Saturday, September 09, 2006

SPORTS >>Panthers fall to defending champion Russellville

Leader sports writer

When the Lady Panthers had momentum, they were brilliant. Without it, they were ineffective against defending state champions Russellville Thursday night at the Panther gymnasium. The Lady Cyclones took the match 3-1, with a strong third set from Cabot interrupting an otherwise dominating performance for Russellville.

Russellville took the first two sets 25-19 and 25-14 respectively, but the Lady Panthers stepped up in the third set, holding a narrow lead most of the distance to claim a 26-24 win after the Lady Cyclones threatened to steal the frame with a late rally.
Despite a strong showing in the third set, Cabot looked downright out of gas in the fourth and final set. Russellville used its slight depth advantage to easily seal the match with a 25-16 win in the final set.

The first half of the opening set was closely contested until the final moments, when Russellville quickly turned a narrow 19-17 advantage into a more comfortable 22-17 lead. The Lady Cyclones held Cabot to just two more points in the set to lead the match 1-0.

The second set was all Russellville. After rushing out to a 7-2 lead, the Cyclones kept Cabot on the defensive, allowing just four total team kills from the Lady Panthers in the frame. The kills were more decisive on Russellville’s side of the net with 10. Blocks from Morgan Young and Ashton Seidl were the only opposition from the Lady Panthers in the set.

The Lady Panthers undoubtedly played their best volleyball in the third set. Three early kills from junior Katie Mantione gave Cabot the early momentum, rushing them out to a 4-2 lead. The interval remained close throughout the frame, but the Lady Panthers kept the momentum in their favor.

After dominating most of the set, Cabot was strongly challenged by the Lady Cyclones in the late going. Russellville racked up five straight points to turn a 20-16 deficit into a 21-20 lead, but Cabot got help in closing the deal from an unlikely source.

With normal studs Kim Carter and Kelli Lowry a bit off the mark in the set, sophomore Tori Hendrix stepped up and rolled off two straight kills to edge out Russ-ellville for the 26-24 win. Hendrix had put on a clinic earlier in the evening during the JV contest, and carried that momentum into the varsity match when the Lady Panthers needed it the most.

After the opening moments of the fourth set, it became apparent that the frame was merely a formality for the Lady Cyclones, as the winded Lady Panthers struggled to recapture the glory of the previous set.

Once Russellville’s lead reached double digits in the frame, they coasted to the win to claim the conference-opening match for the 7A-Central division.

Mantione led Cabot with eight kills. Lowry finished with six kills and two aces. Hendrix had five kills, all of which came in the final two sets. Carter had three blocks in the match.

For Russellville, junior Megan Simpson led the team with eight kills and 11 blocks. Senior Candace Scott and junior Cody Brook-houser each finished with seven kills on the evening. The loss dropped Cabot’s record to 4-2 on the season.
Cabot’s next match will be at Conway next Tuesday in varsity/JV action.

SPORTS >>Another cardiac finish for Badgers

IN SHORT: Beebe gets by Lonoke 21-20 in a game eerily similar to the way it played out last season.

Special to the Leader

Beebe’s 21-20 win over Lonoke Friday night was so similar to last year’s win it’s eery. An 18yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jared Mathis to Robie Puckett on fourth down with less than two minutes left in the game lifted the Beebe Badgers over visiting Lonoke 21-20. Lonoke had a chance to seal the victory with an interception of Mathis with just under five minutes left in the game and Beebe at midfield. But on the very next play, Lonoke fumbled and Danny Miller recovered for the Badgers on their own 39.

Mathis then hit running back James Anderson for a 23-yard gain down to the Lonoke 43. Eight plays later on third and ten from the Lonoke 22, Mathis scrambled right to the 18. On fourth and 6, Mathis hit Robie Puckett over the middle for the deciding score.

Last year Lonoke took over on downs late in the game with the lead, but fumbled it away and gave up a late touchdown that lifted the Badgers to victory.

“Every game we play against Lonoke seems to come down the last play,” Beebe coach Cam Prock said.

The first quarter ended with Beebe up 7-0 on a 9-yard touchdown run by Robie Puckett. On the ensuing kickoff, Lonoke seemed to execute a triple reverse for a huge gain down to the Beebe 16-yard line. But a holding penalty brought it back to the Lonoke 44-yard line, and three plays later Alex Cash was intercepted and gave Beebe great field position at the Lonoke 25. Three plays later, Beebe returned the favor as Mathis was picked off by Alvin Farmer.

In the second quarter, an errant snap on a fourth down punt play led to a 12-yard punt which allowed Lonoke to begin their drive at midfield. On second down, Clarence Harris busted up the middle for a 40-yd gain down to the Beebe 1-yard line.

Wendall Scales ran it in on the next play, but Lonoke missed the first of two extra points which would come back to haunt them.

In the third quarter, with Beebe up one 7-6, Lonoke failed on fourth and 12 from the Beebe 28. On their first possession of the second half, Mathis fumbled on his own 45-yard line to give Lonoke good field position once again. Five plays later, Clarence Harris ran 30 yards down the left sideline for a score, and Cash ran in the two-point conversion to give Lonoke a seven point lead. With 1;24 left in the third quarter, Mathis ran in from nine yards out after reversing his direction on the left hash mark. The extra point tied the game going into the fourth 14-14.

On the second possession of the fourth quarter, Lonoke marched 76 yards on a nine-play drive capped by Cash scoring from six yards out with 6:10 left in the game. But once again, a missed extra point by Lonoke gave Beebe the opportunity to win as they scored and made the extra point for the victory.

Prock was pleased with the calmness of his quarterback in a pressure situation.

“Mathis showed poise and seemed relaxed,” Prock said.

Mathis finished with 289 yards, with 207 of those coming through the air. Beebe plays Villonia next week before heading into conference play.

SPORTS >>Red Devils hold on

IN SHORT: Jacksonville defeated its city rival North Pulaski 37-18 Friday night at JHS’s Jan Crow Stadium.

Leader staff writer

The Red Devils could do no wrong in the first half, scoring on all five possessions.

All the wrongdoings would come in the second half.

Jacksonville held off North Pulaski 37-18 at Jan Crow Stadium in Jacksonville Friday night, in a game that was supposed to be all Red Devils. It was for the first 24 minutes, but a key turnover by JHS and a long scoring run from NP quarterback-slash-tailback Stanley Appleby turned a Jacksonville blowout into a halfway competitive game by the fourth quarter.

The Falcons were actually knocking on the door again in the final minutes of the game, with first and goal at the Red Devil 2-yard line. A fumble from NP tailback Charles Baker was pounced on by Jacksonville outside-lineman Nick Wilson at the 6-yard line to cancel the scoring opportunity, allowing the ‘Devils to run out the clock on the ground with runs from Justin Akins and Lee Robinson.

For Jacksonville head coach Mark Whatley, the clock couldn’t have hit zero any sooner.

“In the first half, I felt like we played pretty good, we got some good plays out of our receivers,” Whatley said. “I’ll tell you this, in the second half, we just went out there and went through the motions on both sides of the football. You just can’t do that. North Pulaski went out there and fought their guts out the whole ball game. They never quit, never gave up, never died down. We’re going to have to get a lot better.”

The tide turned against Jack-sonville with 38 seconds left in the third quarter. The Red Devils had just moved into North Pulaski territory on the heels of a 20-yard pass from Daniel Hubbard to Marcus King. A personal foul penalty against North Pulaski added another 15 for the ‘Devils, putting the ball at the Falcons’ 31.

It looked like it would be another routine drive for Jacksonville, until the following play. Hubbard completed the pass to Terrell L’Herisse at the NP 20, but L’Herisse coughed it up on the left sideline. Falcons senior cornerback Alex Thomas scooped it up and took it back all the way for the score, putting the score at 37-18, which would end up as the final margin.

