Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Death of Free Speech

How can it be? You have probably heard the incredible news about the arrest of peace activist Cindy Sheehan in the United States Capitol. The offense for which she was taken off in handcuffs is a few words written on a t-shirt.

Once upon a time, President Bush's father called that site "the front porch of freedom." Today, it is the front porch of a tyranny so arrogant and smug that it does not tolerate any idea apart from the insulated views of a failed presidency.

In case you forgot, here is the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

But now one is no longer allowed to speak, even in the most muted tones, or oppose policies of the administration?

Sheehan was armed. Her weapon was more powerful than a gun or explosives. She had an idea, a thought, an opinion.

None of us are safe any more.

National Signing Day

A guy named Rey Pygsterio posted some of my comments about Damian Willians and Mitch Mustain in yesterday's newsletter on "The Hill," one of Arkansas' best internet discussion boards. Of course, it drew reactions.

I have been humbled. I was wrong. I am honestly a Hog fan and I wish all Razorback players and coaches every success. This will obviously be a wonderful recruiting season and HDN now has every needed weapon to improve this team.

I do, however, have a question. When do the excuses stop? Next year? 2007? 2008?

When exactly should I, as a fair-minded and patient Razorback fan, expect to see some improvement???

Your responses would be welcome. I understand that everybody else knows much more than me, so please lay it out so a dumbass like me can get it. When will this team get any better?

Early Tuesday

Damian Williams, the wide receiver from Springdale who has previously committed to Florida, will attend the hopelessly mediocre second tier University of Arkansas instead.

According to today’s Democrat-Gazette, Eleazar Paula Mendez of De Queen claims that her three children interrupted her as she tried to commit suicide Friday so they could tell their mother that they wanted to die with her, according to her sometimes-tearful confessions to investigators. Mendez has bee charged with three counts of capital murder in their suffocation deaths.

A Fayetteville woman pocketed $8,000 selling fake international driver's permits to illegal or undocumented workers, according to Springdale police. Florencia Franqui is charged with theft by deception, a felony.

A state lawmaker, Republican Rep. Mark Martin of Prairie Grove, asked fellow legislators Monday whether the state could manage with a part-timer as Attorney General Mike Beebe's chief of staff. Ruth Whitney, is working part-time on his election campaign.

A Washington County justice of the peace filed an ethics complaint alleging state Sen. Jim Holt accepted an airplane right to a Republican dinner without reporting the expense. Holt, a Republican, is running for lieutenant governor.

Petitions for the initiative to raise the minimum wage will hit the streets any day and supporters anticipate collecting around 120,000 signatures by July 1, according to Rev. Steve Copley of North Little Rock who leads the coalition seeking passage. He made those comments in an interview with Pat Lynch on WAI Radio.

A federal jury begins deliberating today on whether two state troopers and a Phillips County sheriff’s deputy violated the rights of 14 people by seizing their trucks 8 years ago despite never filing criminal charges.

Heifer International’s new offices are now open for about 200 employees in downtown Little Rock.

By Memorial Day weekend, Mississippi drivers will risk a ticket if they or some of their passengers are not wearing their seatbelts. Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday he will sign into law a bill making failure to wear a seatbelt a primary offense. A law enforcement officer could pull over a vehicle simply if he thinks the driver, a front-seat passenger or any child under age 8 anywhere in the vehicle is not buckled in.

The Forrest City Chamber of Commerce is considering a revival of Harvest Fest.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday Already

A De Queen mother suffocated her three young children before trying to kill herself Saturday morning, she told police. Paula Eleazar Mendez is being treated for ingesting what police believe was insecticide.

Burn bans in both Washington and Benton County were lifted over the weekend after the rain came.

The board of governors of the St. Francis County Hospital System and quorum court have approved a pair of measures authorizing the execution of a lease between the county and Community Health Systems. The transaction must be completed by February 28, when Baptist Memorial Health System will terminate operation of the Forrest City hospital.

A Johnson County jury on Friday night convicted Lloyd Lee Holt of negligent homicide and second-degree false imprisonment in the November 2003 death of his 10-year-old daughter. The jury recommended a sentence of a year in jail and fines.

More than 200 people gathered at the state Capitol on Sunday in support of a Searcy County couple that has been pressing the state to re-investigate the Sept. 9, 1989, death of their teenage daughter, Janie Ward. Her father, Ron, has given several exclusive interviews to Pat Lynch and can be heard in the WAI Radio.com archives. Mike Masterson has written over 90 columns in the Democrat-Gazette on this matter.

The Democrat-Gazette reports that Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey is seeking North Little Rock’s cooperation to help sell his plan to ban tobacco smoking in bars, restaurants and most workplaces. Most North Little Rock aldermen, however, said last week that they wouldn’t favor telling restaurant owners what to do.

No one was injured when a set of tires from an 18-wheeler eastbound on Interstate 40 flew into Conway’s Outback Steak House Friday night.

Roby Brock, in his business report in the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas has kudos for a pair of Arkansas companies. Arkansas Best Corp., the Fort Smith-based trucking operator, increased its profits by nearly 24 percent over the last quarter of 2004 and 38.5 percent for all of 2005. Acxiom Corp. announced its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2006, which ended Dec. 31. The embattled database giant set new quarterly records for revenue, earnings, and cash flow.

The Jonesboro Sun has a story about the newest way to violate our privacy rights. In the future, drug detection may be as easy as taking a swipe of someone's sweat, according to an associate professor at Arkansas State University. Robyn Hannigan and her company, Hyphenated Solutions Inc., have begun pursuing Federal Drug Administration tests to approve just such a technique.

Dyess townfolks are making plans to celebrate the life of Johnny Cash, who was born there.

St. Francis and Lee counties will be known by another name, at least for tourism purposes, after a new brand name for the area is introduced. The area will be promoted as "The Gladlands Region of Eastern Arkansas." The logo will include the slogan, "Down home fun in the Delta sun."

Icing for Ann Coulter's Cake

Yes, threatening somebody is serious business, even when you do it in an "entertaining setting. Here is one from this mornihttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifng's New York Daily News that seems relevant.

Mind you, I do not approve of these anti-speech laws, but they are the law. It is certainly immoral to delight in a potential murder, which is what Coulter did in LR last week.

There is more further down this blog.

Police taking Stern fanatics Sirius-ly


After Howard Stern kicked his butt on the air, Steppin' Out editor Chaunce Hayden (below) got offers from Stern fans to do it for real.

Be careful if you criticize Howard Stern.

Steppin' Out mag editor Chaunce Hayden has learned that you might get death threats.

Now the Bergen County (N.J.) district attorney and Computer Crime Unit are investigating Stern acolytes who threatened Hayden with fatal violence on an online fan site after he took part in Neil Cavuto's Fox News Channel show last Monday and slammed the Sirius Satellite Radio jock.

Hayden was responding to reports that the subscription radio network plans to censor the potty-mouthed personality. "Howard spent a year marketing Sirius as uncensored radio," Hayden declared. "There is something so unethical about this that it is making me sick."

The next day, Stern slammed Hayden, once a frequent guest on his K-Rock show, and berated Cavuto for having him on.

Then the enraged fans weighed in. A typical comment posted on the Stern Fan Network: "I pray that Chaunce gets killed in a horrible and painful way very soon. ... die ya scat lovin' [homophobic epithet]."

Another Stern fan vowed to "jump the curb with my SUV and squash him like a bug."

Bergen County Detective Sgt. Andrew Donofrio told me: "We're not trying to stifle anybody's free speech, but it's against the law to threaten a man's life or threaten him with bodily harm. It's serious, and it's not something that can be tolerated."

Donofrio added that no arrests have been made, but said the New Jersey criminal code classifies a "­terroristic threat" as a third-degree offense, the equivalent of a felony.

Hayden told me: "It's totally frightening. For a lot of these people, Howard is a religion, and it only takes one person who's the real deal."

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Past Haunted Nona Dirksmeyer

The Democrat-Gazette has a major story on murdered beauty queen, Nona Dirksmeyer. Not much about the investigation, but it is a good backgrounder.

An arrest is expected soon and there are more than one theory as to "who done it."

There is a rumor about the results of a lie detector test supposedly administered to the chief suspect. Be suspicious. Polygraph results are not admissible at trial. The innocent have every reason to be frightened under police interrogation. This may mean that prosecutors have a lousy fact case.

Prosecute Ann Coulter?

A listener sent me a letter directed to the local FBI office. It's an outstanding piece of work, even though I disagree with both the intent of the writer and the statute cited.

I have deliberately removed the name of the writer, but this was not sent anonymously.

It would be my opinion that the federal authorities are now duty bound to investigate. I sure hope somebody has increased security for Justice Stevens because some real nutcase might have gotten a bad idea from Coulter's childish attempt at humor.

My analysis of her speech at Filander Smith is down the blog a few entries. See what you think and post a response.

Here is the letter.

Special Agent William C. Temple,
Federal Bureau of Investigation,
Little Rock Field Office
(501) 221-9100
24 Shackleford West Blvd
Little Rock, AR 72211
Special Agent Temple,

I am writing to notify you of a troubling act that was committed in your district on or about Friday, January 27, 2006 at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, AR. While speaking to an assembled group, Ann Coulter willfully advocated the assassination of a federal official of the United States. Her exact quote was "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee", thus threatening the health and welfare of a lawfully appointed sitting Supreme Court Justice.

