The Leader

Hurry up with gas tax
With every utterance Gov. Beebe becomes a stronger champion of a tax on the natural gas that is piped to the big markets north and east of Arkansas.

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.


Recognizing others who were there
Gene Bowman of Jacksonville is one of about 4,500 people who’ve received invitations to a ceremony Sept. 25 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the integration crisis at Central High School in Little Rock.

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 5, 2007

Marcus Norris, 11, of Jacksonville spends his Labor Day relaxing at Dupree Park as he and other members of his family fished at Lake Dupree Monday. Many area residents enjoyed the day swimming at Splash Zone in Jacksonville, at Indianhead Lake in Cabot and at other water locations. Others spent a leisurely day at home with family and friends cooking their favorite holiday meals.

McDaniel reports progress
IN SHORT: Attorney general credits Beebe and legislature with gains in education,including settlement of the Lake View case. [FULL TEXT]

Law gives borrowers lower-rate alternative
IN SHORT: Local credit union will soon roll out affordable, low-interest loans to members of the military and their families.

Bingo fever just keeps spreading
IN SHORT: Bingo fever keeps growing ever since the state allowed legalized charitable bingo games the first week of August. [FULL TEXT]

Sunnyside up with cleanup set Saturday
IN SHORT:“Bring anything that cuts, trims or prunes,” says Alderman Kevin McCleary, “and be at Galloway Park at 8 a.m. Saturday.” [FULL TEXT]

Soldier knows Iraq area
IN SHORT:Cabot native is in his third tour of the war-torn nation and in his second on the same Baghdad streets. [FULL TEXT]



The Jacksonville offense sets up for a snap during their game against Cabot last week. The Red Devils will try to improve this week on the road at North Pulaski.

Devils, Falcons try to turn tides
IN SHORT: The Jacksonville and North Pulaski football teams try to bounce back from big losses in week one when they meet each other this Friday at NPHS.[FULL TEXT]

Panthers expecting one Bear of a game
IN SHORT: Despite a phenomenal opening game, Cabot isn’t planning on anything but a tough game from a speedy Sylvan Hills squad this Friday night. [FULL TEXT]

Rivalry game brings electricity to Lonoke
IN SHORT: The Badgers and Jackrabbits have become regional rivals, and their annual meetings are almost always exciting games. [FULL TEXT]


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