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ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019

ANNIVERSARY


SEPTEMBER 2019

FEATURES

9 THE FRONT

OF WIT AND WISDOM

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes Edition. Orval: Deaf legislators.

31 45 YEARS

It’s the Arkansas Times’ sapphire anniversary. Here’s Arkansas through the years, through our eyes.

Q&A: Joshua Mahony The Inconsequential News Quiz:

17 THE TO-DO LIST

Samantha Crain and Mulehead at White Water, Tank and the Bangas at the Rev Room, Jazz in the Park at Riverfront Park, Mothership at Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack, Peter Martin & Romero Lubambo with Erin Bode and Rev. Sekou at South on Main, the ACANSA lineup and more.

25 NEWS & POLITICS

White-collar crooks Ted Suhl and Mikey Gates got lucky; will jailed lawmakers find mercy, too? By Ernest Dumas

80 CULTURE

84 ART REVIEW

Mitchell Williams law firm, UA Little Rock pair collections. By Leslie Newell Peacock

86 FOOD & DRINK

The families of five South Asian families who’ve introduced their foodways to Northwest Arkansas talk about their experiences setting up shop. By Southern Foodways Alliance

92 CANNABIZ

Police officers get training to determine if drivers high on marijuana should get DWIs. By Rebekah Hall

135 CROSSWORD 138 THE OBSERVER Holding on to Coco.

A tribute to the late “Smilin’ Bob” Lewis, blues musician and mentor.

ON THE COVER: Arkansas

Times cover collage. 4 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES


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PUBLISHER Alan Leveritt EDITOR Lindsey Millar CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mandy Keener SENIOR EDITOR Max Brantley MANAGING EDITOR Leslie Newell Peacock ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Stephanie Smittle ASSOCIATE EDITOR Rebekah Hall CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Benjamin Hardy, Mara Leveritt PHOTOGRAPHER Brian Chilson DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY Jordan Little ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Mike Spain GRAPHIC DESIGNER Katie Hassell DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Phyllis A. Britton ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Brooke Wallace, Lee Major, Terrell Jacob, and Damian Poole ADVERTISING ASSISTANT Hannah Peacock ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER Roland R. Gladden IT DIRECTOR Robert Curfman CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Anitra Hickman CONTROLLER Weldon Wilson BILLING/COLLECTIONS Linda Phillips PRODUCTION MANAGER Ira Hocut (1954-2009)

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VOLUME 46 ISSUE 1 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each month by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, 201 EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Subscription prices are $60 for one year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is $5, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $5.00 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially. ©2019 ARKANSAS TIMES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP

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ARKANSAS TIMES


THE FRONT Q&A

Joshua Mahony thinks there are enough reasonable Arkansans for him to unseat Tom Cotton Are Arkansas’s elected officials failing us in Washington, D.C.? Senator Cotton has been running for president since he got elected to Congress. He was barely in Congress before he decided to run for Senate. I appreciate his military service, but he came back to Arkansas really only to run for office and seemed to be pushed by folks who had picked him out as a potential candidate to run for president one day and to push their own agenda. So to see him being supported by Goldman Sachs and the Koch brothers and having their corporate interests in mind more than the interests of rural Arkansans, our farmers and people trying to get by every day is where he is failing Arkansas. 

me that people are having to make these decisions.

Where do you stand on health care? I very much like the idea of Medicare for all, but I have visited with a lot of people in Arkansas who like their private insurance. Why can’t we do both? Let’s make sure we have a public option in place, but for people who like their private insurance and want to have private insurance, that’s fine. I met a woman last year. She had saved up money for her grandkids to go to school. She found out she needed heart surgery that would cost more than the money she had saved up. She was just a few years too young for Medicare. Didn’t have insurance. She planned to wait it out so she could give her grandkids a chance for the education she did not have instead of spending the money on the surgery. She was gambling to live long enough to have some type of insurance coverage. It terrifies

BRIAN CHILSON

BRIAN CHILSON

Back in May, Cotton mentioned that farmers were going to have to “sacrifice” and, more recently, to “hold on” while markets are lost due to President Trump’s tariffs. What would you say to Arkansas farmers? The first thing I would say [is] there is no reason for the tariffs. If we need to renegotiate trade deals we can do that without throwing out what was already in place. I can’t find an economist who believes tariffs are a good idea. With regard to our farmers, it is such a high overhead and hard life to live, I would say our farmers already sacrifice a lot. They feed our country and other countries as well. Farming is the backbone and the spirit of Arkansas. Farmers want to work. They don’t want a handout or a bailout. Let’s make sure they are able to work and those markets they have built up over decades are not lost. Name: Joshua Mahony Birthplace: El Dorado Age: 39 Job: U.S. Senate candidate Campaign soundtrack: Johnny Cash, Prince, Tina Turner and AC/DC. “Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles: Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers.” I listen to this album fairly religiously. Senator Elliott says we have to have “swag” to win.

You ran against U.S. Rep. Steve Womack in 2018 and lost. What did you learn from that campaign? The thing I learned the most is that there are more similarities in people in Arkansas than we think. People are a lot more reasonable than Fox News portrays. I think we hear the loudest voices on the cable networks. When you get into the communities and visit with people, you find reasonable folks. I had an incredible experience in Berryville. An older guy, a biker, came up to me and he was upset and red-faced. I thought he was going to be unhappy with my political views. He first started talking about taking care of people here before we start sending money to other countries. I’ve heard that talking point and expected him to say we need to take care of our veterans and our homeless, which we absolutely should be doing. What he actually followed up with was his opinion that we should have, in his words, “socialized medicine.” His wife had died two years ago of lung cancer and he was still paying the bills. He was a proud guy and didn’t want anyone else to have to go through that. He voted for President Trump, but he said we have to fix health care. His response was a surprise to me. Now, I feel bad that it surprised me, because I think people’s views are all across the board and they are willing to listen more than we think.

This race is an uphill battle for you. What keeps you motivated? I grew up in El Dorado. The town is reflective of a lot of our communities in Arkansas. We come together around issues when we have the chance. In El Dorado, we got together around the Murphy Promise Scholarship Program. We later passed a millage with the highest ever voter turnout to build the new high school. The people there knew if they invested in their children and made sure they had a future, they were investing in themselves, too. They knew the systemic change that would happen there. I carry with me the same spirit and values I got from El Dorado for making sure people have access to prosperity, opportunity, improving themselves and earning the skills they want.

— Autumn Tolbert ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 9


THE FRONT

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ARKANSAS TIMES


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THE FRONT

INCONSEQUENTIAL NEWS QUIZ

1) Progressive Arkansas Women PAC, a grassroots political organization, recently shared some information on its blog about the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery that might come as a surprise to some. What’s the shocker? A) The fine print in the lottery acceptance paperwork requires recipients to surrender “all non-visible body hair” to stuff the throw pillows of lottery Director Bishop Woosley. B) Participants are automatically registered for a “Hunger Games”-style battle royale fight to the death in an abandoned lumber mill near Hoxie.  C) By accepting funds from the lottery, recipients’ votes are automatically recorded as straight-ticket Republican for the rest of their lives.  D) Only 19 percent of lottery revenue actually goes to scholarships, making Arkansas second only to Wyoming for having the lowest percentage awarded to students.

5) Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Leviticus Gap) was recently in the news, God help us, as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported his big plans for 2022. What’s Rapert’s latest scheme? A) He plans to erect another giant granite slab on the lawn of the State Capitol, this one bearing The Ten Commandments of Barbecue. B) He’ll take on the local director of Planned Parenthood at Barton Coliseum in a no-holdsbarred North Carolina Ladder Match! C) He’ll sponsor the Arkansas Nutsack Protection Act, requiring hand amputation for any woman who handles a dude’s huevos in anger, as specified in Deuteronomy 25:11-12. D) He plans to run for lieutenant governor. Now let’s see him spell “lieutenant” without peeking.

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes Edition

Play at home, while keeping an eye out for wayward boa constrictors!

UR SAVEGOHTS! PIG FI

2) In mid-August, four black teens going doorto-door to sell items in a school-sanctioned fundraiser that’s been held annually for years in Wynne (Cross County) were met with a surprise from one resident they visited. What was it? A) Fresh baked cookies. B) A $500 donation to their class for school supplies. C) She bought all the tickets they were selling to benefit the local athletic program. D) Police say 46-year-old Jerri Kelly emerged from the home with a handgun and forced the teens to lie face down on the lawn until police came, and was later charged with four counts including aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor. 3) In a follow-up to the previous question: Jerri Kelly, who is the wife of Cross County Jail Administrator Joe Kelly, did not initially have her mug shot taken when she was booked at the Cross County Jail. According to Cross County Sheriff David West, why wasn’t her photo taken during booking, which is standard procedure for all suspects who aren’t married to the jail administrator? A) She’s a vampire, and cameras can’t physically capture her image. B) She held the photographer at gunpoint until he put the lens cap back on. C) She was having, like, the WORST hair day. D) She had an unspecified “medical issue” while being booked. 4) Residents of Shirley are still nervously on the lookout for something that escaped earlier this summer on Banner Mountain Road near the town. What was it? A) A meth-addicted Bengal tiger named Diddibiteya. B) An exceedingly horny Great Dane. C) The Demogorgon from “Stranger Things.” D) An 11-foot long Colombian red-tailed boa constrictor, which slithered away from the owner’s home and hasn’t been seen since.

6) Folks in Jasper (Newton County) have been on edge in recent months. What’s the problem? A) There’s been crippling, town-wide depression since “Duck Dynasty” went off the air. B) Life just hasn’t been the same since the Jasper Library’s one book got stolen. C) The town is divided over a proposal that would ban competitive pig fighting. D) Police say a crazed rooster began randomly attacking pedestrians in town earlier this summer, with the situation so dire that the city council proposed an ordinance banning freerange poultry. 7) The University of Arkansas has announced that this fall that you’ll be able to do something in the stands at Reynolds Razorback Stadium that was previously prohibited. What is it? A) Cheer on a consistently winning team. B) Help select a victim to sacrifice on the 50yard line to ensure a successful season. C) You can now bring your own T-shirt cannon. D) Buy and consume beer and wine. 8) A story about Alma attorney Carrie Jernigan recently went viral online after she bought out the remaining stock of a Payless Shoe Store that was closing, going home with over 1,500 pairs of kicks. What’s does Jernigan plan to do with all those shoes? A) She’s going to sell them on eBay and use the money to fund the Imelda Marcos Scholarship for Young Shoe Designers. B) She’s going to replace all the tires on her family’s cars with circles of shoes on sticks. It’s Alma, man. You gotta do something for entertainment. C) Let’s just say her Colombian giant millipede, Frank, will be getting a hell of a Christmas present this year. D) She plans to donate most of them to people in need. 

ANSWERS: D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D 12 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES


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THE FRONT

THE MONTH (OR SO) THAT WAS

Pope County Casino Gambit

14 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

NEW ARTS CENTER LEADER Dr. Victoria Ramirez of El Paso, Texas, has been selected as the new director of the Arkansas Arts Center. The director of the El Paso Museum of Art, she holds an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston, a master’s degree in museum education and art history from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Maryland in College Park. Todd Herman, the previous director, left the Arts Center in August 2018 for a job as president of the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C. Laine Harber, the former CFO and deputy director, has served as interim director since. A groundbreaking is scheduled for Oct. 1 for the $128 million redo of the Arts Center.

BRIAN CHILSON

CONVOLUTED CASINO PROCEEDINGS The Pope County Quorum Court has endorsed a proposal from Cherokee Nation Businesses of Oklahoma, in conjunction with a group whose owners include Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, to build a casino in the county. Amendment 100, approved by voters in November, authorized new casinos in Jefferson and Pope counties if applicants met certain requirements, including obtaining a letter of support from local officials. Pope County voters approved a local ordinance in November that required a local election before officials could support a casino proposal, but the Quorum Court ignored the ordinance in approving the Cherokee bid under the legal theory that it was superseded by the constitutional amendment. Gulfside Casino Partnership of Mississippi had obtained letters of endorsement from the lame duck Russellville mayor and Pope County judge in December, but the state Racing Commission adopted a rule earlier this year that required local endorsement to come from persons in office at the time of application; a law passed by the legislature that became effective in March said the same thing. Gulfside has filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court arguing that the commission’s rule is unconstitutional because the casino amendment doesn’t specify when endorsements have to be dated. In June, the Racing Commission rejected five applicants — Cherokee Nation Businesses, Gulfside Casino Partnership, Kehl Management of Iowa, Warner Gaming of Nevada and Choctaw Nation Division of Commerce of Oklahoma — because they lacked letters of local support. At the time, it said it would reopen the application period for 90 days if an applicant received local support. It did so Aug. 19. Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been filed by casino foes asserting the Quorum Court action is void without a local vote first. And a special prosecutor will consider a complaint that the Quorum Court held illegal private meetings about the casino in advance of its vote to support the Cherokee proposal, which included no discussion of the merits of the competing proposals. The Cherokee tribe has promised almost $40 million in payments to local governments (not including the city of Russellville, though it would indirectly benefit substantially from the likes of a jail, 911 center and ambulance service subsidy) in return for getting application approval.

GATES GETS PROBATION, AGREES TO REPAY STATE State Rep. Mickey Gates (R-Hot Springs) agreed to plead no contest to felony income tax charges in Garland County Circuit Court. Under the plea agreement, Gates will receive six years’ probation and will be obligated to pay the tax he owes to the state from 2012 to 2017; he’ll have to pay penalties and interest for 2012 through 2014. A special prosecutor said Gates had failed to file his taxes for 15 years, from 2003-2017, but the statute of limitations limited the number of charges to six years. Gates entered his plea under Act 346, also known as the First Offender Act, which allows a firsttime offender, after completing the terms of probation, to petition a judge to dismiss charges and expunge the offender’s record. Gates handily won his re-election bid in November. His attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, said that because the Act 346 treatment is not considered a felony conviction, the plea agreement does not require him to resign. Gates said after his court appearance that he won’t step down. Governor Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who called on Gates to resign in 2018, renewed those calls after Gates’ plea, and House Speaker Matthew Shepherd said he’d had conversations with other legislators about removing Gates from the House.

SUHL COMMUTED President Trump has commuted the prison sentence of Ted Suhl, a former operator of a behavioral health company in Arkansas who was convicted on bribery and fraud-related charges in July 2016. The White House said Trump’s decision to commute Suhl’s sentence was influenced by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins. During the four years covered by the federal indictment, 2007 to 2011, Suhl’s companies, which provided both residential and outpatient services, received some $125 million in Medicaid reimbursements from the state through the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Federal prosecutors said Suhl intended to help his companies by funneling money to a top administrator at DHS and former legislator, Steven Jones, by way of communicating through a middleman, West Memphis juvenile probation officer Philip Carter. Carter and Jones pleaded guilty to bribery and served sentences in federal prison. Suhl was scheduled to be released Feb. 25, 2023. Suhl made millions in public money from operation of a residential facility once known as the Lord’s Ranch, later renamed Trinity Behavioral Health. He also operated outpatient facilities under the names Arkansas Counseling Associates and Maxus. He was a powerful political player, particularly during the administration of Huckabee, who shared Suhl’s conservative religious views and took rides on Suhl’s plane.


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16 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES


the TO-DO list

SAMANTHA CRAIN

WEDNESDAY 9/25. 8 P.M. WHITE WATER TAVERN. $7.

By STEPHANIE SMITTLE and LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK

SAMANTHA CRAIN BY DAKOTA LEWALLEN

Choctaw-American songwriter Samantha Crain’s first recording is one of a handful of records committed completely to my memory. “The Confiscation EP: A Musical Novella” was released in 2008, and since then, her backing band The Midnight Shivers has come and gone, as has Crain from the doors of the White Water Tavern, loading in (and out) equipment that seemed impossibly bulky for her tiny frame. Like Billie Holiday or Anohni or Lucinda Williams, Crain seems to elicit complicated ideas from a single morphing vowel, and to imply an opus’ timetable in a 3-minute song. For the uninitiated, start with “The One Who Stands in the Sun,” a commission from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., in which Crain puts T.C. Cannon’s mural “Epochs in Plains History: Mother Earth, Father Sun, the Children Themselves” to music. Kierston White and Eliza Bee open the show. SS

TANK AND THE BANGAS

TANK AND THE BANGAS BY JOSH CHEUSE

SUNDAY 9/22. 8 P.M. REV ROOM. $20.

Tarriona “Tank” Ball and Co.’s video for “Quick” — the band’s winning entry in NPR’s 2017 Tiny Desk Contest — is a ton of bricks. Against a class-IMDB room whiteboard, with textbooks and pencils as props, Ball and background vocalist Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph trade vocal licks RUN DMC-style, sometimes in unison, always in forward motion, with an outsized (but somehow still minimalist) backing ensemble. Born of Ball’s vocal savvy and versatility as a spoken word poet, Tank and the Bangas’ work is a nimble vehicle for her wit and theatricality, and a calling card for the outfit’s home city of New Orleans — vibrant, infectiously joyful and always weird. They’ve just released their second full-length album, “Green Balloon,” and land at the Rev Room with fellow jaw-dropping rockers The Suffers and New Orleans rapper Alfred Banks, two mighty opening acts whose work will unquestionably be furnishing Little Rockers’ playlists the following Monday morning and beyond. SS ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 17


the TO-DO list

JAZZ IN THE PARK

WEDNESDAY 9/4, 9/11, 9/18, 9/25. 6 P.M. HISTORY PAVILION, RIVERFRONT PARK. FREE.

ERIN BODE BY LORI BECK

PETER MARTIN & ROMERO LUBAMBO FEATURING ERIN BODE THURSDAY 9/5. 8 P.M. SOUTH ON MAIN. $35-$46.

The relationship between Brazilian-born guitarist Romero Lubambo and St. Louis pianist Peter Martin has an easy way about it. In interviews, like the one AETN documented for its “On the Front Row” series, mutual admiration between the two longtime collaborators shows forth, effortlessly. Onstage, though, that shared respect turns into something more like shared mischief. “If I play and change something — give him a surprise or something,” Martin said in the behind-the-scenes footage from that same Oxford American Jazz Series concert, “he’s gonna hear it and then change it around and throw it back at me … There’s a lot of surprises, and that’s really the essence of what we’re doing. It’s based around improvisation.” Laughter peppers their cheekier chordal transitions, Lubambo looking over at Martin after a particularly maverick skylark, and a song’s acceleration toward climax often feels like a stockpot on the verge of boiling over, as if the whole tune is about to fall apart. (It won’t.) Happily, jazz vocalist Erin Bode crashes that party this time around, adding the most honeyed of wild cards to the ensemble. Call 800293-5949 or head to metrotix.com for tickets, and get details at oxfordamerican.org/events, where you’ll find that Martin and Lubambo follow this Little Rock concert with an appearance in Fayetteville on Saturday, Sept. 7, as guests of the NWA Jazz Society, in partnership with Oxford American and the Fayetteville Roots Fest. SS

18 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

With all due respect for the three-years-gone Afterthought Bistro & Bar (and I count myself among the wistful), the jazz scene in Little Rock did not, in fact, breathe its last dying breath when the Kavanaugh spot closed its doors. It just spread out a little. Check out the programming the Art Porter Music Education program puts on at Mosaic Templars and Wildwood Park for the Arts, or the Jazz at the Joint series Ted Ludwig curates in Argenta, or the Oxford American Presents series at South on Main (at left, for one), or The Goat Band’s standing gig every third Monday at The Lobby Bar. Or this riverside Jazz in the Park series, free to attend and timed in concurrence with the first whiffs of sub-70s temps in Central Arkansas. Pianist Clyde Pound’s combo Anything That Moves opens the month of concerts Sept. 4; Pine Bluff’s gospel-rooted On Call Band performs Sept. 11; flautist/saxophonist/vocalist Tonya Leeks performs Sept. 18; and trumpeter/ bandleader Rodney Block closes out the series Sept. 25. Bring lawn chairs, picnic blankets and some cash to buy beer, wine, soda or water, sales of which benefit the Art Porter Music Education Inc.’s scholarship fund. (No coolers allowed.) The closest entry point to the History Pavilion is from Ottenheimer Plaza behind the River Market, just off of President Clinton Avenue. SS

MOTHERSHIP

THURSDAY 9/19. 8:30 P.M. STICKYZ ROCK ’N’ ROLL CHICKEN SHACK. $10-$12. You’d likely not be blamed if, upon reading Mothership’s bio, you were inclined to roll your eyes a little. Band bios are, after all, the terrain of puffery, and the Dallas trio’s claim that they have come to impart “a real sense of hope that all is well in the universe, and that pure honest rock and roll has once again returned to this planet on a mission to unite true believers” is, to say the least, ambitious. As for my eyes, though, they will not roll a millimeter, because I saw Mothership play on Valentine’s Day at the White Water Tavern in 2017 and I believed every word. Vastly more impactful in a live setting than they are through the headphones, Mothership is a clean machine, greased liberally with reverence for fellow Texans ZZ Top and fueled by the sort of subcellular telekinesis that you get when two brothers form a rock ’n’ roll outfit. See stickyz.com/events for tickets. SS

MULEHEAD 20TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW SATURDAY 9/21. 9 P.M. WHITE WATER TAVERN.

If what we called “alt country” in the 1990s had all sounded like Mulehead, maybe I’d have listened to a little more of it. Twenty years in, “Pilate” is still a bop of biblical proportions, “Cheap Red Wine” is still a rhyme scheme for the barroom and “Out Here in the Pines” is still heavy as hell. The band’s debut album, “The Gospel Accordion II,” was tracked in a scant five days, guitarist David Raymond said on the band’s Facebook page earlier this year. “It was fast and furious, just the way we liked it. … For the first time in years, I played this album straight through on a road trip to Alabama. It stands up well to the tests of time. It is a raucous, poignant and touching, honest, humorous, definitely not sober, brazen, ass-kicker album. I’m still very proud of it.” This month, the ever-wry frontman Kevin Kerby takes his long-standing quartet to the stage at White Water Tavern to celebrate those two decades of playing together, and to perform “The Gospel Accordion II” in its entirety, joined on the bill by Denton rockers and Holiday Hangout staples Slobberbone. SS


LARA DOWNES

INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM COURTESY OF CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Painter Georgia O’Keeffe once wrote that she wanted “music that makes holes in the sky.” Sacramento-based pianist Lara Downes named her album after the quote, and perhaps that is all you need to know to understand how fitting it is that Downes should play in an art museum with O’Keeffe’s original work on its walls. Downes’ “Holes in the Sky” — the name of this particular installment of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s Van Cliburn Series — pays homage to women as performers and composers, championing under-heralded names like Clara Schumann, Paola Prestini and Georgia Stitt. “I’m not undoing wrongs,” Downes told the San Francisco Classical Voice earlier this year. “It’s a celebration of the potential that people have. Black women writing music in the 1930s — it wasn’t easy, but still they did it. That creative, powerful urge, that’s the most inspiring thing about being human. In this project, it’s women who just stepped out of their constraints and did something because they needed to do it.” Mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran appears on the record as a guest artist alongside the likes of Rhiannon Giddens, Judy Collins and Rachel Barton Pine, and Moran joins Downes for this Sunday afternoon program in the museum’s Great Hall, interpreting selections from “Holes in the Sky” with harpist Bridget Kibbey. See crystalbridges.org/calendar to register your attendance, and note that Downes gives a free gallery talk on O’Keeffe’s work at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14. SS

BRIAN CHILSON

LARA DOWNES BY JIYANG CHEN

SUNDAY 9/15. 3 P.M. CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, BENTONVILLE. $45.

ARKANSAS TIMES: RIBS & BUTTS

SATURDAY 10/5. 1-5 P.M. FLYWAY BREWING, 314 MAPLE ST., NORTH LITTLE ROCK. $15. Time does wonderful things to pork, and it’s done wonderful things for Arkansas Times’ annual Whole Hog Roast, too — now matured into a block party that celebrates the best parts of the pig. R&B (“Ribs & Butts” with “Rhythm & Blues”) sets up shop at Flyway Brewing in the Argenta Arts District, with brews and street corn from Flyway, a performance from neo-soul chanteuse Genine LaTrice Perez and her nimble ensemble Lagniappe, and funkified tunes from the best Afrobeat/ funk musicians in town, Funkanites. Pork ribs, Boston Butts and a host of side items come from 10-plus teams in the cook-off: Ahh Townley, Argenta United Methodist Church, B² Que, Big Sexy BBQ, Chicken Butts BBQ, Crush Wine Bar, Four Quarter Bar, Here for the Beer, Moseby’s Kitchen, Southern Gentleman Catering and Swineology. Proceeds benefit the Argenta Arts District. Sponsors are Orion Federal Credit Union, Edwards Food Giant and Collins, Collins & Ray, P.A. It’s not too late for an 11th-hour team entry; email Chris Kent at ckent@argentadc.org to throw your name — and your butt — into the hat. Get tickets at centralarkansastickets.com.

‘INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM’ THROUGH OCT. 2. CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF ART, BENTONVILLE.

Yayoi Kusama, the famed red-wigged Japanese artist whose work you’re as likely to see in Selfridges in London or the MoMA gift shop in New York as a museum, is passionate about dots. You’ll see them in her art installations, clothing, paintings, purses and other accessories. You’ll also see them in the “Infinity Mirrored Room — My Heart is Dancing into the Universe” at Crystal Bridges, in the contemporary art gallery. To enter the room in September, you’ll have to be a member of the museum; nonmembers may enter Oct. 2. Visits to the mirror-filled room, filled with dotted paper lanterns that change color and appear to be in infinite space, are limited to one minute. Maybe that’s to keep the visitor from passing out, or perhaps only one person at a time can visit the room; the Crystal Bridges literature is vague on that point. The museum has acquired the work; it also owns another work by Kusama, “Flowers that Bloom Now,” a painted stainless steel sculpture of a large polka-dotted daisy. LNP ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 19


the TO-DO list

REV. SEKOU

THURSDAY 9/26. 8 P.M. SOUTH ON MAIN. $28$36. The formal introduction that opens Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou’s Tiny Desk Concert for NPR goes as follows: “My name is Rev. Sekou and these are the Seal Breakers. Now they from Brooklyn, but I was raised in a little old place called Zent, Arkansas, that’s got about 11 houses and 35 people, and they’ll work from can’tsee morning to can’t-see night and then they’d make their way to the juke joint. And then early Sunday morning they’d make their way to the church house.” The 20-minute set covers all that and then some, with the diminutive reverend at the center — shouting, wailing, pleading and preaching over a muted trumpet, his background singers repeating “Say my name” as he sings responsively “Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, India Clarke … .” Rev. Sekou is the next in Oxford American’s “Archetypes & Troubadours” series (see oxfordamerican.org/events for tickets and details), and he comes to the stage with some formidable experiences. He’s put out a debut solo album produced by the North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson and a Lebanon-set documentary film called “Exiles in the Promised Land.” He’s been engaged in (and arrested for) acts of nonviolent civil disobedience in Ferguson, Mo., and Charlottesville, N.C. He’s served as a delegate to the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia in 2010. Asked about his leadership by Yes Magazine, though, he demurred, saying: “I am not a leader in this movement; I am a follower. I take my orders from 23-year-old queer women. … The leadership that is emerging are the folks who have been in the street, who have been teargassed. … It’s a revolutionary aesthetic. It’s black women, queer women, single mothers, poor black boys with records, kids with tattoos on their faces who sag their pants.” Hallelujah and amen to that. SS

SPA-CON

FRIDAY 9/20-SUNDAY 9/22. HOT SPRINGS CONVENTION CENTER. $10-$125. If you’ve ever longed to sip the finest glass of beer in Arkansas (it’s the “Beez Kneez” honey basil Kolsch at Superior Bathhouse Brewery, FYI) as a gang of giant robots wanders by, here’s your chance, because the people watching in Hot Springs — seemingly already at its peak quotient of quirk — is about to get off-the-charts nerdy. For this year’s Spa-Con, guests include actor Barry Bostwick, who played Brad Majors in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975), and who joins Spa-Con for a screening of the film; actor Michelle Harrison (of The CW’s “The Flash”); Cybertronic Spree, a rock outfit that dons flawless Transformers costumes and plays hits from video games, film and anime tunes (also, not incongruously, Zeppelin); illustrators Pat Moriarity, Walden Wong, Sam de la Rosa, Chad Maupin, Nikki Dawes, Stacy Bates, Gustav Carlson, Timothy Lim, Kody Sandwich and others; cosplayers Akakioga, Utahime, Legendary Rose, Arkansas Iron Man, Gregory Harris and an uncannily Nimoy-esque Spock impersonator named Spock Vegas; and Thomas DePetrillo of Extreme Costumes and his giant robots Bumblebee, Hulkbuster and Reinhardt. There’s a Star Wars-inspired Imperial March featuring the storm troopers of the 501st Legion Diamond Garrison, a Tinker Studio from the Mid-America Science Museum, a laser tag arena, a Smash Bros. video game tournament, a cosplay contest and a Spa-Con 2K and 5K Fun Run that kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning in front of the Hot Springs Convention Center. See spa-con.org for tickets and a full schedule. SS

20 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

“BREAK GLASS: A CONVERSATION TO END HATE” SEPT. 27-DEC. 31. DELTA CULTURAL CENTER, HELENA-WEST HELENA.

