Wednesday, February 08, 2006

OBITUARIES >> 02-08-06


Terry Ann Holland, 55, of Jack-sonville, passed away Feb. 5 in Sherwood. Holland was born Sept. 30, 1950, in McAlmont to the late Terry Joshway and Dora Ellen Homan Ivey. She was preceded in death by seven brothers, Arnold, Marvin, Leo, Wayne, Jam-es Edward, Johnny Ray and Vernon; and two sisters, Essie and Mary Ellen.

She was a member of Gravel Ridge First Baptist Church and loved animals very much.

Survivors include her loving husband of 23 years, Robert Holland of Jacksonville; her daughter, Michele Lee Cunning-ham Alvarido; son, James David Cunningham, brother, Billy Joe Ivey, who has been a great support for both Terry Ann and Robert; sisters, Ruby Brandon, Dorothy Ry-chlowski, Betty Heigle, Carlion Rischar, Juanita Distefano, Peggy Rupp, Doris Sayles, Jo Ann Miller and Rebecca Nava who all loved her so very much and will miss her equally. Her two precious cats, Missie and Patches also survive her.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Terry Fortner officiating.
Interment will follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Park. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.


Kenneth E. Matthews, 71, went home to be with the Lord Sunday, Feb. 5. He was preceded in death by his parents, Luther and Ester Doss and a beloved daughter, Lisa Wyles. He was a member of Brownsville Baptist Church and a retired truck driver.

Matthews was a friendly, fun loving person who loved the Lord and people and enjoyed talking with everyone. He loved children, and especially enjoyed the great-grandchildren. His final days were made brighter by Kaylie, Braylyn, Eryn and Paige. He will be greatly missed by family and friends. Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Shirley Abshier Matthews; a daughter, Melinda Sullivan; one son, Kevin Shane Matthews, both of North Little Rock; five grandchildren and six great- grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. today at Boyd Funeral Home Chapel, Lonoke with Rev. Andy Kerr and Bro. Dan Stout officiating. A committal service will follow at 1:30 p.m. in Crestlawn Memorial Park, Conway.


Arles F. Lucas, 74, of Jacksonville, passed away Feb. 3. He was the son of Neely Lucas and Nellie Henderson Lucas.
He was in the Air Force for 26 years and retired as a master sergeant. He enjoyed his woodworking and especially his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and three sisters. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Jo Lucas, one daughter, Gina Summers and husband Bill, one son, Bruce Lucas and wife Tammy all of Jack-sonville, one brother, Bill Lucas and wife Mariam of Rogers, two grandsons, Ryan Summers and wife Jacinda and Brandon Summers all of Jacksonville; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Graveside services were held Monday at Rest Hills Memorial Park with Jimmie Sheffield officiating. Memorials can be made to Arkansas Hospice, 5600 W. 12th Street, Little Rock, Ark., 72204. Funeral arrangements by Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Funeral Home.


Dustin Miller Harris, 13, of Cabot, died Feb. 2.

He was born May 20, 1992, to Jerry Harris and Lisa Whittington Beebe in Hope. Harris was a member of Cabot United Methodist Church, a student at Cabot Junior High North where he was on the football team; he also enjoyed video games and hunting.

He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, W.C. Beebe of Hope and Ed Harris of Prescott.

He is survived by his parents: Lisa and Tom Beebe of Cabot, Jerry and Denise Harris of Prescott; brother, Shane Harris of Prescott; stepbrothers: Kyle Beebe and wife, Jennifer of Hope, Jeremy Woods of Prescott; stepsister, Tara Beebe of Sherwood; aunts, Jo Rayborn of East Camden, Jenny Throgmorton of Spanish Fork, Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Lake Village; uncle, Ron Whittington of North Richland Hills, Texas; grandparents, Carol and Lloyd Braden of Deann, Ruth Beebe of Hope; numerous other aunts, uncles, and cousins from Prescott and Hope.

Services were held Monday at Cabot United Methodist Church with Rev. Richard Lancaster officiating. Burial will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Prescott.

Arrangements are by Moore’s Cabot Funeral Home.


Ann E. Knox, 74, of Beebe died Saturday, February 4, 2006. She was a member of Beebe Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by her husband, I. V. Knox. She is survived by two sons, Larry and wife Deborah Knox of El Paso and Johnny and wife Kathy Knox of Beebe; one daughter, Vickie Fowlkes of Beebe; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two sisters, Mary Davidson and Brenda Roth of Brooksville, Ky.

Funeral services were Tuesday at Westbrook Funeral Home, Beebe, with burial at Meadow-brook Memorial Gardens.
Arrangements by Westbrook Funeral Home.


Clarence Herschel “Doby” Hale, 75, of Vinity died Feb. 5. He was well known for his catfish cooking. Cla-rence was the dedicated president of Cheek Cemetery, and past Road Commissioner of White County.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Kenneth and Ott Hale and his parents, James K. and Martha Hale.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Garrison Hale; his son, Jimmy Hale; his brother, Marion Hale and wife Glenda, all of Vinity; his sister-in-law, LaVerne Hale and numerous nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Westbrook Funeral Home, Beebe.

Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Westbrook Funeral Home, with burial at Cheek Cemetery.

Arrangements are by Westbrook Funeral Home.

TOP STORY >> Commission agrees to rezoning in Cabot

Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: After an approval by a 3-2 vote, the city council will decide the fate of the proposed development.

A proposed 11-acre commercial subdivision across from Wal-Mart in Cabot that is opposed by the people who own the homes behind the proposed development re-ceived the green light Tuesday night.