The Falcons nearly came away with a score in the final five minutes of the game. They took over at their own 34 with 9:59 remaining, and slowly moved downfield. NP went 64 yards in eight plays, putting the ball at the Red Devils 2-yard line with 4:52 left on the clock before the first Falcons turnover of the game called it off.

“We missed some tackles in the second half,” Whatley said. “But offensively, we didn’t go out there and put some things away like we should have. We turned the ball over and let them run it back all the way; that gives them a shot in the arm. You look up, and it’s an 18-point ballgame, and then you’ve got a fight on your hands.”

The first half was not near as dramatic for the Red Devils. Five possessions yielded five touchdowns for Jacksonville in the first two quarters. Hubbard had all day back in the pocket, completing 11 of 13 attempts for 244 yards and four touchdowns.

The first possession for Jacksonville took five plays and two minutes, finished off with a 16-yard run from Akins for the score. Manuel Alvidrez missed four out of five point-after attempts for the ‘Devils, preventing a mercy-rule situation on the Falcons, including the first attempt after Akins’ TD run.

The next drive resulted in a touchdown after only three plays for Jacksonville. Hubbard hit L’Herisse on the Falcons’ 40-yard line, and L’Herisse sprinted in from there for a 68-yard touchdown play to put the Red Devils up by 12. King snagged a 40-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the opening quarter to put the Red Devils up by 18. Alvidrez added his only PAT of the night to add one to the scoreboard.

The Falcons put an impressive drive together to start the second quarter. Jordan Anderson set NP up with good field position to start out the drive, returning Alvidrez’s kick to the Falcons’ 37-yard line. Appleby and company took over from there, going 63 yards in 12 plays and 5:57 for the first North Pulaski score of the night. The drive was capped off by a three yard run by Melvin Tenner up the middle for the score. Jeffery Bogard’s point-after attempt was wide right, keeping the score 19-6.

The Red Devils scored two more times before the half, the first TD off a 29-yard pass from Hubbard to Akins, and the second off an 11-yard pass to L’Herisse from Hubbard to give the ‘Devils a commanding 31-6 lead at halftime.

It would have been easy for the Falcons to lie down and die in the second half and wait for the mercy rule, but they did just the opposite. North Pulaski came out with fire in the last two quarters, taking a relaxed and eased Red Devils squad by complete surprise.

The Red Devils would strike first at the 5:27 mark of the third quarter with a 34-yard pass from Hubbard to Blake Mattison for the score. Mattison split NP defenders Bryan Thurman and Thomas in the end zone, and Hubbard hit him on the numbers right between the two. Though no one would have guessed it at the time, it would be the last score for Jacksonville in the entire contest.

The North Pulaski rally started with 1:10 left in the third. Appleby was moved to tailback, while Mich-ael Fleshman moved under center in his place. One handoff to Appleby was all it took, as the sophomore standout started out to his left, but cut back to his right as he crossed the line of scrimmage. Fleshman threw an incredible block at about the Jacksonville 38, and Appleby coasted the rest of the way in for a 66-yard TD run.

Jacksonville finished with 504 yards of total offense. 305 yards came in the first half, compared to 199 in the second.

Hubbard was 17 for 26 for 326 yards and five touchdowns. Akins rushed 11 times for 99 yards and a touchdown and had one catch for 29 yards and a score. L’Herisse made five receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

North Pulaski had 283 yards of total offense in the game. Appleby carried 10 times for 114 yards and a touchdown, and completed 3 of 5 pass attempts for 46 yards.

Jacksonville will travel to Lake Hamilton to face the Wolves next week, while North Pulaski heads to Lonoke.

SPORTS >>Cabot rallies to beat Sylvan Hills

IN SHORT: The Panthers came from behind to knock off the Bears in a big non-conference battle.

Leader sports editor

Sylvan Hills didn’t give up 34 second-half points against Cabot Friday like they did in week one’s victory over Catholic, but they didn’t have a 28-point lead either. The Bears led 13-6 at the half, but two Cabot scores in the second half proved to be enough as the Panthers prevailed in their home opener 20-13 to improve to 2-0 on the season.

The Cabot offense didn’t pass as much as in week one, and did pass as well, but the Panther defense scored one touchdown and stopped every Sylvan Hills’ threat in the second half.

Cabot coach Mike Malham expressed great pride in his young defense.

“When you start four sophomores on defense you’re not supposed to play that good,” Malham said. “We got some kids that are growing up, smart kids that are learning and getting better. What’s great is that we came out in the second half and we decided Fuller and Davis an Clem and some of those guys we were trying to play both ways, we said no you guys are on offense, these kids are going to play defense. And they came out and did a great job. They kept ‘em out of the end zone in the second half.”

The Panthers and Bears were tied at 13 apiece until midway through the fourth quarter. Cabot’s winning drive started on its own 30, and went 13 plays in just under six minutes. The biggest play of the drive was on fourth down and five yards to go at the Sylvan Hills 33-yard line. Cabot was 0 for 5 passing on the night, but called a rollout to the right. Sylvan Hills got pressure on a stunt, but Cabot’s sophomore fullback Vince Aguilar led the rollout for extra blocking. The pass rush broke up the original pattern, and senior halfback Colin Fuller turned up field. Wade let the pass fly, barely clearing the outstretched arms of two Sylvan Hills defenders and landing on Fuller’s hands at the 14-yard line.

Three plays later, Aguilar rumbled in from five yards out to give Cabot its first lead with 5:59 remaining in the game.
The fourth-down pass was the only attempt in the second half and the only completion of six attempts in the game. Malham didn’t mind the lack of passing too much, especially as well as the running game worked.

“The passing game didn’t look near as good as it did at Jacksonville, but Jacksonville wasn’t ready for it,” Malham said. “They saw it on tape and we just did what we do best. If we’re going to win ballgames, we’re going to have to control the ball and do what we do best.”

Sylvan Hills got on the board first, converting a Cabot turnover on the game’s opening drive into six points.
On the second play of the game, Cabot quarterback Cory Wade threw the ball into tight coverage down the field.
Sylvan Hills defensive back Shod Neely made the interception at the Cabot 28-yard line.

Two runs by quarterback Hunter Miller and two by tailback T.J. Shelton combined for 32 yards to give the Bears first down at the Cabot 40. Things momentarily stalled from there. An incomplete pass, a two yard run and a fumble for no gain left the Bears with fourth and eight.

Cabot even covered well and got pressure on Miller, forcing the junior QB to scramble to the left on fourth down. The problem for Cabot, and the fortune for Sylvan Hills, was that Miller had nothing but fake green grass between him and the goal line as he scampered 38 yards for the score with 8:09 left in the first quarter. Cabot jumped on the PAT, so Sylvan Hills decided to go for two from the one-and-a-half yard line. Cabot snuffed the reverse to Jeff Henderson, leaving Sylvan Hills with a 6-0 lead.

The game then became a defensive struggle. The two teams traded the ball six times without a score.

A 46-yard punt by Cabot senior Colin Fuller pinned Sylvan Hills on its own 12 with 8:29 left in the half. After two Miller incompletions, senior Panther linebacker Raul Gault picked off his second pass in as many weeks and returned it 19 yards for the touchdown.

The extra point snap was mishandled by Fuller, leaving the game tied at 6-6 with 6:56 remaining in the second quarter.
The Bears took advantage of another Cabot turnover for their second score. Fuller’s troubles handling the ball continued when he dropped a Sylvan Hills’ punt on his own 20-yard line. The Bears recovered, and two plays later Shelton rumbled 20 yards up the middle for the touchdown. The extra point was good, giving Sylvan Hills a 13-6 lead with 4:13 left in the half that carried into intermission.