Little Rock artist V.L. Cox’s evolving “End Hate” sculpture project that addresses racism and LGBTQ animus has traveled from Little Rock to Virginia, Washington, D.C., New York and Montgomery, Ala. It returns to Arkansas with new works in an exhibition opening a couple of days before the dedication of the Elaine Massacre Memorial in Helena-West Helena on Sept. 29. “Break Glass” takes its name from one of the pieces in the show, a glass case enclosing a child’s tin-can telephone to be used “in case of emergency,” reminding us to learn to talk to one another again.” The Delta Cultural Center has also commissioned two works: One, “1904,” a bas relief on canvas of an emaciated man surrounded by bullet holes, mourns the slaughter of 13 black males by a white mob in St. Charles (Arkansas County). The other, “Moore v. Dempsey,” a courtroom chair modified with sculptured hands, commemorates the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling that helped free black men on death row after the 1919 massacre. The works, curator Drew Ulrich said, “compel viewers to confront the divisive racial antagonism of our past.” A reception will be held at 4 p.m. Sept. 27. Other works in the show include “Whitewash,” a concertina-wire-wrapped, whitewashed wooden gate painted with the rebel flag and drilled with holes to resemble Klan robes, and “Soles,” an 1896 wooden church dormer and a pair of shoes, the shoes a reference to the way her great-grandfather could identify his Klan-robed attacker. LNP


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the TO-DO list

GINA CHAVEZ BY LISA DONATO, COURTESY OF ACANSA

New works by Robin Hazard, Keith Runkle, and Gayle Batson

By STEPHANIE SMITTLE

ACANSA ARTS FESTIVAL FRIDAY 9/13-SATURDAY 9/28.

VARIOUS LOCATIONS, LITTLE ROCK AND NORTH LITTLE ROCK.

Robin Hazard “Blubonnets for Mary” oil on canvas

Keith Runkle

“When a Picket Fence becomes a Border Wall” oil on linen

It seems a little odd that an Italian-born classical composer could be a cultural touchstone of Summer 2019 here in Central Arkansas, but here we are, with Gian Carlo Menotti’s radio opera having hit Opera in the Rock’s stage in August and the Spoleto Festival Menotti founded in Charleston, S.C., in 1977 having spawned a Little Rock offshoot called ACANSA Arts Festival of the South. Charlotte Gadberry, recipient of the 2018 Arkansas Arts Council Governor’s Arts Award, attended Spoleto in 2012, and returned to Arkansas with a determination to bring an immersive, multi-day, multi-venue arts fest back home. Six years in, ACANSA is doing just that, with Argenta cultural planners Dillon Hupp and John Gaudin at the helm. Here are some highlights of this year’s festival, and don’t miss the full lineup at acansa.org.

ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: JOANN FALLETTA, TIME FOR THREE SATURDAY 9/28-SUNDAY 9/29. 7:30 P.M. SAT., 3 P.M. SUN. ROBINSON CENTER PERFORMANCE HALL. $10-$70.

Gayle Batson fired clay vessel

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ARKANSAS TIMES

With the music of undersung queen Florence Price and a visit from Broadway goddess Heather Headley on ASO’s horizon, it’s difficult to say this will be the most exciting concert on our local Orchestra’s season. But with a bill that features hot shot conductor JoAnn Falletta and a string trio that interprets the likes of Bon Iver and Britney Spears, it’s also hard to argue otherwise. Even better, Falletta’s conducting some of the juiciest, alluring pieces of music orchestras can offer up: Time for Three takes on Jennifer Higdon’s Appalachia-inspired “Concerto 4-3,” and the ASO interprets Ravel’s “La Valse” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s swelling, swooning “Scherazade.” And, with the ASO in an interim year between Philip Mann’s tenure and the search for a new conductor, Falletta’s visit is your chance to

hear an ASO-in-transition, flexing their most cinematic of muscles.

GINA CHAVEZ

SATURDAY 9/14. 8 P.M. THE RAIL YARD. $30. If your life is going swimmingly enough that you’re in no need of magic imparted by an impish Catholic lesbian from Austin crooning bilingual strains, good on you. As for the rest of us, Gina Chavez’ set at The Rail Yard will undoubtedly serve as both balm and delight. Chavez has won 10 Austin Music Awards and she’s used that platform to start up a college fund for Spanish-speaking girls in a gang-dominated suburb in El Salvador, an experience she wrote about in her 2014 anthem “Siete-D.”

BODY TRAFFIC

SATURDAY 9/21. 8 P.M. UA PULASKI TECHNICAL COLLEGE, CENTER FOR THE HUMANITIES AND ARTS. $40. Perhaps one of ACANSA’s foremost strengths is its dedication to bringing a riveting contemporary dance ensemble our way every year. This year, that group is BODYTRAFFIC, a nimble Los Angeles ensemble that blends human geometry with clever costumery, taking on not only classical contemporary ballet but the Lindy hop, hip-hop and everything between.

JESSICA B. HARRIS

THURSDAY 9/26. 7 P.M. THE JOINT THEATER & COFFEEHOUSE. $35. Thoughtful food and thoughtful dialogue have long trod hand in hand, and Jessica B. Harris’ work sits at the intersection between the two. Harris’ 2017 memoir “My Soul Looks Back” delves into her relationships with bright lights like Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Nina Simone and James Baldwin in Harlem during the ’70s, and her 12 cookbooks


WARDROBE READY? WALK IN TO WICKS.

deconstruct and document the foodways of the African diaspora through recipes.

HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN

FRIDAY 9/13. 8 P.M., CALS RON ROBINSON THEATER. $25. Western swing begs convincingly for a couple things: dancing and showing off. Hot Club of Cowtown — an Austin-based trio with fiddler/vocalist Elana James, guitarist/ vocalist Whit James and vocalist/bassist Jake Erwin in its employ — traffic in a sort of hot jazz hoedown idiom. It’s gypsy jazz fit for a barn dance, but hey, Ron Robinson probably has less straw dust and better acoustics.

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DALLAS STRING QUARTET

FRIDAY 9/27. 8 P.M. PULASKI TECHNICAL COLLEGE, CENTER FOR THE HUMANITIES AND ARTS. $40. Should you equate string quartets with cufflinks and stiff conversation over canapes, allow the Dallas String Quartet to disabuse you of that notion. Full drum kits, electric violins, nose rings and covers of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” have made frequent cameos in DSQ’s sets — and maybe even more impressively, they seem to do it without any appearance of publicist-manufactured wackiness, even as violinist Melissa Priller swings her violin recklessly around her head during a break in “Despacito.”

TATIANA ROITMAN MANN

THURSDAY 9/26. 7 P.M. NEW DEAL SALON (2003 S. LOUISIANA ST.). $30. To be sure, Tatiana Roitman Mann is an absolutely fierce pianist and an inventive collaborator, but it’s her penchant for unearthing less-appreciated gems of classical repertoire that’s built a following at this tucked-away performance space on South Louisiana. Mann and friends’ concerts there have felt a little like an underground supper club — ephemeral and consistently golden, experienced only by as many people as could fit into the intimate room. So, when a concert at the New Deal Salon involves Mann, her Arkansas colleagues and promises “unusual repertoire,” expect to feel like you’re being let in on a terrifically juicy secret.

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NEWS & POLITICS

TED SUHL: Huckabee’s friend gets a commutation from Trump.

Showing Crooks God’s Love FORMER BRO. GOV. HUCKABEE LENDS A HELPING HAND.

I

BY ERNEST DUMAS PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN CHILSON

f you are among the many Arkansans who weep over the occasionally stern treatment of white-collar crooks, July 29 had to be a heartwarming day. President Trump on that day slashed the prison sentence of Ted Suhl, who had bribed an Arkansas government official through the man’s church in exchange for the official’s sending millions of your tax dollars to Suhl’s facilities for misbehaving kids. Former Gov. and Rev. Mike Huckabee, a Trump supporter along with his daughter, Sarah, and Bud Cummins, a former Republican U.S. attorney who ran Trump’s campaign in Arkansas in 2016, asked the president to show the godly man some mercy and free him from the bitter regimen of prison. Suhl’s bribes had persuaded the state official to put troubled kids in a remote facility near Warm Springs at the Missouri border in Randolph County that Suhl named The Lord’s Ranch, where with the help of Medicaid dollars the boys were exorcised of their demons by a mixture of prayer and the rod, espe-

Jesus surely would have approved of Trump’s mercy and Huckabee’s intercession.

cially the rod. Jesus would surely have approved of Trump’s mercy and Huckabee’s intercession. On the same day, the prosecutor at Hot Springs worked out a deal with state Rep. Mickey Gates (R-Hot Springs) for Gates to plead no contest to refusing to pay any state income taxes for much of his adult life. When he was charged last year, Gates had not filed a state tax return since at least 2003, according to state revenue records, but that made no difference to voters in his district, because they re-elected the Republican in a landslide after he was charged with multiple felony counts and offered no rational explanation for his crimes. Billboards in Gates’ district last fall carried Rev. Huckabee’s plea to re-elect his God-fearing Republican friend in spite of his obvious tax frauds. The prosecutor worked out a deal last month for Gates to avoid a trial by pleading nolo contendere to a couple of counts so that, as a first offender, the official record would not show that he was a convicted felon. He will need to pay a ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 25


SEPT E M BE R 1 3 t h - 2 8 t h T I C K E T S AT AC AN SA. OR G L i t t l e R o c k // N ort h Lit t l e ROc k

The Sixth Annual ACANSA Arts Festival of the South spans three weeks of dynamic arts and cultural events in venues across Little Rock and North Little Rock. Collaborating with international, regional and Arkansas artists, ACANSA provides world-class music, dance, theatre, culinary and visual arts. From Swing and Strings to Stand-up and the Silver Screen, ACANSA has the ideal festival lineup to make your September spectacular!

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ARKANSAS TIMES

TAX CHEAT: State Rep. Mickey Gates, off the hook for years of nonpayment of state taxes.

small part of the roughly $260,000 that tax auditors could determine that he owed. That way, he can remain a state representative in spite of a constitutional prohibition of felons serving in the legislature and continue to spend your tax dollars, as God and people in his district obviously want him to do. On the same day, up the road in Sebastian County, it was reported that former state Sen. Jake Files, who had entered federal prison a year ago after getting caught in one too many schemes to attach your tax dollars for his own use, asked a federal judge to free him from prison in Oklahoma and let him serve the rest of his sentence at home in Fort Smith. Files, a Republican leader in the legislature, told the judge that he had been leading worship services in the prison, had read books and gotten a certificate as a master gardener. God’s plan clearly is for him to go home and continue his good deeds there. The judge was unconvinced, and said no. It is not known whether Huckabee or his daughter also interceded with Donald Trump for Jake Files. Maybe later. But the line of Republican pleaders may be getting too long for Rev. Huckabee to undertake much more intercession with Republican powers, either in Washington or Little Rock. When it was just the good Republican Judge Mike Maggio facing a 10-year federal sentence for accepting a bribe to reduce a judgment against a nursing-home magnate or Gilbert Baker, the former state senator, Republican chairman and Huckabee friend who is charged with arranging Maggio’s bribe, the public could write such deeds off as a preacher’s penchant for mercy. But Republican politicians who need

the blessings of their political pastor and Republican chief executives to escape years in prison are lining up in platoons. The federal investigation of the General Improvement Fund (GIF) scam, where legislators channeled state and federal tax dollars to favored local projects, has now made felons of a half dozen lawmakers and assorted lobbyists and fixers, mostly linked by party. Two of a dozen Republican legislators who channeled some $750,000 of your taxes to a tiny Bible college at Elm Springs were convicted of collecting kickbacks from the college president, who has now gone to prison, too, and needs the intercession of men like Brother Huckabee and Trump. After the election next year, might Huckabee and Trump also come to the rescue of all of the faithful Republicans who are going to prison, including former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, who is headed to the pen for scamming the governments that we despise so much? Ted Suhl, of course, enjoyed a special place in Huckabee’s heart that none of the others do. You may not recall Suhl’s past. He came to Arkansas with his father, Bud, who had served some time behind bars in California, along with Ted’s grandmother. Bud and his mama lived in grand style in the ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles until the early ’60s, when they were convicted of running fraudulent money-order businesses. Then they were indicted for a check-kiting scheme that brought down a little bank they owned in the coastal resort of Mendocino north of San Francisco. Bud and his precocious son Ted found their way to Arkansas, discovered religion and set


up homes for troubled or delinquent children, who qualified for federal-state Medicaid assistance, first from Illinois and another state or two and, finally, Arkansas. Ted also discovered Mike Huckabee, the rising star of Arkansas politics in the 1990s. He invested in Huckabee’s campaigns and put his two airplanes at Huckabee’s disposal when the governor needed to go to political events around the country to raise his national profile. Huckabee appointed Suhl to the state Child Care Review Board, which regulated places like The Lord’s Ranch. Another governor might have recognized a conflict of interest, but not Huckabee. At Suhl’s trial in 2016, the go-between who set up the bribes to a state Medicaid official testified that Suhl asked him to approach Gov. Mike Beebe about putting Suhl back on the state child-care board. Beebe refused. It might seem strange to some that an electorate like Garland County’s would send a man accused of massive fraud and who didn’t bother to deny the particulars back to the legislature with a resounding mandate. But cheating the government is about as popular in many quarters as denouncing government as the enemy of the people. One aspect of Trump’s still marginal popularity is that he boasted about finding ways to avoid paying taxes, claiming that he was just smarter than others. His refusal to allow the general public, lawmakers, or prosecutors to see a single one of his tax returns is popular with his base, which, according to polls, still includes most Arkansans. Cheating the government is no big deal, even if the government is all of us. The cascade of official corruption in Arkansas, unmasked the past five years by the Maggio prosecution and then by the federal investigation of the GIF scams in North Arkansas, far exceeds anything in the modern history of the state. But there is little evidence of public disquiet about it all. Gates was not an outlier by insisting on keeping his office and winning an endorsement by people who thought he was a good old boy who stood up to the government. Former senators like Jon Woods and Jake Files who were elected as family-values Republicans might have won an endorsement, too, but federal prosecutors were not as compliant as a friendly local prosecutor, or perhaps not as attuned to heavenly messaging. There is still time for them to renew the bonds with Rev. Huckabee. ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 27


LAST WORDS

Dr. Richard Owings on antidepressants, psychedelics, drug reps, ketamine, psychotherapy and medical marijuana.

D

r. Richard Owings, MD, PhD – longtime stalwart among Arkansas mental health providers – has never pulled any punches. So when he announced he is stepping into retirement after a 35 year career we wanted to get his professional last words and testament. Thanks to Bridgeway hospital where he served as medical director during the past 21 years.

Arkansas Times: Have treatments changed during your career? Serotonergic antidepressants (SSRIs) – Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc. – were revolutionary when they were introduced 30 years ago, both in clinical effect and in changing popular attitudes. Prior to SSRIs, I prescribed effective antidepressants like Elavil and Tofranil, but they had difficult side effects. Ironically, they were also fatal in overdose, so I was prescribing depressed suicidal people a drug that the Hemlock Society recommended as an agent for suicide. SSRIs changed that. They were effective and tolerable and safe in overdose. However, about 40% of severely clinically depressed people didn’t respond well to SSRIs .

keted as Spravato, as a treatment for depression. The trouble is that it’s also been priced out of the reach for most patients. A month’s supply of Spravato is over $5000 compared to $65 for generic ketamine. There is no evidence Spravato is any better than cheap ordinary ketamine. Arkansas Times: How can they sell a drug that’s 100 times more expensive and no more effective? It’s an embarrassment to me as a physician that we got this unexpected gift, and promptly some people rushed to monetize it–to take something that’s cheap and figure out a way to make it expensive. How can they sell it? Just like a lot of other costly pharmaceuticals. Legions of attractive personable drug reps fan out across the country

Arkansas Times: So what do you do then? Electro convulsive therapy. Arkansas Times: Do they still do that? Like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? “ Yes. We prescribe ECT in cases where we want people to get better. ECT is the most effective treatment that there is for severe clinical depression. Nowadays, we use anesthesia, so people don’t thrash around like in the movie. ECT has significant side effects – just like everything in medicine. The doctor and patient have to weigh trade-offs between risks and benefits. Arkansas Times: Anything new? Ketamine.

Dr. Richard Owings retires this month after practicing Psychiatry for 35 years in Central Arkansas.

Arkansas Times: Like Special K, the club drug? Ketamine has been around for 30 years as an anesthetic. Recently it’s been demonstrated to be remarkably successful in treating depression. Arkansas Times: Is there a version of ketamine for depression? Johnson & Johnson developed esketamine, mar28 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

to urge doctors to prescribe it. I don’t want to be hard on drug reps. They are doing their jobs. I want to be hard on doctors who base prescribing decisions on who brings them lunch and tells them they are smart, attractive, witty, etc. At base the problem is that money and special interests pervert medicine enormously and patients and the public pay an awful cost for this. The Pharma SPONSORED

push for exorbitantly priced Spravato is the tip of a huge iceberg. Arkansas Times: After decades of being skeptical of treatment with psychedelic drugs you changed your mind. Why? I thought psychedelic drugs were for intoxication and partying. Michael Pollan’s book“How to Change Your Mind” summarizes 50 years of research supporting psychiatric application of psychedelics. MDMA Molly is currently in FDA authorized clinical trials to treat PTSD. LSD may be an effective treatment for alcoholism. But psychedelics are only therapeutically effective in the hands of a skilled practitioner who seeks to create mental states in the patient that can be enlightening and therapeutic. Dropping acid at a party doesn’t cure anything. Arkansas Times: And medical marijuana? Medical marijuana is simply baloney. It’s just a cover story for getting legalized marijuana. As far as medical applications, it’s not risen above the level of folk medicine. I can make a much better case for legal marijuana than I can for medical marijuana. Arkansas Times: What about psychiatric hospitals? What are they good for? I spent a lot of my life working in psychiatric hospitals like Bridgeway. People don’t like being hospitalized because hospitals disrupt your life and they are expensive and authoritarian. There is no treatment psychiatry provides in a hospital that we can’t provide just as well as an outpatient, including ECT. What hospitals provide is a safe space for people who are in danger because of suicidality or psychosis or drug intoxication or withdrawal. Then they are lifesaving. People in crisis can be contained and kept safe while treatment is initiated. Arkansas Times: Do you have any other advice for young people coming into the mental health professions? Because I am a medical doctor I focus on physical treatments for mental illness. Let me put in a plug for psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is rife with nutty therapists and screwball ideas, but when it is done well by professionals with talent and training, it can provide enormous benefits.


Richard A. Owings, M.D., Ph.D.

Psychiatrist & Mental Health Advocate As a board-certified psychiatrist experienced in treating children, adolescents, and adults of all ages, Dr. Richard Owings retires with over 40 years of experience in providing quality psychiatry to Arkansans. In addition to providing compassionate care, Dr. Owings has explored new treatment modalities to include electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic therapy and ketamine. He has been providing electroconvulsive therapy at The BridgeWay since 1998. Richard Owings, M.D., Ph.D., is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the specialty of psychiatry. He earned his M.D. in 1984 from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and completed his residency in psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Harvard Medical School in 1988.

Farewell, Dr. Owings. Your legacy can be found in the hearts and minds of those you helped.

21 Bridgeway Road — North Little Rock, AR 72113 1-800-245-0011 | thebridgeway.com


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In 1974, Richard Nixon, not wanting to be removed from office by Congress for his role in the Watergate scandal, became the first U.S. president to resign the office. Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Batting for the Atlanta Braves, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run hit record with his 715th career home run. Muhammad Ali knocked George Foreman out in eight rounds in the Rumble in the Jungle in Kinshasa, Zaire. Barcodes hit the grocery stores. And, sadly, Alex Jones was born. Competing with this big news was the first issue of the Arkansas Times, which debuted as the Union Station Times. High school alums celebrate their 45th class anniversaries with reunions, why not us? We’re marking our sapphire year by looking outward, rather than inward, with stories that reflect the times. Here’s the way we were (the most popular song of 1974, by the way), the way we went and the way we are now, year by year. ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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THE 1970S: A NEWSPAPER IS BORN 1974

T

he Union Station Times, as the Arkansas Times was then known, was first published on Sept. 9, 1974, as a 32-page tabloid that came out every other week. At the time, “The Amorous Flea” was playing at the Arkansas Philharmonic & Theatre (the predecessor to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre); Judy Petty was running against 2nd District Congressman Wilbur Mills; the Terminal Hotel was selling plate lunches; the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had a gig at the University of Arkansas’s auditorium; and a Rising Tide saxophone player and Wine Cellar regular complained “there’s no good local music scene happening publicly here.” In its “Maiden Voyage” (in which a note from the staff said, “Advertising is welcomed and encouraged”), New York native Crescent Dragonwagon held forth on why she liked living in Eureka Springs: In Eureka Springs, there’s a wide variety of personalities, a strength in diversity with an underlying, no-need-to-say-it unity. The community, rich in a number of truly extraordinarily different elements — young professionals, hippie craftspeople, older retired people, natives, artists, religious fanatics. There seems to be a basic tolerance of others not found elsewhere. In accepting the inconsistent, uneven, compelling beauty of the terrain, perhaps we unconsciously learn to accept the uneven beauty of ourselves and each other. Accepting, mind you, does not mean peace-lovevegetable-gardens-brotherhood-and-you-can-crashat-my-place. In a town so small that you know everyone and their dog by name and astrological sign, you become acutely aware that there are people you just don’t like, and people who don’t like you. What’s new is being able, after saying, “I think he’s a neurotic, tight-assed, son-of-a-bitch,” to add, and truly feel, “but that’s okay, it truly is.” … The intimacies of this town are exasperating but delightful, constricting but freeing. Forget clandestine affairs, no such thing; go to a city where you want to be indiscriminate. In Eureka, if someone spends the night with you, expect their mail to start turning up in your mailbox: the postman saw, and recognized their car in your driveway. But expect, too, that your overdue notice from the library will have a little note on it from Mrs. Naff, the librarian: “How’s your garden coming, Crescent?” …

FROM THE ‘OFFBEAT’ COLUMN, JAN. 2, 1975 WORLD’S WORST The owner of a restaurant which claims to have the “world’s worst service” says business is great. Rich Younker, retired from the Air Force and proprietor of Grandpa’s Catfish House on Mission Road in North Little Rock, uses the billing as an advertising gimmick. The curious who see the sign on the outside of the restaurant, usually find themselves on the inside sooner or later, Younker says. “Besides, everybody else says they have the best.” And, while the service may be the worst, Younker claims the food is perfect. 32 SEPTEMBER 2019

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A NATURAL The famous mineral water of Hot Springs has been traveling in fast company. In a recent edition, Esquire magazine rated Mountain Valley Water, bottled in Hot Springs, as one of the three best waters in the world. Former President Nixon took cases of the Arkansas product with him wherever he traveled, and Secretariat, the racehorse, also drinks it.

MORE ON WILBUR A story by Marshall Frady in the New Times magazine says the tab on Wilbur Mills’ recent visits to the Silver Slipper to see Fanne Fox usually costs from $200 to $400 each.

FRADY WRITES: “On occasion, Mills would bring Polly along with him, she sitting still and vague and mostly mute amid the rowdy bawling ribaldry, mustering only an intermittent festiveness. ...”


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1974

1976 CRIME IS OLD NEWS

1975

The March 1976 issue (the Times was now published monthly) was devoted to crime. One article by Donna Watson asked, “How safe are you in Little Rock?â€? Last year, your chance of being murdered in the capital city was one in about 3,600; of being raped, one in 1,000; and of being robbed or assaulted, one in seven. Those figures are based on 19,091 Class I offenses committed in Little Rock during 1975, of which 39 were homicides and 137 were rape. In Arkansas, the crime rate ‌ increased 17.9 percent over 1974, a rise that was faster than either the national percentage of increase, 11 per cent, or the 13 per cent in the South. The Little Rock Metropolitan area ranks 25th in the nation in per capital crime, a ranking that criminologist Dr. Douglas Buffalo at the University of Arkansas this is “pretty high for a town our size.â€? ‌ Fear of crime and violence is affecting lifestyles and methods of doing business. People are buying guns to protect themselves and their property. Handgun sales are up as much as 20 per cent in Little Rock department stores ‌ . Women are learning judo to be able to defend themselves in case of attack. ‌ A downtown restaurant near the river plans to employ a doorman to park cars so customers will not have to walk to and from a parking lot.â€? Another article in the same issue, by David Glenn, asked “How safe are our schools?â€? METROPOLITAN HIGH: A girl cut the arm of another girl with a scissors as she got off the school bus. DUNBAR JUNIOR HIGH: A student set fire to Christmas decorations on a classroom door. BOOKER JUNIOR HIGH: A girl stabbed another girl in an argument, slightly injuring her.

1977

PARKVIEW HIGH: A student brought a pistol onto the bus and got into an argument with the driver when he told him to get off the bus. FOREST HEIGHTS JUNIOR HIGH: A student was suspended for carrying a knife into school.

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NUDITY IN THE TIMES

ARKIES R US

In the September 1997 issue, Southern author and Arkansas native Francis Irby Gwaltney opined on “What It Means to Be an Arkansan.” Quite a bit is required to be an Arkie. Birth in one of the seventy-five counties helps, although we do occasionally offer a quasi-honorary citizenship. Some pretend to be Arkies when they were actually born in such faraway places as Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, and — God help them — Texas. They’ve been here so long they can mutilate the English language so convincingly that it never occurs to anybody that the speaker should be asked the place of his nativity; therefore, there are people, free, walking the streets and looking in store windows, who know quite well they should be watched. … A redneck Arkie, for example, is a Democrat who consistently votes Republican; likes Barry Goldwater, Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan; hates George McGovern and William Fulbright, is beginning to become suspicious of Dale Bumpers and respects John McClellan “for what he is.” ... Our Western Arkies don’t know exactly what it’s all about. They sound like Oakies but almost all of them, these Arkies, have kinfolks in California, some of whom are beginning to drift back here because our rivers still run and our trees remain green and our factories rarely go on strike … . The most delightful Arkie is the hillbilly. Cunning, wary, friendly on his own terms, decidedly amused by anybody he meets beyond the next valley, he is also the most entirely independent man still functioning in the Western hemisphere. He doesn’t drink as much moonshine as lore would have you believe because he knows poison when he tastes it. He likes, instead, homebrew. …

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It’s a theme we’ve often returned to, for reasons not fully understood: Skinnydipping. In the June 6, 1978, issue, Ted Thompson wrote that “all over the state people are stepping illegally out of their clothes and unabashedly into the water. Yes, indeed, Arkansas is thawing out nicely”: As a sport, skinnydipping started a long time ago, back when people wore fig leaves for clothes. It is said that a number of English kings did it, some with more abandon than others, and President Johnson is supposed to have paddled nude in the White House pool. It has been popular down through the years because it has always felt so good. Of course, you don’t have to buff it to feel good in the water, but just try enjoying a shower in a pair of cutoffs or a long soak in the tub with your bathing suit on. Nowadays, skinnydipping in Arkansas has gained widespread popularity and is regarded by some as a real problem. The State Police may look at you twice if they catch you at it but they will also lock you up, and the Parks and Tourism people avoid the subject altogether in their literature, no doubt fearing the power of suggestion. As it was once explained to me, “We can’t have naked people lying around on our islands and shores, swimming and frolicking and volleyballing and who knows what else all over the place.” …

FOOT IN MOUTH

The June 1979 cover featured a picture of Little Rock Mayor Sandy Keith, who agreed to pose with a shoe in his mouth. He’d been named one of “101 Things We Can Do Without” for his comments on women, i.e., that the city’s incidence of rape was high because “We have prettier women,” and Little Rock “is not ready for a woman mayor.” Also on the unwanted list:

Reports on Amy Carter’s sex life. The Arkansas Legislature. The Athletic Dorm at Fayetteville. Canned Cokes. Chihuahuas in sweaters. Dry counties. Newspapers on the roof. Black shoes, white socks. Indiana State.


