The Leader

Courts must preserve FOI
It does not take a rotten court precedent long to bear poison fruit.

Cabot keeps growing
To the editor: We went for a Sunday afternoon drive to Cabot today. Did a little Sunday evening shopping too. [FULL TEXT]

LR paper rewrites history
The long commemoration of the desegregation of Central High School in 1957 should not recede into history without some notice of the sustained effort to rewrite the earlier history. [FULL TEXT]

Judge Griffen is exonerated
After wasting two years, thousands of dollars and much good will, the state Judicial Disability and Discipline Commission exonerated Judge Wendell Griffen of the Arkansas Court of Appeals of charges that he disgraced the judiciary. [FULL TEXT]

TIFs make bad policy
There are enough lawsuits without our demanding more, but the public interest cries out for one more, to halt the theft of public school funds for private developers.


It doesn’t take long to get out of prison
You’ve probably noticed how criminals get their names in the papers over and over again.

It’s Biscuit time in Helena
The Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival in downtown Helena — formerly the King Biscuit Blues Festival, although it’s still the Biscuit for most fans and it’s still free — will kick off next Thursday with several strong acts and will continue through next Saturday with plenty more good music, and there’s still lots more across the river the following afternoon in downtown Clarksdale, Miss.

Classmates meet, recall friendship
Ernest Green, perhaps the best known of the Little Rock Nine, was walking up a couple of flights of stairs at Central High School after Tuesday’s ceremony marking the integration of Central 50 years ago this week.

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]














October 3, 2007

Sgt. Derek Keele (left), of White Hall and Specialist David MacDonald, of Little Rock, assemble a Mark-19 machine gun Monday. Keele and MacDonald are members of the 216th Military Police Company, mobilized in preparation for deployment with the 39th Infantry Brigade to Iraq.

Soldiers activated, report to armories
IN SHORT: Families here feel the impact as their loved ones in the 39th Infantry Brigade prepare for another tour of duty in Iraq, which will see 3,000 men and women deploy starting in January. [FULL TEXT]

Area contractors wonder whether they will be paid
IN SHORT: Air base contractors are fearful the developer will stiff them for work they have performed.

Cabot man sentenced to 23 years
IN SHORT: Lemaster was convicted of one rape charge, but others told of long abuse. [FULL TEXT]

PCSSD recruits students in area
IN SHORT: District must continue to build schools to keep up with continued growth as population projections predict the city’s expanding population would reach 25,000 in three years. [FULL TEXT]

Mixup causes confusion for clerks
IN SHORT: Because of a flawed bill, counties make up their own rules when minors seek marriage licenses. [FULL TEXT]

New law changes sales-tax method
IN SHORT: A new law that goes into effect Jan. 1 will change the way tax is collected on building material. [FULL TEXT]



The Jacksonville defense, shown here making a tackle against Cabot, has given up only seven points in the last eight quarters. They will face Sylvan Hills Friday.

Rivalry takes back seat Friday
IN SHORT: Jacksonville and Sylvan Hills won’t be focused on the long-standing series between them when they play this week with playoff implications on the line. [FULL TEXT]

Youthful Wildcats improving for Cabot
IN SHORT: The Panthers look to get back on the winning track this week against the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats. Cabot suffered its first loss of the season last week at the hands of a massive Little Rock Catholic team, making the Panthers 1-1 in the 7A-Central Conference, and giving them an overall record 4-1 on the sesaon. [FULL TEXT]

Fledgling Southside concerns Jackrabbits
IN SHORT: The ’Rabbits will go on the road this week to try for their third-straight 4A-2 Conference win. [FULL TEXT]


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