Sylvan Hills got one first down before punting to start the second half. Cabot put together a strong drive on its first possession. The Panthers went 65 yards in 10 plays with the help of a Sylvan Hills’ personal foul. Fuller capped the drive with a two yard plunge and Steve Lamb added the extra point to tie the game with 4:24 left in the third quarter.

Cabot’s constant pressure finally got to Miller on the Bears’ next drive, and the offensive line began trying to get a jump on the pass rush.

Two procedure penalties cost the Bears 10 yards. Cabot junior Chris Blundell and sophomore Kyle Deblock teamed up to sack Miller for a one yard loss to set up third and 21.

Miller had Henderson open and streaking down the right sideline on third down, but slightly overthrew his fastest receiver.
Cabot got the ball back at its own 33 after a nice punt by Miller, and drove the ball well until a crucial unsportsmanlike conduct penalty thwarted the drive.

The UC penalty was a dead-ball infraction, and coincided with an illegal procedure call, turning what would have been third and four into second and 27. Cabot went backwards two yards on the next two plays and punted back to Sylvan Hills.

Again the defense stepped up. After giving up a 26-yard completion to Henderson, Sylvan Hills threw three consecutive incomplete passes and had to punt again, setting up Cabot’s game-winning drive.

Sylvan Hills got the ball back and made it exciting. Three plays put the ball at the Bear 43. Miller then hit Shelton 28 yards downfield, but the play was called back for holding with just under four minutes left.

A six yard run by Shelton and a 10-yard scramble by Miller set up fourth and eight. Miller then hooked up with Shelton again right at the yard marker. The chain crew measurement showed the spot was short of the first down.

Cabot took over with 2:31 left and ran out the clock to preserve the victory.

Cabot finished with 283 total yards while Aguilar accounting for 119 of those on 31 carries.
Sylvan Hills finished with 202 total yards, and only 49 through the air.

The Bears will host North Little Rock next week while Cabot travels to Searcy.

EDITORIALS>>Vote for tax, despite doubts

We wish in vain for the perfect tax proposal, one that addresses a need that everyone concurs is unavoidable with a remedy that everyone considers wise.

The county jail tax — a proposed one-fourth of 1 percent sales tax — is not such a proposal, but we nevertheless recommend that people vote for it Sept. 12 or in the early voting that has already begun. Our reasons are not simple.

The very earnest proponents of the tax and the diehard opponents make the question very easy — on the one hand, criminals are running amok because we have no place to put them or, on the other hand, profligate local governments want the taxpayers to bail them out again with another regressive tax. If both sides haven’t bombarded you yet, they will by Tuesday.

As with every tax proposal we have ever seen, such generalities do not do the question or the voters justice. The crisis in this instance is one that bothers everyone. Local jails, like the state penitentiaries, are all filled to the capacity allowed by law, and police agencies throughout the county are having to free suspects as soon as they are picked up because there is no place to put them.

The state is releasing hundreds of convicts ahead of their parole dates to free beds in the penitentiaries so that inmates from clogged county jails can go to prison to serve their sentences.

But the state cannot safely speed the release of convicts fast enough to be of much help to Pulaski County. Police agencies, like the victims of crime, are finding that solving a crime and making an arrest are meaningless.

The suspects are back on the streets the same day without even posting bond, as Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines has pointed out. So chaotic is the situation that a district judge has appointed a special prosecutor and special judge to try to lock up or fine the county sheriff because he helplessly will not lock up all the people that the judge’s court convicts, including drunks convicted of multiple driving violations.

After a period of a stable or declining crime rate, crime is sharply on the increase in Pulaski County, and without hard evidence you still must conclude that the constipated jail system is at least one cause.

A special jail tax would be down our list of remedies for this intolerable condition — ideally. Like Gov. Huckabee, we think the legislature should modify the sentencing laws that were passed the past 25 years so that there are alternatives — much, much cheaper alternatives — to long prison terms for people convicted of using illegal drugs and some other victimless or nonviolent crimes.

But fearing that they would be accused of being soft on crime, legislators will not vote for such legislation and Gov. Huckabee does not press the issue. Programs to avert crime in the first place are another remedy, and some of the money from the jail tax will go for those. It will be a small effort.

Here is another reservation: A tax of only one-eighth of a penny rather than one-fourth would be enough over time to address the simple crowding issue, though it would take longer to complete the physical jail improvements and get the expanded correctional operations going.

Jim Lynch, who was a member of the county public safety tax force that recommended the jail tax (and the only member not to vote for it), has computed revenues from the tax over the next 15 years, and it is fairly clear that after a few years the rising collections will begin to exceed the jail needs — that is, unless crime puts an ever-escalating burden on the system or hard times crimp the revenue growth.

But the only options now for voters are the fourth-of-a-cent tax or do nothing. That renders the question fairly clear for us. We don’t like the sales tax, but it is the only toll that will raise enough money in short order.

While a one-eighth percent tax would suffice over the long haul, the slightly higher tax (it would amount to $6.25 on the purchase of a $2,500 large-screen TV set) will send money back to the badly strapped cities of Jacksonville, Sherwood, North Little Rock, Little Rock and Maumelle.

If the tax passes, they will all halt their subsidies to the county jail and use the money every year for their own public safety needs: more police, prevention programs or whatever.

We do not begrudge the cities that extra relief nor will city residents.

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, which almost uniformly opposes school and other local taxes, said the tax needed a cutoff date, say a couple of years out when the jail improvements are completed.

But the paper’s editor just does not understand the need. The tax is to run the jails, not just build them. Operating prisons is the big expense.

To build a large jail system only to shut it down for lack of operating money, which is part of the current problem, would be foolish indeed.

When each of us becomes a victim of crimes that could have been prevented by an efficient jail system, the little sales tax will become the perfect proposal.

Let us not wait for that day. Reservations about any tax are unavoidable, but they should not stampede us. Vote for the jail tax.

OBITUARIES >> 09-09-06

Howell Thompson
Howell M. Thompson, 84, of Cabot died Thursday, Sept. 7 in North Little Rock.

Howell was born on Nov. 28, 1921 to the late T. W. and Ree-sie Priest Thompson in Austin.

He served in the Coast Guard as a Seaman 1st Class from 1942 to 1945.

Howell was a member of First Baptist Church of Cabot for 42 years, where he was a deacon and served as Sunday School Director.

He was also a member of Cabot Masonic Lodge 319.

Howell served on the Bank of Cabot board of directors for 31 years, was the chairman for 10 years and chairman of the Bank Holding Company board for nine years.

Howell and his wife, Bobbie, owned Thompson’s Dollar Saver grocery store. They were the first store in Cabot to have a full-service meat market and carry a full line of produce and frozen foods.  

The two were on the Chamber of Commerce where Howell was president in 1962. 

Bobbie was awarded Out-standing Woman of the Year in 1967 and Howell the Outstanding Man of the Year in 1974. 
Howell was also awarded Elder Statesman in 1975 and Ministerial Alliance Man of the Year. 

He was Lonoke County Justice of the Peace, 1976-1990. Howell served as chairman of the board for the Arthritis Foundation in 1975 and chairman of the Lonoke County bicentennial in 1976.

In addition to his parents, Howell was preceded in death by his brother, Vernon Thompson of Austin and sister, Alby Ferguson of Forrest City.

He is survived by his wife, Bobbie Marie Thompson; two sons, John C. Thompson and his wife Beverly of Cabot, Tommy Thompson and his fiancé Diane Forbes of Morrilton; and a brother, James Thompson of Sherwood; four grandchildren, Stacy Bell of Wheaton, Ill., Wade Thompson of Maumelle, Brian Thompson of Cabot and Sarah Branscum of Arkadelphia; and one great-granddaughter, Natalie Bell of Wheaton, Ill.