THE 1980S

1978

A DECEMBER LETTER TO THE EDITOR

1979

“Not Truthful” Today I received my September issue of the Arkansas Times. I am a regular reader and do enjoy finding it in my mailbox. However, your article “Pragmatic Pedagogy and the Polished Pick-up Trucks” is a disgrace to A.S.U. and is not truthful. … First of all, the picture was totally ridiculous. I never rode in a pick-up truck, especially not in the back, never wore baby blue anklets or straw hat. A.S.U. grads, write in and let the readers and especially future college students know the truth about A.S.U. It is neither a cow college nor a haven for pick-up trucks. Arkansas Times, in the future please send someone not so biased to do your interviews (and a little younger for college articles). Eugene Richard, did you ever graduate from high school or college? Where? 1950? Have you ever heard of frat parties, Roy’s or Memphis, Tennessee? That is where we spent our weekends. We were not packing our suitcases for a ride home in the back of a pick-up truck. Mary E. Dalton Dallas, Texas (You probably mistook my picture — in the September issue — for that of Bill Terry, the editor, who is just this side of being a senior citizen. I am the younger one who is asleep. As for ASU’s social scene, if things were so hot in Jonesboro, how come you spent your weekends in Memphis? — Eugene Richard.) Visual aesthetics I just completed perusing a September copy of the Times. I must say that since leaving Arkansas a year ago to continue my graduate work, I have failed to see a dozen of your past issues. I was impressed at the increase in professionalism exhibited by your magazine. And it was probably the photography that led to my analysis of a positive contrast … . Mark T. Rushing Morgantown, West Virginia

1980 ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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1981

1982

PAYDAYS

In its August 1981 issue, the Times published the earnings of a handful of public servants and private citizens. Among the results: CRAIG O’NEILL, DISC JOCKEY FOR KKYK, $19,500. A GENERAL SURGEON WHO ASKED NOT TO BE NAMED, $150,000$160,000 A YEAR. TOMMY ROBINSON, SHERIFF, $27,000. FRANK WHITE, GOVERNOR, $35,000. SONNY SIMPSON, POLICE CHIEF, $37,387. PATROLMAN BILL WILLIAMS, $16,100. WILLIAM BOWEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AND CEO OF COMMERCIAL NATIONAL BANK: $106,306. JERRY MAULDEN, PRESIDENT OF ARKANSAS POWER & LIGHT CO., $127,000. LOU HOLTZ, RAZORBACK FOOTBALL COACH, $55,804 SALARY. “According to a ‘special language section’ of the University of Arkansas Appropriation Act, an aggregate of up to $40,000 is authorized for additional payment to the coaches, the athletic director and the associate athletic director.” Plus “auxiliary income” generated from games. ALAN LEVERITT, PUBLISHER, ARKANSAS TIMES, $18,000, “including bonuses and commissions.” 36 SEPTEMBER 2019

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POT WAS HOT

Marijuana agriculture in Arkansas goes way back, as does the Arkansas Times’ pot coverage. Bill Terry provided this story, “The Arkansas Weed Industry,” in the April 1982 issue of the Times that year. The growing of marijuana in Arkansas is big That would place a value of $100 million on the business, so big that law enforcement agencies total Arkansas crop — a lot of money for what have a hard time policing it and so profitable is known as “Arkansas Krazo” (Ozark spelled that the potential for corruption is strong backwards) and “Razorbud.” … among county authorities who may be tempted Prying eyes are not appreciated, in any to look the other way, rather than crack down event. Take the case of Harold Lepel [above] on an operation, in return for a share of the of Jasper. Lepel, a biologist with the Game and profits. The money involved can be signifiFish Commission, had made it a practice on cant indeed. One former narcotics investigagovernment and his personal time to ferret tor in Arkansas who now works for the U.S. out marijuana operations in Newton County Justice Department estimates that a nine-acre and report them to the authorities. Such zeal marijuana operation can realize gross sales was soon assessed as a nuisance, and it wasn’t of $40 million a year. And, according to long before he was officially reprimanded, the Jim Beach, a captain in the State Police reason given by the Game and Fish Commisdrug enforcement division, “It’s a bigger sion being that he was “alienating” so many business than most people realize. Like people in the county — the guilty, of course, the ostrich with its head in the sand story, but also the innocent who resented his snooppeople pretend it doesn’t exist. But it does. ing forays onto their property.” … Last year we (in State Police) seized only Most of the marijuana harvested in Arkansas what I would estimate to be about 20 peris produced by small time operations and by cent of the total crop.” That figure, he says, farmers variously described by narcotics agents amounted to some $20 million in street value. as “zit-faced kids” or “aging hippies.” …


1983

CLINTON V. WHITE

In 1982, former Gov. Bill Clinton was battling Gov. Frank White to take back the seat he’d lost over Cubans and car tags. In our January 1983 issue, the Times ran an excerpt from part one of writer Mel White’s campaign journal, “The Rematch.” July 28: The MacArthur-Orsini murder case; Father FOU and the Jasper shootout; Israel’s invasion of Lebanon; IRA bombings; the space shuttle; the economy …. It’s tough for a political candidate to make it onto the front page of the evening news, and it must be hard on their egos. Politicians crave ink the way a junkie craves dope, and there just isn’t enough space to go around right now. Of course, it’s early yet, but the race between Gov. Frank White and his predecessor, Bill Clinton, should have started to heat up. Instead, just the other day, both men appeared together at a charity function saying nice things about each other. Such chumminess! When what we want is action, bitterness, maybe even rancor. …

A HOWLER

Also in the January 1983 issue, B.C. Hall offered up a story on Norris Church Mailer, the young Atkins native whose marriage to Norman Mailer was big news. But he started it with a story about Allen Ginsburg: “There’s no other taste in the world quite like a fried dill pickle,” Allen Ginsburg once remarked. This wasn’t a line in one of his Beat Generation poems. The Big Daddy of Howl was merely trying to pass along a little praise to the handful of half-listening regulars at the Loner Drive In in Atkins where he had stopped off as he was passing through Arkansas. Ginsburg might have launched into a hip little dithyramb then and there if the locals had paid him more mind. But the Loner has drawn so many notable people over the years with its fried dill pickles that Ginsburg didn’t make much of an impression. No more than if he’d been Winthrop Rockefeller or Buckminister Fuller or Norman Mailer. If he’d had Johnny Cash or Dolly Parton with him, the story might have been different, but then again maybe not. …

CLIP THIS ONE OUT

Within the July 1983 issue of the Arkansas Times was the special Summer/Fall Dining Issue, and within the dining issue was the story “The Recipes You Asked For.” What folks asked for: Escargots from Little Rock’s most upscale eatery, Jacques & Suzanne. Escargots Jacques & Suzanne Escargot Butter: 14 oz. unsalted butter ½ oz. Garlic, finely chopped ½ oz. Shallots, finely chopped 1 ½ oz. Parsley, finely chopped ½ piece Anchovy filet, finely chopped 1 piece Filbert, chopped 2 ½ tsp. Salt Pinch Pepper, white Pinch Cayenne pepper ¼ Lemon’s juice 1 tsp. Pernod (liquor) 2 tsp. Dry white wine For Service: ¾ cup Whipping cream 24 pieces Snails 1 ½ cups Dry white wine ½ cup Whipping cream Prepare all ingredients for escargot butter. Place garlic, shallots, parsley, anchovy filet and filbert in blender and blend thoroughly. Place butter and dry seasonings in mixing bowl and beat until butter is well incorporated with air. Add puree mixture from blender, lemon juice, Pernod and white wine and keep beating. Place snail butter in covered container and refrigerate for several days. Butter can be frozen if not for immediate use. For service, butter should be at room temperature. Heat 24 snails in dry white wine. Place the snails in escargot dishes. Reduce ¾ cup of whipping cream by half. Remove from heat, and when it is tepid, using a French whip, incorporate piece by piece 1 ½ cups of the soft (room temperature) butter. Fold in the ½ cup of whipped cream. Pour the prepared butter-cream mixture over the snails and glaze them quickly under the broiler until golden. Serve with crusty French bread. ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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1984

MUDBUGS FOR MONEY

The July 1984 issue of the Times reported on crawdad farms v. crawdads in the wild in Dee Dowell Wright’s “Stalking the Wild Crawdad”: “Farm bred, Grain Fed Arkansas Lobsters” says the bumper sticker on the pickup in front of you; or maybe “I Love My Mississippi Mud Bugs.” Both slogans are evidence of one of the newest agricultural developments in our area: the raising of crawfish (crawdads, crayfish) as a cash crop. There’s even an Arkansas Crawfish Producers Association to give legitimacy to the efforts. Raising crawfish for food, rather than for bait, is relatively new, but with Arkansas’ abundance of shallow water — rice fields, drainage ditches and old river lakes — we have always been well supplied with this fresh-water crustacean. Long before the rise of this latest agricultural crop, some of us were already well acquainted with the pleasures of crawdadding in the wilds. Our inspiration came in springtime drives through Louisiana, which revealed hundreds of folks wading in bayous and ditches setting out crawfish nets. If it can be done there, my friends and I thought, why not here? A trip to TG&Y in Shreveport to purchase nets put us in business. … The only bait needed is liver — preferably rotten. …

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR, MAY 1985

Ave Atque Vale I would like to cancel out now my subscription for Arkansas Times magazine. I plan to leave Arkansas as I am fed up with Bill Clinton and his laws also the Highway Dept. and Arkansas Power & Light. The schools have gone money crazy, all day and all night they plan for more money. I can’t remember how many times they have raised the mills in the past three years in Montgomery, Pike and Clark Counties and it’s up again now. You come in from the track, turn on TV for the evening six o’clock news, what do you get, school and Grand Gulf and highway news — all trying to rake and fool the consumer. … The Highway Dept. always going to do wonders with upgrading the highways but when they get extra money, they shut up and you hear no more. Where does the money go, everyone knows where. If they do any work, it’s overpasses or underpasses, loops or dips right in Little Rock. … R.W. Westcott Glenwood

1985 HUCKLEDY-BUCK

It seems a shame to excerpt, rather than run in full, Mike Trimble’s “Memoirs of a Miner” that was in the September 1985 issue of the Times. In fact, now that we think about it, we need to add it to the Times’ website. We’ll get around to it. Until then, here’s a taste: Only triumphs are replayed in dreams; the vanquished find solace in heavy, unremembering sleep. Most of us are doing pretty well, I guess. Salty Crowson is selling insurance and raising a short ton of kids over in Conway, and Jonesy is a college professor with a highly praised book under his belt. Satchelbutt Wilmoth married his high school sweetheart; ditto Bud Richards, who, last I heard, was running a very used car lot out on the highway and serving on the Bauxite School Board. I earn three squares a day just sitting in a chair, typing. I don’t hear much from the members of the 1960 Bauxite Miner football team — except for Salty, who handles my insurance and always calls around my birthday to remind me that I am one year closer to dying — but every year about this time I start thinking about them — Salty and Satchel and Bud and Rolleigh and Harold Selby and Dan Reed and the rest — and I wonder if they are still as embarrassed as I am at getting beat by Bryant. I don’t mean getting beat by Bryant last year, or even the year before; Bryant doesn’t even play Bauxite in football any more, having outgrown any semblance of athletic parity 38 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

with the Miners since becoming the landing field for Little Rock’s white flight about ten years ago. I mean getting beat by Bryant in 1960, the year that Rolleigh and Dan Reed and Bud Richards and Jimmy Birmingham and Bill Ramsey and Jonesy and Johnny Holland and Paul Mansfield and I were seniors. I am getting embarrassed right now, just thinking about it. My God! Bryant? Until 1960, Bryant had never beaten the Bauxite Miners. Ever! They had seldom even scored. Until 1960, the Bryant game was the annual laugher — always played at home because Bryant didn’t have its own field; always played against a hapless bunch of skinny, inept players whose

uniforms didn’t even match. I remember lining up as an eighth grader against a Bryant tight end who played in cowboy boots. We had started the 1960 season as the undefeated District 5-A champions. In 1959, the mighty Black and Gray had roared through the schedule like a turpentined kitty. We had rocked ’em, we had socked ’em. We had Kicked Butt. Now, only a few months later, it was ashes, all ashes. Sic transit gloria mundi! The Bryant Hornets had beaten the Bauxite Miners, and before the season was over, so had just about everybody else. The center had not held, and I was the center. Huckledy-buck. …


1986 PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG SOLDIER

In the February 1986 issue, the Times ran a story featuring the World War II drawings of George Fisher, the cartoonist who would later draw for the weekly newspaper version of the Times that originated in 1992. Along with the drawings, it had a brief bit on the artist. l“I enlisted in the Army with the understanding that I could finish school first,” Arkansas Gazette cartoonist George Fisher remembers, “but they called me up before I did. I always thought it rather selfish of the government to consider winning World War II more important than my finishing Beebe Junior College.” Fisher trained at Camp Roberts, California, and then hooked up with the Seventy-Sixth Division, which eventually was stationed in Bournemouth, England. It was there that Fisher, drawing cartoons for a regimental newspaper, looked up from his drawing board to meet the eyes of Rosemary Beryl Snook, a pretty English girl who would become his wife. ... Fisher’s 417th Regiment, code-named “Trigger,” crossed the channel into France and joined Allied forces in the Battle of the Bulge. Fisher was a sergeant in a 105-milimeter howitzer company. … Soldiers in combat do many things to take their minds off the horrors of war. Some write long letters home; some drink; some simply withdraw into themselves. George Fisher drew pictures, sometimes for Army newspapers, sometimes just for himself, in makeshift booklets that he made from typing paper and bound with a bent nail. His cartoons depicted the life of the common footsoldier, because that’s what Fisher was. …

1987 A GOOD LAW SNEAKS IN

The General Assembly passed the real estate transfer tax, an astonishing piece of progressive legislation. The “I Speak Arkansaw” column noted it in the July 1987 issue. Not long before the June special session of the Arkansas General Assembly, one legislator was quoted as saying that the House and Senate “did not accomplish a single thing” in the regular legislative session earlier this year. “It would have been better not to meet,” he added. In fact, though, one good thing did come out of a session that seemed preoccupied with special interests and embarrassing trivia. A determined group of environmenalists and preservationists managed to push through a bill that will have an immediate and lasting effect on the quality of life in Arkansas. The bill provides money

for the state, and for local governments, to create parks, nature preserves, and recreational facilities, and to develop and maintain existing parks. The money will come, naturally enough, from a tax increase — not an easy thing to get through the Arkansas legislature. Act 729 doubled a tax that most people don’t even know exists: the real estate transfer tax. … Northwest Arkansas residents will see this money put to use fairly soon, since one of the first projects to be funded will probably be the new Beaver Lake State Park. Parks and Tourism has owned land on the lake for

years, but hasn’t had the money (nearly three million dollars) to build roads, campsites, administration buildings, and everything else a state park needs. Another priority is Mississippi River State Park, a small, now-undeveloped area south of Osceola. … Kay Kelley Arnold, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, was one of the leaders behind the effort to get the funding bill passed. … Conservationists around the state made hundreds of phone calls to legislators in support of the bill, which was opposed by homebuilders, the Farm Bureau, and real estate interests. … ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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1988 REMEMBERING A HIT: ‘JELLY-BEHIND WOMAN’

If you spent any time downtown in 1988, you would have met up with Elton and Betty White, one of Little Rock’s most unusual couples. The Times took note of a couple of tapes they’d released in the “I Speak Arkansaw” feature in the October issue.

THE LITTLE RIVER LIGHTS

In 1988, the residents of Little River County were treated to nearly nightly sightings of UFOs. After a flying object hovering over a house in the Wallace settlement north of Foreman suddenly zoomed up a road in pursuit of a car, the Ashdown press put out the word, and, as Bob Lancaster wrote in the June issue that year, “A wire service picked up the story and seasoned it with a local-yokel quote from a deppity about spaceships a-suckin’ people up,” and an astronomer opined that folks were seeing “moonlight reflecting off the breasts of high-flying geese.” Lancaster, in the company of Bob Taaffe, a paper-mill executive, and Jim Williamson, the publisher of the Little River News, who’d made pictures of the objects, went to Little River County to glimpse a rectangular craft that had been seen gliding there. The hope of witnessing such a thing — rather than merely seeing some bashful, baffling lights — was what brought me to Hippo Hill, to scan the sky while slapping mosquitos the size of hummingbirds in the starlight. … An hour, two hours passed uneventfully in on Hippo Hill, and from our conversation I gathered that Taaffe and Williamson had never thought — had never seriously entertained the idea — that there was anything supernatural or otherworldly about the Little River County UFOs. … [The men had] kept their sense of humor about all this. … From our summit we could see the distant fuzzy blurs where the road hits the horizon, and Williamson explained that these were a cluster of just-across-the-state-line beer joints. Because many of the dancing lights had appeared in the sky that direction, he said, the wags had wasted no time in calling them the Bud Lights. ...

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1989 NED PERME INDEX

The February issue that year was mostly focused on Oaklawn, but another item found its way in: The fame game.

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THE 1990s

1990

BIKE PIONEER

More than 25 years before Arkansas’s HIA Velo made a big splash in the cycling world by making carbon-frame bicycles in the U.S., Brent Trimble was laboring away in his grandparent’s old dairy barn in Berryville. Trimble, the designer of the Kestrel 4000, the world’s first all-carbon composite bicycle, left California for Arkansas in 1988 to make frames using, as Trimble described, “kind of a new science.” His company’s location in Berryville has been ideal, Trimble says: everything costs less here than in California, and it was easy to find good employees … Trimble is purposefully vague about the future of his company. Carbon-fiber composites will take over in bicycles just as they already have in tennis rackets and skis, he says. Among Trimble’s high-end clients as reported by the Times in February 1990: Bruce Jenner, “the guy who produced ‘Miami Vice,’ ” and Robin Williams. ...

HOW ’BOUT THAT MUSTACHE?

Alternate title to the April 1990 cover story on longtime political columnist (and later editor of the Arkansas Times) John Brummett: “Or, How a Chubby Statehouse Reporter Became the State’s Best-Known TV Pundit.”

CONVENIENCE STORE DECADE

“The Eighties seem to me to have been, in Arkansas anyway, the time of the conqueror convenience store,” Bob Lancaster muses in his Endpapers column in February 1990. Pine trees conquered the countryside; convenience stores the crossroads settlements and small towns… . The places I mean have names like Road Runner, In and Out, Day and Night, Tummies ’n’ Tanks. Many have the perfectly appropriate word Quik in their names. And, in their pervading spirit of hurrying up everything, they often abbreviate the and down to ’n’. Quik ’n’ Easy. Or, better, Quik ’n’ EZ. ... The convenience store of Eighties Arkansas sells pump-ur-self gas, milk you’re always vaguely apprehensive about, bread that’s neither fresh nor stale, and just about anything else that somebody might get a hankering for in the wee hours or out of the blue. Sunglasses, flashlight batteries, bags of ice, vulgar bumper strips, Pepto-Bismol, bubblegum to turn your child’s mouth bright blue. Plastic-wrapped gray sandwiches that, heated in the on-premises microwave, assume a quality that requires you to allow them to disintegrate of their own accord as they squish unchewably around your grinders. ...

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“DULL WHITE MEN’S HISTORY MONTH”

TINKERING WITH DEATH

REVENUES FROM SWEATSHIRTS

The Times sold I speak Arkansas sweatshirts, modeled in the ad by Phyllis Britton, director of advertising.

“A real piece of cake to build” is how Fort Smith’s Jay Wiechert described the electric chairs he built for Arkansas and Georgia correction departments in a January 1990 interview with the Times. “Wiechert got into the electric chair business in 1978, after reading a newspaper article in which an Arkansas Correction Department official complained that the department couldn’t find a new electric chair,” Gary Smith reported. “ ‘I wrote him a letter telling him I’d build him an electric chair. Of course, I didn’t know anything about how to do it at the time.’ ” Some research at the University of Arkansas gave Wiechert the information he needed, or at least enough to submit a $9,260 bid for the construction and installation of one electric chair at the prison unit at Cummins. “ ‘I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about capital punishment,’ Wiechert said. ‘I just got into it because it sounded interesting, and I like to use the gray matter.’ ”

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1991

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NEW KIDS

Our January 1991 cover feature (left) previewed the coming legislative session, the first since 1957 without formidable Sen. Knox Nelson. The cover featured (from right, clockwise) freshmen legislators: former Michael Dukakis campaign co-ordinator and future U.S. Rep. Mike Ross of Prescott; law professor John Pagan of Little Rock; doctor, lawyer and future U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder of Little Rock; Jim Argue of Little Rock; and lawyer Bill Lewellen of Marianna.

COWBOY UP

“I can’t jump up on that stool anymore,” Jerry Jones told John Brummett for an October 1991 cover profile of the Rose City native who bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. Brummett explained: Not so many years ago, when he would join other hard-core Razorbacks for a night of drinking and fun, he would sometimes display the athletic prowess he had retained from the glory days: He’d stand flat-footed and jump to a standing position on a bar stool. It was pretty impressive. ...

RENAISSANCE MAN

“I got interested in taxidermy about three years ago,” Terry Chamberlin (left) of Roland told the Times in April 1991. “So I ordered some taxidermy books and supplies and thought I would try my hand at it. I started doing ducks and squirrels. An old domestic black cat was actually the first thing I ever did. It’s in there [on the refrigerator]. I thought, ‘Well, the first thing I tried wasn’t bad,’ so I pursued it. The first ribbon I ever won was for the first fish I ever entered in a contest. “I’ve been a door-to-door salesman for 20 years. I’ve sold fire alarms, vacuum cleaners, insurance, and massage therapy equipment. I sell lingerie to shops. However, I also try to work home calls, and the parties, and girls that work in men’s entertainment clubs. I sell to them because you go fishing where the fish are.” ...

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1992

YOUNG HUCK, SAME HUCK

For our Aug. 20, 1992, issue, John Brummett profiled a 36-year-old Mike Huckabee amid his ultimately failed bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers. “I, too, believe in a place called Hope,” Huckabee tells about 30 supporters at the Western Sizzlin’ in Monticello. “The difference between me and Bill Clinton is that I actually grew up in Hope.” Well, there are more differences than that. Clinton supports gay rights. Huckabee, who says he has counseled many people who came to him and thought they were homosexual, calls homosexuality “learned behavior.” He says he tells gay-leaning people the same thing he tells men who come to him for counseling about extra-marital sexual urges. “You’ve got to control yourself.” Clinton has emerged as the nation’s great hope for continued abortion rights. Huckabee, while decrying the ”sloganeering” that dominates the abortion debate on both sides and saying he opposes the tactics of Operation Rescue, says abortion is wrong and that Roe vs. Wade needs to be repealed because the U.S. Supreme Court contrived a right of privacy to protect it. Clinton advocates school health clinics that could distribute contraceptives. Huckabee likes to tell audiences that he longs for the old days. “When I was in school, they handed out Gideon Bibles; now nurses hand out contraceptives.” (In fact, only three schools out of hundreds in Arkansas distribute contraceptives.) Abstinence is the only real solution to teen pregnancy, he says. Huckabee says Clinton does not represent the Southern Baptist religion, though he disapproves of the independent Baptists from Texas who have demonstrated outside Clinton’s church, Immanuel Baptist in Little Rock. Those people shouldn’t mix religion and politics that way, he says. The way to mix religion and politics, he says, is his way: run on your value system and let the voters decide. Asked if he believes the Republican Party more properly represents Christian values than the Democratic Party, he says, “I have to be careful answering that,” but eventually answers it this way: “Yeah, I do.” ...

‘OFF THE RECORD? IT’S BIG. IT’S REALLY BIG’

Richard Martin captured the Election Night scene in Little Rock in our Nov. 5, 1992, issue: By Monday afternoon the excitement was well underway. Downtown Little Rock, with T-shirt hawkers, mobile pay phones, blaring music, roving packs of foreign journalists, and general good-natured bustle, seemed like a combination of the last day before Christmas, Mardi Gras and the State Fair. Downtown watering holes took on a New York City air, with the requisite celebrities and local wannabes. Tom Cruise was spotted in the Capital Hotel bar. A courthouse clerk was beside herself with excitement: She’d had her picture taken with movie star Richard Gere. His main squeeze, supermodel Cindy Crawford, snapped the photo for the star-struck young woman. Doe’s Eat Place, by now the nationally known power center for the Clinton inner circle, lived up to its billing. Proprietor George 46 SEPTEMBER 2019

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Eldridge, normally the coolest of hosts, was flustered by the backroom scene where a gang of Clinton’s Georgetown buddies partied with campaign honchos. When the Clinton officer corps — pollster Stan Greenberg, strategist James Carville and campaign manager David Wilhelm — entered Doe’s main room, a hush fell on the boisterous room. As election day dawned, Little Rock had become something of an international media capital. The carnival atmosphere increased as early exit polls boded a possible landslide: Vermont swing precincts going for Clinton-Gore. Bush staffers despondent. James Baker, the former miracle-worker, nowhere to be found. Early in the evening, the doors of the Capital Hotel were opened wide. Inside, the lobby had become a cafe. The undercurrents of celebrity rumor animated the crowd during the early hours of waiting. One onlooker swore that two days ago Stephen Stills was offering a full month’s rent for three days in a condo in Little Rock; he said Stills ended

up at the Riverfront Hilton. Richard Dreyfus had checked in at the Capital. Jackie O was supposedly spotted in the Capital lobby. … It was not a night for those who can’t stand crowds. … People wrapped in flags, people in Uncle Sam suits, people with Bozo heads, but no chicken suits. Street vendors did a good business, especially in hot coffee since the night was cold and rainy, and nobody seemed to mind much. Maybe the weather brought the crowd even closer together, just as the long wait to vote earlier in the day, about two hours at most precincts, seemed to promote a sense of we’re all in this together, and it’s kind of exciting, isn’t it. That’s how Clinton voters felt anyway, some of whom were busy getting their picture made with a life-size cardboard cutout of Clinton. … By 8 p.m. the electoral vote stood at 238 for Clinton and a paltry 33 for the beaten incumbent, and the famed Clinton War Room, the third floor of the old Gazette Building, had reached a state of delirious, relieved ecstasy. Carville, the Louisiana assassin, a gold


Sheriff’s badge glued to his forehead, behind his horseshoe desk and chanted “More! More! More!” Two staffers imitated the candidate by tossing a football across the crowded room. And Hunter S. Thompson, who looks to become a sort of drugged-out Boswell to Clinton’s Johnson, was scanning the celebration with a handheld video camera. “Early in this race, I saw chaos coming,” Thompson confided in his ravaged, FifthHorse-man-of-the-Apocalypse voice. “When I organized the Rolling Stone forum, I wasn’t enthusiastic about Clinton, but the more I saw of him, I saw he was a warrior and a winner.” And was it the Rolling Stone endorsement that did it for Saxophone Bill? “Oh yeah. We got a lot of people out to vote that don’t normally vote. And we got a lot shit about Tipper, but I didn’t care: It was time to win.” … On the street, it was Mardi Gras and Carnival and a hundred Arkansas festivals rolled into one. The night gave new meaning to the term “street theater.” In front of the Camelot Hotel,

a group called the Good Energy Troupe inflated a swaying, bulging blob dubbed “Bag-ODebt” while dancers identified as “The Face of Change” assaulted the billowing monster. Nearby, a man wearing a sad-sack face that looked remarkably like that of the defeated president strolled by wearing a sign that read: “Will work for food.” He asked if anyone had any gutters that needed cleaning. In front of the Excelsior, a nine-foot-tall Uncle Sam (on stilts) walked down the street, authoritatively clearing traffic so a wayward limousine could pass. … The overriding feeling was one of pride. “They’re going to know us after tonight,” a woman said. “They’re going to be moving to Arkansas.” In the warm, uncrowded Grand Ballroom of the Excelsior Hotel, Little Rock realtor Rett Tucker, balancing a barbecue sandwich and a drink, predicted a terrific future for Little Rock. “Already,” he said, AP&L’s parent company Entergy has plans to move six executives here from New Orleans.

“It’s a great day. I really can’t believe it,” he said. Skip Rutherford, former state Democratic chairman and a Clinton campaign worker, was pressed for exit-poll results. “Off the record? It’s big. It’s really big.” While the regulars partied upstairs, the VIPs gathered downstairs at Josephine’s restaurant, where the 70 or so six-figure Democratic donors and 1,100 biggest fundraisers were feted. Another floor down, the press had a close encounter with Clinton supporter Richard Dreyfus. “There’s a larger event going on here,” Dreyfus said. “It’s a mass movement. It’s bigger than Clinton.” The landslide victory, Dreyfus declared, signaled a new era for America. “The energy is just beginning.” Dreyfus’ comment was echoed all over downtown: “There will never be anything like it ever again.” “Arkansas will never be the same again. It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to Arkansas.” “The whole world is going to look at us in a different light.” ... ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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1993 ARKIE TAKEOVER

“WASHINGTON—Ever stood in a restroom line at a Razorback game at War Memorial stadium?” Max Brantley, writing from Washington, D.C., where he was covering the inauguration of Bill Clinton for the Jan. 21, 1993, issue. Make that a late-season game with the temperature in the 30s and the Hogs up by three or four touchdowns. The feeling is the same at all the key venues in the flag-bedecked nation’s capital, aswarm with an estimated 10,000 Arkies — and thousands more former Arkies — positively jubilant over the ascension of Hope-Hot Springs-Little Rock-and-Fayetteville favorite son Bill Clinton to the presidency. ...

