It's that time once again, fellow Arkansanites, for the Arkansas Times' Best and Worst edition, our annual roundup of the year's dumbest, weirdest, oddest, strangest and all-around Arkansasiest. Up for your consideration this year: suicidal Sookie fans, why Boston hates Nate Bell, the black gold eruption in Mayflower pays off for some enterprising paintballers, a state treasurer gets her hand caught in the pie box, a dog bites more than the hand that fed him, Radio Shack pissery in Paragould, a volunteer pimp, a visit from Gangsta Claus in Magnolia, and a strong candidate for the most inopportune cellphone butt dial in the history of the technology. It's all here, friends. Read it and weep before striding boldly into 2014.
In early January, a federal appeals court tribunal in St. Louis dismissed a complaint filed by a Faulkner County Jail inmate who'd said that officials' refusal to give him more than one roll of toilet paper per week was a violation of his civil rights.
Deputies were dispatched to a rural home in the hamlet of Roland in January after a woman reportedly called 911 and cursed at dispatchers several times. When cops arrived, police said the woman looked out the window at them and then — as officers watched through the glass — went to the phone and called 911 again to curse at dispatchers for sending the police. She was charged with communicating a false alarm.
A video clip from a 2011 Tea Party rally in which state Sen. Jason Rapert railed against minority groups and President Obama went viral nationwide in February, with tens of thousands of Americans taking to Facebook and Twitter to excoriate Rapert for — among other things — his vow to "take this country back for the Lord" and saying that he "won't allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in."
Alex Collins, a top-ranked running back from South Plantation, Fla., had his plans to sign with the Razorbacks put in jeopardy in February when his mother reportedly came to his high school, refused to sign his letter of intent to play for UA before it could be faxed, and went on the lam. Mom apparently wanted her baby to attend school closer to home. Collins got his dad's signature and went on to rush for more than 1,000 yards in his freshman season with the Hogs.
One of the brazen robbers who cleaned out the registers and forced employees and customers into a freezer at gunpoint during a robbery of a Little Rock Wendy's restaurant in early February was wearing a "Hello Kitty" sweatshirt.
In February, a Little Rock woman who was angry at her boyfriend for breaking up with her told officers who'd come to remove her from the apartment they'd shared that her former beau sold drugs. As proof, she reportedly directed them to her own purse, which police say contained 28 grams of marijuana and a scale. She was charged with maintaining a drug premises and possession with intent to deliver.
Worst love conquers all
Buried in media coverage of the February murder trial of a hit man who was convicted of shooting a Little Rock woman and killing her boyfriend in January 2012 was the news that Pulaski County prosecutors had to drop charges against the man they said they believe hired the killer because the female victim has since married him and refused to cooperate with investigators.
In February, a Texarkana man was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly beating his girlfriend's 2-year-old son with a belt, with the man telling detectives he hit the toddler because the boy wouldn't call him "daddy."
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