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May 17, 2020 at 2:46 a.m.

100 years ago

May 17, 1920

• After six weeks of absence from the death cell at the penitentiary, the six alleged Elaine rioters, all negroes, who were taken to Helena after the Supreme Court granted them a new trial, were returned to their cells ... Saturday afternoon. To them the trip has not been a pleasant one. They readily admit they would rather be behind the walls then in jail at Helena. When asked whether they thought they received a fair trial, the six condemned men spoke in a chorus, saying they did not.

50 years ago

May 17, 1970

• The five major railroads operating in Arkansas are circulating petitions to place on the November general election ballot an initiated act that would repeal the state's full-crew laws. William J. Smith, a Little Rock lawyer, said that he and Edward L. Wright, also a Little Rock lawyer, prepared the petitions and that the attorney general's office approved the ballot title Wednesday.

25 years ago

May 17, 1995

• Park ranger Cliff Ferrell didn't have much to say Monday when Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee gave him a Service to the Citizens award. "I go out and deal with the deer; I can talk to them better," said Ferrell, a ranger for Cane Creek State Park and the planned Delta Heritage Trail. Ferrell received the monthly award honoring state employees partly because of his work as a ranger but mostly because of his community involvement in Lincoln County. "I know he works a lot of hours for the state, and then he'll do volunteer work," said Judy Story, Lincoln County administrator for the state Department of Human Services.

10 years ago

May 17, 2010

CONWAY -- Mark Spitzer is a novelist, a poet, a book translator, an editor of a prestigious literary journal, a professor, and, as he puts it, a "lifelong, passionate fisherman" on a mission to defend and protect the much-maligned gar. "I'm just a creative writer with an interest in fish -- well, maybe an obsession," said Spitzer, a former writer-in-residence at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. Spitzer, who teaches writing at the University of Central Arkansas, became interested in the homely fish as a boy when he read about them. He began gar fishing when he moved to Louisiana in 1997. "They're just this fantastic, crazy, monster-looking fish that inspire the imagination," he said. But the creatures do not inspire everyone. "People hate gars. Gars have been equated with demons and devils for centuries on this continent," Spitzer said.

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