SAY WHAT?

Dee White took a sound meter to Little Rock clubs to measure decibel levels in an Dec. 9, 1993, article entitled “Primal screams and the human ear.” The results: SMITTY’S: 95 decibels JUANITA’S: 110 decibels VINO’S: 108 decibels WHITE WATER TAVERN: 100 decibels Mark Abernathy, owner of Juanita’s at the time, said his venue’s contracts said bands could not exceed a 100.4 decibel level. “Unfortunately, a lot of sound engineers and musicians have already destroyed their hearing, so what is normal to them is loud to someone else,” he said. ...

TUCKER UNDERCOVER

1994

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Mara Leveritt, writing Oct. 4, 1994, exhumes a little known chapter in the life of then-Gov. Jim Guy Tucker: “In 1968, Tucker entered Cummins prison to begin serving a sentence for theft and burglary. Outfitted in prison whites, Tucker was assigned to a work detail in the kitchen, where he spent his days cleaning chickens. Tucker’s stint in prison has never been trumpeted by his political opponents, partly because it’s not been widely known, and partly because Tucker volunteered for it. Sentencing papers were drawn up as part of an undercover investigation overseen by Arkansas State Police.” Tucker’s friend and later lawyer John Haley, who was then a member of the Board of Correction, helped set the operation up. “Back then,” Haley told Leveritt, “we had maybe a hundred or so employees and maybe 3,000 inmates. And the records were kept by inmates and the inmates carried guns, and it was a very strange life down there. We had heard some rumors that the inmates who worked in the record room would, for a very substantial fee — thousands of dollars — forge new commitment records, so that anyone who was committed for a 20-year sentence could have his records altered to reflect a two-to three-year sentence and get out early. This was before computerization, so it was harder to confirm these things.” Tucker, a former Marine, entered Cummins shortly after returning from Vietnam. He went by the name James Gus Turner and his back story was “a three-time loser, a burglar and a second-story man,” Tucker’s press secretary Max Parker said. Tucker only stayed in prison a day or two when he was abruptly pulled out after Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller got wind of the operation, but Haley said Tucker’s observation helped clean up some of the corruption. Asked by Leveritt why he volunteered and what he learned, Tucker said, “I was young and thought I was immortal and you don’t want to go there.”


1995

1996

ENLIGHTENED ON DEATH ROW

VALENTINE HISTERICA

The poem above by Bob Lancaster ran in the Feb. 10, 1995, issue. Also included was this poem for then Razorback basketball coach Nolan Richardson: A big old box of valentine candy for our favorite coach, Who’s a real dandy. But do us one small favor, Nolan: Do less talking about the colon. Keep your press conference data logical, And try not to be so scatological. People will think you’re a whole lot sweeta If you just talk ball and not excreta.

In our Oct. 11, 1996, issue, in the immediate wake of the release and critical embrace of the documentary “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills,” Mara Leveritt, who in 2002 would publish “Devil’s Knot,” the definitive chronicle of the West Memphis Three, interviews Damien Echols on Death Row. “I’m pretty much ignored here now,” Echols told Leveritt. Nobody pays much attention to me. When I first came here, it was like having a purple monkey in the living room. You can’t help but notice it. But after time, you get so you don’t notice it. It’s just a purple monkey.” … He said he’s developed a deeper sense of what it means to be a pagan and that that brought him peace of mind. “I think I have a much more mature understanding,” he said. “I have found purpose in being on this earth. If I would have known that everything in my life had to happen to bring me to this point, I would gladly have gone through it, even if it means sitting here being innocent on Death Row.” Echols said that, while he doubts he’ll ever get used to being in prison, he has discovered a loveliness to life, which is something new to him. “I’ve always had this extremely self-destructive streak, which coming here has somehow made me overcome.” Asked if his behavior during the investigation of the murders and during his trial — especially that taunting the police — was what he would call self-destructive, Echols quickly replied, “Oh yes. I played with the cops’ minds. I deliberately led them after me, even knowing the consequences of it. Basically, I knew they were looking at me anyway, so I figured, if you haven’t done anything wrong, they can’t prove you’ve done anything wrong, so I might as well have some fun while they’re looking at me.” Now he considers that approach stupid and one of “extreme vanity.” “I knew it could blow up in my face,” he said, “but I was still getting off on it.” Asked why, he suggests, “I guess for the same reason that people dodge trains. It’s something to break the mundanity of their lives, something to give them some distraction.” ...

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1998

1997

THE ’90S WERE WEIRD SO CLOSE, WALLY HALL AND WILLIE OATES

Former Razorback and longtime radio personality David Bazzel and KATV anchor Joan Early were Times readers’ picks in our annual Best of Arkansas survey for Best Male and Female Sex Symbol, a category the Times poll no longer includes. Runners-up included Chris May, Bill Clinton, Kelley Bass, Wally Hall, Ned Perme, Anne Jansen, Dawn Scott, Leslie Basham, Willie Oates, Janet Huckabee and Tracy Douglas. Early’s son Ethan Strauss was a member of the Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team in 2019.

POLICING THE POLICE

In the wake of a controversial Little Rock police shooting and revelations that a white officer, fired for using the word “nigger,” had previously managed to hang onto his job despite racking up 19 complaints, including 12 that resulted in discipline and 31 days of suspension, Judith Gallman reported on increasing calls for a citizens review board in a May 2, 1997, cover package. But Jamie Johnson, Little Rock FOP president, tells her such boards are unnecessary and expensive. “This is life, this is reality, it’s not always fair. [This system] is working as well as any,” he said. In July, more than 20 years later, the Little Rock Board of Directors approved Mayor Frank Scott Jr.’s plan to create a citizens review board.

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Teenagers pretending to be vampires were part of a Sept. 18, 1998, survey on nightlife options for underage Little Rockers written by Little Rock native Mikael Wood, now pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times.

REMEMBER WHEN WE HAD HOCKEY?

“Arkansas’s newly minted hockey fans may not yet know a hat trick (three goals by one player in the same game) from a Hog call, but they know a good fight when they see one,” writes Michael Haddigan Oct. 30, 1998, on the Arkansas GlacierCats debut at Barton Coliseum. The team was squeezed out of the market after only two years after the Arkansas RiverBlades hockey team began playing at the newly opened Alltel Arena in 1999. It only lasted until 2003. “I don’t know anything about hockey. But I like the fights,” said a grinning Brandon Hogue, 13, of Hot Springs, who wore a Jason-like plastic hockey mask as he stocked up on eats during an intermission. ...

STARR ERA

Cartoonist George Fisher characterized the work of Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr in the Oct. 23, 1998, issue.


1999

MARS ASCENDANT

Tom Mars, with only a two-year stint as a policeman in Virginia on his resume, was a surprise pick by Gov. Mike Huckabee to head the State Police. But he came with other bona fides: He finished first in the Virginia police academy he attended; first in his University of Arkansas Law School class; and achieved the top score on the Arkansas Bar Exam in 1986. His law partner John C. Everett of Fayetteville sang his praises to Michael Haddigan for a July 9, 1999 profile: “He’s the best lawyer I know. He’s the most entertaining conversationalist I know. And he may be the smartest son of a bitch on the face of the earth. … When he goes into the bathroom in the morning, he doesn’t take Sports Illustrated. He takes the United States Code.” After leading the State Police, Mars worked as corporate counsel and in upper management for Walmart and, more recently, represented Houston Nutt in a lawsuit against Nutt’s former employer Ole Miss for disparaging Nutt (the former coach and the university settled). The suit also led to the ouster of Nutt’s successor, Hugh Freeze, after a public records request by Mars revealed that Freeze called an escort service number. Rex Horne, the former pastor of Immanuel Baptist in Little Rock, connected Mars and Nutt. Mars later became the go-to attorney for NCAA athletes in transfer eligibility cases. This summer, he was hired by the NCAA. If you can’t beat ’em, hire ’em.

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SEPTEMBER 2019 51


THE 2000s & BEYOND!

2000 HOME SWEET TRAILER

Leslie Newell Peacock takes a tour of the Arkansas Governor’s triple-wide in the Sept. 1, 2000, issue: Janet Huckabee swore she wasn’t on drugs. No, the reason for her euphoria, she told the assembled crowd last Wednesday, was that she was about to enter her new triple-wide manufactured home trucked in three weeks ago from Indiana. … It was the answer to the Huckabee’s dilemma of where to stay while the Governor’s Mansion is replumbed, rewired and remodeled. … It’s a comfortable home, 2,100 light-filled square feet filled with lump sofas in floral and plaid upholstery and faux country French armoires and tables. Gilded sconces are hung stair-step fashion in the front hall … . The governor has an office just big enough for a daybed and a desk; he’s decorated the latter with photos of his smiling hunter sons decked out in camouflauge and holding up carcasses. A print of Ronald Reagan hangs on the wall. Framed scripture from II Chronicles that promises God will heal the land of repentant sinners decorates the laundry room off the kitchen, and the first couple (sans children, now that their youngest child, Sarah, is off to college) has a shady porch off the master bedroom, complete with patio furniture. ...

2002

2001 LAND OF OPPORTUNITY

In our May 4, 2001, issue, Lisa Broadwater visits small town Danville, which had dramatically grown its population in the last decade, thanks to an influx of Latinos who came to work at chicken processing plants. “It takes time for people to adapt to change,” Wayne Farms’ William Abbott says. “But there’s an old saying, ‘The only constant in life is change.’ You can see that right here in Danville. It’s changing. And the majority of the people have accepted it. “There’s a few people that don’t. Fortunately, there hasn’t been any real bad situations in town with the Hispanics that would turn people against them. They’re just like you and I: They’re looking for a better life for their families. The majority of the folks we’ve got, if you ask them, ‘Why did you come to Danville, Arkansas?’ they’re just looking for a better way of life for their families.” ...

2003 GOOD FOR PEDICURES, TOO CHRISTMAS FAVE

Arkansas Times staffers shared their favorite Christmas memories and gifts in our Dec. 20, 2002 issue. This came from then-editor Max Brantley: My best childhood Christmas gift came from Santa, meaning it appeared unwrapped on Christmas morning. It was 1965… Laugh if you want. The present was a discus. I was so pleased, I took it to bed with me that night. I put it on the floor, in its canvas carrying bag, so I would see it when I awoke. So I could reach over and touch it. Thirty-seven years later, I still have it, though it rests these days in the garage. ... 52 SEPTEMBER 2019

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David Koon writes in the Oct. 10, 2003, issue about the origin story of the Russellville-made Microplane: Told around Grace Manufacturing with the same reverence as Mrs. O’Leary’s cow is mentioned in Chicago, the story is: In 1994, one of the stores selling Microplanes was Lee Valley Tools, a chain of Canadian hardware stores. One evening, Lorrain Lee, the wife of the owner of Lee Valley Tools, was trying to zest oranges for a cake. Fed up with the performance of her dull grater, she ventured to her husband’s woodworking shop, where she borrowed a rasp he had recently been bragging over. It worked incredibly well, zesting the orange rind into perfect, gossamer strands. Lee soon found that it worked equally well on everything from cheese to chocolate, was easy to clean, and was indestructible. The next time Lee Valley Tools issued a catalogue, the Microplane was featured with a double use: woodworking implement and kitchen gadget. ...


2004 VISIONS THAT WERE NOT TO BE

2007

“A series of recent property acquisitions on Main Street in downtown Little Rock can be traced to financier Warren Stephens, and sources close to the transactions confirm that they are part of a $100 million strategy to transform the neighborhood,” Warwick Sabin reported in the July 9, 2004, issue. One person familiar with the project said that Stephens is prepared to make a $100 million investment to create a theater and arts district that would have as its core a new home for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. This person, who did not want to be identified, said discussions were ongoing with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock about allowing the Theatre Arts and Dance Department to relocate to the current Rep complex, which is on Main between Sixth and Seventh Streets. Another focal point of development is the Center, an old movie house on Main Street between Fourth Street and Capitol Avenue that Stephens has begun renovating for use as a combination restaurant and theater. The Rep failed to get a grant from the Reynolds Foundation that would have allowed its move farther north on Main Street, and Stephens eventually razed the Center Theater. ...

2005

TAKING ON THE COASTAL ELITES BOOK BANNING

Laurie Taylor (later Laurie Masterson and now Laurie Lee) generated a boatload of controversy in her ultimately unsuccessful quest to get a list of more than 50 books removed or restricted from Fayetteville school libraries, Doug Smith reported in the Sept. 30, 2005, issue. Among the books on her list: Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and Judy Blume’s “Forever.” “Every one of those 54 books has multiple [offensive] passages,” she said in an interview. “I’m talking about a plethora of verbiage, most of it gutter language, on all sorts of sexual behavior, on bestiality, on incest, on homosexuality.” A student should not be reading such a book without the knowledge of his or her parents, she says. “Why would any conscientious adult have a problem with that? I’m having a hard time conceptualizing why anybody would object.” Lee used the controversy as a springboard into a career in politics, advocating, among other things, for the so-called school reform movement.

In the June 7, 2007, issue, Leslie Newell Peacock defended Alice Walton’s work-in-progress Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art from coastal critics. The museum opened Nov. 11, 2011, to rapturous critical acclaim: Just because billionaire Alice Walton was raised in the hills of Arkansas does not mean she is the wrong person to build a great museum of American art. Just because her museum will be located in Bentonville and not on either coast does not mean that Americans will be deprived of beloved historical paintings. Those who knitted their eyebrows at the news that a first class museum of American art would arise in the Ozarks might want to consider this: Bentonville has an airport. They can use it. New York art critics who beat their breasts over losing Arthur Durand’s Hudson Valley masterpiece “Kindred Spirits” to the boonies (one writer said Walton had “raided” the New York Public Library to get her hands on it) should take a look around at the art looted from abroad in their own museums. And those who criticize Alice Walton because the money she’s investing in art derives from her interest in the world’s biggest and often-criticized retailer should consider: How many fortunes that helped build the nation’s museums were made in a socially laudable way? Do they avoid the Whitney because of Mrs. Whitney’s mother-in-law’s ties to Standard Oil? (Should we shun the Arkansas Arts Center, once propped up by Winthrop and Jeannette Rockefeller, for the same reason?) … ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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SCENES FROM A DANCEFLOOR

Lindsey Millar, in the Oct. 16, 2008, issue, reports on a scene the Times has devoted cover attention to at least once a decade: late-night clubs. Here, he describes the scene at The Electric Cowboy off Interstate 30 in Southwest Little Rock: Everyone does “The Cha-Cha Slide.” On an August Friday this summer, I watched a trim middle-aged man, who, with a chinstrap beard, high-waisted pants and a black bow tie, looked like a recently fallen Amish, sprint to the dance floor when the opening bars of the songs blared across the club. At first, after finding his place in line, he stood almost rigid, save a gentle leg wag in time with the beat. As the bass deepened and DJ Casper gave a call for clapping, the man obliged. When the commands got more complicated — “slide to the left/slide to the right…/one hop this time/right foot, let’s stomp” — he followed along expertly, but perfunctorily, like he was doing a job that he’d done for years, but grown weary of. The song catches its breath three quarters of the way through with more clapping and a series of questions, posed as dares, “How low can you go? Can you down low? All the way to the floor?” Like limbo, there’s a tremendous potential for people to make asses out of themselves during this section. Liquid confidence inspires the too-drunks to forget their limber limits, and they go tottering over. And then there are the short-skirted. On this particular Friday, a woman in a mini, heard earlier loudly decrying thong underwear in the women’s bathroom, dropped low enough that everyone in sight respected her choice. ...

2008

2010 PREPPERS, STOCK YOUR WET BAR

POWELL RULES

Before he went on to win an Eisner Award for his acclaimed collaboration on the “March” trilogy with civil rights hero U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Little Rock native Nate Powell’s work popped up on the pages of the North Little Rock High School newspaper, on the covers for local cassette releases and here, on the cover of the Sept. 23, 2010, issue of the Arkansas Times. 54 SEPTEMBER 2019

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For our July, 22, 2010, issue, when craft beer upstarts were still outpaced in proliferation by rabbits and wisteria vines, Sam Eifling wrote about Diamond Bear Brewing. Diamond Bear was churning out suds from the little Rock side of the river in those days, and was one of only five such outfits in the state. In doing so, Eifling happened upon a bit of beer history that’s bound to come in handy in the event an unhinged world leader mashes that big red apocalypse button. It’s the end of a long day for Russ Melton, tire salesman. He enters his brewery, Diamond Bear, at Fourth and Cross streets still wearing his Michelin button-down and apologizing for being late — “spent 45 minutes with a guy on some silly tire questions” — but happy to talk beer, his hobby and obsession. This fall will mark a decade of brewing in this one-time car dealership where Melton, his wife, Sue, and

three employees have built up Diamond Bear, Arkansas’s largest stand-alone brewery, into a regional distributor and maker of award-winning craft beers. “The reason beer and wine are such a big part of our culture is microbes that’ll kill you won’t live in alcohol,” Melton says. “Plus you boil it, and that kills ’em, too. That’s why it’s such a big part of Western civilization. By 1000 AD most of the water in Europe was contaminated in some form or fashion, and you’d drink it and get sick or dead. Beer and wine, they felt pretty safe, because they just never got sick from it.”


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Gerard Matthews, in the Aug. 27, 2009, issue provides a dispatch from a town hall meeting hosted by U.S. Reps. Vic Snyder and Mike Ross at Arkansas Children’s Hospital to discuss proposals for health care reform. Kim Magninn, an unemployed former kindergarten teacher, tells Matthews that government involvement in the health care system would lead to rationing and that there’s no need to fix a problem that only affects “15 percent of the population.” She also believes it is uncertain whether President Obama is an American citizen. “The anger, the frustration, the outrage is not just in relationship to the health care legislation,” she said. “Health care just happened to be that proverbial straw. The outrage is directed toward the unmitigated gall of this administration to intrude on our personal lives, our freedoms, our choices. It is in direct opposition to the Constitution,” she said. Snyder retired in 2010; Ross won re-election and was the lone bright spot that year for Democrats in what was otherwise a GOP wave election, then lost big in a gubernatorial bid against Asa Hutchinson in 2014.

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SEPTEMBER 2019 55 SEPTEMBER 2019 55


2011

WEST MEMPHIS FREE

CRAIG GETS CANDID

Highlights from Lindsey Millar’s 2011 conversation with THV11’s Craig O’Neill: “I started in radio when I was 19 in 1969 at KBTN in Jonesboro. The most popular show was a 15-minute newscast at 9:30 p.m. that included five minutes of obituaries. You’ve heard of the top 20 hits? We did the top 20 obits.” “I was Randy Hankins until 1972, and then in 1972 my program director at KARN thought that Randy Hankins sounded too country. He had worked with a guy in Seattle named Craig O’Neill and thought that was a cool name, so he gave it to me. “I’ve never heard from him, but I have heard from people who say, ‘Didn’t you used to work Seattle?’ I also get, ‘Didn’t you used to work at Cincinnati?’ And, ‘Didn’t you used to work in Atlanta?’ So I’m thinking the other Craig O’Neill, the real one, he got around a lot.”

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Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. — known to most of the country as the West Memphis Three — were freed from prison in 2011 after spending nearly two decades in prison for the murder of three young boys in 1993. They accepted a deal in which they pleaded guilty, nevertheless maintaining that they were innocent of the crime. In our Aug. 24 issue, longtime Arkansas Times staffer David Koon reflected on the Times’ ongoing coverage of the trials from Bob Lancaster and Mara Leveritt, going on to describe the scene at the Craighead County Courthouse on Aug. 19, where Eddie Vedder, Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines and seemingly every reporter in the country awaited their plea hearing. In 2002 — just moved back from Lafayette, Louisiana, with my wife and son, my father not a year in the grave and my heart still broken by his death — I saw an ad in the back of the Arkansas Times looking for a reporter. Being a journalist was never in the cards for me before that moment. I’d toyed with the idea in college, but soon figured I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life writing about traffic accidents and sewage projects. But when I saw that ad, I remembered those early stories on the WM3 in the Arkansas Times, before almost anybody else had even considered the idea that Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were anything less than guilty as sin, and I realized that I wanted to be a part of that. … Just after noon, the word came down: The West Memphis Three were free. A cheer rose up. Grown men literally wept, and didn’t give a damn who saw them. I broke from the crowd and went down to the press conference in the basement. First, the prosecutors came in and tried to explain the pleas; to explain that, even though they thought the WM3 would likely win their freedom if retried, prosecutors still believed them to be the sole killers of the three children. After the prosecutors were gone, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley came in with their attorneys and supporters, looking like men just woken from long sleep. Monday morning, they had all lived with the idea that they might die in prison. They probably hadn’t had a good cheese-burger or a pizza or a milkshake in almost two decades. How long since any of them stood with his feet in running water? How long since any of them had felt the rain? How long since any of them ran as long and as far as he wanted? Now here they were, soon to ride out of Jonesboro; soon to be free to do whatever and eat whatever and love whoever they damn well pleased. Jessie Misskelley has a jailhouse tattoo on the top of his head: a clock face with no hands; a symbol of his status as a lifer, with nothing but time. It’s the tattoo a man would get if he thought he would spend the rest of his life in jail. As the WM3 settled into their chairs before the assembled press, Bruce Sinofsky from “Paradise Lost” — 18 years older than he was when he and his friend Joe first decided to make a documentary about three Satan worshippers who killed three boys — spoke up. I’ll remember what came next for the rest of my life: “Hey Jessie,” Sinofsky shouted. “What time does your clock say?” Jessie Misskelley smiled. “I dunno,” he said. “What time is it now?” ...


2012 KICKERS AND SCREAMERS

ALSO IN 2012

Our Sept. 26, 2012, “Little Rock Confidential” issue teased out the grittier, unseen bits of working life — the pawnbroker relaying an old axiom about a “pawnbroker with a heart” being a broke pawnbroker, or the yoga instructor recalling the time a practice mat made contact with a “calming candle” and caught fire. Here’s an excerpt from former Times staffer Cheree Franco’s conversation with a bikini waxer. “I’ve had a few screamers. People will ask for a towel and put it over their face. I had someone come in with a sunburn once. I said, ‘I can’t do this,’ and she said, ‘Please just try.’ I tried with one strip, and then I wouldn’t do the rest of it because she was in so much pain. You’ll get kickers because your automatic reflex is to slam your legs shut and kick out. I’ve heard about things like the wax ripping the skin, but that’s never happened where I work. That’s when the wax is too hot, and the esthetician should know better. You can test it on your arm, or if you know your wax pot well enough, you just know. I have given somebody strawberries, just little peckers on the skin, if the skin isn’t held taut or if they have a lot of skin and you can’t hold it the correct way. But those go away in a couple of days. Some women just lay still and are very stoic about it. You can tell personality types by how people handle the pain.” ...

The Arkansas Times bids farewell to ousted Hogs football coach Bob-by Petrino with a candid cover, after a motorcycle crash that exposed Petrino’s affair with his assistant Jessica Dorrell.

2013 AN UN-TRIVIAL PURSUIT

In a year where the Mayflower oil spill and a barrage of legislative folly dominated our weekly dispatches, a bright spot came in late April, when 2013 Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Leonard Cooper managed not only to win Teen Jeopardy that year, but to keep mum — per his contract — about his win long after it happened, even as he and his eStem schoolmates watched Cooper during the final rounds of the televised competition at Gusano’s Pizza during lunch for four consecutive days. Cooper secured enough of a lead that he provided the following answer in the Final Jeopardy round, in response to a question about World War II: “Who is some guy in Normandy? But I just won $75,000!”

POPULATION 1,631

Mayflower found itself at the center of a devastating oil spill when ExxonMobil’s Pegasus Pipeline burst in the backyard of a middle-class house in the town’s Northwoods subdivision. This photo ran with our story in the April 11, 2013, issue.

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SEPTEMBER 2019 57


2014 ‘ALL HELL AND HAPPINESS BROKE LOOSE’

MR. HONKY-TONK

Will Stephenson penned “The story of Jimmy Doyle’s Country Club” about Jimmy Doyle’s honky-tonk just off Interstate 40 at the Galloway exit for the Oct. 16, 2014, issue. He got the story of Jimmy Doyle’s beginnings. Jimmy Doyle, it should be mentioned, isn’t a first and last name — it’s a double first name, like Mary Catherine or John David. His family name is Brewer, as in Brewer Bottoms, the township 15 miles below Stuttgart where he was born in 1936. The son of a nurse and a moonshiner who “agreed to disagree,” as he puts it, when he was still a toddler, Jimmy Doyle was shaped by the place, a 12-mile circle of swamplands along Bayou Meto. After his mother left, he helped his father make whiskey in the woods, pumping the water and making delivery runs with a little red wagon. His favorite stories from childhood involve running from “the revenue men” on horseback. “It’s the only way we had to make a living,” he said, though it seems they often didn’t. Before he got out, he said, things got so bad that their kitchen was a 10- by 12-foot tent and they survived primarily off tree bark and “possum grapes” (similar to blueberries). He still remembers the day he joined the Navy — Dec. 6, 1954. He wanted to show me around upstairs, an area he hardly uses anymore except as storage, so I followed him up the back staircase. … One room was filled entirely with small porcelain figurines — I counted four unicorns. By way of explanation, he said simply, “We went to Mexico a few times.” Then he showed me into his old recording studio, which featured vocal and drum booths, a 32-track mixing board and an old Fostex tape recorder. Brown shag carpet covered the floors, around which were scattered broken musical instruments and boxes of unlabeled tapes. Live wires dangled from the ceiling. I asked when he’d last recorded there. “Hell, I don’t know, 10 years ago?” he said. “I can’t keep track of time.” …

58 SEPTEMBER 2019

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As Leslie Newell Peacock wrote in our May 15, 2014, issue, “marriage equality arrived in Arkansas at 4:51 p.m. Friday when Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza filed his ruling striking down both a 2004 constitutional amendment and a 1997 statute that ban same-sex marriage in Arkansas.” After the word came down, Peacock said, “all hell and happiness broke loose.” The following Saturday morning, the Carroll County clerk’s office — open for a few hours on Saturday morning to marry couples who retreat to picturesque Eureka Springs to be wed — issued 15 marriage licenses. Kristin Seaton-Rambo, 32, and Jennifer Seaton-Rambo, 31, were the first same-sex couple to be legally married in Arkansas. “I’m still in shock,” Rambo said. “Last night we went home and got a Redbox, turned off the phones and kind of soaked it in for a little bit. It’s a great feeling.” Seaton and Rambo, who have been together four years, said they were “keeping high hopes” about the future legal battles ahead. The timing of Judge Piazza’s ruling worked out perfectly for the couple. Seaton proposed in March and they were planning their ceremony for October. “Now it’s going to be the real thing,” Rambo said. “It’s indescribable.” Seaton proposed while they were hiking in Devil’s Den State Park. “It was actually her birthday weekend, and I had a whole weekend planned for her,” Rambo said. “We stayed in a cabin in Devil’s Den, and she surprised me. It was one of the first places we had went after we met: Yellow Rock Trail. We were climbing up to the top, and the next thing you know, it started raining a little bit. She got down on one knee. It caught me off guard. It was the biggest surprise and the best surprise that’s ever happened to me.” “I knew it was meant to be when it rained,” Seaton said. “The rain was her and her father’s thing, and her dad had recently passed. Once it started sprinkling, I was like, ‘This is him letting us know he’s here.’ It was bittersweet. It still gives me chills right now, thinking about it.” Are they going to be together forever? “Forever and ever,” Rambo said. “Definitely,” Seaton said. “We’re old-fashioned and traditional about that, believe it or not.” ...


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BRYAN MOATS

2014

RAPERT’S BRAIN

The aftermath of Piazza’s ruling wasn’t met with universal celebration; Rev. Sen. Jason Rapert posted afterward on his Facebook page that gay people “have no right to redefine marriage and dilute the bedrock principle of families in our country.” We decided in the May 14, 2014, issue to look under the hood. 60 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES


2015

HORROR STORY

In the March 12, 2015, issue the Arkansas Times broke a troubling story on the adoption and “rehoming” by former state Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) and his wife, Marsha, of three children — one of whom, after the Harrises sent her to live with another family, was sexually abused. It was, as former Times reporter Benji Hardy would later write, “always two stories at the same time: the wrenching, intimately personal story of a failed adoption and three victimized children, and a larger story of political influence being deployed to serve powerful people and marginalize the interests of others.” It was also, as Hardy wrote, a difficult story, at times “hideous or morally complex or technocratic and complicated” — and representative of a state child welfare system that is deeply broken. Subsequently, the legislature made “rehoming” a felony, Govenor Hutchinson ordered a review of the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services, and further reporting by Kathryn Joyce and Hardy on the foster care system in Arkansas detailed what Arkansas child welfare stakeholders have called “the worst placement crisis” in state history.

