We have it on good authority that Gabe Holmstrom will be the new executive director of the state Democratic Party.
The 28-year-old field director for U.S. Rep. Marion Berry will likely move into the position in early May. Chris Masingill, who has been serving as interim executive director since Jason Willett was elected party chairman in February, will return to his previous role as district director to U.S. Rep. Mike Ross.
Holmstrom was campaign man-ager for Jan Judy’s 2004 U.S. House campaign in North-west Arkansas, and has worked as a carpenter in his hometown of Cabot.
Ever on Sunday
The River Market will open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays on a trial basis from May 1 to Aug. 28, according to Shannon Light, the River Market executive director.
“We think that the traffic now is here for us to make a good showing, and we are committing to a small window to see if it going to work,” Light said. Only vendors who want to be open on Sundays will participate. Past efforts to open on Sunday, all before the Clinton Library opened, had unsatisfactory results.
Dewayne Graham, the flamboyant reporter who split with KLRT Fox 16 a while back, has stirred another tiny tempest with his call-in show “Graham on Your Side,” which premiered this month on WB 42.
He got a letter from lawyers for Clear Channel Communications, owners of KLRT, saying he should quit his show on WB 42 until a 180-day noncompete agreement had expired. It has about 60 days to run.
Graham said he didn’t think the clause applied to the new show, where he takes on-air calls. (One guy found something strange in his buttermilk. Graham suggested he take it back to Kroger.) Graham, who was given an April 12 deadline, says he won’t quit the show. Will Clear Channel throw Dewayne into a legal briar patch? Stay tuned. And watch that buttermilk.
Dining out last weekend: 1) Joey Lauren Adams, the North Little Rock native actress who’s in town to film a movie she wrote, was spotted at a quiet dinner Sunday at Faded Rose. 2) First lady Janet Huckabee grabbed her meals at soup kitchens during 48 hours spent living the life of the homeless, with bunks under the Broadway Bridge one night and a church parking lot another night. Check www.kuar.org for an interview with Mrs. Huckabee on the experience. She told KUAR that she learned some are homeless because of divorce (another reason for covenant marriage, right?) and some are “crackheads.”
Pen in hand
Speaking of movies and Huckabees: John Mark Huckabee, son of Gov. Mike Huckabee, was one of five winners of a Piko Fellowship in Screenwriting, which is awarded to applicants who intend to specialize in Christian screenwriting. It provides five months of living expenses to write at a community designed for the fellowship winners on Bowen Island, British Columbia. As a result, next month Huckabee will leave the office of U.S. Rep. John Boozman, where he is director of constituent correspondence.
Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
A former mental health agency director has won a default judgment worth $358,000 over a claim for unpaid retirement pay and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson is apparently to blame for failure to respond to pleadings in the case.
Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.
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.
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.
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.