The Leader

Surplus trough
With almost $1 billion in surplus funds piled up in the state treasury, you knew that it was not going to be pretty watching lawmakers, the governor and their key constituencies fight over the lagniappe.

Integrity counts
If none of his superiors at the Department of Justice understood it, Bud Cummins at least knew the majestic principle that was at stake in the purge of U.S. attorneys who were not deemed to be “loyal Bushies,” in the immortal words of one of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s lieutenants. [FULL TEXT]

Ignoring pollution
Here is a truly baffling idea for the state watchdog agency on the environment: Ignore every anonymous complaint about pollution of Arkansas waters, air and land. [FULL TEXT]

Mercy killing
Count as one of the ample good deeds by the Arkansas House of Representatives this session the mercy killing of a bill that would make it illegal for gay and lesbian people to rear children in Arkansas, specifically by adoption or foster care.

Legal attorneys
In a heartening show of bipartisanship the U. S. House of Representatives voted Monday to repeal a phantom clause in the USA Patriot Act that allowed the president to appoint U.S. attorneys indefinitely without their being reviewed by the Senate if he made the appointments while the Senate was in recess.


You cannot judge a book by its cover
The cover of Elizabeth Jacoway’s book on the Central High School integration crisis reproduces one of the most famous photos of the civil rights era. [FULL TEXT]

Terrific music from a favorite label
Robert Bilbo Walker was performing New Year’s Eve at Sarah’s Kitchen, a small eatery in Clarksdale, Miss., playing many of his songs from his old Rooster Blues CDs, “Promised Land” and “Rock the Night: Live in Chicago.” [FULL TEXT]

Good guy decides he won’t run
It must have come as a relief to the already crowded field of presidential candidates when Sen. Chuck Hagel announced Monday he won’t seek the Republican presidential nomination, at least not just yet. [FULL TEXT]

Stackhouse label keeps blues alive
Jim O’Neal, co-founder of Living Blues magazine, is back in the record business with a new label after the demise of Rooster Blues, which issued some of the most important blues of the last 25 years, including several first-rate musicians from Arkansas, such as the late Larry Davis, as well as Willie Cobbs and Lonnie Shields, who are still performing. [FULL TEXT]

First-class care, pay essential for military
The scandal over the shabby treatment veterans receive at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and elsewhere tells only half the story. [FULL TEXT]

State plane flies again: Say it ain’t so, Mike
The Leader was complaining in an editorial Saturday about former Gov. Huckabee wearing out that State Police plane after he hijacked it for his personal use, flying with family and friends to all the fun places, high above the great unwashed — that’s us, the taxpayers who’re now supposed to shell out $4 million for a new airplane because Gov. Beebe likes it, too. [FULL TEXT]

Disabled vet celebrates successors
Butch Davis sat at a round table near the corner where the Singing Sergeants entertained in the big gym on Little Rock Air Force Base, which was honoring its top personnel at the annual awards banquet Saturday night. [FULL TEXT]

Candidates are plentiful for 2008 run
“Candidates Outnumber Voters in ‘08.” [FULL TEXT]

Charge Atilla the Huck for his vandalism
The national media will one day catch up with Mike Huckabee’s vandalism during his last days in office, when the former governor ordered underlings to smash computer hard drives costing Arkansas taxpayers thousands of dollars. [FULL TEXT]

Finding out more about state firings
Gov. Mike Beebe promises he’ll run an open administration, unlike his predecessor, the secretive Mike Huckabee, who used to walk out with the office furniture when no one was looking.

Favorite jazz, blues from ’06
While talking to Lonoke County Justice of the Peace Larry Odom, who could pass for drummer Levon Helm’s brother, I remembered I still hadn’t listed my favorite CDs and DVDs of 2006:

Time of year bringing out best in folks
Marti Frederick of Cabot returned home around 7 o’clock Christmas night from family gatherings in Little Rock.

Man loses long fight to cancer
Andrew Parker, who had fought a brain tumor much of his life, wanted to see his sister and her family in Atlanta one last time over the Thanksgiving weekend.

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.
















March 31, 2007

Michael Hulslander, left, and Jody Spinks with Rogers Group, Inc., operate an asphalt paver on the new access road linking Hwy. 5 to Wal-Mart in Cabot..

Roads improving at rapid pace
IN SHORT: Cabot projects include the access road and bridge near Wal-Mart, improving the downtown rail crossing, and a traffic signal at Hwys. 5 and 89. [FULL TEXT]

Witness is either a hitman or a liar
IN SHORT: Ron Tyler, a witness for the prosecution, testified that bondsman Bobby Cox asked him to kill the prosecutor, star witness and burn down the county courthouse. The defense claimed that all of Tyler’s statements were lies. [FULL TEXT]

State grades performance
IN SHORT: One out of four students in Lonoke and the PCSSD don’t graduate from high school. Cabot, Searcy and Beebe students fare better. [FULL TEXT]

Local youth, like parents, neglecting health
IN SHORT: Drug and alcohol use is rampant among Jacksonville school children as their parents struggle with obesity’s effects. [FULL TEXT]



Taylor Roark, Sylvan Hills’ senior catcher, not only has an impressive record on the field but also in the classroom..

Mild-mannered hero
IN SHORT: Taylor Roark has a subdued personality, but on the field as Sylvan Hills’ three-year starting catcher, his Mr. Hyde-side takes over. The senior has also taken care of business in the classroom with a 3.6 GPA. [FULL TEXT]

Southpaw sensation
IN SHORT: Panthers pitcher Justin Haas is headed to Iowa to play baseball for Clark College, but says his heart will stay in Cabot. The senior visited the NCAA Division III school last week and came back with the offer. [FULL TEXT]

Devils can't close 'Canes
IN SHORT: Jacksonville rallied to tie Jonesboro late in the first game of a twin-bill, but lost in the bottom of the eighth before facing a rout by the Hurricane in game two. [FULL TEXT]


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