2016 On Nov. 17, 2016, shortly after the stunning and sad election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the race- and LGBTQ-baiting began. Leslie Newell Peacock wrote about problems at Arkansas schools and elsewhere, hate-filled messages that came to characterize the Trump administration. Two female African-American students at Star City High School were arrested Thursday after a post-election campus altercation the day earlier between white MN TU RT kids telling black and Latino students to get on the AU L B E TO “Trump Train” back to where they came from and black kids yelling “Black Power.” It was one of several postE R TH RV E SE Trump backlashes at Arkansas schools. OB Lincoln County Prosecutor Clint Todd said one girl N was charged with third-degree battery, disorderly CH O RI EST L DD conduct and terroristic threatening and the other with HU disorderly conduct. They were arraigned Monday, but X Y Todd declined to give details because they are juveniles. M A TLE AN BR State troopers, sheriff’s deputies and local police were called to both Star City High School and Hamburg ST NE S ER MA High School in response to rumors of guns or potential DU violence on the campuses. … At Hamburg High, in Ashley County, some kids Y JA T H R BA brought rebel flags to school and waved them around before school started, Superintendent Max Dyson said. & The flags were confiscated and students who brought them punished, but Dyson did not say what the punishNE GE NS O ment was. … LY In a Facebook post, Star City High School student Cody Pickens wrote “all of the people was saying trump train and one of those black girl though I was video them and she tried to get my phone then she hit me so I grab her by the throat and she fell what when all of the fight started.” A screen shot of the post was provided to the Arkansas Times. But Todd said he had no evidence except that gathered to arrest the African-American students. … In Fayetteville on Friday, a sign painter sped into action after someone painted “Fuck Niggers” (and I [heart] Laura) on a boarded-up window at the old City Hospital south of the Fayetteville Public Library. FR

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Olivia Trimble dashed to the scene after learning about the sign on her Facebook page and painted “Love Always Wins” in pink and blue over the sign. … LGBT rights were a target, too, last week: After a grocery shopping trip, Melanie Hayes of Rogers returned to her car to find a note next to her marriage equality sticker on her rear window that said, “Your marriage is an “Obama-nation” This is Trump nation now! Time to straighten yourself out!” ...

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SEPTEMBER 2019 61


2017

In the Oct. 5, 2017, issue, reporter Jacob Rosenberg revealed how deaths of inmates held by the Arkansas Department of Correction were probably caused by synthetic marijuana, also called K2. K2, otherwise known as synthetic marijuana or spice, is believed to be linked to multiple deaths in Arkansas prisons, according to former prison employees, inmates and internal communication obtained by the Arkansas Times. The Arkansas Department of Correction acknowledges that inmates are using K2, and that the rate of use is rising rapidly. The ADC recorded six incidents of K2 use in 2013. In the first seven months of 2017, the ADC has recorded 707 incidents. The ADC will not, however, confirm that K2 — which is actually not one drug but many and which Times sources said is being smuggled into prisons by employees — is killing its inmates. A prison spokesman said that ADC policy restricts the information the department can publicly reveal only to whether a death was by natural causes. But it is known that at least one inmate died in a cell this year after smoking K2. On the night of Feb. 17, a guard in the East Arkansas Regional Unit of the Department of Correction in Brickeys (Lee County) found inmate Julian Shavers unconscious in his cell and covered in vomit. “There was no pulse, but he was still warm,” said the guard, who is no longer employed by the prison system and who spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. Shavers, 38, was rushed to the prison infirmary, but health care staff could not revive him. The incident was documented in a Lee County Coroner’s report, which notes that “ingestion of K2 synthetic pot” was a “significant condition contributing” to Shavers’ death. “We know for a fact it was [related to] K2,” the guard told the Times. “We found the blunt next to him.” ...

62 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

BRYAN MOATS

K2 IN PRISON: WIDELY AVAILABLE, DIFFICULT TO DETECT AND POTENTIALLY DEADLY

THE MENA FILE

In our Sept. 28, 2017, issue, Arkansas Times Contributing Editor Mara Leveritt revisited the story of drug smuggler Barry Seal, and found it to be “littered with dead ends — secrets that are still being carefully kept — especially in Arkansas.” By late 1982, when Seal moved his aircraft to Mena from his home base in Baton Rouge, federal agents had already identified him as “a major international narcotics trafficker.” Police watching Mena’s airport notified federal authorities that a fat man from Louisiana had begun frequenting an aircraft modification company there called Rich Mountain Aviation. That same year, President Ronald Reagan appointed Asa Hutchinson, already a tough, anti-drug crusader, as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. Wanting to keep tabs on Seal, Hutchinson ordered William Duncan, an investigator for the IRS, to watch for signs of money laundering around Mena resulting from Seal’s presence. Another investigator, Russell Welch of the State Police, was assigned to look for evidence of cocaine arriving there. Duncan and Welch both told me that being assigned to Seal ended up ruining their careers. Welch said he began to suspect that something was amiss one night in December 1983, when he and several other law enforcement officers had staked out the airport, watching for Seal. He said they’d seen the smuggler and his co-pilot land and taxi to a hangar at Rich Mountain Aviation, where workers installed an illegal, extra fuel tank in the plane. Welch said that Seal had taken off into the wintry night, fast and without lights. But what he remembered most was how surprised he, the FBI agents and the Arkansas Game and Fish officer who’d joined them had been that, although officers for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had met them at a motel in Mena, none had gone with them to the stakeout. ...


2018 NEWS + POLITICS + ENTERTAINMENT + FOOD

AUGUST 16, 2018 / ARKTIMES.COM

Take A Stand!

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Tell Your Immigrant Neighbors “Welcome to Arkansas!”

‘SHOW ME WHERE I’M DIRTY’

Revelations of kickbacks and bribery that have put Arkansas legislators and others in jail are still unfolding. In the Aug. 16, 2018, issue, reporter David Ramsey, relying on nine state and federal corruption cases and interviews with more than 30 lawmakers and ex-lawmakers, told the tale of the man in the middle of the scandal, lobbyist Rusty Cranford. Cranford is in jail in Springfield, Mo., after pleading guilty to a charge of bribery and participation in an embezzlement scheme. It started out this way: On Feb. 21, 2018, federal agents arrested longtime Arkansas lobbyist Milton “Rusty” Cranford at a residence in Bentonville where he was staying. They found $17,700 in $100 bills in a black backpack and multiple bottles of pills for which he did not have a prescription, including Xanax, Ambien and Hydrocodone. Cranford was asked whether there were any weapons in the home and he showed agents a Bond Arms Defender, a .45-caliber derringer-style pistol in a box in the closet. The government would later allege that Cranford planned to hire an old family friend to murder a witness who was cooperating in a federal corruption investigation against him. “This motherfucker right here,” Cranford had told the family friend, a felon who was acting as a confidential informant for the FBI and recording the conversations. “He’s in Philadelphia. He’s in South Jersey.” Cranford then whispered: “He needs to go away. He needs to be gone.” According to the informant, Cranford then made a gun-shooting gesture with his hand. Before his downfall, Cranford had been an executive at one of the largest Medicaid providers in the region, and a powerful lobbyist who helped bankroll countless political campaigns in Arkansas and influenced state policies that remain in place today. During the recorded conversations, he complained that he was being railroaded by the feds: “So those comments have been made that, ‘There’s no way he could have accomplished all this shit without being dirty.’ Well fuck that. Show me where I’m dirty. I mean, yeah, have I wrote a hell of a lot of — have I paid a hell of a lot of politicians? I sure have over the years. A shitload of money. But I’ve wrote them all checks, so there’s a paper trail of everything I wrote. If motherfuckers tryin’ to buy somebody, they ain’t going to write ’em a check for it.” ...

Let our hardworking immigrant neighbors know that you are glad they’re here. The headlines are filled with hate but you can take a stand and make a new Arkansan feel a little more at home. Profits from our Bienvenidos! (Welcome!) bumper sticker go to Arkansas United, Arkansas’ most effective, grass roots immigrant rights organization. Give what you can, stick it on your bumper and make someone’s day! $6 covers costs and postage. 100% of anything above that goes directly to Arkansas United ___$6 enclosed ___$20 enclosed ___$Other enclosed and thank-you! Please send check to Arkansas Times Attn. Welcome Project 201 E. Markham, Suite 200 Little Rock, AR 72201 Or go online to arktimes.com/bienvenidos

501.375.2985 201 E. Markham, Suite 200 Little Rock, AR 72201

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SEPTEMBER 2019 63


Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival benefitting Argenta Arts District

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DREAMS MADE REAL Business is a part of our everyday life, whether it be for the company we work for or the merchant around the corner. From the rich mix of cultures and backgrounds that we call Arkansas, independent people have pursued their dreams in the business world throughout history. Almost all Arkansas businesses have fought hard for success. From the familyowned to the internationally known, there is something all of these enterprises have in common: sheer Arkansas gumption and a fierce will to survive. In the following business profiles, pioneer Arkansas businesses stand shoulder-to-shoulder with young newcomers. What they share is a sense of vitality and an integral place in the fabric of Arkansas. Here are their stories.

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DREAMS MADE REAL

CENTRAL ARKANSAS LIBRARY SYSTEM Greenhouse at Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center.

Roots of American Music concert at Ron Robinson Theater.

Williams Library Business and Technology Center.

Central Arkansas Library System offers something for all readers, lifelong learners No two days are the same across the 14 branches of the Central Arkansas Library System. In tree-lined neighborhoods and busy urban centers, the alcoves of reading and discovery bustle with diversity of patron, of media, of thought. During an average week, school children spend quiet hours working on homework or curled into a young reader series. Seniors stay engaged in their community through free workshops, presentations or just to check out a favorite author’s latest. Families learn how to raise vegetables or grow flowers, entrepreneurs learn how to start or improve their business and community groups convene using the branches’ meeting spaces. The libraries fairly hum with the promise of discovery, activism and purpose. “An old piece of folk wisdom reminds us that a single-strand rope is much more easily broken than one braided of many strands,” said Nate Coulter, executive director. “The whole of such a braided cord has strength far greater than even the sum of its threads.” “At CALS, we try to meet the community’s needs with this truth in mind. We actively cultivate collaboration with a host of partners from all around the community in order to keep braiding those invisible ties that collectively support our culture, our neighborhoods and our families better than any of us can do acting alone.” The Central Arkansas Library System, headquartered at the Little Rock Main Library, engages a local population of 343,000 and is the largest public Arkansas library system. It serves the public interest through locations in Little Rock, Pulaski County and Perry County. The largest research repository

in the state, CALS maintains more than 1 million items that can be reserved online and picked up at any branch. Impressive as that is, it’s only one piece of CALS’ overall mosaic mission. The system includes galleries and archives through the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art and a world-class cinema and performance space, the Ron Robinson Theater. You can even grab lunch at Jimmy’s Serious Sandwiches inside the Bookstore at Library Square. All three facilities are located in Little Rock adjacent to the Main Library, where the Nexus Nook coffee shop opened last fall. CALS’ community programming is similarly diverse and inclusive. “A couple of examples I’m proud of includes Be Mighty Little Rock, coordinated by our CALS library staff,” said Coulter. “This brought together an unprecedented number of community partners to combat youth hunger this summer, and that partnership continues in exciting ways with more nutrition and health programs.” “This fall, another partnership will allow the Arkansas Arts Center to teach classes in CALS branches while their facility is remodeled. By hosting the AAC in our public meeting spaces, we can help this important cultural institution stay connected with people and give our library customers opportunities to experience new attractions in our buildings.” The library constantly looks for ways to promote literacy and reading in the community as well as produces or partners in events that serve diverse segments of the population. These include the Six Bridges Book Festival, formerly the Arkansas Literary Festival, held in April and the monthly Second Friday Art Night, showcasing local, regional and A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

CALS MAINTAINS MORE THAN 1 MILLION ITEMS THAT CAN BE RESERVED ONLINE AND PICKED UP AT ANY BRANCH. national work. Next spring, the system will present NEA Big Read: CALS, headlined by Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried. Coulter noted CALS programmatic and operational offerings continue to be refined through input from the citizenry it exists to serve. “We are always heartened to hear how many people love their public library and how much they depend on our array of programs and resources,” he said. “But we are also grateful for insightful suggestions about how CALS can serve in more innovative and effective ways. This feedback is an essential component to our decisions about charting new paths to deliver what our existing customers would like, and searching for new ways to serve people in the community who are not yet connected to their public library.”

CALS.org


DREAMS MADE REAL

LITTLE ROCK PORT AUTHORITY

In 1959, at a wide bend in the river just east of downtown Little Rock, an idea was born that connected Arkansas with the rest of the world. Sixty years ago, Little Rock created the Little Rock Port Authority to develop the port and its industrial park. The Port of Little Rock is the largest public port on the 448-mile McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation system that stretches from the Mississippi River to Tulsa. As the nexus of river, rail and road transportation, the Port of Little Rock connects Arkansas to over 60 countries in the global economy. Our world-class intermodal transportation hub extends Little Rock’s reach to every corner of the globe through the deep-water ports of the Gulf of Mexico. To move goods and materials within the port, the Little Rock Port Authority operates a shortline switching railroad that services both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Railroads. Almost 20 miles of track handles over 20,000 cars annually. Within a few minutes of the port, trucking companies can access major coast-to-coast highway Interstate 40, as well as I-30, the main route from Little Rock to the Southwest.

As we observe this 60th year benchmark, the Port of Little Rock is strengthening its brand, updating its logo and launching a website geared to site selection decision-makers. We are marketing this economic hub to every continent on the globe. This wide bend in the river has wide-ranging impacts on Central Arkansas’s success: thousands of jobs, billions in economic impact and the ability to connect Arkansas to the world. The next decades will only see that increase as we acquire more land, and invite more tenants, who will use more port services and make more conections to the global economy. The port is managed by the Little Rock Port Authority, a seven-member volunteer board appointed by the mayor. Little Rock Port Authority Board of Directors: Melissa Hendricks, chair Greg Joslin, vice chair Joe Bailey, treasurer Bobby Brown, director Dexter Doyne, director Ray C. Dillon, director Clay McGeorge, director

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• 60 YEARS IN THE MAKING • 40 PLUS BUSINESSES EMPLOYING 4,500 • 4,000-ACRE INDUSTRIAL PARK • ANNUALLY, OVER $500 MILLION IN COMMODITIES CROSSES THE DOCKS OF OUR THREE RIVER TERMINALS. • CONTRIBUTED $5 BILLION TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY OVER THE LAST DECADE PortofLittleRock.com


DREAMS MADE REAL

ALBERT PIKE MEMORIAL TEMPLE

THE BUILDING IS TRULY AN ARKANSAS TREASURE THAT WE WISH TO SHARE WITH EVERYONE. The Albert Pike Memorial Temple, also known as the Albert Pike Masonic Center, is located at 700-724 Scott St. in downtown Little Rock. On Nov. 13, 1986, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural and historical significance. The temple is named for Albert Pike, a prominent figure in the history of Arkansas, playing a major role in the early days of our state and in the establishment of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Freemasons have been present in Arkansas since the early 1800s. The evolution of Masonry in the state is closely linked to its history. Several members of the fraternity have served as important figures in Arkansas, becoming governors and judges. Pike, a native of Boston, settled in Arkansas in the 1930s and pursued diverse professions, including working as a teacher, writer, newspaper editor and publisher, and lawyer. In 1850, Pike became a Mason. In 1858, he was elected as an active member of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction, one of the two ad-

ministrative areas of the Scottish Rite in the United States. In 1859, Pike became the Grand Commander of the Supreme Council. His major contributions to Freemasonry include the revision of the rituals of the Scottish Rite and the publication of “Morals and Dogmas of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.” The Albert Pike Memorial Temple today, which covers an entire block from Seventh to Eighth streets, is the result of successive transformations to the original structure. In 1901, the first building, called the Albert Pike Consistory Building, was erected on the corner of Eighth and Scott streets. In 1913, the building was enlarged to accommodate a growing membership. After a 1919 fire, the consistory was remodeled and enclosed in the new Albert Pike Memorial Temple, designed by noted architects George Mann and Eugene Stern. The building was dedicated May 12, 1924. On May 7, 1952, a fire destroyed much of the older part of the building, at the south end. The rebuilt temple was dedicated A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

in September 1956. Two double-headed eagle sculptures — the emblem of the Scottish Rite — stand in front of the entrance on Scott Street. The building is a monumental three-story structure in the Neo-Classical Revival style, lined on its front facade with 19 Greek Ionic columns. In 2014, after 90 years of being veiled in mystery and virtually unknown to the general public, the Albert Pike Masonic Center was opened to the public to rent for weddings, fundraisers, non-profit organizations, the performing arts and many other usages. It has become one of the most beautiful, majestic, versatile and affordable event venues in the state. With seating for 774 in the auditorium, 450 in the formal dining room, and several other unique spaces, the center is perfect for banquets, receptions, performing arts and many other events. The building is truly an Arkansas treasure that we wish to share with everyone.

AlbertPikeMasonicCenter.com


KINCO CONSTRUCTORS

DREAMS MADE REAL

KINCO LEADS CONSTRUCTION MARKET THROUGH A CULTURE OF WORK ETHIC, FOLLOW THROUGH

Dassualt Falcon Jet 14 Bay Hanger.

For almost 50 years, Kinco Constructors has been the go-to company for quality, safety, value and personal service in construction. From health care to higher education, schools to churches, sports stadiums to shopping malls, the Little Rock and Springdale-based firm sets the standard for the industry throughout its service area. “We provide the market’s best combination of quality, value and service,” said Doug Wasson, president and chief executive officer. “We were founded on these principles and we’ve stuck to them. We don’t rest on our laurels; our reputation is only as good as the work we’re doing right now.” Kinco Constructors’ commitment to quality work at a fair price was established in 1973 by company founder Jack Kinnaman. Kinnaman had come to Little Rock five years earlier with another construction firm to oversee the construction of Baptist Health Center. His family was so taken with the community he decided to stay and formally incorporated the company in 1974. “It was a humble beginning,” Wasson said. “That first year, Kinco completed its first job, a small renovation project at the Little Rock Air Force Base. But the die was cast and before long, Kinco was a major player in the market.” It only took five years for the company to land its first $1 million project – $3.5 million in today’s dollars – with the Weyerhaeuser Distribution Center, completed in 1979. Kinco built two iconic Little Rock projects – Wild River Country and Pavilion in the Park – in 1984.   “Jack hired me as a laborer in 1981,” Wasson said. “I was in the middle of getting my construction degree from SAU Tech. I believe the les-

sons I learned on the jobsite equaled the things I learned in college, particularly when it came to how to treat your people.” Kinco was a safety pioneer, as evidenced by the firm’s first safety committee in 1985, and over the years, building processes and safety protocols evolved side-by-side. Today, Kinco’s proven approach has earned the company an unparalleled safety record. In 1987, the company completed its first project in Northwest Arkansas. Kinco saw the growth potential of the area and by 1991 opened a permanent office in Springdale. The 1990s were a period of robust growth for the firm, completing high-visibility projects such as Baum Stadium at the University of Arkansas and the company’s first $10 million-plus project, Baxter County Regional Hospital Phases I and II. In recognition of its excellent record, Kinco was recognized in 1993 with the Arkansas Quality Award. The dawning of the new millennium saw continued innovation. Kinco launched its Special Projects Division, a dedicated group of skilled craftsmen deployed to small specialty projects and emergency service needs. In recent years, the company has shortened production timelines and minimized costs by adopting innovative LEAN building techniques and utilizing technologies such as Building Information Modeling. As a result, Kinco was able to complete the University of Arkansas at Monticello Bankston Hall addition and renovation project in just three months. Among many awards and citations for industry excellence and community support, Kinco was awarded the Associated General Contractors of America Willis Towers Watson Safety Excellence award in 2018. It is the first company in A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

First NWA Project - Springdale First Baptist Church.

AGC Willis Towers Watson Safety Award.

Arkansas to be so designated. Today, Kinco stands poised to meet the challenges of the future with talented team members committed to upholding the company’s culture and values and a relentless focus on continuous improvement and personal service. “We understand that no one individual can do it alone,” Wasson said. “We are a team; we help support one another for the betterment of our company and our clients.”

KincoConstructors.com


DREAMS MADE REAL

SNELL PROSTHETICS & ORTHOTICS LEADING O&P TECHNOLOGY IN ARKANSAS SINCE 1911

President Frank Snell, CPO, LPO, FAAOP, fits a patient for a lower extremity prosthesis using the company’s AquaFit process. The process utilizes Symphonie® Vector Control technology to apply pressure to the limb while in full weight bearing stance allowing the prosthetist to precisely measure the residual limb and capture a highly accurate impression including all anatomical contours.

DURING THE PAST 108 YEARS, SNELL HAS PROVIDED PROSTHETIC AND ORTHOTIC DEVICES TO AN ESTIMATED 500,000 ARKANSANS RANGING IN AGE FROM 1 DAY OLD TO 103 YEARS OLD … AND A FEW VERY SPECIAL ANIMALS, AS WELL!

Merriam-Webster defines “technology” as “the practical application of knowledge … in a particular area.” When R.W. “Pop” Snell established his O&P company in 1911, contemporary technology consisted of hand-carved prostheses of wood and rawhide. With each limb, he developed his own innovative ideas and improvements, advancing technology in the O&P field and setting a tradition that four generations of Snells have followed for 100 years. From the beginning, the Snells have assumed a leadership role, creating the benchmark for quality and service in the fields of prosthetics and orthotics. When the first standards tests were established in 1948, Snell Artificial Limb was first to achieve facility accreditation from the profession’s national accrediting body, and in 1951, Ed Snell was among the first group of practitioners to qualify as a Certified Prosthetist and Orthotist (CPO). Current president Frank Snell, CPO, LPO, established his own first, becoming the first Fellow of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (FAAOP) in Arkansas. The company also strongly supported the Veterans Administration’s earliest efforts to encourage progress and development by testing new components, materials, and designs — assessing and reporting the results of research conducted in Snell’s own laboratory through the 1940s, justifying its later name change to Snell Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory in 1976. Frank Snell, a great-nephew of the original founder, began working alongside his father at the rapidly growing company at age 14, developing the skills required for an orthotist/prosthetist. When he joined the company full-time in 1972 as a graduate of The Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center, he brought with him new marketing and management skills and methods as well as futuristic goals and insights. By the time Ed Snell retired and Frank assumed the company presidency in 1984, more changes were underway: Foreseeing the coming climate of empowerment for the disabled as reflected in such legislation as the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of Frank Snell’s first actions was the construction of the Little Rock office at 625 North University Ave., quickly followed by the opening of satellite offices across the state — the first and still the

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largest network of O&P offices in Arkansas. In addition to the main office in Little Rock, Snell now has offices located in Bryant, Conway, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Mountain Home, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Russellville. His involvement was critical in initiating, supporting, and fueling the progress of O&P licensure legislation in Arkansas, ultimately gaining important patient protection when the governor’s signature in 2007 made O&P licensure a law — a significant victory for higher standards and better patient care. Today, a fourth generation of Snells helps fuel the company’s progress, as Frank’s daughter Melissa serves as vice president of business development in addition to being a certified mastectomy fitter, and son Brant, vice president of operations and communications, is a licensed prosthetist and orthotist. Since knowledge is an essential stepping stone to progress, Snell Prosthetics & Orthotics (SPO) has historically stressed the importance of continuing education and led the way in establishing its trend-setting TeamSnell annual employee gatherings in 1994 — a themed team-building “family reunion” that’s all about education flavored with fun and designed to energize, motivate and inform, building more effective and efficient working relationships that promote better service to their clients and communities. The result is SPO has more nationally certified and state-licensed practitioners than any other O&P provider in Arkansas and each of its employees shares the Snell philosophy of nurturing those in need by sharing their strengths, every year their 60-plus staffers donate thousands of hours to community service projects in cities where their facilities are located, enriching the lives of others in more than 100 different ways of their own choosing — a continuing source of pride for SPO. Technology’s Leading Edge Not only remaining in the forefront but leading the charge as technology evolves is key to SPO’s continuing mission of delivering “the latest in technology and the best in care.” Snell P&O was the first independent P&O practice to bring computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/ CAM) technology to Arkansas in 1990, and one of the first in the U.S. to use it to more accurately and comfortably fit


their patients with limb loss. The company was again a national leader in upgrading to the new generation TracerCAD system in 2001. Since Snell P&O fit its first myoelectric prosthesis in 1980, myoelectric arms and microprocessor-controlled knees for prostheses are now worn by an increasing number of active Arkansas ambulators and weekend athletes. In 2003, Frank Snell was recruited to serve as an early microprocessor-controlled knee consultant for the Department of Defense and Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., advocating the military’s use of the game-changing C-Leg in 1997 for its returning Gulf War wounded warriors. The knee’s ability to adaptively vary its passive resistance to suit patients’ different walking gaits was so impressive that many military personnel have been allowed to return to active duty after being fitted with a microprocessor knee. Rapid microprocessor evolution continues, with ankle-foot applications like Ottobock’s newest Meridium prosthetic foot, which blends computer-controlled stability and security with increased adaptability and more natural sequential motion. SPO led the way in beta-testing the foot and recently fit the first commercial patients to wear the approved device. Snell has also begun fitting microprocessors adapted for use in orthotic knee joints, too, as it previously led the way in providing functional electrical stimulation (FES) orthotic devices that proved able to effectively re-train post-stroke nerves to correct foot drop conditions and enable patients to walk normally, even without a brace. One of the latest and most exciting advances in patient-care technology is Snell’s revolutionary AquaFit process, which uses water pressure and vector-controlled technology to enable the prosthetist to capture the most accurate three-dimensional shape and measurements of the patient’s residual limb while the leg is actually bearing the patient’s weight — just as it will when it is wearing the final prosthesis. The result is a precise and more perfectly fitted socket than has ever before been possible, offering dramatic improvements in comfort, adhesion and control for prosthesis wearers. Since SPO began implementing the process in January 2018, more than 350 delighted Arkansas amputees have enjoyed the comfort and confidence the AquaFit process provides. Advances in upper-limb prosthetics have also ushered in what might be considered an age of miracles: Touch Bionics’ i-limb, the world’s first fully articulating, commercially available bionic hand, has five individually-powered digits that look and act more like a human hand, accomplishing gripping tasks never before possi-

ble with a prosthetic hand. Snell was first in Arkansas to introduce the i-limb to its patients and was one of the first facilities in the world to fit a patient with bilateral bionic hands! Snell P&O also leads the way in the field of targeted muscle re-innervation (TMR), which enables amputees to control motorized prosthetic devices and to regain sensory feedback. By reassigning nerves that once controlled the arm and hand, surgery makes it possible for upper-arm amputees to control their prosthetic devices by simply thinking about the action they want to perform. Snell P&O recently performed the first fitting in Arkansas of a myoelectric arm for an individual who had undergone TMR surgery. Today, under its modern name, Snell Prosthetics & Orthotics, the 108-year-old company continues to investigate and implement new procedures and methods that keeps it in the forefront of developing new technologies, through beta-testing of new products in tandem with leading manufacturers, through rapid adaptation of the newest measurement, fitting and fabrication technologies, and through evolving administrative software programs and communication innovation. Highlighting interoffice communication is the state-of-the-art VTEL telemedicine system that links all 10 network offices, allowing real-time multi-office consultations and patient evaluations. Precision cameras zoom to capture the tiniest detail or pan back to make accurate gait assessment possible by practitioners who can collaborate and share their specialized expertise and decades of accumulated Snell knowledge during interactive, real-time teleconsultations with patients who may be hundreds of miles away in another Snell office. “Patients love getting an instant consult with another experienced professional. It’s been a very positive thing,” Frank Snell says. “We use it daily for intraoffice communication, scheduled case-load reviews with individual satellites, employee face-to-face conferences and monthly conference calls that bring all the offices on-line — all of which helps us run a sharper business. The time it saves is tremendous.” VTEL expedites educational efforts as well, allowing manufacturers to present new product information and demonstrations interactively to practitioners in all 10 offices at once. Although rapidly changing technology brings fresh challenges almost daily, the professionals at SPO just can’t wait to see what’s coming next. So, instead of waiting, they’re busy investigating and introducing tomorrow’s news today ... just as Pop Snell began doing in 1911!

