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Ferneau continues live music 

Back in November, the Times reported about local entrepreneur Frank Fletcher's purchase of Ferneau. Fletcher made it pretty clear that there wouldn't be major changes to the restaurant. The restaurant will continue to host live music regularly on Fridays and Saturdays, and plans are in the works to have music on Thursdays as well, said bartender Peter Webre.

Webre said some customers had assumed that the restaurant and bar would be closing earlier under the new owner, but that Ferneau will stay open until 2 a.m. on Friday and 1 a.m. on Saturday "as long as we have people." Webre said he's aiming to have a monthly show from local supergroup Amasa Hines as well. The Friday and Saturday music starts at 10 p.m. and there's no cover charge. Ricky David Tripp will play Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting at 5:30.

Pop/R&B star and Camden native Ne-Yo has brought his Compound Entertainment label under the umbrella of Motown Records, where he is now senior vice president of A&R (via Rolling Stone).

He'll be writing and producing music in addition to the usual A&R responsibilities of shepherding budding, naive young talents into the high-pressure, high-stakes world of pop stardom and making sure they don't fall in with the wrong crowd or become massively egotistical prima donna cokeheads.

The Arkansas Literary Festival announced its 2012 lineup last week.

Among the more than 90 participating authors are familiar names like Roy Blount Jr., David Margolick, Ian Frazier and Greil Marcus as well as locals Kevin Brockmeier, Mara Leveritt and Ernest Dumas; up-and-comer (and fourth sexiest man of 2011, according to Salon) Justin Torres; food writers Diana Southwood Kennedy, John T. Edge and Roland Mesnier; Heidi Julavits (novelist and co-founding editor of "The Believer"), cartoonists Barbara Slate and David Rees and many, many more poets, critics, essayists, humorists, sports writers, journalists and assorted other scribes.

In addition to the author talks and panel discussions and workshops and whatnot, there will be a cocktail reception with the authors, a book fiesta for kiddos, cooking workshops, films and a street fair with musicians, including The Salty Dogs and Montgomery Trucking.

The festival is April 12-15, and most events are free and open to the public.

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