The Cabot Planning Com-mission voted 3-2 to recommend to the city council re-zoning the residential pro-perty for commercial use.

The council will vote on the rezoning later this month, and the residents of the Sun Terrace subdivision who have fought it since they learned about it after the December planning commission meeting will meet twice to work on their argument against it.
Their presentation to the commission Tuesday included a slide show of statistics gathered from the state that showed, to no one’s surprise, that traffic has worsened in the area. They also are concerned about maintaining a quiet residential neighborhood, security, noise pollution, light pollution and declining property values.

Matt Bell, one of the developers, said he had compared property values in other subdivisions in town that are near commercial developments. The homes sell quickly and for about 99 percent of the asking price.

Bell promised sidewalks and curbs and guttering around the subdivision and improved traffic flow from a double left turn lane onto Hwy. 89. The ridge on the property will be graded so that the view of the businesses would be obscured. And no hotels, motels, auto sales, convenience stores, garages, liquor stores or adult book stores would be allowed.

No metal buildings would be allowed, he said.

But Matt Webber, who voted against the rezoning, said the commission had none of those promises in writing.

Steven Miles also voted against the rezoning. Voting for it were James Reid, Dennis Hyland and Claude Irvin.

State Rep. Susan Schulte, who lives in the neighborhood, asked the commission to turn down the rezoning. But Calvin Aldridge, who also lives there, told the commission that he was in favor of it and just wanted them to know that not everyone was against it.

“I moved here for the quiet life and country living,” Aldridge said. “It’s gotten crowded. But I appreciate the convenience of the businesses that have grown up.”

Aldridge also pointed out that other property in the area has been rezoned for commercial use and that to deny this one would be unjust.

“I don’t see how you cannot rezone this when you’ve done it on either side,” he said.

FROM THE PUBLISHER >> No wonder Lonoke jail so popular

Leader publisher

No wonder the Lonoke jail is always overcrowded. There’s a party atmosphere over there, according to Prosecuting Attorney Lona McCastlain, who accuses the police chief and his wife of serving up more than just baked beans and day-old bread for the prisoners.

McCastlain accuses Police Chief Jay Campbell and his wife Kelly of handing out alcohol and drugs to inmates, while Mrs. Campbell is also charged with having sex with prisoners.

There’s so much fun in the Big House, why should inmates leave when their sentences are up?

Remember, too, the rent’s free. No wonder the place is overcrowded: Everyone wants to get in since they found out what’s really going on over there. It’s party time.

With all that liquor and dope that are part of the daily diet at the Lonoke jail, not to mention the sexual favors that are available for the asking, the jail is more like a frat house or a seedy motel, McCastlain’s indictment suggests. It looks like they have it pretty good at the jail.

Free booze and dope and sex, and the next thing you know, people will pay to go to jail. That would be a good way to fund a new facility, since the old one has long been considered substandard. If McCastlain’s indictment is to be believed, they have no standards at the jail.

Did we mention that Lonoke Mayor Thomas Privett stands accu-sed of using inmates to do work around his house? Small stuff when compared to the charges against his police chief and his Mrs., but the mayor looked all shook up after he was booked at the city jail. You would have thought Prosecutor McCastlain was charging him with serial murder, animal cruelty and drinking on the job, instead of just using prisoners to put up his Christmas lights at his house, which a lot of mayors consider one of the perks of holding office.

It’s a mess, I know, but the story gets even more complicated. We’ve heard from Linda Ives again. She has accused Campbell, when he was with the State Police, of being responsible for the death of her son Kevin, who died under mysterious circumstances on some railroad tracks near Benton, along with another boy, back in 1987.

She’s been leading a campaign against Campbell and former Saline County Prosecutor Dan Harmon for years, but we haven’t heard from her in a long time. Both have dismissed her allegations, although Harmon served time on drug and corruption charges.

Ives sent us this e-mail on Tuesday with the heading “I told you so:”

“Years ago, long before he was convicted and sent to prison, I tried to tell the media and the public about Dan Harmon. Everyone in the media pretty much wrote me off as a conspiracy nut. But I was right.

“I tried to tell you and the citizens of Lonoke about Jay Campbell, and you did the same thing — pretty much called me a nut case. Well, time has proven me right again.

“But the things that have been exposed are only the tip of the iceberg — the least of which Campbell and Harmon are guilty of. I am certain in my own mind that both of them are involved in the murder of my son, Kevin Ives. Perhaps someday I can tell you ‘I told you so again.’

“I just hope that Lonoke County doesn’t start raining dead bodies first.”

She should contact Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Herzfeld if she has serious evidence against Campbell and Harmon.

Herzfeld met with Ives three years ago when he was elected prosecutor, but he doesn’t think he can reopen the case now. He says several grand juries have looked into the deaths and have come up empty.

“I would like nothing better than to solve the boys on the tracks case,” Herzfeld, who is running for attorney general, told us Tuesday. “Unfortunately, without a major break, such as a confession or murder weapon, I don’t see how that would be possible at this point.”

TOP STORY >> Residents in Lonoke stunned by arrests

Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: Although many of them are not surprised about the alleged corruption in their town.

Reaction to the arrest of Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell, his wife and Mayor Thomas Privett on Mon-day ranged from stunned surprise to resignation for those who said it was about time.

Ex-convict Fran Lindsey expressed shock.

“Jay has stood behind me,” she said rushing to city hall when she heard the news Tuesday morning that Campbell had been arrested on drug charges.

