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Eat Arkansas

Boscos closes its River Market location

Memphis-based brewery closes River Market location.

Southern Salt's McCants opening store in SOMA

Paris Candy Antiques is not going to be a bricks and mortar home for Lauren McCants' Southern Salt Food Co., but antiques shoppers and neighborhood nabobs will be able to enjoy coffee and sweet and savory pies when work on the former liquor store at the northwest corner of 23rd and Arch Streets all comes together. "It's a work in progress," McCants said.

Arkansas chef getting high praise for new Brooklyn restaurant

Chef/restaurateur Robert Newton, a Mountain Home native, gets high praise for his new Brooklyn restaurant in the latest New York magazine. Wilma Jean, named for Newton's grandmother, surrenders to the rib-sticking, home cookin'-style Southern food Newton largely resisted in his beloved, but recently shuttered restaurant, Seersucker, where he aimed for more "refined" fare, New York mag reports.

Dining Review

Kemuri: Spectacular

September 25, 2014
Kemuri: Spectacular
Robata? Arigato, Mr. Barakat. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

'Disfarmer': behind the camera

September 25, 2014
'Disfarmer': behind the camera
The strange case of Arkansas photographer Disfarmer, subject of a new play opening this weekend. /more/

To-Do List

Avett Brothers at Walmart AMP

September 25, 2014
Avett Brothers at Walmart AMP
Also, ACANSA, the JR's Lightbulb Club 25th anniversary show, Dr. John at Walton Arts, "The 78 Project Movie" at Ron Robinson and Arum Rae at Juanita's. /more/


Max Brantley

Take these politics and...

I'm taking a mid-election season vacation and glad of it. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Single-payer is cheaper

The enemies of Obamacare and Arkansas's peculiar version of it, the "private option," exposed what they hoped would be a dirty little secret the other day: The government spends more on the private option than it would have spent on plain-vanilla Medicaid, the undiluted Obamacare that other participating states follow. /more/

Gene Lyons

Cotton's foe: Obama

The remarkable thing is that an aloof, bookish fellow like Tom Cotton is running for the U.S. Senate anywhere, much less in darkest Arkansas. /more/

Movie Reviews

Talk, talk

September 25, 2014
Talk, talk
Kevin Smith riffs in 'Tusk.' /more/

Pearls About Swine

Hogs on a roll after decisive wins against Texas Tech, NIU

September 25, 2014
Hogs on a roll after decisive wins against Texas Tech, NIU
If Bret Bielema was terribly dejected by his Arkansas team's second-half showing against Auburn in the 2014 season opener, the ensuing three weeks of football prowess have likely done much to change his disposition. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 04:50:00

Beverly Carter's body found in shallow grave on Highway 5 in northern Pulaski County

click to enlarge BODY FOUND: Map illustrates location Beverly Carter's body was found. - KARK/KLRT
  • BODY FOUND: Map illustrates location Beverly Carter's body was found.

click to enlarge BEVERLY CARTER
News this morning from the Pulaski sheriff's office on the discovery of the body of Beverly Carter, the North Little Rock real estate agent who was reported missing Thursday night.: KARK/KLRT reports the body was found behind a Daylight Donuts shop.

The site is some 18 miles north of the last real estate appointment at which Carter was expected, but near a cement plant that Facebook posts suggest once might have employed the murder suspect. A dump truck was seized by police in west Little Rock shortly after a police call led to the suspect's arrest.

On September 29, 2014 at about 10:15 a.m., Arron Lewis was apprehended by the Little Rock Police Department on his outstanding Kidnapping warrant out of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). Lewis was brought to the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division for questioning. After over 12 hours of interviewing by Investigators, Lewis was transported and  booked into the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility (PCRDF). Lewis admitted post  Miranda to kidnapping Beverly Carter, but would not divulge her whereabouts.

Shortly after Lewis was booked into the PCRDF, PCSO Investigators obtained information that led them to the 12100 block of Hwy 5 (Cabot city address in Pulaski County). Investigators located a body in a shallow grave on the property. The body was identified as Beverly Carter. The family was then notified of the finding.

Arron Lewis’ charges will be amended to Capital Murder. Lewis remains in the PCRDF on his charges and a parole hold for the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to extend their gratitude to all of the volunteers who aided in the search for Beverly Carter and the various agencies that assisted during the investigation. The Sheriff’s Office also extends their deepest condolences to the Carter family for their tragic loss.


