In 10 days, we've raised nearly $10,000 to support our investigative project into the state's child welfare system. But to ensure that we can adequately develop the dozens upon dozens of leads we've gotten since the rehoming stories first appeared, we're shooting for $15,000. That'll enable us to hire at least one reporter and one intern (but possibly more) to help on this months-long project.
Response to our story about rehoming and adoption has been overwhelmingly positive, with one exception. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) has informed me that writing this story makes me the predator and Justin Harris the victim. I'm hellbound, apparently.
The descent into self-parody in the Democrat-Gazette’s endorsement last weekend of Tom Cotton was as inevitable as the endorsement itself. Arkansans should vote for Cotton or vote for Sen. Mark Pryor as they see fit. But all of us should be embarrassed of our daily paper’s Confederate nostalgia gussied up as True Grit.
The LRPD kicked off their new online police dispatch log today, a website that allows citizens and the media to see the time, location and basic nature of all LRPD dispatches in the city on a 30 minute delay, with dispatches disappearing from the site 8 hours after they're made.
"Islamic State underrated, Obama says." The D-G's headline writers meant that U.S. intelligence underestimated the threat posed by ISIS. But surely some Arkansas Tea Partier somewhere spit out their coffee this morning — their long-held theory of the terrorist-palling, secret-Muslim President Obama finally confirmed! The Islamic State ain't so bad, he says. It's underrated!
A new digital publication, Ratter, will launch in the coming months with ambitions to break original stories rich with unbelievable truth. Fayetteville native and Arkansas Times contributor Sam Eifling will serve as editorial director.
Leading the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, "synthesizes all of my interests and passions," Warwick Sabin said today by phone. After five and a half years as publisher of the Oxford American, he said the timing was right for him to leave and that he was confident he was leaving the magazine on good footing.
The billionaire Koch brothers have a massive imprint, from energy to forest products to multi-tentacled political front groups including the likes of Americans for Prosperity, important in the Republican takeover of the Arkansas legislature.
Nice plug in Politico for the Times' David Ramsey's coverage of the unfolding Medicaid expansion debate in Arkansas:
— ARKANSAS REPORTER MIXES IT UP WITH FORBES COLUMNIST OVER EXPANSION — David Ramsey, whose reporting for the Arkansas Times on his state’s unusual Medicaid expansion approach set the tone of a national conversation, shredded Forbes’s Avik Roy yesterday, contending the columnist ignored important facts on the subject.
Former Little Rock TV News investigative reporter Dewayne Graham, who made a name for himself as the face of KATV's "7 on Your Side" and later ran for public office, passed away yesterday at age 63 after what a friend said was a long illness.
Protesters greeted Tom Cotton today at an event held by the Foreign Policy Initiative, the neocon think tank founded by Cotton cheerleaders Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, called (of course) "Will Congress provide for the Common Defense? National Security priorities in an increasingly dangerous world."
I'm at anchor on a ship lying off Grand Turk Island, and I should have known better than to pick up the digital Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, particularly given the painfully slow download time on the ship's satellite Internet. But I did and began a slow burn.
Here are a couple of earthshaking developments: It turns out that Hillary Clinton is obsessed with privacy and that across the years former U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers detected ethical failings in other politicians, even friends like Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The manufacture and dissemination of didactic fables pleasing to the viewing audience is what many journalists do. And that's becoming almost as true at MSNBC as at Fox News. Particularly in stories involving race and sex, that is to say, a lot of them.
At a press conference today, Chad Griffin, Arkansas native and president of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBT advocacy group, announced that his organization will run a full-page ad (see below) in the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley's largest paper, suggesting that Arkansas is closed for business due to HB 1228, the discriminatory, anti-gay measure making its way through the legislature. It could be up for consideration by the Senate today.
Oh dear. Paradigm of conservative cultural authenticity, Phil Robertson, patriarch of A&E's "Duck Dynasty," conjured up a gruesome fantasy of the rape and torture of an atheist family in a speech to the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast, later broadcast on the “Trunews” radio program by host Rick Wiles.
Tippi McCullough, president of the Arkansas Stonewall Democrats, sends along a statement excoriating Arkansas legislators for moving forward on Rep. Bob Ballinger's discriminatory HB 1228. She also notes that Ballinger, who previously said he would debate the merits of HB 1228 in a public forum, hasn't responded to a number of attempts to schedule the debate.
Bring on the court challenges! Someone or another got to Democratic Sen. David Burnett and he flipped, caving and providing the needed fifth vote to pass a couple of Jerry Cox specials out of committee: HB1228, the so-called "conscience protection" bill from Bob Ballinger which would ensure protection for legal discrimination against gay people and SB939, the bill from Sen. Jason Rapert mandating that the Secretary of State build a monument commemorating the Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds.
The House committee on Public Health this morning voted to pass a bill that would require the Department of Workforce Services to create a pilot program to drug test people who receive benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, or TANF.