The Leader

Huckabee does NEA
The good but politically unfortunate thing about Mike Huckabee’s campaign for president is that he does not have a Karl Rove to keep the campaign on a single message.

Thank you
Thanks to all the good folks at Jacksonville City Hall for keeping us abreast of all the public meetings scheduled in town.

America’s birthday
We have the vague sense, unsupported by research, that the Fourth of July is the American holiday that people still observe unashamedly for its original spirit and not for its commercial or political abstractions.

Release all emails now
Here’s a surprise: The Arkansas Supreme Court has temporarily put on hold a lower court decision ordering Pulaski County to release potentially embarrassing emails from a former employee accused of stealing public funds and romancing a woman who works for a vendor that does business with the county. [FULL TEXT]

Don't rush 'burger tax'
People supposedly don’t notice the tax they pay when they go to a restaurant, which is one of the reasons a Jacksonville alderman is pushing to add a two-cent levy to prepared foods—and that adage may be correct. [FULL TEXT]

Some progress on energy bill
The United States Senate, which has seen its standing with the public sink to historic lows owing to its inaction on the gamut of national problems, finally delivered last Thursday night on an energy bill that is many years overdue. [FULL TEXT]


Air strategy saving lives
Brig. Gen. (Select) Rowayne Schatz is in his office at the headquarters of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, where he’s the commander, and he reaches for a dagger he’d brought back from Qatar a couple of years ago, when he was in charge of running airlifts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Payday series wins award in competition
(The Arkansas Press Association awarded The Leader first place in the Better Newspaper Contest for our in-depth reporting on payday lenders. This column from March 22, 2006 was part of that series.)
A populist state like Arkansas, which once had the lowest usury rate in the nation — 10 percent was the interest limit until 1982 — now allows payday lenders to charge outrageous interest rates — often several hundred percent interest.


Next move may be up to federal prosecutor
When the FBI completes its public-corruption probe into former Cabot Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh’s administration, interim U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin in Little Rock could be the one who decides whether to file charges against Stumbaugh and his cronies.

How city wiped out vet’s investment
A veteran of Vietnam, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, Jim Eggert bought two commercial buildings in Jacksonville, but the closing of the Graham Road rail crossing killed business. He’s put his property up for sale, but he’ll have to take a huge loss.

Famed photographer had roots in area
If you turn off Hwy. 5 at Cabot near the freeway and drive down Cleland Road for less than a mile, you’ll come to Mt. Pleasant Road.

U.S. prosecutor demoted over bullying e-mail
Witness in Campbell trial used his government computer and official title to try to intimidate newspaper with threat of a $50 million libel suit and takeover of The Leader.

Why didn’t feds take this case?
You may have wondered while you were following the corruption trial of Jay and Kelly Campbell in Lonoke County why the U.S. attorney’s office in Little Rock didn’t prosecute the couple, along with two shady bail bondsmen, who will be tried later.

Politics at local level rough, just ask mayor
“All politics is local.”
— Thomas “Tip” O’Neill,
— longtime Speaker of the House
The political pros know that voters are more passionate about local issues than about national politics, even in time of war.

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]

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]

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]












July 7, 2007

Many Sherwood residents and visitors from all over showed up for Fourth of July fireworks Wednesday night at Sherwood Forest. The rain held off for the colorful display of rocketry.

Sherwood votes Tuesday
IN SHORT: Four of five candidates turn in required campaign contribution reports, and the information shows that interim Mayor Bill Harmon has collected and spent the most money.

Students in area do well on tests
IN SHORT: Scores on state benchmark tests continue to improve in math and literacy.

Council has votes to assess new tax
IN SHORT: Residents of Jacksonville will have a chance to speak at a meeting July 16.

Beebe official arrested for theft
IN SHORT: Beebe’s former code-enforcement officer was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with felony theft for allegedly keeping more than $2,500 in city inspection fees that he collected in the last three years he worked for the city. [FULL TEXT]

Base's title on the line
IN SHORT: Two teams from Little Rock Air Force Base are gearing up to travel to McChord AFB, Wash., to defend LRAFB’s titles of “Best Airdrop Wing” and “Best C-130 Wing” during the 2007 Air Mobility Rodeo held July 22-28. [FULL TEXT]

Residents complain of sewer runoff
IN SHORT: North Pulaski residents worried about polluted water flowing into area stream.



Sylvan Hills AA player Ryan Dillon scores a run earlier in the season. The Bruins swept Heber Springs at home Tuesday.

Bruins get sweep on Heber
IN SHORT: The younger group of Sylvan Hills players beat a fellow Zone 2 team Tuesday in preparation for the Zone 2 tournament that begins next week. [FULL TEXT]

Gwatney hammers Morrilton
IN SHORT: Jacksonville’s Class A American Legion team took its first step towards a state bid by beating Morrilton 17-4 in the first round of zone. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot stays alive with easy victory
IN SHORT: The Post 71 Class A team beat Morrilton to advance to third-round play in the Zone 2 American Legion tournament in Maumelle. [FULL TEXT]

Jacksonville AAA dominates Sheridan
IN SHORT: The older Gwatney Legion team pounded the Yellowjackets Tuesday in a rain-shortened game at Dupree Park. [FULL TEXT]


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