Friday, May 21, 2010

TOP STORY > >Refinancing saves Cabot $2.4 million

Leader staff writer

The recent refinancing of a 2003 bond issue for $31 million was expected to save the Cabot School District $1.3 million in interest, but the school board learned Thursday evening that the actual savings will be $2.4 million.

The savings will be used for construction projects in the district. The sale was handled by Stephens Inc., which was also allowed to bid on the bonds. But the bonds were purchased by Crews & Associates at 3.944509 percent interest.

Stephens Inc. offered the next lowest rate at 3.998288 percent, followed by Morgan Stanley and Co. Inc., Morgan Keegan & Co. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Carey Smith, from the public-finance department of Stephens Inc., told the board that no other bonds were for sale in the state when the Cabot bonds went out for bid and that he was pleased the large issue attracted national companies as well as those from Arkansas.

Crews and Associates chose First Security Bank, its parent company, as trustee and paying agent on the new bond issue. The trustee fees are paid according to a trustee fee schedule approved by the Arkansas Department of Education. The district’s $2.4 million savings include the trustee fees as well as the $77,500 financial-advisers fee paid to Stephens Inc. for handling the sale.

In other business, the board saw the live debut of the Cabot School Network, which may be seen on cable Channel 3.

The network will offer news, weather and sports and all the on-air and behind-the-scenes workers are students.

Students from the district’s broadcasting program competed in the April SkillsUSA Competition in Hot Springs and came home with gold medals.

SkillsUSA is partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to build a skilled workforce.
Randy Granderson, career and technical education coordinator for Cabot’s career academies, which include broadcasting, medical, criminal justice, construction trades, automotive and engineering, said Cabot performed well overall at this year’s
SkillsUSA Competition. The students work hard to prepare for the two-day competition, he said.

Jeff Parks, from the Career Education Department of the Arkansas Department of Education, told the board that judges for the competition work in the fields for which they are judges. For them, the competition is like an all-day job interview, Parks said.
Since the 2007-2008 school year, Cabot has been working toward certification with the National Center for Construction

Education. Parks attended the school board meeting to present those certificates to Cabot High School, Junior High North and Junior High South.

Because of the certification, students who have completed the courses in electrical, plumbing and carpentry will be recognized in all 50 states and 17 other countries to make them eligible for employment in their field, Parks said.

TOP STORY > >Refinancing saves Cabot $2.4 million

Leader staff writer

The recent refinancing of a 2003 bond issue for $31 million was expected to save the Cabot School District $1.3 million in interest, but the school board learned Thursday evening that the actual savings will be $2.4 million.

The savings will be used for construction projects in the district. The sale was handled by Stephens Inc., which was also allowed to bid on the bonds. But the bonds were purchased by Crews & Associates at 3.944509 percent interest.

Stephens Inc. offered the next lowest rate at 3.998288 percent, followed by Morgan Stanley and Co. Inc., Morgan Keegan & Co. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Carey Smith, from the public-finance department of Stephens Inc., told the board that no other bonds were for sale in the state when the Cabot bonds went out for bid and that he was pleased the large issue attracted national companies as well as those from Arkansas.

Crews and Associates chose First Security Bank, its parent company, as trustee and paying agent on the new bond issue. The trustee fees are paid according to a trustee fee schedule approved by the Arkansas Department of Education. The district’s $2.4 million savings include the trustee fees as well as the $77,500 financial-advisers fee paid to Stephens Inc. for handling the sale.

In other business, the board saw the live debut of the Cabot School Network, which may be seen on cable Channel 3.

The network will offer news, weather and sports and all the on-air and behind-the-scenes workers are students.

Students from the district’s broadcasting program competed in the April SkillsUSA Competition in Hot Springs and came home with gold medals.

SkillsUSA is partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to build a skilled workforce.
Randy Granderson, career and technical education coordinator for Cabot’s career academies, which include broadcasting, medical, criminal justice, construction trades, automotive and engineering, said Cabot performed well overall at this year’s
SkillsUSA Competition. The students work hard to prepare for the two-day competition, he said.

Jeff Parks, from the Career Education Department of the Arkansas Department of Education, told the board that judges for the competition work in the fields for which they are judges. For them, the competition is like an all-day job interview, Parks said.
Since the 2007-2008 school year, Cabot has been working toward certification with the National Center for Construction

Education. Parks attended the school board meeting to present those certificates to Cabot High School, Junior High North and Junior High South.

Because of the certification, students who have completed the courses in electrical, plumbing and carpentry will be recognized in all 50 states and 17 other countries to make them eligible for employment in their field, Parks said.

TOP STORY > >O’Brien looks to runoff

Leader senior staff writer

Tuesday’s primary election failed to answer some of the biggest questions in the run up to the November general elections, questions that will be answered in the primary runoff elections June 8.

Jacksonville native and current Pulaski County/Circuit Clerk Pat O’Brien had hoped to claim the Democratic nomination for secretary of state on Tuesday, but despite a substantial plurality of votes—he had 147,999 to 104,648 for Mark Wilcox and 50,237 for Doris Tate—he got only 49 percent of the ballots that were cast. Fifty percent plus one vote is needed to win.

“We knew that’s about where we were,” O’Brien said Friday. “We were within striking distance. We expected 48 percent to 52 percent based on polling 10 days out.”

“Our message is that Tuesday night was a victory that we have to completely finish on June 8,” O’Brien said.

“The people heard our message and they voted for us. I’m the candidate with the experience and the qualifications and the plan,” he said.

The winner of the runoff will face Republican Mark Martin in November. Martin was unopposed in the GOP primary.

Pollsters and campaign workers are hard at work as Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lieut. Gov. Bill Halter fight on to claim the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat y held by Lincoln.

Tuesday’s election was a photo finish, with Lincoln getting 44.5 percent of the vote to Halter’s 42.3 percent. The spoiler was D.C. Morrison, forcing the race to a runoff between Lincoln and Halter.

She received 145,187 votes to Halter’s 138,797.

In November, the primary winner will face Rep. John Boozman, who won 52 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.
State Sen. Tim Wooldridge will face Chad Causey, former chief-of-staff for Rep. Marion Berry in the runoff to choose the

Democratic nominee for Berry’s seat.

Wooldridge received 38 percent of the vote in a six-person Democratic primary. Causey had 27 percent of the vote.

The runoff winner will face Rick Crawford in November.

In the primary to replace the irreplaceable 2nd Dist. Cong. Vic Snyder, state Sen. Joyce Elliott won 40 percent of the vote and Arkansas House Speaker Robbie Wills got 28 percent, with former Snyder chief-of-staff David Boling finishing third.

In November, the winner will face Tim Griffin, the Karl Rove assistant, who won the Republican primary.

L.J. Bryant won 40 percent of the vote and state Rep. Monty Davenport 38 percent in the Democratic primary race for state land commissioner.

The winner will face Repub-lican John M. Thurston.

In Lonoke, Alderman Todd Wheat and challenger Danny Whitehurst each received 33 votes, so voters will settle the issue on the runoff ballot.

Wheat and Whitehurst are Democrats, and the winner on June 8 will go unchallenged in November.

TOP STORY > >Farmers are planting again

Leader senior staff writer

Two hailstorms in 10 days in the England area cost Dow and Laudies Brantley 500 to 600 acres of crops, according to Lonoke County Chief Extension Agent Jeff Welch.

“Several fields were completely annihilated,” he said, including about 200 acres in cotton and corn.

“We’ll replant the cotton next week,” said Dow Brantley, “and the beans. We’ll live with the corn and see if it will make. We have hail insurance.”

Brantley said that including near neighbors, about 1,000 acres were affected by the two storms.

Jimmy Wallace also lost about 150 acres.

In all, farmers will have to replant 2,000 acres or more, according Welch.

“Thank God its not like July of last year,” Welch said, when hailstorms near harvest destroyed about 11,000 acres in the county.

Last year, farmers were beset by hail, floods and drought.

“It started off to be one of the quickest years in planting,” Brantley said. “We had the entire crop planted before rains hit, but we are (still) ahead of schedule. We need some warm weather.”

The National Weather Service has forecast temperatures in the 90s this weekend.

“The whole community if off to a fast start,” Brantley said. Last fall, wet and rutted fields kept farmers at bay, and rainy harvest weather diminished some crops.

While some producers have cut back on cotton, the Brantleys have planted 1,600 acres this year, an increase of more than 50 percent over the 900 acres they planted last year.

“We have cotton equipment. If we’re going to stay in the cotton business, we need to grow cotton,” Brantley said.

Last year, the family hauled its cotton to a gin in Marianna.

“If we’re going to have a cotton industry, there is going to be a (continued) consolidation of gins. On the farming side, we’re about as cheap and efficient as we can be. The more efficient gins are the ones that will last.”

With the closing of the Pettus Gin, the so-called New Gin at Coy is the last gin standing in Lonoke County.

In a 60-acre field in adjacent Prairie County, a farmer and Extension Service weed specialists have discovered in a rice field a stand of barnyard grass resistant to three herbicides.

“This is an issue we’re trying to address in Lonoke County,” Welch said. “We’re addressing it in the field with different herbicides and crop rotation.”

The danger is that the barnyard grass, unchecked can compete with or crowd out the rice plants, or grow over them making it hard to harvest the rice, according to Bob Scott, extension service weed specialist.

“Over half of our rice is ClearField, and Newpath is the primary herbicide,” Scott said. But the barnyard grass in question is resistant to Newpath—which is a new development—and to Propanil and Facet, to which grasses developed resistance in the 1960s and 1970s.

Scott said best way to control the barnyard grass and prevent its spread is through crop rotation and through prudent use of two remaining herbicides, primarily Command.

“We can do a lot of good with one year of crop rotation,” Scott said.

