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McDaniel grandstands
It seems we have a little problem in the state attorney general’s office. It has become a separate branch of government. It starts its own programs and grows at its own pace, notwithstanding the state Constitution and the fiscal controls that restrict the other agencies of government.

Bribe plotters should resign
Gwen Williams, a member of the Pulaski County School Board from Jacksonville, filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that a fellow school board member and a principal had conspired to ruin her reputation with the now-famous video caper of 2010.

Paying off lawmakers
Michael Wickline’s biennial summary of lobbyist spending on our state’s lawmakers, which appears in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in the spring of odd-numbered years, is something we look forward to, although in the end it depresses more than it uplifts.

Decision lacks logic
Federal courts are known for an excess of deliberateness, but District Judge Brian Miller will not be accused of it. Without warning, he threw a giant monkey wrench into the operations of the three school districts of Pulaski County. Rash is a better word than deliberate for his order, which pretty much ends state desegregation aid for the schools—immediately.

Schools look to a new era
U.S. District Judge Brian Miller’s order Thursday phasing out state desegregation funds for the three Pulaski County schools was not unexpected. When attorneys for the county districts appeared before the judge last year, he suggested that $70 million in state aid to the schools was a waste and he might cut off the spigot.

A reprieve for PCSSD
The Arkansas Board of Education did not lower the boom on the fiscally troubled Pulaski County Special School District at a hearing Monday, but the department did tell the district: “We’re watching you, and you’d better put your financial house in order.”

High school here ranks with Delta
Three failing high schools down in the poverty-stricken Delta received multi-million-dollar federal grants last week. So did Jacksonville High School, the only one that’s not in the Delta.

Arkansans praised
around the world

The water’s receding. Most roads are open and homes are drying out. The cleanup continues as the worst flooding in decades moves south, although pockets of Arkansas remain underwater. Neighbors have helped each other cope with the disaster, although some were hurt and at least one person was killed in our area. Little Rock Air Force Base had a close brush with calamity as it survived a tornado that struck homes and several C-130s.

Sad to see old bridge torn down
Scott Fryer took his family Saturday to inspect Fryer’s Ford Bridge, which had served the rural community near Solgohachia in Conway County since 1890.

Bluesmen from Delta
passing on

Joe Willie (Pinetop) Perkins, who was the oldest living bluesman and Grammy winner until he passed away Monday at 97, sat recently in a wheelchair in a little alcove just offstage at Stickys Chicken Shack in the Rivermarket District in Little Rock.

Dictator fooled
by coverage?
Did Fox News goad President Obama into taking action in Libya?
Every hour until the missiles started flying, Fox showed Obama goofing off: Doing everything except his job, but there was a reason to the March madness, and it had nothing to do with basketball.

Hate speech is protected,
court decides
(The U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld the right of Westboro Baptist Church members to demonstrate at military funerals. This column about the Kansas-based group, which demonstrated in Beebe nearly five years ago, appeared on Aug. 2, 2006.)
Members of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., were again busy this week picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, but lawsuits filed by families who have lost their loved ones could stop the church group from taunting grieving relatives. [FULL TEXT]

Ex-Stax chief still has soul
Al Bell, the former Stax Records executive, is back in the spotlight with a new Web site, All Bell Presents American Soul Music, where you can hear classic Stax artists and new soul singers who are keeping the Memphis sound alive. [FULL TEXT]

Minihan: No break
for wing since 9/11
Col. Mike Minihan, commander of the 19th Airlift Wing, sent off 40 airmen and a couple of C-130s into combat before the storm hit last weekend. [FULL TEXT]

From this poor little girl, special request for Santa
(This is a reprint of a previous Christmas column.) When my friend Jack Sallee was with the Jaycees in Fayetteville, they’d put an ad in the paper at Christmastime, saying that for $2 you could have Santa come to your place. [FULL TEXT]

Base could depend on Snyder as real friend
Rep. Vic Snyder, a Democrat who is retiring from Congress at the end of the year, is getting some heat from Republicans for wasting time on the House floor to praise this community’s support of Little Rock Air Force Base. [FULL TEXT]

Panama president
ex-UofA roommate

John Mason, a Jacksonville real estate broker, was in Fayetteville with his wife Ien for homecoming weekend on Oct. 30, when the Razorbacks played Vanderbilt. [FULL TEXT]

Our error given wide circulation
We’ve received lots of calls, comments and complaints over an error in Wednesday’s paper about a Christmas program in Cabot. [FULL TEXT]

Comparing pardons
by governor

Did you see Gov. Beebe’s latest list of pardons? Last week, he announced his intent to pardon a handful of small-time criminals, emphasis on small-time. [FULL TEXT]

