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Best of Arkansas 2014 

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There are so many bests in Arkansas that the Arkansas Times has to put out this issue every year to cover them all. Last year, our Best of Arkansas issue covered an artist and tattoo aficionado, a water park, french fries and blue politics in a red state. This year, along with a list of all our readers' choices, we're highlighting the Museum of Discovery, Don's Weaponry and the Encyclopedia of Arkansas (which includes an entry on slime molds). Then we asked an interior decorator what he thought about the Times' office. He said it made him want to jump in the river. We're also writing about the rap collective Young Gods of America, with a feature on Altitude Trampoline Park thrown in for some spring.

To help us on our tour of the best of the best, we enlisted Maggie, a Catahoula Leopard dog, who has a nose for winners (but may be permanently afraid of science experiments.)

We've got our editors' picks, too (find best dog, best pre-dinner snack and other iconoclastic bests there), and give you a piece of our minds on pie.

Here, the big list of bests, from clothes to golf courses to liquor stores to liberals.

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  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

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