Report cards a mixed bag

In the state's efforts to give parents a simple way of seeing how their schools are doing, it has created an often contradictory, hard-to-understand report card that doesn't show how the state decided on the grade for each school.

Wood and his faculty

Former Arkansas education commissioner Tony Wood is now, or will be once the contracts are signed, the first official Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District superintendent, succeeding the interim superintendent, Bobby Lester, who'll keep the job through June.

Why districts
look to Cabot

The Van Buren School Board voted unanimously last week to hire Cabot School District deputy superintendent Harold Jeffcoat as the new superintendent of the historic community in western Arkansas.

PACE helps small firms

Local businesses have a friend in Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde.
Hyde is seeking support of area mayors and the quorum court for an initiative to help businesses finance upgrades in their electrical and water systems, which will save companies money and improve the environment.

Mother recalls
end of horror

My 89-year-old mother spoke on Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday at the assisted-living facility in Florida where she lives. She spoke for 10 minutes about the horrors of the concentration camps, as did another survivor, a man who is a couple of years older than my mother.

Son of Delta:
Be a winner

Lloyd E. Shefsky is a retired international lawyer and entrepreneur who was born in Arkansas, raised in Chicago and is now semi-retired in Florida. He's still lecturing, consulting and writing books about living the American Dream through hard work, personal vision and playing by the rules.

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]

Photos Available


For complete coverage of local news from North Pulaski, Lonoke and White counties subscribe today for only $18.

April 22, 2015

True colors
Courtney Smith, a Beebe High School student, gets covered with brightly colored powder at Beebe City Hall on Saturday during the Beebe Kiwanis Club's Painted Path Fun Run 5K. Runners were blasted by powdered colors at five locations during the race. The event had 64 participants and raised $4,000 for the civic club's scholarship fund to help local students who are heading to college. See more photos on page 5A of Wednesday's edition of The Leader.

Report cards: Charters top area schools

IN SHORT: Jacksonville, Sherwood charter schools among the best in state. [FULL TEXT]

Sherwood sees millage benefit

IN SHORT: City to vote on proposed 5.6-mill hike as it pushes own district. [FULL TEXT]

Ex-cop, school janitor arrested

IN SHORT: A former Jacksonville police officer and a Cabot School District janitor, who is also the chief organizer of Cabot Christmas for Kids, were arrested Tuesday for selling narcotics, according to the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office. [FULL TEXT]

Lonoke homecoming for attorney general

IN SHORT: It was a sort of homecoming for state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Tuesday as she made a stop at the Lonoke County Courthouse to mark Crime Victims Rights Week. [FULL TEXT]

Cabot's Blake McCutchen went 2 for 3 at the plate in last week's game one against Jonesboro.

Panthers walk past Devils

IN SHORT: Cabot gets just one hit, but several walks in win over rival Jacksonville; beats Parkview Monday. [FULL TEXT]

Diamond Rabbits beat CAC, Newport

IN SHORT: Jackrabbits rebound from only loss with two conference victories, prepare for district tourney. [FULL TEXT]

JHS outlasts Badgers

IN SHORT: Penalty kicks lead to Devils' Central soccer win. [FULL TEXT]

Bears preserve win with double play

IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills stymies Central rally with oddity in seventh. [FULL TEXT]

Kids should play Legion summer ball

IN SHORT: Summer baseball is almost here, and with that renews the controversy over whether kids, especially older ones, should play localized team baseball or join traveling leagues or prospect camps. The debate usually centers on creating opportunities to be noticed by college coaches and professional scouts. Since The Leader doesn't cover, in much detail, ages below high school, this space will address the debate as it pertains to American Legion vs. prospect/elite clubs. [FULL TEXT]

Justin Matthews Sr. was a visionary who developed Park Hill in North Little Rock and much of Sylvan Hills, which later formed the city of Sherwood. Among his projects there were the Roundtop Filling Station and The Greens at North Hills golf course.

Tycoon who built Sherwood

IN SHORT: Justin Matthews saw the future growth of the area long before anyone else. [FULL TEXT]


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]