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Saline County gave us "The Ballad of Joe Broadway" (not to be confused with Broadway Joe, the quarterback) and "The Official Arkansas Waltz," so designated by the state Senate years ago. Broadway was an outlaw who kept robbing the same bank; the ghastly "Waltz" was written by friends of a senator from Benton who demanded the endorsement of his colleagues. At a minimum, Saline County has done enough for Arkansas musically. We need to get this current Saline County situation resolved before somebody dashes off a "Ballad of Bruce Pennington."

Pennington is a hard-riding renegade sheriff who's thus far eluded a posse of public officials, taxpayers, journalists and conventional law-enforcement officers. He was arrested in June outside a bar after witnesses reported a drunken man clambering into a car. When police arrived, a belligerent Pennington took a swing at one of his fellow lawmen. He was subsequently convicted of public intoxication and resisting arrest. That's not the sort of conduct that inspires public confidence in a sheriff, as a sober Pennington seemed to realize. He gave notice to the Saline Quorum Court that he would retire Oct. 1. But then something got into him, and he recanted his resignation and said he would run for re-election. He's made conflicting announcements since, and now nobody's entirely sure what he's going to do, possibly even the sheriff himself. Whatever, a song won't help.

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