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Dining Feature

Up all night at Hurts Donuts

April 1, 2019
Up all night at Hurts Donuts
Surveying the line at downtown Little Rock's popular new donut shop. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

Nunna My Heroes: A conversation with Fahamu Pecou

April 17, 2019
Nunna My Heroes: A conversation with Fahamu Pecou
Last chance to catch Fahamu Pecou and over 50 other artists at Crystal Bridges' "Men of Steel, Women of Wonder." /more/


Ernest Dumas

GOP's health care quandary

Republican officeholders, in Arkansas and everywhere, have found themselves in an impossible catch-22 — caught between mutually conflicting political demands by their voters. I’m talking about the political dilemma of choosing between the widely hated Obamacare and the highly popular provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. /more/

Gene Lyons

Bernie, the millionaire Socialist

So Bernie Sanders, the self-anointed scourge of the malign influence of “millionaires and billionaires” on American politics, is himself a millionaire. Firmly ensconced in the top 1 percent of income earners in the United States. Which you’ve got to admit is pretty funny. Only in America, as comedians like to say. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Welcome, Coach Muss

April 8, 2019
Welcome, Coach Muss
As is common when a “coaching search” gets underway at the University of Arkansas—at this rate, it’s been about an average of every two or three years during my lifetime that either the basketball or football head coaching position has changed—the rumor mill churns at a feverish pace and almost always ends up being discredited for one reason or another. /more/

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Arkansas Blog

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Rock Candy

Music, art and eats in Arkansas


Arkansas's guide to medical cannabis

Arkansas Blog

Saturday, April 20, 2019 - 13:52:00

Open line

Dyeing eggs at the in-laws. Here's an early open line. What's the word out there? 


Friday, April 19, 2019 - 20:41:00

Motion to expedite granted for Trump administration's appeal in Arkansas Medicaid work requirements case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today granted the federal government's request for expedited consideration of its appeal of a recent ruling blocking Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas.



Friday, April 19, 2019 - 17:36:00

Prosecutors decline to charge police officer in shooting death of Bradley Blackshire (UPDATED)

click to enlarge ASKING FOR ANSWERS: Kimberly Blackshire-Lee, mother of Bradley Blackshire, at a press conference after the shooting death of her son. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • ASKING FOR ANSWERS: Kimberly Blackshire-Lee, mother of Bradley Blackshire, at a press conference after the shooting death of her son.

Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley will not bring charges against Little Rock Police Officer Charles Starks, according to the LRPD and the prosecuting attorney's office. Starks, 31, fatally shot Bradley Blackshire, 30, in a parking lot on the corner of West 12th Street and Rodney Parham Road on Feb 22. 

Police said Blackshire was driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen. According to initial police accounts, Starks fired on Blackshire after Blackshire accelerated and hit Starks. But on Feb. 27, the LRPD took the unusual step of relieving Starks of duty. He remained on payroll, but had to turn over his badge and gun.

On March 7, the LRPD released a 25-minute critical incident video. It shows Stark's police vehicle speed to a stop in front of the vehicle Blackshire was driving. Then Starks asks Blackshire repeatedly and aggressively to get out of the car. Asked by Blackshire what he's done, Starks says, "Get out! I'll explain to you in a second." Seconds later, Blackshire says, "What you gonna shoot me for, I ain't got — " Starks continues to demand that Blackshire get of the car. Blackshire says, "No." The car Blackshire was driving begins to move slowly forward in what appears to be an attempt to get around Starks' police vehicle. Soon after Starks begins shooting. He fired into the car at least 15 times.

Jegley, in a letter to LRPD Chief Keith Humphrey, said the shooting was justified because "Starks was confronted with the imminent threat of deadly force in two forms: 1) the vehicle that was driving toward him and from which he had no duty to retreat, and 2) his reasonable belief that Mr. Blackshire was going to shoot him."

Jegley says Starks believed Blackshire said, "You're gonna have to shoot me," instead of "What you gonna shot me for." Jegley also says that when Blackshire puts the car into gear, his hand goes out of sight. Starks said he couldn't tell if Blackshire was reaching for something. Jegley writes that Desaray Clarke, who was a passenger in the car, said Blackshire was "digging around in his pocket where she says he normally keeps his gun."

Jegley says that Starks said that he moved in front of car in an effort to take cover behind his vehicle's engine block as officers are trained to avoid getting shot. Starks also said that he was squaring up to Blackshire so that his vest would provide maximum protection if he was shot.

Jegley, in his letter, anticipates that critics will point to how slow Blackshire's car appears to be moving.

"There is less than one second that passes between Starks getting bumped by the vehicle, the vehicle continuing towards Starks, and Starks firing his first shot. So even though the video gives the impression of everything happening slowly, these are truly split-second judgements that Starks is making."

An LRPD spokesman also said today that an internal investigation into the incident had concluded, but said it would take approximately two weeks for Chief Humphrey to make a final decision on Starks' status.

Protestors blocked the intersection of Markham and Broadway on Tuesday during a City Board meeting, demanding justice for Blackshire.

Omavi Shukur, an attorney representing Blackshire's family, provided the following statement from the family:

Charles Starks’s actions were criminal. The family disagrees with the prosecutor’s decision and will be undeterred in our pursuit of justice. We ask that the community not give the authorities any excuse to further neglect their responsibility to make amends for this devastating tragedy. Let us be constructive in the wake of Starks’s destructive actions. We seek justice, not retribution. Retribution without justice does nothing to help us reach our ultimate goal of ensuring that no family has to experience what we are going through right now.