Campbell arrested her for distribution of methamphetamine about three years ago, and when she served her time, “He got me a car and set me up with a job,” she said. “I stand behind them.”

But a pair of city councilmen said the chief’s status on paid administrative leave had to be re-examined.

“I’m comfortable with the mayor,” said councilman Michael Florence, who noted that the mayor owned up to his mistaken judgment months ago in having city prisoners do work at his house.

“We’ve got a tough time ahead of us now,” said Capt. Sean O’Nale, the acting police chief.

City Clerk Gwen Pauschert said calls to city hall from the public had been mostly supportive of the mayor.

“I was floored,” said Lloyd Whitacre, a member of the city police commission, who also expressed anger that prosecutor Lona McCastlain held her news conference in her office, where there was only room for members of the press.

Interviewed in a grocery store parking lot, a young black woman who didn’t want to be identified said, “I’ve been having less confidence in the police department. This is very sick. I think it’s all true.”

The woman, a lifelong Lonoke resident, said of the mayor, “He needs to get the hell out.”

Ellen Massey, a nurse who has lived in Lonoke for three years, said, “I think it’s a mess. I’m gld they caught them.”
Of the police chief she said, “He knows that’s not right. This is the stuff (methamphetamine) that we’re trying to keep the kids away from. They need to realize what message they are sending the kids.”

Lynn Gooden, who is moving to Lonoke from the county, said, “It’s pretty bad for the chief. He’s for the drug dealers.”

Gooden said he has a brother in prison for arson, and the family is disappointed that the city of Lonoke has been stripped of its Act 309 program, which they hoped would bring him back to town to finish his sentence working around town while being held in the city jail.

“How can you trust (Chief Campbell)?” he asked. “He stays arresting people in the black neighborhood. Every dog has their day.”

“If they are guilty, they need to pay for it,” said Rick Stevens, a post office worker. “They need to pay for it. I think they are guilty. I know old Bobby Cox (arrested for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine) and he’s the first to holler ‘justice.’”

TOP STORY >> District decides on chief

Leader managing editor

IN SHORT: he PCSSD board sticks with its interim superintendent, rejecting four other candidates to lead the schools.

The Pulaski County Special School District Board voted unanimously Tuesday evening to stick with the person who has led the district on an interim basis for the past three months.

Four candidates with extensive backgrounds in education traveled from all over the country to visit the district two weeks ago, vying to be superintendent, but in the end, interim chief James Sharpe received the nod to keep leading the state’s second-largest school district.

The decision, drawing applause from those in attendance, ends nine rocky months for the district, which went without a permanent superintendent after Don Henderson’s contract was bought out last May. In fact, the district has been labeled as unstable since Bobby Lester retired in 1999.

“This job started Nov. 15 when I was appointed interim superintendent,” Sharpe said Tuesday, acknowledging his hiring was a surprise. “The challenges ... are challenges, but I think what is broken can be fixed.”

The board also approved a motion to begin negotiations for Sharpe’s salary, which will range from $165,000-$175,000, an amount approved by the Arkansas Department of Education.

Sharpe, who has been with the district since 2000, was one of five candidates who interviewed with the board and also met with various focus groups two weeks ago. The other candidates included Dr. Aquine Jackson of Milwaukee; Dr. Ed Musgrove of Waynesville, Mo.; Dr. Bruce Harter of Wilmington, Del., and Dr. Carl Davis of Powder Springs, Ga.

“After considering all the candidates, I felt like (Sharpe) has the best interest of our school district in mind and in heart,” board president Pam Roberts said. “He has been with our district, knows a lot about our district already and has very good leadership ability.”

That leadership is needed as the district attempts to overcome an array of problems, including serious financial woes, getting out from under court desegregation order, improving facilities and helping strengthen relationships with the various communities.

“In looking at all the comments from the focus groups, talking to my constituents, looking at the job he has done so far and weighing him with the other candidates, he came out as the strongest candidate,” said board vice president Gwen Williams. “I think he has done a pretty good job as interim superintendent, and given the opportunity to know he’s going to be in the position, he’s going to do some good things.”

Tackling the issues of the district being on the state fiscal-distress list and dealing with a feasibility study that will determine whether the PCSSD will continue to exist as it is are top priorities, and so is strengthening the district’s relationship with patrons of Jacksonville and Sherwood, Sharpe said.

“We will be communicating with those communities a lot better,” Sharpe said. “Communication is the key, trust is the key and integrity is the key, doing what you say you’ll do and living up to your promises.”

Roberts said the board spent last week reading the comments members of each focus group — which included students, teachers, principals and support staff — submitted after meeting with each candidate.

And despite the board spending $18,500 (plus expenses) to hire the national consulting firm of McPherson and Jacobson of Omaha, Neb., to lead the search and the district spending the money to fly the four out-of-state candidates in from as far as Delaware, she was satisfied with the process that led to Sharpe getting the job was the right thing to do.

“We knew there was a possibility that someone from within would apply when we agreed (to hire the search firm),” Roberts said. “We just wanted to make sure that we considered all possible candidates in the field, and it just so happened that we had a good one right here.”

Sharpe’s familiarity with the issues was a key in his hiring, board vice president Williams said.

“A lot of the constituents in my area wanted somebody who knew the history of the district, the history behind desegregation and fiscal distress,” said Williams, whose district includes McAlmont and parts of Jacksonville.

Sharpe was hired five years ago as PCSSD’s assistant superintendent for human resources, a position he held until being named interim superintendent.

Sharpe’s background includes being a principal and director of human resources at St. Cloud Schools in Minnesota from 1994-1998 and being executive director of Flint (Mich.) Community Schools from 1998-2000.