Visitation will be held Saturday, at the Chapel of Cabot Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10 at First Baptist Church in Cabot with Bro. Harold O’Brian and Bro. Del Medlin officiating.

Interment will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

The family requests any memorials made in honor of “DDad,” as he was affectionately known to his family, to be given to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Kameron Manning
Kameron Jamal Manning, 13 months, departed this life Sept. 5.

He is survived by his parents, LaKesha Danielle Hart of Sherwood and Gordon Owusu Manning of Beebe; grandparents, Renee Hartaway of Lonoke, An-thony and Angela Hart of Little Rock, and Dr. Stephen and Rose Manning of Beebe; one sister, Taylor Manning of Little Rock; a brother, Malik Manning of Conway; maternal great-grandparents, Geneva Smith and Curtis and Alma Hart, and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins.

Kameron is preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Win-ston Man-ning, Paul K. Kwaah, and Elizabeth Pomaa.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. today at Union Valley Baptist Church (Hwys. 70 and 15), with burial in Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Arrangements are by Boyd Funeral Home, Lonoke.

James Besley Jr.
James “Jim” E. Besley Jr?., 77, of Jacksonville, died Sept. 5.
He was born Aug. 7, 1929 in Rome, N.Y., to the late James E. and Isabell Wilson Besley Sr. He was also preceded in death by an infant son, Robert Alan Besley.  

Jim retired from the U.S. Air Force as a SMSGT after 28 years of service. He was a member of Masonic Jacinto Lodge #216 in Jacksonville, as well as a Shriner and a Methodist.

Survivors include his wife, Delma L. Besley; daughter, Sicily “Sissy” Ann Besley of Jacksonville; son, James “Jimmy” D. Besley and his wife, Krista, of Wooster; brother, Edwin D. Besley and his wife, Linda, of Dallas, Ga.; sister, Joan Bowden and her husband, Roy, of Ft. Lauderdale, Flo.; and grandchildren, Carolyn, Jehu, Anna, Silas and Lydia, all of Wooster.

Visitation is from 1 to 3 p.m. today at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home. Please sign the on-line guest book at  

Arrangements are under direction of Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.

Virginia Godley
Virginia Fern (Austin) Godley, 75, of Spanaway, Wash., formerly of Jacksonville, passed away May 29 n Tacoma, Wash.

She was born Sept. 13, 1930 in Ovid, Mich., to the late Frank and Viola Sanders Austin. Her brother, Lyle Austin and her husband Kenneth James Godley also precede her in death.

She was a member of the Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville and was a retired store clerk.

Survivors include her sons, Rodney Kenneth Godley of Owos-so, Mich., Ronald David Godley of Lonoke and Jeffrey Ray Godley of Ward; daughters, Karen Kay Jeffries of Spanaway, Wash., and Kathy Godley Peel of Alexandria, Va.; brothers, Jerry, Duane and Dale Austin; sisters, Leona Lawback and Eva Roy; as well as 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at noon, Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the Church of the Nazarene in Jack-sonville with Rev. Ron Riddle officiating.

Interment will follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Park.

Donations may be made to Jacksonville Senior Center, 100 Victory Circle, Jacksonville, Ark., 72076 or to the Church of the Nazarene, 1506 J.P. Wright Loop Road, Jacksonville, Ark., 72076.

Funeral arrangements are under direction of Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.

Alma Hicks
Alma Joyce Hicks, 72, of Jacksonville, passed away Sept. 4 in Paron.

She was born Jan. 4, 1934 in Fairfield, Texas, to Charlie and Lillian Etheridge Rockey.

On Nov. 18, 1950, she married Harold Hicks in Lovington, N. M. They moved to Jacksonville where she was employed for over 10 years with Union Pacific Railroad Hospital in Little Rock.

She was preceded in death by her husband on Aug. 16, 2006. Mrs. Hicks was also preceded by her son, Larry and a brother, Billy Rockey. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Charles and Rhonda Hicks of Paron; daughter, Debbie Haulton of Harrison; daughter-in-law, Vanessa Hicks of Jacksonville; two sisters, Faye Anderson and May Lofton, both of Alvaredo, Texas; brother Charles Rockey of Canton, Texas; five grandchildren, Christopher and Tonya Hicks of Fayetteville, Kim and John Trublood of Harrison, Robert Haulton of St. Louis, Mo., Lesley Hicks of Jacksonville and Jeremy Hicks of Conway; two great-grandchildren, Silas Hicks and Tabor Trublood.

Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. today at Walnut Bottoms Cemetery near Paron with Brother Royce Lowe officiating. The family would like to express their thanks and appreciation to her caregivers, Judy, Tonya, Ellen and Cressie.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.

Ellis Polk
Ellis F. Polk, 73, of McRae died Tuesday, Sept. 5.

A veteran of the Korean Conflict, Ellis was captured before his 18th birthday and was a POW for 30 months. He retired at 25 years from Midwest Video.

A Baptist, he loved going to church and working for the Lord until his illness forced him to stay away from crowds. He continued his work through witnessing to individuals.

He had a smile that no one could forget.

Ellis is survived by his wife, Maurine; two daughters, Donna Polk of McRae and Diana Arledge (Will) of Pine Bluff; one son, David Polk; three stepdaughters, Martha Long (Rick), Beverly Parker, and Helen Campbell (Mike); one stepson, John Webb (Angie); 14 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; four sisters, Lee Dillon of Up-ton, Wyo., Myrtle Smith (Leroy) of Eaton, Colo., Bertha Russell (David) of Brush, Colo., and Eula King of Searcy; two brothers, Glen Polk (Georgeann) of Beebe, Rubert Polk (Dovie) of Pangburn, and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Robert and Flo-rence Sparrow Polk; and brother, James Polk.

Funeral will be held at 10 a.m. today at Westbrook Funeral Home with burial in Harmony Cemetery.

Lucille Cain
Lucille Martha Cain, 85, of Cabot died Friday, Sept. 8, 2006 in Jacksonville.

She was born May 22, 1921 to the late Matt and Irene Porter Long in Rushing.  

She is survived by her husband, Joe Cain; four children, Wanda Lafferty of Jacksonville, Donnie Porter of Cotter, Elaine Cofer of Benton and Ron Cain of Austin, Texas; eight grandchildren, Dennis Lafferty, Keri Gray, David Porter, Dana Hogue, Kim Cofer, Jonathan Cain, Kelly Cain, and Regan Cain, and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the chapel of Cabot Funeral Home.

Interment will be held at 1 p.m. at Egner Cemetery in Salado.

TOP STORY>>Cabot man saves small boy from house fire

IN SHORT: Heroic neighbor rescues child from certain death in house fire.

Leader staff writer

A house fire took the life of a 77-year-old Cabot woman Wednesday, but firefighters say a 3-year-old boy was saved by a neighbor who went into the heat and smoke twice before he found the child.

Fire Chief Phil Robinson said Robert McKenzie, who lives on Highland Boulevard, off Willie Ray Drive, was alerted to the fire by Velma Metcalf, who later died, and her daughter, Jane Reynolds, who told him that Reynolds’ young son was still asleep in his mother’s bed. The two women had been able to get Reynolds’ 6- and 7-year-old daughters out, but not the little boy.

McKenzie’s first attempt to reach the little boy failed, because of the intense heat and smoke, Robinson said.

He came out for air, but went back in and found the boy by his cries, gave him to his mother, who had also gone back in to find him and pushed them both to safety. He then went in search of Metcalf, who had entered the house with her daughter.

He found her and tried to lead her out, but she pulled away. He couldn’t help more because he was “out of air and overheated,” Robinson said.

Metcalf was dead when firefighters found her. Robinson said there is really no way to know why Metcalf pulled away from McKenzie or even if she really did.

