posted: 11/14/2013 5:36 a.m.
The Board of Corrections has found itself in an unenviable position in recent months as members have struggled to toughen up the state’s parole system without overwhelming already crowded prisons and county jails.
posted: 10/18/2013 3:07 a.m.
A goodbye party for Kathy Griffin — the former Mount St. Mary athletic director found guilty last month of failing to report a sexual relationship between a teacher and a student — was canceled Thursday after two national organizations asked Bishop Anthony Taylor to denounce the event and forbid Catholic employees from attending it.
posted: 10/06/2013 6:07 a.m.
The state’s parole system failed George Johnson. It failed Tanya Hollifield. And, according to homicide detectives, it failed Jeffery Hughes.
posted: 09/29/2013 5:09 a.m.
Someday, a little girl named Linnea Olson will peer into the contents of a trunk filled with her mother’s favorite belongings — New Orleans Saints jerseys, a collection of scarves and various knickknacks collected during a life that lasted only 31 years.
posted: 09/29/2013 4:52 a.m.
The prison horse up for bid was large and stout — not what most would consider barrel-racing material. But Lana Jason thought his bay coloring was pretty, even if he was a “16-hand tank.”
posted: 09/20/2013 5:28 a.m.
Top parole administrators conceded Thursday that the state parole and probation agency’s past leadership failed to properly and consistently share information with the public as mandated by state law.
posted: 09/12/2013 midnight
A crowd gathered at Arkansas Children’s Hospital stood and clapped Wednesday morning as Kali Hardig — a 12-year-old who survived a rare and usually fatal type of parasitic meningitis — walked hesitantly into the Chairman’s Hall auditorium.
posted: 09/07/2013 4:16 a.m.
The Department of Community Correction is promoting three longtime employees to an executive level, Director Sheila Sharp announced Thursday.
posted: 09/05/2013 5:02 a.m.
Malvern Mayor Steve Northcutt isn’t living in a condo on nearby Lake Hamilton. Nor is he the owner of a party barge, ditching work for play.
posted: 09/04/2013 4:53 a.m.
Seventeen years ago, Betty Chism listened in disbelief when the judge pronounced her son’s sentence for a nonviolent drug conviction — life without parole.
posted: 08/31/2013 3:57 a.m.
Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington said Friday that his abrupt decision to retire doesn’t have anything to do with his recent convictions for resisting arrest and public intoxication.
posted: 08/29/2013 12:54 a.m.
Since November 1998, the Board of Corrections has routinely invoked the Emergency Powers Act to ease prison overcrowding. The act allows inmates to be released up to 90 days before their parole eligibility dates.
posted: 08/25/2013 5:14 a.m.
On any given day, a parole officer in the Little Rock area is expected to know the whereabouts and activities of the 140 to 150 men and women under his supervision.
posted: 08/24/2013 2:52 a.m.
Thomas Lynn “Tom” Auffenberg — who taught history for 40 years at Ouachita Baptist University — died Wednesday, just a day before he was to be honored for his many years of service.
posted: 08/20/2013 12:24 a.m.
In early July, the Board of Corrections asked Sheila Sharp to temporarily take over an agency mired in controversy — one that remains the subject of multiple investigations as it struggles to restore the public’s confidence in its ability to supervise the state’s 24,000 parolees.
posted: 08/17/2013 6:24 a.m.
Thus far, Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock’s proposal to deputize school administrators — thereby allowing them to carry weapons on campus — has attracted the attention of three school districts.
posted: 08/03/2013 3:25 a.m.
The increasing number of parolees getting locked up in county jails across the state after a recent policy change is creating a worrisome ripple effect on the state prison system, members of the Board of Corrections warned at their meeting Friday.
posted: 08/02/2013 12:41 a.m.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued an opinion Thursday saying that school districts cannot continue to use a private-security-guard law to arm their teachers or other staff members.
posted: 07/26/2013 12:48 a.m.
The state Board of Parole on Thursday rescinded a policy that for six years allowed parolees to successfully complete their terms even if they stopped reporting to their parole officers.
posted: 07/25/2013 12:55 a.m.
Given the unavailability of drugs needed for lethal-injection executions and an avalanche of federal lawsuits, lawmakers face two questions in the coming months.
posted: 07/24/2013 12:50 a.m.
For 15 years, parolees’ personal files have remained confidential under Arkansas law.
posted: 07/14/2013 5:28 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS — On this muggy summer morning, a group of longtime friends gathers at the Fair Grinds coffeehouse on Ponce de Leon Street. After shoving a couple of tables together, the coffee klatch launches happily into a volley of strong opinions on the morning’s news and politics.
posted: 07/02/2013 12:50 a.m.
The head of the state’s parole and probation system retired Monday amid several ongoing investigations into his agency’s handling of an eight-time parole absconder recently arrested and charged with kidnapping and capital murder.
posted: 06/27/2013 12:15 a.m.
In 2001, convicted murderer Vann Tucker, then 17, tried to escape from the Pope County jail by crawling through the air-conditioning vents.
posted: 06/11/2013 3:34 a.m.
A lieutenant at the Hawkins Center for Women, a state prison in Wrightsville, resigned June 3 after several inmates accused him of engaging with them in sexual activities.
posted: 06/07/2013 12:07 a.m.