He received his bachelor’s in chemistry from Philander Smith College in 1964 and his master’s in chemistry from Pittsburg State University in Kansas in 1974. He was certified to be an administrator at the University of Tulsa in 1990.

“I would hope now that he will get with the board and we can sit down and look at short-term objectives and long-term goals to help us get where we want to be,” Williams said of Sharpe. “I think he’s working in that direction.”

While the search for a permanent leader may be finally over, ending a lot of stress for the school board, there are still challenges ahead, Roberts said.

“The work isn’t over for me, it’s just beginning,” she said. “We’re going to be doing a lot of work together to better this school district.”

TOP STORY >> City corruption

Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: Mayor, police chief, others to be prosecuted

Lonoke residents are reeling at the news that its top gun with a reputation for being tough on meth cooks and users has himself been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Meanwhile, his wife is charged with having sex with prisoners, and the mayor with having inmates work at his home.
Lonoke Mayor Thomas Privett has called a special city council meeting for 5:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of Police Chief Jay Campbell. Privett placed Campbell on paid administrative leave after the chief was arrested Monday on conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and theft charges, among others, but some city councilmen don’t think Campbell should be paid.
Campbell, his wife and two bail bondsmen all were arrested on fel-ony drug charges and other charges Monday, and Privett was charged with a misdemeanor for having jail inmates do work around his house.
An investigation begun about six months ago into whether or not some Lonoke city officials improperly used Act 309 inmate labor to fix a boat and hang Christmas lights has resulted in the charges that Campbell conspired to manufacture methamphetamine and that his wife had sex with prisoners about two dozen times, supplying some with liquor and marijuana.
Surrender to sheriff
Chief Campbell, his wife Kelly Harrison Campbell and bail bondsmen Bobby Cox Jr. and Larry Norwood all surrendered to the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office Monday on an array of felony drug, alcohol and/or theft charges and were booked and released on bond, according to Sheriff Jim Roberson.
boat and hang Christmas lights has resulted in the charges that Camp-bell conspired to manufacture meth-amphetamine and that his wife had sex with prisoners about two dozen times, supplying some with liquor and marijuana.


Chief Campbell, his wife, Kelly Harrison Campbell, and bail bondsmen Bobby Cox Jr. and Larry Norwood all surrendered to the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office Monday on an array of felony drug, alcohol and/or theft charges and were booked and released on bond, according to Sheriff Jim Roberson.

Cox, Norwood and Chief Camp-bell each posted $50,000 bond and Kelly Campbell posted a $20,000 bond. They will be arraigned March 13.

Privett, who also surrendered, posted a $500 bond for his lone count, misdemeanor theft of services. Privett’s arraignment is set for April 3.

Several months ago, the state Corrections Department found that some Act 309 inmates— state prisoners who are moved to towns and counties to provide labor and alleviate overcrowding — were doing personal work for city officials.
The ADC decertified the city’s Act 309 program and took the inmates back to prison.


At the request of the Corrections Department, the State Police then initiated the investigation that resulted in the filing of charges by Lonoke County Prosecutor Lona McCastlain.

Privett, who has said that he used inmate labor to fix his home air conditioner, to hang his Christmas lights and to mow a lot in town belonging to a friend, admits he should have known better.

He has never denied those actions. He said Tuesday that the charge brought by McCastlain was “politically motivated” and pro-mised he would mount a vigorous defense.

“Ms. McCastlain has a history of using her power as prosecuting attorney to bring charges that generate headlines, but have no substance,” Privett said.

Mark Hampton, representing some of the accused, also has called the charges political.

McCastlain hasn’t announced her candidacy, but is widely believed to be seeking reelection in November.
In a brief news conference to announce the charges Tuesday, McCastlain disputed allegations that her actions were politically motivated.

“This case was investigated (by the State Police) on its merits and charged on its merits. I play the cards as dealt,” she said.
“I disagree (with paying the chief’s salary),” Alderman Michael Florence said Tuesday. He said he was not the only alderman who felt that way, and he encouraged Privett to call the special session on Wednesday.

Alderman Pat Howell said he could see paying Campbell for a while, but pointed out that court cases like these could play out for a couple of years.

Capt. Sean O’Nale has been named interim chief, a position he held for about a month last summer while an internal investigation was conducted into the allegation of abuse of inmate labor.

Privett said he would like to assure Lonoke residents that there would be “no disruption in the quality law enforcement that they are accustomed to.”


“Morale has taken a hit,” said O’Nale, but he said the officers were professionals and that residents would continue to receive high quality protection and service from the department.

Privett called the charges “a tragic endeavor to disrupt the mayor and city council in their efforts to complete the important functions of municipal government.”

Privett hired Campbell, a former Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office dep-uty, as chief in October 2003. Camp-bell now stands accused of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, two counts of hindering apprehension or prosecution, conspiracy to commit burglary, theft by receiving, theft of services and one misdemeanor, theft of property.

The conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine is punishable with a term of 6 to 30 years.


Kelly Campbell was charged with five counts of furnishing prohibited articles, one count of second-degree escape, one count of residential burglary, four counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit residential burglary, one count of theft of property and one misdemeanor charge, tampering.

Cox was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, intimidating a juror, a witness or an informant and terroristic threatening.

Norwood was charged with a single count of criminal conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

The chief’s wife allegedly had sexual relations with at least two of the Act 309 inmates, according to Charles McLemore, investigator for the State Police.


