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Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday, July 31, 2006 - 22:39:33

Eells dies in car accident (UPDATE)

Because rumors are flying on our open line immediately preceding this thread, let us address them and respond as responsibly and sensitively as possible.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 22:33:08

Castro ailing, relinquishes power

AP is reporting that Cuban president Fidel Castro has empowered his brother Raul to run the country in the aftermath of surgery that has led to internal bleeding.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 17:08:03

Monday open line

Talk amongst yourselves, and we'll return in a few hours.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 15:32:36

St. Vincent's to expand

Arkansas Business reports that St. Vincent's Health System today announced a $40 million expansion of its facilities in Little Rock.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 15:20:02

Asa's ethics (UPDATED)

The state Democratic Party's coordinated campaign highlights findings from a recent congressional investigation into contracts awarded by the Dept. of Homeland Security, saying it raises questions about Asa Hutchinson's ethical conduct.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 12:25:52

NPR highlights Arkansas court ruling

National Public Radio just posted today's Morning Edition segment about the Arkansas Supreme Court's gay foster parent ruling, reported by Arkansas freelancer (and occasional Arkansas Times contributor) Jacqueline Froelich.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 11:15:06

Check out my diversified portfolio

Earlier this morning we referred you to an article about the increasing number of middle-aged American men who are opting out of the workforce.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 11:15:06

Check out my diversified portfolio

Earlier this morning we referred you to an article about the increasing number of middle-aged American men who are opting out of the workforce.

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Today's headlines: Another school massacre

Monday, July 31, 2006 - 10:35:23

Another losing quarter for Tyson

Roby Brock's Talk Business blog reports: Tyson Foods reported a $52 million net loss for its third quarter, an improvement versus the previous quarter’s $127 million loss, but a dramatic fall-off from one year ago, when the company’s profits topped $131 million.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 10:25:33

Keeping up with Huckabee

A blog reader mentions that Gov. Mike Huckabee yesterday did not fulfill an obligation to appear in Louisville, Ky. for the Southern Legislative Conference.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 10:09:11

The Passion of The Mel

The TMZ.com website, which broke the news of actor Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic rampage on being arrested for drunk driving, has conducted a poll that shows more people support Gibson than disapprove of his reprehensible actions.The poll of 216,037 TMZ readers finds:Still love Mel                      44%Am disappointed                37%Hate his guts                       18%These results on how the sheriff's department handled the incident:Did the right thing               40%Should be nailed    to the wall                        34%Gave Mel too much    'celebrity justice'               26%

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 09:02:16

Men (not) at work

According to this NYTimes article, 13 percent of American men between ages 30 and 55 are not working, up from 5 percent in 1960.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 08:45:08

Gennifer Flowers hits the Strip

Count the Arkansas names in this Las Vegas gossip item: Gennifer Flowers is moving her cabaret act from New Orleans' French Quarter back to Las Vegas.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 - 07:14:58

Joy in Mudville

We see little reason for joy in the Democrat-Gazette's scoop this morning reporting that the Wichita Wranglers baseball team has decided to junk its contract with Wichita in order to move the team to Northwest Arkansas.Don't get us wrong.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 16:25:58

A tree grows in Arkansas

This just in from Garvan Woodland Gardens over on Lake Hamilton:Rare, Subtropical Tree Blooms At Garvan Woodland GardensHOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Not many living things in the Natural State – be it humans, animals, or plants – can tolerate without some consequence, the all-too-frequent hot, humid days that are indicative of an Arkansas summer.  Yet, at the masterfully landscaped Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, there is one unusual tree that appears to be thriving in the extreme conditions, while its neighboring plants drop their blooms and curl their leaves in protest of the scorching sun and oppressive heat.  So rare is the Emmenopterys henryi tree that, until recently, it was the only specimen known to have bloomed in cultivation in the U.S. and remains one of the few in outdoor cultivation to have flowered.    Planted in the early 1980s by garden benefactress, Verna Cook Garvan, the “henryi” tree blooms inconspicuously near her beloved rose garden, where hundreds of tourists pass by daily unaware they are observing a rare, deciduous plant that may be almost as illusive as the endangered, if not extinct, ivory-billed woodpecker, that is reported to have been sighted in east Arkansas in 2005.    Native to Burma, Thailand, and China, the specimen is related to the gardenia and coffee plant.  The white, wing-like bracts (colored leaves) surround a cluster of white to pale yellow, fragrant flowers.      Noted Chinese plant explorer, E. H. Wilson, who discovered the Emmenopterys henryi tree in 1907, regarded it as the finest of all Chinese flowering trees.  In his early description of the species, he documented that the pink bracts subtending the flowers, set against dark black-green foliage, turn the Chinese forests pink.    The timber wood of the Emmenopterys henryi tree can be used in the construction of houses and furniture.  Unfortunately, due to the disforestation for farming and over-logging in the lower and middle subtropical mountainous regions, as well as low germination ratio, these trees have decreased significantly and are rarely seen.According to Garvan Woodland Gardens’ resident landscape architect, Bob Byers, the blooms appear in the heat of the summer, usually late July and August.  As if to protect itself from handling by curiosity seekers, the blooms of the Gardens’ Emmenopterys henryi tree are located in the upper tier of the 15’ tree and are easily overlooked.   “This is only the third time I have seen it bloom in my ten years of directing landscape projects at Garvan Woodland Gardens,” remarked Byers.  “If anyone wants to catch a glimpse of this infrequent, flowering tree, now is the time.”Garvan Woodland Gardens, a department of the University of Arkansas School of Architecture, is sculpted from a 210-acre, heavily forested peninsula on Lake Hamilton and surrounded by 4 ½ miles of pristine shoreline.  Admission prices are $7 for adults; $6 for seniors (55 and older); $4 for children (ages 6 to 12); and free for children ages 5 and younger.  Located at 550 Arkridge Road, the Gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. 

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 16:18:36

G'day, mate

Our Ashley County correspondent points out that mere days after getting its hiney waxed in Deutschland, Wal-Mart is considering giving it a go Down Under.The London Sunday Telegraph has the story, which the AP apparently has thus far overlooked:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2006/07/30/cnwalmart30.xml

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 11:33:00

Is it hot in here or is it just you?

Did you notice that today's Perspective section front page in the Democrat-Gazette treated global warming as an established fact?When even the D-G starts talking about ways to reverse global warming rather than insisting that the phenomenon is merely a "theory" G.W. Bush needs to get Rove and the anti-scientific apparat in the White House to draft him some new talking points.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 11:24:02

Sunday open line

The air conditioner at my house broke down yesterday, so I'm going to leave my computer for the better part of the mid-day heat.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 11:11:24

Elders, Franken support Planned Parenthood

Former surgeon general Joycelyn Elders and comedian Al Franken spoke last night at a gala event to benefit Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 11:00:43

The cross and the sword

An evangelical pastor shocks his congregation by suggesting that the work of the church shouldn't be tied to nationalism, militarism or a particular political party.

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