Monday, September 29, 2014 - 19:24:00

Pryor campaign declines KARK-4 debate

The Pryor campaign today informed KARK-4 that Sen. Mark Pryor would not participate in a proposed debate with Rep. Tom Cotton hosted by the station. See here for background on KARK's proposed event, which Chuck Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, said that he would come to Little Rock to host. 

KARK had previously proposed a debate without a commitment from Pryor but sought to put the pressure on with a splash of publicity from Todd. Cotton immediately accepted the proposal. The deadline for a response from the Pryor camp was the end of the day Wednesday. 

Pryor deputy campaign manager Erik Dorey said that the campaign had said from the beginning that it first wanted to nail down debates in Fayetteville, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, and in Conway, hosted by AETN. Cotton is participating in the Fayetteville debate but has not yet committed to the AETN debate. Dorey said that the Pryor campaign's position has been that it would only consider other proposals once Cotton agreed to the debate in Conway. He said the Pryor campaign didn't feel comfortable making an exception for Channel 4 after not accepting offers from various other groups, such as UALR and Fox News, for that reason. 

For more of the back and forth between the Cotton and Pryor campaigns over debates, see here. Expect the Cotton camp to slam Pryor for declining the KARK debate and expect the Pryor camp to slam Cotton for (so far) not accepting the AETN debate. 

Here's the letter sent by the Pryor campaign to KARK (owned by Nexstar): 

After further consideration of Nexstar's proposal, I'm sorry to say that we have reached the same conclusion as before.

After accepting two statewide debates months ago, our position has been consistent: when Rep. Cotton agrees to meet us in Fayetteville and Conway, we'll consider other proposals. I've told that to countless would-be debate organizers, many of whom put forward good faith proposals such as your own.

We honestly never expected Cotton's camp to drag their feet on AETN, which, as you know, has always been a staple for statewide candidates in Arkansas.

To change our position now and agree to Nextstar's proposal would invite fair criticism from other media outlets both in-state and national, as well as numerous associations, student groups and stakeholders — all of whom I've had to tell the same thing.

Once again, I regret that we reached this point and appreciate your continued commitment to covering this race for Arkansans.



Jeff Weaver
Campaign Manager
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor


Monday, September 29, 2014 - 17:34:00

Hot Springs firing range declared a "Muslim free zone" by its owner

click to enlarge MUSLIM FREE: And hungry for attention. - JANMORGANMEDIA.COM
  • MUSLIM FREE: And hungry for attention.
Jan Morgan, the proprietor of a Hot Springs business called The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range, announced on social media Sunday that she is banning all Muslims from her establishment. It's a public safety move, says a statement on her website elucidating her reasoning for excluding 23 percent of the world's population from her clientele.

Remember, the Fort Hood shooting, the Boston bombings and that recent atrocity in Oklahoma were committed by Muslims (or rather, muslims, to use Morgan's preferred house style). Also, 9/11. The Koran directs Muslims to slaughter non-believers, she says. "This is more than enough loss of life on my home soil at the hands of muslims to substantiate my position that muslims can and will follow the directives in their Koran and kill here at home," she writes.

We'll be eagerly awaiting forthcoming proclamations from Jan Morgan that ban young white men from The Gun Cave on similar public safety grounds

Morgan also says she's been the target of death threats from muslims as a result of her writings about the Koran, which, by the way, "contains 109 verses commanding hate, murder and terror against all human beings who refuse to submit or convert to Islam." It's her responsibility to keep patrons of the Gun Cave safe, she says, and allowing Muslims in a firing range is obviously courting disaster. 

Guns really are a wonderful thing, as long as they're kept exactly where the Founding Fathers intended them to be — in a white, Christian, well-regulated militia.

The Constitution doesn't protect Islam, Morgan believes. She concludes with the following statement: "I will do whatever is necessary to provide a safe environment for my customers, even at the cost of the increased threats and legal problems this decision will likely provoke."

Likely? "Inevitably" might be the right word she's looking for: bring on the civil rights lawsuit.

And let's close with a prayer from Deuteronomy 13:13-18 about how good Christians treat those of other faiths:

13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;

15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the Lord thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;

18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord thy God.