Prisoner Andrew Baker told McLemore that Kelly Campbell had a “very close relationship” with at least two Act 309 prisons, Shane Scott and Tim Ainsworth.

Scott told McLemore and Arkansas Department of Corrections officials that he had sex with Kelly Campbell 18 to 20 times in various places in the city and the county.

Among those places were the Lonoke Holiday Inn Express, at the police department, in the ball park press box, once at the Campbell home on Cherry Street and numerous times in Campbell’s Suburban in the Department of Human Services parking lot next to the jail.

Ainsworth told investigators that he had sex at least four times with the chief’s wife and then asked to return to prison for fear of getting in trouble and having to serve more time.

Officers, jailers and dispatchers confirmed the relationships and said Kelly Campbell came and went freely from the jail and that the chief would not discuss it with them.

At the instruction of their supervisor, Lisa Marty, dispatchers noted Kelly Campbell’s visits in the jail log.


“When the chief found out, he became irate,” reported McLemore.

The jail logs reflect some of the comings and goings in the jail, as did the security cameras, reported Mc-Lemore, but “a lightning storm ‘supposedly’ hit and knocked out the cameras destroying the video.”

McLemore’s affidavit was sworn Feb. 6.

He reported that Kelly Campbell brought vodka, gin and Crown Royal and other bottles of alcohol for Act 309 inmates.
Baker also reported that she brought marijuana into the jail for some inmates and reportedly gave Scott a cell phone with which they could communicate “regularly.”

Baker told McLemore that he had taken photographs of Kelly Campbell and Scott in various intimate poses while the prisoners were working on Chief Campbell’s party barge and motor in the Otasco building owned by Privett. Baker said she paid him $260 to keep his “mouth shut.”


Kelly Campbell also is charged with breaking into a neighbor’s house and taking jewelry and prescription drugs.

The items were taken from the home of Jo Talley in March or April of 2003. Talley reported the break-in around noon, and the Lonoke police searched the house and took fingerprints at her request. Chief Campbell came by and asked if any medications were missing.

Kelly Campbell then telephoned Talley to say she had noticed the back door broken and had let herself in to make sure everything was all right, so her fingerprints would be all over the house.

The fingerprints were lost and never developed. A prescription bottle of the narcotic hydrocodone syr-up was later found to be missing.

At least three other people complained that painkilling medication was missing from their homes after a visit by Kelly Campbell.

She also is charged with stealing jewelry worth several thousand dollars and 30 gold Krugerrands worth more than $25,000.
Chief Campbell is charged with helping sell the jewelry to a pawn shop, “then calling in a panic to get it back,” according to McLemore’s affidavit.


Chief Campbell also is charged with entering into a conspiracy with bail bondsmen Cox and Norwood to manufacture methamphetamine.

According to McLemore’s report, the two bondsmen needed leverage on a man named Roger Light, who could lead them to someone who skipped, leaving them potentially forfeiting a large bond to the courts.

McLemore said that with Camp-bell’s help, they told Ronald Adams they could make his drug charges in Lonoke County and Jacksonville go away if he would cook some meth, sell it to Light and let them bust Light and force him to help find the man who skipped bond.

According to McLemore’s affidavit, O’Nale, now the acting chief, actually arrested Light. Campbell and Norwood then took Adams’ meth lab and reported it to the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office as “found on the road.” McLemore said the conspiracy came to light because Adams reported the incident to the State Police after nothing was done to help him out of his drug cases.

SPORTS >> Red Devils run away from Panthers

Leader sports editor

IN SHORT: The Jacksonville boys and Cabot girls won the rivalry games Tuesday night.

The Jacksonville Red Devils led from gun to tape last night in another critical AAAAA-East matchup at Cabot. Jacksonville guard Airic Hughes hit a three pointer 58 seconds into the game to put the Devils up 3-0, and Lavar Neely hit an uncontested layup at the buzzer to set the final margin at 59-49, improving Jacksonville’s conference record to 6-4 and dropping the Panthers to 4-6.

The Red Devils led by as much as 21. An alley-oop pass from Hughes was slammed home by senior post Kelsey Credit with 3:10 left in the third quarter to put Jacksonville up 41-20.

After that, Jacksonville got sloppy and Cabot began to close the gap.

The Panthers trimmed the lead to as little as 10 with 3:05 left, and nine with 46 seconds remaining.

Jacksonville coach Vic Joyner was not pleased with how his team closed the game, but was pleased to get a win in a brutal conference.

“We have got to learn how to close out games and finish teams off,” Joyner said. “This wasn’t as bad as the other night. We were up by 20 points, but there are too many good teams and too many good coaches at this level to be messing around with any lead. No lead is safe in this conference. But we got that lead and got comfortable, and just didn’t finish it off. I’m happy to get the win though. I’ll take a win, any win against a team like this.”

Cabot struggled through another game of missed shots. The looks were there, but the shots haven’t been falling the Panthers in recent games.

Starting forward Shawn Tramel found a quick seat on the bench after picking up his second foul just 1:30 into the game, and the Panther struggled for six points in the first quarter.

Jacksonville opened the second quarter quickly, turning a 12-6 lead into a 23-10 advantage. Two blocks by Credit sparked the run. He also got a bucket, and his assist to Hughes ended the half with the Devils leading 25-14.

Another fast start in the third buried the Panthers under a nearly insurmountable lead. Credit opened the half with a layup from a penetrate and dish assist by Lavar Neely.

