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The coast is clear — for now

Within moments of its on-line publication it was subsumed, overwhelmed by coverage of the nation's latest sad, if predictable, spectacle — the slaughter of a dozen innocents by a disturbed man at the Washington Navy Yard. Once assured that the violence was contained, however, the political class in Washington turned its eye to a poll freshly released by CNN. And then began linking to it in e-mails to operatives in the 50 states.

Hill runs for the House

House District 35 stretches from the northern part of Little Rock out past Pinnacle Mountain. Like at least a third of the state's House seats, it will have no incumbent in next year's elections. It would not be worth singling out except for this: Its announced Republican candidate is French Hill, one of the state's top-tier business figures.

Who’s Mark Pryor?

They were on their way from Little Rock to some political mission in the state's upper left corner so, naturally, they left Interstate 40 near Fort Smith and motored north on its newer cousin. A moment later they passed a sign proclaiming the asphalt to be not just I-540 but the John Paul Hammerschmidt Highway.

Reader mailbag

Occasionally I receive feedback from you — my dear readers — regarding a column I have written. Whether the emails are positive or negative, I consider them the highest compliment that something I wrote evoked a reaction strong enough for you to take time to express your feelings.

Lunch with Sen. Boozman

It's the noon hour on a Thursday, and Sen. John Boozman, R.-Ark., arrives for an interview at a downtown Little Rock restaurant. He takes a look at the offerings on a chalkboard menu and orders a grilled cheese.

Stiffer penalties for texting, driving

Saturday morning while drinking coffee with a White Hall resident I got an earful from his son, an accountant who said he recently drove from Pine Bluff to Little Rock and was passed by at least six drivers on Interstate 530 who were speeding and texting on a cell phone at the same time.

Observations from a hospital bed

These words were written Sunday from a hospital bed at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, the medical facility selected Friday by my wife after she decided my bronchitis had morphed into pneumonia. If I refused, she suggested, it was the emergency room at JRMC — or the hospital's psychiatric unit.

Selling a newspaper; ocean cruises

“Some of you are probably wondering how we’re doing down here at the newspaper, as we have gone from a relaxed family-type operation to being part of a globally powerful corporate entity, all in the swoosh of a printing run: Good morning employees...