As you are well aware, advocating the assassination of a federal official is a direct violation of United States Code Title 18, Chapter 115, Section 2385, "Advocating overthrow of Government", which states in part:

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of
overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government;...

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than
twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

As a patriotic citizen concerned for the welfare and safety of my country, I cannot idly stand by and let people advocate the unlawful overthrow of our government. I'm sure that you feel the exact same way. I also have concerns that this encouragement, while then covered up as "a joke", is neither a joke to Justice Stevens nor his family, and this comment has caused them duress. Additionally I fear that some unbalanced or deranged individual will take this as encouragement to follow through with Ms. Coulter's assassination order. History has taught us the possibility of this happening is quite real.

Please review this matter promptly and take whatever actions appropriate to resolve this matter quickly.

So, what do you say?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Some folks in need

I was checking the state papers and found a story in the Pine Bluff Commercial about hurricane evacuees. Time is running out for these folks and they are having real troubles. Thank goodness for groups like Catholic Charities.

Any one of us could end up on hard times tomorrow.

Weekends are a perfect time to check out the WAI "on demand" archives. You can listen on your computer or you can download individual hours as an mp3 file. Yes, it's free.

President Bush's Wednesday morning press conference covers a lot of ground and the Blanche Lincoln Thursday briefing discusses her opposition to the Alito nomination. Mark Pryor had a press conference we carried on Wednesday. There is an insightful interview with State Senator Shane Broadway.

Thanks to Camie Boggess, who chairs the local organizers for the women's SEC tournament coming to Altell. Great interview! You can hear it in the WAI Radio.com archives and there is more info on the official tournament web site.

The WAI Radio.com archives have great commentary and interviews going back to July.

Friday, January 27, 2006

What to do about Ann ...

Just in case you missed this morning's story about Ann Coulter's speech at Philander Smith College, here is the quote of the day, torn from the pages of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice [John Paul] Stevens' creme brulee," she said, quickly offering a disclaimer. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."

A few thoughts.

1, Let's let's not punish Ms. Coulter for being a hateful idiot. Even hate speech is protected and a cherished right of all Americans. No need to call the Secret Service.

2. Philander Smith College is to be congratulated for presenting such a stimulating program for the entire community. This is the correct role of a college. Well done.

3. Harding University should have allowed Coulter despite her un-Christian attitudes. Either you are a University or a tire shop. Which is it, Harding U?

4. Because Coulter is tall, blonde and attractive, she feels a sense of entitlement which permits her to attack those she considers inferior to her own perfection.

5. It was a joke. Jokes are protected free speech, although they can open up a window into the soul of the one telling it.

6. A death by ingesting rat poison is so terribly painful and frightening, it is difficult to imagine how any sane person would find it entertaining.

7. Coulter classifies supposed liberals in the same way Nazis considered Jews, Catholics, Gypsies, and handicapped people. They are not worthy of consideration as human beings.

8. Somewhere in Holy Writ, and I am by no means a Bible scholar, it says that to hate someone is the same thing as murdering them. Thoughts are the same as actions if not controlled.

9. A Christian would not be allowed to pass an individual judgment on Ann Coulter, even though her "joke," and most of her routine is loaded with hatred, but we are commanded to judge an immoral deed. It may be that she has already repented, if such was necessary. Only God knows the human heart.

10. Ann Coulter needs our prayers and we need to be careful not to fall into the same trap of dismissing those we consider to be lesser people.

Rev. Steve Copley, of First United Methodist Church in North Little Rock, is leading a religious coalition to raise the minimum wage. He will be on Pat Classic Monday morning at 9.

Also coming up next week will be the AARP reaction to problems with the new Medicare drug benefit program.

Calls are out to the Mike Beebe and Bill Halter camps. Get ready for blockbuster interviews coming soon to WAI Radio.com! Don't mean to brag, but I have been doing the Arkansas political scene since 1983. Nobody does it better.

Have you heard about how a southwest Little Rock landfill operator infiltrated a local neighborhood organization? Karl Rove would be proud of such underhanded dealings which have been reported in Jim Lynch's newsletter and in the Arkansas Times Blog. Jim Lynch will have more on this one when he stops by Thursday morning.

My column in Monday's Democrat-Gazette will provide some insight into how Arkansas' senators will vote on Judge Alito. Read it on the Voices page in the Arkansas section.

Justice for Jaime

The Parents of Janie Ward will stand on the steps of the state capitol Sunday afternoon and, as in 1991, plead for justice in the death of their daughter 16 long years ago. Mike Masterson has written 90 columns about this story and it is a travesty of justice.

The investigation into the 1989 death of 16 year old Janie Ward has been messed up at every turn, including the present do-nothing special prosecutor.

The Wards will be at the capitol Sunday afternoon at 1:30. Join them for a few minutes and turn the heat up on a case that is crying out for justice.

It's Friday!

The Stephens Media Group reports on the travels of Governor Mike Huckabee, who departed on a surprise visit to Iraq on Sunday, left Kuwait on Thursday and flew to Pakistan, where he visited U.S. troops and toured the devastation from the October earthquake that killed more than 80,000 people. The damage near the epicenter was impossible to describe, he said.

A former Razorback basketball star who was part of the Hogs’ Final Four team in 1990 will be spending a year in prison for fleeing from police at more than 100 mph. Ron Lee Huery, 38, of Fayetteville pleaded guilty to felony fleeing by a vehicle in Crawford County Circuit Court.

Little Rock has recorded homicide number 8 for the new year.

Pulaski County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 26-year-old man on a manslaughter charge after they said he was found intoxicated and asleep in a recliner on top of a 3-month-old child who died. According to the Democrat-Gazette, Chris Johnson, was arrested at in northern Pulaski County after deputies were sent to the mobile home to investigate a report of a child who was discovered not breathing.

The Russellville Courier reports that the trial of Larry Lee Holt, accused of contributing to his daughter’s 2003 fire-related death by chaining her to a bed, is scheduled to begin in Johnson County Circuit Court in Clarksville.

The wife of professional golfer John Daly has reported to federal prison to begin serving a five-month sentence for money laundering in a case also involving her parents.The Arkansas Times blog has an item about the Golf Channel’s new reality show which follows the life of John Daily.

Jonesboro Mayor Doug Formon expects a 1-cent city sales tax proposal to go before the Jonesboro City Council in a couple of weeks for the construction of a proposed convention center, which would be located adjacent to a John Q. Hammons Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Fair Park Boulevard at Race Street.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is urging Congress to close a regulatory provision that lets companies own a certain breed of banks, including a bank Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants to operate in Utah.

From the Democrat-Gazette. Whatever breached security at Pine Bluff Arsenal late Tuesday night wasn’t human, officials said Thursday.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thursday Regional Items

Three West Memphis police officers whose reckless homicide charges were ordered set aside by a judge still may not be in the clear. The Tennessee Attorney General's Office in Nashville will appeal the ruling by Criminal Court Judge W. Fred Axley, which said state prosecutors did not properly consider all the relevant legal factors when they denied pre-trial diversion for the officers.

Gov. Mike Huckabee tells the Democrat-Gazette that his surprise visit to Iraq has quieted his concerns over how long U.S. forces will be required in the country, that a lengthy stay remains in store and that putting a deadline on withdrawal would be “a huge, and frankly, costly mistake.

Three individuals are at large after breaching security at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, where chemical weapons are stored.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Halter is complaining about the Beebe camp’s videotaping of his speeches calling it a Carl Rove-like tactic. Also, Halter will be wed this weekend in California.

Faulkner County Sheriff Marty Montgomery says he will pursue legal action against Justice of the Peace Catherin Blankenship over what he called malicious and slanderous comments over concerns about his department’s spending practices. During the same Quorum Court meeting, justices voted to reduce the sheriff department budget to a quarterly appropriation.

A showdown is brewing over a local anti-smoking law after Alligator Ray’s in Fayetteville has begun calling itself a bar. Restaurants must be smoke free, bars are exempt.

The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed the drunken-driving conviction of a Washington County man who turned on his car's engine using a remote device. By statute, the keys must be in the ignition.

The pedestrian and bicycle bridge under construction atop Murray Lock and Dam won an additional $796,000 Wednesday that Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines said the project needs to fulfill its financial commitments. Several hundred beds in the Pulaski County jail remain closed.

Pulaski County topped $1 billion in residential sales, a 14 percent increase over 2004,

School districts across Arkansas are preparing to submit a 10-year facilities master plan by Feb. 1 that includes an outline of specific needs for the next 10-year period.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Shut Up or I'll Sue You

Lawsuits designed to curtail public discussion are, thankfully, a rare thing, but today there are two "slap" suits worth note.

The first comes from Faulkner County where the finances of the Sheriff's Office have been a disaster for some time. A Special Prosecutor investigated and, though no charges were filed, he did find irregularities. Then there was a state audit. I blogged about that here. Late in the year, for whatever reason, the Sheriff ran out of money despite a supplemental appropriation.

So, what more could go wrong?

According to the Log Cabin Democrat, Faulkner County Sheriff Marty Montgomery is threatening to sue Justice of the Peace Catherin Blankenship for slander. Yep, Montgomery is a public person and thus, presumably, unable to file such charges without some proof of what is called "malice."

He told Blankenship she needs to get an attorney and that he will be pursuing legal action against her as an individual and in her capacity as JP.

"It's ending tonight," he said, speaking of allegations being made against his department. "I've been very patient and kind."

Blankenship first brought concerns about expenditures in the sheriff's office to the Finance and Administration Committee in November 2004.

So, lawyers, what the heck is "malice" anyway?

Montgomery is represented by a Hot Springs attorney named Ralph Ohm.

Blankenship is running for County Judge and that makes one wonder what could possibly be wrong with raising questions about how taxpayer money is spent?

Meanwhile in Memphis, The Commercial Appeal has the story of a rich land developer who can't take the heat. He's all worked up over, of all things, a letter to the editor opposing a development in a local neighborhood.

Developer David Halle claims the letter published in the Jan. 11 edition of The Commercial Appeal contained "false and malicious defamatory remarks" about him.

Catherine Noonan-Selden wrote the letter after the Collierville Planning Commission voted 5-4 on Jan. 5 to approve Halle's rezoning request for his proposed 55-lot subdivision just north of Shea Woods subdivision, where Noonan-Selden lives.

Halle's Circuit Court suit, filed Thursday, focuses on two paragraphs in Noonan-Selden's letter which state:

"The part that truly angered me and other residents in attendance was the fact that David Halle (the "winning" developer) was overheard to say, 'They lost before they got here.' Tommy Hart, prominent Collierville businessman and former county commissioner, owns the land in question. Is this why the hearing was a slam dunk?

"Although we may not have the zoning commission in our pockets, we are committed to ensuring that there is not rampant, unchecked development through our neighborhood. The beginning battle of the zoning may have been won, but the war is just brewing."

Is this some sort of trend? It's bad enough that Big Brother listens in on all our phone calls without as much a thread of probable cause and some people are secretly tortured, but now you have to cheerfully accept whatever powerful people smear in your face? I don't think so.

Early Wednesday

Gov. Mike Huckabee is in Iraq visiting with Arkansas troops and meeting with military leaders, Meanwhile, Senator Blanche Lincoln will be getting a White House briefing on military affairs this morning.

A federal appeals panel Tuesday ordered a hearing to determine whether requiring an Arkansas prison inmate to recite a prayer using the word "God" as part of a sex offender program violated his First Amendment rights.

The Springdale School District received about $8.3 million -- almost 10 percent of the money awarded statewide -- for construction of three elementary schools to open in the next two years. The Arkansas Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation Commission granted about $2.75 million for each of the schools.

The Van Buren City Council is committing up to $250,000 for infrastructure improvements to support the location of an as yet unnamed Fortune 500 company in the city, which would employ at least 500 people.

The Jonesboro Sun has a major story about how the local TIF district, which subsidizes real estate developers and the Turtle Creek shopping mall, is squeezing out the city’s ability to purchase police cars and fire trucks.

A Washington County circuit judge will decide how much property tax will go for a multimillion-dollar hotel project that will fill a downtown Fayetteville block.

A prominent Collierville, Tennessee real estate developer has filed a $10 million defamation suit against a woman who wrote a letter to the editor in the Memphis Commercial Appeal opposing his proposed subdivision.

Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Fred Axley denied a district attorney’s appeal Tuesday in granting pre-trial diversions for three West Memphis police officers who had been charged with reckless homicide.

A Russellville day care worker, Charles Wayne Meyers, is being held in the Pope County jail on first degree battery charges in connection with allegations of shaking a five month old baby. An examination at Arkansas Children’s Hospital confirmed the infant had several fractured ribs that appeared to be several weeks old and swelling of the brain.

Tyson Foods Inc. will roll out new lines of so-called natural beef in the United States and across the globe in February, just as concern mounts over cases of mad-cow disease.

Trucking magnate J.B. Hunt is backing a $27 million cold storage and transportation facility in Rogers.

Marines had a big year helping children at Christmastime. Across Arkansas in 2005, the Toys for Tots campaign brought in 190,000 toys.

The Mississippi Legislature is thinking about a feasibility study for a monorail from the Memphis airport to the casinos at Tunica.

Why did American cut Tyler flights?

City says it's being punished; carrier denies Wright stance to blame
12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, January 25, 2006
By ERIC TORBENSON / The Dallas Morning News

It looks like the vacation is over for those of us who closely watch developments surrounding Southwest Airlines push to reverse the long-standing restrictions on Dallas Love Field. There has been a development and it looks like American is being the typical "can't get our way" corporate cry-baby. Figures.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How Many SEC Students ...

A dear (nameless) friend of mine sent this and I think you will also howl with laughter.


At VANDERBILT: it takes two, one to change the bulb and one more to explain how they did it every bit as good as the bulbs changed at Harvard.

At GEORGIA: it takes two, one to change the bulb and one to phone an engineer at Georgia Tech for instructions.

At FLORIDA: it takes four, one to screw in the bulb and three to figure out how to get stoned off the old one.

At ALABAMA: it takes five, one to change it, three to reminisce about how The Bear would have done it, and one to throw the old bulb at an NCAA investigator.

At OLE MISS: it takes six, one to change it, two to mix the drinks and three to find the perfect J. Crew outfit to wear for the occasion.

At LSU: it takes seven, and each one gets credit for five semester hours.

At KENTUCKY: it takes eight, one to screw it in and seven to discuss how much brighter it seems to shine during basketball season.

At TENNESSEE: it takes ten, two to figure out how to screw it in, two to buy an orange lampshade, and six to phone a radio call-in show and talk about how much they hate Alabama.

At MISSISSIPPI STATE: it takes fifteen, one to screw in the bulb, two to buy the Skoal, and twelve to yell, "GO TO HELL, OLE MISS".

At AUBURN: it takes one hundred, one to change it, forty-nine to talk about how they did it better than at Bama, and fifty to get drunk and roll Toomer's Corner when finished.

At SOUTH CAROLINA: it takes 80,000, one to screw it in and 79,999 to discuss how this finally will be the year that they have a decent football team.

At ARKANSAS: None. There is no electricity in Arkansas.

Tuesday Stuff

The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas has this one. Two parents sued the Springdale School District, alleging school officials did not protect their disabled child from bullies.

Attorney General Mike Beebe approved a ballot title and popular name for a proposed constitutional amendment to raise Arkansas’ minimum wage to $6.15 an hour and require that the minimum be adjusted annually to changes in the cost of living.

According to the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, the bailout of a new Medicare prescription drug plan has reached $2.7 million, with pharmacists and seniors statewide still hurting from the program.

The Pine Bluff Commercial reports that Elvin W. Moon, founder and chief executive officer of E.W. Moon Inc. Infrastructure Group, a construction management firm at Los Angeles, is hoping to convince a large group of forward-thinking investors to have a little faith in his hometown — Pine Bluff.

The Russellville Courier has a story about plans to develop nearly 70 acres near I-40 into shopping and restaurants.

Arkansas Baptist College has named Fitz Hill of Little Rock its new president. He is the former head football coach of the San Jose State Spartans and served as assistant head football coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

A Bentonville woman pleaded not guilty Monday to raping a 13-year-old boy and exposing him to the human immunodeficiency virus. Donna Sue Mars was arrested Dec. 18 and is accused of performing oral sex on the boy.

Arkansas State forward Kitus Witherspoon was arrested and taken into custody for disorderly conduct early Sunday morning.

Arkansas Times blog reports that UAMS is going to implode its old dormitory at 9 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. A large area will be blocked off for the controlled explosive demolition, so it's unclear at the moment what viewing spots will be available.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pat Walsh

Mr. Walsh passed away over the weekend and I have been stewing about what to say. Pat Walsh was one of the more important people in Arkansas broadcasting and his office was, for the longest time, right down the hall from the ACLU. He and I talked more than once and he was always polite. The problem with radio is that folks act one way to your face and another behind your back, and I have no idea what he said when my back was turned. It really doesn't matter.

Walsh is part of a dying breed that needs to be remembered and appreciated. Now, I don't happen to think it took the brain of a nuclear physicist to run KAAY back in the heyday of rock and roll. He had a clear channel 50 thousand watt playtoy when there were no FM stations and the baby-boom kids like me were forming the largest youth culture movement in world history. We had the British invasion and big buying power. KAAY was a legend and he had the happy circumstance to be captain of the team.

I never worked for him, so I can only imagine that he had the typical mix of prejudice and childish peevishness that characterized most station managers. LIN Broadcasting was by the standards of its' day a big radio outfit. I imagine it owned 6 AM stations. SIX. Today, Clear Channel has a total fleet of over a thousand.

Radio was more regulated back then and stations cared more about community service and local news. Back in Mobile, I listened to KAAY, Emperor Webber, and the infamous "ear on Arkansas." There is hardly a radio station in any size market that would dare produce such an ambitious weekly program of political satire. They were obviously having some fun.

Pat Walsh was an old fashioned broadcasters. Whether or not he was a fan of mine, I prefer his breed of no good dirty rotten managers to the bunch that seems so prevalent now.

Monday's Mess

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Halter began his campaign over the weekend by, among other things, calling for a statewide lottery to support education.

Arkansas Times blog attended a press conference at which U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said that the federal government will encourage private drug companies to pay the expenses of poor people who have had trouble getting their medicine.

By this summer, 45 more officers should join the ranks of Little Rock’s police force, according to Chief Stuart Thomas.