Cabot post player Alex Sharp responded with a pull up jumper to make it 27-26, but Jacksonville scored the next seven points. Neely hit a three pointer, Bryan Owens hit two free throws and Airic Hughes got a steal and layup to put the Devils up 33-16 with 5:25 left in the quarter.

Cabot junior Justin Haas ended the run with a three pointer and Chad Glover added a free throw to cut the margin to 33-20, but Jacksonville responded with an 8-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game.

The Panther bench got Cabot back to within striking distance in the fourth quarter, but it was too late to mount a serious threat.
Guards Jacob Trammell and Brett Beam scored 10 points each, all in the second half, while Alex Sharp came off the bench to post nine points in the game.

The trio accounted for 25 of Cabot’s 35 second-half points.

Conversely, Jacksonville got just one point the entire game from the six players that came off the bench. The Red Devil starting five accounted for all but one free throw of their 59 points.

Neely led all scorers with 18 points. He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists. Hughes finished 16 while Credit posted 11 points, seven boards and six blocked shots.

Cabot is now 15-8 overall while Jacksonville improved to 16-8.

The game’s result, combined with Forrest City’s win over West Memphis, and Sylvan Hills’ victory over Searcy last night, leaves Cabot tied with the Blue Devils for fifth place in the league race.

The Lady Panthers sat two starters for injury and illness, but still had little trouble with the Lady Red Devils, who also sat an injured starter. Cabot won the game 65-31 and improved to 21-3 on the season and 10-0 in conference play.

Jacksonville hung tough early, playing to a 14-6 score by the end of the first. Cabot stepped up the defensive pressure in the second quarter and held a 33-13 lead by halftime.

It was all over in the third as Cabot, who missed all six of its three-point attempts in the first half, began hitting from outside. Jacksonville had no answer. The Lady Panthers led 60-23 by the end of the frame.

Twelve Lady Panthers scored in the game. They were led by Kim Sitzmann’s 20 points and eight rebounds.
Tarneshia Scott led Jacksonville with 18 points and 11 boards.

The Lady Devils fell to 2-18 and 0-10.

Jacksonville host Jonesboro Friday while Cabot will entertain Mountain Home.
The Lady Bombers are 8-2 and in second place in the AAAAA-East.

SPORTS TOP STORY >> Lady Lions, Bears pick up wins

Leader sports writer

IN SHORT: The Sylvan Hills boys and Searcy girls won their respective AAAAA-East games Tuesday night at SHHS.

Sylvan Hills beat the Searcy Lions for the second time this season, 59-43 Tuesday night in Sherwood, and secured sole possession of fourth place in the AAAAA-East standings.

The Bears held Lions senior post player Chris Brown to only 16 points in the contest, one of his lowest totals all season. The Bears held off Searcy for the entire second half to claim the win.

“We had lost about three (games),” Syl-van Hills coach Kevin Davis said. “We knew coming back after the Moun-tain Home game we wanted to try to keep the winning ways. In this conference, we knew it was going to take a solid team effort.”

Searcy jumped out to the early lead with a three-point shot from Cody Wilmath, followed by a put-back from Brown to put them up 5-0 at the 5:26 mark of the first quarter.

The Bears came back quickly with shots from senior postman Robert Mc-Kinney and senior guard Victor Roy to pull within one less than a minute later.

U.S. Robinson made his first appearance in the game for Sylvan Hills with 2:17 left in the opening frame, and made his presence known immediately.

Robinson hit a jumper on the next Bears’ possession to tie the game at 8-8, then swished a three pointer moments later to give Sylvan Hills the lead. McKinney added two more points before the end of the quarter, giving the Bears a 13-8 lead after one.

Sylvan Hills slowly added to their lead in the second quarter, holding the momentum for the entire period. Another inside shot from McKinney with 42 seconds left in the half gave the Bears a double-digit lead for the first time in the contest at 27-17. Darrell Crenshaw added a three at the buzzer to give Sylvan Hills a 30-17 lead at the half.

The Lions reeled Sylvan Hills back in during the third quarter. Justin Rowden scored seven of his total 15 points in the third, narrowing the Bears’ lead to 34-31 by the 1:41 mark with a transition jumper inside. Michael Gross answered for Sylvan Hills with a three pointer, followed by basket from Tanner Arnold to increase the Bears lead once again to 39-31 heading into the final quarter.

Searcy attempted to speed up the game’s pace in the final frame, but the Bears matched them point-for-point. The Lions hurried their shots to try and make up the deficit, and the Bears patiently waited for the rebounds. Sylvan Hills out-rebounded Searcy 10-4 in the fourth, a stat that would prove to be the Lions downfall late. After the Bears entered the bonus with 2:36 left, they hit six of seven free-throws going away to secure the win.

“I thought the guys did an excellent job on Chris (Brown),” Davis said. “He is one heck of a player. Our outside defense was pretty good tonight, they made it pretty tough on them.”

Gross led the Bears with 17 points in the game, with McKinney adding 11 points and nine rebounds. Brown’s 16 points was tops for the Lions. The most suprising statistic of the night was Brown’s rebounding totals, which stood at only two at game’s end.

The win improves Sylvan Hills record to 12-10 overall and 5-5 in the AAAAA-East. The loss puts Searcy at 3-7 in the East conference.

The Lady Bears had a chance at beating Searcy on Tuesday night, leading by six, 45-39 with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation. It wasn’t to be, however. Searcy came back to force overtime and rode that momentum in the extra period for a 50-46 victory.

Sylvan Hills did not count on Searcy’s unlikely hero, senior Felicia Graham. Graham had not seen court time all season until three games ago, but made the difference against Sylvan Hills when it counted the most.

