The Leader

Hillary vs. Huckabee?
Fantasizing about a race for president against Sen. Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that he would be the Republicans’ best candidate because his record contrasted the most sharply with hers.

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]


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 8, 2007

Lendy Lewis, (fourth from left) wife of the late Alderman Robert Lewis, visits with her friend Eartis Hammond during a dedication ceremony held in the alderman’s honor Thursday on the Jacksonville Main Street overpass. Other relatives who attended were Hiram Neal (from left), nephew; Walter Neal, brother-in-law; Keith Lewis, son; Angela Lewis, daughter-in-law and her son, A.J.

No child is left behind when it comes to food
IN SHORT: Kids get to eat the same meals even if they can’t pay, although students or their parents must clear their account eventually, but some debts are never collected. [FULL TEXT]

Flightline funds are approved for LRAFB
IN SHORT: Senate passes a bill for a $9.8 million landing strip and $2.8 million to upgrade the aerospace ground equipment and engine facility at the air base, as well as nearly $70 million for construction projects at Camp Robinson, Ft. Chaffee and the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Arkadelphia, but Congress still has not agreed to fund $10 million for the joint education center in front of the base.

Migrant children receive benefits
IN SHORT: But many of them may not realize they qualify for special services at local schools if their parents work in agriculture, fishing or forestry-related jobs. [FULL TEXT]

State sends $205,000 back to Jacksonville
IN SHORT:The turnback check could be pay for a farmers market, although the city council could spend it on another special project. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot roads will be repaired with $1.5M bond
IN SHORT:Plans are to widen Hwy. 89 and Locust, repair Dietrich Lane, Cleveland and Greystone Boulevard and extend Elm Street. [FULL TEXT]



Cabot halfback Chris Bayles scampers in for a touchdown during the Panthers victory over Sylvan Hills Friday night.

Panthers escape from Bears
IN SHORT: Cabot needed a big first half to defeat Sylvan Hills Friday night. The Bears came back strong in the second half, giving the Panthers a scare late. [FULL TEXT]

Beebe rolls at Lonoke
IN SHORT: The Jackrabbits committed eight turnovers in losing 32-7 to the Badgers Friday night at Lonoke High. [FULL TEXT]

JHS ladies dominate net, beat Lutheran
IN SHORT: Jacksonville’s volleyball team beat the Lady Lions in straight sets at home Tuesday night to improve to 6-1. [FULL TEXT]


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