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Little Rock continues to surprise with its wonderful hidden gems, and the fudge shop inside the Crown Shop is no exception. It’s a small shop that’s probably not on most people’s radar for delightful sweet treats, but I’d definitely check them out next time you’ve got a hankering for fudge.
Arkansas Cooks sits down with Liz Sanders of the Bernice Garden to talk farmers markets, local growers, and community.
Feedback with us and tell us where you're eating this week.
All the stops on tonight's gallery walk/trolley tour.
Their silverpoint drawings help Hearne Fine Art celebrate its silver anniversary.
"Get a Simple Landscape" includes drawings about landscape as metaphor.
I've been among the speakers at Arkansas Boys State for 20 years. I talk about my left-leaning ideas. Conservative young men take vigorous exception, particularly on social issues such as abortion and sexual orientation. /more/
When someone lamented the starvation of millions in the Ukraine, Joseph Stalin is supposed to have observed that "one death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is only a statistic." /more/
Spy work holds deep allure for many people. My own career as a secret agent began as an outgrowth of training beagle hunting dogs. See, I needed new antennas for the little radio transmitters in the animals' collars — which combined with a directional antenna and multi-channel receiver helped me bring the little rascals home alive at day's end. /more/
Rep. Andrea Lea (R-Russellville) says she'll run for state auditor. Benton's Ken Yang is also running for the Republican nomination. Current Auditor Charlie Daniels has said he won't seek reelection. No Democrat has announced.
What else is going on out there?
Looking on the sunny side, the ACLU noted several good outcomes, include three privacy protection bills by Rep. Nate Steel, D-Nashville, to prohibit private and public employers (HB1901) and institutions of higher learning (HB1902, now Act 1480) from requiring employees to disclose passwords on social media accounts and restrictions on data kept by license plate readers (HB1996. now Act 998); and Rep. John Edwards' bill (HB1484, now Act 506) to cut down on red tape and the time the mentally ill are held in jail before adjudication.
Also on the positive side: Bad bills that the ACLU opposed and failed or were never. These include (but are not limited to) the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, and Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs), which would have allowed people to discriminate based on their own religious beliefs, and another to undo state Education Department rules that require that preschools receiving state funding do not violate the First Amendment by providing religious teachings (Sen. Cecile
Rogers Bledsoe, R-Rogers, and Rep. Deborah Ferguson, D-West Memphis).
Employees and former employees of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs have filed suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court alleging wage and hour violations at the now-closed Little Rock Veterans Home and the incident-plagued Fayetteville Veterans Home.
The numbers of people in the class could exceed 50, lawyer John Holleman said today. Holleman represents named plaintiffs Darlene Okeke, Debra Jackson, Rita Culberson, Patricia Burton, Sandra Stewart, Linda Hopkins and Peggy Johnson in the suit against ADVA. Their complaint, filed June 18 in Pulaski County Circuit Court, makes several allegations: That they were required to work off the clock and then falsify records to indicate they had not, were not always allowed to take promised compensatory time, and that comp time was awarded on an hour per hour basis rather than the hour and a half that is the rate of pay for overtime. The complaint says the “policy of failing to compensate Plaintiffs for all hours worked” had been in place for more than three years and “is continuing and ongoing.” Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages equal to the unpaid back wages at the overtime rates as well going back three years as well as “liquidated damages” (back pay).
Holleman said one of the plaintiffs, for example, had accumulated 400 hours of comp time but was not allowed to take a day off to go to her child’s wedding. Management was also deducting a half hour from pay for lunch, he said, though employees had to work through lunch to get their jobs done. He said the facilities were understaffed and “mismanaged.”
Holleman said he already has “40 or 50 total plaintiffs,” including a “huge number” from Fayetteville, though the plaintiffs named in the complaint live in Central Arkansas. He said he’ll file a motion for class certification with Circuit Judge Jay Moody, who has been assigned the case.
Kelly Ferguson, a spokesperson for the ADVA, said that none of the employees ever filed a complaint at work about the wage issues. Holleman said that employees had complained to supervisors and were not required to file formal complaints.
ADVA will be represented by the state Attorney General’s Office.
The Fayetteville Veterans Home has been the subject of controversy since at least 2011, when an Office of Long-Term Care report cited numerous violations of standard care, including failure to do wound care, a 26.3 percent medication error rate, failure to treat bedsores, failure to do background checks on 10 employees, failure to provide enough food to a veteran, and so forth. In April of this year, four employees were fired for making false statements to the OTLC; they’d alleged a dementia patient had broken her own arm resisting nurse assistants trying to take a blood sample. At the time, Ferguson was quoted in the Northwest Arkansas Times as saying employees were fearful about speaking up about violations because “If you reported an issue before, sometimes you were put on unpaid leave, no matter what was being investigated.”
The Fayetteville home lost its Medicaid and Medicare qualification for a time, but it has been reinstated. The Little Rock home was closed last year after numerous health care and building code violations were found and after several financial irregularities, including an illegal charge to veterans for maintenance fees that totaled nearly $600,000, was discovered.
"Whoa! What was that?"
"What was what?"
"That! Do you hear it? It sounds like... An episode of SyFy's hit series "Ghost Hunters."
"You mean, here in Little Rock?"
"Exactly, I'm getting a reading that tells me the upcoming new episode on Wednesday, June 19 will include a ghost-hunting expedition to a home once owned by prominent early 20th century banker Edward Cornish."
"Yes, it airs at 8 p.m. and it's called "Ghost Friends Forever."
"Spooky. What else can you tell me?"
"Well, here goes...
On this episode of Ghost Hunters, TAPS is called to Little Rock, Arkansas where a family has inherited a bungalow next door to their home that they believe to be cursed. The bungalow has a tragic history of death, robberies and murder dating back to the 1800s. Paranormal activity has been terrifying their bungalow tenants for years and now activity seems to have spread over to the family’s main house. Have the bungalow spirits traveled next door to the family’s home? Are the family’s deceased close friends, who willed the bungalow to them, to blame for this activity? TAPS is being brought in to get answers for this family in desperate need of answers.
"So where can I watch a very brief preview for this episode?"
"After the jump!"
Jazz legend and "Schoolhouse Rock!" composer Bob Dorough will perform at The Afterthought, 8 p.m., $5.
Hey there, how about this: you and a buddy get to go see Johnny Winter June 21 at Juanita's PLUS get to go to the meet-n-greet before the show and maybe get your picture made with the blues guitar legend. Sound cool? Well your old pals here at the Times are going to be giving away just such a prize.
All you need to do is send an email to robertbell at arktimes dot com with JOHNNY WINTER in the subject line. Send it in by noon on June 19. I'll draw names later that afternoon and announce the winner here on Rock Candy.
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