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Tuesday, September 02, 2014, 1:04 p.m.
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Public profile for RBBrittain

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Bid to end dry counties in Arkansas to hit ballot August 30, 2014 at 1:25 a.m.

Latest disclosures from the Ethics Commission website: The proponents are currently funded by a grocery chain (Brookshire's, $50K) and convenience stores (Casey's, EZ Mart, Kum & Go and Mapco, $10K each), but their expenditures far outstrip their revenue; they still haven't disclosed their REAL backer (almost certainly Walmart). However, the opponents so far are 100% funded by the Arkansas Beverage Retailers Association; I'm sure that's NOT just water, Coke, Pepsi or even Red Bull. ;)

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Bid to end dry counties in Arkansas to hit ballot August 30, 2014 at 1:01 a.m.

The wet-dry laws have become so hypocritical that they make no sense anymore. First of all, while localities in wet counties can vote dry, those in dry counties CANNOT vote wet; Barling learned that the hard way two years ago. (Due to a quirk in state law, Fort Smith is wet but the rest of Sebastian County, including Barling, is treated as a dry *COUNTY*.) Second, it takes an extraordinary number of signatures just to call a wet-dry election anymore -- 38% of *all* registered voters in the county, far more than ordinary county initiatives (just 15% of the vote for circuit clerk in the last election); wet-dry petitions in Craighead, Faulkner & Saline counties combined require almost as many signatures as this statewide petition (no wonder only Saline succeeded). Third, since townships & precincts can vote dry and then change their boundaries, there's dry areas in WET counties, like parts of Sherwood & Jacksonville, that cannot go wet without risking making other parts of the community dry if it fails. (NLR's Park Hill was in a similar mess but got a special act of the legislature to fix it.) Fourth, all but two dry counties in AR (Cleburne & Howard) have neighboring wet counties (including two that border an OK county claimed to be "dry", but by AR standards *ALL* OK counties are wet); the evils of liquor can be easily obtained by crossing the correct county line. (The opposition to the Craighead & Faulkner wet-dry petitions was almost entirely funded by liquor stores in neighboring counties.) And worst of all, look at all the "private clubs" in restaurants that serve liquor EVEN IN DRY COUNTIES! Wet-dry is a zombie that needs to be destroyed so that the ENTIRE STATE can properly focus on the good AND bad aspects of alcohol...

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Arkansas QB's vehicle burned in possible arson August 26, 2014 at 2:11 a.m.

I wasn't trying to attack him personally; I know there's a lot of loopholes in NCAA rules (which is why some of them are so stupid to begin with). I was pointing out his ride was SO obvious that a "hater" used it to target him, even to the extent of attacking someone else's vehicle of the same make & model earlier that evening. If you change the make from Chevy to Cadillac, that Avalanche suddenly becomes a flavor of Escalade; that might be a little too much for sickos trying to blame him personally for the Hogs' woes.

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It's 4th-and-1 from the get-go August 25, 2014 at 12:45 p.m.

It would be nice if the Hogs wrecked the Gus Bus. Still, I kinda doubt it...

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Arkansas QB's vehicle burned in possible arson August 25, 2014 at 12:43 p.m.

How on earth did this kid get the money for a Chevy Avalanche to begin with? That's between The Hill and the NCAA, but still perhaps they shoulda given him a slightly less ostentatious ride???

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Some agencies in state lose military-issue weapons August 25, 2014 at 12:34 p.m.

"But we have a five-lane highway running through the city": Common excuse from a speed-trap police chief. Suggest AHTD add a Highway 18 bypass of Dell to its construction plans.

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ASU official: No charges in golf-club accident August 22, 2014 at 3:47 p.m.

I don't care if he's the chancellor OR the president of ASU. Unless he's speaking for the Craighead County prosecutor, his opinion on whether or not charges are appropriate is NOT NEWS!!!
According to the article, the kid was ABUSING the golf club by "using (it) like a baseball bat to hit a football when it splintered". If I were prosecutor and the girl dies, I would SERIOUSLY consider manslaughter or negligent homicide charges (though not murder).

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Evacuees returned to homes, some road blocks cleared August 18, 2014 at 5:54 a.m.

@Flavius: I thought that's why UP still operates both the old MoPac & Cotton Belt routes across Arkansas separately: Thru freight trains generally go north on one route, south on the other. (Don't remember which is which.) Ironically, one of the required exceptions to that is Amtrak; otherwise that would lead to, say, passengers getting on at Walnut Ridge (the current NE AR stop on MoPac) on the way back not being able to get off any closer than Jonesboro or Paragould (on Cotton Belt). Also, rail traffic beginning or ending on either route is probably exempt due to limited turnaround facilities; that likely includes one of the two trains here.

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Alcohol petition adds 6,332 pages August 16, 2014 at 11:45 p.m.

Wet-dry was a great idea for the '30's & '40's, but it's become a joke. Just look at all the restaurants in Benton & Conway with "private club" permits; they were also common in Rogers & Bentonville till Benton County went "wet" two years ago. (Need I remind you that's the most "yellow-dog Republican" county in Arkansas?) And to even HAVE a wet-dry election you need 38% of *ALL* registered voters in the county (or other area) just to SIGN your petition; that's pretty close to the number of wet votes you need to win.
Walmart (with a little help from Kum & Go) backed petition drives to get wet-dry measures on the ballot in Saline, Faulkner & Craighead Counties; only Saline succeeded (and just barely). The number of signatures needed for wet-dry in those three counties alone is just barely below the the number of STATEWIDE signatures needed for THIS petition to do away with wet-dry altogether. It's obvious Wallyworld is behind this; they wouldn't have allowed them to set up outside their stores otherwise. (I support it anyway, but with my eyes wide open; I'd rather support Walmart than, say, the Conway County liquor stores who bankrolled Marlin Hawkins' machine back in the day.)

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Nucor Steel sues over Big River Steel mill August 12, 2014 at 1:09 p.m.

Big River should countersue Nucor for violating the antitrust laws (and the anti-monopoly provisions of the Arkansas Constitution) by filing this frivolous lawsuit obviously intended to block a competing steel mill for reasons having NOTHING to do with the environment.

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