The Leader

Water utility throws it away
The public interest, which includes the assurance that people will have clean and affordable water, is not always paramount when it collides with the profit goals of developers — not, anyway, when municipal fathers in Little Rock do the reckoning. [FULL TEXT]

Some taxes should go up
Every week brings new announcements of investment in the exploration of the vast Fayetteville shale gas play and, far more quietly, fresh complaints about the horrors that follow it: the waste pits, polluted ground water, the surface degradation and the weak secondary roads and city streets that are pounded into rubble by the heavy equipment. [FULL TEXT]

Insuring Arkansans
If the health-care crisis yielded to simple solutions, Arkansas at least would be home free by now. But the state learned once again that even the offer of a big federal subsidy will induce few employers to insure their workers. [FULL TEXT]

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.


Stax marks 50 years of great music
If you remember Isaac Hayes’ “Theme from Shaft,” the Staples Singers’ “Respect Yourself,” Eddy Floyd’s “Knock on Wood,” Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay,” Booker T. and the MGs’ “Green Onions” and the Mar-Keys’ “Last Night,” you would have enjoyed a concert last month in Memphis commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stax record label.

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]














July 14, 2007

Martin Street Recreation Center staff members Shanita Johnson (from left) and Lecreisha Cash are having a good time as they prepare to attack during the annual water wars at the Jacksonville center. The event, where Martin Street Recreation Center staff members compete against center members, took place July 6 to the enjoyment all.

Air Force looks into developer shortfalls
IN SHORT: Privatization work has stopped at Little Rock Air Force Base and at other locations as military officials investigate construction delays. [FULL TEXT]

$6.4M bid for Cabot overpass accepted
IN SHORT: Pine Bluff company will build the project that has been in the works for 10 years.

School administration makes principal moves
IN SHORT: Two principals at elementary schools have resigned, and personnel changes have been made at the high school after transfer requests were made by staff members. [FULL TEXT]

Council may vote to buy Armory land
IN SHORT: Cabot Mayor Eddie Joe Williams has struck a deal with a development company for 15.5 acres to build a National Guard armory and will ask the city council Monday evening to approve the purchase. [FULL TEXT]

Idea of hamburger tax appetizing
IN SHORT: Commission, aldermen and public will discuss Monday a two-cent levy to fund marketing and promotion plans for the city. [FULL TEXT]

Charitable bingo legal on July 31
IN SHORT: Charitable bingo becomes legal July 31, but plans to tax bingo cards may swallow most of the charity groups’ income in the area. [FULL TEXT]



Gwatney first baseman Jason Regnas comes up just short of picking off a Conway runner in the finals of the Zone 3 tournament at Maumelle on Wednesday.

Gwatney mercy rules Rogers
IN SHORT: Jacksonville advanced to the second round of the American Legion Class A state tournament for the first time in program history Thursday. [FULL TEXT]

Wings win title game with local hoop stars
IN SHORT: DeShone McClure of Jacksonville High School, and North Pulaski players Aaron Cooper and DaQuan Bryant were all a vital part of the national championship winning Arkansas Wings basketball team. [FULL TEXT]

Jacksonville A gets back to Legion state
IN SHORT: Gwatney Chevrolet went through the American Legion Zone 3 tournament undefeated. [FULL TEXT]


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