Direct democracy goes well with liquor 

Direct democracy goes well with liquor

Appropriate that this weirdly wet summer might birth the amendment that ends dry counties in Arkansas. Last week, the secretary of state's office announced that the organization Let Arkansas Decide had turned in enough signatures to place before voters an item to allow retail alcohol sales in all counties statewide: over 87,000 verified so far, with others being counted.

Arkansas is one of the few remaining states with a significant number of dry counties. Earlier this summer, local petitions to end the alcohol ban in Faulkner and Craighead counties failed to gather the requisite number of signatures, but no matter: If voters approve on Nov. 4, this statewide vote would supersede those efforts. That sounds like the End Times to certain evangelical teetotalers and the big county line liquor stores that currently sop up all the weekend beer business from thirsty students from ASU, UCA and Hendrix (among tens of thousands of other dry county Arkansans). To most of the rest of us, it just sounds like modernity.

Cop drama

Seems like the news lately is filled with stories of law enforcement misusing its authority in ways big and small. There's the Mayflower officer who falsely accused a local woman, Melissa Brown, of skimming items from relief supplies she'd gathered for the town's tornado victims, which may or may not have been related to the fact that Brown was once romantically involved with the cop's son. Brown spent a night in jail and had her truck impounded before the charges were dropped; the officer was fired.

Then there's Jonesboro, where now-former police Chief Mike Yates took to Facebook to post a series of defamatory comments about police beat reporter Sunshine Crump of the Jonesboro Sun, including the memorable line, "dealing with ole Sunshine is like trying to pick up a dog turd by the 'clean end.'" Of the paper itself, Yates wrote, "I intend to help that ship sink ... torpedoes away!" Crump quit her job, saying she felt intimidated by the comments, and the paper called for Yates to be fired. The mayor of Jonesboro suspended Yates for 30 days without pay and ordered the chief to apologize to the Sun; instead, Yates resigned last week (sans apology). Crump returned to work soon after.

The National Bar Association, a group of black lawyers and judges, is targeting Little Rock and 24 other cities around the country in search of evidence of disproportionate use of force against unarmed black and Latino individuals. The group is requesting police records of misconduct and brutality, and will submit its findings to the U.S. Justice Department.

This is why we can't have nice things

The sculpture garden in Riverfront Park was ripped off yet again, with $30,000 worth of art stolen by thieves — including a portion of one bronze piece called "Conversation With Myself" that's been taken twice before in 2010 and 2012. Over the weekend, however, a couple out for a walk by the river found the sculptures lying in bags in the park. Was their return prompted by a guilty conscience? An unexpectedly disinterested pawnbroker? Or was the whole thing a piece of subtly incisive aesthetic commentary? We'll never know.

The eternal hot button

Last Friday, anti-abortion activists held a rally at the state Capitol to pressure U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor into supporting a federal law to prohibit abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Arkansas passed a 20-week ban in 2013, over the objections of Gov. Mike Beebe, who pointed out (rightly) that the bill runs afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court. As a Christian and a Southern Democrat in a neck-and-neck race, the abortion issue puts Pryor in an especially tough position — but it's a moot point, as the federal bill is going nowhere.


Speaking of...


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • UPDATE: Retired Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe dies at 81

    Townsend Durant Wolfe, III, retired director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center, has died at 81.
  • Subpoenas identify names of federal interest in kickback probe

    The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District today provided me with the subpoena it received from federal investigators in a probe that led to former Republican Rep. Micah Neal's guilty plea to taking kickbacks from money he guided to a nonprofit agency and a private college in Springdale, apparently Ecclesia College.
  • Human Services says it's eliminated Medicaid application backlog

    The state Human Services Department has informed Gov. Asa Hutchinson that it has all but eliminated a backlog in applications for Medicaid coverage.
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.

Latest in The Week That Was

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Event Calendar

« »


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation