The Leader

Who’s biggest tax raiser?
Ernie Dumas writes: Mike Huckabee raised more taxes in 10 years in office than Bill Clinton did in his 12 years.
Clinton tax increases.

New coach, same results
Nothing is more earthshaking in these latitudes than a change in head football coaches at the state university, and after a full year of turmoil and recriminations Arkansans woke up yesterday to find that they do not have Houston Nutt to kick around anymore. [FULL TEXT]

Huck flip flops
It is hard to say whether Mike Huckabee is betrayed more often by his memory or his principles.

Score one for pollution
David Newbern, the former Supreme Court justice who continually gets summoned from retirement to safeguard the public interest, nearly did so again this week.

Be thankful
Are you rich or poor? Short or tall? Thin or fat? Black, white or brown? Male or female? Employed or unemployed? A member of the haves or the have nots?

Road system's cold reality
The choice between pleasurable fancy and disagreeable reality is hard for leaders to make any time. It is especially hard when people are imbued with the notion that taxes are way too high and led to expect their lowering, not raising. [FULL TEXT]


County too poor for sick inmates
Beebe police recently arrested James E. (Big Ed) Fuller for selling crack cocaine out of his apartment.

Tough vet able to cry and smile
When you saw Bill Greer, he usually smiled like all his brothers.

Parties still looking for their savior
While Republicans and Democrats are slugging it out over who should get their party’s presidential nomination — for many, the choices aren’t all that terrific, which is why minor candidates like Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul are pulling up from the rear —the good news for Lonoke County Republicans is they have squelched a rebellion to humiliate the mayor of Cabot and an alderman.

Department plays games with scores
The state Education Department last Friday sent out a poorly written press release that bragged about how much progress public schools are making, although if you read far enough into the press release, you realize schools are doing less well than the year before.

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]














November 28 , 2007

Jacksonville Street Department employee Bruce Allen (on ladder) and traffic signal manager Sidney Gray put the finishing touches on the Christmas decorations outside the chamber of commerce building in Jacksonville Tuesday morning.

Lincoln hopes for base funding
IN SHORT: Arkansas senator looks for $20 million for joint-education center and runway repairs to come through by end of the year. [FULL TEXT]

Salaries in Cabot set to go up in ’08
IN SHORT: Panel recommends a pay proposal that is $68,000 more than the mayor wanted. [FULL TEXT]

Impact fees haven’t caught on
IN SHORT: Citing a decline in single-family homes, Cabot puts a six-month hold on construction levy. [FULL TEXT]

Economic department doesn’t pay off for city
IN SHORT:Aldermen Fender and Vassar lead the charge to rid Sherwood of a program that Fender said was not working, saving the city about $77,000.

McCastlain will oppose Whiteaker
IN SHORT:Prosecuting Attorney Lona Horn McCastlain of Cabot is running for circuit judge, Second Division of the 23rd Judicial District in Lonoke County.



North Pulaski guard Ridge Williams, 20, hits for two of his 15 points over the bloody, outstretched arm of Jacksonville defender Antonio Roy Tuesday night during the Falcons’ 80-76 victory. Williams turned in the game’s only double-double performance, finishing with 11 rebounds to go with his 15 points. The win lifted North Pulaski to 1-3 while the Red Devils fell to 0-3. The two teams will meet up again December 14 at Jacksonville High.

Falcons topple Devils
IN SHORT: North Pulaski surged in the second quarter and held off a fourth-quarter Jacksonville run to win 80-76. [FULL TEXT]

Searcy loses in double OT to Batesville
IN SHORT: Batesville post player Thomas Showalter helped the Pioneers avoid a third overtime period with a late free throw against the Lions Monday night during the opening round of the Bank Classic basketball tournament at Searcy High School. [FULL TEXT]

Trojans take over late, beat Lonoke
IN SHORT: The Jackrabbits controlled the game until the late going, when Hot Springs rallied for the win. [FULL TEXT]


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