The Leader

Pizza shop forced out for on-ramp
Virgil and Leigh Wilson have spent more than a decade building their pizza business on T.P. White Drive in Jacksonville, but the state Highway Department has told them they must vacate the premises and start all over again someplace else.[FULL TEXT]

Huckabee just as bad as mayor
How come Lonoke Mayor Thomas Privett faces charges of using inmate labor to put up Christmas lights at his home and at a friend's house, but Gov. Huckabee can use murderers to do chores around the Governor's Mansion.[FULL TEXT]

No wonder Lonoke jail so popular
No wonder the Lonoke jail is always overcrowded. There's a party atmosphere over there, according to Prosecuting Attorney Lona McCastlain, who accuses the police chief and his wife of serving up more than just baked beans and day-old bread for the prisoners.[FULL TEXT]

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]



FEBRUARY 22, 2006

Residents at the Cabot City Council meeting convinced alderman to vote against rezoning property on Hwy. 89 for a commercial development, probably killing the project.

Developer abandons Cabot project
IN SHORT: The Rockwood Heights Commer-cial Subdivision in Cabot is “dead,” according to John Moore of Little Rock’s Blue Cube Development LLC after the Cabot City Council voted 5-1 on Monday night against rezoning 11.15 acres along Hwy. 89 and Rock-wood Road owned by J.B. and Gladys Smith from residential to commercial. [FULL TEXT]

Icy storm threat falls short
IN SHORT: The much-anticipated winter storm didn’t materialize. While extra help was ready to go, hospitals, wrecker services and utility companies didn’t have the problems they anticipated. [FULL TEXT]

Suspect is arrested in weekend’s homicide
IN SHORT: A suspect in Saturday’s deadly shooting at a Jacksonville apartment turned himself in to the Jacksonville police Tuesday. [FULL TEXT]

PCSSD’s plan causes concerns
IN SHORT: No one seems to like the idea, but athletics, cheerleading, dance and some other extracurricular activities will become after-school activities for at least one year at Pulaski County Special School District junior high and high schools, part of the price of extricating the district from its fiscal distress. [FULL TEXT]

Published Poetry
IN SHORT: Poetry written by a dozen students and two teachers at Cabot High School has been published in “Anthology 2005” published by the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot point guard Matt Shinn battles two Forrest City players for a rebound Friday during the Panther's upset victory over the Mustangs.

Panthers beat FC, remain in East race
IN SHORT: Forrest City did not hit a shot from the floor during the first 11:59 of the contest, as Cabot upset the second-ranked Mustangs 56-42 Friday night at CHS. The Lady Panthers kept their conference record perfect with a 71-49 win over the Lady Mustangs. [FULL TEXT]

Lonoke gets good draw for regional
IN SHORT: The Lonoke boys and girls basketball teams begin play tonight in the Class AAA Region 3 tournament in Clinton. They are part of the four teams from the 6AAA that meet up with the top four finishers in the 5AAA conference’s district tournament. [FULL TEXT]





Previous Issues

Rewriting History
Eager to establish his credentials as a tax-cutter and economic wizard, Asa Hutchinson got a little crossways with history last week. Hutchinson, the expectant Republican nominee for governor, told the North Little Rock Rotary Club that he arrived in Congress in January 1997 just in time to help the Republicans repair the federal fiscal system, turn the nation away from bloated budget deficits and head it toward balanced budgets and surpluses. [FULL TEXT]

Don’t buy off Industries
For once, we have to agree with Asa Hutchinson’s reflexive criticism of one of Mike Beebe’s ideas. The attorney general says if he is elected governor he will ask the legislature to appropriate $50 million every two years that he could use to close the deal on a new plant in Arkansas or to pay a company not to leave Arkansas. Hutchinson, the certain Republican candidate for governor, said Beebe’s idea was backward. [FULL TEXT]

Make Huckabee accountable
In four years, according to calculations by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Gov. Huckabee burned the State Police for $485,000 to carry him about the country on airplanes that the agency acquired for police work. If you apply the same expense rate to all his air travels since he took office nearly 10 years ago, hauling the governor, his wife, children, friends and aides has cost the law-enforcement agency (taxpayers) nearly $1 million. [FULL TEXT]

Budget dead on arrival
On rare but sublime occasions we can count it a blessing when a major pronouncement by the government encounters universal disbelief. Such is the case with President Bush's fiscal 2007 budget blueprint, which arrived Monday in Congress to a resounding razz. Wall Street and conservative Republicans alike called the budget fiction and declared it dead on arrival. [FULL TEXT]


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