The Leader

Searchers confirm our report
Hunters and nature lovers can now come and go as they please in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas, as the search for the rare ivory-billed woodpecker is on summer vacation.

Party rift in county mirrors national troubles
President Bush hoped Monday night that he would recover some of the support he had lost over illegal immigration — not to mention the war in Iraq and record gasoline prices — but his speech promising to tighten our borders pleased hardly anyone. [FULL TEXT]

Memorial grows for fallen state trooper
The Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team will return to Little Rock Air Force Base in the fall for another air show. The Blue Angels have flown here several times, but on their next visit they will make a short detour to a small Jacksonville park that honors the memory of State Trooper Jimmie White, who died after he escorted the Blue Angels’ motorcade to the air base in June 2002. [FULL TEXT]

Old days recalled by Faught
“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”
Rudyard Kipling, “The Ballad of East and West.”
If you’re taking the pulse of the community, you could check with Dewey Faught, the Air Force veteran and retired executive director of the Cabot Chamber of Commerce. [FULL TEXT]

More downhome blues
Eb Davis, one of Arkansas’ great soul-blues singers, has a new CD out, Eb Davis and the Super-band: Live at the A-Trane, Berlin (Soul Defender), recorded last year before an enthusiastic crowd in the German capital, where he has lived for many years. [FULL TEXT]

Woodpecker search takes break till fall
I hope I didn’t scare off the ivory-billed woodpecker when I called Gene Sparling on his cell phone on a recent Sunday afternoon. [FULL TEXT]

DWI should end Huck’s presidential campaign
Gov. Huckabee’s presidential candidacy effectively ended last week when a habitual drunk driver whose prison sentence he had commuted to time served was arrested again on April 4, almost killing the policeman who stopped him. [FULL TEXT]

How Beebe didn't get vote right on lenders
Attorney General Mike Beebe's voting record on payday lenders is more complicated than we realized. Beebe's people were unhappy with my last payday lenders column, where I said the former senator actually oted for the Check Cashers Cat in 1999, earlier to reports that he voted against the bill. [FULL TEXT]

Candidates vow to ban loan sharks
The payday lenders are in big trouble. For seven years, ever since the Legislature passed the check cashers law, they’ve charged fantastic interest rates on their loans. [FULL TEXT]





MAY 24, 2006

Election officials Jo Ann Sjostrand (front, from left) and Hilda Pennington help Harletia Howe (from left), Frank Howe, Karla Williams and Robert Williams prepare to vote in Tuesday's primary at the American Legion Hut at 117 E. Second in Lonoke.

Lonoke counting in disarray
IN SHORT: Saying “the numbers on this (tote) board aren’t worth spit,” Lonoke County Election Commissioner Larry Clarke announced at about 1 a.m. Wednesday that the optical scanner was incorrectly programmed and that it could be days until the results of the Lonoke County primary election are known. [FULL TEXT]

Pulaski County software troubles
IN SHORT: Longtime law enforcement veteran Doc Holladay of Little Rock appeared to have pummeled fellow lawmen H.L. Hutton of Jacksonville in the Democratic primary race for Pulaski County sheriff. [FULL TEXT]

Garrett, Capps, primary victors
IN SHORT: The three-way race in the Democratic primary for White County sheriff was a close one for Pat Garrett, who is seeking a fourth term in office, but when all the votes were finally counted at just past 11 p.m. Tuesday, he was ahead with just under 51 percent of the votes. [FULL TEXT]

Independents to fill local ballots in fall
IN SHORT: Voters in Cabot, Beebe, Ward and Austin should not be alarmed over the apparent lack of candidates for public office. Although Tuesday’s primary in Cabot had only a few candidates and the others had none, the ballots will be full in November after all the independent candidates have filed for office between July 20 and August 9. [FULL TEXT]

Keep up guard, victim’s mother warns students
IN SHORT: Beth Holloway Twitty, the mother of Natalee Holloway, an Alabama high school graduate who vanished almost a year ago while on a trip in Aruba, told The Leader Tuesday the release of a 10th suspect in her daughter’s disappearance was “another disappointment.” [FULL TEXT]


Class of 2006
IN SHORT: Cabot, Beebe and Lonoke high schools held their graduations on Friday night, while Searcy High School held its on May 13. Beebe’s and Lonoke’s were held on the school football fields, while Cabot’s was at Alltel Arena. [FULL TEXT]


The Lonoke defense makes a hard tackle during Monday's session of spring football practice at Lonoke High School.

Jackrabbits green but practicing hard
IN SHORT: The Lonoke Jackrabbits had their second day of spring practice in pads on Monday afternoon after a late start last Friday. The ‘Rabbits chose to wait until Friday due to several players being involved with the state track meet last Wednesday at Dardanelle. [FULL TEXT]

Red Devils hit first day of spring hard
IN SHORT: There wasn’t much game-type action, but there were some licks dished out at Jacksonville High School Monday afternoon. The Red Devils finally got out for their first day of spring football practice in full pads Monday, and did so with good energy. [FULL TEXT]




Previous Issues

Bad, bad Huckster
Fourteen years into his public career, Gov. Huckabee still has the thinnest skin in politics. He detests criticism, and the steps that he takes to mute it are most often what get him into trouble. He cuts off access to a doughty weekly newspaper that dogs his every official slip. When something begins to smell in his administration, he brings the records of it into his office so that he can claim that it is off limits to the public and the media. [FULL TEXT]

Good Mike
No sooner are the spiteful words out than there is a sighting of the good Mike Huckabee, the progressive executive who is looking out for the long-term public interest. You know, the one whom the extremists of his party call a flaming liberal.

The Leader's choice
We have endorsed these candidates who face opponents in Tuesday's primaries:

Retain Sen. Capps
Local voters will face a long list of candidates in next Tuesday's Democratic and Republican primaries, from quorum court members to attorney general, from sheriff
to lieutenant governor.


Formicola for GOP primary
Republicans have slim hopes of electing a congressman in the Second District this year, but they can produce a serious dialogue about the good of the country. [FULL TEXT]



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