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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday, December 31, 2017 - 16:56:00

An armed and dangerous open line

A mass shooting in a Denver suburb and an encounter with a well-armed drunk in Texas are among the New Year's Eve headlines for today's open line.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017 - 09:06:00

Happy New Year from the LRPD

A Tweet from the LRPD suggests they expect 2017 to go out with a bang.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017 - 08:59:00

Read this: In death, a triumph of the human spirit

This has nothing to do with Arkansas, but an article in the current New Yorker moved me last night. It's about a Facebook whiz's effort to reach goals, including a final violin performance, while coping with treatment for aggressive brain cancer.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017 - 08:43:00

A national plug for Arkansas alternative education effort

I'm overdue in providing a link to a Pro Publica article first published Dec. 22 that highlights an education effort that sets Arkansas apart in a good way. — its extra effort to provide meaningful alternative schools for struggling kids.

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday, December 30, 2017 - 17:19:00

The chilly open line

Let it go/snow/whatever.

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Saturday, December 30, 2017 - 09:48:00

Lamar coach arrested for DWI en route to basketball game

Lamar High School coach Kevin Kyzer was arrested by State Police Friday evening for DWI while driving a bus carrying nine male basketball players to a game.

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Saturday, December 30, 2017 - 09:32:00

NY Times defends its interview with Donald Trump

A New York Times one-on-one interview with Donald Trump was revealing but a decision by the reporter not to challenge Trump on his falsehoods sparked a debate on journalism tactics.

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Saturday, December 30, 2017 - 08:50:00

The double standard in Arkansas education: Accountability in real schools, but not at home

Cynthia Howell reports in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today on what amounts to the coming complete deregulation of home schooling in the state. More than 19,000 were schooled at home in 2015-16.

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017 - 12:37:00

Adios 2017 open line

Here's an open line for the last regular workday of 2017 at the Arkansas Times, though I'll likely check in through the New Year's weekend. From today's video: It's cold and the world is rushing to explain to Donald Trump that there is a difference between current weather conditions and global climate.

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Friday, December 29, 2017 - 09:55:00

Arkansas tax break set for retired military

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has issued a news release bragging on a tax cut he supported that takes effect Jan. 1 to exempt military retirement pay from the state income tax.

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Friday, December 29, 2017 - 08:43:00

Lottery win leaves unhappy waitress at Stuttgart restaurant

A $300,000 lottery ticket has a Stuttgart waitress saying her one-time best friend did her wrong.

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Friday, December 29, 2017 - 08:27:00

Fort Smith mosque and the vandal: Chapter II

The New York Times has a heart-warming followup of its article about how a Fort Smith mosque and one of those convicted of vandalizing had come together in forgiveness and regret.

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Friday, December 29, 2017 - 08:09:00

The mind-boggling (and mind-boggled) Donald Trump

The reality show producer is entertaining, much as horror shows are entertaining. You can't help but peek.

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Friday, December 29, 2017 - 07:49:00

Legislative moonlighting can present conflicts, but it's all smiles for Stephen Meeks

The Center for Public Integrity has analyzed the outside employment of the nation's state legislators and, unsurprisingly, found many conflicts of interest. But there's also a friendly anecdote about moonlighting by one Arkansas legislator.

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Friday, December 29, 2017 - 07:33:00

Was 2017 the craziest year ever? Consider 1919, not a good year for Arkansas

Was 2017 the craziest year ever? Politico asked 12 historians and they talked of some other dark years, including 1919 when a massacre of black sharecroppers in Elaine, Ark., was among the episodes of racial strife that year.

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Friday, December 29, 2017 - 07:15:00

Fake news? How about Trump-era fake government?

A disturbing article from the Wall Street Journal says that a significant number of comments posted about a federal rule aimed at protecting retirement investments were fake. it is not the first time public comments have been faked on important federal agency rules.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday, December 28, 2017 - 17:14:00

Bank buys Jake Files' property in foreclosure sale for $2.1 million in defaulted loans

Dave Hughes of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the First Western Bank of Booneville bought three properties of Sen. Jake Files, including him his Fort Smith home, at foreclosure sales today to satisfy unpaid loans of $2.1 million.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017 - 15:23:00

Rutledge approves release of Bielema contract with Razorback Foundation; details the same as reported here earlier

The University of Arkansas has released a document showing fired football coach Bret Bielema's separate personal services agreement with the Razorback Foundation that guaranteed his severance payment in the event of firing. It suggests the ESPN report of a $11.8 million buyout was on target.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017 - 14:06:00

Pat Fitts named to head Game and Fish Commission

Pat Fitts, who had been assistant deputy director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, will become director of the agency Jan. 1.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017 - 13:29:00

Thursday: An open line and the day's news

Here's the Thursday open line. And the daily roundup of news and comment on a cold and quiet day.

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  • Rich white people fund PAC behind racist attack ads supporting French Hill UPDATE

    More reporting on the people contributing to Black Americans for the President's Agenda, which is running racist ads in Little Rock in support of Republican Rep. French Hill. The money isn't coming from black Americans, but wealthy conservative Republicans such as an owner of the San Francisco Giants. GOP feeling heat, files ethics complaint on ad.
  • Another made-up Republican attack: The Saline County socialists are coming to take your business

    The latest in bogus Republican political attacks comes from Saline County, where Steve Lux, chairman of the county Republican Committee, has sent a letter warning members of the Benton-Bryant Chamber of Commerce that a progressive group working to elect Democrats in the county is allied with a socialist group that wants nothing less than "the elimination of private business." This is, of course, nonsense.

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