“Snell’s One-Legged Baseball Team” photographed in 1939.

Leland Arledge, a U.S. Army Veteran who lost his leg in combat, struggled for years with ill-fitting prostheses and uncomfortable sockets before coming to Snell Prosthetics & Orthotics. But thanks in part to Snell’s AquaFit process, his prosthesis is allowing him to return to the activities he enjoys such as motorcycling, hunting, fishing and boating.

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SnellArkansas.com


DREAMS MADE REAL

METHODIST FAMILY HEALTH REBUILDING THE LIVES OF ARKANSAS CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FOR 120 YEARS Established in 1899 as the Arkansas Children’s Home, Methodist Family Health’s continuum of care began as a mission of the Methodist Church in Arkansas. This orphanage in downtown Little Rock later moved to what is now the campus of the United Methodist Children’s Home Inc. at Fillmore and Charles Bussey in midtown Little Rock. Throughout our 12 decades, our mission remains the same: to provide the best possible care to those who may need our help. When orphanages gave way to the foster care system, our care expanded services. In 2001, the United Methodist Children’s Home Inc. and the Methodist Behavioral Health System Inc. jointly formed a separate company, Methodist Behavioral Health System Inc., which purchased our acute and subacute hospital facility in Maumelle. The United Methodist Children’s Home and Methodist Behavioral Health System Inc. then jointly formed Methodist Family Health, which serves as the management company of all the locations and services offered in our continuum of care. As an organization serving abandoned, abused and neglected children as well as providing comprehensive psychiatric, emotional, behavioral and spiritual care to those children and their families throughout Arkansas, Methodist Family Health is comprised of: • Methodist Behavioral Hospital in Maumelle, an acute and subacute, 60-bed facility for crisis stabilization for children and adolescents in immediate danger of harming themselves, someone

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else or both. MBH also has a subacute unit onsite for younger boys; • residential treatment centers in Little Rock (Methodist Children’s Home) and Bono (near Jonesboro, known as the Dacus RTC), which assist children and adolescents struggling with chronic psychiatric, emotional and behavioral issues. RTCs stabilize the client’s behavior so she or he can move to a less-restrictive environment, be that her or his own home or another facility; • therapeutic group homes in Fayetteville, Heber Springs, Little Rock, Helena-West Helena, Searcy, Springdale and two in Magnolia. Group homes are for kids in the fostercare system who do not have a family member or guardian. The home is a family-style setting where children continue their lives in their community (attend school and/ or church, have friends, date, shop, etc.); • an emergency shelter, in which children in the custody of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services can stay until a family member is located or can be placed in a suitable permanent placement, such as a foster family or group home; • two day treatment programs, which operate a school at our Aldersgate location in Little Rock as well as in Benton. The day treatment program serves kids from more than seven school districts in the state who cannot function in a regular academic setting (such as a classroom) and may need additional support for their educational,

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behavioral or emotional needs. There also are day treatment programs at Dacus and Fillmore RTCs; • counseling clinics, which are outpatient programs offering individual, family and group counseling, psychological testing, psychiatric assessments, medication management and other therapeutic services; • community- and school-based counseling, which provides outpatient mental health care to students in Harrisburg, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Van Buren County (Clinton/Greenbrier), White County (Searcy), Jonesboro, Lakeside, Nettleton and Vilonia; Arkansas Center for Addictions Research, Education and Services (Arkansas CARES), which is the only MFH program for adults. Arkansas CARES works with mothers who have a dual diagnosis of a substance addiction and mental health issue. Women can enter this intensive, 120-day program and keep their children with them (participants can be pregnant at the time of acceptance into the program and/or have children from infants up to age 12); • Kaleidoscope Grief Center for children and their families; the Methodist Family Health Foundation, a separate nonprofit fundraising organization to support Methodist Family Health; and the administrative offices of this entire continuum of care in Little Rock.

MethodistFamily.org


DREAMS MADE REAL

EDWARDS FOOD GIANT:

THE HOUSE THAT MEAT BUILT

WE HIRE PEOPLE WHO TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT THEY’RE DOING AND HAVE A PASSION FOR SERVING CUSTOMERS. Most people associate Edwards Food Giant as “The Meat People” and it’s no wonder. For years, the independent grocery chain has hung its hat on having the best meat department in town. But what isn’t quite as well-known is the history behind Edwards Food Giant and its sister store Edwards Cash Savers, or the next-generation features and technology the Arkansas grocer employs to keep it competitive. And all of it wrapped up in the same friendly, personal service that’s the company’s trademark. As Gary Proffitt, operations director, said, “Serving customers is what we do. I think the thing that makes it work overall is that we’re able to tune a store to the neighborhood that it’s in, in product mix, merchandising, pricing, whatever that may be.” “At the same time, we’re rolling out technology that the customer wants, and that makes finding us and shopping with us easy and hassle-free. We’re taking baby steps with that now, but there’s no question that’s where the future of our business lies.” Edwards founder, Oral Edwards, started in the grocery business in 1959. After working in stores in Missouri, he relocated the family to Arkansas to take the helm of a Liberty Supermarket in Forrest City. From there, the Edwards way of doing business grew into multiple grocery locations statewide. Edwards saw an opportunity to enter Central Arkansas with the shuttering of several Harvest

Foods locations. The new grocery store brand established itself as a throwback to the days when greeting customers with a smile, custom-cut meats by trained butchers and purchases loaded into customers’ cars were common. Getting an Edwards store in your neighborhood meant a breath of fresh air in an increasingly impersonal business. “We hire people who take pride in what they’re doing and have a passion for serving customers,” Proffitt said. “We give our store managers a lot of autonomy and they operate their locations as they need to operate right down to the merchandising of the store, the products in the store. They pretty well control all of that to fit their neighborhood.” The parent company, GES Inc., has steadily invested in its stores and the people who work there, providing new tools for a changing clientele. Proffitt said as much as people appreciate the old-fashioned touches, the future lies in ultra-convenience. “The future is convenience and time savings,” Proffitt said. “The products we offer for sale now, especially in the fresh department, are going to be enhanced. That means, we cut it, we season it, we combined ingredients. It doesn’t matter whether it’s produce, meat, deli or bakery, the customer is evolving that way.” “And, of course, there’s ‘click and collect’ technology, which we’ve launched as Edwards Curbside, that enables you to shop us on the internet.

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You don’t have to actually come into the location, we’ll gather your items for you and bring them to your car. We launched that late last year, about the same time we launched our rewards program.” Proffitt said the new programs don’t signal a shift away from Edwards’ high-touch mode of doing business, merely a new way to serve a new generation. “Inevitably, it won’t be about click and collect, it will be about click and us taking it to your porch. That’s where this is all going,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we’re changing who we are, just how we do things for the people who want it. At our core, we still operate like the same small, neighborhood grocery you remember. That’s always going to part of our DNA.”

EdwardsFoodGiant.com ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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DREAMS MADE REAL

CHEERS IN THE HEIGHTS:

A BELOVED NEIGHBORHOOD INSTITUTION

IT’S COME TO FEEL LIKE A FAMILY HERE, IT REALLY HAS. Cheers in the Heights a Little Rock landmark.

As a city of neighborhoods, Little Rock is full of great local restaurants; small cozy establishments that reflect their surroundings and whose clientele is more neighbor than customer. Nowhere is that connection more intimate and palpable than at Cheers in the Heights, a local dining institution. On any given day of the week, the bright, artfilled dining room at Cheers displays a cross-section of the neighborhood in which it resides. Scattered among the tables you see two businessmen discussing a new proposal over salads heaped with salmon or shrimp. Next to them, a senior couple shares an appetizer and conversation. On the patio, a gaggle of girlfriends laugh over a nice bottle of wine while just one table over, a young couple celebrates their second wedding anniversary at the same table where he proposed.  Such moments happen here daily, bound by great food, casually elegant surroundings and friendly, impeccable service. All in all, it’s just the kind of place co-owner Chris Tanner had in mind when he and his wife Samantha bought Cheers in 2001.  “I’ve always been attracted to places where you could come no matter what the occasion and still feel comfortable,” Tanner said. “That’s always been very important to me as an owner and it’s something that we work really hard at as a company. We want people to be able to come here with friends or for a business lunch or on a spe74 SEPTEMBER 2019

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cial occasion dinner and feel like they’re equally at home.” Tanner has been in the restaurant business all of his adult life, but Cheers was his first experience as an owner. A self-taught chef with a natural sense of hospitality, he’s well-known by his customers, many of whom stop and chat or share a compliment about the day’s fare.   He also understands the value of treating his staff well. In an industry where turnover is notoriously high – a fact that dramatically affects the quality of service in some restaurants – Cheers boasts multiple staff members with decades-long tenure, ensuring a consistency of food and service that’s unmatched.  “I love this business because of the people, both the people that we serve as guests and the people who work here,” Tanner said. “It’s come to feel like a family here, it really has. And as a businessman, it’s important to know that you’ve got people running the kitchen or working the front of the house who are really into what they’re doing and care, frankly.”  “Everyone on my team knows that if something isn’t right, if it’s not up to standards, we don’t bring it out. I don’t care what it is, we don’t serve people something that’s not up to par. I tell my people all the time to just let the customer know that there was a problem in the kitchen and we’re taking the time to make it right. In my experience, customers understand that things A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

Cheers owners Samantha and Chris Tanner.

sometimes happen, and they appreciate it when you care enough to give them the quality they expect.”  It’s this kind of attention to detail that has developed Cheers such a loyal following. Regulars, some of whom eat here almost daily, are supplemented by Little Rock’s growing foodie community, bringing in a healthy dose of people from all parts of town looking to try someplace new.  “The cost of living in Little Rock being as low as it is means people can afford to go out to eat more,” Tanner said. “If you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, then you can make it in this business. There’s no reason not to, if you’re willing to put in the time and the work. It’s not rocket science, it’s just taking care of people and treating them like you’d want to be treated.” 

CheersITH.com


DREAMS MADE REAL

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LITTLE ROCK:

SYDNEY RASCH

CHANGING LITTLE ROCK ONE PROJECT AT A TIME

Junior League of Little Rock is one of the oldest women’s groups in the city, tracing its roots back to 1922, and even before as a United Charities (now the United Way). It was formed to promote voluntarism and develop the potential of women to effect positive change. JLLR welcomes all women who value their mission. They are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations, and communities. As a service organization, Junior League of Little Rock has contributed millions of dollars and thousands of service hours over its history. Some of Little Rock’s best-known and most-loved institutions came about with the help of the JLLR, including the Arkansas Arts Center, Riverfest, Volunteers in Public Schools (ViPS) and Potluck Food Rescue. “Junior League of Little Rock and our members have brought joy to the community every day since 1922,” said Jennifer Goss, president. “We have smart, driven, compassionate and thoughtful members who ensure JLLR provides the best events, projects and membership opportunities for our city. For nearly a century, the League’s work has helped to

shape Little Rock, and our focus on women and children has never wavered. As the needs of the city changed over the years, so has the League’s service, ensuring we adapt to our neighbors’ needs.” Some of the group’s fundraisers and events include: Holiday House: Approximately 14,000 shoppers visit the event every year to kick off the holiday shopping season. Over almost three decades, Holiday House has raised millions to fund JLLR’s community priority projects. This year’s event is slated for November 6-9, 2019, at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. Boosters & Big Rigs: This family-friendly, free community event provides children with dental, vision and wellness screenings. The event also provides children with an educational and fun opportunity to explore and touch community vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks and police cars. Boosters & Big Rigs is presented in partnership with UA Little Rock Children International. Kota Camp: The JLLR created Kota Camp in collaboration with Little Rock’s Camp Aldersgate. Kota Camps are weeklong inclusionary camps for

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disabled and non-disabled children, ages 6 to 18. Children with disabilities and medical conditions, along with their non-disabled siblings and friends, come together to experience the benefits that camp can offer. Stuff the Bus: Launched in the spring of 2006, Stuff the Bus provides basic back-to-school items to children whose families struggle to afford school supplies. STB serves seven elementary schools within the Little Rock School District, assisting more than 3,000 elementary age students. “We give a lot back to the community, but we couldn’t do it without our members or without our community partners and sponsors,” said Emily Powell Carpenter, marketing vice president. Kenya Eddings, nominating director, said the networking and camaraderie the organization provides its members is on par with the community service. “My experience in the League is, I have gained friends, sisters,” she said. “It’s a lot more than just giving back to the community; it goes a lot deeper and it gets a lot more personal.” Any woman over age 23 can join the JLLR. Current membership includes women from all walks of life, of all ages and backgrounds. “No matter your path in life, if you have a heart for giving back to the community, the Junior League invites you to become a member,” said Goss. “Our 1,000-woman membership consists of stay-at-home moms, an FBI agent, artists, nonprofit change agents, nurses, teachers, law and medical school students, married and single, and so much more. These women have chosen to dedicate their time, talents and sweat equity for the betterment of Little Rock.”

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DREAMS MADE REAL

RP POWER:

RONZA AND HIS TEAM  TAKE SERIOUSLY THE  RESPONSIBILITY OF  PROVIDING PRODUCTS  THAT HELP COMMUNITIES  FUNCTION IN THE  AFTERMATH OF MOTHER  NATURE’S FURY. 76 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

WITH GREAT POWER  COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY These days, the reassuring hum of a backup generator can be heard near and far, echoing throughout neighborhoods all over a community in the wake of a storm. But when John Ronza, president and CEO, co-founded RP Power  in 1998 it was a very different world, indeed.  RP Power, a distributor of Kohler emergency standby, prime, and mobile generators, is in the business of saving lives and protecting businesses from interruptions due to power loss. More recently, the company has directed its products and expertise toward keeping homes lit and warm, no matter the weather.  “Keep in mind, the need for emergency power has changed dramatically since I started in this business almost 40 years ago,” he said. “When I started,  the vast majority of  generators were purchased because some life safety code required it.  A wastewater treatment plant, or a downtown building exceeding eight stories, required a generator. Buildings had to have emergency lights and egress throughout the building. Hospitals, for their surgery center and things of that sort, required generators by code.”  “60 to 80 percent of the generators we sell today are not required by code.  They are  purchased  to either protect revenue or provide peace of mind.”  The primary catalyst for this change is technology, which over those same four decades has seeped into every corner of daily life. Technology has made buildings safer and allowed factories, businesses and manufacturing facilities to be more productive and more efficient than at any other time. But all technology has the same Achilles heel – eventually, all of it has to be plugged in or recharged to work.   “Think about what business was like 40 years ago,” said Ronza. “The power goes out at an accounting firm, the guy would open his blinds, sharpen his pencil and get  back to work.  The phones even worked during a power outage. Those days are over. Nobody works without a computer anymore. And nothing works in your building without power.”  Ronza  and his team take seriously the responsibility of providing products that help communities function

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in the aftermath of Mother Nature’s fury. Seemingly everyone you meet at the company headquarters has an engineering degree, including the sales personnel, something unheard-of among the company’s competitors.   “To some degree, we’re a company of nerds, but  we take that as a badge of honor  in a good way,” Ronza says, laughing. “Considering what we do, our customers want nerds. They don’t want their grandmother on the operating table and some guy that was selling  copiers  last week  help put  the emergency power system together.”  The company’s reputation for standing behind its product is equally impressive. As the Kohler generator distributor for Oklahoma, Arkansas, northern Mississippi and western Tennessee, serving customers  in a timely manner has meant expanding the company presence  geographically. This allows technicians  to remain responsive  for  emergencies  and routine calls alike.   RP Power’s staff is also a ready source of expertise for the many contractors who install their products throughout their service area.  “The basic science behind generating electricity hasn’t changed a lot, but the units themselves have,” said Caleb  Kamarunas,  Director of  Sales. “The different fuels that are available today – low emission diesels, larger natural gas and propane units – mean engines are more efficient than they used to be.  The run time is longer and the units are far quieter.” “And, there are special emission requirements for any generator that operates in a capacity other than  emergency standby such as for prime power or the interruptible utility rate.”  The most pronounced advancement to come along is technology that gives building owners and other operations personnel the ability to monitor systems remotely. It’s also a service that RP Power markets  to help troubleshoot customer issues even from afar.  “Today you can lose power and know almost immediately on your cell phone what’s going on with your power. You can remote start your units. You can find out if you’ve got faults or events,”  said Jason Ronza, Director of Operations. “The monitoring site of


the industry has exploded; the connection to the power grid and a facility and its generator is pretty incredible.” In addition to its North Little Rock headquarters, RP Power has  fully staffed  offices in Tulsa and  Oklahoma City, OK.  and  Memphis, TN., and a parts and service location in Springdale, AR. The company maintains one of the most comprehensive parts in-

products. “In Central Arkansas, the ice storms of 2000 and 2013 put a lot of people in cities out of power for six, seven, even eight days,” John  Ronza  said. “If you were rural, you were out for 10 days. That was an eye-opener for a lot of people. People were putting in home generators in the 1990s,  but  it kicked off big-time after 2000.” 

WHAT SETS US APART IN  OUR INDUSTRY IS WE HAVE A  SINGULAR FOCUS ON ONSITE  POWER GENERATION. ventories in the business and a refined service deployment strategy to tend to customer issues quickly. The footprint may be larger, but the focus on service is the same as it ever was.  “What sets us apart in our industry is we have a singular focus on onsite power generation, which is unusual,” said Jason Ronza. “Most of our competitors’ primary focus is somewhere else  and  emergency standby power is a sideline to their core business. For us, this is a singular focus to what we do.”  “When a consulting engineer calls and says, ‘Hey, we’re putting a project together. We’re looking for an expert to help us design this,’ we expect our employees to be able to offer true value. We pride ourselves on having a high level of technical ability in electrical engineering, emergency power systems design, keeping up with  local and  federal codes. And you’ve got to know those things. Arkansas codes are different than Oklahoma’s, they are different from Memphis. Memphis requires generators and related switchgear to meet a higher seismic certification which is not as prevalent here.”  The company may have been built on commercial and industrial accounts – from banks and data centers to government  installations, utility companies and hospitals – but has recently benefited from the surging growth of residential backup power

“Today, a home generator is becoming another air conditioner or microwave. It’s becoming mainstream. There are spec houses being built today with home generators.” This new chapter, combined with steady repeat business from existing market segments, has RP Power thinking  big things about  the future. John  Ronza  said opportunities have rarely been more  robust  than at this point, and he gives a good share of the credit for that to Kohler with whom RP Power has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship.    “We love our relationship with Kohler,”  John  Ronza  said. “Kohler is truly dedicated to building quality products and is an awesome company. They have developed many products they didn’t have five years ago and will hopefully have many new products in the near future they don’t have today. Being privately owned, Kohler is able to look far beyond next quarter earnings when making long term decisions. We  see a lot of opportunity within our own territory given the products they are developing.”   “We are in expansion mode right now. We’re looking at how we can better serve our customers today and are there other areas  where  we can serve our customers  tomorrow.  It’s fun to think about what the next chapter holds.” 

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DREAMS MADE REAL

ASAP PERSONNEL SERVICES STAFFING SOLUTIONS ARE JUST PART OF THE PICTURE

Left to right: Maxim Cabrera, Crystal Del Toro, John Mills (“The Numbers Guy”), Charley Robertson (President/CEO), Reed Thompson (COO), Carol Agee, Amanda Apple.

Over the past 30 years, ASAP Personnel Services has grown into a trusted source of quality staffing solutions throughout its service areas. From a single office in Little Rock, the company has grown to multiple offices in Arkansas and Austin, Texas, serving job seekers and client companies large and small. A lot has changed in the staffing business over

saw as lacking in the local staffing industry at that time. “A quality, dependable staffing service is hard to find,” he said. “We aren’t interested in merely supplying our clients with warm bodies. We take the time to match job seekers with the right assignments. We also offer various resources for success to help ensure the staffing we provide

providing support services such as resume revision and interview prep workshops that help candidates put their best foot forward and land a fulfilling job that matches our applicant’s qualifications.” Robertson said the reason for taking these additional steps is simple – they are effective, and they distinguish ASAP Personnel Services from the competition. He said the company has always been about developing long-term relationships with the clients it serves, something that has given ASAP staff an innate sense of which candidate would succeed within a given client company. “Every company has a unique culture that works for them; in 30 years, I’ve never seen a company that doesn’t” Robertson said. “You can have two identical job openings at two different companies, and they can feel completely different. We’ve been around so long we can generally tell which applicants will thrive in this company versus that company, based on their culture.” “A lot of staffing companies don’t have the experience to do this or they don’t care to do this; they simply look at the qualifications on the resume and the ones on the job description and if they match, then that employee must be a good match. We’ve built our reputation on the knowledge that success goes beyond the skillset. It’s equally or more important to make the right cultural match between applicant and prospective employer. Our record speaks for itself on that.” ASAP Personnel Services is located at 10301 North Rodney Parham Road, Suite A3 in Little Rock; 1004 Von Ronkle Street, Suite 1 in Conway and 3001 South Lamar Suite A230 in Austin, Texas.

WE TAKE THE TIME TO MATCH JOB SEEKERS WITH THE RIGHT ASSIGNMENTS. that time, but ASAP’s focus on customer service and ethical business practices have remained steadfast for three decades. “We are a diverse but unified team of staffing professionals and we enthusiastically work together to delight our clients,” said Charles Robertson, CEO, who founded the firm in 1989. “ASAP offers staffing solutions to clients looking for a consistent and competent workforce, however, our approach to staffing is more than mere placement. It’s a partnership that thrives on mutually beneficial results.” Robertson, a veteran of the manufacturing business, understood the difficulty of finding quality workers, especially for seasonal assignments. He launched ASAP to be the preferred source for short-term employees, something he 78 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

positively impacts productivity and the bottom line right out of the gate.” ASAP invests the same time and expertise in its pool of available workers, taking proactive steps to help ensure candidates get noticed by the right companies, commensurate with their skillsets. Richardson said in an age when so much of the hiring process is done electronically, ASAP Personnel Services still takes pride in its handson approach. “Looking for a job is as hard and as stressful as it ever was,” he said. “We make the job search process easy for job seekers by providing personal one-on-one support to job seekers. We help candidates get noticed by putting their resumes in the hands of people looking to hire.” “In addition to that, we go the extra mile by A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

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SEPTEMBER 2019 79


CULTURE

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SMILIN’ BOB: The beloved blues musician is remembered.

‘Smilin’ Bob’ Lewis: AUG. 21, 1951JULY 19, 2019 BY RACHEL AMMONS AND MATT WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN CHILSON

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ames Robert Lewis — better known to his peers and fans as “Smilin’ Bob” — was born in Paris, Arkansas, and died at his home in Van Buren. Those facts, taken alone, might give the impression that Lewis lived only one life. If half of the stories people tell about him are true, though, Lewis lived several lives in succession, and yet all at once. He was a luthier with a shop at the rear of Musicians Exchange in Crawford County. He was a black belt in karate with a majestic high kick. He lived in a cave for nearly a year while he built a cabin nearby, his goddaughter and protege Rachel Ammons told us. He was a veteran and an engineer, setting up cryptography machines behind enemy lines in Vietnam to transmit encrypted messages. He grew up on a farm, “baled and stacked hay, dug hundreds of fence posts, worked hard,” Ammons said. “He wasn’t afraid to go primitive. He was primitive. His kids remember living in a place with no running water for quite a while.” At one point in time, Lewis was roommate to “a ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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rescued deer, a rescued bobcat, two dobermans and a giant Grey macaw that ruled over them all,” Ammons said. “And that’s just some of the indoor animals.” Lewis was a daredevil, a “neon man, a sign maker,” mounting 8-foot-tall satellites and dangling from buildings to hang signs and letters on skyscrapers. “Long story short,” Ammons said, “anything that you had ever done or thought of doing, Bob had done it earlier and in a more extreme way than anyone else you know would dare. And I mean anything. And that’s all I can say on that.” Lewis was also a multi-instrumentalist and historian, lending gravity and grace to the myriad bands he played in — Tyrannosaurus Chicken, The Ben Miller Band, River Mountain Band, Bluesmith, J.R. & The Mighty Rhythm Kings, The Crumbs. He was, by all accounts, endlessly generous to those in need. He bought cheap guitars, fixed them up and gave them away to kids. He handed over a beloved brand-new pair of gloves to a stranger in for a long haul via bicycle. And when it was called for, he wasn’t afraid to rumble. “I saw him kick a guy flat once for harassing us while we were on stage, trying to grab our instruments and stuff,” Ammons said. “Bob was playing a mean banjo solo, smiling his head off. Kicked the guy. Didn’t miss a note. “He just loved the old blues — the real blues. He gave respect to people like Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn and he was glad that the Brits pretty much preserved the blues for a couple decades there, but his real heroes were the originators. People like Robert Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Big Mama Thornton, Howlin’ Wolf, Son House, the hundreds of thousands of forgotten people who worked in the fields and gave their souls to music to lift their burdens for a while and turn the darkest of human suffering into the most beautiful music ever conceived of (in my opinion). Blues is really representative of the beauty of the human soul overcoming the worst of the world and shining through, leading others home or helping them bear it. And that is what he did with his life, too.” What follows are reflections on “Smilin Bob” from Ammons (also of Tyrannosaurus Chicken, The Ben Miller Band and a solo project under her own name), as well as Matt White, co-owner of the White Water Tavern, where Rachel and Bob played together many times. *** I am not capable of expressing how much Bob means to me, how much of who I have become he is responsible for, and how much he has shaped my future. He gave so much to me, but then he gave to everyone he met, even complete strangers. Bob was magical for countless reasons, but one that will stick with so many was his ability to see the good and potential in everyone. He could draw it out. You could be doubting yourself in the most profound way, then he would say something that just dispelled it, made it seem like only a nightmare that fades out of reality, as if another person thought those thoughts, not you. Suddenly you stop focusing on your weaknesses and focus instead on your strengths and what he sees in you. He makes you feel worthy somehow. If he believes in you, you can sense it, and if he believes in you there is probably good reason. He’s been around long enough to know. I just hope we can all honor his belief in us, his hope for the best of humanity in the face of


despair. I hope that we can honor him by loving our fellow man as he did, by protecting the weak, by putting aside philosophical differences and making friends of our enemies. He could fight with you like there was no tomorrow, but no matter how bitter the dispute, he would do anything for you. In the process of trying to live as he did, we will all become bigger. We need to because he leaves so much space to fill. Fill it with love, kindness, abandon pettiness, and think of him wherever there is an opportunity to go above and beyond the call of duty for another. I know it would make him proud. — Rachel Ammons *** Smilin’ Bob Lewis on the mainline, tell him what you want. Howlin’ Wolf pleading “How Many More Years?” Smilin’ Bob singing on Cherry Street in the yellow light of October. Heading to Helena every fall must have felt like going home. I saw him there once, standing near the river, holding one of his strange guitars. When an old bluesman dies, a library burns to the ground. Though the loss of such wisdom is painfully profound, Bob never felt old to me. Somewhere I saw a picture of him sitting next to Pinetop Perkins in Mississippi on the piano player’s 93rd birthday; Smilin’ Bob was smiling from ear to ear. When it was late at the White Water, when the show was over and the van sagged under the weight of his instruments, when it was time to bid adieu, Smilin’ Bob Lewis’ last words were always, “I love you, my brother.” What a feeling: to know that he had your back, to understand that he believed in you. Like one of his cats out dozing in the heat, Bob was gentle, but no bully was to be tolerated. Bob was a veteran of war who longed for peace. Bob thought all ye fascists are bound to lose. Bob despised all of this bigotry and greed. Bob knew there is a more righteous way forward and he sang about it all of the time. His and Rachel’s blues were far-out and hard-driving. He believed in her so much, you know. Hearing them play, witnessing their hypnotic duel, one got the faint impression the two of ’em might become suddenly beamed up, transported to conduct their otherworldly Delta blues in a galaxy far away from this one. Theirs was a spaceship bound for glory. Tonight I am thinking of Bob and Rachel out there working hard, burning up I-40, crossing the Arkansas River, winding through the Alps, passing another foreign border, singing together in Munich, Chicago, Little Rock, Brussels. Sleeping in a bathtub, in a van, in a mansion, always giving it hell. What’d he think about on those late-night drives? Did he wish upon a burning star? How many times did he feel the sun come up, rolling down a blue highway that led to home, dog-tired and grateful after another show? What were the dreams of his children and grandchildren? My chest swells with all of the questions I foolishly failed to ask. Tonight I am thinking of Smilin’ Bob Lewis returning to his Arkansas River Valley for good on Wednesday morning. I am so grateful that I knew him. We love you, my brother. — Matt White

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BY TARRENCE CORBIN: “Untitled.”

