Holmes rides "Commanche," a Palomino horse, as Jane Jarman leads the horse and therapist and Allied Therapy employee Mary Beth Stivers walks along side them.

Beyond Therapy
IN SHORT: It's not unusual to see horses in Ward, but this spring some very special horses will be working in a covered arena just off Peyton Road. The horses are part of Beyond Boundaries Equine Assisted Therapy Center, a non-profit organization using horses in therapy for children with disabilities. [FULL TEXT]

Jacksonville guard Airic Hughes drives baseline for two of his 14 points last Friday during the Red Devils' 62-51 win over West Memphis.

JHS dominates Blue Devils
IN SHORT: The Jacksonville Red Devils took care of West Memphis last Friday night with surprising ease, beating the Blue Devils 62-51 at home to move to 3-2 in conference play and into a tie for third place in the brutally tough AAAAA-East conference. The game was not without its moments of excitement, but that drama was short-lived.

Cabot's quickness too much for FC girls
IN SHORT: The Cabot girls were just too quick and had too much depth for Forrest City's Lady Mustangs to overcome Friday night at Mustang Arena. Cabot improved to 15-3 for the year and 5-0 in the AAAAA-East Conference by taking a 72-55 win over the Lady Mustangs, who fall to 9-6 overall and 2-3 in the conference.

A work of Panther art
IN SHORT: Donna Williams, an art teacher at Cabot Middle School North, recently completed a month-long painting project depicting the school district's emblem and mascot on the walls of the board of education room in the Administration Building, 602 North Lincoln.





Previous Issues

Bill Halter's awful idea
A good rule is to beware the politician who promises big, bold new ideas for it is apt to be no more than a promise. Follow the man or woman who actually offers them. [FULL TEXT]

Five-year feud appears over
Mike Abdin, who passed away in 2000, was a successful Jacksonville businessman who left his mark on his community, having long served as an alderman and police commissioner. [FULL TEXT]

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]


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