In our interviews for this week's cover story we heard from gang members, community leaders, youth intervention specialists, police officers, prosecutors, city officials and citizens. We collected over 15 hours of audio and heard similar accounts of the same events. In almost every one of these conversations, for instance, we were told about the LL Cool J concert at Barton Coliseum, an AK-47 shooting that made national headlines and a daytime shooting at Burger King across from UALR. Those who lived in Little Rock in the '90s may remember these events, but for those who didn't, we compiled this timeline.
Friend Kat Robinson has a big post on her Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism blog about an outing to the Historic Dyess Colony, a heritage site and future tourist attraction that is to open to the public in August. She has lots of pictures and background on the work Arkansas State University has done to preserve the boyhood home of Johnny Cash as well as other historic places in the region.
The Capitol Zoning District Commission is to consider a proposal Thursday for a food truck court across West Third Street from the state Capitol. Proposed demolition of some Quapaw Quarter structures also has spurred debate.
The New York Times carried a lengthy obituary yesterday on desegregation activist Lee Lorch, a college teacher whose work in breaking down segregation barriers in Manhattan housing was his lead accomplishment. But he also played a role in the Little Rock school desegregation crisis in 1957.
The landmark Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs, vacant since 2006 and recently boarded up, caught fire last night and kept burning as dozens of firefighters worked to extinguish the flames. Coverage of the spectacular fire kindled memories among thousands of Arkansans from the resort hotel's happier days. The fire was still burning this morning.
The Washington Free Beacon, which received a lot of attention recently for mining the Diane Blair papers at the University of Arkansas for documents related to potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, hasn't had similar success with gubernatorial papers of Bill Clinton housed at an archive in downtown Little Rock connected to the Central Arkansas Library System.
An early look at this week's column by Ernie Dumas, who provides a history lesson on how Arkansas came to be the only state in the union that allows a Arkansas is not the only state to fool around with minority rule, but killing health insurance for 150,000 or so citizens next month will push the state far into the vanguard of states that have experimented with it.
Great story in New York Times about an enormous controversy in Florida over a proposal to add a Union memorial to a Civil War battleground state park that only contains Confederate monuments currently.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this morning reported on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's unhappy conversation with a legislative auditor over the findings that he'd abused his office expense account by charging for personal travel, not allowed by the Arkansas Constitution.
First-person history in Ernie Dumas column this week. A young newspaper reporter from South Arkansas drove up to Washington to join the throng that gathered on the Capitol mall Aug. 28, 1963 for speakers who included John Lewis, Daisy Bates and, if not so famously then, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We wrote earlier about the unhappiness of historic preservationists when the Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services demolished the former Massery laundry on Seventh Street to make way for a future expansion.
Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas. He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
Photos taken Thursday night by Brian Chilson and David Koon, at Cummins Prison in Grady, the State Police barricade away from the prison and in front of the Governor's Mansion, before and after the execution of Ledell Lee.