Insiders, Dec. 27 


We've heard some grumbling over the brief fire last week at the new Richard S. Arnold Federal Courthouse on Capitol Avenue. Apparently, the Fire Department's zeal to enter the building caused more damage than the fire itself, with firefighters breaking a large panel of glass near the vestibule and ripping the loading dock doors on the older portion of the courthouse off their hinges — even though the building is equipped with keyed “Knox Boxes” that allow firefighters to gain emergency access.

The fire started in a cooling tower on the roof of the old courthouse, where workers had used cutting torches earlier in the day to demolish a cooling tower. A passerby noticed smoke at 9:35 p.m. and the fire was out 40 minutes later.

Fire Marshal Gary Jones, who was at the fire, said he didn't know the building was equipped with Knox Boxes. When firefighters approach heavy smoke and visible fire, time is of the essence, he said. “You can replace a door, but minutes are very, very valuable — minutes and seconds. It doesn't take a fire very long to become fully involved.”

Making a splash

The Peabody Hotel has committed $250,000 to the city's Adventure Park playground in Riverfront Park. The interactive playground — which, when the city's labor is figured in will be an investment worth about $1.5 million — will feature a 40-foot-wide splash pool, to be named for the hotel. Peabody general manager Gregg Herning said the hotel will commission a sculptor to create bronze ducks to boost the hotel's connection to the park.

Seen this winter

Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, which is being built by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, revealed another of its acquisitions Dec. 20 when it published an online Christmas card on its blog. (The card was mailed to select friends of the museum.) “Winter Scene, View Near Clarkstown” is a small watercolor and pencil made circa 1860 by New England painter John William Hill. The museum will open late in 2009.

Secret Santa

What were all the Secret Service guys doing outside River Market ArtSpace last Friday night? Helping Bill Clinton play Santa. Clinton, in town for the graduation ceremony at the Clinton School of Public Service, made his yearly after-hours visit to the gallery, accommodated by owner Debra Wood. Wood, ever discreet, declined to say what Hillary Clinton is getting for Christmas, but did say the former president bought objects in glass, wood and ceramics.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Paul Peterson

  • That’s the spirit

    ‘Simple Christmas’ sticks it to critics.
    • Jan 14, 2010
  • Holiday blend

    take equal parts arena rock and classical, fuse with Christmas carols and serve rock opera style. Then sprinkle with violins, 14 vocalists, two narrators, state-of-the-art pyro and lasers and you've about got the essence of Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
    • Dec 19, 2009
  • Holiday blend

    Take equal parts arena rock and classical, fuse with Christmas carols and serve rock opera style. Then sprinkle with violins, 14 vocalists, two narrators, state-of-the-art pyro and lasers and you've about got it.
    • Dec 18, 2009
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • "Nasty Woman" at HSU: 32 artists celebrate Women's History Month

    A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

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  

Most Viewed

  • Their home, too

    Rasha Alzahabi is one of thousands of Arkansans whose families have been impacted by President Trump's travel ban.

Most Recent Comments


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