Editorials


Who loves fruitcake?

A few times every year, I question God's intentions.
In the summertime, I wonder why He created mosquitoes, and, in the wintertime, I wonder what He was thinking when He allowed fruitcake to come into this world.
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Millage rate
is set locally

The Pulaski County School District is seeking a 5.6-mill property tax increase in September, but Jacksonville residents will not even vote on that request. Instead, voters in the newly formed Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District will keep the current 40.6 mills or decide to raise their millage possibly as soon as this fall when they will elect a new school board to replace an interim board appointed by the state.
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District plans
on schedule

It seems the new Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District has a few friends in Little Rock. The state Board of Education recognized the new district soon after area residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of leaving the Pulaski County Special School District.
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Give judges raises in Lonoke County

Lonoke District Court Judge Teresa Smith wants a $5,000 raise for 2015, but the city council approved her request only as part of a preliminary budget that could easily be changed.
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Little girl tells Santa a wish for Christmas

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]


Prison reform pushed

The Department of Correction wants $100 million for a new prison, but Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) thinks that's a waste of money.
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Pardons by Beebe
not as bad as Huck's

Gov. Mike Beebe has had a good record on pardons until this week, much better than Gov. Mike Huckabee, his predecessor.
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Lennox, Hutcherson on Blue Note; Impulse back

Annie Lennox's new CD, "Nostalgia," from Blue Note includes a stunning version of "Strange Fruit," an anti-lynching song usually associated with Billie Holiday, who recorded it in 1937.
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Is a life worth

a million dollars?

Almost half the parolees in Arkansas who serve a fraction of their sentences commit more crimes soon after they're freed.
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Killer at our front door

Arron Lewis stood near the front door at The Leader one evening last month, and he knocked on the big glass window when he realized the door was locked.
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Killer in Cabot's schools
3 times

Glen Martin Green, the killer serving a life sentence without parole, worked in Cabot schools three different times this year.
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Cabot ends prison labor in schools

After a report here Saturday that a convicted murderer worked at Cabot Junior High North last week as a prison trustee, school officials decided Monday to ban prison labor in the district. [FULL TEXT]

Killer worked at Cabot school gym

A murderer who is serving a life sentence without parole was installing a wall mat this week at the Cabot Junior High North gym as part of a prison work-release program. [FULL TEXT]

 

When firm's comptroller
steals $1.1M

AGL Corp., the small Jacksonville manufacturer of laser equipment used for construction around the world, had been struggling for years. The company had trouble making a profit. There were layoffs and rumors about the plant shutting down. [FULL TEXT]


Genocide threatens minorities

A huge humanitarian disaster was unfolding last month while the western world and much of the media looked away. They focused on a tiny area on the Mediterranean controlled by a group of Moslem fanatics, who have held their own people hostage while provoking another senseless war with Israel. [FULL TEXT]

Strategy put own people in line of fire

A ceasefire seems to be holding in Gaza after a month of hostilities that killed and wounded 10,000 Palestinians – while fewer than 100 Israelis were killed and injured – in the wake of another monumental Arab military failure. [FULL TEXT]

Her niece one plane ahead of fatal flight

Hedy Wuelling, who runs the Jacksonville Animal Shelter, follows the news of the downed Malaysian airliner on Dutch websites because she's from Holland. [FULL TEXT]


VA isn't the only problem

It's never a good time to visit a government office, where they're usually understaffed and busy. You might stand in line for 20 minutes at the post office, but you can always come back later — unlike thousands of sick veterans who sit for hours waiting for medical attention at VA hospitals. [FULL TEXT]


New records from Thelonious Monk, Rosanne Cash

Alfred Lion, a refugee from Nazi Germany, founded Blue Note Records in New York on Jan. 6, 1939, when he recorded the boogie-woogie pianists Albert Ammons and Meade (Lux) Lewis after hearing them at the historic "From Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall in New York the month before. [FULL TEXT]


Young girl asks Santa for a very special gift

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]


For Cash, debut in the Rock

Rosanne Cash made her Little Rock debut at a soldout show Nov. 23 at South on Main Restaurant, which is bringing world-class performers to the southern end of downtown in the space where Juanita's used to be. [FULL TEXT]





Photos Available

HERE









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December 31, 2014



The Leader wishes you and yours a Happy New Year and best wishes for the coming year. Pictured above is The Leader's day staff. From left are plant manager Gene Johnson, sports editor Ray Benton, writer Sarah Campbell, general manager John Henderson, office manager Tosha Churches, accounts receivable clerk Thomas Alvis, Jacob Paddock, Haley Paddock, publisher Garrick Feldman and managing editor Eileen Feldman (both in front row), writer/photographer Jeffrey Smith, graphic artist Lisa Tigue, creative editor Christy Hendricks, publications manager Matt Robinson, graphic artist Clay Knupp, sports writer Graham Powell, ad rep. Susan Swift and photographer David Scolli.


Top 10 news stories of the year

IN SHORT: In 2014, The Leader published 104 issues containing more than 1,000 pages of news with stories that ranged from the ordinary to the extraordinary. These 10 topics, presented here in no particular order, are highlights of the most important news of the year as determined by the newspaper staff. [FULL TEXT]


Staying sober if you are driving

IN SHORT: Safety tips for people drinking at New Year's celebration tonight. [FULL TEXT]

Area officials hope for stellar new year

IN SHORT: They want projects completed and to get on a sensible diet. [FULL TEXT]



Cabot senior Jake Ferguson goes up for a layup in the waning moments of the Panthers' win over eStem on Saturday.

Cabot pulls away from eStem

IN SHORT: Panthers' 9-0 run late in fourth quarter seals win over the Mets. [FULL TEXT]


Badgers survive against SH ladies

IN SHORT: Beebe scores the game's last seven points to beat Lady Bears on Saturday. [FULL TEXT]


Lady Mets too much for Carlisle

IN SHORT: Defending state champs prevail, but not without a fight from Bison. [FULL TEXT]

Jackrabbits win after early lull

IN SHORT: Hazen jumps out to quick lead before Lonoke makes comeback. [FULL TEXT]



A memorial at the Lonoke County Courthouse honors William Waggoner, who was a longtime judge and a veteran of the First World War.


Letter from the front

IN SHORT: A young soldier from Lonoke County, who became a judge and prosecutor, fought in World War. [FULL TEXT]

Rebirth of Jacksonville's heart

IN SHORT: An effort is underway to return the city's original train station. [FULL TEXT]

 


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