“It could have been that she was overcome by heat and smoke and collapsed,” he said. “That would have felt like she was pulling away. But if she did pull away, it could have been because she didn’t know they had found the baby and she wasn’leaving if he couldn’t.”

Robinson issued this statement Friday about the cause of the fire: “We have completed our preliminary origin and cause investigation and determined the area of origin to be a corner of an outside deck where it joins the house on two sides. With the evidence available, we are not able to narrow the cause down to a single probability.  It is possible that a bag of charcoal stored in that area or an electric extension cord used to power an above-ground swimming pool pump caused the fire. We cannot eliminate either possibility. Unless further evidence presents itself, we must record the cause as undetermined.”

John Springer, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, helped with the investigation. Robinson said he first asked the State Police investigator to help, but he was tied up with a fire in Des Arc that killed two people.

The family lost all their belongings in the fire. Robinson said their neighbor, J.W. Palmer, 12 Pinnacle Point, is collecting donations.

The girls are virtually the same size. The 7-year-old wears a size seven dress, but all other clothing should be a size six for both. Their shoe sizes are 12 and one.

The sizes for the little boy are three for clothing and 8 for shoes.

TOP STORY>>Trial set to start Nov. 8

IN SHORT: Lonoke judge wants Campbells and bondsmen tried together in corruption case.

Leader staff writer

Former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell, his wife Kelly Campbell and two bail bondsmen will be tried together beginning Nov. 8 on a sprawling array of charges, Special Judge John Cole ruled Friday at Lonoke.

Defense attorneys, who had sought separate trials for each of the four defendants, expressed surprise at Cole’s ruling, believing that the judge had signaled repeatedly at the Aug. 25 hearing that a combined trial, maybe a month long, would be unwieldy or unmanageable.

He did leave the door cracked Friday, saying “I’m denying the motion for severance at this time.”
The state appointed Cole to hear the case after Circuit Judge Lance Hanshaw recused.

Cole also refused Friday to dismiss overriding charges alleging that Campbell was the mastermind of an ongoing criminal enterprise, that the other three were confederates and that the other 76 charges were committed as part of and proof of the criminal enterprise.

The state alleges that Campbell’s enterprise stole drugs and money, influenced inmates with drugs and sexual favors, conspired to manufacture methamphetamine, burgled homes and beat and intimidated witnesses between October 2002 and December 2005.

Kelly Campbell is alleged to have had sex with two inmates for a total of about 24 times, supplying them with alcohol, drugs and a cell phone, according to the charges, and with numerous counts of stealing drugs and other valuables with her husband. Bail bondsmen Larry Norwood and Bobby Junior Cox will be tried with the Campbells, according to the Cole’s ruling.

In the most serious of the charges, the former chief and the two bail bondsmen are accused of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamines as part of a complicated scheme to find a man who fled while on bond.

If the defendants are convicted of criminal-enterprise charges, some of the lesser charges would carry enhanced sentences and the sentences for criminal enterprise charges would be even greater.

Defense attorneys argued that the state failed by definition to meet the criminal enterprise statute requirement of involving at least three defendants and that they had committed at least two felony crimes of violence or for financial gain.

Arguing to dismiss the criminal- enterprise charge against Norwood, attorney Jeff Rosenzweig said that even if conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine were “a predicate criminal offense” involving three people, there was no second such offense, and thus, no criminal enterprise.

Most allegations are that the Campbells stole prescription drugs or other things of value from friends and neighbors—two people, not three, and certainly not involving Norwood.

In her arguments, McCastlain cited cases holding that not all enterprise members had to be “under the defendants’ supervision at the same moment nor in the conduct of the same underlying felony, but must merely be under the defendants’ supervision in the conduct of the same continuing enterprise.”

“The defense is trying to hold the state to a burden not required,” she responded to a similar argument made by Jay Campbell’s lawyer, Patrick Benca. “The motion (to quash) is premature,” said McCast-lain, who argued that the proper time for the judge to consider dismissing the criminal enterprise charges was not before the trial, but in a directed verdict after the state has put on its case.

Cole refused to quash the criminal-enterprise charges against any of the defendants, but declined to discuss his reasons.
Attorneys for both Campbells and for Cox piggybacked their arguments on Rosenzweig’s arguments on Norwood’s behalf.

Benca argued that McCastlain filed criminal-enterprise charges because her other cases were likely to be severed and she wanted them tried together. “Now she’s looking for crimes back to 2003,” he said.

Lonoke Mayor Thomas Privett’s misdemeanor theft-of-services charge and former police department dispatcher Amy Staley’s felony charges for having sex with inmates have been severed from the others.

Cole set the next pretrial hearing for 1 p.m. Sept. 21, and asked that any motion for change of venue be argued at that time.

TOP STORY>>Repeat offenders seen crowding jail

Leader staff writer

Two veteran law-enforcement authorities insist that without consequences of serving time behind bars, criminals will continue to break the law.

From 1,125 detainees who were housed at the Pulaski County Regional Detention facility several years ago, only 880 remain locked up because the county doesn’t have the money to keep all the beds open, according to John Rehrauer, spokesman for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, and Jacksonville Police Chief Robert Baker.

They’re hoping voters will approve a quarter-cent sales tax Tuesday to add beds to the jail and pay for other improvements.
About 97 percent of the time the jail is closed, which leads to frustration for countywide law-enforcement agencies.

Rehrauer recalled a recent rape in Maumelle, and police had to call the jail to see if there was space to detain the accused rapist.

Baker agrees with Rehrauer that it is frustrating for a “good group of police officers” to make solid arrests just to see the same people back out on the streets in no time flat.

“They just get a slap on the back of the hand,” he said.

Baker is the first to admit that statistics can be used to spin whatever issue goes before the public, but there were 86 more burglaries reported in 2005 than in 2004 for Jacksonville.

Between January and July, Jacksonville had 159 burglaries in 2004, while 258 were reported in 2005 during the same months.
In 2006, the number of burglaries for the same period was listed at 242, suggesting that criminals are out on the street.
If the measure passes, Jacksonville would receive a $125,000 windfall because an inter-local agreement between the city and county officials would end, resulting in huge savings for the county’s cities.

“That is our share…$125,000 a year,” Baker told The Leader. Plus, there is a handling fee when those arrested in Jacksonville are sent to the county jail.

Baker explained that the $125,000 would wind up in Jacksonville’s general funds. When asked if he wanted the windfall to benefit the police department, Baker said he’d rather see the city, as a whole, benefit from the savings.

Of the projected $18 million- plus tax revenue per year to be generated from the proposed sales/use tax hike, $750,000 will be used for prevention, intervention and treatment programs geared to get individuals to give up their drug/alcohol addictions and their criminal activities.

The remaining tax revenue generated by the proposed measure will also go to operating costs, new jail staff and repairs to the jail as well as reopening the work center facility.

Inmates can get their GED. Other programs focus on teaching detainees about life skills and providing an opportunity for de-tainees to ditch drugs.
“It’s mostly all done by volunteers right now,” Rehrauer said.

Rehrauer hopes more professionals will go to work at the jail if the public approves the sales tax increase. He believes this could help some detainees acquire skills to become productive citizens, but he knows other inmates will be unwilling to change no matter what.

“Quite honestly, sometimes they do it just to get out of their unit for awhile, but it’s valuable to try,” Rehrauer said.
In the past, Jacksonville operated an intermediate jail, which could house detainees up to 14 days. “We are currently a booking facility,” Baker told The Leader.

Individuals arrested in Jacksonville should be there only a few hours.
When asked why not revert to an intermediate jail facility, Baker replied, “It was very cost effective for us to go with the inter-local agreement.”

Baker also noted that to refurbish plumbing and electrical work, as well as to feed and provide medical treatment to de-tainees, is more expensive.