POWs recall their
World War ordeal

The former POWs who were shot down over Romania during the Second World War arrived at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History in their tour bus a little after 11 a.m. Thursday. [FULL TEXT]

Annexation plan: Many in area say they're against it
People who live north of Jacksonville near Hwy. 67/167 met at a church Monday evening to fight the city’s plan to annex the area.[FULL TEXT]

Lighthouse plans to build middle and high schools
The headline in Saturday’s Leader: “Cabot schools about to hit 10,000.”[FULL TEXT]

J’Accuse: Smearing
of general

Air Force Gen. John D. Lavelle, who died more than 30 years ago, after he was falsely accused of insubordination, is a four-star general again. [FULL TEXT]

Petraeus salutes
camp liberators

It was 65 years ago Monday that Beryl Wolfson helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp in southeastern Germany.

Marker recalls fire at Twist

There's finally a marker honoring B.B. King in Twist in Cross County, where the great blues singer escaped from a fire at nightclub with his guitar and named it Lucille.

Justice Jim fought tough final battle
Arkansas bloggers were the first with the news of Justice Jim Johnson’s suicide over the weekend. The local TV news on Sunday ignored his passing, probably because no one in the newsroom knew who he was. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot man in raid
on POW camp in 1970
Mst. Sgt. Paul Poole, who helped to liberate Americans from a Vietnamese prison camp, died last week. [FULL TEXT]

Trial could get Muhammad
his death wish

Last June, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad killed a soldier from Conway and injured another soldier from Jacksonville in front of a recruiting station in Little Rock.

What a little girl asked
from Santa

When my friend Jack Sallee was with the Jaycees in Fayetteville, they'd put an ad in the paper at Christmastime, saying that for $2 you could have Santa come to your place.

Tuskegee legend
at holiday reception

A tall elderly man stood in a far corner in a large banquet room at Little Rock Air Force Base on Sunday afternoon during the holiday reception hosted by the wing commanders.

Gas shut off
as hospital bills pile up

A couple in Beebe have been without heat for several months after the natural-gas company took out their meter because they were not paying their bills.

Huckabee our worst governor?
Who is Arkansas’ worst governor? Is it Orval Faubus, who defied federal authorities i in 1957, when he wouldn’t allow nine black students to attend Central High School in Little Rock? He brought shame and ridicule on the whole state, but at least no one was killed. Or is Mike Huckabee our worst governor ever?


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June 4, 2011

Welcoming home Vietnam veterans
Frank Cope (middle) and former Sherwood Alderman Butch Davis, both Vietnam veterans, received a hero’s welcome during a reception at Little Rock Air Force Base on Friday honoring Vietnam vets and airmen returning from deployment in Afghanistan. The event honored Vietnam veterans who often did not get a proper welcome home more than 35 years ago. An appreciative Davis said after the ceremony, “It was really nice of them to do that.”

PCSSD board is concerned about future
IN SHORT: District may not get upcoming $2 million in desegregation funds. [FULL TEXT]

Huge award in wreck
IN SHORT: Cabot woman, survivor of collision with a dump truck, receives compensation from Lonoke County jury. [FULL TEXT]

Boozman supports project
IN SHORT: Millions in federal funding are needed for Bayou Meto irrigation. [FULL TEXT]

The Beebe Blue Rock Blasters’ senior team, the Mavericks, take center stage after winning the 420-team, 4,000-participant Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports State Championship, sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Saturday at Remington Gun Club near Lonoke. Team members and coaches are head coach Mike Jeffress, from left, team captain John Hall, Darren Newell, Blasters’ founder Rodger McCuan, Dustin Jeffress, Buck Henry, tournament director Chuck Woodson, Drew McVey and assistant coach Dean Newell.

Beebe squad earns top shot
IN SHORT: The Beebe Blue Rock Blasters team took first place in the statewide youth shooting tournament. [FULL TEXT]

Sylvan Hills takes honors at Gwatney tournament
IN SHORT: Bruins win first place in the annual Class A tourney at Dupree. [FULL TEXT]

Base paths fatal to Cabot victory
IN SHORT: Throwing errors help visitors win in legion game at BCSC. [FULL TEXT]

Jacksonville wins pool, gets runner up
IN SHORT: The Gwatney Chevrolet junior team takes second in tourney at Dupree. [FULL TEXT]

North Pulaski recommends Crossett AD
IN SHORT: Former Crossett coach Teodis Ingram tapped by committee to take over Falcon football. [FULL TEXT]


Photos available

The Leader now offers photos seen in print editions of the paper. To request photos from an event, send an e-mail here.








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