BLASTS FROM THE PAST

SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP FUND OF PULASKI COUNTY

SPONSORED BY: CHANCELLOR’S LIST Fred Darragh Foundation Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Marge and Tom Schueck Rebsamen Fund Sherece West-Scantlebury and Joe Scantlebury

Mitchell firm collection meets UA Little Rock’s to showcase Arkansas art from the 1980s.

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n 1967, two Little Rock lawyers got together and decided their firm should collect art. Maurice Mitchell, who founded the Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard firm, was also a member of the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation board Fred Darraghand Foundation Rebsamen of directors other arts endeavors. Chris BarriCharles A. Frueauff Foundation Sherece er, a lawyer with the firm, had served on the Arts West-S VICE-CHANCELLOR’S LIST Centerand Board of Trustees car- Joe Scan Dr. Misty and Nathan Nolan Marge Tom Schueckand was himself a and Betsy Gray and Alan toonist. Collecting was a way to support the arts Thalheimer in Arkansas. Mary and Jim Wohlleb For the next 35 years or so, the firm’s Corporate Mitchell Williams Art Collection grew to include 92 artworks. As it University of Arkansas happens, many came from the talents in the art Little Rock Mary and Jim Wohlleb Mitchell Willia department at UA Little Rock, such as professors Al Allen, Kathleen Holder, Rocky Sapp and David PROVOST’S LIST October 1, 2019 Bailin; and students Alice Andrews, Dominique Bank OZK Simmons (who later taught), Kitty Mashburn, 6:00-8:00 Cindy Conger Gertrude Tara-Casciano and Anne Fordyce. Patricia and Dr. Carl Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Johnson Bank Beverlydi-and Gary So the OZK Mitchell firm and Brad Cushman, 1800 Center Street, Little Rock rector the galleries at UA Little Rock, put their CindyofConger Patricia and Dr. Carl DEAN OF STUDENT’S LIST Tickets $125.00 heads, and art, together to create an exhibition Anonymous that draws from the firm’s collection and the unispsfpulaski.org Carol and Allan Mendel versity’s. The result is “Pairing Collections: Contemporary Art in 1980s Arkansas,” which opened WHEN YOU BRING SINGLE PARENTS OUT OF POVERTY, in August in the university’s Cushman Gallery in the Windgate Center for Art + Design. The show Anonymous Carol and Allan M THEY BRING THEIR CHILDREN WITH THEM. runs through Sept. 29. The exhibit’s 22 pieces from the Mitchell firm and 11 from UA Little Rock include fine examples n rkAnsAs Av o r i t e of work by the artists already mentioned, as well as printmaker Evan Lindquist, professor emeritus eAr Fter eAr at Arkansas State University; the late Tarrence Dr. Bev Foster has been named to numerous “best of” lists for Best Corbin, an art professor at UA Pine Bluff who beChiropractic Physician since she opened her doors. came nationally known; and artists David Bailin, Patrick McFarlin, Warren Criswell, Sally Williams, Ask her loyal patients and you’ll hear comments like: “Her staff are both Cheryl Wall, Lou Boswell, Reita Miller, Margaret professional and always helpful,” “I would trust her skills with anyone in Speer, Warren Sims and Cheryl Wall. my family,” “…loves what she does and cares for her patients,” Much of the work in the show is on paper, due or our favorite, “Best chiropractor in the world!” in no small part, Cushman said, to the fact that the We appreciate our loyal patients who support better health university got it — milk carton paper on huge rolls through chiropractic medicine. — free from UA Pine Bluff. There is also commonality in some of the works, likely due to the teacher’s influence of the student: The gestural marks Get Well. Stay Well. in Dominique Simmons’ “Dead Banjo Player” and Kitty Mashburn’s “Eartha (Rhino), Arkansas River

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Series,” and the abstract sweeps of Tara-Casciano’s large pastels “Untitled” and “Self Portrait” might owe something to then-professor Kathleen Holder’s pre-minimalist stage. Evan Lindquist’s mid-’80s engravings “History Lesson: Cleopatra” and “History Lesson: Napoleon” are two wonderful works by the state’s artist laureate. The powerful pair face each other on the wall, Cleopatra with her serpent and buzzard headdress and Napoleon with his feathered, two-cornered hat, drawn in Lindquist’s exquisite calligraphic line. Both are from the Mitchell Williams collection. Warren Criswell’s “Two Men on Stilts II” from the UALR collection finds a kindred spirit in David Bailin’s “What They Know They Know for Us” from the Mitchell Williams collection. Criswell’s is a scene of two men (both Criswell, of course) on absurdly tall, rough-hewn stilts walking past a burning downtown; Bailin’s depicts a man (his always-pondering hero) on a path overhung with trees, an archetypical house hovering above and its earthly manifestation in miniature at the man’s feet. The decision to use works made 30 years ago by people who were working in concert — geographically, that is — allows the viewer to see their influences on one another, as well as their work’s evolution. Simmons still works in a gestural way, her spaces filled with lines of color. Criswell — already a mature artist then — has continued to produce his crepuscular visions, with no diminishing of skill. Bailin, who worked for a time in charcoal with coffee adding the only tint, has begun to add color again. Alice Andrews — whose abstract “Blue Rock” in the “Pairing Collections” show is an ethereal Chagall-meets-Frankenthaler — was exhibiting scenes of Ozark streams in her show at Boswell Mourot Fine Art in 2018. William “Rocky” Sapp’s handmade rolled paper abstraction “Art Compartment: Laconic Section” (1984-84), stands in contrast to his later figurative bronze sculpture. Al Allen is one of the most revered artists Arkansas has ever produced, and his works in “Paired Collections” are nice examples of his oeuvre, crisp images of light on windows and clapboard siding. Tarrence Corbin was another, and it’s good to see his jumbled geometrics here. A compelling abstracted landscape in reds and blues, “Amputated Landscape,” is a work by the late Ann Fordyce from the Mitchell Williams collection. People reintroduced to the work of former Arkansas artist Patrick McFarlin in his show in the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies’ Galleries at Library Square will be glad to see “Mast,” his multimedia drawing of hopscotched figures. On the Windgate Center’s ground floor, in the Small Gallery, is “New in LOU, Drawn Daily,” accordion books that Meena Khalili drew daily to record her year in Louisville, Ky. The 365 pen and ink and brush drawings of shops and streets and houses and drinks, some collaged with newspaper and other printed material, stem from the graphic artist’s interest in geography, history and impermanence, according to UALR. Khalili, a first-generation Iranian American, is an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. That show also runs through Sept. 29. —Leslie Newell Peacock

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FOOD & DRINK

South Asian NWA

EXCERPTS FROM ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS.

BYANNEMARIE ANDERSON, SOUTHERN FOODWAYS ALLIANCE PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN CHILSON

NEWCOMERS, NEW CUISINE: Ali Momani, from Jordan, opened Community Butcher in 2018; Lisa Purakayastha of Texas and her husband, India native Abhijeet Purakayastha, opened Khana Indian Grill in 2015.

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he mission of the Southern Foodways Alliance, part of the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, is to document, study and explore the “diverse food cultures of the changing American South.” Earlier this year, SFA oral historian Annemarie Anderson interviewed members of the growing South Asian food community in Northwest Arkansas, many of whom moved to the region because they or a family member got a job at Walmart. In 2008, one Indo-Pakistani restaurant and one gas station sold Indian staples in Northwest Arkansas. Newcomers often had to travel hours to get South Asian goods. Now there’s a robust network of restaurants, grocery stores and butcher shops. To see video and read the full transcripts of the interviews below as well as additional interviews, visit southernfoodways.org/oral-history/south-asian-arkansas/. Ali Momani Community Butcher, Lowell Ali Momani, born in 1971, is originally from Jordan. He provides a local source of goat and lamb for Muslim consumers in Northwest Arkansas. In 2018, he opened up Community Butcher in Lowell. Momani relies upon farmers and meat processors in Northwest Arkansas to provide locally grown halal meat. He works with a farmer in Centerton to supply lamb, goat and chickens,

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and he uses a meat processing plant in Winslow, Arkansas. Many Indian restaurants buy halal goat and lamb from Momani. He also butchers meat to order for individual customers. Momani attended culinary school in the capital city of Amman where he learned to cook dishes like maqluba, kabs and mansaf. In 1995, he came to Dallas just to visit, but decided to stay. While living in Dallas, he managed several restaurants. When his wife got a job with Walmart in 2004, they moved to Northwest Arkansas. After a brief move to Miami, they returned to Northwest Arkansas in 2010: Oh, we move here to Arkansas because my wife, she get a job at Walmart and we have to move here. So we move here 2004, we stay for like three years, four years, and we move to Miami for five years, and we come back here. So I became a butcher because every time we need to go buy meat, we had to go to Dallas to get like halal meat, you know. We are Muslim, we have to have halal meat, cannot get any kind of meat. And we had to drive all the way to Dallas or Tulsa or Kansas City to pick up fresh meat, so that’s why we came up with the idea to just open my own shop and serve the community here and make sure it’s halal 100 percent and is fresh meat, not frozen or not — you know, just give it fresh the whole time. ... We had to go get the animals from the auction, have to find the goat and lamb from auction, and I keep it on the farm. We have farm

in Centerton. And every time what I need, I see what I need for the week, I take it to the meat processing in Winslow, in Arkansas, so that’s what they process the meat there, and I tell like what I need every week, see how much I need, or a month, and I’ll take it there. We take to them live, and they will slice it there and I bring it back to my store. So the meat processing, they have to go by the Islamic way, so they have to see all the rules, and there’s a guy from the USDA. They cannot do anything without him, and he has to be in the top. Anytime they want to kill, he has to be there. Even if they kill one chicken, he has to be there. They cannot do anything without him. So the guy, he really knows about Islam and he knows, you know, what need to be done before you kill it, and he will go the Islamic way. He’s allowed to be saying the prayer on the animal before they kill it. ... I have a lot of customer, a lot of people from — even non-Muslim, I have like probably 90 percent of my customer they’re non-Muslim, they’re from India, and I have some Americans, some other cultures, people from Iran, from Arab. So everybody who come here, I have made a lot of friends, and even I have some people from Joplin, Fort Smith, they will come to buy halal meat from here, yeah. So we have a lot of — and this one year, my business has grown up probably like double times when I was open. It’s getting bigger and bigger. And everybody like the meat.


Cupcakes for Go odness Sake

We always keep the quality for the meat. We always get like fresh meat, small animals, we get the young animals, not the older ones, so they need to be soft and taste good when you cook it, and it’s not going to take a long time to be cooked. So you have to keep the quality of the meat for them, too.

5th Annual

Lisa and Abhijeet Purakayastha Khana Indian Grill, Fayetteville Lisa, born in 1957, is from Houston, Texas. Abhijeet Purakayastha, born in 1962, was raised in India. Abhijeet moved to Texas from India to attend the University of Texas. They met in Houston at an advertising agency. A few years after they married, they opened an Indian leather import business. In 2006, the Purakayasthas left Houston and moved to Fayetteville. Lisa and Abhijeet were used to the accessibility of Houston’s diverse food scene. When they first moved to Arkansas, they had difficulty finding Indian spices and vegetables. And they missed the easy access to Indian grocery stores and restaurants. As they settled in Northwest Arkansas, Lisa and Abhijeet began to make Indian food for their new community. Soon after, they decided to start an Indian restaurant. In 2015, they opened Khana Indian Grill. Khana serves a small menu featuring dishes from many regions of India. Lisa and Abhijeet use their menu to educate Arkansans unfamiliar with Indian food: But before I met Abhijeet, I really didn’t think I liked Indian food. When his mother arrived for our wedding, she started cooking, and it was very simple food. A dal, maybe some sauteed potatoes, something like that, but just the freshness and the … new way that she used spices, it was new to me that you wouldn’t just go to the grocery store and buy a jar of spices. She actually used whole spices and roasted or toasted them and ground them herself. And just the flavor that resulted from that was a revelation to me. So, she started teaching me to cook. She introduced me to a lot of new foods, too. I remember one day, I came home from work and she was making these patties that she calls sago wadas. And they’re basically balls of tapioca, which in my mind before was just some ucky, gooey sweet dessert — but balls of tapioca that she’d soaked in yogurt and mixed with potato and green chilis and cumin and peanuts, and then was shaping into patties and frying. It was just so far off of my comfort zone that I said, “No, that’s OK, I’m not really hungry.” But then she finished them and put this beautiful plate down with some chutney on the side, and I was in love, OK? It was wonderful. She is really the one that started us on this journey. Abhijeet would try to cook a little bit, but again, he grew up with his mother and sisters cooking, and he didn’t cook so much on his own. [Laughter.] ... We knew that there was a lot of confusion about what Indian food is … . It’s pretty much like Italian food was in America [in] the 1950s and ’60s. It was pretty much spaghetti and meatballs or pizza; people didn’t know much about it. But with new immigrants coming in or people opening restaurants, Italian restaurants from different regions of Italy, people’s exposure to different regional dishes grew. So, now people know the difference between Northern and Southern Italian food. It’s gotten much, much more sophisticated. Well, we knew that in this area especially, we were kind of back in the 1950s of what people knew about Indian food. So, I wanted to make it simple. Often, when you

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SEPTEMBER 2019 87


BRINGING NEW TASTES TO BENTONVILLE: Maya Sivakumar of Pandiya’s with Bharathi Arumugam; Sayed Ali owns Aroma Pakistani & Indian Cuisine.

go into an Indian restaurant, you’re handed what looks like a book. There’s page after page of dishes that you are not familiar with and have never heard of, and then sometimes it’s not very clean. Anyway, we just thought about what we might like to see in a restaurant and what we liked in our favorite restaurants, and we also wanted, too, to be a part of … whatever cultural diversity was here. Because it seemed that we were meeting just a pretty much homogenous group of people, and we hoped to attract more diversity through our doors. So, that’s why, on the door, it says, “All Welcome.” OK? It’s been wonderful. We made friends with the couple, Ali and Rose, that own Rose Stop in Springdale, and they are from Iran originally. So, they are the kindest, nicest people ever, and we had a birthday party for Rose about six months after we opened. All of a sudden, here was this huge Iranian community that turned out for it. So, that connected us to that. It connected us to other people that grew up maybe in a rice culture … . We drove up one day and, actually, it was my brother, who looks like a big redneck, and he was in a truck and he drove up and there was a group of Muslim women praying in our parking lot. So, he was happy to see them and he got out and said hello, but he scared them, because you can imagine in Fayetteville if you’re praying on a prayer rug with a hijab on and some redneck comes up to you, you’re not really sure of the response. So, I think he managed to — through sign language — convey to them, “Hey, I’m friendly, I’m so glad you’re here.” So, but anyway, that’s the type of experience that we’ve loved. We want to facilitate that, that sense of, here at — see, I’m gonna cry when I talk about this. [Laughter.] But anyway, just here at the table, we can all sit together and have a meal and all be a part of the larger family. ... 88 SEPTEMBER 2019

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I would like to encourage people in this area that have a food background in their family, that have some type of ethnic food restaurant, to open their own place. It’s a daunting prospect, from the finances of it. It’s been hard for us and complex and complicated. It’s hard, and I get that. But I think there is so much that cultural differences, culturally diverse restaurants, can add to a community. They can be meeting places for people; they can really help expose and educate people about other people’s lives. That’s how we find commonality, is through food. So, the more places that open up, the more things that take the plunge — for example, we decided that we wanted to serve an Indian ice cream called kulfi. We didn’t have the place to make it, we didn’t know how we were going to do it, and we found a woman in Rogers who has a Mexican ice cream place. So, we’ve worked with her to develop the recipe, and then decided that we would serve her version of popsicles. So, we have kulfi popsicles, that we provide the cardamom and the saffron and the pistachios to her, and she actually makes them into a popsicle shape because she has the molds and the know-how. So, we like that kind of collaborative effort, kind of cross-cultural collaborative effort. We just like to see anybody that thinks they’d like to have a restaurant do it. Maya Sivakumar Pandiya’s South Indian Cuisine, Bentonville Maya Sivakumar moved to Milwaukee, Wis., from South India in 2000 with her husband. She and her friends often had to travel to Chicago to get spices and bags of rice for cooking. While in Milwaukee, Sivakumar got a job as a bank teller and eventually became a manager. The difficulty of finding a South Indian restau-

rant inspired her to open her own. In 2014, Sivakumar and her family moved to Dallas. In 2016, Sivakumar franchised a restaurant called Kumar’s in Irving, Texas. A few years later, she started helping her brother-in-law manage his restaurant, Chennai Café in Bentonville, Arkansas. In 2018, Sivakumar moved to Bentonville and took over ownership of her brother-in-law’s restaurant and changed the name. Pandiya’s features a buffet of mostly South Indian dishes, though Sivakumar is thoughtful about adding requested dishes from other regions of India. Every Sunday and Thursday, Pandiya’s serves lunch on banana leaves: Here we basically have all Indian cuisine, but we focus in South Indian cuisine, more South Indian. But we have other, like West, East, North, all sorts of cuisine. South Indian cuisine is more, like, spicier, more flavorful than comparatively the Northwest or East Coast. As I said, here, the local people, like the local American crowd, they like, like, the flavors, but not spicy, so we changed a little bit of that spices and flavors and we changed a bit according to their taste, and we have also, like, you know, you can make mild, medium or spicy, any way you want it. And we put like lot of specials. Like, say, for example, if somebody come and ask, “Hey, we are from this state and this food is very popular there,” it’s not in our menu, so what we will do is we will just put like for that weekend special, Friday, we have this one. Saturday, we have this menu, like that. And also in the buffet I try to put more items that will attract all sorts of people, not just like focusing on one community so that, you know, people can come and enjoy — all sorts of people can come and enjoy. One good thing about this community I can


say is a lot of local white American people, they love just not like the few bland stuffs we have. They try to explore everything. Even on Thursdays and Sundays, what we do is — like in India, the weddings and all the festivals, we do serve food in banana leaf. So we put like three or four side items like vegetables, curries, everything. That was like — very few restaurants are doing in America, in banana leaf. I would say maybe we are the first one who started in Dallas. So maybe three or four restaurants for the entire U.S. So that was, I thought — it won’t get popular here because of the small community. Then people started asking why I’m not doing that here that I used to do in Dallas, so then we started serving on Thursdays and Sundays that banana leaf meals. So we serve both for vegetarians and also for the meat lovers. We have two options. They can come and pick it. ... Sometimes I get like really frustrated, and if I’ll be standing, “Oh, my god, do I have to run this business?” Like that I’ll be thinking. A few customers will come and tell, “This is the best food we ever had. I have never had this kind of a food in my entire U.S.” Some kinds of these feedbacks and comments make me come every day and do this business.

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Sayed Ali Aroma Pakistani & Indian Cuisine, Bentonville Sayed Ali, born in 1949, is originally from Pakistan. He moved to the United States to get a master’s in business administration from California State University in 1978 and returned to Pakistan after receiving his degree. He and his wife moved to the United States for the second time in 2005. Finding work in California was difficult, so he moved to Bentonville in 2008 to be closer to his daughter, who worked for Walmart. When he moved to Northwest Arkansas, it was difficult to find halal meat. Ali raised goats and lamb for halal slaughter on his farm in Avoca (Benton County). He sold the farm and opened up his restaurant, Aroma, in 2008. Ali and his wife, Sughra, prepare and sell dishes like fresh roti, lamb chops and biryani. Their menu is fully halal. Ali is involved in the local Muslim community in Northwest Arkansas, and Aroma often provides food during religious holidays: We came to USA for the second time in 2005, and we came to California. We stayed there for about two months, and then I had hard time finding a job, although I have M.B.A. from California State University. I had difficulty finding a job because of age or maybe because of religion, I don’t know, because of the way I look. I had a beard. And my daughter was here working in Transplace America. Right now she’s working in Walmart. So she suggested that we move here closer to her. She was here. We were in California. Then in August 2005, we decided to move here. I came here, tried to find a job. Had a beard and had difficulty for about maybe four or five days, then I shaved my beard off and found a job with Arkansas Support Network. There I worked three years. It was such a job that I had to stay with some client overnight and my day was free. Later on, they gave me so much time in the day also, but we decided to do some business. So I started going to farms, getting goat meat and selling goat meat, because goat meat was not easily available in Arkansas. People came to me. Finally we had a farm in Avoca, 120acre farm. I was overseeing most of it, but on that farm we grew goats. So people came to

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SEPTEMBER 2019 89


FLAVORS OF INDIA: Himabindu Sreepathy in Bentonville’s World Food Mart, which she opened in 2015 with her husband, Raja Bavirisetti. They also own Flavors Indian Cuisine and Kwality Ice Cream and Grill.

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ARKANSAS TIMES

buy goat meat from us, and some will ask if we could make some biryani for them. Biryani is very popular among Indians. We started making biryani and then we said we can start the restaurant. ... It’s very difficult to survive right now. Most of the time you come here, you find the restaurant empty. That is because of buffet. Other people have buffet at lunchtime, and we were losing money on the buffet because Americans are very careful in eating, using the buffet. They take whatever they want to eat, but the other population, like Indians, Pakistani and people from that area, they used to take a lot of food without trying to judge how much they can eat, and they would leave a lot of food behind. Our trashcans were full. So, basically, and our buffet price was very reasonable, and we were adding continuously more and more rich items, like we had samosa on the buffet, we had tikka on the buffet ... . One day I saw somebody walking — we had Mango Shake also — somebody eating and drinking whatever they wanted, wasting whatever he wanted, and then he was walking off with two Mango Shakes. So that way we were losing the money. So we had to shut down the buffet, and people started going to other restaurants. But, still, some of our items are such that they are very popular, our biryani and our tikka, so at lunchtime people who don’t care about buffet, eating too much over there, they come here and enjoy their food. ... In Ramadan, we have big gatherings, we break our fast at sunset and people try to bring their food so that people can break their fast. They’re fasting during the day there’s no eating one and a half hour before sundown and then they start eating at sunset. So people bring food because they think it will make God happier if people break their fast with their food. So we have big get-togethers in the mosque, and then people order food from here, and most of them are from South India. South India a little bit different recipes, so their choice of ordering either from here, which is a common food between south and north, biryani is pretty popular, so if they order biryani, the first reference is Aroma.

Himabindu Sreepathy Flavors Indian Cuisine, Kwality Ice Cream and Grill and World Food Mart, Bentonville Himabindu Sreepathy, born in 1981, is originally from the Andhra Pradesh state in Southern India. She obtained a degree in medicine. When she married her husband, Raja Bavirisetti, in 2007, they moved to Houston. Raja got a job at Walmart in 2009, and the couple moved to Bentonville, where Indian restaurants and grocery stores were scarce. Bindu learned to adapt to her surroundings. She bought local produce, made curries out of celery, and searched the internet for pasta recipes. Raja grew up helping his father in their family business, and he missed entrepreneurial work. In 2011 Bindu and Raja opened an Indian restaurant, Taj Indian Cuisine. It later became Flavors Indian Cuisine. In 2015 they opened World Food Mart, a grocery store that sells Indian readymade goods, vegetables and other international products. Kwality Ice Cream and Grill, which sells kulfi, baked goods and a savory menu packed with Bindu’s recipes, opened in 2018: I mostly work in the kitchens, and Kwality, and I did help in the flavors, streamlining the recipes for them, getting the proportions right, as well as with the help of the chefs working there. At Kwality, 70 percent of them are my recipes, combined with additions from other chefs and my pastry chef and other people. At the food truck, 80 percent of the recipe ideas were from my husband, Raja. Well … and the store … I don’t know what I do at the store. It’s more like inventory management, managing the schedules, ordering stuff, seeing if everything is in place, where I want it to be — easily accessible, because we think it should always be a pleasure. Shopping should be a pleasure for the customers. If it’s haphazardly placed all over the store, no one is going to seriously know what we have, so we think it should be well-organized. I help in keeping things in order. ... I have been cooking since 1991. Like my mom, she is ... I think, at the age of 40 or 43. She’s 43, I believe. So, she went to do radiology. So, my mom wasn’t with us, so it was just me, my dad and my sisters. So, I would be the — since being


the eldest in the house, I was the one doing the cooking. … I started cooking, entering the kitchen when I was in sixth grade, I believe. I think so, yep, sixth grade, maybe. I don’t like eating the same thing twice in a day. [Laughter] And being a vegetarian makes it very hard when you are in U.S. Once we came to U.S. after marriage, it was like we would go — me and my husband love food. We love experimenting with — and I wouldn’t like it when I go into a restaurant, and I was like, the first thing even before being seated, I would ask them to show us the menu because it’s most meat-based in this country. … I mean, it was never a hassle, because most of them, it was maybe 70 percent were like we did, have an option for vegetarian food, non-meat based food and stuff. But when I came here is when I had to actually learn more recipes, because that’s when I learned Italian cooking. Food Network. [Laughter] I would like, my husband loves pasta. That’s when it was like, every Friday night was pasta night for us. He still says, “You should put that recipe, I have never tasted that.” I’m like, “We will see. Maybe we will add pasta to the menu, too, here, one day.” Then I would look. See, when you try to create new recipes, you’re actually going to the supermarket, grocery store, and seeing what you’re getting. We love doing seasonal. Of course, not many like seasonal stuff, but now, trend has become that people want to eat seasonal foods. That’s how I was like, so we had so many recipes that I could experiment with. Then … I would, like, cook new things every now and then, but the serious cooking, the large-scale cooking, came when last year, we decided that for Flavors, we wanted to have a … what do you call? A proper recipe. Not like, say, in India, where the cooking is more like “You taste, you put.” Oh, there’s a little salt, you go ahead and add salt. I mean, that’s what my mom taught me. There was no such thing as a recipe. It’s like, we were like, “You watch and learn.” I have never gotten a recipe from anybody in India. If they ask a recipe, they just say, “Stand beside me. Come on, stand.” Say, “Go ahead, you take a handful of this, a spoon of that, a bowl of this, and fry.” They don’t have time — it’s just that, for them, they say, “If it smells good, that’s when the recipe is correct.” I mean … [Laughter.] It’s a weird thing in India. That’s how people teach. ... [A]t Flavors, it’s still — it’s Indian, but we have modernized — not exactly modernized, we have made it more American. It’s more American taste. It’s milder, it’s creamier, it’s people who have grown — like myself — my kids don’t like spice. My daughter is like, “No.” She cannot even, black pepper, no, she will not tolerate anything. It’s more the palate, what we have adjusted the food. We’re still having the same recipes, but the palate, we have changed. Even here at Kwality, we still have the chicken tikka, paneer tikka, but the way it is presented, a panini, which is not an Indian thing. So, we’re trying to have what we get in India, but things everybody can try. We still have things which are very typical Indian in the menu, but we are trying to see that everybody enjoys it. It’s why restrict food to selected few? Yeah, like the pizza. Pizzas, we have tikka, paneer tikka pizza, butter chicken pizza, chicken tikka pizza. Something that’s not — pizza is not our stuff, it’s Western. But the buttered chicken, the chicken tikka, what we put in the sauces, it’s all Indian. We are trying to merge things here, where at Flavors, we are trying to ... it’s still Indian food, but adapted to the taste of people who are here.

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CANNABIZ

How High Is Too High? POLICE ‘DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERTS’ MUST DECIDE. BY REBEKAH HALL

A

rkansas voters passed Amendment 98 to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. On May 10, 2019, the first legal purchase of marijuana was made, more than two years after Amendment 98 was ratified. Eight of the 32 dispensaries approved by the state are now open. For the first time Arkansas residents are allowed to possess and use marijuana and cannabis products so long as they hold a state medical marijuana ID card that shows they meet one of 18 qualifying medical conditions approved by the Arkansas Department of Health. As the industry grows, law enforcement agencies in Arkansas are faced with an unprecedented problem: identifying how much cannabis in a cardholder’s system renders them too impaired to drive. While cardholders are legally allowed to possess and use marijuana, they can’t use marijuana in a public place or inside a vehicle and are not permitted to drive while under the influence of marijuana. While police can use Breathalyzer tests to detect how much alcohol is in a driver’s blood at the time of his arrest, no such test exists to immediately determine the degree to which a driver is impaired by marijuana. To determine whether a person is impaired by a substance other than alcohol — and to figure out what type of drug is causing the impairment — police departments are turning to what are called “drug recognition experts.” DREs are law enforcement officers who have been trained to observe myriad “indicators” of impairment for seven different “drug categories”: central nervous system depressants; central nervous system stimulants; hallucinogens; dissociative anesthetics; narcotic analgesics; inhalants; and cannabis. DREs include this identification of the drug category in an “opinion” they render after completing a 12-step DRE evaluation process. Police departments in every state in the U.S.