If farmers alternated rice with soybeans, and then applied Command as well as other herbicides in turn, the grass could be killed and its spread slowed.

“When this spreads — and it will — we’ll have only Command, Ricestar-type products and Prowl left for controlling barnyard grass,” says Ken Smith, another Arkansas Extension weed specialist.

“Weed control in (the Prairie County) field is now severely limited. Growers need to know resistance can happen quickly and results in serious consequences.”

“Once a resistant weed is found, history tells us its not going to go away until some new technology comes along,” said Scott.

He said not much herbicide development is underway.

If the LibertyLink rice—which is genetically modified to be resistant to a new herbicide—had been approved and had been accepted by buyers in Europe and Japan, that would have been the next advance, Scott said.

Instead, LibertyLink rice is on the shelf and about 15 Lonoke County growers won a judgment of about $50 million last month from LibertyLink’s owner and developer, Bayer CropScience.

TOP STORY > >Metroplan turning green

Leader senior staff writer

Metroplan is casting a wide net—make that Internet—seeking ideas for its Grassroots Green Agenda. And not surprisingly, tech-savvy high school students, bitten by the green bug, have been among the most frequent and creative of those sending suggestions.

The website is

The net caster is Jasmin Moore, the Metroplan planner charged with foraging for ideas to make central Arkansas counties more environmental. She will be accepting ideas and comments through May 23, she said in a recent interview.

Then, Metroplan Staff will work with the Green Task Force and the technical people to begin developing a plan, Moore said.

They will try to identify model polices and programs that could be put in place. Carpooling and encouragement of walking and biking already are part of Metroplan’s overall plan.

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children,” reads a David Brower quote on the Green Agenda home page. Brower founded the Sierra Club.

Moore said the group is seeking ideas if four distinct categories. The categories are Movement (transportation), Power (energy), Nature and Knowledge.

So far, 320 users have posted 178 ideas for a greener tomorrow, posing 149 comments and voting 7,466 times.

In the movement category, the most popular idea, with 122 votes, is “More bike trails and better transit.” That’s also the top vote getter among all four categories. It was one of the top transportation strategies identified by high school students at the
April 3 Grass Roots Youth Summit.

About 40 high school students came together for that summit, held at the Clinton Presidential Library, Moore said.

The second most popular idea in the movement category is “Advance public transportation.”

“Bike trails are one thing, and a great encouragement for people to use their bikes more,” according to an online post by a community member. “But what is needed is for our transportation network to accommodate ALL modes of transportation comfortably and safely... not only cars and trucks, but public transit, bicycles, and pedestrians, including the disabled. A state statute or city/community ordinance requiring “complete streets” (streets that accommodate all modes of transport equitably) is needed here.”

Another community member wrote that more people might use Central Arkansas Transit buses if the schedules more clearly posted and CATA had more and better public relations.

Most popular suggestion in the power category is “Encourage energy efficient buildings by modifying building codes or requiring energy efficient buildings in our region. This could start with public building.”

That suggestion has 77 votes and was submitted by Moore, the project leader.

“Take personal action,” has garnered the second highest number of votes, 56, in the power category.

“At the Grass Roots Youth Summit our community youth suggested we: encourage people to take personal action because lots of people (multiplied by) small change = big results. Turn off lights, open windows, walk/bike, and use power strips.

Investing in more solar and wind power was the fifth highest ranked power suggestion, behind “More incentives to Green,” and

“Energy efficiency in Affordable Housing.”

Tied with increased wind and solar electric capability was the suggestion “Use natural light,” that is opening blinds and doors instead of turning on lights when practical.

The top ranked suggestion in the nature category is to make recycling more efficient and accessible—to recycle more and divert waste from landfills like “Trash Mountain.”

The second most popular idea in the category is eating and growing local foods, followed closely by “All schools should recycle.”

Finally, in the knowledge category, the top idea is “Involve Kids!” and let them spread the word. A close second is “Start Educating Early,” teaching awareness and encouraging healthy lifestyles at an early age.”

The Green Task Force has 12 regular members and an advisory group.

The process was thrown open to the public after interviews with similar green initiatives elsewhere found that staff member often wished they had had more public engagement early on, Moore said.

The program was launched with the help of three groups—the 12-member Green Task Force, the Technical Group and High School Students.

EDITORIAL >>Closing Alexander

Mike Beebe is an uncommonly popular governor after one term during which the state has endured unusual economic hardship, which ordinarily drives down a chief executive’s approval ratings. The reason is simple. He tends to act decisively rather than waffling through crises.

Rather abruptly on Wednesday, Beebe ordered the closing of the state Human Development Center at Alexander, one of four state institutions that care for the physically and mentally disabled. The state and the relatives of the more than 100 residents, mostly profoundly disabled men, now must find a new home for them, either at one of the other state centers at Conway,
Jonesboro and Warren or in some community setting. That is a wrenching ordeal for the families and the residents but it is clearly the best of bad alternatives.

The Alexander facility has been beset with troubles for years: neglect, abuse, unprofessional care, degraded facilities. You name the problem, Alexander has experienced it. Beebe has deplored the conditions there and speculated that it might need to be closed. He probably should have acted even earlier. Whether it is the location, the old facilities, its peculiar mission or something else, Alexander seemed impervious to reform no matter who ran it. It opened more than 40 years ago in facilities that had been a tuberculosis sanatorium for African-Americans. It was a relic of the long Jim Crow era, when the state provided distinctly substandard facilities for blacks. That was not a halcyon atmosphere. Alexander became the place for people with profound and multiple disabilities — physical and developmental — and frequently with severe mental illness.

The Justice Department last month sued the state to bring about dramatic change, and perhaps closure, at all four institutions. It said the institutions were providing substandard care and were violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not putting residents into the least restrictive settings, such as in community homes. Beebe hired private consultants to investigate conditions at Alexander and they told him it was grossly understaffed and technically unequipped to protect and provide therapy for the residents.

Then the center was notified early in the week that it would lose its eligibility for Medicaid because it had continually failed to meet federal standards for protecting the disabled men. That means the loss soon of 70 percent of its funding. The state could fight that action or operate the facility with state funds alone, which would mean further degraded care.

You have to believe that for the residents closing is a merciful act.

EDITORIAL >>Crazy ballot tactics

For the Arkansas Supreme Court, it was a good week that began on a Thursday with halting an extravagant pollution-belching coal plant that the state didn’t need and ended the next Thursday with an order that should halt an effort to hoodwink the voters this fall.

A few west Arkansas businessmen who call themselves the Arkansas Progressive Group concocted an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that purports to repeal every Arkansas tax and replace them with one giant sales tax on everything that any individual ever acquires. They got it past the attorney general and the secretary of state, who would only later realize they had been bamboozled, and got ready to circulate petitions and put it on the general-election ballot.

The amendment was both stupid and misleading — at least the small parts that voters would see when they went to mark their ballots. It seems to have been written by the general counsel of the Arkansas Republican Party, or at least he submitted the amendment and defended it in court.

To avoid a challenge to the popular name and ballot title, the sponsors sued themselves in the Supreme Court when no one was watching. A state law allows people to challenge the accuracy and aptness of an amendment’s popular name and ballot title, and the Supreme Court has sometimes stricken proposals from the ballot because they were not honest with voters. To prevent such a lawsuit, the sponsors sued themselves and, of course, they raised no arguments against their own proposal.

Should the Supreme Court then rule that the name and title were OK, no one else then could challenge the amendment.

But someone spotted the group’s filing on the Supreme Court’s docket and alerted the business community in Pulaski County, which apparently is much savvier than the fellows at Fort Smith. Although the proposal would prevent all taxes of any kind on businesses forevermore — only working people and retirees would pay the mammoth sales tax — the chamber of commerce, auto dealers and the rest realized that it would drive all retail purchases of almost every kind across the state’s borders, to the black market or to the Internet. So they intervened in the Supreme Court to raise arguments that the sponsors would not.

Not so fast, the justices said. It is absurd — an insult to the justice system — for one side to sue itself so that it can be assured of the ruling that it wants. While the law that permits direct challenges to the Supreme Court is a little vague, the legislature could not conceivably have intended that the judicial process would be corrupted that way.

So the Arkansas Progressive Group can still circulate its petitions and get the crazy measure on the ballot, and if they get enough signatures, someone can sue and point out that the popular name and the ballot title lie about what the amendment would actually do. When you go to vote on June 8, someone may be there with a petition for you to sign. You can educate yourself on it or not. You can be sure that it will not survive a ballot challenge.

EDITORIAL >>Can Blanche come back?

Sen. Blanche Lincoln flew back to Washington early Wednesday and indicated that she would spend most of the next three weeks there tending to business, giving the impression that she was retreating from Arkansas voters who had delivered a stern rebuke in the Democratic primary.

But now is the time when people will discover what she is made of, whether she is the vacillating and timid politician that her voting and public utterances have often made her seem to be or the deliberate and courageous champion of the public good that her campaign set out in the last month of the primary to construct.

Lincoln, who is seeking a third term, received only 44.5 percent of the vote to the lieutenant governor’s 42.5 percent.

Incumbents who receive less than 47 percent of the vote in a preferential primary are conventionally deemed to be beaten in the runoff. Momentum, energy, money, organization and history all seem to be on Halter’s side, and there clearly was a heavy pall over the Lincoln campaign in the election’s wake. What can she possibly do? Since none of the large number of undecided voters in the last month went with her (half opted for Halter and half for the Republican interloper, D. C. Morrison) her prospects for getting many of those votes on June 8 looked weak.

