Less smoke

August 10, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Since Arkansas voters in 2000 approved a plan for spending revenue from a legal settlement with tobacco companies, the state has received about $446 million.A subcommittee of the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee recently began a series of hearings to make sure the tobacco revenue is still being spent according to the wishes of voters. Auditors will measure administrative and personnel costs in each of the programs funded by the tobacco settlement. The subcommittee will have about 10 meetings.

College: The best time of my life

August 10, 2009 I cannot believe it’s been seven years. Seven years since I graduated from River Valley High School in Strawberry. Seven years since I packed up both my and my mom’s car with all the things I would need for the big world of college at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.Has it really been seven years?

Online raises issues

August 7, 2009 When the poetic line “Oh what a tangled web we weave …” was penned a few centuries ago, Sir Walter Scott had no idea what irony those words might have when applied to the 21st century’s world of blogs, tweets, Web sites and free expression.Over just a few days in the last two weeks, these tangled issues were making news:

Giant of rock

August 6, 2009 An overlooked giant of rock ’n’ roll died Sunday in Jonesboro at 75.Billy Lee Riley, part of the legendary Sun Studio package between 1955 and 1960, was among the pioneers — the shapers — of rock ’n’ roll, and as he told a reporter once, it WAS rock ’n’ roll and not “rockabilly,” as the early music came to be known later.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

August 6, 2009 Dear editor:Here is my two cents worth on the proposed government health insurance plan. The President has switched the rhetoric he spouts from “government health care plan” to “insurance reform” to try and get public support, yet I have not heard him or the Democratic leaders once mention the greatest drag on our health care system. They don’t mention it because they are more concerned with gaining future voters than they are in helping the citizens.

Awesome adventure

August 4, 2009 Ever see the 1980s movie “Space Camp”? Well, my version of Space Camp was nothing like the movie with Lea Thompson and a very young Joaquin (aka Leaf) Phoenix.

Deen’s buffet hits jackpot

August 3, 2009 When something tasted good to my dad, it wasn’t uncommon for him to compliment it by saying, “It’s so good it’ll make ya’ wanna slap your mama.” Last week, following  a stop at chef Paula Deen’s restaurant in Tunica, Miss., I would have to agree. Deen, who is one of a handful of chefs like Rachel Ray or Emeril Lagasse to become popular with TV audiences in recent years, currently has her own restaurant in the casino capital of the South, and boy is it good.