Mayor Frank Scott issued the following statement:

I received notice this afternoon from Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey that Pulaski  County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley’s office will not file criminal charges against Charles  Starks, the LRPD Officer who shot and killed Bradley Blackshire on February 22nd.

In the spirit of transparency, I earnestly await the Department of Justice’s civil rights review and  its results. Chief Humphrey has assured me that the Internal Affairs investigation to determine  policy violations or disciplinary action will be decided within two weeks.

Whether or not you agree with Prosecuting Attorney Jegley’s decision, the fact remains that  there is a Little Rock mother grieving the loss of her son. I have spoken with Mr. Blackshire’s  mother, prayed with her this afternoon, and will continue to pray for her peace, strength and  comfort during this time of sorrow.

I understand the range of emotions that today’s decision has stirred, for I too share in your pain and frustration. However, I personally ask that the citizens of Little Rock remain peaceful.

This post will be updated.


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Saturday, April 20, 2019 - 08:05:00

Saturday To-Do: Ben Dickey at White Water Tavern

click to enlarge Ben Dickey - RETT PEEK
  • Rett Peek
  • Ben Dickey

In a world ruled by fairness, Ben Dickey’s 2016 solo record “Sexy Birds & Salt Water Classics” and its 2019 follow-up “A Glimmer on the Outskirts” would be enough to make his a household name. It was, however, the fortuitous events of that three-year interim that would do the trick.

The Little Rock native — formerly of ’90s-era local post-hardcore act Shake Ray Turbine — found his name on the tongues of critics at Rolling Stone and Sundance last year after his friend Ethan Hawke cast him at the center of “Blaze,” a film depicting the life of Malvern native/songwriting legend Blaze Foley. What emerged was hailed as the best biopic of 2018; Dickey’s film debut grappled with its subject unflinchingly, giving a wider audience not only awareness of Foley’s catalogue and stunning biography, but an awareness of Dickey’s own artistry. Even better, Bob Dylan’s longtime guitarist Charlie Sexton — who played Townes Van Zandt in “Blaze” — produced “A Glimmer on the Outskirts,” selecting its track list and its studio musicians. It’s a mesmerizing collection of tracks, earnest and beatific, and worthy of getting lost in more than once, with vivid turns of phrase like “the Great Rearranger drippin’ all his venom into our eyes.”

Dickey performs from it for this Saturday engagement at the White Water Tavern, where he debuted “Sexy Birds” in 2016, before he became an indie film darling.


Friday, April 19, 2019 - 14:22:00

Three Fold announces fried chicken 'pop-up' Haybird; says Riverdale project in the works

click to enlarge FRIED CHICKEN ON THE WAY: Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. will be opening a pop-up fried chicken restaurant in its former location on Center St. Owner Lisa Zhang said she hopes Haybird will open by the end of May.
  • FRIED CHICKEN ON THE WAY: Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. will be opening a pop-up fried chicken restaurant in its former location on Center St. Owner Lisa Zhang said she hopes Haybird will open by the end of May.

Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. is opening a "pop-up" fried chicken restaurant in its former location at 215 Center St. Hanaroo Sushi Bar, which occupied the space after Three Fold relocated, was to close April 20. Haybird will highlight a lighter style of fried chicken than most southerners are used to, serving boneless breasts and legs atop very thinly-cut fries — hence the "hay" in the name. Owner Lisa Zhang said she hopes to open the pop-up by the end of May.



Friday, April 19, 2019 - 08:05:00

Saturday To-Do: Jamie Lou & The Hullabaloo at Kings Live Music

click to enlarge Jamie Lou Connolly - AMBER LANE
  • Amber Lane
  • Jamie Lou Connolly

Nearly a decade ago, a stylish brunette named Jamie Lou Connolly won a talent competition at her call center workplace in Russellville, Arkansas. From there, she went on to play solo sets at dive bars, coffee shops, and in houses around the DIY scene, always generating stunned silence when she opened her mouth to sing.

Jamie Lou slowly became “Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo,” adding the instruments and members that has since created their unique folk/indie rock sound. Connolly has won numerous singer-songwriter competitions, but in 2018, the band also claimed the title of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase champions, competing against sixteen talented musicians local to Arkansas.

Connolly's 2017 album, "Femi-Socialite," is available to hear across most music streaming services, but nothing beats the real deal: feeling the rhythmic pulses between the drums and bass, the rise and fall of the lead guitar, the mellow constant of Jamie Lou’s guitar parts, and of course, the sometimes delicate, sometimes raucous intensity of her vocals.

The music video for the single, "Highway Men," released at the end of 2018 makes her meaning clear: Jamie Lou isn’t taking crap from anyone. Formerly the River Valley Sweetheart, this Northwest Arkansas star remains the Golden Voice of the Ozarks, performing live at King’s Live Music on Saturday, April 20.


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Arkansas Reporter

Lance Hines wants to make Little Rock a better place for new business

April 8, 2019
Lance Hines wants to make Little Rock a better place for new business
As City Director of Ward 5, Lance Hines wants to represent the business community’s interests on the city board. Now in his third term as a city director, Hines said he wants to make both residential and retail development easier in Little Rock and increase the city’s revenue by recruiting “one of a kind” retailers to make it a source for “destination shopping.” /more/


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