Her showing in her own party was the weakest for a U.S. senator since Sen. Hattie Caraway, her model from the Mississippi

Delta, was shellacked in the Democratic primary in 1944 when she, like Lincoln, sought her third term. Caraway, who had vanquished a powerful field in the 1932 Senate race with the help of Sen. Huey P. Long, finished dead last in a field of four behind a young congressman named J. William Fulbright, the governor and a rich south Arkansas oil man. Lincoln proved stronger anyway than Hatpin Hattie.

But Lincoln might take courage from a more recent precedent. In 1972, Sen. John L. McClellan, a powerful committee chairman seeking his sixth term, was shocked in the first primary when he received only 44.6 percent of the votes to 41.3 percent for an upstart congressman from Camden. The liberal third candidate, Ted Boswell, endorsed David Pryor. McClellan was beaten and wanted to retreat to Washington and play out his string. But some wealthy supporters, led by financier and political kingmaker Witt Stephens, raised a truckload of money three days after the primary, supporters in every county telephoned voters who had not bothered to go to the polls the first time and McClellan came storming back in a hard-hitting debate with the young congressman. He won his sixth term by a comfortable margin.

Can Blanche Lincoln do that? Though near dotage — he was 76 and dissipated by booze — McClellan was determined, spiteful and mean, descriptions no one would apply to Blanche Lincoln. But he seized on Pryor’s strong support from unions and hammered him as a tool of “big labor bosses.” (It’s never “big corporate bosses.”) Halter’s support from international unions (Arkansas has few union members) that formerly supported Lincoln gives Lincoln the same opening, which she has exploited so far with little effect. You can expect to hear the hoary old phrase “labor bosses” in the days ahead, if not from Lincoln’s lips, in the commercials of proxy national groups that claim to be “independent.”

But Lincoln needs to figure out exactly why she lost more than 55 percent of Democratic voters. This has been the most nationalized campaign since the Fulbright-Bumpers race in 1974, and the national media have characterized it as an ideological battle between the liberal Halter and moderate/conservative Lincoln. There is little evidence of Halter’s liberalism beyond his willingness to consider national legislation to lower the bar for unions to be recognized as the bargaining agent for workers, which Lincoln herself championed until last summer. Halter did not oppose the health-care law that is supposed to be the cause of so much distemper and so much anger at Lincoln. He wanted an even stronger law.

The voting demography Tuesday does not reflect that divide either. Lincoln carried the liberal precincts in Little Rock and Pulaski County and Washington County heavily, which provided her plurality. Halter won decisively in the conservative rural stretches across south Arkansas and the north-central region and ran surprisingly close in the farm counties of east Arkansas that were supposed to be her bastion.

The truth is that ideology and even her shifting voting habits did not cost her a first-primary victory. She simply was not familiar across the state in spite of 11 years in the Senate and six in the House of Representatives from east Arkansas. She has not been a conventional politician like her contemporary Mark Pryor and predecessors Dale Bumpers and David Pryor, who made every tomato festival, possum roast and chicken fry, rode in every parade and spoke at every high school graduation, convention and club gathering they could manage.

Lincoln lives in Washington with her family, rearing her twins on weekdays, weekends and holidays and only occasionally making forays into the outer reaches of Arkansas. Her office’s constituent work, where a congressperson collects political chits, lags behind all the other congressional offices. It wasn’t her votes on health care or even the bank bailout that allowed those voters to stray to Halter or a wisecracking nonentity like Morrison. All those things should not detract from a senator’s real work, which is helping craft wise laws for the nation and the state, but they are facts of political life.

She has a chance now to show that she is just as resourceful and tough as John McClellan and as able as Dale Bumpers and David Pryor. She will have to be. If she can revive a moribund campaign in two and a half weeks, she might have a good chance of holding her seat against the tidal wave that all the pundits expect this fall.

SPORTS>>Searcy players head up pack of all-star picks

Leader sports editor

State champion Searcy was well represented on the Arkansas High School Coaches Association’s all-star soccer rosters released by the Arkansas Activities Association on Wednesday.

The 6A state champion Lions and Lady Lions had a combined five players named to the East teams, who will play squads from the West in Fayetteville on June 22.

The Searcy girls, who beat El Dorado 3-1 for the state championship May 7, placed forward McKenzie Clark and Caleigh Woodruff on the roster, with Jordan Fust as alternate.

“McKenzie led us in assists,” Lady Lions coach Larry Stamps said. “And she’s done it for so long. I was tickled to death to see her get that. She was a big leader for us on this team. We couldn’t have done it without her.”

Stamps, who is also an assistant to Michelle Birdsong on the girls basketball team, coached Woodruff from November onward in both sports.

“We call her ‘cover,’ because she can guard anybody,” Stamps said. “She’s not the biggest or strongest or fastest, but she had a will on the floor and on the field that she could just shut people down. She’s only about 5-2, so I don’t know how she does it, but she does.”

The East boys team features midfielder Jared Harriman and goal keeper Will Lynn, who helped Searcy beat Mountain Home 4-0 in the state championship game May 7.

“These two guys right there meant so much to our program,” coach Bronco King said. “And this accolade on top of the state championship — when you have good things happen to you, you get to showcase your talent.”

King agreed that Searcy’s high school success and a solid youth program was keeping local players in the game as they get older, instead of losing them to other sports.

“The whole community of Searcy rally knows what’s going on with our soccer program” King said.

North Pulaski’s Claire Crews and Cabot’s Emily Warren were also named to the 22-player all-star East girls team. North Pulaski’s Mathew Ingersoll and Cabot’s Cameron Koehler were selected to the boys East squad.

Crews was a speedy midfielder for the Lady Falcons and led the team in scoring. She also had success as a freshman as part of a state-champion 400-meter relay team in track and field, the only state title at North Pulaski for any sport.

“Claire is just a really great kid,” North Pulaski coach Tony Buzzitta said. “She was valedictorian of her class, and she’s played soccer forever. I’m really proud to have her representing North Pulaski High School. She was a great leader for us — a team captain.

“She’s a tough little player, and she wasn’t afraid to go up against someone bigger or stronger than her.”

Ingersoll was also a defensive starter for the Falcons football team and participated on the track and cross-country teams.

“Matt was like a coach on the field,” Buzzitta said. “And he did a really good job. He could play anywhere on the field.

“He was a keeper for me for two years before we got someone else, and I used him mostly as a defender this year due to his speed and endurance, but he could play offense as well.”

Bryant’s Julie Long will coach the East girls and Jason Hay, also of Bryant, will coach the Boys.

It is the seventh year of all-star soccer competition. The girls game will be played at 6 p.m. at Razorback Field on the
Arkansas Campus and the boys game will follow at 8 p.m.

SPORTS>>Beebe title is as good as Glaude

Leader sports editor

Griffin Glaude pitched a complete game and helped himself at the plate as the Beebe Badgers won their first state baseball championship, beating Monticello 6-2 in the 5A final at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville on Friday.

Beebe won its first boys state championship in any sport since winning the state basketball tournament in 1941.

Glaude struck out 11 gave up four hits and walked two and added a two-run double.

The Badgers were making just their fourth state tournament appearance in baseball, though this year’s trip was their third consecutive. It was Beebe’s first appearance in a baseball final and their first trip beyond the quarterfinals.

The Badgers also reached the state tournament in 1999. Monticello has made 20 trips to the postseason but Friday was its first appearance in the championship game.

Beebe opened the scoring in the fourth when T.J. Sanders hit Adam Naramore and Dylan Bird singled Naramore in. The Badgers made it 2-0 in the top of the fifth when Bryson Scott double to right and scored on a single by Ryan Williams.

Glaude notched two more strikeouts and reached 79 pitches in the bottom of the fifth, then the Badgers posted a three-run sixth in which Glaude helped himself with a two-run double.

Sanders, hit Logan Ballew with one out in the sixth and Ballew later scored on a sacrifice fly. Scott walked, the Billies replaced Sanders with Sam Cason.

Glaude then hit a gapper that drove in both runners to make it 5-0.

Monticello’s leadoff hitter Brandon Matthews spoiled Glaude’s shutout in the bottom of the sixth with a home run over the left-center field wall. Byrd got the run back for Beebe with a one-out homer over the left-field wall to make it 6-1.

Byrd was 2 for 4 with two RBI and leadoff man Robert Scott was 1 for 3 with two runs.

Searcy played Lake Hamilton in the 6A state championship Friday night.

Please see Wednesday’s Leader for complete coverage.

SPORTS>>Bryant bounces Cabot from state

Leader sportswriter

A fast start turned into a disappointing ending for the Cabot Lady Panthers in the 7A state softball semifinals Tuesday night.

Bryant beat Cabot 11-3, holding the Lady Panthers to one run and scoring 11 in the final six innings at the Cabot Softball Complex. Bryant will face Bentonville in the championship game at 2 p.m. today in Fayetteville.

The Lady Hornets (25-2) gave up two runs in the top of the first inning, but answered in the bottom of the second to tie the game 2-2. Bryant scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take momentum and got more than enough insurance in the sixth, when Shanika Johnson and starting pitcher Peyton Jenkins each hit home runs.

“I’ve teased the girls all year,” first-year Bryant coach Debbie Step said. “For so many years of my coaching career, I’ve had to play the short game a lot. I had a strong hitter here or there, but I came to this group, and it’s like beast after beast after beast.

“So, I’ve been teasing them, calling them the ‘Bryant Beasts’ because when their bats get hot, they can hit the ball.”

Jenkins and Johnson were in full beast mode in the bottom of the sixth as they stepped up against a tiring Kendall Calderon and laced a pair of pitches from the Cabot senior over the left field fence.

Jenkins’ homer was a three-run blast that scored Jenna Bruick and Cassidy Wilson to put the Lady Hornets up 9-3. Johnson’s drive was a two-run shot that nearly ended up in the parking lot and set the final margin.