The Juvenile Intake Office at the St. Francis County Courthouse is back in operation after being closed for more than two months because of financial problems.

According to the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, Alderman Ray Dotson claims a Rotary Club conspiracy is keeping him from a residential development project. Dotson has a contract on 2.25 acres adjacent to Rotary Family Park. The Springdale City Council recently rejected Dotson's request to rezone the acreage from agricultural to multifamily residential.

Eudora Mosby of Little Rock, Miss Conway 2004 and Miss Arkansas 2005, made it to the final 10 in the Miss America Pageant Saturday in Las Vegas.

George Strait set a new Alltel Arena attendance record Saturday night, 18,004.

The Mississippi Legislature is considering several bills that would make it lawful for mothers to nurse in public.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Shop Talk

An Oklahoma City TV station is reporting that the owners of KARN Newsradio 920 in Little Rock, Citadel Communications Corp., are stirring up the Oklahoma City market.

Oklahoma's oldest radio station, WKY AM 930, is changing formats from News and Talk to Spanish. I can tell you now, this one is a boomer. It must be the largest Spanish language signal in the Southwest.

Friday, January 20, 2006

WAI Radio is about to start doing a few new things. One of the voices you will be hearing more frequently is my friend, Grant Merrill. He knows a lot. It's spooky. Stay with us at WAI Radio.com.

Jason Willett, Chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, made some news when he stopped by the WAI Radio studios Thursday morning. Of course, you can hear his interview in the comprehensive FREE "on demand" archives at WAI Radio.com. You can read about it in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, if you have a subscription.

he had some things to say about the Abramoff scandal and state politics. Here is part of what the Democrat-Gazette wrote.

It's become a regular theme for the chairman, who again mentioned $10,000 that the lobbyist paid to the state Republican Party in 2001 and again mentioned that former Arkansas Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson was on a list of "friends of the owner" at a restaurant owned by Abramoff.

Hutchinson's brother, Asa, is the Republican candidate for governor in November. Democrat Mike Beebe, Arkansas attorney general, also is running.

"I just wonder if Tim ever took his brother Asa there for that free meal, too," Willett said on the air.

Willett also got some tough questions on donations to his party from the payday loan industry and Mike Beebe's failure to defend the state constitution limit on interest rates. He was uncomfortable.

Gene Lyons and I are big hound dog fans. Gene has Bassets and we love to talk about our dogs. Alas, sometimes politics and national affairs get in the way. Gene has definite opinions about the Abramoff affair, the Alito hearings, state politics and everything else. You can read Gene Lyons incredible column in the Democrat-Gazette and you can hear the interview in the FREE "on demand" WAI Radio.com arcrhives.

Learn to Teach

Beverly Williams, Assistant Commissioner in the Arkansas Department of Education, was on this morning talking about Saturday's teacher recruitment event at the Embassy Suites in West Little Rock. You can hear it in the WAI FREE "on demand" archives.

The Arkansas Department of Education is sponsoring a Teacher Recruitment event this Saturday. Education Week has ranked our state 4th in the nation in Improving Teacher Quality and our districts are always looking for high quality individuals to fill their teaching vacancies, especially in the areas of math, science, special education and foreign languages. The event is free and open to the public. We want to encourage those considering a career in education to attend and visit with personnel from education preparation programs - colleges, universities, MAT programs and Non-Traditional Licensure. Also, licensed teachers can find out about adding an area of licensure, earning an advanced degree or becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.

For more information go to: www.teacharkansa.org

Friday Frolics

Jason Willett, Chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, hammered Republicans on ethics in an interview with Pat Lynch on WAI. He mentioned $10,000 that lobbyist Jack Abramoff paid to the state Republican Party in 2001 and again stated that former Arkansas Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson was on a list of “friends of the owner” at a restaurant owned by Abramoff. Hutchinson’s brother, Asa, is the Republican candidate for governor in November. Democrat Mike Beebe, Arkansas attorney general, also is running. “I just wonder if Tim ever took his brother Asa there for that free meal, too,” Willett said on the show.

Bill Halter will begin his gubernatorial campaign with a statewide tour tomorrow. Halter will be running against Attorney General Mike Beebe for the Democratic nomination.

Entergy expects to spend $1.5 billion in repairs after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The University of Arkansas System says that Clinton School of Public Service Dean David Pryor is resigning his position effective Feb. 15.

The drought continues as the Conway Corp. board of directors discussed low lake levels at Lake Brewer, the city's water supply. The lake has dropped 13 feet because of the weather. A drop of another 14 feet would put the lake at the minimum pool allowed.

More than 62,000 Arkansans voluntarily signed up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit during the first two months it was offered, bringing the number of Medicare recipients in the state with some form of drug coverage to more than 246,000.

A $4 million renovation is coming to downtown Conway. EM Jeans, a Conway retailer, will put a $1.2 million "fashion forward" building on the empty lot at the corner of Oak and Chestnut Streets. Seayco Group of Bentonville will spend $2.5 million to renovate the Halter Building at Front and Oak Streets to include residential lofts, offices, retail space, with Michelangelo’s Italian restaurant already confirmed as the anchor tenant. It will feature a rooftop dining terrace.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Early Thursday Notes

The Democrat-Gazete is leading with a story that concerns $1.5 million the state will pay helping poor folks who have had trouble with their prescriptions since the Medicare drug benefit went into effect two weeks ago. The feds say the state will have to seek reimbursement from the drug companies, which means that the cost will only be covered in part.

Three West Memphis police officers charged with reckless homicide in a 2004 shooting in North Memphis said Wednesday they hope to return to patrol after a judge ruled they should be placed on diversion.

The Russellville Courier reports that a 61-year-old Pope County man was sentenced Tuesday to serve 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction after a jury found him guilty of engaging in deviant sexual activity with his juvenile daughter and another young girl. Burlie Ray Britton was found guilty of three counts of rape after the jury deliberated for more than two hours.

Police in Russellville are recommending prosecutors there file first-degree murder charges against one individual in connection with the murder of Nona Dirksmeyer. State Police have administered additional polygraph tests, according to a police statement, and they contend that only one suspects still remains. Polygraph tests are not considered sufficiently reliable to be entered into evidence in a criminal trial.

The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas reports that a 37-year-old Fayetteville woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of adult abuse and aggravated assault against a family or household member after police found gasoline-soaked carpet around her children's bedroom and her wheelchair-bound mother without proper care. Joliet Jermanon is scheduled to stand trial March 28.

The United States Supreme Court will hear a property rights case out of Pulaski County involving whether regular or certified mail is enough notice in the case of a seizure for nonpayment of taxes.

In a ceremonial setting before the media and legislative supporters, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour Wednesday evening vetoed legislation that would raise taxes on cigarettes while cutting taxes on groceries. Citing data compiled by his office, Barbour said the measure would cost the state $1.5 billion over the next nine years.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has declared Saturday as Louisiana Recovery Planning Day, a day for Louisiana citizens to talk about rebuilding their communities in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Today will bring a major economic development announcement in Conway. Local officials are tight-lipped.

The Maumelle Monitor carries a report about a rogue deer butchering operation that produced a mound of deer carcasses discovered in some nearby woods.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Those that can teach!

My friend, Kathy Vining DeLone, asked me to pass along this important bit of information from the State Education Department. Note that I am doing an interview Friday morning concerning this. It's important.

The Arkansas Department of Education is sponsoring a Teacher Recruitment event this Saturday. Education Week has ranked our state 4th in the nation in Improving Teacher Quality and our districts are always looking for high quality individuals to fill their teaching vacancies, especially in the areas of math, science, special education and foreign languages. The event is free and open to the public. We want to encourage those considering a career in education to attend and visit with personnel from education preparation programs - colleges, universities, MAT programs and Non-Traditional Licensure. Also, licensed teachers can find out about adding an area of licensure, earning an advanced degree or becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. This Saturday, 9am-2pm at the Embassy Suites in LIttle Rock.


It all started when I saw the Democrat-Gazette sports page coverage of Damian Williams, winner of the Landers Award. Anyway, I thought that Mitch Mustain got too much coverage on the story and I penned off a little note as part of my morning newsletter. Here is what I had to say:

Mitch Mustain must be a very classy young man. He declined to hold up half of the Landers trophy which was presented to Damian Williams. Mustain correctly observed that it was Williams' award. The Democrat-Gazette story was very disrespectful of Williams and never even gets around to quoting him till at least nine paragraphs down. Let us hope that young Damian reads that story and remembers well how screwed up the Arkansas program really is, how the press fawns over losers like Houston Nutt, and that he is set to play for a fine program in Florida. It is young Mr. Mustain that has made the tragic and ill-advised decision to stay close to home and mama. Mitch, enjoy the good pub while you still can. Look how Damian was mistreated and remember, someday that could very easily be YOU. There is still time to reconsider.

Then a guy posted it on "The Hill," which is a big Razorback fan message board. Some of the reactions, EVERY ONE OF THEM ANONYMOUS, were hilarious.

I have never been happier to hear that a radio personality was taken off the air. Pat Lynch was truly painful to listen to - the one-time I actually listened to an entire segment in order to give him a chance.

WOW, he listened ONCE. Now that's a fair-minded man. Nice to know that he has never been happier to see any radio guy get bounced, and after only one show! Now that is what I call MAKING AN IMPACT!

