As we close out the books on 2012, we decided to take a look back at the traffic on our website to get a tally of the most-read stories of the year. Based on the popularity of these stories, online readers of the Arkansas Times can't get enough scandal and stories about Republicans saying and doing wacky things.
A statement released Dec. 21 by Paragould PoliceChief Todd Stovall suggests that his department may be backing away from its earlier hard-line — and almost certainly unconstitutional — plan that would have allowed officers on patrol in SWAT fatigues and carrying assault rifles to demand the ID of people on the street and arrest anyone who failed to comply.
The Observer got out to the storied halls of Little Rock Central High the other night for Junior's Christmas recital, the young'un lugging his tuba onto the very large stage in the very large auditorium there just off the very large entrance and then performing admirably, along with the choir, the beginning band, and the students of the Pulaski Heights Middle School dance classes.
Every now and then I watch the Fox News Network. I think it's wise to know what the lunatics are saying. Even a blind man can see that Fox is anything but fair and balanced. "The No Spin Zone"? Are you kidding me?
Many of Arkansas's Democratic candidates have avoided speaking Barack Obama's name throughout his years on the national scene. However, if the party is to retain two preeminent state offices in 2014, it will need to borrow the techniques of the Obama operation crucial to his 2012 victory.
The weather has cooled. For a while, I feared a Louisiana-style Christmas. Invariably, my mother would give me a new sweater. Invariably, it was too warm to wear it. I've had another taste of old-timey Christmas this year — no rush to the season.
Our discussion last week of the wild hair v. wild hare controversy produced an insightful comment from Challis Muniz. "But of course 'wild as a March hare' probably got tangled in with the wild hair/hare up everyone's butts, which is quite likely where the confusion comes in. Quite common for the harebrained." She got harebrained right too; it sometimes appears, erroneously, as hairbrained.
Of all the outrages to decency and common sense during National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre's bizarre press conference following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the most offensive may have been his depiction of America as a dark hell haunted by homicidal maniacs.
In prior editions of Pearls, I have freely disclosed being a bit of a "newbie", a child of the 1980s who nonetheless has devoted generous portions of his life to studying the overall history of Arkansas Razorback athletics. Therefore, at the risk of offending those whose memories may be longer than my own, I still think I'm qualified to say that 2012 was the most oddball, bass-ackwards mess of a year for that institution since the leather helmet/peach basket era.
Two-thirds of the Hog schedule now behind us in our three-part, ritualistic, sometimes-self-immolating season preview, we turn to the final month of action. In both of Bret Bielema's two seasons here, this has been a pretty good month, or at least as good as a 2-6 record in those months can be.
Rep. Justin Harris blames DHS for the fallout related to his adoption of three young girls, but sources familiar with the situation contradict his story and paint a troubling picture of the adoption process and the girls' time in the Harris household.
Five years into the exploration for natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale, most Arkansans know about the hydraulic fracturing process and its links to environmental havoc, including poisoned wells and radioactive wastewater in various parts of the United States and increased earthquakes here in Arkansas. Now, a mushrooming side industry is beginning to attract national attention.
One day in September 1957, Bill Floyd traveled by bus to Little Rock for an afternoon doctor's appointment, but arrived early enough in the morning to satisfy his curiosity and witness history. Disembarking, he asked a man on a downtown street corner for directions to Central High School, site of violent protests over the Little Rock School Board's decision to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 order to desegregate public schools.