Cabot (23-10) took the lead in the first with a single from leadoff hitter Caitlinn Gunn, who came in on an error when Jenkins misplayed Kristi Flesher’s grounder to the pitcher’s circle. Flesher then scored on Bryant’s second error, when left fielder Ashley Chanoner dropped Tara Boyd’s fly to make it 2-0.

Bryant’s sophomore-dominated team kept its composure despite the early mishaps, working out of a jam in the top of the third to hold Cabot scoreless and giving up only one more run in the remainder of the game.

“They told me they were known for being the comeback kids,” Step said of her young team. “I told them at first I wasn’t sure about that, but even tonight, I could feel that they felt like even though we were behind, that we could come back and win it.”

The bottom of Cabot’s order set up opportunities in the fourth when No. 8 hitter Jenny Evans and Sarah Martin hit back-to-back singles with one out. Jenkins then struck out Gunn but misplayed a bunt by Chelsea Conrade.

That loaded the bases for the Lady Panthers, but Jenkins got Flesher on called strikes to end the inning.

Cabot scored in the top of the sixth when Evans reached on an error at shortstop, advanced on a single by Martin and scored when Conrade grounded out to first.

“We couldn’t make it last,” Cabot coach Becky Steward said of her team’s early momentum. “It’s kind of like we’ve been snake bitten all year. We get people on base, but yet we can’t push them across. You can’t get to the semifinals of the state tournament and not produce, and we just didn’t.”

Jenkins was 3 for 4 for Bryant with a home run and three RBI and Johnson was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI. For Cabot,
Martin was 2 for 3 and designated player Taylor Anderson was 2 for 4.

“People didn’t expect for us to be where we were,” Steward said. “This time of the year, I guess it’s anybody’s game.

“For the seniors, I hate that it ended this way. They’ve had a good four years. Those coming back, they need to take this and run with it and see if they can build on it.”

SPORTS>>Falcons flock to practice

Leader sportswriter

Improved numbers were one of the highlights of North Pulaski’s two weeks of spring football practice.

The Falcons had 45-55 players out daily for spring drills. Coach Rick Russell, entering his second season, said much of the time was spent on one-on-one training, along with plenty of scrimmages.

There are currently 72 on the tentative fall roster.

The successful spring sessions were not without hitches, however, as a number of players missed certain days because of work commitments and spring school activities. The first week only included three workouts because of the athletic banquet and prom.

“Spring’s kind of crazy,” Russell said. “We have kids that have jobs; kids that have choir concerts. You have to send in a two-week window for spring ball.

“It’s one of those things where we did it about two months ago, and it ended up on a week when we had our athletic banquet and prom.”

Russell credited the smooth transition into spring from a solid offseason and said many returning players benefited from the structure and consistency of daily workouts.

“There are some of them that we know can play — we’ll see if they can improve,” Russell said. “There’s some that we think can play — we want to see if they can be a player for us next year. If they develop and progress to the point where we think they can play on Friday night.

“Then, we have others who are new to the program.”

Russell plans on the Falcons having a very similar look to last year’s team, with a few minor changes. Returning junior quarterback Shyheim Barron will take more snaps from the shotgun as opposed to his normal spot under center last season, and the defense will have a different look up front.

North Pulaski will be switching from its odd-man front to an adjustable 4-2 or 4-4 defense. The Falcons were lacking in linemen last year, but have picked up bodies in the form of underclassmen and newcomers.

“The main thing is, the kids have been excited about it,” Russell said. “It can be more of a chore than fun for the coaches sometimes. But for the kids, they’re excited every day to get out there.”

A talented corps of offensive skill players, led by Barron, will return. Barron poses a dual threat as a scrambling quarterback who also understands the passing game.

“Shyheim is doing a good job,” Russell said. “He’s been a good leader for us. He started at quarterback for us last year, so he’s more verbal than he was last year. That’s the immediate plus.”

Barron is focusing on mechanics and footwork in the spring and has strengthened his throwing arm. Russell believes that participating in a 7-on-7 league in Cabot on Wednesdays this summer will also help Barron.

With the unknowns of being a first-year coach out of the way, and with some members of the coaching staff settling into new roles, Russell believes many of the first-year bugs have been removed.

“I know going into that dressing room is a lot more comfortable for everybody,” Russell said. “The getting-to-know-each-other process has already taken place. We’ve made some adjustments with our coaches in some different assignments for next year.

“It does take a period of time. This is kind of like my second season here in the spring. Hopefully, the fall will feel like the third season. Our goal next year is to make the playoffs, and I think we have a good shot at it.”

SPORTS>>Fore-cast is for golf at Sherwood

Leader staff writer

Sherwood Parks and Recreation Director Sonny Janssen feels like an expectant father awaiting the birth of his child — the revamped North Hills golf course.

The course, renamed The Greens at North Hills, is set to open Memorial Day Weekend.

“I’m excited and nervous all at the same time,” Janssen said.

Though the official opening is set for Saturday, May 29, the course will be christened with the chamber’s annual tournament
Monday. Janssen said the tournament is the largest the chamber has ever had and it is partly “because people want to play on the course.”

The driving range has already opened to positive reviews.

He said the 144 people playing in the tournament will leave with a “wow factor and that word-of-mouth will spread tenfold.”

“I’ll be there just to watch the joy in their faces,” Janssen said.

He admits the course is still a work in progress.

“The course was dormant for two and a half years,” Janssen said. “It’s not 100 percent where we want it, but it’s as close as we can get it. But I guarantee the greens are better than the carpet in your living room. They are second to none, and the same is true for the tee boxes.

“It is something to be proud of.”

The course’s reopening cleared one of its final hurdles Thursday night when the Sherwood City Council, at a specially called meeting, approved the rezoning of the clubhouse area from R-1 (residential) to C-3 (light commercial).

The city’s planning commission recommended the rezoning change after holding a public hearing at the golf course’s request Tuesday night.

At the commission meeting, city planner Dwight Pattison recommended the entire 106-acre golf course be zoned “open space.” He said the golf course and related businesses such as refreshment centers would be allowed under the open-space category.

But Alderman Charlie Harmon told the commission the clubhouse restaurant would be more than a refreshment stand and said it would be a full-service restaurant serving alcohol.

“I don’t think that’s covered under open spaces,” he said.

Harmon added that all other alcohol businesses in the city were in C-3 zoning areas.

“The idea of having the entire golf course under one zoning classification is a good idea,” Harmon said. “But I think the council needs to clarify what’s allowed under open spaces before we go that way.”

The commission agreed and approved the C-3 rezoning for the clubhouse, clearing the way for the Bunker’s Bistro restaurant to be operating well in time for the grand opening.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 10 a.m., May 29 and Mayor Virginia Hillman will take the first swing. Representatives from Cleveland Golf Club Co. will put on a demonstration.

The mayor said she’s not much of a golfer but has been taking lessons.

“I’m working on my swing and hope not to embarrass anyone. Playing is the key,” she said.

Celebrities, Razorback athletes and other city officials are expected to be at the opening, which is open to the public.

The course will open for public play at noon.

“It is a public course,” Janssen said. “The course belongs to the residents of Sherwood. The taxpayers will be proud.”

Golfers will be playing on a piece of history as the course has been placed on the state registry of historic places and will now be considered for the national registry.

The course is costing the city about $7 million, including $1 million set aside to renovate the irrigation system.

“We’ll tackle that in the winter months,” Janssen said.

Mandel Brockington, who worked at the golf course when he was a teen, is the golf superintendent, and former Sherwood resident Dawn Darter, who took up golf at North Hills at age 5, will serve as the course golf pro.

Like Brockington, it’s Darter’s second stint at the Sherwood course. She worked there as a pro in the early 1980s and also worked at courses in Las Vegas before she recently returned to Sherwood.

Brockington returned to Sherwood from the Dallas area where he ran a number of golf courses.

Daily green fees run from $10 for junior golfers on weekdays to $40 for out-of-state golfers on weekends.

Annual memberships are also available and run from $770 for youths to $1,800 for families.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TOP STORY > >Incumbents win in Lonoke County

Lonoke County voters danced with the ones that brought them Tuesday, giving all justice of the peace incumbents a decisive nod over their challengers in five primaries. In all but one case, those winners will run unopposed in November.

The mood carried over to other offices as well, with no incumbents being cast out in the primary season.

But one Lonoke alderman, Todd Wheat, tied Danny Whitehurst, each with 33 votes.

A recount is certain.

About 300 provisional ballots have yet to be counted. If it remains unchanged, they will meet again June 8 in the primary runoff election.

In the other contested Lonoke alderman race, incumbent Ray-mond Louis Hatton got 60 percent of the vote to defeat his challenger, Norman Walker Sr.

Former three-term Lonoke County Sheriff Charlie Martin defeated Steve Rich 2,440 to 2,312 in the Democratic primary. In November, he will face Sheriff Jim Roberson for the third time.

In Republican primaries, Janette Minton held off challenger Gage B. Gilliam with nearly 63 percent of the vote to retain her JP Dist. 2 seat. Like nearly all other JP primaries, there is no November challenger, making the primary winner the defacto winner.
Incumbent Larry A. Odom beat challenger Warren D. Leill with 59 percent of the votes to hold onto his JP Dist. 3 seat.

In JP Dist. 6, Alexis Malham, the incumbent, got nearly 59 percent of the vote to hold off her opponent, Trent Eilts.

In JP Dist. 13, incumbent Mark Edwards beat a former JP, Kenny Ridgeway, with nearly 68 percent of the votes.

In the Republican JP Dist. 1 primary, Joe Farrer beat former JP Larry Ridgeway with 52 percent of the votes. Farrer will face Democratic incumbent Jodie Grisham Troutman and independent Jimmy Hall in November.

In the only Democratic JP primary race, incumbent Roger Dale Lynch held off former JP Richard Kyzer, garnering 62 percent of the vote. Lynch will be unopposed in November.

