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Cheree Franco

Features Reporter

Features Reporter

Recent Stories by Cheree Franco

High Profile: Joey Lauren Adams

posted: 07/17/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If you disagree with Joey Lauren Adams, even over a topic that she knows intimately, she will remain polite. Even after she's had a few drinks and her friends -- east Nashville bartenders, animal rescuers, movie buffs and Bushwhacker aficionados ("It's like an alcoholic milkshake") -- are defensive on her behalf.

Kombucha: Fermented, fizzy sweet-tart tea is easily brewed in the kitchen

posted: 07/13/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

As with any diverse, thriving community, there is a creation story. Once upon a time about 2,000 years ago, an insect fell into a vat of sweet tea, trailing bacteria that colonized with local yeast. In the manner of empires, this first symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (commonly called a SCOBY or scoby) birthed vast colonies in new lands. A Korean doctor reportedly used the fermented tea to heal a Japanese emperor around A.D. 414. Five hundreds years later, it jostled in samurais' wine bags, an early take on Gatorade, and five hundred years after that, soldiers returned from the Russo-Japanese war to plop scobys in vats across Eastern Europe.

Woman is dogs' best friend

posted: 06/12/2016 2:26 a.m. Discuss

The cacophony is brutal. Nearly 200 anxious dogs bark and jockey for attention, two each to a chain-link pen. The no-kill, donor-supported Humane Society of the Delta is out of space. Inside one pen, set away from the others, a sturdy black dog lunges and snarls. Leslie Galloway, 44, squats in front of the cage and speaks softly.

Little Rock rapper Kari Faux tackles LA, returns home a grateful survivor with more music to make

posted: 05/17/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

"I don't want to cry," says the young woman in the white T-shirt and the cuffed skinny jeans.

HIGH PROFILE: Senator Tom Cotton

posted: 04/24/2016 5:45 a.m. Comments 6

DARDANELLE -- Many have said much, personally and under the banners of mastheads and networks, about the nation's youngest senator, 38-year-old Tom Cotton. Sometimes the conversation is about his ambition -- how, with no political experience, he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, how he bounced easily to the Senate in 2014, and where he'll land next.

Personal space

posted: 04/23/2016 1:58 a.m. Discuss

Where I live: Governor’s Mansion District

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Leaf's Indian flavors curry favor

posted: 04/14/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

In 2011, Banana Leaf (named for the wide foliage used as a serving platter in south India) entered a food truck scene then dominated by burritos and hot dogs. It parked near the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and established a bustling lunch business, catering to the hospital's staff and students, which include a significant Indian minority.

Home-grown hip hop: Little Rock's Young Gods of America taking risks for fame and fortune

posted: 03/15/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

In a tidier-than-expected Oak Forest neighborhood living room, three members of the Little Rock rap collective Young Gods of America (YGOA) and two supporting cast members -- producers and rappers in their own right -- lounge on mismatched sofas and an '80s easy chair. Muted music videos, mostly their own, play on a pull-down screen, and Chris Williams (Cool Chris) collects money for pizza.

REVIEW: The Cupcake Factory in Little Rock

posted: 03/10/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

After Kanis Road leaves behind chain hotels and freshly sprung strip malls, it turns wooded and curvy, meandering west toward a fork (straight, you head out to Wildwood Park for the Arts and Chenal Elementary School). Just before that fork, there is nothing for a while, and then, sandwiched between a small auto repair shop and more trees, there is a warehouse painted in fat brown and white stripes.

Wildwood's Lanterns! illuminates winter night

posted: 02/14/2016 2:20 a.m. Discuss

On an unseasonably warm weekday afternoon in January, Wildwood Park for the Arts is deserted. There are hibernating gardens, footbridges and sculptures, trails snaking through hilly woods, and a small brook. There is Swan Lake, with its glorious white birds who swim close and stare imperviously.

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