As you can see, I was a big hit on THE HILL. Here are a few more descriptive quotes.

albino Dragonish looking clown

the largest douche bag to EVER put pencil to paper

Pat lynch knows just as much about fitness Equipment and healthy diet

He has the small pecker syndrome

Marshmellow man jealous of athletes wants to do whatever necessary to tear down the program

So long as Houston Nutt is head Coach, I don't need to work very hard tearing the progrma down. Check out the entire thread for a few laughs and let me know your reaction!

UPDATE! Max and the gaqng at the Arkansas Times Blog mentioned my interview with Democratic Party chair Jason Willitt. Damn, wouldn't you know that all the HATERS come out! Where is the love?

Wednesday's Highlights

Dameon Williams of Springdale, the state’s leading high school receiver is the recipient of this year’s Landers Award, which recognizes the best high school player. Williams has wisely committed to Florida and has a bright college experience with a winning program ahead of him, which will doubtless be followed by an outstanding NFL career.

Arkansas Times reports on Governor Huckabee’s trip to address Alabama Republicans in Mobile. He had a few choice words for his political opponents. Huckabee says, "being a Democrat in my state is like being a fire hydrant in a neighborhood full of dogs."

Legislators will begin meeting soon in preparation for a special session to deal with the latest Supreme Court decision on the Lake View case. State Representative Joyce Elliott, who chairs the House Education Committee, says she hope the session is called in March. Elliott was a guest with Pat Lynch on WAI Radio.com.

The economy of Northwest Arkansas and the rest of the state could be hit hard if a battle over water quality in the Illinois River watershed kills poultry farming in the region, says Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe. Today’s Morning News of Northwest Arkansas reports that Beebe spoke to hundreds of farmers in two meetings Tuesday about a lawsuit Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson filed in a federal court in Tulsa in June. "This could affect the viability of the family farm and your way of life here," Beebe told farmers.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson will begin a statewide tour today to lay out his agenda for creating new jobs.

The UPN stations in Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith will pick up NBC’s “The book of Daniel” after local affiliates dropped the Friday night show, which has been the subject of protests from church groups.

Arkansas’ unemployment rate edged down to 4.5 percent in December, the lowest level since the 2001 recession.

In his State of the City message, Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey promised an initiative to ban workplace smoking.

Little Rock’s 2006 Murder Meter now reads 7 homicides so far in the new-year.

A woman serving a 40-year sentence for murder in the Arkansas Department of Correction is accused of using a romantic pen-pal relationship to trick an elderly Florida man into surrendering his life savings to her, her family members and a close friend. Donnietha Bradford, also known as Donnie Bradford, has pleaded innocent to charges of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

'Tis Tuesday

According to Otis Kirk in today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Springdale quarterback, and USA Today Offensive Player of the Year, Mitch Mustain has committed to newly hired offensive coordinator at the University of Arkansas, Gus Malzahn.

Russellville Police Chief James Bacon says all evidence and summary reports in the case of the death of Arkansas Tech University sophomore Nona Dirksmeyer should be ready to be turned in to the prosecuting attorney’s office for review today.

Some parts of Arkansas are feeling the relief from the recent rains. St. Francis County Judge Carl Cisco has lifted the burn ban there, although he says it could go back on soon.

Governor Huckabee is on the presidential trail in Iowa and he says that being a Washington “outsider” would be a plus.

Former Arkansas First Lady, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, dropped a Martin Luther King Day stunner yesterday , according to the New York Daily News- comparing GOP rule of the House of Representatives to a "plantation." Standing alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton, Clinton told a mostly black crowd that "when you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation - and you know what I am talking about."

The only announced Democratic candidate for Governor, Attorney General Mike Beebe, has raised $2.4 million so far.

A consortium of electric utilities, including Entergy, has selected the Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant site at Port Gibson, Mississippi as one of two potential locations for the first nuclear power plant to be built in the United States in decades.

KNWA-TV/KFTA-TV, the NBC Affiliates serving Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith River Valley says they will no longer be airing NBC’s “The Book of Daniel”.

Beginning Friday, many of former President Clinton’s 80 million pages of presidential papers — and 20 million e-mails — become subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act, and library officials expect to stay busy.

From the Forrest City Times Herald, A Forrest City student is one of 300 teens nationally named semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search. Derick McCollum, 16, a student at Forrest City High School, was chosen as a semifinalist for his entry, "Dynamic and Ergodic Properties of the Generalized 3x +1 Mapping." In explaining his entry in layman's terms, McCollum said it had to do with mathematics.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin's Monday

The State Department of Education is taking over operation of two financially distressed districts. Arkansas Education Commissioner Ken James dissolved the school boards of the Eudora School District in the rural southeast corner Arkansas and the Midland School District in Independence County.

Little Rock is in the middle of a crime wave. There have been six homicides reported so far this year (last time we checked).

There may have been rain in some places, but drought conditions continue statewide. Brush fires threatened neighborhoods in Bella Vista near the Missouri border Sunday afternoon. Wildfires in Oklahoma scorched 2700 acres yesterday.

Arkansas’ alcohol distributors and retailers want a Pulaski Circuit judge to remove exemptions to state law that grant privileges to the state’s native wines.

Officials at the Pine Bluff Arsenal say that chemical weapons incineration will be put on hold for several months. Crews at the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility will be replacing piping in its pollution abatement system during coming months in order to enhance the overall efficiency of the system. Two Pine Bluff Arsenal production employees were injured Thursday while reclaiming white phosphorous to be used in new munitions.

Flags at St. Francis County government offices will fly at half-staff for 19 days commemorating each of the 19 years Dave Parkman served as Sheriff. The 79 year old Parkman died of cancer late last week. He had resigned his office in October.

A special census will begin in Fayetteville Match 21 and the results will very likely mean a bigger slice of state revenue. According to the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas the U.S. Census Bureau listed Fayetteville's 2000 population as 58,047; the bureau's current estimate puts Fayetteville at 64,190. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission estimates the city's current population at 70,351.

Atkins is getting five new tornado warning sirens. They were donated by Entergy and are separate from the warning system for Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville.

Things that really matter, like the NFL playoffs!

I am still in mourning over the Patriots, but Bigdaddyo is up early and in another creative high. Here goes.

top ten reasons peyton manning decided to start pointing his finger at his blockers after losing to the pittsburgh steelers:

10) couldn't exactly hold that finger in the air signaling #1!
9) a little triple sec in the gatorade and it's aaall comin' out!
8) everybody who ever played for tennessee is secretly an *sshole!
7) asked himself, "what would terrel owens do?"!
6) still upset about the franchise moving to indiana!
5) wanted to blame edgerin james, but has trouble pronouncing edgerin!
4) what else could he do, admit that choking under pressure runs in the family?!
3) wanted to pick his nose, but took the high road!

was distracted by the ghost of johnny unitas giving him an atomic wedgie!

and the #1 reason peyton manning decided to start pointing his finger at his blockers after losing to the pittsburgh steelers: "was thinking a little controversy would keep him from looking like such a white bread dork!"

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Progress at Paws Park

Little Rock's Parks and Recreation Department has introduced an improvement at the city's dog park which is almost as impressive as a agility course or doggie dunking pool. The newest addition is good seating for human beings and great fun for our pets. Molly loves to climb on it.

But seriously folks, the downed tree is a huge hit with all the human patrons. We know that City Manager Bruce Moore has brought his dog to the park and Brian Day, the assistant city manager, is well informed on Paws Park. So, guys, let's keep at least part of that tree as a permanent fixture! Honest!

Am I crazy?

UPDATE: Marie Molly amd I visited Paws Park yesterday and part of the big tree is still there and is still appreciated by human and canine alike. Very kewl.

Friday, January 13, 2006

There is a good interview with Mark the Magician in the WAI Radio.com archives and, if you are headed to the track this year, it is essential listening. The Oaklawn racing season starts Friday January 20 and there will be many new horses and trainers.

Mark's web site has loads of good info and some picks too. Check it out.

UPDATE: Technical problems with this archived interview have been kept us tied in knots. I aplogize. Mark will be back and ou can go to his web site for some good info.

First-off Friday the 13th.

Attorney General Mike Beebe appeared on ABC TV’s World News Tonight talking about the severe problems with the new Medicare drug benefit. He observed that, if things go on as is, pharmacists will not continue to fill the coverage gaps.

Gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson told the winter meeting of the Municipal League that it should be harder for the legislature to raise the state sales tax. Hutchinson says he favors requiring a super-majority to increase the state sales tax.

The Arkansas Highway Commission has tentatively accepted a $17.4 million bid on the first of four contracts that eventually will result in the construction of Interstate 49 across Fort Chaffee. The contract was among total bids worth $95.7 million that the commission opened on 14 projects.

A Missouri company submitted the apparent low bid to build an interchange at Highway 135 near Tyronza, for $18.5 million which is the last improvement required before U.S. 63 is designated officially as Interstate 555 between Jonesboro and Interstate 55.

Despite snowfall in the past two days, wildfires have started up again in Oklahoma. Much of Arkansas continues under a burn ban and forecasters tell the Dallas Morning News that drought conditions may be here till summer.

A suspected outbreak of avian cholera has killed over a thousand snow geese at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Arkansas.

