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Good week for the West Memphis Three 

It was a good week for...

THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE After nearly 18 years in prison, Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley earned freedom thanks to a strange legal maneuver known as an Alford plea, which allowed them to maintain their innocence even while they pled guilty to murder.

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS FOOTBALL The University of Arkansas announced that more than $28 million had been raised, including $10 million from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, for a $35 million drive to build new football facilities at Fayetteville.

It was a bad week for...

BRYANT MAYOR JILL DABBS The state Ethics Commission ruled that the mayor had violated state ethics rules by giving herself a pay raise, from $65,000 to $71,000, without the approval of the city council. She'll receive a letter of caution for using her office for special personal privilege.

ATTORNEY GENERAL DUSTIN MCDANIEL In a statement on the plea agreement that freed the West Memphis Three, McDaniel said the deal was all Prosecutor Scott Ellington's doing. As Mara Leveritt's cover story (page 10) indicates, McDaniel was involved in the deal from the beginning. No matter your opinion on the three's innocence, the plea arrangement stinks of political expediency for McDaniel, who's eyeing a gubernatorial run in 2014 and wouldn't want a high-profile trial (or three) hanging over the race.

ALICE STEWART The former Arkansas newswoman who's handled press for Mike Huckabee and Secretary of State Mark Martin, is drawing plenty of attention for her role as spokeswoman for Michele Bachmann. Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker reported that he saw her force another reporter to erase a video clip by threatening to kick her off the trip. And Zeina Awad, a correspondent for Al Jazeera's English-language programming, said Stewart asked her, "Comprende?" Awad suggested that her "funny name" and her Al Jazeera nametag must've led Stewart to believe she didn't speak English.

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Speaking of...

  • Five big questions for Arkansas football

    July 20, 2017
    Among them: Can Austin Allen get a better handle on the job and rein in his emotions? /more/
  • Storage unit buy yields Damien Echols' journals

    July 14, 2017
    WMCA in Memphis reports on a Bull Shoals man's purchase at auction of the contents of a storage locker apparently abandoned by Lorri Davis, wife of Damien Echols. /more/
  • UPDATE Attorneys for Ledell Lee argue they should be allowed to locate, test DNA evidence collected in 1993 as part of innocence claim

    April 18, 2017
    In a hearing this afternoon before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright, attorneys for death row inmate Ledell Lee argued that they should be allowed to locate evidence collected prior to his arrest in 1993, including a single hair and a Converse shoe with a pinhead-sized spot of human blood on it, for modern DNA testing. They hope testing can prove Lee's innocence by showing that the African-American hair found at the crime scene belongs to someone other than Lee, and that the speck of blood found on Lee's shoe does not belong to the victim in the case. /more/
  • Hawgball prospects

    March 30, 2017
    The sting of the "Grifters in Greenville" incident having finally dissipated somewhat, I am prepared to assess Razorback basketball anew. /more/
  • Tourney time

    March 16, 2017
    Selection Sunday hasn't been a meaningful day very often in recent years for Arkansas. Over the span of a decade, the Hogs knew they were safely within the expanded 68-team field only three times. /more/
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    March 10, 2017
    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back. /more/
  • Hogs going dancing

    March 9, 2017
    Even in a week where a modest winning streak went by the wayside at Gainesville, Arkansas authored one more earnest surge toward an NCAA Tournament berth that not long ago seemed beyond its grasp. /more/
  • Momentum

    February 23, 2017
    Sure, I'd like to think that Pearls About Swine, that modest batch of haphazard prose, had something to do with motivating Arkansas's beleaguered basketball program to rise from a seemingly inestimable late-season swoon to re-emerge in the NCAA Tournament discussion. /more/
  • Critical stretch

    January 19, 2017
    The minute you take a shine to an Arkansas Razorback team is almost assuredly the same minute you have your sanity tested. /more/
  • Solidly second tier

    January 12, 2017
    It only makes sense that in this numbing era of Razorback slip-and-falls, the Hogs could really put vaunted Kentucky to the test at Rupp Arena for a good 30 minutes of action ... and end up losing by 26 points. /more/
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