Lynch, who retained his JP seat, said his campaign and workers “touched all the bases.”
Kyzer, who lost, said he’d be back until he wins the seat.

Voters returned Assessor Jerry Adams, tainted by the double-dipping retirement controversy, to his position with nearly 60 percent of the vote against challenger Jim Bailey.

County Clerk Dawn Porterfield won her second reelection, defeating Rita F. Schmitz with nearly 70 percent of the vote. She has no Republican opposition in November.

Of the 30,337 registered voters in the county, 8,521 turned out to vote.

Martin, who has been twice defeated by Roberson, said he would attack the sheriff for being a poor administrator.

Rich said he hadn’t decided yet whether or not to ask for a recount in his loss to Martin.

State Sen. Bobby Glover, who has handled Tim Wooldrige’s effort in Lonoke County to replace retiring Rep. Marion Berry, stayed through the proceedings. In a six-man Democratic primary, Wooldridge pulled nearly 57 percent of the votes.

— John Hofheimer

TOP STORY > >Cabot residents: When it rains, it floods

Leader staff writer

A Cabot couple from Autumnwood subdivision told the mayor and the city council Monday night that the drainage work the city did last year has kept water out of their home in recent months, but flooding in the past two weeks is ruining their swimming pool and destroying the comfort they should find in their home.

“You understand that our home is our solace, and when you have to sleep with one eye open every time it thunders, it’s not good,” Kim Thompson told the council.

Bobby and Kim Thompson spoke during the public-comment portion of the monthly city council meeting, saying they appreciate the fact that Mayor Eddie Joe Williams has done more than his predecessors to stop flooding in their area, but since development continues, the work so far is not enough.

The problem is much worse, they said, since the pavement was laid in a large storage facility near their home.

The couple’s flooding problems started in 2003. Water has been in their home only once, they said, but water coming across their yard like a raging river has become almost commonplace.

“I’ve come home and had dead dogs,” Bobby Thompson said.

He works with drainage systems at his job, and he told the mayor that he has studied his own drainage problem and believes a Band-Aid remedy is possible.

The mayor agreed to meet with Thompson early Tuesday morning to look at his suggested remedy.

But Williams said after the meeting that as long as Cabot continues to grow, flooding will continue to be a problem.

Historically, the city has not done as much as it should to force builders to control the runoff their developments cause.

The city requires retention ponds to hold water displaced by houses and asphalt, but they don’t work well, he said.

Quite often, work is needed outside a development to control runoff problems and developers are reluctant to enlarge ditches and culverts outside their subdivisions because the banks won’t finance the work.

“A byproduct of a community with phenomenal growth is runoff,” the mayor said.

A drainage study that was completed when Williams took office almost four years ago showed that work totaling $30 million was needed to stop Cabot’s flooding, an impossible amount for a city with an annual budget much less than one third of that amount.

The four inches of rain that fell in less than an hour on Sunday created “an unbelievable wall of water” and one of his worst days in office the mayor said.

He spent Monday touring the city and looking at flooded yards and was discouraged by what he saw.

But he said no one had reported water in their homes, and he knows that when four inches of rain falls in less than an hour, flooding is inevitable.

TOP STORY > >Board drops union after long hearing

Leader staff writer

Five hours of impassioned pleadings from teachers at a hearing Monday night did not change the minds of four members of the Pulaski County Special School District School Board, who again voted to do away with the teachers’ union-negotiated contract and replace it with one based on personnel policies yet to be adopted.

Votes cast by Tim Clark, Charlie Wood, Mildred Tatum and Dan Gililland underscored earlier decisions this majority has made to end recognition of the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers as the collective bargaining agent for PCSSD teachers.

Voting against the motion were Bill Vasquez, Gwen Williams and Sandra Sawyer.

Before an audience of about 400 of their colleagues at Mills University Studies in Little Rock, 35 teachers told the board why the professional- negotiations agreement, which has been in place for more than 20 years, is good not only for teachers but the district’s 17,000-plus students.

Teachers contended that many of the protections for teachers and students that were built into the existing agreement over the years have been eliminated in the set of new policies the board wants. Those include provisions for site-based decision making involving teachers, administrators and parents; compensation for non-instructional duties such as special events and hall monitoring; prep time; student-discipline protocols; teacher assignments and transfers; posting of job vacancies; classroom supplies; allowances for teachers to choose substitutes to ensure quality instruction in their absence, and the process principals must follow for teacher annual reviews. The new policies do not include the May 1 deadline that was mandated in the professional negotiations agreement.

The May 1 deadline was negotiated because some principals were not giving teachers performance reviews before the school year ended.

“Everything is in here for a reason; either the administration brought it or the teachers brought it,” said Robbie Keopple of the current contract. Keopple is a Scott Elementary School teacher who has been with PCSSD for 38 years.


The policies “are woefully inadequate and lack substance,” said Cheryl Carpenter, a North Pulaski High School English teacher and coach.

Carpenter told the board that she did not agree with everything done by the union or in the PNA, yet the PNA is worth saving because it has “detailed procedures and criteria” on a host of important issues unaddressed by the new policies, which were crafted by district administrators without teacher input. She urged the board to resume contract negotiations to work out whatever differences exist.

“There are problems – no question – on both sides,” Carpenter said of the relationship between the district and PACT. “Let’s find common ground, which is the kids.”

More than 600 teachers had requested a grievance hearing as permitted by state law because all district teachers had received notification from acting Superintendent Rob McGill that their contracts would not be renewed at the end of the fiscal year, June 30.


District officials insist that no teacher’s job is in jeopardy, but that the non-renewal action was necessary in order to implement the new contracts. The board intends to have a personne-policies committee, comprised of teachers and administrators, in place by the June 30 deadline. That will require an election of teacher representatives for the committee by the end of the school year, only a few weeks away.


Several teachers spoke out about a lack of basic supplies in their classrooms and out-of-date instructional materials.

Holding up a tattered book, Judy Lambertus told the board that her English textbooks are 20 years old.

“We have teachers who don’t have any books,” Lambertus said. “We have no paper, and our funds are frozen. We want to take care of kids, but we can’t with the stuff we have.”

Verla Edwards, a math teacher at Jacksonville High School, said that she spent $600 out of her own pocket this school year because of a dearth of funds for supplies.

“Pencils, markers, poster board, ink cartridges, computer paper – the list is much longer, but this should give you a clue about the types of things we are working without,” Edwards said. “We are fighting for an educated nation. We are in the trenches.

This is why I became a union member.”


Board members listened solemn-faced to the teachers.

Board member Danny Gililland said he “had the highest respect for teachers” and felt no “anger or vindictiveness” toward them.

Board member Charlie Wood said he thought “many of the teachers’ comments were very appropriate and intelligent,” a comment which elicited groans from the audience. Wood went on to say he thought teachers “should be treated like other professionals, such as lawyers, engineers and accountants” who don’t need union “protections” like those teachers expect, such as compensation for non-instructional duties.

Carpenter explained she appreciates those contract provisions after working at a local parochial school where “last-minute encroachments on teacher time became untenable.”


Several teachers challenged a claim made by Wood that there are teachers who have abused the accrued leave policy and annually rolled-over leave should be curtailed for the good of students.

Teacher Kristen Pope said ac-crued leave is an essential safety net in case of personal emergency for those in a line of work that is not high-dollar.

“But if it were about the money, I would not be in this profession,” Pope said.


Clayton Blackstock, attorney for PACT, told the board that if it goes ahead with plans to establish a personnel-policies committee (PPC) by July 1, it will be breaking its own policy, which stipulates the first quarter of the school year as the time to hold elections for teacher members of the PPC.

He argued that there is not enough time before the end of the school year for elections and garnering teacher input on the revised personnel policies that run almost 200 pages.

The board intends to make a final vote, teacher input or not, on the new policies at its next regular meeting, June 15.

Blackstock said that the board has two choices: either follow the provisions of the existing agreement with teachers, which stipulates re-opening of negotiations, or PPC policy.

“Whatever method, it provides for some reasonable input from the employees,” Blackstock said. “Teachers are entitled to review the policies over the entire year. The morale of employees is critical to success of any business.”


The board voted in December to immediately withdraw recognition of PACT as the collective bargaining agent for the 1,200-plus teachers of PCSSD. In a lawsuit subsequently filed by PACT against the district, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox ruled April 8 that the board’s vote was “null and void” because it violated state law, but that the board had the authority to withdraw recognition and establish a PPC if it did so in accord with state law. Attorneys on both sides have since been arguing over which state laws have primacy.

On April 20, the board again voted to end the district’s relationship with the union and set a date for establishing a PPC. On May 11, the board voted 4-3 to not ratify the contract which teachers had ratified in December. The union contends that the board is bound by current contract, which lays out a process for renegotiation or resolving impasse if that occurs. The contract also gives the board authority to ultimately withdraw recognition of the union only after all other options have been exhausted.
The current contract has been in effect since 2006 and has no end date.


In closing arguments, Jay Bequette, attorney for PCSSD, scoffed at Blackstock’s assertion that “chaos” would ensue in the next school year if the hastily crafted personnel policies are adopted.

The policies were modeled on policies used in other school districts in Arkansas, recommendations from the Arkansas School Board Association, as well as the existing PACT-PCSSD agreement and district policies already on the books, he said.

“If those policies are being used, how can that be chaos?” Bequette said. “That is sort of a scare tactic.”

After the meeting, Clark said that the decision was “not against teachers, but against the union.”
A strong union supporter when he joined the board in 2008, Clark has since become a strong proponent of a switching to a

PPC because of union tactics that have been hurtful to individuals, he said.

As for the five hours of testimony he had heard from the teachers, Clark said, “I have sympathy for their concerns. I vow that they will be taken care of.”

