The Leader

An initiative we don’t need
We are in for another season of pious ranting about homosexuals and cohabiting sinners. [FULL TEXT]

Still down and out
“Arkansas 8th in U.S. in growth of income” trumpeted the headline above the fold of the Friday edition of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. [FULL TEXT]

Ripping off the elderly
We are in parlous times when the state government must set up barriers to protect people from the perfidy of the federal government. [FULL TEXT]

Good choice to lead Justice
The name and face of Michael Mukasey are unfamiliar to 19 of every 20 Americans, which may be his strongest recommendation to be attorney general of the United States.

Wedding — ‘not’
A Fayetteville girl, her fiancé and her mother have sued to enforce the strict wording of a botched act of the legislature that would let children of any age marry as long as the parents consented.


No troops when you need them
Most people in Little Rock resented the arrival of the 101st Airborne Division to ensure the integration of Central High School 50 years ago — many of those troops were flown into Little Rock Air Force Base — but almost exactly the year before, I would have welcomed the 101st into my native Hungary.

All voices need to be heard now
No one at the Little Rock School District or at Central High School will tell us if the city will honor white students and their teachers who stood up to the bigots outside Central High School when Gov. Faubus tried to keep nine black kids out of their neighborhood school 50 years ago this month.

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 22, 2007

POW Silas B. Legrow holds back tears during a POW/MIA ceremony at the Little Rock Air Force Base honoring those who have not yet returned home.

Military history
IN SHORT: Airmen at Little Rock Air Force Base gathered Friday to honor a special group of patriots during a National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony. [FULL TEXT]

Two die as driver goes wrong way
IN SHORT: Jacksonville woman drives south on north-bound Hwy. 67/167 killing herself and a church worker from Texas.

Murder suspect is held in Cabot
IN SHORT: The city’s first homicide in 16 years involves acquaintances as police seek a motive in a killing that took place in the victim’s home Thursday night. [FULL TEXT]

Jacksonville appeals ruling on annexation
IN SHORT: City council votes unanimously to go to the state Supreme Court in case involving Sherwood taking in huge tract. [FULL TEXT]

Foreclosures hurt homebuyers here
IN SHORT: Tired of having a landlord, Blake Barnes bought a house without concern that it could lead him to financial ruin. [FULL TEXT]



North Pulaski seniors Shawn Rase, 4, and Jimmy Mecalo, 74, celebrate the Falcons’ win over Greene County Tech Friday.

It’s over, NP beats Tech
IN SHORT: North Pulaski knocked off the Eagles in dominant fashion Friday night to end a losing streak and start conference play with a 1-0 mark.[FULL TEXT]

Cabot dominates Conway
IN SHORT: The Panthers exploded for 21 points in just over 13 minutes to take control. [FULL TEXT]

Big plays lift Beebe to rout of Paragould
IN SHORT: The Badgers kept their spotless record intact with an easy road win over the Rams Friday night to open play in the 5A-East Conference. The Badgers improved to 4-0. [FULL TEXT]


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