After listening to Baker’s reply, Rehrauer commented, “Nobody wants to get back in the jail business (locally).”
This week, hundreds of voters cast early ballots at Jacksonville City Hall, election officials said.

Most regular polling places will be open for the special election Tuesday.

TOP STORY>>Funding issue to be decided by electorate on Tuesday

IN SHORT: Sales tax increase to be used only for construction and operation of Pulaski County Jail.

Leader staff writer

Local and county officials say that the proposed quarter-percent sales and use tax on Tuesday’s special ballot will be used only for construction and operation of the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility.

The proposal, if approved, will increase the sales and use tax in Pulaski County by one-quarter of a cent on each dollar of goods or services purchased. This equals one cent on a $4 purchase; 25 cents on a $100 purchase; and is capped at a maximum of $6.25 on a purchase of $2,500 or more.

Jacksonville Police Chief Robert Baker and John Rehrauer, public information officer with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, said the tax will be collected on purchases in the first quarter of next year, but a significant amount would not be available until the second quarter of the year.

Ron Quillin, director of administrative services for Pulaski County Administration, explain-ed that the tax distribution is received a month after it is collected.

Therefore, revenue from the sales and use tax for the first three months of 2007, if started Jan. 1, would only show two months of collection come March.

“For the first quarter of the year, they will see two months of collections instead of three,” Quillin said.
If the proposal is passed next week, Rehrauer said they would immediately work to open the 250-bed work release center and have it open, hopefully, by the first of the year.

According to Rehrauer, the county would also begin a retaining effort for detention officers for the center immediately.
The work-release center would give a “temporary relief” to the detention facility, at least until it gets back up to the 1,125 beds the facility had before layoffs and cutbacks reduced the number of available beds to 800, Rehrauer said.
The tax revenue would reopen the 250-bed work release center, but to also pay for 196 new minimum- to medium-security beds and 292 new maximum-security beds.

The revenue from the tax will help cover those costs by allowing Pulaski County to repair current facilities, maintain and operate the detention facility for the next 10 to 15 years, and provide a minimum of $750,000 each year for prevention, intervention and treatment programs. Because of budget constraints, the detention facility has remained closed over 95 percent of the time.

The people being held right now, according to Baker and Rehrauer, are ones that are violent felons, people who have committed violent acts, such as shootings, rapes, beatings, etc., that did not make bond.
The cost of operating the jail has increased just like everything else these days, Rehrauer said.

Baker pointed out that non-violent felons don’t go to jail because of the facility being closed, while many violent offenders are released for lack of space.

“We want to ensure that there is room to lock up the violent felons when we can,” Baker said.
“What they have to do now when we get a violent felon is research who is currently in jail that is now eligible to be released, even though they would like to keep them,” Baker added. “It’s progressed to even worse than what it was when the jail was closed,” he said.

In 2003 and 2004, when the detention facility was at its maximum population of 1,125, it was closed 30 to 35 percent of the time, Rehrauer said.

In 2005, it was closed about 40 percent of the time. The facility is currently closed 95 percent of the time.

Baker explained that all the agencies that are involved in the group leadership meetings got together and concluded that “this was the best way we could do as far as a recourse of action in order to prevent the jail from being overcrowded then, so that it could hold a lot of felons and still be able to operate and function.”

“It’s frustrating to us because we can’t do what we know we need to do (because of no room in the jail),” Baker told The Leader. “What justice is there for the victims right now?

“How much of a service are we providing if we can’t keep people in jail?”

TOP STORY>>Officials stress safety

IN SHORT: A joint effort to pass a quarter-cent sales tax is being met with stiff opposition.

Leader staff writer

Pulaski County officialdom supports the proposed quarter-cent sales-tax increase on Tuesday’s special election ballot to fund construction, renovation, maintenance and operation of new and existing jail beds. Elected officials and business groups have pressed their considerable machinery into service of that cause.

The jail has been closed to all but violent offenders since before January and the County Detention Center, which must house all inmates in the county, has been re-duced from 1,125 beds to 880 beds in the last year.

Now County Judge Floyd “Buddy” Villines, Sheriff Ran-dy Johnson, area police chiefs and business and political leaders, as well as the ad hoc group Citizens For Safe Neighborhoods, have mobilized for passage of the measure.

Opponents counter that the county has not managed its money efficiently, that the old jail could be rehabilitated for less than $1 million and that officials are fear-mongering.

“Giving more money to jails to fight crime is like giving money to cemeteries to fight cancer,” said Jim Lynch, the only member of the 24-person task force not to support the new tax. Lynch, a member of Taxpayers Against Wasteful Spending, said it was too late to fight crime by the time someone’s in jail.

Two-thirds of the folks in jail have drug or alcohol abuse histories and low levels of education, according to Lynch. That’s why the money should go toward prevention, intervention, treatment and education, he said.

Lynch is not swayed by pro-mises to make more money available for those programs. He added that the quorum court has the authority to devote money from any sales tax to schools.

Lynch said the jail problem could have been addressed with a one-eighth-cent sales tax.
But most of those speaking out favor the tax.

Last week, chiefs of all Pulaski County law enforcement agencies held a press conference to encourage voters to approve the measure at Tuesday’s special election.

Larry Wilson, president of First Arkansas Bank and Trust, calls it an economic development issue.
The Sherwood Chamber of Commerce encouraged its members to vote for the measure and to ask coworkers, employees, family and friends to vote early for the jail tax.

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce approved a resolution endorsing the jail tax Aug. 17, saying that closure of the facility “results in the release of individuals charged with serious offenses and there is a proven relationship between increased crime and the number of days the jail is closed.”

In a slick, full-color brochure mailed to a large number of registered county voters, including some in Jacksonville, Citizens for Safe Neighborhoods writes “Pulaski County citizens are continually at risk because our jail is full, causing criminals to be set free” including “drug dealers, meth lab operators, burglars and arsonists.”

Members of that committee, chaired by two former members of the Public Safety Jail Task Force, include other task force members and people representing the mayors.

The money for the mass mailing of the four-color brochure has all come from private donations, according to co-chair Sandra Brown.

Brown said she didn’t know the cost of the brochure or the mailing. Brown said she believed the committee’s mailbox, P.O .Box 1, belongs to the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Brown said once the quorum court called the special election, she and her co-chair, Scott Miller, decided “to take it to the next level.”

Brown said she works in the private sector and that she and other committee members were strictly volunteers.
In announcing its support of the tax, the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 17, announced its official endorsement on Sept. 5.

“This is a decision of critical importance for our communities,” said Mike Verkler, lodge president.
“We have the opportunity to help keep our neighborhoods safe by ensuring that the criminals our police officers arrest stay where they belong—behind bars.”

The F.O.P. Lodge No. 17 is the recognized bargaining union of the Little Rock Police Depart-ment, with about 500 members, Verkler said.

Other groups reported endorsing the jail tax include the Downtown Partnership, the Homebuilders Association of Greater Little Rock, all of the mayors of Pulaski County municipalities and their respective Chambers of Commerce.
Early voting is already underway.

TOP STORY>>Clinton disputes TV show’s ‘facts’

IN SHORT: The former president says an ABC-TV docudrama distorts his record on fighting bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

Leader editor and special contributor

Former President Clinton told The Leader on Thursday that there are several inaccuracies in an ABC docudrama that accuses him of ignoring the looming threat from al-Qaeda and missing out on opportunities to kill Osama bin Laden.

“I haven’t seen the film,” the former president told us during an appearance at the Clinton Presidential Library, “but there should be nothing in there that’s false.”

“There are at least two falsehoods in the movie,” the former president continued, involving his national security adviser, who is depicted in the movie as ordering the CIA not to kill bin Laden, and a later decision to bomb bin Laden’s camp, which was conveyed by the secretary of state to Pakistani authorities, who tipped off bin Laden.

