Beebe gets political bargain

February 2, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - In a crummy economy, Mike Beebe managed to find a pretty good bargain. For $3,238, he bought himself plenty of favorable headlines and possibly some goodwill among voters. He also bought a a fair share of private grumbling and accusations of grandstanding.

Donna was, is her name

February 2, 2009 I often wonder about Donna. Even though she is Donna Fox today, in 1959 she was Donna Ludwig. But she might have been Donna Valens. Had he lived. At 17, Ritchie Valens was the youngest one to die that night following a show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Along with him, Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson, "The Big Bopper," and one crew member also died that fateful night 50 years ago Tuesday when their small-engine plane crashed shortly after take-off.

Letter to the Editor

January 30, 2009 Praise for workers I just have to compliment all the hard workers during this ice storm in the last few days. I know several homes and business still do not have any power but I do know they are working hard day and night to get everyone going. They have restored a lot of power for people around this area and are still working hard. Please keep all the workers in your thoughts and prayers to keep them safe during this time. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. God Bless.

Youngest pride and joy

January 30, 2009 Saturday, my youngest granddaughter turns 1. Last year when Jan. 31 rolled around we had one heck of an ice storm and a baby on the way. Determined to be there even if we had to make the trip via an ambulance, my two daughters and I headed what ended up being a long, icy road trip to the Baxter County hospital. The roads were so bad that morning that we were the only people out and I prayed as I crossed the Norfork Dam that I would be in control of that vehicle all the way down.

Top books to read

January 30, 2009 A Lyon graduate e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago for advice. A former English teacher, she is now homeschooling her own kids. She was forming a list of up to 100 novels kids might read by the time they graduate from high school.

A ‘Steeler’ connection

January 29, 2009 There's a reason the Super Bowl is such a big deal. There is no city in the country in which it is a bigger deal this year than in Pittsburgh. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. As a kid, I never understood the deep connection my father had to the Pittsburgh Steelers. His mood soured when his team lost. He was elated when they won.

No icy trees, roads

January 29, 2009 Tired of cold. Tired of icy roads. Tired of being out of electricity because of ice-covered limbs falling on power lines. Thinking of Florida. Had about all of this global warming I can take for now. (I know. I know. The argument is that global warming causes weather shifts, so that in some places, it gets colder instead of warmer. Sounds like baloney, or at least bologna, a word that an English professor once wrote on my final test paper.)

Legacy of pain, despair

January 28, 2009 A friend of mine just got the news that another man in her neighborhood killed himself. He's the fourth in 12 months. Another man who decided that his family would be better off without him. Another man who will never walk his daughter down the aisle or be the best man at his son's wedding.

American Idol edition

January 28, 2009 Most of the concerts I have ever attended have been either at Altell Arena in North Little Rock or at the Convention Center in Hot Springs, and almost all of them have been of the Christian variety. I have noticed in recent years that metal detectors, wands and bag searches at these venues have become as much a part of the experience as the loud music itself. Gaining admission is no longer a simple matter of buying your ticket and strolling through the turnstile on your way to the T-shirt stand. After all, we can't have concert-goers with controlled substances, knives or, especially, guns on their person when they enter the arena, right?

Arkansas tax issues

January 28, 2009 LITTLE ROCK - The Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation will have an important role during the 2009 legislative session. Senate Bill 88, to reduce the state sales tax on food by a penny, has been referred to the committee. Also, any legislation to raise taxes on tobacco and liquor will be referred to the committee.