With the death of 117-year-old Misao Okawa of Osaka, Japan. Gertrude Weaver of Camden, born July 4, 1898, has been officially recognized as the world's oldest living person, at 116 years, 8 months and 28 days old as of today.
Mother Jones points out this morning, as Max did earlier this month, that Mike Huckabee probably isn't the one to be lecturing Hillary Clinton on government transparency, recounting a saga familiar to longtime readers.
Arkansas's kitschy-est ghost town has a new owner. Earlier this week, Charles "Bud" Pelsor purchased much of the land that used to be the home of Dogpatch USA. He and partners paid close to $2 million for the 400-acre site in Newton County on Wednesday, the Democrat-Gazette reported this morning. Time to indulge in some nostalgia.
Every seat full tonight at Little Rock's Ron Robinson Theater in the River Market for the premiere of "Devil's Knot," the new film based on the exhaustively researched 2002 book by Times contributing editor Mara Leveritt about the West Memphis Three case. The film focuses on the murders of Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore, and ends just after the 1994 convictions of Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin. Oscar Winners Colin Firth (as private investigator Ron Lax) and Reese Witherspoon (as Pam Hobbs) star. We'll have a full review in next week's issue and online.
The Baxter Bulletin reports that eight Calico Rock students have been suspended, banned from the prom and more for using a key to enter the school at night and move desks and chairs from a classroom to a hallway.
Of course there's a Facebook page in support of the Calico Crazy 8.
David Anderson, who moved to the Murfreesboro to hunt for gems at Crater of Diamonds State Park, found a 6.19-carat white diamond at the park. He named it "Limitless Diamond" and plans to sell it and donate the proceeds to the Speed of Light charity.
Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo highlights some good old-fashioned Clinton derangement syndrome: conservative critics of Hillary Clinton are speculating that she may have staged the recent attack-by-shoe in Las Vegas. Alison Hurst of Phoenix has been charged with throwing a soccer cleat at Clinton as she gave a speech last Thursday. Clinton ducked and was fine. Or...that's what Clinton would have you believe!
BREAKING: Former Gov. (and Superhypothetical '16 presidential candidate) Mike Huckabee said something dumb. Of course, we're used to Huckabee gleefully spewing nonsense that might offend folks in these parts. This time he managed to stick his foot in his mouth far enough at yesterday's New Hampshire Freedom Summit to arouse bipartisan condemnation.
Fayetteville's Andrew Aurenheimer, better known as internet troll and "hacker" weev, is set to be released from federal prison after a federal appeals court reversed and vacated his conviction and sentence. Aurenheimer was convicted in 2012 of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and sentenced to a 41-month prison term for what the government called "unauthorized access" of AT&T's servers in 2010. In reality, Aurenheimer merely exposed an AT&T security flaw.
Writer Maya Angelou has cancelled an appearance at an April 11 event in Fayetteville sponsored by the Fayetteville Public Library, citing health problems that have left her hospitalized. As a consolation, however, Angelou — who was born in St. Louis in 1928 and raised in the tiny town of Stamps, Arkansas — sent along what might be one of the more lovely "so sorry, can't attend" letters in history.
It's a slow news day, so considering the overwhelmingly negative response to Otey the Swamp Possum, should the Travs decide to kill him off (probably a longshot, as you can already buy a $30 Otey New Era ballcap), we have a few suggestions for replacements.
Has there ever been a more misguided mascot selection? Custom Characters of Glendale, California, who according to the Travs release have worked with Disney and DreamWorks to create characters, definitely didn't take a cue from Pogo. This swamp possum is all sharp claws and rat face.
Kerry Wayne Evans, one of the stars on "Clash of the Ozarks," a Discovery Channel "reality" show set in Hardy, pleaded guilty this week to illegally possessing an unregistered machine gun, AP reports. He faces 10 years of jail time and up to $250,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for June 20.
Matt Campbell, a Little Rock lawyer, said he filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today against the Little Rock School District for its failure to provide personnel records of Teresa Gordon, a media specialist at Jefferson Elementary.
Ann Clemmer tells the Democrat-Gazette she's given "background information" in the federal probe into Mike Maggio and illicit campaign contributions. This naturally raises questions for others who benefitted from money raised by a state senator implicated in the scandal, including Supreme Court Associate Justice Rhonda Wood.
Blue Hog Report has mined another interesting report out of public record. He's found a copy of the doctoral dissertation of Dexter Suggs, interim superintendent of the Little Rock School District, and compared it with another writer's work and found verbatim similarities.
Whitewater alert: Larry Nichols endorses Hillary Clinton for president. Mother Jones mines some comedy gold in looking for overlooked opposition research in Arkansas on the 2016 presidential candidate.
I believe I'll check KATV tonight. The Education Department continued its silence today on what Education Commissioner Johnny Key intends to do, if anything about Dexter Suggs, kept on as interim school superintendent of the Little Rock District after the state booted the school board and took over the district.