The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday declined to take up a capital-murder defendant’s challenge of an east Arkansas judge’s refusal to let prosecutors drop his case.
posted: 06/05/2013 12:11 a.m.
Defense lawyers aligned with their usual opposition Tuesday against an east Arkansas judge’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor in a capital-murder case that state prosecutors have twice tried to drop.
posted: 06/01/2013 5:07 a.m.
A federal judge ordered a four-year prison sentence Friday for a Helena-West Helena man who bought a small cache of firearms from a pawn shop while he was facing felony charges in a nightclub shooting.
posted: 05/26/2013 4:06 a.m.
NEWPORT — People in this small, northeast Arkansas town remember her as “a real looker” — no, an “absolute knockout” — who had brains, grit and an entrepreneurial streak that would surely take her far.
posted: 05/19/2013 4:36 a.m.
MARIANNA — For more than 40 years, Arkansas officials scrutinized land along the Mississippi River, hoping to find an area to create a state park.
posted: 05/15/2013 5:20 a.m.
HELENA-WEST HELENA — Members of the Phillips County Quorum Court were overwhelmed Tuesday night by the amount of planning and money needed to reopen the county’s decrepit jail. As a result, the justices of the peace readily agreed to an architect’s suggestion that he put off his presentation until another meeting.
posted: 05/11/2013 4:57 a.m.
Attorneys for Jack Gillean — the former chief of staff at the University of Central Arkansas charged with felony commercial burglary in a test-cheating scandal — weren’t allowed to put prosecutors on the witness stand during a change-of venue pretrial hearing Friday.
posted: 05/07/2013 3:44 a.m.
When Charles Dunn — who served as president of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia for 22 years — decided to retire in 2008, he did so with a specific goal in mind.
posted: 05/05/2013 4:19 a.m.
ASHDOWN — The Little River County jail — which closed in January 2009 after failing a state inspection — has been extensively renovated and will reopen this week, much to the relief of the county judge, justices of the peace and the sheriff.
posted: 05/01/2013 12:03 a.m.
HELENA-WEST HELENA — Phillips County closed its jail Tuesday after a state inspection last month found that some of the jail’s locks didn’t work, inmates had easy access to materials they could fashion into weapons and human waste was overflowing onto cell floors.
posted: 04/24/2013 3:33 a.m.
For two weeks, she lay in the Burn Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the youngest victim of the 1999 American Airlines Flight 1420 crash.
posted: 04/23/2013 3:46 a.m.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette won first place in editorial writing in the 79th National Headliner Awards.
posted: 04/20/2013 4:28 a.m.
After earning a doctorate in communication at Ohio University in 1960, Allan Ward knew that he wanted to find a teaching position at a college in the South, where he hoped to get involved in the civil-rights movement.
posted: 04/16/2013 12:35 a.m.
The race clock showed 3:58:23 when Cortney Allison, 47, crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
posted: 04/14/2013 4:21 a.m.
As the superintendent of a small, rural school district, Nancy Anderson never imagined she would one day feel the need to carry a gun on campus.
posted: 04/07/2013 3:21 a.m.
A duck coated with thick crude oil squirmed frantically as two field biologists from Florida examined their newest patient.
posted: 04/04/2013 12:16 a.m.
A national report on school safety — put together by former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson for the National Rifle Association — includes a sample draft of a law for states wanting to allow school administrators, teachers or other staff members to carry concealed weapons on campus.
posted: 03/28/2013 3:18 a.m.
Kelley Erstine, who once served on the board of trustees for the University of Central Arkansas, will become the university’s chief of staff on July 1.
posted: 03/15/2013 12:56 a.m.
What’s good for the goose — in this case, Arkansas legislators — also should be good for the gander, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday against state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
posted: 02/19/2013 12:49 a.m.
She said it again and again — on Twitter, Facebook, her blog and even in one of her songs: “I’m still here.” Country singer Mindy McCready talked often and openly of her troubled past, one fraught with arrests, drug addiction, mental illness, suicide attempts and ugly custody battles over her oldest son.
posted: 02/16/2013 4:44 a.m.
A Helena-West Helena drug dealer received a five year sentence in federal court Friday for the role he played in a multi-state drug trafficking ring that funneled hundreds of pounds of cocaine into the Arkansas Delta.
posted: 02/15/2013 12:52 a.m.
A Pine Bluff police officer — accused of stealing things from people he knows — was arrested Thursday at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in Camden.
posted: 02/14/2013 4:05 a.m.
World-renowned pianist Jimmy McKissic declared in 2010 that he was ready to give up his international lifestyle, explaining that he was tired of living in hotel rooms and wanted to go home to Pine Bluff.
posted: 02/12/2013 12:45 a.m.
The Arkansas Supreme Court on Monday assigned a retired circuit judge from Fayetteville to the 1st Judicial District, giving him the authority to assign, reprioritize and preside over cases in the Delta’s troubled court system. Kim Smith, who spent 15 years as a prosecutor and a judge in Northwest Arkansas, also will serve as a consultant, reporting his observations and recommendations to the Supreme Court.
posted: 02/08/2013 4:41 a.m.
George Washington’s inaugural and family Bibles will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum as part of a new exhibit, “Treasures of Arkansas Freemasons, 1838-2013.” The inaugural Bible will be at the museum today and Saturday only. Visitors can get their first glimpse during the 2nd Friday Art Night, which starts at 5 p.m. today, and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.