The Leader

Kick out the usurers
Rep. Sandra Prater (D-Jacksonville) deserves praise for sponsoring a bill that might put the worst of the abusive payday lenders out of business in Arkansas.

Cabot’s Quick fix
Cabot officials have found a solution to the cash crunch the city found itself in this month: The city almost didn’t make payroll last week, but a generous check from the state bailed Cabot out at almost at the last minute

Taxpayers ripped off
We confess that we never much liked the advertising and promotion taxes that are collected by the larger cities to try to lure convention and tourist business, although we weren’t absolutely sure why.

State should audit projects
The Arkansas Supreme Court could not have made it clearer last week that when the state Constitution prohibits the legislature from enacting local and special laws it really means it.

The Supremes say no to pork
Do we have a great state Supreme Court or what? Just back from telling the legislature once again that the state Constitution meant what it said about providing a suitable and equal education to all kids, the justices Thursday declared that a local act was, well, just that, a local act, and thus unconstitutional.


What little girl wanted for holiday
When my friend Jack Sallee was with the Jaycees in Fayetteville, they’d put an ad in the paper at Christmastime, saying that for $2 you could have Santa come to your place.

Rape victim in Lonoke recalls her nightmare
One of Joe Rounsaville’s three rape victims was crying as she recalled her attacker menacing her in her home in Lonoke.

Next stage in Iraq still uncertain
More than 30 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq during the first week of December while politicians in Washington debated the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group on how to extricate ourselves from a war that will soon enter its fifth year

It's cold, but Africa is too hot just now
The cold weather blew in from the southwest, but we escaped an ice storm, which is not uncommon around here in early December.

Robert Junior Lockwood, RIP
Robert Junior Lockwood, the last of the great Arkansas Delta bluesmen, died this week in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of 91 after suffering a stroke earlier this month.

General who served here runs mobile war center
A group of airmen inside a metal building near the flightline at Little Rock Air Force Base were talking shop while they stood near several covered pallets of cargo last week, when Gen. Scott Gray, commander of Air Mobility Warfare Center at Fort Dix, N.J., walked in.

Vote count disaster for Bush, GOP
Few Republicans expected this year’s mid-term elections would go their way, but Tuesday’s results are worse than any of the polls had predicted.

Eyewitness to uprising in Hungary
I'm going to write this week about an eyewitness to the Hungarian revolution–me.

First school since 1970s a possibility
Attorney Gen. Mike Beebe wants to build the first new school in Jacksonville in 30 years, and he thinks he can fund it with the state's surplus, although that's vanishing about as fast as last decade's federal surplusd

Honoring heroes in a time of terrorism
Sgt. Synnora Guinn of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department was decked out in her Scottish regalia and played "Amazing Grace" on her bag pipes at the ceremony Monday honoring America's heroes.

Bad guys will get hands on nukes soon
While talking to Israel's consul general not long before the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I realized that in his country, they commemorate such anniversaries just about every week.

War on terror begins right here at home
Little Rock Air Force Base will once again send several hundred men and women overseas for the war on terror.

Big George Brock still packs a punch
Big George Brock is a 74-year-old former heavyweight boxer who still packs a double punch as a powerful harmonica player and blues singer. His new CD, Round Two (Cat Head Records), follows last year’s successful Club Caravan, which was nominated for a Handy award.














DEC. 23, 2006

Santa hands Taylor, 4, a gift. Santa made a stop to visit students at Lonoke Exceptional School in Cabot Wednesday, bringing joy to the youngsters and to the staff.

Department bails out city
IN SHORT: Advancing funds from water and wastewater into the general fund will provide enough revenue in January for employees to get their paychecks and bills to get paid in each department. [FULL TEXT]

Jacksonville passes nearly $20M budget
IN SHORT: Aldermen Thursday approved operating funds for 2007 and let a former planning commissioner keep the seat vacated by the death of longtime alderman Robert Lewis. [FULL TEXT]

Santa Claus makes early visit to kids
IN SHORT: Christmas is a special time of the year for students at the Lonoke County Exceptional School in Cabot. [FULL TEXT]

Bill could jeopardize future of payday lenders here
IN SHORT: Legislators want to limit interest rates to 17 percent and impose a $300 fine on businesses that overcharge borrowers who take out payday loans.

Lawyers ready to recover funding
IN SHORT: Wilson aims to kill General Improvement Funds, and he has found new allies.



LaMarcus Trask shoots a runner in the lane against North Pulaski last Friday night. The Red Devils and Falcons will be playing in the Red Devil Classic Holiday Basketball Tournament that begins Dec. 27 at Jacksonville High School.

Classic tourney has new features
IN SHORT:For the first time, the Red Devil Classic basketball tournament at Jacksonville High School will feature out-of-state teams. [FULL TEXT]

Tough division not looking any weaker in 2007
IN SHORT:The 6A-East Conference, formerly the AAAAA-East, is one of the toughest conferences in the state traditionally, and doesn’t look to be any softer this season. The 6A-East Conference schedule will begin after the first of the year.[FULL TEXT]

AL Owls take title with win in finals
IN SHORT: Abundant Life outlasted Atkins Thursday night to claim the Lutheran tourney title. [FULL TEXT]

Beebe hosts holiday hoop tournament
IN SHORT: Badger Sports Arena will be the site of the sixth-annual White County Medical Center/First Security Christmas tournament. [FULL TEXT]


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