A convicted sex offender suspected of using his cell phone to photograph a young child using the bathroom in Wal-Mart was arraigned Wednesday in Crawford County Circuit Court. Jimmy Don Chronister of Fort Smith is charged as a habitual offender with a single count of video voyeurism.

The Bono Police Chief is under arrest for alleged sexual misconduct. Rick Duhon is charged with first degree sexual abuse. The alleged victim was a 14 year old.

Little Rock has already recorded four homicides since the first of the year.

18 year-old Thomas Heavner of Bryant is charged with first-degree terroristic threatening and communicating a false alarm after he allegedly made a threat against the Bryant High School, which was locked down for a time Wednesday afternoon. Authorities found Heavner at the Bryant High School vocational-technical department.

Finger pointing abounds as FEMA tries to sort our how several Hurricane Katrina refugees were unnecessarily evicted from a Conway Motel. KTHV Channel 11 is reporting that America’s Best in Conway is inviting the people wrongly removed by local police and a FEMA representative to return.

Conway has more than doubled its’ population since 1980. The special census reveals a count of over 52,000, which means more revenue for the Faulkner County town.

The Russellville Courier has a front-page picture of the lunchtime fowl-up caused when railroad crossing gates improperly lowered for 90 minutes Wednesday.

Hot Springs will host the first-ever International Corned Beef Eating Championship at the Hot Springs Convention Center Saturday,. Competitive eaters will chow down on world-famous corned beef sandwiches from Oaklawn Park. Contestants include top-ranked "gurgitator," Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas. The contest begins at 3:30 Saturday afternoon.

Another Top Ten List

I don't know what on earth has gotten in to Bigdaddyo, but he strikes again with some commentary on life in Central Arkansas.

top ten slogans for central arkansas:

10) chenal: "what the hell are you doing in our neighborhood?!"
9) otter creek: "just as good as maumelle!"
8) southwest little rock: "lock and load!"
7) pine bluff: "the aromatic oasis!"
6) north little rock: "not as insecure as we once were!"
5) conway: "behave yourself at our gay pride parade!"
4) cabot: "worth the gas money!"
3) ward: "not worth the gas money!"
2) beebe: "we tell people we live in cabot!"

and the #1 slogan for central arkansas: little rock: "where the sh*t kickin is a metaphor!"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

First thing Thursday

Arkansas is in the midst of a public health emergency. Governor Mike Huckabee says the state will pay the costs of providing prescription drugs for those who lost coverage when Medicare started covering prescriptions at the start of the year. He said “the elderly and the most frail” in the state cannot afford to wait for the federal government to untangle what he described as “glitches” in the new Medicare drug program. Huckabee called it “life-and-death issue,”

A new study from the University of Arkansas suggests that, across the state, school children may be performing slightly higher than the national average. The authors also say that there is too much emphasis on spending adequacy and consolidation.

Lawmakers in the Mississippi House passed landmark legislation Wednesday that would eventually eliminate state sales taxes on groceries while raising taxes on cigarettes.

Local officials continue to be stunned by notices directing them to refund sales tax overpayments which total over $4.2 million statewide. The Southwest Times Record reports that Fort Smith must make the biggest repayment, $204,101, while Sebastian County has to repay $129,232, according to DF&A records. Washington County and Fayetteville are second and third on the payback list with tabs of $186,174 and $172,408, respectively.

The Northwest Arkansas Council says that building the Bella Vista Bypass is the region’s top highway priority. Both Senators and Congressman Boozman yesterday went on a two hour bus tour of roads in the area hosted by the Council.

According to national homeless advocacy groups, Little Rock is the third “meanest” city in America.

Bass Pro Shops has reached an agreement in principle to convert Memphis’ Pyramid into an outdoors mega-store. This agreement doesn't guarantee the store will become reality, but is a step toward a formal development agreement.

Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles will undergo right hip replacement surgery on Feb. 3 in Little Rock

Four counties confirm a total of 10 flu cases, two of which are children.

Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith will have a $40 million expansion. The Planning Commission has approved the plans.

Tests have confirmed that debris from an old gymnasium the city of Monticello burned in November contains asbestos. The city failed to obtain an asbestos inspection or notify the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality prior to burning the building.

Two Springdale men are dead after falling 123 feet from a bridge on Interstate 540, between Winslow and West Fork, according to an Arkansas State Police report. It is unclear whether they were struck by a car before falling off the bridge, and police are investigating.

The number of reported crimes in Rogers in eight key categories increased by 13 percent last year over 2004, fueled by big jumps in robberies, burglaries and car thefts.

Forrest City police are still trying to figure out why a man put three dogs inside his vehicle and then shot at them, fatally wounding one, during an incident Tuesday afternoon on Church Street. Ebony Roberts is charged with cruelty to animals and discharging a firearm in the city.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wednesday Wake UP

At latest count, eight counties have dropped burn bans after recent rainfall, but most of Arkansas continues to be dangerously dry because of the continuing drought. Pulaski County will fine violators of the burn ban.

Governor Mike Huckabee says he favors a statewide ban on workplace smoking and merit pay for teachers. He had his first secret meeting with a panel of classroom teachers yesterday.

Smoking bans in Fayetteville and other Arkansas cities didn’t help the state avoid an F for smoke-free air on the American Lung Association’s state-by-state report card.

The Stephens Media Group reports that Several Arkansas religious leaders said Tuesday they feared Samuel Alito would tear the veil between church and state if confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Speaking from the same political pulpit, members of the Arkansas Interfaith Alliance announced their opposition to President Bush's nominee to the nation's highest court. They labeled Alito as a conservative activist who would chip away at privacy rights and would not respect the separation between church and state.

The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas follows up on yesterday’s report. Local government officials across the state said they were dumbfounded when letters from the state finance office arrived this week notifying them that they would have to refund some tax collections. The state Department of Finance and Administration sent letters to county judges, mayors and other city officials notifying them that they must repay $4.2 million in local sales and use taxes to an unnamed business that erroneously reported and overpaid local sale taxes between August 2001 and August 2004.

Bentonville government is moving forward on the new TIF district, which will take property tax revenue from local public schools to benefit real estate developers, for the central city area. According to the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas Wal-Mart's Home Office, the existing Benton County Fairgrounds, the square and the future Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art fall within the district.

Ed Kelly, superintendent of Little Rock public schools from 1982 to 1987, is dead after a fall in his Virginia home. Kelly came to Arkansas shortly after the Little Rock school board filed suit to consolidate schools in Pulaski County. Kelly led the Prince William County schools for 18 years and nearly doubled enrollment. He was 63.

The Southwest Times Record reports that A Fort Smith lawyer pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute. Bruce H. Bethell, 56, entered an appearance as his own attorney, pleaded not guilty and waived his right to formal arraignment in Fort Smith District Court. The case is scheduled for trial March 28.

The countdown to the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament is on. Three years after setting attendance records in its Alltel Arena debut, the tournament will make its long-awaited return on March 2-5.

Here is a blast from the past. Anybody remember Ed Kelly? He ran Little Rock public schools when I arrived on the scene back in 1983. Well, old Ed is dead after falling in his Virginia home.

I remember Ed Kelly very well. At the time, he was among the most vilified and hated people in the public eye. The school board had this brilliant idea that they would force Pulaski County parents to send their kids to the increasingly black LRSD by court-ordered consolidation. The fruits of this failed policy are visible to anybody who happened to view any of the Holiday programs put on the local cable channel by the district. What is the current white student count in the Little Rock district? Under 10% Hell, it could be under 10.

My point is that, on every talk show I hosted on which Kelly was the guest, he was, for the most part, treated like human feces. It is significant to note that Kelly did not file the consolidation lawsuit and was always quick to point out that it happened before he arrived on the scene.

And what happened to Mr. Kelly when he moved back to the civilized world? In Prince William County, Virginia, he served for 19 years. Enrollment went from 38,000 to 66,000. The state legislature recognized his accomplishments as a distinguished educator. The district web site has an extensive tribute to the former superintendent.

This shows what can be done when the courts are not brought in to "fix" impossible messes and local folks cooperate and support public schools. Ed Kelly sure deserved better than he got from Little Rock, Arkansas and I am sure glad that SOMEBODY recognized and rewarded his talents.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Top of Tuesday

The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas leads with this one: The state Department of Finance and Administration sent notices to county and city officials Monday asking them to refund tax proceeds of $4.3 million to an "undisclosed business" that paid too much in local taxes over the past three years. Wal Mart denies knowing anything about it.

The latest campaign finance reports show Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson has crossed the $1 million mark.

Benny Petrus of Stutgart will be Speaker of the House in the next regular session in 2007. He beat Will Bond of Jacksonville and it was not close, 58 – 42.

Cynthia Howell has a report in today’s Democrat-Gazette that the Arkansas Board of Education on approved the closure of elementary and high schools in the towns of Alread, Scotland, Biggers and Reyno, causing students at those schools to move to larger campuses in nearby towns.

Paul Chittumv the son of a Bentonville woman who died last month after being found covered in maggots and feces, has entered a not guilty plea to second-degree murder.

A former Craighead County jailer faces up to ten years in federal prison after being found guilty of depriving inmates of their constitutional rights. Jody Miller was convicted of beating handcuffed inmates. Two other jailers have entered guilty pleas to similar charges and testified against Miller.