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Monday, September 29, 2014 - 13:54:00

Shoog Radio kicks off Arkansas music series at the Afterthought with The Casual Pleasures and Pockets.

click to enlarge AARON SARLO
  • Aaron Sarlo

Local DJs Kara Bibb and Aaron Sarlo are staying busy. As if putting together a weekly playlist full of exclusively Arkansas artists and bands for their Tuesday afternoon Shoog Radio show on KABF wasn’t enough, they’ve just rolled out a new monthly live concert series at The Afterthought featuring some of Arkansas’ best local bands

The premier show’s lineup included two excellent groups (dare I say…supergroups?) made up of several artists who hail from other projects past and present. The Casual Pleasures mixes Nathan Houser (Ezra Lbs), Melanie King (Color Club), Jackson Diner (Groovecluster), Tommy Tanner (visual artist), and Jessie Lawson into a swirling concoction of twisted pop music that pushes the boundaries of what’s catchy and fun.

Houser’s lead vocals propel most of the songs, sometimes crooning, sometimes howling over interplaying keyboard and guitar riffs accented by multi-part harmonies, buzzing synths and an electric ukulele, all atop energetic drumming and melodic bass lines.

Sometimes it felt a bit like a drunk and gleeful romp through a carnival, other times like lounging on a sun-soaked island, not caring that your face is melting off. They recklessly walk the line between pop and ‘not-pop’ with little regard for conventions but with a real knack for finding grooves and earworms along the way.

click to enlarge AARON SARLO
  • Aaron Sarlo

Most importantly, though, they pass the fun test with flying colors. There’s a lot of ‘psychedelic’ or ‘experimental’ stuff going on here but the underlying force driving all of what’s going on is ‘play’ in the truest sense, with musicians enjoying themselves as they do their thing and bring the crowd along with them. They have CDs available; check out one of their upcoming shows to pick one up.

Closing out the show was Pockets, the recently formed power trio of veteran musicians Dan Johnson (The Contingencies), Eric Morris (The See), and Matt Quinn (American Princes). These three have been playing rock and roll for a good bit here in Central Arkansas and they have a keen sense of dynamics and how to use them to maximize the sound out of a three-piece.

The songs range from hypnotic to driving, from sparsely arranged to beefed up with riffs. Morris and Quinn together are an awesome force of a rhythm section, with Johnson contributing echo-tinged guitar work and compelling vocals that draw you in with emotional depth.

They do a great job of creating dynamic tension, with the vocals constantly veering between anthem and ballad and the instruments building up and dropping back, finding a droning groove before jumping out with an explosion of drum hits and power chords. Quinn’s drumming threatened to steal the show multiple times throughout the set, but he always finds a way to blend back in and let the vocals carry the songs. Morris tells me they’ll be heading into the studio soon to record, so stay tuned.

click to enlarge AARON SARLO
  • Aaron Sarlo

Shoog Radio promises to host more amazing Arkansas musicians at the Afterthought on a monthly basis. Check their Facebook page for updates on these upcoming Thursday shows.


Monday, September 29, 2014 - 12:49:00

Guest Mix: Pepperboy

click to enlarge pepperboy2.jpg

Here's a collection of 9 records that's really had and effect on my career. These records have touched me in many ways ... some are very personal and even disturbing at times when I hear them, because of certain situations I been through where those records were playing in the background. I'm proud to share this 9 track soundtrack with Arkansas Times because these records mean so much to me and I hope you enjoy!!!

1. Master P - "Neverending Game" 
2. 5th Ward Boyz - "Your Life" 
3. EZSD - "Puttin In Work" 
4. 50 Cent - "Crime Wave"
5. Hot Boys - "Get It How U Live"
6. Phil Collins - "In The Air Tonight" 
7. Gerard McMann - "Cry Little Sister"
8. UGK - "Diamonds & Wood"
9. King George - "Life of a Kingpin"

Follow Pepperboy on Twitter and listen to his music at Bandcamp


Friday, September 26, 2014 - 15:42:00

Lucinda Williams, 'Problematic,' Women in Clothes, Aby Ngana Diop and Momma Tried Magazine

Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.