Clinton denied both assertions.
Although the movie, “The Path to 9/11,” is supposedly based on conclusions made by the 9/11 Commission Report, Clinton said the documentary distorts the report’s findings.

The ABC miniseries, set to air this Sunday and Monday, blames Clinton for the destruction of the World Trade Center. (ABC is re-editing the film and might even cancel it.)

Even though he’s been out of office for five years, conservative commentators still blame him for 9/11 because he didn’t pursue bin Laden more aggressively, although others recognize that President Bush ignored intelligence that confirmed the threat from al-Qaeda.

About the errors in “The Path to 9/11,” Clinton said:
“There are two scenes that are clearly false, and anything that is false should be pulled.”

The former president insisted that the 9/11 Commission Report makes it clear he was determined to go after bin Laden.
Clinton said the film misrepresent the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report, and “you can’t go against what the 9/11 Commission Report states.”

The film claims Clinton was distracted by the Lewinsky affair, and to divert the nation’s attention from the scandal, he allowed a strike against bin Laden, but by then he was on the run.

He also noted his surprise that the errors could make it into the television movie since Richard Clarke is a consultant to ABC.
Clarke was the counter-terrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred and was also on the Security Council from 1998 to 2000 under Clinton.

“We worked hard for years to get bin Laden,” Clinton said.

The former president said he directed that missiles be targeted at bin Laden when he was in Afghanistan in 1998.

The ABC miniseries criticizes the Clinton administration for a meeting between a member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Pakistani government official to “say the missiles (to be used in the strike against bin Laden) were ours.”

Clinton says Cyrus Nowrasteh, who wrote and produced “The Path to 9/11,” left that detail out of the film, along with the political climate in Asia at that time.

The 9/11 Commission Report states that the meeting did take place so that Pakistani authorities would not think their country was under attack from India, as it had been in the past.

In 1998, both India and Pakistani were conducting successful nuclear weapon detonations.

Clinton said the movie is wrong about his national security adviser Sandy Berger ordering the CIA not to kill bin Laden, or that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would not allow a missile strike against the head of al-Qaeda before first alerting the Pakistani authorities, who then alerted bin Laden that an attack was coming.

Even more than if the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented, the show sheds light on how five years later, bin Laden has still not been captured.

Clinton was at the presidential library for a book launch of “Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton, from Hope to Harlem,” a chronicle of the former president’s legacy from the people who knew him before he was elected to lead the country.

Janis F. Kearney, a diarist for Clinton when he was in the White House, said she wanted to include the voices of people in her book who are not usually in history books, especially African Americans.

“He could have chosen a path where no one was a naysayer, where everyone was his friend,” Kearney said about Clinton.

The celebration at the Clinton Library in downtown Little Rock was subdued temporarily by those naysayers at ABC-TV, who appear to be giving into pressure from Clinton’s supporters and will likely revise or cancel the movie.

Friday, September 08, 2006

SPORTS >>Cabot North takes two from South freshman

Leader sports writer

The North vs. South rivalry was all Cabot North on Monday night at the North campus gym, as the North
Panthers and Lady Panthers defeated their crosstown rivals in a pair of Metro-conference matchups.
The North girls dominated South in the first game of the night, beating South 36-16, while the North Panthers
won 36-29 with another strong performance from Adam Sterrenberg.

The boys contest started out very slowly, with the first quarter resulting in a 2-2 tie heading
into the second frame. The offensive pace picked up in the next eight minutes, with North
leading at halftime 19-11. Outside shooting would be the key for North in the second quarter, with three-point
shots from Jack Bridges, Nathan Holland and Sterrenberg, including two from Bridges. The second
three pointer from Bridges at the 2:55 mark gave North a 14-8 lead, and made for the last time in the game that
South trailed by a single score.

North only outscored South 8-7 in the third quarter, but still held momentum heading into the final period.
Austin Johnson tried to make up the early deficit for South in the fourth, scoring eight of his total 20
points in the period, but it would not be enough. North claimed the win to give them a final overall standing of second in the
Metro Conference, with a 12-4 Metro record for the season. “We were trying to go more to
the spread game,” North coach Keith Watkins said. “We were in bonus, so I thought if we could just
hit our free throws we could gap them enough. They started coming back a little bit on us, but we
had enough people step up at the end and make free throws.”

Sterrenberg led North with 20 points in the game, and shared high scorer honors with South’s
Johnson, who also came away with 20 points on the night. The girls game started out competitive,
with the North ladies holding a slight 7-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. A blistering second from North
put the game out of reach for South, as they were held to only two points in the entire quarter.

North scored 17 of their own before the half, to take a commanding 24-7 lead heading into
the second half. Jenna Bailey scored all of her game-high 13 points in the first
half for North, including a jumper and a three pointer with 49 seconds left in the first quarter to give
them the early lead. North held South to two points again in the third quarter, but this
time only scored four points themselves.

The low-scoring period resulted in a 30-9 North lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
Shelby Ashcraft was South’s only scorer in the final frame, scoring
six points inside. Ashcraft finished with 12 on the night, but with
only four points in the game from the rest of the team, Ashcraft’s
solid performance was far from enough for South. North tacked on
six more points in the fourth to take the 20-point win.

The North girls finished second overall in the Metro Conference, with a final overall record of 16-4
and a Metro record of 14-2. North Lady Panthers head coach Kelley Spencer says her team has overcome
a lot of adversity this season, and has continued to improve. “It has been an up and down
season for us,” Spencer said.

“They have had a lot of challenges this year with a new coach and a new system, and they have
adapted well. I think we are playing our best basketball right now, and it couldn’t come at a better

SPORTS >>Lady Lions, Bears pick up wins

Leader sportswriter

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

“We had lost about three (games),” Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said. “We knew coming back
after the Mountain 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 threepoint 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 McKinney and senior guard Victor Roy to pull within one less than a minute

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.

Cabot struggled through another game of missed shots. The looks were there, but the
shots haven’t been falling for 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
Panthers 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 Devils starting
five accounted for all but one free throw of their 59 points. Neely led all scorers with 18

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.

Jonesboro is still unbeaten at 10-0. Forrest City is 8-2, Jacksonville is third at 6-4. Sylvan
Hills is 5-5 while Cabot and West Memphis are 4-6. Searcy comes in at 3-7 and
Mountain Home is still winless in 10 league games. 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

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, which 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

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

TOP STORY >>Candidate No. 5 enters race for Cabot mayor

Leader staff writer

James Glenn, 53, who has served on the Cabot City Council for 18 years, announced this week that he is ready to run for the city’s highest office. Glenn is an independent who is not affiliated with any political party. His opponents are Alderman David Polantz, who also could run as an independent; former Lonoke County Justice of the Peace Kenny Ridgeway, who announced as an independent; former Alderman Eddie Joe Williams and former Justice of the Peace Bill “Pete” Pedersen, both Republicans.

Glenn said his concern for the city of Cabot is the flow of traffic. “Cabot has seen rapid growth over the past 20 years, and due to its location and exceptional schools this growth will continue,” he said in an announcement. “This growth also affects the number of fire stations that serve the city. In order to provide the city of Cabot with exceptional fire services, additional stations are needed.”

Glenn and his wife, Deloris, who is a lifetime resident of Cabot, have been married for 33 years. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. He is employed with George Ficher Sloane, in Little Rock. He drives a bus for Cabot School District and is an active member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church. Glenn says he welcomes phone calls from Cabot residents who want to talk about their concerns, and can be reached at 843-7427.

Pedersen was the fourth Cabot resident to announce for mayor. He will face Williams in the May Republican Primary. Will-iams was the first to announce his plans to run. He talked to The Leader shortly after Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh took office three years ago.

