December 28, 2018 Slideshows » News, Staff Blogs

2018 in photographs 

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Brian Chilson
HISTORIC ELECTION: Frank Scott Jr., 35, a banker and pastor, celebrates his victory as the first elected African-American mayor of Little Rock. Scott defeated Baker Kurrus in a runoff vote Dec. 4. The race drew five contestants; the other three were Warrick Sabin, Vincent Tolliver and Glen Schwarz.
Brian Chilson
A NEW BRIDGE: In March, commuters could once again cross the Arkansas River on a Broadway-U.S. 70 bridge, when the Arkansas Department of Transportation completed work. ArDOT demolished, with some difficulty, the previous bridge, built in 1923, in 2016.
Brian Chilson
NO-KNOCK WARRANTS: Mike Laux addresses members of the press in December to announce the addition of new plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Little Rock Police Department over its no-knock warrants for alleged drug suspects. Plaintiffs say the no-knock warrants are abusive and unconstitutional, citing instances in which police have used explosives to blow off doors off homes to search for drugs based on faulty information from informants. One plaintiff was shot three times during a raid by police officers who’d been told he was operating a meth lab. They found only a small quantity of marijuana; the plaintiff had to have four surgeries because of his injuries. The no-knock policy has gotten national attention thanks to a researched opinion piece about the LRSD in The Washington Post.
Brian Chilson
RALLY 'ROUND THE GOAT GOD: The Satanic Temple trucked in a 10-foot statue of Baphomet, its god, to the state Capitol in August in its campaign to get the statue installed on the Capitol grounds. The group, headed up by Lucien Greaves, was responding to the installation of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds, and said the state’s refusal to allow installation of the Baphomet statue was in violation of the First Amendment. The Ten Commandments monument installation was instigated by state Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway), who has no use for the U.S. Constitution’s establishment clause. A federal district judge has allowed the Satanic Temple to join a lawsuit filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the ACLU against Secretary of State Mark Martin over the placement of the religious symbol on state property.
Brian Chilson
Sen. Jason Rapert
Brian Chilson
Lucien Greaves
Brian Chilson
MARCHING IN MARCH: Thousands assembled March 24 at the state Capitol for the March for Our Lives mass protest of America’s loose gun laws that have brought about the slaughter of hundreds of American schoolchildren, their lives sacrificed because of a perverse interpretation of the Second Amendment. The march came on the heels of the killing of 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fla., which sparked student walkouts across the country.
Brian Chilson
SUPPORT FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Women and men dressed in pink T-shirts waved at passersby outside the Little Rock office of Planned Parenthood in May to show their support for the clinic’s right to offer reproductive services. The legislature in 2015 passed a law that required a clinic to have a contract with a doctor with hospital admission privileges to administer the two-drug abortion regimen, pretending it was doing so for safety reasons. After a three-year journey in federal district and appeals courts, the law remains temporarily enjoined from taking effect.
Brian Chilson
26.2" The Little Rock Marathon on March 4 again drew thousands of runners (and twice as many feet) to its 16th annual test of strength. Runners started off in a drizzle, but the weather cleared up quickly. Drew Mueller blazed in after 2 hours, 32 minutes and 35 seconds for first place. Tia Stone of Searcy was the first woman to cross the finish line, after 2 hours, 59 minutes and 13 seconds.
Brian Chilson
VROOM: The I-30 Speedway, a dirt track off Interstate 30 at exit 126, is still pulling in racing fans after its ignition in 1956. Besides its spectacle of speeding wheels, the family-friendly track sells $2.75 PBRs and $3.50 Frito pies (cash only).
Brian Chilson
DOOM: A downpour before the Razorbacks took on Ole Miss in October at War Memorial Stadium played a role in serious turf damage to the park by tailgaters.
Brian Chilson
DOOM CONTINUED: it rained on the Hogs’ parade, too, when it lost its considerable first quarter lead and the whole game in the fourth to the Rebels.
Brian Chilson
RIVERFEST REVIVED: Universal Fairs of Memphis stepped into the breach left by Riverfest organizers, who’d called it quits in 2017, by announcing it would revive RiverFest (top) and hold it over the Memorial Day weekend this year. (The 2017 Riverfest, the 40th annual event, broke with tradition by being in June.) Though the 2018 attendance was low, Universal Fairs says it plans to return in 2019.
Brian Chilson
SHOWCASE WINNER: Jamie Lou Connolly came away the winner of the Arkansas Times Musician Showcase competition in March.
Brian Chilson
DRAMATIC: The Arkansas Repertory Theatre had a difficult year in 2018. Financial problems forced it to go dark before it had finished its season, and its founder and longtime director Cliff Baker, who was working with The Rep board to find a way to reopen, died suddenly in September. The Rep named the alley behind the theater Baker’s Alley in tribute. Donations from individuals and matching funds from the Windgate Charitable Trust and Robyn and John Horn helped put The Rep back on track and the board announced it will open a new season in fall 2019 with “Chicago.”
Brian Chilson
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Sen. Jason Rapert

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