Cheatham reviews special sessions

There have been only four special sessions of the Arkansas legislature in the past 10 years, and the most recent one was more than five years ago. The last time the governor called the legislature into recent extraordinary session was in April of 2008, when the legislature met for three days to enact a higher severance tax on natural gas production, with the revenue dedicated to repairing highways. Read the full column.

Beebe: Government shutdown will leave Arkansas children in peril

If the federal government shutdown occurs and funding stops, it will greatly hinder the ability of the Arkansas Department of Human Services to investigate claims of child abuse and neglect. More than 85,000 meals for Arkansas children will not be provided and protection for nursing-home residents will be reduced. Two-thousand newborn babies will not receive infant formula through the Department of Health’s WIC program. That number includes the more than 300 special-needs babies who soon run out of special formula they can only receive through a certified program like WIC. Read the full column.


Enrollment drops slightly at state colleges, universities

Sen. Eddie Cheatham

Enrollment at the 33 publicly supported colleges and universities in Arkansas is 170,056 this fall, according to the head count that is traditionally taken on the 11th day of classes. The total is slightly down from last year, mainly because of a drop in the number of students attending Arkansas’ two-year colleges.  Enrollment at the 22 two-year colleges fell 6 percent, from almost 60,000 to about 56,000. Read the full column.


The changing face of high school football

Rex Nelson

In 1968, Wadie Moore Jr. began working as a sportswriter for the Arkansas Gazette. High school football was a much different sport then than it is now. For one thing, segregation was just starting to end across the state. Towns in east, central and south Arkansas that had long had a black high school playing football and a separate white high school playing football were fielding their first integrated teams.

Moore would remain at the Gazette until it ceased publication in October 1991. For years, he was the go-to media source for everything having to do with high school football in Arkansas. His weekly predictions and rankings were anxiously awaited by players and their parents across the state.

The changes Moore has seen since 1968 go far beyond integration. Read more of this column

Cheatham column: Death penalty procedures

Sen. Eddie Cheatham

The state attorney general challenged state elected officials and policy makers to overhaul Arkansas death penalty procedures.

In a speech before the Arkansas Sheriffs Association, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel called the current system of capital punishment in Arkansas “completely broken.” Read the rest of this column

Pelley introduces UN Agenda 21 to TEA Party

Debbie Pelley

By Linda Davis
Southeast Arkansas TEA Party
United Nations Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is the United Nations plan for a one-world government. Debbie Pelley, a retired Jonesboro teacher who has dedicated the past several years of her life to studying the plan, discussed it at the May 13 meeting of the Southeast Arkansas TEA Party. She started out her program by giving us the good news. That is that on January 13, 2012, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution exposing and condemning U. N. Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development. In July 2012, the same resolution was passed at the Arkansas State Republican Convention and the Craighead County Republican Party passed the resolution at Pelley’s request. In addition, Alabama has banned Agenda 21 in their entire state, and several other states’ Republican committees have also passed resolutions against Agenda 21. Read the rest of this column.

A Fishy Lunch

Dr. Ron Sitton

I went home for lunch.

Driving through downtown Monticello, I noticed the Arkansas Department of Correction had inmates removing rubble from a local business leveled about a week ago. It piqued my curiosity, so much so I posted a facebook status to see if I’m just wrong thinking a state agency can have prison labor work for a local business. Read the rest of this column

Security of our children is a public matter

Larry Fugate

The number of bills seeking to enact specific exemptions to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) — thereby weakening it further with each new hole punched into it — has increased significantly this session. The next bill poised to even further erode FOIA, H.B. 1327, will come before the House Education Committee on Tuesday morning at 10. It’s author is Marshall Wright of Forrest City, and it would do nothing less than completely and permanently exempt all records of schools and institutions of higher education, and board meetings of the same, from the Freedom Information Act when they are related to security policies and procedures. Read the rest of this column.

State Sen. Eddie Cheatham’s Senate Report

Sen. Eddie Cheatham

Although the governor vetoed three Senate bills that would change Arkansas election laws, several other important election bills were enacted during the 2013 legislative session.

On April 23, the final day of the 100-day session, the governor vetoed Senate Bills 719, 720 and 721.  If the President Pro Tem of the Senate and the House Speaker agree to call the legislature back into session before May 17, lawmakers could consider overriding the vetoes. Read the rest of this column

Lupus survivor’s plea for medical marijuana initiative

I am a 38-year-old Christian woman. I am also a four-time published biker author, 13-year freelance journalist for almost every biker magazine in the world, a fashion editor for a small magazine out of Louisiana, and I am dying of nine autoimmune diseases, mostly SLE Lupus. This month marks the ninth year of the ten-year expiration date they gave me. Read more

TEA Party member urges Democrats to support 2nd Amendment

To all elected officials in Southeast Arkansas and their constituents:
This is a call for help from the local Democrats in Southeast Arkansas. Where are you? Why are you not speaking out for your constituents and their firearms? Do something! Is the little “Ole” TEA Party left to speak for the Second Amendment? We have a crisis and the best I can tell, you have been silent. Our Second Amendment to the Constitution is being trampled. Please tell your party we do not want more gun control. And, while you are at it let all of us know (loud and clear) what you are doing. Please help us on this issue. If you are a constituent like me, please tell these folks you agree with me.
Thank you for reading.
Levi Davis

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