Stumbaugh’s announcement for U.S. Congress in Arkansas’ First District last summer opened up the race for mayor.
Ridgeway and Polantz were second and third, respectively, to enter the race. Like Glenn, the other candidates say traffic and other planning concerns are the main issues of this mayor’s race. “I realize that our traffic situation is one of our greatest challenges,” Pedersen said in a recent release about his candidacy.

“I am willing to take on that challenge, along with any other challenges that Cabot may endure.” As Williams campaigns, he talks about the planned railroad overpass that will keep buses off the railroad tracks and is touted as the first phase of a north interchange. Polantz, who is third in seniority on the council, following Bob Duke who retires this year after 30 years and Glenn, routinely votes against zoning issues that he thinks will make traffic worse.

“What pushed me over the edge into running was number one, the traffic,” Ridgeway said when he announced his candidacy last fall. “Cabot isn’t traffic friendly and I just got tired of hearing people talk about it.” All five say their experience in local government will be an asset to the mayor’s office.

TOP STORY >>Commission agrees to rezoning in Cabot

Leader staff writer

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 received the green light Tuesday night. The Cabot Planning Commission voted 3-2 to recommend to the city council rezoning the residential property 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 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.

TOP STORY >>District decides on chief

Leader managing editor

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 McPher-son 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.

“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 Uni-versity 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 >>Residents in Lonoke stunned by arrests

Leader staff writer

Reaction to the arrest of Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell, his wife and Mayor Thomas Privett on Monday 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 glad 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 >>City Corruption

Story by

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 felony 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 boat and hang Christmas lights has resulted in the charges that Campbell conspired to manufacture meth-amphetamine 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. Cox, Norwood and Chief Campbell 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.

State investigation

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 promised 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 hit

“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 deputy, 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.

Wife charged

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.

Sex with prisoners

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.

Chief irate

“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 McLemore, 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.”

Drugs taken

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 syrup 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.

Meth conspiracy

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 Campbell’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.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

SPORTS >>Traditional rivalry still heated

Leader sports editor

When it comes to Week 10 of the high school football season, one thing is certain, that Cabot and Jacksonville will meet up in a very meaningful football game. Circumstances such as playoff seedings or eligibility may change. Those circumstances may even be meaningless, as is the case this year, but the game itself won’t be. Jacksonville doesn’t need playoff implications to want to beat Cabot, and the same goes for the Panthers, especially after last season, when the Red Devils beat Cabot for the first time in eight years.

Win, lose or draw, Jacksonville is going to play Springdale in the first round of the playoffs next week, and Cabot’s season will end Thursday night, but don’t think that either team will play like there’s nothing on the line. Cabot wants to salvage as much as it can of a lost season by beating an arch rival that has done little to allow the Panthers to forget last season’s game.
Jacksonville wants to prove last year’s game was no fluke, and wants to head into the playoffs with a confidence-building victory.

The fact that the game has no playoff implications doesn’t bother Jacksonville coach Mark Whatley. He believes his team will be just as ready to play football as it has all season. “I don’t think we’ll have a letdown,” Whatley said. “The reason I say that is because we haven’t had one all year. We haven’t played very well at times, but no one can accuse us of not playing hard.”
The Red Devils have followed a pattern all year.

They have beaten the teams that had worse records than theirs, and lost to the ones that had better records. All of the losses were close, until last week, when West Memphis put a 50-13 pounding on them. Still, that doesn’t have Whatley worried about his team’s morale. “Like I said, nothing has really gotten this team down and gotten them to not giving it everything they have,” Whatley said.

“That’s a testament to them. They do that. They get ready to play and they leave it all out there. It hasn’t always gone well for us, but they don’t let up. West Memphis is a good football team and they whipped us, but we’re going to come right back from that and play hard. We just have to play better.”

While no playoff implications and low morale after a big loss doesn’t concern Whatley, the fact that Cabot is 1-8 and in the midst of a five-game losing streak that includes losses to two teams Jacksonville hammered doesn’t give him any comfort either. “Oh yeah there’s danger in this game, you’re dadgum right there’s danger.

“The danger is we’ve seen them on film and nobody has stopped them all year,” Whatley said. “They’ve stopped themselves. They go on 16-, 19-play drives and them fumble it. They get down to the 10-yard line and turn it over. “We can’t count on them doing that. They’re not going to give us a lot of chances, so we’re going to have to be opportunistic when we get the ball. And hopefully we’ll find a way to stop them.

“That’s a good football team, and a dad-gum-good offense. Besides, this is Jacksonville against Cabot. What else is there to say?”

TOP STORY >>Hurricane relief centers closing doors

Leader staff writer

After serving 900 evacuees, the Hurricane Katrina Assistance Center on James St. in Jacksonville closed its doors Saturday, but help is still available by scheduling appointments through the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. The volunteer staff at Cabot KARE (Katrina Assistance Relief Effort) located in the old Knight’s grocery store, is also thinking about closing that center on Nov. 17.

The relief centers were started by local residents after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast Aug. 29. More than 75,000 people from the Gulf Coast made their way to Arkansas after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. According to the Arkansas Katrina Assistance Relief Effort, an estimated 30,000 hurricane evacuees are still in the state after President Bush’s Oct. 15 nationwide deadline to get evacuees out of shelters and into temporary housing.

“We’ve served about 200 families at the center,” said Buffy Zelnick, co-director of Cabot KARE. The center is currently open on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Right now people are coming by to get winter clothes, furniture and household things like small appliances and decorations for the home,” Zelnick said.

Zelnick said the Cabot KARE committee has discussed closing the center on Nov. 17, how to disperse the leftover donations as well as how to continue to provide help through the upcoming holiday season. Cabot KARE began as a relief center and quickly became a valuable resource for the people displaced by the hurricane by providing Internet and telephone service, maps and local information.

Likewise, the Jacksonville relief center started as a collection point for clothing and toiletry donations in the back of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce building on Dupree Drive after hundreds of evacuees from Louisiana, Mississippi and Ala-bama filled hotels in Jacksonville, Lonoke, Cabot and Beebe. Volun-teers filled hundreds of plastic shopping bags with toiletries for the evacuees staying in the area.

As more evacuees came forward with more needs, Mary Lou Gall and Angie Mitchell, both volunteers from Jacksonville, stepped up to help coordinate assistance. As donations poured in, the volunteers were able to set up the center behind the chamber of commerce, in a building lent to the city by Jacksonville businessman Harold Gwatney. Hurricane Katrina evacuees went to the center to get non-perishable foods, clothing, toiletries and assistance with getting housing and employment. During the first two weeks the center was open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., seven days a week.

“I believe everyone helped because we knew it had to be done,” Mitchell said. Eventually, the center was open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Hurricane Rita then struck the Gulf Coast in Texas and west Louisiana on Sept. 24, sending a new wave of hurricane evacuees into area hotels, leading the center back to being open daily for about a week.

“You knew they were a hundred miles away from home and some people lost everything,” Mitchell said. Mitchell says most of the hurricane evacuees in the area are settled into housing and many have jobs. In order to move out of the building, most of the leftover clothing has been taken to either to the Care Channel at 201 Elm St. or the Fishnet Missions thrift store at 709 1/2 West Main Street, between Walgreens and Discount Tobacco. Much of the leftover non-perishable food has been donated to Fishnet Missions as well.

Mitchell says during the last few weeks the center was open, evacuees were stopping by to get winter clothing such as coats, jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts and pants. Mitchell said community efforts for the evacuees would continue over the approaching winter months with food baskets for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

“I’d like to try to organize a project to provide Christmas presents for the children of evacuees,” Mitchell said. For an appointment or more information about the Hurricane Katrina Relief Center, contact the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce at (501) 982-1511. Cabot KARE can be reached at (501) 605-0931.