Prison chief has political clout

June 29, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Apologizing to lawmakers in 1995 for being slow to explain allegations of corruption, contraband and bribery, Correction Director Larry Norris said “a penitentiary system is a problem business.”By that standard, business is booming for Arkansas’ prisons.

This generation’s Elvis?

June 29, 2009 Those who are old enough will never forget where they were the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated or when man first walked on the moon. And just like the millions who will never forget where they were Aug. 16, 1977 when Elvis Presley died, neither will I forget where I was June 25, 2009 when hearing that Michael Jackson had died.

Letter to Mr. Gorbachev

June 26, 2009 In conjunction with my Reagan Legacy Foundation, I recently marked the 22nd anniversary of my father’s famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin by publicly announcing an agreement with the Mauer Museum to permanently house a wing dedicated to Ronald Reagan and his leading role in ending the Cold War and reuniting the German people.

Responsibility of the press

June 26, 2009 “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Our Founding Fathers inextricably linked freedom of the press with freedoms of exercising religion, speaking publically, assembling peaceably and petitioning the government “for a redress of grievances.” In a sense, all these freedoms are sacred rights.

17-pound bass rumor

June 25, 2009 A story about a 17-pound largemouth bass in Crown Lake at Horseshoe Bend is just a fish tale, said Keith Stephens, spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.After being asked about it, Stephens took 24 hours to check out the story before confirming it is only a rumor.What allegedly happened was this: Some Game and Fish personnel, electroshocking fish for a population study on Crown Lake, turned up a largemouth bass that weighed 17 pounds and some-odd ounces.

Talking with thumbs

June 24, 2009 Last month my 16-year-old sent and received 8,307 texts. Yes, you read that number correctly — 8,307 text messages in one billing cycle.Of course, she says that number is misleading. “They count the sent messages, too, and a bunch of those were probably group texts.”So the real number she sent last month is probably only a scant 3,500 or so.

’80s ladies return

June 24, 2009 Big hair. Aqua Net. Shoulder pads. According to those in the know, the fall 2009 trends are all of the above. Just think, it will be “Dynasty” all over again. Throw in some leather, MC Hammer pants and voila ... the ’80s return. While not everything was to my liking during that era, a lot of things were. And, award-winning singer/songwriter K.T. Oslin, who may best be known for her “’80s Ladies” hit, had us all singing about the different stages of our lives.