get big break

Although the Jacksonville and Sherwood wet-dry campaigns did not get enough signatures to get their initiative on the ballot this spring, they got a boost last week in the legislature, which passed a bill that requires signatures from far fewer registered voters to put the measure before voters.

Re-homing harms kids

We had heard about "re-homing" children, mainly from a Reuters investigation two years ago about Americans who adopted children from overseas and then used the Internet to dump them, sometimes to predators, when the kids proved to be troublesome. But we were shocked to learn that trafficking in vulnerable children happens right here in Arkansas, apparently legally, with the tragic results you would expect.

More funds for air base

"Sequestration is the dark cloud up ahead, and it could affect us in readiness," Col. Patrick Rhatigan, commander of the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, recently told The Leader.

How to sue legislators

State legislators continue to violate the recently passed ethics amendment that prohibits lobbyists from offering free meals and booze to lawmakers.

Arkansas ain't ready
for reform

Paddy Bauler, who represented Chicago's 43rd Ward for 35 years, must be the patron saint of Arkansas legislators. [FULL TEXT]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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]

Photos Available


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March 11, 2015

New colonel at Air National Guard
Chris Montanaro, 189th Maintenance Group commander, is helped by his daughters, Rachel and Ashley, with his new rank during his promotion to colonel at Little Rock Air Force Base on Saturday. Lt. Col. Patty Clements passed command of the 189th Force Support Squadron to Lt. Col. David Allen, who will lead the wing's human resources. Clements moves on as the deputy commander of the Mission Support Group. Lt. Col. Tom Parker took over the 189th Airlift Wing's 154th Training Squadron from Lt. Col. Don Clark, who took command of the Mission Support Group from Col. Tamhra Hutchins-Frye. She is moving on as the Arkansas National Guard's chief of the joint staff under new Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Berry.
under new Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Berry.

Hill warns on cuts at air base

IN SHORT: Congressman tours LRAFB and says military needs more flexibility on sequestration. [FULL TEXT]

Saboteur: 'I'm guilty'

IN SHORT: Jason Woodring, 38, of Jacksonville pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges related to attacks on the central Arkansas power grid between August and October 2013, according to the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock. [FULL TEXT]

Longer school days in Beebe

IN SHORT: Classes to start 15 minutes earlier and end 45 minutes later. [FULL TEXT]

Jacksonville's Devin Campbell dunks in the face of Forrest City's Montee Randle during the first-round victory.

Red Devils stung by Hornets

IN SHORT: Maumelle gets a steal and a layup in waning seconds to knock Jacksonville out of state tournament. [FULL TEXT]

Har-Ber shocks Cabot at state

IN SHORT: Lady Panthers upset by host school in first round of state playoffs. [FULL TEXT]

VV Blazers too big, physical for Beebe

IN SHORT: Both teams very different from when Badgers won in December. [FULL TEXT]

Lady Bears fall in first round play

IN SHORT: Batesville takes the win, ending Sylvan Hills' season in state tournament. [FULL TEXT]

Grizzlies bury Panthers early in first round

IN SHORT: Fort Smith Northside scores game's first 16 points. [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]