Let me wholeheartedly recommend the artsy nudie magazine from New Orleans, Momma Tried, coming out with their second issue soon. They're kickstarting it — check out the amazing video above and donate! Here's their high-falutin' self-description:

"Momma Tried is a print-only non-heteronormative nudie mag. Each issue contains work by emerging artists and writers from around the globe, subversive humor, and unique collaborations collaged together into a limited edition pop art object."

That's the general idea, but I just want to add that it's loads of fun. The vibe is '70s Playboys — raunchy but richly creative. I really like the spirit of this magazine, which insists on beautifully produced print, acknowledging that it's a doomed business model. They don't have a business model. They just want to make something, for a while. Make something you care about keeping.

Issue 1 (which featured former Little Rock DJ Cameron Holifield dressed, and undressed, as a cowboy) was awesome. Like, look how happy this mermaid is reading it:

click to enlarge CROCKETT DOOB

Issue 2 promises to be out of sight. Disclosure: issue 2 features a painting from my wife. Check it out in this writeup on Issue 2 from Southern Glossary.

Mama tried to raise me better, but I still like artsy nudie mags. — David Ramsey

This week, a hearty recommend for Lucinda Williams' lovely song "Sweet Ol' World," which she wrote as a response to the suicide of the Arkansas poet Frank Stanford, who shot himself three times in the heart in Fayetteville in June 1978. Not planning to take Frank's way out, but hopefully somebody will remember to play this at my funeral someday. — David Koon

I was at an engagement party a few weeks ago for one of my colleagues (whose actual wedding is going to be a family affair, too small for us bums to attend), sitting with a group of girls who had just moved to Little Rock and talking about what girls who don’t know each other well always talk about, as a way to break the ice and evaluate each other: “Your dress is so good,” “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wear heels or not,” “How long have you had short hair?” The host’s house was a cute bungalow in Hillcrest. The couple who lives there had just remodeled their kitchen to be outfitted with wood-block countertops, the walls were lined with inset bookshelves, guests were shaking up DIY cocktails in the next room.

As we kept up our small talk, I saw a book on the closest shelf that I’ve had my eye on for a few months: "Women in Clothes," a collaborative book on women’s style edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton. The book is basically a crowd-sourced “fuck you” to women’s fashion. The three editors asked women (and men) all over the country to fill out a survey so they could put together a collection that would help themselves and others understand how women think about style (how they get dressed in the morning, how they shop for clothes, do they have dressing rules), as a way to explore the “range of motives that inform how women present themselves through clothes, and what style really means.”

click to enlarge womeninclothes-600.png

Thousands of women completed the survey, and the result is a collection of 639 women revealing some of the rawest statements about fashion insecurity (and triumph) I’ve ever read. Many of the collaborators took pictures of their wardrobes, and so there is included a tile spread of Sadie Stein’s bras, Molly Murray’s vintage 3-inch heels, as well as Gina Rico’s hairbrushes and combs. There’s even a whole section on “Mothers as Others,” where the editors requested their other collaborators to “send a photograph of your mother from the time before she had children.” It’s a lovely collection, basically, and an inspiring one. It evaporates the illusion that women just “don’t think about clothes,” but have to look nice anyway, which is something even women forget about each other. — Caitlin Love

It's probably not worth reading in all its sprawling, pedantic revelry, but I love this post from the Awl by Johana King-Slutzky that takes down the word "problematic." I couldn't agree more. It's a crappy word, and it's everywhere now. At the awful intersection of meaningless and didactic, there sits "problematic." King-Slutzky says the word "has become shorthand for self-serious identity politics," especially on the internet."Problematic" is a roundabout way of communicating "bad" while sounding authoritative, but it insidiously abdicates any responsibility for explaining cause and effect. She writes:

"'Problematic' bundles urgency, seriousness, and debatability into a single vague word, which is great for both sound bytes and tweets..."Problematic" will tell you what is problematic — usually race or gender — but it won't tell you who did what, when; there are no finite verbs."

And so:

"'Problematic,' which has always lent itself to representational and mechanical error, blends the right connotations-—difficult representation and real world effects—-to suit identity politics. In many ways, identity politics, which are overtly representational, treat bodies like positivist machines that know more than the self-deluding mind. So one reason 'problematic' has flourished in the last fifty years is because it works well with this post-1968 moment (which we're still in)."