TOP STORY > >City grows as it takes in 85 acres

Leader staff writer

Seven areas completely surrounded by Cabot were annexed Monday night by the city council after no one came forward to say they didn’t want to be part of the city.

Allison Osterberg, the paralegal who works in the city attorney’s office, said several residents who didn’t live on the islands, as they are called, came by her office before the annexation to look at the map of the city and locate the islands. They were people who lived near the islands who were curious that they even existed.

A few property owners who had objected when talk of annexing started almost two years ago apparently no longer opposed it, she said.

The annexation brought about 85 acres into the city. Six of the previously unincorporated areas are now in Ward 1 and one is in Ward 4.

Talk of annexing the islands started in June 2008 when residents in the area of Campground Road and Linda Lane near a proposed storage facility wanted it annexed so the city could control the development. Since the facility was to be built on an area that was completely surrounded by Cabot city limits, the council had the authority to annex it whether the owners wanted to be annexed or not.

When Jimmy Woosley, whose family owned 7.5 acres of the 20-acre island, objected, saying there were other islands that also could be annexed, the council decided to start the process.

Woosley said at that time that if the city wanted to annex his land, it needed to stop the flooding there that development inside city limits had caused.

Although Woosley’s property was annexed more than a year ago, so the city could monitor construction of the storage facility, Woosley was the only former island resident who attended the Monday night council meeting.

And once again he complained about flooding and drainage problems.

Woosley agreed with neighbors from a nearby subdivision that flooding was worse since paving started at the storage facility.

“I forewarned you about this problem,” he told the mayor and council. “You wanted me in the city. Fix the problem,” he said.

The council also passed an ordinance to provide access to health insurance to retiring employees. Clerk-Treasurer Marva Verkler, who is retiring at the end of the year, asked the council for the benefit that the council then said would be good for other employees as well.

In other business, the council passed an ordinance to control soliciting and peddling by non-profit groups on public property.

The ordinance, aimed at stopping soliciting by groups not located in the Cabot area, says organizations must obtain a permit at no cost that limits the amount of time for soliciting to one day a year and for no more than 12 hours unless approved by the mayor, city clerk and city attorney.

TOP STORY > >Boozman, O’Brien winners

Leader staff writer

U.S. Rep. John Boozman avoided a runoff in a crowded Republican field of candidates wanting to unseat U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Pulaski County Clerk Pat O’Brien is in a runoff in his bid to be the Democratic nominee for secretary of state.

Many other candidates are headed for a June 8 runoff.

Two-term Sen. Blanche Lincoln is in a runoff against Lieut. Gov. Bill Halter in the Democratic primary.

The Democrats have a runoff in the race for Rep. Vic Snyder’s Dist. 2 congressional seat. The Democrats will also have a runoff for the race to occupy retiring Rep. Marion Berry’s Dist. 1 seat. The same is true for the Republicans seeking the Dist. 3 seat, which is being vacated by Rep. John Boozman, who is vying for Lincoln’s seat.

The Democrats will also have a runoff for land commissioner.

Lincoln came in first in an effort to keep her Senate seat, but she did not get the needed votes to avoid a runoff.

With 79 percent of the precincts reporting, Lincoln had 119,934 votes, or 44 percent, to Halter’s 115,103 votes, or 42 percent.

D.C. Morrison finished a strong third with 36,503 votes, or 13 percent.

On the Republican side, Boozman apparently came out on top of the eight-person field. With 80 percent of the precincts in, Boozman grabbed 69,172 votes, or 54 percent, to Jim Holt’s 17 percent, or 22,265 votes. State Sen. Gilbert Baker came in third with 13,145 votes, or 10 percent.

In the battle for Snyder’s Dist. 2 seat, Democrats Joyce Elliott, a state senator, and Robbie Wills, the House Speaker, will face each other in the runoff for the right to battle Republican Tim Griffin, who easily defeated Little Rock businessman Scott Wallace.

With 80 percent of the precincts reporting, Elliott received 28,706 votes, or 42 percent, to Wills’ 26 percent, or 17,612 votes in what was a five-person race.

Tim Wooldridge solidly bested Chad Causey in the six-person Democratic battle for Berry’s Dist. 1 seat, but Wooldridge didn’t top 50 percent. He had 16,427 votes, or 42 percent, to Causey’s 21 percent, or 8,317 votes, with 50 percent of the precincts reporting.

The winner of the runoff will face Republican Rick Crawford, who bested Princella Smith, 71 percent to 29 percent.

With 80 percent of the vote in, O’Brien had slightly less than 50 percent of the vote in his bid to be the Democratic candidate for secretary of state. O’Brien captured 130,799 votes, or 50.9 percent, and will take on Mark Wilcox in the June 8 runoff.

Wilcox had 85,892 votes or 37 percent. The runoff winner will face the Republican candidate, state Rep. Mark Martin.

The Democratic candidate for land commissioner will also be decided in a runoff between Monty Davenport and L.J. Bryant.

Davenport had 95,738 votes, or 39 percent, to Bryant’s 40 percent, or 98,028. The Republican candidate, John Thurston, ran unopposed.

The Democratic race for Pulaski County clerk went to Larry Crane with 21,278 votes, or 56 percent, compared to Steve Walden’s 44 percent, or 16,791 votes.

In the local race for Hill constable, Dennis Sobba squeaked out a victory over J.D. Holloman. Sobba grabbed 5,274 votes, or 51 percent, to Holloman’s 5,086 votes, or 49 percent. Sobba will face Republican Rick Scott in the November general election.

Running unopposed in the Democratic primary were former Lonoke Mayor Lenville Evans, running for the state Senate Dist. 28 seat; former state legislator Sandra Prater for state Senate Dist. 29, who will face Jonathan Dismang; and incumbent Barry Hyde for state representative Dist. 40; Rep. Mark Perry is unopposed in Dist. 44, and incumbent Jim Nichols for state representative Dist. 43.

Republican Cabot Mayor Eddie Jo Williams ran unopposed for the state Senate Dist. 28 seat.

EDITORIAL >>Coal plant not dead yet

Representative government is a mighty and mostly wonderful engine, but there are times when you must appreciate one branch of government that is concerned only about the law and the justice that it is supposed to guarantee and not the wishes of competing economic interests. One instance was the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision last week to revoke the permit to build the big coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County.

The state Public Service Commission had given Southwestern Electric Power Co. a permit in 2007 to build the plant. It was called a Certificate of Environ-mental Compatibility and Public Need, which meant that the commission found that the plant would do an acceptable amount of damage to the environment and public health and that electricity customers really needed the plant.

When it starts generating electricity, the Turk plant will pump between 5 and 6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere. That is the greenhouse gas that is the leading cause of man-made global warming. It would produce mercury, other harmful gases and tons of ash that would present some danger to the unspoiled wilderness surrounding it.

There was ample evidence, though not taken by the commission, that vast amounts of power were already available nearby — notably at a giant merchant plant powered by clean-burning natural gas just down Highway 82 to the east that could sell the utility all the electricity it would need for its Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana customers with far less damage to the air, land and water.

But the PSC, or two of its three members, thought the company made its case for need and environmental compatibility rather well and granted the permit. People in Hempstead County wanted the plant for the jobs and the huge tax base it would provide for local governments. The big utility and the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, which would get some of the power, were influential political forces. The state Department of Environmental Quality and the state Pollution Control Commission, whose job it is to safeguard the ecology of the state, saw no problems and signed off on the plant, too.

While those decisions were appealed to the courts, which Arkansas utility law contemplates, the utility was allowed to build the plant at full speed. The courts would be presented with a fait accompli — a wilderness cleared, a plant nearly built and more than a billion dollars spent on it — so surely they would not stop the project.

But that is exactly what happened. The Arkansas Court of Appeals last summer and the Supreme Court last week — 13 judges in all — arrived at the same conclusion. The PSC had not followed the law, which required that the question of the need for the plant and questions about its economic and environmental impact all be considered in one case because the issues were not separable. By considering the question of the need for the plant at a quiet and truncated proceeding early and avoiding important evidence to the contrary, the commission badly erred, both courts concluded.

One of the three commissioners, David Newbern, had warned his two colleagues that they were ducking their obligations under the law. Newbern, a retired Supreme Court justice, had been appointed by Gov. Beebe as a special commissioner when the third one resigned under a cloud. Sandra Hochstetter, who was appointed by Gov. Mike Huckabee, had participated in the little hearing on the need for the plant in 2006, voted to approve it and then accepted a job with one of the corporate parties to the power plant.

Don’t celebrate this victory for Arkansas’ good air and the planet’s, not just yet anyway. Congress in 2005 passed a law sought by the coal industry that encourages investors to build coal-fired generating plants by exempting wholesale producers from getting the approval of state regulators like the Public Service Commission. So with a little corporate paperwork, the parent corporation may convert it to a wholesale merchant plant, complete it and market the electricity wherever it can, including to its own subsidiaries.

It will still have to meet the standards of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which almost certainly will impose huge costs next year on new coal-burning plants for the vast tonnage of greenhouse gases they produce.

Whoever buys the electricity from Turk will pay a pretty price for it. There will still be no winners — not in Arkansas, not anywhere.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SPORTS>>Beebe wins for a berth into Baum

Leader sportswriter

History will be on the line when Beebe plays Monticello in the 5A state championship on Friday.

The Badgers beat the Sylvan Hills Bears 9-1 in the semifinals at Monticello on Monday and put themselves in position to win their first state championship in a boys sport since 1941. First pitch is at 2 p.m. at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

Beebe (24-7) made a record-setting run through the 5A state tournament with a first-round victory over Greenbrier and a second-round triumph over ForrestCity to set up a showdown with 5A-Southeast Conference rival Sylvan Hills in the semifinals.

