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Casey's is reborn on Cantrell

July 12, 2018
Casey's is reborn on Cantrell
It's a barbecue revival. /more/

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A&E Feature

Redneck cinema podcast zooms in on 'White Lightning'

July 12, 2018
Redneck cinema podcast zooms in on 'White Lightning'
A Q&A with "Jackie Broyles" and "Dunlap" on their new podcast, "Redneck Matinee." /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

Let's vote

The potential for exciting November elections grew last week with filing of petitions for three ballot initiatives to add to two already cleared by the legislature. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Punishing the poor

It behooves nearly every generation of Arkansas political leaders to write another chapter in the enduring and simple annals of punishing the poor. /more/

Gene Lyons

Soccer and the world

As I write, the first of two World Cup semifinal games, Belgium vs. France, is set to kick off in Moscow, and as soon as this column is finished and filed I'll be enjoying the spectacle on TV. Largely for the sake of my old friend Alain in Montpellier, I'll be pulling hard for France. /more/

Movie Reviews

Not exactly make-believe

July 5, 2018
Not exactly make-believe
Biopic shows us Fred Rogers was an open book. /more/

Pearls About Swine

This one stings

July 5, 2018
We Arkansas Razorback fans have such a jaded and fatalistic view of the world that this column was both painfully rote and foretold. /more/

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Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 12:15:00

Vincent Tolliver announces agenda for LR mayoral run

VINCENT TOLLIVER
  • VINCENT TOLLIVER
Vincent Tolliver announced on Facebook today his candidacy for Little Rock mayor. He'd earlier been among those packing up materials necessary to file for the office.


The former Democratic congressional candidate posted on Facebook his outlook on issues in the race:



/more/  

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 11:52:00

150 lose jobs at Walmart optical facility in Fayetteville

click to enlarge 150 AXED: At Walmart optical lab.
  • 150 AXED: At Walmart optical lab.
40/29 reports the layoff of 150 workers at a Walmart optical lab. The company statement referred to "changing business needs."

/more/  

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 11:45:00

Laquanda Jacobs to be freed today after 26 years in prison for murder advocates say she didn't commit

click to enlarge TO BE FREED TODAY: Laquanda Jacobs
  • TO BE FREED TODAY: Laquanda Jacobs
Laquanda "Faye" Jacobs, 43, is to be released from the women's prison unit in Newport today after serving 26 years for a murder her advocates  say she didn't commit.

She's being released for time served as a result of resentencing of people who received mandatory
life without parole sentences as juveniles. Jacobs was 16 when convicted of capital murder in 1993 for the 1992 shooting death of Kevin Gaddy, 17.

/more/  

 

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 10:13:00

The Rep secure through August 14, Board reports

click to enlarge After suspending productions April 24 due to significant cash flow issues, Arkansas Repertory Theatre reports the theatre is now current with all of its trade vendors and has secured operations and current staff through August 14.
  • After suspending productions April 24 due to significant cash flow issues, Arkansas Repertory Theatre reports the theatre is now current with all of its trade vendors and has secured operations and current staff through August 14.

From the Arkansas Repertory Theatre comes news that it has received "almost 900 gifts totaling more than $422,000 and has secured two challenge grants – one from the John and Robyn Horn Foundation and another from the Windgate Charitable Foundation – valued collectively at $1,025,000."

This, as well as the sale of The Rep's Peachtree Apartments, a 16-unit complex used for actor housing that The Rep has owned for several decades, puts the organization further along the path to resolving the financial woes that ultimately led to its suspending operations in April.

More from the press release:

Two months since the Arkansas Repertory Theatre announced it would suspend productions due to significant cash flow issues, fiscal year end reports show significant progress being made in efforts to save the state’s largest nonprofit, professional theatre.

“As of June 30, The Rep is now current with all of its trade vendors and has secured operations and current staff through August 14,” said Ruth Shepherd, Rep board chair and interim leadership team member.

Reporting an emergency deficit of $750,000, The Rep Board of Directors decided earlier this year to suspend productions, resulting in the layoff of two-thirds of its administrative and artistic staff, as well as the cancellation of the final show of the theatre’s 2017-2018 season.

