Editorials


Districts
free at last

The state Board of Education announced this week that it will release the Pulaski County Special School District from state supervision after five roller-coaster years. Patrons in PCSSD, including Sherwood, will elect their own school board later this year in hopes of rebuilding the district's depleted resources following the departure of Jacksonville and much of north Pulaski County, where residents recently passed a millage increase that will pay for new schools and other improvements. [FULL TEXT]

Welcome,
Judge Bailey

Judge Rita Bailey was elected last week to preside over the newly formed Jacksonville-Maumelle District Court. Having easily defeated Democratic state Sen. David Johnson from Little Rock, she will take over in January from Judge Robert Batton, who is retiring after almost 40 years on the bench. [FULL TEXT]

 

Coroner's race
is complicated

The Lonoke County coroner's race last week taught a civics lesson to even the savviest residents and political observers. [FULL TEXT]


Asa wins primary

On the day after Arkansas' historically early party primaries and election, Gov. Hutchinson sort of claimed victory. Although his name was not on the ballot, he said the election---at least the Republican segment of it---was indeed a referendum on Asa Hutchinson. He had performed the rare expedient of openly endorsing seven candidates for the legislature in his own party's primary, which we do not recall having happened in modern times. He bragged that five of them won, including state Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) and Sen. Jane English (R-North Little Rock). [FULL TEXT]



Another
Grammy
for Tony

Tony Bennett recently won another Grammy award --- his 18th --- in the best traditional pop vocal category for "The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern" (RPM Records/Columbia). The octogenarian Bennett (he'll be 90 in August) is accompanied by the brilliant jazz pianists Bill Charlap and his wife, Rene Rosnes, who is the second pianist on "The Song Is You" and "Look for the Silver Lining." [FULL TEXT]


Man who stood up
to Castro

Eduardo Diaz was assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base in 1966 and has lived in Cabot most of the time since he left the Air Force in 1970. [FULL TEXT]

Millage hike

is needed

Jacksonville residents are fortunate that U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr., a brilliant jurist, is overseeing their move toward independence from the Pulaski County Special School District after decades of turmoil. [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]

 

Apocalypse
in an age of
daily terror

It didn't take long for another ISIS sympathizer to infiltrate the U.S. by way of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and an online engagement arranged in terrorist heaven.
[FULL TEXT]

House returns $500
oil contribution

His loyalty is to Mayflower and not to ExxonMobil, legislator says.
[FULL TEXT]


Planting of tree
is symbol of hope

President Clinton on Friday helped dedicate a small sapling taken from the chestnut tree outside Anne Frank's window in Amsterdam and now planted in 11 cities in the U.S.
[FULL TEXT]


Base always on missions, target same

Commander says LRAFB a role model for others to emulate.
[FULL TEXT]

Next 60 years at LRAFB

Investment in runway proves base national asset, Brown says.
[FULL TEXT]

Colonel: Guards will get medals

Ceremony next week for airmen whose quick action prevented a potential massacre.
[FULL TEXT]

Deja vu: Refugees
from '50s to today

The scenes of Syrian refugees stranded last week at the two main train stations in Budapest brought back memories of the Hungarian revolution in 1956, when my family took a train from Budapest to the Austrian border in December ahead of the Soviet army that had crushed the uprising.
[FULL TEXT]

Lucille: mystery woman
solved

A marker at the Twist Plantation in Cross County commemorates a fire that broke out during a fight at a dance hall where B.B. King was playing with his band.
[FULL TEXT]

Musicians who made
stars shine

Legacy/Sony Entertain-ment has issued "Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City," a two-CD compilation to coincide with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's exhibition celebrating the music of several gifted studio musicians who backed not only Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash but many other stars who helped create the Nashville sound in the 1960s and beyond.
[FULL TEXT]


Lehoczky: A class act and witness to history

Istvan (Steve) Bela Lehoczky, the patriarch of the Hungarian-American community in Little Rock, passed away July 10 at the age of 82.
[FULL TEXT]

 

Pardons by Beebe
not as bad as Huck's

(This Nov. 15, 2014, political column won first place in the Arkansas Press Association's Better Newspaper contest for large weeklies.)
Gov. Mike Beebe has had a good record on pardons until this week, much better than Gov. Mike Huckabee, his predecessor.
[FULL TEXT]

 

The last time
King of Blues
sang at home

B.B. King, who passed away in his sleep in his Las Vegas home Thursday night at the age of 89, had been frail for years. Yet he kept performing until last fall, always willing to meet his fans and pose for pictures and sign autographs.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

 

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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.
[FULL TEXT]

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

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March 12, 2016



Beebe High School musical next week
"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" will be performed at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at Beebe High School. See Saturday's edition of The Leader for the full story.


Fresh start in Jacksonville, PCSSD

IN SHORT: Districts headed off on their own after state releases county schools from supervision.
[FULL TEXT]

Storms drench, do little damage

IN SHORT: Area roads closed, schools delayed, but crashes were few. [FULL TEXT]

Leader sweeps awards

IN SHORT: Newspaper is once again honored for excellence in advertising. [FULL TEXT]

Early voting is underway

IN SHORT: Early voting for three runoffs in Lonoke County begins Tuesday. The polls will be open through next Saturday and Monday, March 21. [FULL TEXT]


Cabot Panthers Jalen Brown, from left, Garrett Rowe, Bobby Joe Duncan, Matt Stanley and Jarrod Barnes celebrate at the buzzer of Cabot's 7A championship win over Bentonville Friday night.

 

Panthers upset Tigers 59-49 for first title

IN SHORT: Huge fourth quarter gives Cabot crown. [FULL TEXT]


Lady Bears win final two at own tournament

IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills defeats Maumelle and conference rival Beebe in Sherwood tournament.
[FULL TEXT]


Jacksonville loses big to Greenbrier

IN SHORT: Early walks lead to Red Devils' second tournament loss. [FULL TEXT]






Exceptional airman wins AF honor

IN SHORT: Tech. Sgt. Eric Sims recognized for outstanding maintenance. [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]