Beebe punched its ticket to Baum Stadium with its fourth victory in four tries this year over tradition-rich Sylvan Hills, which has won seven state titles and played for multiple others.

“I’m very proud of these young men,” Beebe coach Mark Crafton said.“They’ve worked their rear ends off since the start of the season. I appreciate their hard work and the family atmosphere we have with this team, since we are together day-in and day-out. We also managed to make a little history along the way.”

Beebe’s last boys state championship was in basketball in 1941.

The baseball team overcame a 1-0 deficit to take a 3-1 lead in the third inning Monday and added five insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Bryson Scott earned the victory on the mound, striking out six batters while allowing only four hits.

Ace pitcher Griffin Glaude picked up the save with five strikeouts, two walks and no hits allowed.

Tanner Ball went 2 for 2, Glaude was 2 for 3 with a double and Jared Ashbrenner went 2 for 4. Sylvan Hills used up most of its pitching in the opening two rounds and faded on the mound despite a pair of pitching changes.

“The defense was pretty solid,” Crafton said. “We got out of a jam in the fourth inning, and we doubled up on them in the fifth to get out of another one. Bryson Scott had a key strikeout there in the fourth, and we had a big play in the fifth with runners on first and second.

“Defense was a big key in this win, that and pitching.”

Beebe was in contention to win its first conference title until Monticello swept the Badgers 3-1 and 16-12 to close out 5A-Southeast play earlier this month.

It is often said that it is tough to beat a team three times in one season, but since Beebe beat Sylvan Hills four times, Crafton doesn’t put much stock in the old saying.

“Sometimes it’s that way, but that’s four times we’ve played Sylvan Hills and beaten them,” Crafton said. “That’s a rare feat in baseball, especially when you’re talking about a team of Sylvan Hills’ stature. They’ve won state championships in the past, and have a lot of tradition. That itself is a testimony to the effort of these young men.”

Given the two close losses to the Billies, Crafton is not looking to make many changes to prepare for Monticello on Friday.

In his fifth year at Beebe, Crafton is simply looking for mistake-free play from his team.

“We have to have quality at-bats and play solid defense,” Crafton said.

“We’ll throw our No. 1 – they will probably throw their No. 1. We have a lot better understanding of what we’re up against this time.”

SPORTS>>Jacksonville girls fall from field

Leader sportswriter

Alexis House’s improved strength and confidence in the pitcher’s circle was not enough for the Jacksonville Lady Red Devils in the first round of the 6A state softball tournament.

Sheridan overcame sporadic early hitting to take a 6-0 victory and eliminated Jacksonville at Sherwood Parks on Friday.

Sheridan, the No. 3 seed from the 6A-South, got to the sophomore House with a four-run fifth that included a three-run home run by right fielder Carly Greek.

“I thought for three or four innings, we played an awesome game,” Lady Red Devils coach TanyaGaney said. “Then the fifth inning was probably our letdown. We’re a pretty young team, and I’m proud of these young ladies’ accomplishments. They never give up.”

Jacksonville committed three errors and House, who developed steadily this season, gave up her only walk in the fifth. Hannah Hicks reached on an error to start the inning and later scored on an error that put two on for Greek, who smashed House’s 0-2 pitch over the left-field wall.

The Lady Devils (8-10) saw their best chance at scoring get away in the first when Jennifer Bock was tagged out at the plate after an infield grounder by junior catcher Alexis Oakley.

Bock, Jacksonville’s only senior, led off with a single to left field on the first pitch from Lady Yellowjackets pitcher Kaitlyn Jones and stole second and reached third on Candice Howard’s groundout.

Oakley failed on two bunt attempts before grounding to second and Bock, who delayed her move home, was thrown out to complete the double play.

Sheridan took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Mycah Love singled to center and Kaitlyn Jones drove her in with a double.

Catcher Jordan Jones singled to advance Kaitlyn Jones, who overran third and was thrown out from shortstop by Bock.

Lady ’Jackets left fielder Sarah Weatherford drove the ball into the left-field corner in the fourth and circled the bases for an inside the park home run that made it 2-0.

House and the Jacksonville defense were strong early. She induced a pop-up and struck out two in the first, and the Lady Devils got out of a jam in the second when House induced another popup and got her third strikeout as Sheridan stranded three.

House doubled to center in the fifth and the long drive came so close to leaving the park center fielder Amy Strange knocked down a section of temporary plastic fencing as she tried to make the catch.

But Tyler Pickett grounded out and Coyja Hood struck out to leave House on. Howard singled to right in the top of the sixth, but was stranded when Oakley and sophomore third baseman Haley Hickingbotham grounded out.

With Bock as the only senior, the Lady Red Devils overcame inexperience along with injuries and numerous position and lineup changes throughout the season. Ganey said she was happy with the way her team responded to the year’s various challenges.

“They carried on the tradition,” Ganey said of the run to the tournament.

“It wasn’t like they were just thrown into the state tournament, they actually won games to get there.

“So they earned the right to get there. And that, I’m very proud of.”

SPORTS>>Benton sends Red Devils packing

Leader sports editor

BENTON — The Benton Panthers made a timely pitching change and the Jacksonville Red Devils made some untimely errors as Benton took a 9-2 victory in the 6A state tournament Saturday at Benton High School.

Benton, the defending state champion playing on its home field, scored three runs on errors as it took a 5-1 lead into the seventh, then capped off its scoring with a four-run inning aided by four walks.

Jacksonville, the 6A-East champion, managed only RBI singles by Nick Rodriguez in the first and Caleb Mitchell in the bottom of the seventh as it bowed out in its first game for the second straight year.

“They played better defense than us and gave themselves a chance to hang in there with the lead,” Jacksonville coach Larry Burrows said. “They made it tough on us.”

The Red Devils pulled within 3-1 in the bottom of the third when D’Vone McClure walked and Rodriguez drove him in with a single. Jacksonville had the bases loaded with one out, but Benton coach Mark Balisterri pulled starter Ashton Roberts for Billy

Tricarico, who got Noah Sanders to hit into an inning-ending double play.

“We knew he was at a breaking point and he showed some signs of struggling,” Balisterri said of Roberts. “And Billy is a ground-ball thrower. He’s done it time after time.”

Mitchell, 3 for 3 with an RBI, singled with two out in the fifth and Tricario hit Rodriguez, with both runners advancing on a passed ball. Alex Tucker grounded out on a 3-2 pitch to end the Red Devils’ last threat until the seventh.

“They walked a few and we walked a few,” Burrows said. “But it seemed like they capitalized with a hit off of that and we came back and we hit one pretty decent and they’d turn two or make a really good play out of it. They were able to get that hit and when we hit one hard they made a play.”

Roberts drove in a run with a single in Benton’s two-run first and Lee Richardson, who was hit by starter Jesse Harbin, scored on a throwing error to second by catcher Patrick Castleberry. Brooks Balisterri singled in the Benton second and scored on an error by Mitchell at third.

Josh Creel tripled and scored in the Benton sixth and C.J. Engle struck out but reached on Harbin’s wild pitch and later scored on an error by shortstop Jacob Abrahamson to make it 5-1.

“Josh has been hitting the baseball the last two weeks and he came through big there,” Balisterri said.

Benton took a commanding lead in the seventh when Roberts hit an RBI double, reliever MikeLamb issued two bases-loaded walks and Troy Johnson drove in a run with an infield single.

“It is what is,” Burrows said when asked about the single-elimination tournament format. “Like anything you’ve got to play the hand dealt you and they played better than we did tonight.”

Jacksonville won the 6A-East with a tiebreaker over Mountain Home and had a first-round tournament bye. The Red Devils return all but one player next season, but that wasn’t much consolation to Burrows on Saturday.

“We’ve got some things we need to get better at, there’s no doubt,” Burrows said. “We did accomplish a lot this year. It’s a little tough to take right now. We’ll worry about next year next year.”

Benton advanced to play Searcy in Monday’s semifinal at Benton High School.

SPORTS>>Cabot rips Wolf, rubs out Har-Ber

Leader sportswriter

Springdale Har-Ber’s Chani Wolf didn’t stay in the pitcher’s circle long, but it was long enough for Cabot to mount an overwhelming lead.

The Lady Panthers roughed up the Wildcats reliever for five runs in the top of the fourth inning Monday on their way to a 9-1 victory in the 7A state quarterfinals. Cabot advanced to the semifinals against Bryant on Tuesday night.

Cabot (23-9) came out strong in the top of the fourth inning, scoring a run off Har-Ber starter Hannah Bender. Har-Ber then brought on Wolf, and, four batters later, Bender returned to the circle.

“That was the pitcher we had prepped for,” Cabot coach Becky Steward said of Wolf. “We knew she was a spot pitcher, and all she throws is a fastball, rise ball. So that was the one we thought was going to start, so when they brought her in, I said ‘This is the one.’ So we went to work.”

Designated player Taylor Anderson got things going in the fourth with a double to left field and advanced on a bunt by Brooke Taylor. Tara Boyd then scored Anderson with a single to left, and Bender walked Jenny Evans to put two runners on base.

Wolf relieved Bender and gave up a single to Caitlinn Gunn that scored Boyd to give the Lady Panthers a 2-0 lead. Evans came in when the Lady Wildcats mishandled Chelsea Conrade’s grounder at first base, and Kristi Flesher drove in Gunn with a single to right field.

Cleanup hitter Pete Reed hit her second double to score Conrade and Flesher and extend Cabot’s lead to 6-0.

Taylor doubled to left in theCabot fifth and Evans drove her in two batters later with a single to left and scored on a triple to make it 8-0.

Sarah Martin doubled in the top of the sixth inning and scored Cabot’s final run when Taylor executed a squeeze bunt.