Graham hit a three-point shot with four seconds remaining to cut the lead to three. Sylvan Hills had to simply inbound the ball and draw the foul to clinch it. A wild in-bounds pass from Shontaye Reed went two-thirds the distance of the court, and was picked by Graham, who drove across mid-court and banked in a 30-footer as time expired, forcing overtime.

The Lady Lions held onto the momentum in the extra-period, taking the 50-46 win in one of the biggest comebacks of the season.

Graham led the Lady Lions in scoring with 14 points, with junior standout Kallie Bartee adding 10 points. Crystal Maxwell led Sylvan Hills in the game with 18 points. The win gives Searcy sole possession of fourth place in the AAAAA-East standings, improving their conference record to 6-4 on the season. The loss takes the Lady Bears out of the top four, with an East record of 5-5.

NEIGHBORS >> Blueprint for the future

Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: Cabot Parks and Recreation releases plans for development in the coming year.

Cabot Parks and Recreation Commission is seeking funding from the Cabot Advertising and Promotions Commission to help with $200,000 worth of improvements and maintenance projects this year, including a $50,000 skateboard park.

Cabot Parks and Recreation has about $43,000 left over from the 2005 budget. Most of the organization’s income is from revenue generated from its programs including concessions, rentals, sponsorships, tournaments, fund-raising and gate admission.

Since 2000, the department has received $678,932 from the Cabot Advertising and Promotions Commission for improvements and maintenance projects that range from rebuilding baseball and softball fields to new construction of 10 soccer fields, a T-ball field, pavilions, playgrounds, walking trails and a disc golf course. The partnership has benefited the continued development of the city’s park system, said Carroll Astin, director of Cabot Parks and Recreation.

“By replenishing our ballfields each year with topsoil, sand and lava ash, the parks continue to be sought after for post-season tournaments and events for the Special Olympics,” Astin said.

The Cabot Parks and Recreation Commission will seek funding for four projects this year including a $50,000 skateboard park to be built between the tennis and basketball courts on Richie Road. Plans call for a four-inch concrete pad approximately 5,600-square feet. The equipment will include various ramps and bars. Dual bids will be sought for the project for steel or modular equipment.

“In 1999, we had a skate park and the group of folks at that time chose not to follow the rules so we shut it down. Modular equipment would let us take the skatepark down easier if we need to,” Astin said. “As long as we aren’t negligent with the park or the equipment, it is user beware.”

The commission will be seeking funding for $63,000 in maintenance supplies and $25,000 for maintenance equipment. Supplies include fertilizer for grass at all the parks, pool chemicals, chalk, paint, grass seed, fencing, bases, goals and groundcover for playgrounds.

The equipment includes a 60-inch mower and bagger/sweeper for the fields, a John Deere Gator Utility Vehicle and a replacement for the 10-year-old John Deere 650 tractor.

Due to the rising cost of fuel, Astin says the department plans to mow the fields once a week instead of twice or three times a week during the spring and summer. An additional $9,000 will be sought for dirt, sand and lava ash for the baseball, softball and T-ball fields.

“This is an ongoing repair item,” Astin said. “The topsoil and sand are used to fill in low spots in grassy areas while sand and lava ash are applied to softball, T-ball and baseball fields prior to the season starting.”

Lava ash helps absorb rain and dries the field sooner during brief summer showers which causes fewer rained-out games.
Other improvements includes $8,000 for a scoreboard at the Cricket Soccer Complex, construction of a $20,000 irrigation pond at the First Street Sports Complex and $20,000 for two aerators for the pond at Campground and Kerr Park to keep the fishing water clear from silt.

“I think when your biggest complaint is there’s not enough parking, that’s a good problem for a park system to have,” Astin said.

WEDNESDAY EDITORIAL >> Budget dead on arrival

On rare but sublime occasions we can count it a blessing when a major pronouncement by the government encounters universal disbelief. Such is the case with President Bush’s fiscal 2007 budget blueprint, which arrived Monday in Congress to a resounding razz. Wall Street and conservative Republicans alike called the budget fiction and declared it dead on arrival.
That has to be good news for Arkansas, which would export billions of federal dollars to the eastern and western seaboards and the southwest over the next decade if Congress were to embrace the president’s priorities.

Arkansas gets a smaller per-capita share of military and homeland security procurement dollars than almost every state but a higher quotient of federal outlays for healthcare, education, agriculture, veterans and environmental protection. Bush would dramatically increase the first and slash the others on the way to running up the largest deficits in history over the next 10 years.

Mr. Bush has sizable majorities in Congress but they are not large enough to accomplish that feat. Republican congressmen — well, senators anyway — have hearts, too. How many will vote to eliminate the $255 death benefit of pensioners, in an election year? The president is determined to get rid of that sop to widows this year.

Last year, he tried to slash the survivor benefits for families of workers who die before retirement by nearly 10 percent to offset his tax cuts to millionaires. Even Republican lawmakers would not go along, and they won’t on this either.

We doubt they will go along either with hefty cuts that the president proposed in subsidies to Arkansas farmers, environmental cleanup and protection, Medicare and Medicaid, vocational education, low-income housing for the elderly, heating assistance for the poor or with the higher co-payments and fees that he would charge non-combat disabled veterans for medical care.

Those cuts are a small part of Bush’s $2.77 trillion budget for fiscal 2007, but they seem especially cruel when their purpose is to soften, if ever so slightly, the effect of the president’s truly big initiatives: to make permanent the gigantic cuts in taxes on wealthy investors and corporations that he and the Congress enacted in 2001-2004 and to vastly increase outlays for munitions and hardware and homeland security procurement, the largest bonanza for the defense industry in a quarter-century.