Now concentrating on rebounding from the current financial crisis, Rep leadership has pledged to reassess, refocus and revision a theatre which is professional, affordable and sustainable. The board of directors has appointed an interim leadership team consisting of Shepherd, fellow board member Bill Rector and Rep founding artistic director Cliff Baker.

Since “going dark” on April 24, The Rep has received almost 900 gifts totaling more than $422,000 and has secured two challenge grants – one from the John and Robyn Horn Foundation and another from the Windgate Charitable Foundation – valued collectively at $1,025,000.

The theatre has also finalized the sale of Peachtree Apartments, a 16-unit complex used for actor housing that has been among The Rep’s real estate holdings for more than 30 years. Proceeds from the sale will effectively cut The Rep’s property debt “almost in half,” according to Rep interim leadership team member Bill Rector, who negotiated the sale for The Rep with Rick Freeling of RPM Group representing buyers Mark Brown and Jill Judy. The sale closed on June 20.

Shepherd said a steering committee comprised of more than 60 community and business leaders are working with the Rep Board of Directors to develop a plan targeted for presentation in mid-August for the future of the 42-year-old beloved Arkansas cultural institution.

“Continuing campaign goals include creating board-directed funds such as operating and facilities reserve funds and a subscription escrow,” said Shepherd. “Such funds will enable The Rep to operate with a more fiscally sound business model moving forward. At this point, every gift to The Rep is about our future.”

“So, while the news is good, it is not yet great,” said Shepherd. “There is still a lot of hard work to be done, but we are certainly feeling more confident that with the continued support of our audiences and community, we will ultimately come out of this unfortunate situation with a stronger and more resilient theatre.”

Arkansas Repertory Theatre was founded in 1976 with a mission to produce a diverse body of work intended to illuminate the human condition through great storytelling and is the largest non-profit professional theatre company in the state. Having produced more than 350 shows (including 40 world premieres), the 377-seat theatre is located in downtown Little Rock where it serves as the anchor of the city’s Creative Corridor.

For more information, visit therep.org.

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 10:07:00

Oxford American retires remainder of $700K debt to UCA

The Oxford American Literary Project’s board of directors announced this week that it retired all remaining debt owed to the University of Central Arkansas, which at one time totaled $700,000, provided to the magazine as advances and loans between 2004 and 2008.

In 2012, with the help of the Massey Family Charitable Foundation, the OA pledged to repay half of the debt within five years, and did so, with the remaining $286,000 retired Tuesday, July 10.

“We’re incredibly excited to share this news with the community,” Executive Director Ryan Harris said in a press release. “The retirement of these loans builds upon the positive trajectory of the organization over the last several years, and furthers the progress we’ve made toward creating a sustainable future for the Oxford American.”



 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 10:06:00

Louis Jordan Memorial Highway sign unveiled

click to enlarge A sign dedicating a stretch of Highway 49 to Brinkley native Louis Jordan was unveiled Monday morning. - STEPHEN KOCH
  • Stephen Koch
  • A sign dedicating a stretch of Highway 49 to Brinkley native Louis Jordan was unveiled Monday morning.


A small crowd gathered Monday morning along the shoulder of a stretch of state Highway 49 in Monroe County outside Brinkley to officially dedicate the Louis Jordan Memorial Highway, which runs from Brinkley to Marvell.

“Arkansas Highways are truly the backbone of tourism and economic development in the state,” Arkansas Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Danny Straessle told us last week. “We are pleased to continue our support for promoting the rich music heritage found among our more than 16,400 miles.”

Brinkley native Louis Jordan had more than 50 Top 10 hits during the 1940s, influenced the likes of Ray Charles, Chuck Berry and James Brown, and is considered a major forefather of rock ’n’ roll and R&B music. Jordan, a vocalist, saxophonist, songwriter and bandleader, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

State Rep. Chris Richey (D-Helena-West Helena), who sponsored the legislation for the signage last session, noted that the previous day had marked Jordan’s 110th birthday. Also part of the legislation: signs memorializing Rosetta Tharpe, Johnny Cash and Levon Helm.



 

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Game and Fish ponders banning turtle harvest

July 12, 2018
Game and Fish ponders banning turtle harvest
Suspends licensing on importing venomous snakes. /more/

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