The Little Rock Police Department is conducting an internal investigation after an off-duty officer fired shots at the car of a fleeing forgery suspect. Sgt. Alan Quattlebaum is a 30-year veteran of the force and heads the homicide detectives division.

According to the Forrest City Times-Herald, a basketball game Friday night in Palestine ended looking more like a bar room brawl after fans of Palestine-Wheatley High School and Clarendon High School took a cue from a pair of players and started fighting.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said during the 50-minute State of the State speech that he is "against raising anybody's taxes" and "in a period of fiscal uncertainty, this is not the time to reduce revenue by cutting taxes, either." He offered one specific Katrina recovery proposal, asking lawmakers to authorize local governments on the coast to impose "impact fees" on new development projects.

In just a few weeks, Kroger Co. will open its first in-store minor medical clinic in Memphis, adding a diagnosis or work physical to the list of things you can get at the grocery store.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average yesterday punctuated a strong new-year rally with its first close above 11,000 in more than 4-1/2 years.

Lou DiBella, Jermain Taylor’s promoter, now says there will be no Wright-Taylor fight in 2006, or ever, now that Gary Shaw, Wright’s promoter, rejected an offer from Taylor’s camp and came back with unreasonable terms. (We think DiBella may be SLIGHTLY overstating the situation)

Russellville experienced a 30 minute power outage downtown Saturday afternoon. Blame the squirrel.

Monday, January 09, 2006

More on Mitch Mustain

Bigdaddyo tackles a tough one today. Enjoy!

top ten reasons matt mooostain sucked in the us army all-american game:

10) was unsure whether to commit to the east or the west!
9) arms were tired from holding all those high school awards!
8) if those receivers were twelve feet tall, he'd have looked like a world beater!
7) didn't have his teddy to sleep with or damian williams to throw to!
6) rushers so in his face he could have touched them with a ten foot pole!
5) protecting french manicure!
4) ...they had the unmitigated gall to have other quarterbacks there, and they made them look good with that uncomplicated offense!
3) eyes blurry from reading his own press!
2) ...bright lights and a big city leads to a country boy throwing sh*ty!

and the #1 reason matt mooostain sucked in the us army all-american game: "helmet was waaaaaaaaaay too tight!"

Mark Pryor Building Bridges

The Washington Times has a story about the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Normally it's a big snooze. All the inside-the-beltway pseudo-religious windbags get together and pretend that the Almighty Ruler of the Universe does not see what they are doing to this country. This year, Arkansas' Junior Senator Mark Pryor is co-chair.

Jordan's King Abdullah II will offer a prayer. Here is part of the Times report.

Sources familiar with the breakfast say the king's aides have been quietly looking for months for ways Abdullah can make contact with the leaders of America's 50 million evangelical Christians, a group that claims President Bush as an adherent.

During a 10-day swing through the United States in September as a spokesman for a tolerant Islam, Abdullah met with several dozen rabbis in the District, visited Riverside Church in New York and spoke at Catholic University.

His speech inspired Washington Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick to respond with a reciprocal prayer "in the name of Allah."

But the evangelicals remained untouched. The king's aides began putting out calls.

To whom exactly will the King pray, and, since this is a public political event staged to enhance the religious image of elected politicians, will Senator Pryor join him?

Monday Mornin' Comin' Down

Burn bans continue over most of Arkansas as the drought continues. The risk of fire is high. Wildfires sruck in Ashley County which burned four homes over the weekend. Authorities in Saline County are still looking for an arsonist.

The Arkansas House of Representatives will meet today to chose a new Speaker. Reps. Will Bond, D-Jacksonville, and Benny Petrus, D-Stuttgart, will address House members and the secret ballot vote will be taken.

David Mathew Scott is in the Hot Spring County jail after allegedly shooting a state trooper in the face Saturday night. Trooper Zach Owens is resting at home after being released from the hospital.

The Tacoma, Washington News Tribune reports that the Internal Revenue Service has been tracking the political affiliation of taxpayers in 20 states, including Arkansas.

Two coaches for an elementary football team at Pine Bluff and a former employee of the Arkansas Department of Human Services have been charged with the theft of $120,000 in federal money designated for youth services. A federal grand jury says Cheryl Moten, Theo Dickerson and Larry Williams “did knowingly convert to their use and the use of another money belonging to the United States Department of Justice.”

The Democrat-Gazette reports that Gov. Mike Huckabee hasn’t received a federal letter telling governors about a new search they could undertake to find Gulf states’ sexual offenders who came to Arkansas after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Huckabee’s spokesman said Friday.

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of his state’s battle with Arkansas poultry companies.

Caraway Police Chief Jerry Vaughn, who has been suspended with pay since November for his handling of a vehicle-pedestrian accident that injured an 11-year-old girl, acted appropriately and won’t face any criminal charges, a prosecutor who investigated the case said.

Pope County authorities are searching for a man who they believe burglarized and assaulted an 87-year-old Dover woman in her home on New Year’s Eve.

Faulkner County's proximity to natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale will have a positive long-term economic impact, including infrastructure development, new business opportunity and job growth, according to Danny Ferguson, director for corporate and community development for Southwestern Energy Co, who spoke with the Log Cabin Democrat.

Tonight in LR, it’s UALR v. ASU, and it’s darned near a sell-out.

Today will bring an historic event to pass in the Arkansas House of Representatives. At 11, members will convene to elect a new speaker, which is unprecedented at such an early date. The vote is expect to be very tight. I am watching it and we expect, thanks to our friends at Comcast, to carry some of it "live." I had a big weekend, including a big wedding and I could never let that pass. Of course, I am ready to expose all the top news stories as well. Pat Classic is streaming "live" this morning at 9.

Evolutionists and Creationists will be furious about today's column on the Voices page of the Democrat-Gazette. Give it a shot!

Later this week, political columnist David Sanders is on Wednesday morning and get ready for horse racing expert Mark the Magician on Thursday.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Desperate Episcopalians

Two thumbs up for The Book of Daniel. The script is brilliant.

By the most stark contrast, the general manager at KARK is ... well ... How can one say it without being hurtful? The statement broadcast before whatever it was that Channel 4 ran instead of Daniel was embarrassing. They folded to a bunch of religious nuts who never saw as much as one minute of the show. This might well be NBC's biggest hit.

As a practicing Anglican, I should say that I completely disagree with the main character in this ecclesiastical soap opera. The Rev. Mr. Webster must have gotten his theology degree at Wal Mart, and he was probably ordained by Oprah.

It's a story - a TV show, so everybody should lighten up.

The production has a breezy free flow, in the style of "Desperate Housewives." Jesus is way too cool and is not the moronic "stuck in the 60's type you might expect.

WB42 certainly has a colorful cast of sponsors. Maybe by next week, some smart local advertisers will sign on.

UPDATE: Marie disagrees with me. She thinks this is better suited for cable television and gives youngsters a negative view of religion and permission to do all sorts of bad things. OK, maybe so, but I just hate having every entertainment dumbed down to the lowest possible level.

This silly farce is perfectly suited to the Episcopal Church USA. The doctrine is shallow and the clergy is both fat and sassy. But I get a slight hint that the writers are pointing this out as harmful, so I give them credit for seeing something in need of correction.

The writers may be on to something and I am very willing to give it a chance. Part of the storyline involves a young couple getting pre-marital counseling. After taking Daniel's advice, they decide that marriage is too much trouble and decide to live together. Daniel and Jesus are dismayed. This is a long shot I admit, but could it be that the writers have in mind a plot to lead the young pair into Holy wedlock? It's just a thought.

I am not saying that this is wholesome entertainment, but I am saying that there are things that serious grownups might find to discuss. So, what did YOU think??

FURTHER UPDATE: Here is what a most influencial and intellivent Episcapal blogster thinks of the show. Canon Kendall Harmon is solidly "orthodox" and "reformed" in his theology. His blog is titusonenine.

The News Cycle

When you have really bad news, let it out late Friday afternoon and maybe nobody will notice. Thanks to Arkansas Business for the latest on a former top Wal Mart executive.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday that former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive Tom Coughlin has agreed to plead guilty to federal wire fraud and tax evasion charges.

Arkansas Business has a good report and links to the Wall Street Journal for subscribers.

Pat Robertson

It is indeed hard to believe that this guy ever attended, much less graduated from, Yale. I do believe that his latest outburst is a bit more revealing than he intended, See what you think.

AP writer Sonia Barisic filed the story.

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land."

"God considers this land to be his," Robertson said on his TV program "The 700 Club." "You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.'"

Robertson claims to find this information in the Book of Joel. For the life of me, I can't find that language it, but he's a college graduate. My scant reading of scripture seems to indicate that God owns everything. He owns the entire earth - every square foot of it, all the water, the air we breathe, and the money we earn. It all belongs to God.

Robertson's analysis of Sharon's health problems suggests a deeper misunderstanding.

There was one Biblical character named Job who had a serious, sudden, debilitating and humiliating disease. Like Robertson, and each of us at one time or another, Job struggled to figure out what God might be up to.

Job starts off by acknowledging that God gives us both the good and the bad and we need to accept both. The Lord has given, the lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Pat Robertson, the blamer, would have fit in perfectly with Job's completely useless friends who show up and start trying to figure out what Job might have done to get on the wrong side of the Almighty.

The end of it all was that God pretty much does what he pleases and we should not question his divine wisdom.

But admitting such as that would require humility. Sorry, Pat.

