The Leader

Taxpayers fleeced again
When something seems too good to be true it usually is, which is a lesson that the Pulaski County government keeps learning, ruefully, over and over.

What we need: more lobbyists
Every taxpayer was excited to learn last week that Arkansas had landed exactly what it needed most, another highly paid lobbyist.

Teaching history
The impulse to stay out of the dogfight among educators and historians over the teaching of Arkansas history in the schools is almost irresistible. [FULL TEXT]

Loopholes in FOI Act
A little forbidden sex can lead judges and prosecutors down strange legal corridors, as we learned often during the long Whitewater ordeal. [FULL TEXT]

Huck’s computers
Mike Huckabee’s durable political life has been built partly on his ability to turn a harrowing escape into a picnic in the park. [FULL TEXT]


Local TV closes in on killing
When it comes to local TV news, they say if it bleeds, it leads.

Kids, dope don’t mix with driver
He’s been driving a bus for the Pulaski County Special School District for 22 years, and this summer he drives a van for special-education students who attend a summer program at the Jacksonville Middle School for Boys.

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 30, 2007

Sue Khoo, owner of Unique Furniture, is purchasing the Jacksonville Shopping Center, which will have an all-Asian theme, except for Chambers Drugs. It will stay in the center.

Reviving downtown
IN SHORT: New owner of shopping center will develop an Asian-themed attraction on Main Street. [FULL TEXT]

Charter school hearing
IN SHORT: Public meeting at Jacksonville City Hall on Aug. 17 to offer an alternative choice on educational opportunities.

North Belt gets route, no funding
IN SHORT: Loop extension approved over residents’ objections, but highway commissioners disagree on whether charging tolls is the way to finance project. [FULL TEXT]

Priorities in Cabot
IN SHORT: The members of Cabot Water and Wastewater Commission spent two hours Thursday night discussing the progress of various projects. [FULL TEXT]

Two hopefuls face off in Sherwood contest
IN SHORT:City Clerk Virginia Hillman or interim Mayor Bill Harmon will become the city’s new mayor when voters choose on Tuesday. [FULL TEXT]



Gwatney catcher Zach Thomas gets a force out on Grant Garlington during a double play in the second inning Thursday night.

Jacksonville outlasts Bruins
IN SHORT: Gwatney overcame a full moon and a stubborn Sylvan Hills team for a first-round win. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot gets big first-round win
IN SHORT: Post 71 advanced to the second round of the winner’s bracket in the AAA zone tournament at NLR. [FULL TEXT]

Old Bear is taking over SH softball
IN SHORT: Former Jacksonville coach going back to alma mater to lead Sylvan Hills’ softball team. [FULL TEXT]


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