The Leader

Hillary pilloried
Barring a crackup like Howard Dean’s in Iowa in 2004, Sen. Hillary Clinton seems to be on her way to sewing up the Democratic nomination for president by the end of February.

Huckabee still standing
Mike Huckabee would not have been our first nominee to be engineer of the Straight Talk Express, but among the Republican presidential candidates that is what he unmistakably is.

Housing mess hurts air base
Will someone please straighten out the mess that the Carabetta organization has made of housing privatization for families at Little Rock Air Force Base and at least three other bases? [FULL TEXT]

Women take over
To the editor: Look alive, men! The women are conspiring against us. [FULL TEXT]

Immigration divides GOP
If Democrats are tied in knots by the war, which is hated by a vast majority of Democratic voters, Republicans have immigration. [FULL TEXT]


Quillin’s relatives stand by their man
Ron Quillin’s mother-in-law wasn’t too happy with my column Wednesday about the former Pulaski County comptroller who’s in prison for stealing more than $40,000 to finance an affair with a lady friend who was doing business with the county.

Emails out, but in-laws still pay up
It was nice of Ron Quillin’s in-laws to mortgage their home so he could repay Pulaski County more than $42,000 he stole while he was the county comptroller, but after they saw the infamous emails he sent to his girlfriend printed in the papers, they must wonder if the bum is worth keeping as a son-in-law.

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 13, 2007

J.R. Cater (left) and Tony Summers of Star Amusements set a bracing support in place Thursday on the children’s alligator roller coaster in preparation for this weekend’s CabotFest. Downtown will be busy today with amusements, a beauty pageant, music, dance and kung fu performers, plenty of food, arts and crafts vendors and much more. Individual ride tickets will be available today at the carnival.

Air Force rethinks reducing strength
IN SHORT: Reducing personnel was supposed to pay for repairs of old planes, but more C-130Js are added and more airmen are needed to fight wars. [FULL TEXT]

Limits shuffle Capitol lineup
IN SHORT: With all local representatives term limited, the primary ballot starts to fill up.

Bilingual program helps firefighters
IN SHORT: Northbelt transmission project will help Cabot, Jacksonville and North Pulaski to meet their needs. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot could ease impact fees
IN SHORT: Emergency workers learn a foreign language to help those who don’t speak English well. [FULL TEXT]

Asian-themed mall part of revitalization
IN SHORT: Downtown Jacksonville is being revitalized with a planned Asian-themed shopping mall at the Jacksonville Shopping Center and the construction of the new Esther D. Nixon Library. [FULL TEXT]

Fired worker makes plea
IN SHORT: Ex-dispatcher says father’s statements cost her job, and she wants it back. [FULL TEXT]



Beebe defender Josh Turner sacks Blytheville quarterback Gabriel Osagie during the Badgers’ 32-22 loss to the Chickasaws Friday night at Bro Irwin Stadium.

Badgers come up short
IN SHORT: Beebe lost a close matchup with fellow unbeaten Blytheville Friday night to fall to 6-1 on the season. [FULL TEXT]

Lady Bears rally, beat Red Devils
IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills overcame a difficult first game to dominate the next three frames, taking a vital 3-1 win over Jacksonville Thursday at Sylvan Hills High School. The Lady Bears still have an outside shot at winning the 6A-East title. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot defense does job
IN SHORT: A safety and a blocked extra point gave the Panthers the three points needed to beat Central. [FULL TEXT]


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