Martin hit a three-run home run, the first homer of her career, in the Lady Panthers’ 10-0 victory over Springdale on Friday.

Cabot senior pitcher Kendall Calderon held Har-Ber to four hits. Wildcats catcher Brittany Rodgers was the only hitter able to capitalize when she singled and later scored Har-Ber’s lone run on an error.

“That’s been our strong point all year long,” Steward said of the defense and Calderon’s pitching perfrmance on Monday. “We may have an error here, an error there, but it usually does not hurt us.”

The victory set up a semifinals showdown with 7A Central Conference foe and top seed Bryant. The Lady Hornets swept the Lady Panthers during the regular season.

“I told the kids when we saw where we fell in the bracket that they needed to take care of the first two opponents if they wanted another shot at Bryant,” Steward said.

“So, they’ve played focused; they’re hitting the ball right now. One through nine, you never know who’s going to hit.”

Conrade was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run for the Lady Panthers. Anderson was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.

Reed was 2 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI. Flesher was 2 for 5 with a double, an RBI and a run, and Gunn was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run.

SPORTS>>Searcy flies to final with sacrifice

Leader sports editor

BENTON — The Searcy Lions used textbook baseball to beat Benton and advance to the final chapter of the 6A season Monday night.

Two sixth-inning bunts and Brent Bunker’s sacrifice fly lifted the Lions to a 4-3 victory over the defending state champion Panthers in the semifinals at Benton High School. The game was a rematch of last year’s state championship and Searcy’s victory gives it a berth in Friday’s final against Lake Hamilton at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

First pitch is at 4:30 p.m.

“One, we don’t want to be satisfied with just getting back,” Searcy coach Clay McCammon said, reflecting on injuries and minor disciplinary problems that could have derailed the Lions this season. “We’ve had some adversity this year, some different things, they’ve had the opportunity to throw in the towel and they fought hard and this is their No. 1 goal.”

With the game tied 3-3 entering the sixth, Searcy’s Mike Brown led off with an infield single and Jared Haggard followed with a bunt hit. Chris Bond advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and then Bunker, the No. 9 hitter, scored Brown from third with a sacrifice fly to left.

“That’s baseball. That’s how we’re coached,” Bunker said of the late-game execution. “We practice it every day and you’ve got to get it down when it’s time.”

Lions reliever Preston Tarkington struck out the side in the seventh to send Searcy to its second consecutive state final. Benton beat Searcy 8-5 last year.

“I love it, love it,” Bunker said of the victory. “It’s big. It will carry us into Baum.”

The skillfully played semifinal was in contrast to the error- and walk-filled quarterfinal marathon in which Searcy beat Watson Chapel on Saturday. That game began after 9 p.m. and ended after midnight Sunday with a 9-6 Searcy victory.

“We finally executed there late in the game at the bottom of the order and that’s what you’ve got to have to win in baseball,” McCammon said of Monday’s semifinal.

Searcy first baseman Zach Langley opened the scoring in the first inning Monday when he walloped a Cole Durham pitch over the right-field fence for a home run and the 1-0 lead.

Benton’s C.J. Engle singled to right and made it to third on a pair of wild pitches by Searcy starter Dillon Howard, and Stuart Levy singled him in to tie it. Lee Richardson doubled to lead off the Searcy fourth and scored when designated hitter Josh Creel hit into a fielder’s choice to make it 2-1.

Langley singled with two out in the Searcy fifth and Tarkington reached on Engle’s error at third. Howard then doubled to right-center field off Durham to score both runners and give Searcy the 3-2 lead.

“The most costly thing to me was the double that Howard hit, that kind of broke our back,” Benton coach Mark Balisterri said.

“We were contemplating a pitching change but he reached out for an outside pitch. Cole threw the pitch exactly where we asked him to.”

In the top of the sixth Bond, who relieved Howard to start the fifth, walked Richardson and hit Ashton Roberts. Engle hit into a one-out fielder’s choice and Roberts was safe at second on an error by Jared Haggard, but Haggard threw out Richardson at the plate for the second out.

“It was my fault,” said Balisterri who was coaching third. “He did what he was supposed to do; he was being aggressive.”
Benton catcher Stuart Levy followed with a single to left to score Roberts from second and tie it 3-3.

That set up Searcy’s small ball rally and Bunker’s go-ahead sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.

“That’s the way you play the game of baseball,” Balisterri said. “Both teams did it the whole game. They did it at the end.”

Bond pitched two innings in getting the victory and Tarkington got the save. Benton reliever Billy Tricario took the loss.

It was a tough loss for Benton, the No. 4 seed from the 6A-South, which got into a postseason groove and was bidding for a return to the state final in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

“I’m just blessed to be able to be here coaching this group of kids and at Benton High School,” Balisterri said. “Two or three weeks ago we were struggling a little bit and I knew this team had it in them. I just didn’t know if it would ever come out.”

It was a measure of revenge for Searcy, the No. 3 seed from the 6A-East.

“To be honest with you, nobody wanted to play them on this field in this game,” McCammon said. “But our kids were up to the challenge and we were just fortunate to score one more than they did.”

TOP STORY >>Voters go to polls in primary races

Sammie Stewart, 7, and her brother Aiden, 5, were on hand Monday at the Jacksonville Community Center when their father Lucas cast his early vote for the primary election. Polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

State Races

U.S. Senate
Curtis Coleman (R)
Fred Ramey (R)
Rep. John Boozman (R)
Sen. Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D)
Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D)
D.C. Morrison (D)
State Sen. Kim Hendren (R)

First Dist. Congress
Chad Causey (D)
Rick Crawford (R)
Terry G. Green (D)
Tim Wooldridge (D)
Princella D. Smith (R)
State Rep. David R. Cook (D)
Ben Ponder (D)

Second Dist. Congress
David Boling (D)
John Adams (D)
Tim Griffin (R)
Sen. Joyce Elliott (D)
Patrick Kennedy (D)
Speaker Robbie Wills (D)

Lt. Governor
Donnie Coperland (R)
Mark Darr (R)
Sen. Shane Broadway (D)

Jim Keet (R)
Mike Beebe (D)

Attorney General
Attorney Gen. Dustin McDaniel (D)

Secretary of State
Doris Tate (D)
Mark Wilcox (D)
Pulaski County Clerk Pat O’Brien (D)
Rep. Mark Martin (R)

State Treasurer
Martha Shoffner (D)

Auditor of State
Charlie Daniels (D)

Commissioner of State Lands
Rep. Monty Davenport (D)
Mike Berg (D)

State Sen. Dist. 28
Cabot Mayor Eddie Joe Williams (R)
Lenville Evans (D)

State Sen. Dist. 29
Rep. Jonathan Dismang (R)
Rep. Sandra Prater (D)

State Rep. Dist. 15
Rep. Walls McCrary (D)

State Rep. Dist. 42
Rep. Jane English (R)

State Rep. District 43
Rep. Jim Nickels (D)

State Rep. Dist. 44
Rep. Mark Perry (D)

State Rep. Dist. 49
Jeremy Gillam (R)
Jesse Boyce (D)
Butch Rice (R)

Prosecuting Attorney, Dist. 6
Larry Jegley (D)

Prosecuting Attorney, Dist. 23
Tim Blair (D)
Chuck Graham (R)

Lonoke County Races

Jerry D. Adams (D)
Jim Bailey (D)

County Judge:
Charlie Troutman (D)
Doug Erwin (R)

Circuit Clerk:
Denise Brown (R)
Deborah Oglesby (D)

County Clerk:
Dawn Porterfield (D)
Rita F. Schmitz (D)

Patricia McCallie (D)

Sherry Stracener (D)

Jim Roberson (R)
Charlie Martin (D)
Steve Rich (D)

Karol DePriest (D)
Dale Walker (R)

Justice of the Peace:

JP District 1
Joe Farrer (R)
Jodie Grisham Troutman (D)
Jimmy Hall (I)
Larry Ridgeway (R)

 JP District 2
Jannette Minton (R)
Gage B. Gilliam (R)

 JP District 3
Larry A. Odom (R)
Warren D. Leill (R)

 JP District 4
Timothy B. Lemons (R)

 JP District 5
Barry D. Weathers (R)

 JP District 6
Trent Eilts (R)
Alexis Malham (R)

 JP District 7
Adam Sims (D)

 JP District 8
Roger Dale Lynch (D)
Richard Kyzer (D)

 JP District 9
Robert Sonny Moery (D)

 JP District 10
Bill Ryker (D)

 JP District 11
Mike Dolan (D)

 JP District 12
Henry (HL) Lang (R)

 JP District 13
Mark Edwards (R)
Kenny Ridgeway (R)


Carlisle Township
Adam Ingle (D)

Caroline Township
Jerry Gray (R)

Eagle Township
Jimmy G. Taylor (D)

Gray Township
William A. Southerland (R)

Jimmie Pawlowski (R)

Goodrum Township
Paul Eddy (D)
Kevin Staples (R)

Gumwood Township
Bill Hankins (D)
Raymond “Ray” Prince (D)
Eugene “Beno” Duke (D)

Oak Grove Township
Vincent F. Scarlata (R)
Jerrell Bevill (R)

Ward Township
James W. Williams (I)

Prairie Township
John P. Lacy Jr. (D)

York Township
Jeff Gibson (R)


Wayne McGee (D)
City Treasurer
Prudie Percefull (D)

City Alderman, Position 1
Jane Derning (D)

City Alderman, Position 2
Todd Wheat (D)
Danny Whitehurst (D)

City Alderman, Position 3
Pat Howell (D)

City Alderman, Position 4
Wendell Walker (D)

City Alderman, Position 5
Efrem Z. Jones (D)

City Alderman, Postion 6
Norman Walker (D)
Raymond Louis Hatton (D)

City Alderman, Position 7
Michael Florence (D)