Better late than.....

Paul Chittum, the son of a Bentonville woman found covered in maggots and feces last month is now charged with his mother's murder.

The price of first class postage rises to 39 cents for the first ounce starting Sunday.

A legislative subcommittee gave the go-ahead Thursday for a new Public Service Commission rule designed to prevent utilities from shutting off natural gas service to residences in cold-weather months, between Nov. 1 and March 1 each year.

Officials at Conway Corp., which draws water for this city’s roughly 50,000 residents from Brewer Lake, are discussing an emergency backup should the current drought linger into spring.

Conway’s Log Cabin Democrat reports that A package containing a white powdery substance found at the Hogan Lane Post Office led to several employees being quarantined Wednesday.

NBC’s religion-themed midseason drama, The Book of Daniel, will debut at 8 p.m. today, but the network’s Little Rock affiliate, KARK-TV, Channel 4, won’t be showing it. Set your DVR to WB 42, which is Channel 9 on Comcast.

Lou DiBella, Jermain Taylor’s promoter, officially made an offer to Winky Wright’s promoter, Gary Shaw, for a world championship fight this spring.. That fight will probably not be in Arkansas.

Steven Barnett the former deputy director of the Pine Bluff Convention Center, is now serving seven years probation and has been ordered ordered to pay restitution, a fine and court costs after pleading guilty to theft of property, 225 counts of forgery, 226 counts of falsifying business records, and criminal conspiracy to commit the crimes. The charges involve almost $50 thousand in paychecks to non-existent employees.

Selling items that belong to other people on eBay for a fee or commission on the sale may require a state license sometime after next week. The Arkansas Auctioneer’s Licensing Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Little Rock to consider drafting regulations on sales by commission on the popular Internet auction site.

St. Vincent Health System has began negotiations with represenatives of its 900 unionized nurses on a new contract.

Construction costs for the new baseball park in North Little Rock are rising by $2 million over estimates. Mayor Hays blames Hurricane Katrina,in part and says the city is looking for places to cut.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

In very bad taste....

Our friend Bigdaddyo must have gotten into some bad tequila. Here is his latest offering, for which I apologize in advance. When I die, make all the jokes you want.

top ten notes left to loved ones from the coal mine:

10) please don't look in my bottom desk drawer, just have my brother burn those magazines!
9) i'm gonna' be late for dinner!
8) nothing but an ugly ass tie for christmas, and now this?!
7) honey, don't worry about finances. i bet our life savings on usc in the national championship game!
6) the carbon monoxide is bad, ...but chuck had beans for lunch again!
5) ...i've had some time to think down here, and i still don't buy your story about how it's possible for two white people to have a black child!
4) this makes the poor reception on the satellite when it rains seem really trivial!
3) ...bruce keeps asking if anyone else saw brokeback mountain!
2) yes, those pants do make your ass look huge!

and the #1 note left to loved ones from the coal mine: "...i knew i should have attended itt tech!"

Thursday dawning ...

Russellville police investigators are conferring with Arkansas State Police and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as they continue to gather information and paperwork in the alleged murder of Nona Dirksmeyer. According to the Russellville Courier, Police Chief James Bacon says he would like to turn the file over to the 5th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s office this week.

Gov. Mike Huckabee says that he would support a law like one passed in Florida last year to protect citizens who use deadly force in self-defense against criminal prosecution and civil liability. According to the Mornign News of Northwest Arkansas, Huckabee also says that he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Kevin Hunt, The Altheimer basketball coach, is reportedly serving a four day suspension as the result of an incident at last week’s Zebra Invitational Tournament. The Pine Bluff Commercial says that, during a game with Dollarway, Hunt is alleged to have grabbed the jersey of a player during a shouting incident. Various reports indicate that patrons came down from the stands and the police were called.

From the Democrat-Gazette: What apparently began as an electrical fire sparked by a falling tree scorched nearly 100 acres of West Mountain in Hot Springs National Park over a 14-hour period Wednesday, resulting in the evacuation of five homes but causing no injuries or structural damage.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department arrested a workman for starting a noontime fire that burned a vacant house and about 10 acres of woodland in Tarry. There were no injuries. Joe McDonald,of Star City, was arrested on probable cause of second-degree criminal mischief, a Class D felony.

The national Education Week magazine gives Arkansas’ public schools a slightly above average grade based on a survey of all 50 states. The Arkansas score in the 10th annual Quality Counts report took into account state policies on academic standards and accountability, teacher quality, school climate and resource equity.

The Democratic Party of Arkansas is calling on the state Republican Party to return $10,000 it received from Jack Abramoff, the Washington, D.C. lobbyist who pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion. State Democratic Party Chairman Jason Willett says the contribution appears in a Jan. 15, 2002 report.

The counting phase is complete, and the city of Conway will soon know whether a half-million dollar per year increase in state turnback funds riding on the special census will hold true.

Fayetteville is among the nation's overvalued residential housing markets, according to CNN Money report. The study said the Fayetteville market is overvalued by 11 percent. Other Arkansas cities were deemed undervalued. Little Rock was undervalued by 6 percent and Fort Smith by 8 percent. The Memphis area, which includes parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi, was undervalued by 8 percent.

Seven acres of city property next to Dickey-Stephens Park should be used for paid parking at Arkansas Travelers games when the baseball team moves to North Little Rock in 2007, Mayor Patrick Hays is recommending.

Some of the 10 most valuable items appraised in the history of PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow” were part of the show’s stop in Hot Springs in July 2002, according to a 10th anniversary feature. No. 8 on the list of the Roadshow’s “Top 10 Treasures” was a landscape painting by Jasper Cropsey (1823-1900) owned by an unidentified Rogers man which appraised at $150,000.

Mississippi will need to find several hundred million dollars to match the $10 billion in federal aid earmarked for Hurricane Katrina recovery, Gov. Haley Barbour told lawmakers Wednesday. He noted the "unprecedented help" the state received through federally extended deadlines for reimbursements on debris cleanup costs and $4 billion in grants for homeowners.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

How 'bout them Longhorns!!

One of the problems with the ABC telecast is that it was not sufficiently commercialized or embarrassing. Some suggestions.

How is it that the coin toss ceremony was not sold to some advertiser like Bank of America?

Having former Justice O'Connor flip the coin was a waste of a great revenue opportunity. Waffle House does lots of flips every day. Find the advertising tie-in.

Instead of all these heroic salutes to exceptional athletic performances, how about "The bone-headed play of the game?" Maybe some truck driving school could buy that time. Perfect time to pitch a new career after you mess up the first one.

How about the Southwest Airlines Getaway Bad Call of the Game? That would point out the dumb officiating mistakes, like that TD they gave away to Texas.

Did anybody see the sweet lady from the Tournament of Roses being interviewed? For a moment I thought it was old Matilda.

Be Prepared!

Once upon a time, long ago and far away, that was the Boy Scout motto. I don't know if that is still the case, but it is always a good idea to expect the unexpected.

The Survival of New Orleans Blog was a reliable source of good information throughout the Katrina disaster. It was operated by a bunch of computer geeks who were charged with keeping their clients' web sites up and data safe during disaster conditions. You might be interested to know what sorts of things they did to get ready. If you have a business that must keep going no matter what, you will be amazed by the inventory of supplies kept on hand.

Wonderful Wednesday!

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for 32 counties in Arkansas - an indicator that wind, temperatures, and dry conditions could combine to cause a potentially explosive fire. The counties are concentrated in western Arkansas. More than two-thirds of Arkansas counties – currently over 60 - are under burn bans.

Arkansas Forestry Commission firefighters have battled more than 60 fires since the new year began, and although all are under control, fire officials say the potential for a major blaze remains high.

The National Park Service says arson is to blame for wildfires sparked across the Buffalo River area over the weekend. Nearly 2,000 acres have been burned as of late Tuesday afternoon.

A Pulaski County judge is the second in the country to grant class-action status to uninsured patients alleging they pay a higher price for care at nonprofit hospitals than most insured patients.

Sequa Corp. of New York said Tuesday that beginning this month its ARC Automotive unit, which makes components for airbag inflators at a plant in Camden, will move production to plants in Reynosa, Mexico, and Xi'an, China, leaving 300 Arkansas workers in Camden jobless.

A national study conducted by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute of Little Rock shows that many public school districts have deficiencies in their emergency and disaster plans. The report is in the current issue of “Pediatrics,” the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Morning news of Northwest Arkansas reports that Martha Laughlin flagged down a motorist in Madison County early Tuesday after being lost in the woods for six days She was 18 miles from where she parked her car to go for a walk last Wednesday at the First Assembly of God Church on Arkansas 74 in Huntsville.

A judge ordered a longtime Fayetteville lawyer arrested and brought to court after he missed a contempt hearing. Richard L. Wommack was ordered in November to repay $36,568 to the estate of a Madison County man after Circuit Judge William Storey found Wommack had taken money from the estate without permission for his personal use.

According to the Democrat-Gazette, a former clerk for the Union County town of Smackover pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges stemming from the misappropriation of public funds and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Alice Ann Wilkins of Louann pleaded guilty to second-degree forgery and theft of property in Union County Circuit Court, and was ordered to make restitution of $275,209.96.

A winning Powerball ticket worth $800,000 has gone unclaimed after being bought Dec. 10 in Memphis.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?