The president’s budget document trumpets that the domestic spending cuts would shave $65 billion off the deficits the next five years. The deficits are an embarrassment to the president’s party, which likes to be known as the party of fiscal responsibility. It controlled all three branches of government in the five years when government turned from big budget surpluses to mammoth deficits. You may recall that when President Bush took office in 2001 the Congressional Budget Office forecast surpluses totaling more than $5.6 trillion between 2002 and 2011. Now the budget office is forecasting deficits totaling $2.2 trillion between Oct. 1 and 2011.

Mr. Bush’s case for the specific program cuts and increases would have been better if his fiscal blueprint had not startled everyone by its fantasies.

He said his budget would bring the federal budget under control again by the end of the decade, two years after he leaves office.

The assumptions underlying that bit of fiscal legerdemain are that (1) the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will end, completely, next year and not a dime would be spent after that, (2) the alternative minimum tax, once intended to catch multimillionaire tax scofflaws, will be allowed to kick in and nail millions of middle-class taxpayers with huge tax bills annually starting next year and (3) Congress on its own will make big cuts in domestic spending each year after 2007. (His zeroing war expenditures after 2007 is especially fascinating. Are we being told subtly that he will, after all, follow Rep. John Murtha’s advice and end the occupation of Iraq in quick stages? Not likely.)

Match those assumptions with the president’s call to Congress to make permanent his tax cuts for the wealthy, which are due to expire between 2007 and 2011. That would cost the treasury an extra $1.35 trillion over the next decade.
A budget under control in 2011?

“Unrealistic,” Goldman Sachs told its investor clients yesterday.

“This budget is not going to happen,” said Stanley E. Collender, a federal budget analyst at Financial Dynamics Business Communications. “Of all the budgets I’ve seen recently, this is the one going nowhere the fastest.”

Let us hope.

SATURDAY EDITORIAL >> Changing the subject

Perhaps it is just as well that President Bush did not deliver on the White House promise that his State of the Union address would unveil major new initiatives to deal with the burgeoning crisis in health care. They were to be the same initiatives that he had proposed in past years, but they were to be the centerpiece of his address, the same heavy emphasis that he gave Social Security privatization in 2005.

He spent less than three minutes on the subject. No doubt he concluded that people need not be reminded of the Social Security blunder or the more recent one in health care, the Medicare prescription drug program. The Arkansas state government as of early this week had shelled out more than $3 million to cover for the federal government’s ineptitude in that farce and the tab keeps rising.

So the president changed the subject to the energy crisis — the cannibalistic rise in gasoline prices. He wanted to end the nation’s dependence on imported oil, although, like those on health care, his proposals would do nothing to achieve that worthy goal.

Either emphasis, were it real, would be good news for Arkansans, who bear a heavier burden on both counts than almost anyone in the United States.

A higher percentage of Arkansans have no or inadequate health insurance than people in almost every state and, owing to our rural commuting habits, we consume more motor fuel on average than people in nearly every state.

But let us at least consider the president’s oh-so-brief pitch for health-care improvements. He wanted to address the major problems, the diminishing medical coverage of people and rising medical costs.

Philosophically, the presidential and Republican solution to both problems is simple. Force people to bear more of the costs of their medical care, which will in turn force them to be more careful about going to the doctor or the hospital every time they feel a little lousy. It also would force people to shop around when they feel bad to see which doctor or pharmacist will give them the cheapest care.

In theory, people would go to the doctor rather than the hospital emergency room and save money. This consumer shopping would wring costs out of the medical system by introducing greater competitiveness into the medical marketplace — or so this theory goes.

You can picture how it will work. You have severe chest pains. You call around among the cardiologists in the community to see how much they would charge to fix whatever is wrong with you. You can imagine their answer.

Anyway, you decide that it’s likely to be too steep for your budget, so you live with it.

The mechanism for achieving this reform would be expanded tax-free medical savings accounts. You would subscribe to a commercial insurance policy with a very high deductible, which would be very cheap and invest money every month in the medical savings account, which you would use to cover your ordinary medical expenses. The money you put into the savings account, which would be like a 401k, would not be taxed.

Medical savings accounts are available now, but the response to them has been underwhelming. Arkansas state employees, who were offered them last year, spurned them, and that has been pretty much the situation nationwide.

The low-cost policies may be appealing to the young, healthy and well-to-do (not to mention banks, which can collect management fees on the burgeoning accounts). They would have some coverage for catastrophic illnesses, but meantime their incomes would be high enough to handle the normal medical expenses.

But medical savings accounts are primarily a tax shelter for those who can use them. That is not most of us.
President Bush’s great failing is that he assumes that nearly all Americans are just like him and his friends.

Most working families will find it awfully hard to save money for the tax-free accounts every month and to accumulate assets in them.

But the Bush plan would not be merely neutral with them. It would increase their burden if more of the healthy and younger among us opt out of regular insurance programs for the high-deductible, savings-accounts plans.

Traditional plans will be left with only people who are older and more prone to sickness, and the premiums will go much higher.

That will drive more and more employers to shed employment-based insurance altogether or to shift more of the costs to workers. Comprehensive coverage for workers and their families will be harder and harder to obtain.

Perhaps the president’s decision at the last minute to de-emphasize his party’s health nostrums means that he realizes that they would make the life-and-death struggle for good medical attention worse for most Americans.
We can hope.