So why is this problematic? Well, for one thing:

"Problematic situations are never crises, which is damning when you consider that "problematic" tends to be used in critical discourse on racism, sexism, and homophobia. 'Problematic' whines; it does not act. It takes baths. But most of all, it, like racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and heterosexism, is definitely bad for indefinite reasons." — Benji Hardy

Music blogs barely exist anymore, at least the free-form, ugly, personal kind that were around a decade ago, but one of my favorites from that era that seems to be doing fine is Awesome Tapes From Africa. Started by a guy named Brian Shimkovitz, who went to Ghana on a Fulbright and became obsessed with West African cassette culture, the blog has long been a depository for `80s and `90s African pop that most outsiders wouldn't otherwise have known anything about. In recent years, he's apparently turned the project into a record label, endeavoring to track down the artists (or their surviving families) to work out arrangements for fair rights and royalties. This month, they reissued Aby Ngana Diop's "Liital," originally released in 1994. Diop, a Senegalese singer who died in 1997, was apparently Dakar's most famous taasukat, taasu being "a Wolof-language poetic style, usually performed by women griots over frenetic drum patterns, with an aggressive verbal flow thought to presage rap." It also sounds a little like drum 'n' bass, or like something totally out of time, a pure pop rush of drum machines, offbeat samples, chants and synthesizers. It's available on LP, CD, MP3 or, of course, cassette. — Will Stephenson


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  • How the South became dead red

    Good piece in Politico from Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam on the roots of our modern partisan divide. McAdam tells the familiar story of how the South flipped, as yellow dog Democrats in the old Confederacy abandoned the party in the wake of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Fact-checkers unaninmous: Tom Cotton is a liar

    Tom Cotton has hit the fact-checking trifecta: All three major fact-checking operations says his ad blaming his vote against the farm bill on President Obama is dishonest.
  • Bill Clinton sounds caution on charter schools

    A singular voice, former president Bill Clinton, sounded a note of caution about charter schools in a speech in New York yesterday and thank goodness.
  • Fayetteville City Clerk's office certifies signatures — civil rights ordinance will go to a public vote

    The Fayetteville City Clerk's office has certified that enough signatures were gathered to trigger a special election on Fayetteville's new civil rights ordinance, the Fayetteville Flyer reports. The effort to force a popular vote on the ordinance, led by a Repeal 119, a church-led group, gathered 5,714 signatures. Petitioners needed 4,905; the City Clerk's office began certifying the signatures last week and stopped at the end of the day Friday once enough signatures had been validated. The ordinance to discourage discrimination in housing and employment passed in the City Council 6-2 last month. The vote came after 10 hours of discussion, with many conservatives furious because the classes of people protected included gay and transgender people.
  • Tom Cotton's evasive maneuvering on the Farm Bill

    Rep. Tom Cotton continues to take a ribbing for his recent ad attempting cover on his vote against the Farm Bill (Cotton, you'll remember, claimed that Obama "hijacked" it and turned it into a food stamp bill; factcheckers pounced). Cotton is trying to have his row crops and eat them too, claiming he supports farm subsidies while voting against them.

Cover Story

2014 Arkansas fall music preview

September 25, 2014
2014 Arkansas fall music preview
Your guide to the rest of the year. /more/


Most Viewed

  • Hot Springs firing range declared a "Muslim free zone" by its owner

    The owner of The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Jan Morgan, announced yesterday that she is banning the presence of Muslims in her business. Her reasoning: "Why would I hand guns and ammunition to people whose religion commands them to kill me and my non-muslim patrons?" OK, let's get that lawsuit rolling.
  • Bench warrant issued in disappearance of Beverly Carter — UPDATE

    A bench warrant has been issued for a man named Aaron M. Lewis on one count of kidnapping in the disappearance of Beverly Carter, 51, a Crye-Leike real estate agent who disappeared after going to show a house on Thursday afternoon. With updated information as of 10:30 p.m..
  • Beverly Carter's body found in shallow grave on Highway 5 in northern Pulaski County

    The Pulaski sheriff's office reported early this morning that the body of Beverly Carter, the real estate agent apparently abducted while showing a home near Scott Thursday evening, had been found in a shallow grad near Cabot. The charges against Arron Lewis, her suspected abuctor, have been upgraded to capital murder.

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