The Leader

Hypocrite in the closet
The overwhelming impulses after the fall of U. S. Sen. Larry Craig, the Idaho Republican, for soliciting sex in a men’s room stall ought to be sadness and understanding for another politician who like ordinary mortals could not master the frailties of flesh. [FULL TEXT]

Gonzales had to go
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales must have performed some public-spirited act in his many years in the service of George W. Bush, but his resignation at long last was easily his noblest. [FULL TEXT]

Special session is not needed
The flap over legalizing kiddie marriages is a quintessential Arkansas legislature story — Ledge screws up again! — but we think it is overblown and no cause for panic. [FULL TEXT]

Vote against dirty plant
That coal-fired generating plant in Hempstead County, which is supposed to start sending 6 million tons of carbon dioxide a year our way by 2011, is looking like less a bargain every day.

PSC a tribune of the people
Pray that we do not have to eat our words, but it looks like we have a real Public Service Commission at the state Capitol, one that takes its civic responsibility seriously, one that follows the dictum of Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was governor of New York.


Pizzeria closes after move and owner’s surgery
The state Highway Department is completing work on an on-ramp at Hwy. 67/167 in north Jacksonville, where the Pizza Company did pretty decent business for more than a decade.

Sad news hits us hard this August
A death in the family and deaths of friends have made us think about mortality.

My father: A witness to 20th Century
When my father passed away at the age of 85 late in the afternoon on Aug. 5, one of the doctors at the emergency room at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami called my brother Steve with the terrible news.

Is Villines trying to hide more disgrace?
It’s hard to figure out why Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines has opposed the release of emails written by a disgraced former employee — unless Villines thinks they will make his office look bad and raise questions about what his workers are doing when they’re on the clock.

Americans who make a difference
While we visited the other day with Brig. Gen. (Select) Rowayne Schatz, the commander at Little Rock Air Force Base, and later with members of a local church, they reluctantly mentioned some extraordinary things they’ve done — one in the line of duty, the others going overseas with a church group.

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]














September 1, 2007

Karen Goodman, a first-year teacher at Eastside Elementary School in Cabot, places stickers on books in her second-grade classroom as she readies her room for the start of school last week.

Most jobs filled when teachers quit schools
IN SHORT: Local districts don’t have trouble hiring instructors for almost all of their open positions, although a few slots still remain to be filled. [FULL TEXT]

Funds will run out for improving area roads
IN SHORT: There is no easy way to pay for infrastructure improvements, but Jim McKenzie of Metroplan says state and federal money is drying up, and the sooner central Arkansas realizes it must pay its own way for new roads and bridges and for their maintenance, the better the chances the area will grow.

Fighting drugs is priority for chief
IN SHORT: The police department will be more visible in Beebe as new personnel reach out to residents, determined to battle crime and make improvements in the quality of life. [FULL TEXT]

Drought, heat start to ease, but watch out
IN SHORT:Special Judge John Cole couldn’t determine if former dispatcher had sex with inmate. [FULL TEXT]

Medicare cuts hurt therapy at hospitals
IN SHORT:Cong. Vic Snyder has been visiting hospitals all over the state to gain a better understanding of the needs patients, doctors have. [FULL TEXT]

Cities continue to weed out their pit-bull dogs
IN SHORT:Lonoke County looks to give sheriff more authority rather than ban the breed, but many area towns have said no to the animals. [FULL TEXT]



Cabot sophomore quarterback Seth Bloomberg hands off to sophomore fullback Michael James during the Panthers win Friday.

Cabot drives over Devils
IN SHORT: The Cabot offensive line controlled the game, as the Panthers won easily Friday night. [FULL TEXT]

Beebe wins in shut out
IN SHORT: The Badgers got their new coach off to a good start by holding their opening opponent scoreless Friday night. [FULL TEXT]

Lonoke falters in second, loses late
IN SHORT: A two-point conversion with 29 seconds left lifted Hot Springs over the Jackrabbits Friday at LHS. [FULL TEXT]


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