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have DRE programs. Matt Thomas, an officer and drug recognition expert with the Little Rock Police Department, said the LRPD has two DREs on staff — including himself. Tara Amuimuia, the manager of the traffic safety program at the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute, is also the coordinator of the state’s Drug Evaluation and Classification Program. Amuimuia, 49, worked as a law enforcement officer for 15 years, and she’s been with the traffic safety program for four years. Amuimuia said officers who go through the DRE program receive training that teaches them to consider a “totality of everything” when determining if, and how, a subject is impaired. Included within that totality is a “drug matrix” of tests and indicators for each of the seven different drug categories. And while an officer who’s been trained as a DRE may employ some of those tests on a subject during a roadside traffic stop, a DRE must process persons who’ve been arrested and brought in to the police station. The evaluation a DRE performs is used to “enhance” or “support” the arresting officer’s roadside decision to arrest a subject for impaired driving, Amuimuia said. If a driver who has not failed a Breathalyzer test fails a series of field sobriety tests administered by an officer, he or she can be arrested for driving while impaired and brought in for an evaluation by a DRE. But the administering of a DRE evaluation depends on the availability and proximity of a DRE; some departments may allot one DRE-certified officer to every shift, while other departments with fewer DREs, like the LRPD, would have to call for a DRE to come to the station to perform the evaluation. The program has been criticized as too subjective and a burden on persons suspected of being impaired. Melissa Fults, executive director of the Drug Policy Education Group, an Arkansas

nonprofit that advocates for medical marijuana users and marijuana policy, takes issue with the program’s reliance on the judgment of both the arresting officer and the DRE in evaluating impairment. Despite a complex “matrix” of tests and indicators, the findings of a DRE evaluation still ultimately rest on the officer’s “opinion” of the arrestee’s state. “The biggest problem that I have is these [officers] are supposed to be trained to spot someone that’s under the influence,” Fults said. “Yet, in other states ... there have been police officers [who] have just gone crazy. They arrest people because they assume that they’re using something, and then they get there, they do the drug test, and they’re fine. But still, they’ve been arrested, they’ve been handcuffed, they’ve been inconvenienced, they’ve been taken to jail, all because someone has the opportunity to say, ‘Oh, I think you look like you’re on drugs.’ ” The ACLU of Georgia brought scrutiny to the program in 2017 when it filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of three plaintiffs, all of whom were arrested by a Cobb County police officer, Tracy Carroll, for driving while impaired by marijuana. Carroll attributed his actions during the arrests to his DRE training. All three people were charged with DUIs and spent the night in jail, and in all three cases, the DUI charges were dropped after blood tests showed no traces of marijuana in their systems. But Thomas and Amuimuia said even the results of toxicological examinations may not definitively indicate the status of a subject’s impairment. Amuimuia said it can sometimes take “weeks or months” for an officer to get toxicology results back in a case because of understaffed and backlogged state crime labs, and Thomas said the tests performed can be limited in what they indicate. Officers can require a suspect to provide a urine sample for a toxicology screening, but Thomas said this test only indicates if a subject


has “recently used” marijuana within a certain number of days; it doesn’t indicate how impaired they were by the drug at the time of their arrest. The officer said blood tests can be more effective at determining the amount of marijuana present in a subject’s system at the time the blood was drawn, but unlike a urine screening — which is considered to be a “noninvasive” procedure — if a subject refuses to take a blood test, police can’t draw blood without a warrant signed by a judge. Thomas and Amuimuia said the potential delays and limits of toxicology tests are part of what makes a DRE evaluation so useful to a case. Thomas emphasized that police receive extensive training before they become officers in how to conduct a traffic stop when they suspect a driver is impaired. They’re taught to use a “three-step process” before and during a traffic stop, the first of which begins with an officer’s initial observation of a subject’s driving — have they crossed the double center line multiple times? Are they swerving repeatedly? The second step is the officer’s “personal contact” with the driver after pulling him or her over. Thomas said a suspect’s behavior when they’re first pulled over during the stop can help indicate whether the behavior was a “fluke” or a sign that they’re too impaired to drive. Sometimes, Thomas said, it is a fluke. “Life happens, and it’s part of that full threestep investigative process. I stop people all the time [and] think that they may be impaired to begin with, and they’re not. They’re messing with the radio, they dropped a cigarette, they dropped their phone [or] their kids are yelling at them,” Thomas said. If the officer has decided that the driver may be impaired, he’ll ask the driver to exit the vehicle and perform a series of field sobriety tests, including the “one leg” test that checks a subject’s balance, the “walk and turn” test that checks a subject’s ability to walk in a straight line, and the “finger to nose” test that also checks for balance and the speed of a subject’s body movement. If after the tests the officer determines that a subject is too impaired to operate his vehicle, the officer can arrest the driver for driving while impaired, just as an officer can arrest someone he suspects of being under the influence of alcohol who has refused to take a Breathalyzer test. The driver is then brought back to the station, where he’s charged. If a subject takes a breath test at the station and registers a low BAC — the state’s legal limit is .08 — or no BAC at all, a drug recognition expert is called in to help ascertain how a subject is impaired. The drug recognition expert then performs a 12-step DRE evaluation, a process that Amuimuia said usually takes at least an hour to complete. It begins with an interview of the arresting officer about the traffic stop, along with observations of the “suspect’s attitude.” The DRE then performs several tests, including some of the same field sobriety tests an officer would have conducted, and looks for different indicators to help determine by what drug a subject has been impaired. The DRE will also test eye movement to see how well eyes are tracking; examine pupil size — dilated, undilated or “constricted” pupils indicate reactions to different drug categories — and the reaction of a subject’s pupils to different degrees of light. DREs also take a subject’s pulse rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Drug recognition experts say there are identifiers unique to each drug category: “drowsi-

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ness” for central nervous system depressants; “grinding teeth” for stimulants; and “debris in mouth” and “increased appetite” for cannabis, among many others. After the tests are complete, a DRE then renders an opinion as to which drug category a subject’s impairment falls. The DRE’s opinion is intended to help corroborate the arresting officer’s decision to charge the subject with driving while impaired. “It’s kind of like icing on the cake,” Amuimuia said. “You have a cake and you know it’s pretty good, but wouldn’t it be better with icing?” “We actually teach that part of it, that not everybody you’re going to evaluate is going to be impaired, that there are medical conditions that do mimic drug use,” Thomas said.

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_________________________________ The DRE program was developed by the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1970s to help aid in the arrests of subjects were who impaired, but not by alcohol. “Officers were getting a lot of DWI arrests where the BAC was really low or nonexistent, but they knew the person was impaired,” Amuimuia said. “So they figured it was drugs, but they didn’t have a way of figuring that out or proving that.”

police department’s use of DREs, as well as the number of officers within the department who become DREs, depends on the resources and priorities of the department. “Are we putting all of our eggs in the basket of working DWIs? Or are we putting our eggs in the basket [of] working violent crimes?” Thomas said. “Little Rock has a very high violent crime rate, and that seems to take more precedence than getting guys certified as DREs.” A department’s funding can also affect how many officers it sends to receive DRE training, as costs for travel and lodging for the duration of the training can mount. Too, when officers are sent to receive training, that means fewer people on patrol or in the office at their home departments. The first thing DRE candidates do is “preschool,” Amuimuia said, to learn the seven drug categories and undergo tests to ensure they’re “proficient” in field sobriety tests. Amuimuia said the drug categories in the DRE program differ from those of the American Medical Association and the Drug Enforcement Administration, because the drug categories the AMA and DEA use are “based mostly on chemical structure,” while the DRE program categorizes drugs “based on the impairment they produce.” “The definition of a drug is different because, for example, a doctor thinks aspirin is a drug,

“We actually teach that ... not everybody you’re going to evaluate is going to be impaired, that there are medical conditions that do mimic drug use.” Amuimuia said the LAPD worked alongside psychologists and medical doctors to develop the program. In the early ’80s, the LAPD partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make the DRE program “standardized” throughout the U.S., and Amuimuia said it then expanded nationwide toward the end of the decade. The first DRE school hosted at the UA Criminal Justice Institute took place in March and April 1995. Amuimuia said 543 officers have gone through the program since then; 137 officers are now certified in the state, and nine others are candidates for certification. The International Association of Chiefs of Police is the accrediting organization for the program. In the document Amuimuia submitted to the IACP for its 2018 annual report, she wrote that 257 “enforcement evaluations” were performed Jan. 1-Dec. 31 in Arkansas, and 71 “training evaluations” were performed — these are evaluations performed by DRE candidates during their training, often on volunteers or persons already in police custody who agree to have an evaluation performed by a DRE candidate. Of those combined 333 evaluations, 129 of the “opinions” rendered by DREs cited central nervous system depressants as the drug category in which the impairment fell; 66 of the opinions cited cannabis as the drug category. Bill Sadler, a public information officer for the Arkansas State Police, said 17 state troopers are up to date on their DRE certifications. (Officers must update their certification every two years.) Thomas said he “can’t remember the last time” he was called in to perform a DRE evaluation by the LRPD. He said the frequency of a

and it doesn’t impair you — it hopefully fixes your headache,” Amuimuia said. “Whereas somebody huffing spray paint, that will impair you, so that’s one of your inhalants. We consider it a substance that, when taken into the human body, can impair the ability for a person to operate a vehicle safely. So there’s quite a few things on the list that a doctor wouldn’t consider a ‘drug.’ ” After the “preschool,” officers take an entrance exam that they must pass by 80 percent in order to move on to the next phase, an intensive 7-day school. In this phase, candidates learn how to do the 12-step DRE evaluation process, and more about the seven drug categories and their indicators. After the 7-day school, candidates must pass another 100-question exam by at least 80 percent. The officers then move into the “field certification” portion of their training, during which they have three months to complete 12 different “training” DRE evaluations, each of which must be witnessed by DRE instructors. These training evaluations can be completed on persons who’ve been arrested. The DRE program at the Criminal Justice Institute also offers “mandatory evaluation nights,” during which people volunteer to be evaluated. Amuimuia said these volunteers can include community members who take prescription medication and volunteer to be evaluated by a candidate, or arrestees already being held for a DWI who are offered “snacks and a soda” in exchange for agreeing to be evaluated by a trainee. The mandatory evaluation nights allow candidates to complete a few of their 12 required evaluations under the gaze of DRE instructors in one evening, an op-


portunity that Amuimuia said helps candidates complete their training. A “final knowledge” exam is required for certification. Thomas said it took him 6 and a half hours to complete his entirely hand-written exam. Candidates are required to fill out a blank version of the “drug matrix” from memory, as well as answer multiple choice and fill-in-theblank questions. Though drug recognition experts emerge from their training armed with hours of curriculum and evaluations, critics of the DRE program say the process is a pseudoscience, not grounded in medical or scientific knowledge. Both Amuimuia and Thomas said this criticism ignores the intensity of the DRE training and the fact that DREs are taught to take “all factors” of a subject’s arrest and evaluation into consideration. “Until [critics] come see the process and understand what we do, they’re going to be clueless,” Thomas said. “We’re not trying to convince people that we’re always right, because we’re still human, we still make slight errors. But when we do our DRE evaluations, we look at everything involved, and that’s what we preach and preach and preach — that it’s not just one or two aspects of it, it’s every aspect of it.” Amuimuia echoed this sentiment. “Most people that I talk to who think it’s ‘voodoo’ — they like to use that word — they didn’t go through the class,” Amuimuia said. “Unless they’re taught exactly how to do it and what they’re looking for and why they’re looking for that, and that it’s backed by medical science, you’re gonna have your naysayers. Let’s put it this way: I haven’t had any DREs that went through the program and then just quit being a DRE because they didn’t believe in it.” Another criticism of the DRE program is that it leaves too much power in the hands of an arresting officer, whose sole judgement about the state of a subject’s impairment dictates whether or not that subject will be arrested, even if they pass a Breathalyzer test on the roadside. Thomas said that though a DRE taking advantage of his or her authority and training is “rare,” he understands the impact such misuse can have, referencing the “case law” of the Georgia ACLU lawsuit. “There are officers out here that take their training and go rogue with it,” Thomas said. “Police officers do it, I can’t say that everybody’s perfect. But I do know our program, I do know the people that work for the DRE program in Arkansas, and I know the instructors. And that is the one thing that we push on the instructing side of it: Your reputation goes over not just you, but the whole DRE program. Let’s face it, case law can screw it up for everybody. One bad case law, and everybody’s behind the eight ball.” As of Aug. 16, Arkansas has issued 19,227 medical marijuana ID cards to qualified patients and caregivers. Three of the state’s five cultivation facilities are growing, processing and selling marijuana to the eight dispensaries open; the other two cultivation facilities and many more dispensaries are poised to open by the end of the year. As of Aug. 13, the eight dispensaries combined have sold almost 730 pounds of marijuana, bringing the state’s burgeoning medical cannabis industry to $5.28 million in sales.

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2019 NURSES GUIDE

THE C AR E E R FO R A LI F E T I M E A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

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MEET THE SCHOOL & HOSPITAL RECRUITERS

Ken Duncan, Recruiter, Conway Joni Stephenson, Recruiter, Manager April Robinson, Recruiter, Little Rock Hospitals Whitney Brewer, Recruiter, North Little Rock Hospital Kelli Hopkins, Recruiter, Regional Hospitals (not pictured) Baptist Health Medical Center Our belief at Baptist Health is that we are a healing ministry. We provide quality patient care services to all Arkansans with a caring and comforting heart. That is why we are Arkansans’ choice for their health care needs. We have a variety of nursing opportunities, from a Level III NICU to a 90-bed Critical Care area. Baptist Health offers top quality benefits for employees. We look for nurses who think critically and are compassionate and service-oriented. We want to offer a “World Class” environment for everyone. Please apply online at baptist-health.com.

Brenda Trigg, DNP, GNP, RN, CNE Director of Nursing Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia Our innovative dual degree RN-to-BSN program pairs the strengths of Ouachita Baptist University with the strengths of Baptist Health College Little Rock. Ouachita is a nationally-ranked liberal arts college founded in 1886 with a mission of fostering a love of God and a love of learning. And Baptist Health College Little Rock is a recognized leader in health care education since 1920 and an integral part of Baptist Health, the largest health care system in Arkansas. Learn how you can earn two degrees (AAS & BSN) in 4 years at obu. edu/nursing or call (870) 245-5110.

*use same photo Michelle S. Odom, RN, MSN (pictured, third from left) Director of Recruitment and Retention Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock Children are at the center of everything we do. Arkansas Children’s is the only hospital system in the state solely dedicated to caring for children, which allows our organization to uniquely shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas. As Champions for Children, Arkansas Children’s Hospital has joined the elite 6 percent of hospitals in the world that have Magnet Status. Arkansas Children’s offers a wide range of opportunities for nurses, from direct patient care to staff education, research, administration, nursing informatics and much more! To learn more about a rewarding career serving as a Champion for Children, visit www.archildrens.org or call us at (501) 364-1398

Terri McKown Arkansas Tech University (ATU) Department of Nursing offers many options to acquire nursing licensure. We work with you and for you to achieve the career choice you desire. From Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) at our sister campus in Ozark, to a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Registered Nursing (RN) degree in Russellville. Want more? We offer bridge programs for working men and women to achieve a higher level of education: LPN to BSN at our Russellville campus, or our ADN to BSN online. Come tour our Simulation Labs—we have SimMom, SimNewB, SimBaby, SimMan, multiple Nurse Anne’s, and much more! ATU’s nursing faculty are experts in their field adding breadth and depth to both your classroom and clinical education. Come join us at ATU...where “Every Student Counts.” A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

Gigi Flory Nursing Recruiter Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff Jefferson Regional Medical Center serves a 10-county area, so our nurses must be prepared for a busy and diverse patient base. From neurology to cardiology, from surgery to orthopaedics, JRMC has a medical staff that represents 25 different specialties, so our program offers many different nursing opportunities for our staff to experience. We pride ourselves on patient-centered care and a family atmosphere among our employees, and we go the extra mile to help our nurses be the best they can be. JRMC provides competitive pay and benefits, including additional compensation for nurses with advanced degrees, and a six-month nurse residency program for nurses just out of school. Your success is our success, and it all benefits our patients, who are the reason we are all in the health care profession. If you’re interested in a nursing career at JRMC, contact me at florygi@jrmc.org. ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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MEET THE SCHOOL & HOSPITAL RECRUITERS

Caitlin Castellani, BSN, RN-BC Nurse Recruiter Conway Regional Health System, Conway At Conway Regional Health System, we are accountable to the community to provide high quality, compassionate health care services. We are very proud to have received numerous awards and quality rankings for the care and compassion provided to our patients. In 2018, we recognized over 200 employees as exceptional performers based upon their achievements in the field. We have also been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Arkansas as well as a Best Place to Work in the Nation by Modern Healthcare. We are always looking for exceptional performers who are dedicated to providing excellent care. We offer a smaller patient-to-nurse ratio than can be found in most metro hospitals along with a family atmosphere, career growth opportunities and tuition reimbursement. We are also on the Magnet Journey. Positions are available in a variety of areas including Critical Care, Surgery, Oncology, Medical/Surgical and Women’s Services. If you would like to join the Conway Regional Family, please visit our website at www.conwayregional.org. You may also contact Caitlin at Caitlin.castellani@ conwayregional.org or (501) 513-5198.

Jennifer Yarberry Chief Nursing Officer Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System, Little Rock Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System is committed to consistently delivering a system of quality behavioral health care with integrity to children and adolescents in concert with their parents, caregivers, guardians and community professionals. The team at Pinnacle Pointe Hospital is both passionate and highly experienced. Our dedication to the highest standard of quality helped us attain the prestigious Governor’s Quality Achievement Award. This award recognizes Pinnacle Pointe Hospital’s commitment and practice of quality principles through a thorough process of excellence. Visit our website to apply: pinnaclepointehospital.com/career-opportunities/

Ashley Davis, MNSc, RN, PhD(c) Executive Director Arkansas Center for Nursing, Inc. The Arkansas Center for Nursing was started by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2011 in response to the recommendations that were published in the Institute of Medicine’s “Future of Nursing” report. The ACN was established to promote a culture of health for the citizens of Arkansas by advancing nursing education, practice, leadership and workforce development. CAN offers several different leadership training programs in working toward their mission to empower and equip the current and future nursing workforce, including the 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 award program and the BSN Young Leaders program. Individual membership of ACN is free. You can find membership information, as well as information regarding ACN programs and workforce reports, on their website, www.arcenterfornursing.org.

2019 NURSES GUIDE PUBLISHER Alan Leveritt

NURSES GUIDE EDITOR Dwain Hebda CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mandy Keener DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY Jordan Little ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Mike Spain GRAPHIC DESIGNER Katie Hassell DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Phyllis A. Britton ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Brooke Wallace, Lee Major, and Terrell Jacob ADVERTISING ASSISTANT Hannah Peacock ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER Roland R. Gladden IT DIRECTOR Robert Curfman CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Anitra Hickman CONTROLLER Weldon Wilson BILLING/COLLECTIONS Linda Phillips PRODUCTION MANAGER Ira Hocut (1954-2009) 100 SEPTEMBER 2019

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Belinda Nix Academic Counselor UA Little Rock For over 50 years, the UA Little Rock Department of Nursing has inspired and guided individuals toward the dynamic profession of nursing. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to improving the health care of all Arkansans by educating professional, thoughtful and compassionate nurses. We offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), BSN, LNP/Paramedic to RN and online BSN completion program. Our advice for students is to take ownership and get as much information as possible about the nursing profession and degree options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do this early and often! Visit: www.ualr.edu/nursing or email bknix@ualr.edu for additional information.

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Ava Coleman, M.S. Assistant Director of Student Services Assistant Director of Enrollment College of Nursing University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock UAMS is the only health science center in Arkansas and one of the region’s largest. It includes five colleges (Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health) and a graduate school along with a hospital, statewide network of regional centers, affiliations with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, and seven UAMS institutes where clinical, academic and research resources are focused on specific diseases or conditions. The UAMS College of Nursing provides bachelor’s, master’s (MNSc), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs to more than 800 students. There are online programs to help existing RNs earn their BSN or MNSc. The college is engaged in activities and interprofessional partnerships across all UAMS colleges that promote scholarly excellence, research and service to the university nursing profession and society. Recruiting for UAMS College of Nursing is more than informing the prospective student about our programs. It is about introducing them to a career field that allows them to be lifelong learners and caregivers. We do more than just educate nursing students, we prepare them to care for the total patient and their families. For more information on our programs, contact us at 501-686-5224, by email at conadmissions@ uams.edu or visit our website at www.nursing. uams.edu.

Libby Stell, RN, BSN Nurse Recruiter Susan Erickson, RN, MNSc, BC-NA, CHCR Senior Nurse Recruiting Manager UAMS Whether just graduated, pursuing a second career or looking for a new work family, nurses have a servant’s heart, providing care and compassion to those who need healing. That’s why nurses are the heart of UAMS, caring for patients and their families each and every day to provide the very best health care with our team of providers. By joining Team UAMS, you will get the unique experience of working in the state’s only academic medical center. You and your immediate family can also enjoy a generous tuition discount of up to 50% throughout the UA System. In addition to competitive salary and benefits, including 11 paid holidays with separate sick and vacation accruals, UAMS provides up to a 10% percent match to retirement savings – five times what many employers offer. To join the more than 11,000 people who have made a career for life, log onto nurses.uams.edu or join our Facebook page @UAMSNurses.

Rose Schlosser, M.Ed., Articulation Programs, MSN, BSN to DNP and Post-Master’s DNP;Susan Wood, M.S., BSN Education Counselor; Jessica Burks, M.A.. BSN Education Counselor University of Central Arkansas The University of Central Arkansas School of nursing is committed to educating students at the undergraduate and graduate levels as leaders in the delivery of quality health care and the advancement of the nursing profession. We offer both online and on-campus programs to accommodate the needs of our diverse student populations: the on-campus BSN, online completion programs RN to BSN, the online MSN, Nurse Educator and Clinical nurse Leader tracks, as well as the Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice and BSN to DNP (Family Nurse Practitioner). Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students must come to campus for a few preplanned events. Whether students are looking for the traditional college experience or to advance their current degree, UCA School of Nursing is an affordable, high-quality option with award-winning results. For more information, please visit www.uca.edu/nursing.

Janice Ivers, MSN, RN, CNE Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences National Park College National Park College is in the business of changing lives, one student at a time! Choosing nursing as a career can change the trajectory of an individual’s life as well as their family’s lives. We offer a Practical Nursing program and a Registered Nursing program with a traditional track, as well as LPN to RN options. National Park College nursing programs have offered an Associate of Science in Nursing degree since 1976 and a Practical Nursing Certificate since 1958. Whether you just graduated from high school or are changing careers, National Park College can help you meet your goals. Application period for traditional entry begins in January and runs through the first Monday in March for fall admission. Please go to our website www.np.edu for more detailed admissions information. We would love to meet with you and get you on the path to meeting your education and career goals. For more information on our programs please contact the Division of Nursing at (501) 760-4290 or email at jivers@np.edu. At National Park College, student success is our focus! A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

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MAKING THE ROUNDS HOW TO FUND YOUR EDUCATION

Nursing students work through the day’s simulation exercise at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.

Higher education isn’t cheap, but there are ways to help take some of the sting out of going to college. Here are some strategies: 1. GET GOOD ADVICE ON THE FRONT END Sound advising is imperative when pursuing a nursing education. Not all programs have the same entry requirements, so take your time and make sure you understand the prerequisites or what will be accepted when you transfer credits.

ARKANSAS TECH OPENS NEW EDUCATIONAL UNIT Arkansas Tech University in Russellville recently opened a new Dedicated Education Unit at Saint Mary’s Medical Center there. The DEU, a medical surgical unit on the fourth floor of the hospital, provides a unique educational opportunity. Hospital staff nurses have been trained on course objectives and help lead students’ training. “Nursing programs are continually looking for methods to enhance student learning and clinical experiences, while health care organizations are seeking opportunities to retain experienced nurses,” said Dr. Terri McKown, professor of nursing at ATU. “The DEU teaching model has existed nearly 20 years and is

currently utilized by other nursing programs in different states, but hasn’t been implemented in Arkansas to date.” Each clinical teacher from Saint Mary’s nursing staff is paired with two ATU nursing students, and each nursing student in the program is assigned two patients. The clinical teachers are granted a reduced patient load by Saint Mary’s so they can provide training while maintaining high-quality care. The initiative has gone over so well, ATU will roll out additional DEUs at Chambers Memorial Hospital in Danville and Johnson County Regional Medical Center in Clarksville this academic year.

CARELINK SERVES A GROWING SENIOR POPULATION IN CENTRAL ARKANSAS One of the fastest-growing areas of nursing is in elder care, as a large percentage of the population continues to age in record numbers. At the forefront of providing services to this population in Central Arkansas is CareLink, a nonprofit agency observing its 40th anniversary in 2019. CareLink is one of eight Area Agencies on Aging in Arkansas, which makes it a busy touchpoint for seniors in the community and their families, connecting them to various services. Among these services is helping homebound seniors meet the challenges of aging to stay independent as long as possible. “Many times, people will look to assisted living facilities and nursing homes for help, because they don’t know of other options,” said Meredith Hale, marketing and outreach manager. “Day after day, we encounter people who don’t even know where to begin with this stage of life. We want to be there at all stages of life, if possible.” CareLink’s HomeCare team includes health care professionals ranging from personal care attendants to registered nurses. These individuals work together to assess pa102 SEPTEMBER 2019

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tients and provide the care a person needs. CareLink provides training to caregivers who do not hold certified nursing assistant or RN credentials. And, the organization provides respite care, giving family members a break from their caregiving responsibilities. Among its many other services, CareLink partners with senior centers to help seniors maintain contact with others, a critical factor in overall wellness and quality of life. “Maybe a man recently lost his wife and she handled all the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, as well as provided companionship,” Hale said. “Thanks to our services, his family doesn’t have to worry about him eating TV dinners for every meal and the house being a wreck and he’s all alone. In reality, he just needs a little help and a means to connect. And we can be the help he needs.” To start a meaningful nursing career or to inquire about services for yourself or a loved one, contact CareLink today! CareLink, 501-372-5300, 800-482-6359 TYY 71, carelink.org A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

2. FINANCIAL AID IS OUT THERE Just like any other college or university, financial aid is available for nursing students. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is imperative. NerdWallet reported 2017 high school graduates left $2.3 billion in financial aid on the table simply because 40 percent of them didn’t complete this form. https://studentaid. ed.gov/ga/fafsa 3. CHECK OUT TWO-YEAR SCHOOLS Arkansas’s excellent two-year schools typically offer lower tuition and may be closer to home than the nearest four-year institution. Several two-year schools have accelerated LPN-to-RN agreements with other Arkansas colleges and universities for those who want to finish their bachelor’s degree. 4. HIGH SCHOOLERS, START EARLY If your high school has a concurrent credit arrangement with a local college or university, take advantage of it. In a nutshell, these programs provide an opportunity to get a jump on college coursework before graduating high school, at little to no cost to the student. Some Arkansas kids are even graduating high school having already earned their associate’s degree. 5. SERVE YOUR COUNTRY The military offers free nursing career training for men and women on active duty, in the reserves and National Guard. Plus, the armed forces offer generous tuition assistance for pursuing advanced degrees. All of this plus the leadership opportunities and hands-on experience that comes with life in the military.


CENTENNIAL BANK’S CENTS TO WIN PROMOTION PROVES IT PAYS TO SAVE Centennial Bank is offering a new service exclusively for Arkansas customers: CENTS to Win, a Prize Linked Savings Promotion Raffle. Designed to promote wider saving among its customers, the program provides incentives in the way of prizes to all eligible account holders. When it comes to financial health, studies show few Americans have adequate savings. Centennial Bank’s program reinforces the idea that it’s never too early or too late to start learning the benefits of saving. Customers who open a CENTS to Win account and meet program requirements are automatically entered to win weekly and monthly prizes ranging from $25 to $100. And one fortunate raffle winner will be rewarded with the annual prize of $10,000. Arkansas residents need only open a Centennial Bank CENTS to Win Personal Savings Account with $100 minimum to start saving. New customers are encouraged to visit any Centennial Bank branch in Arkansas and ask to enroll in the CENTS to Win program. Centennial Bank savings accounts can be opened online or in-branch. Member FDIC. Please see my100bank. com/centstowin for official rules and more details.

UCA SCHOOL OF NURSING SOON TO GET A NEW HOME In response to growing interest in the health care fields, the University of Central Arkansas will begin construction of a new Integrated Health Sciences Building, to be opened in the fall of 2021. The building will be the new home of the School of Nursing, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and an Interprofessional Teaching Center. “This new building will allow us to grow the size of our nursing program immediately,” said Dr. Susan Gatto, director and associate professor in the UCA School of Nursing. The Integrated Health Sciences Building will better facilitate interprofessional teaching experiences, research and health care services, meaning students will be provided with clinical and simulation experiences that require collaboration with all majors in the college. “The first floor will be an interprofessional

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teaching center where all of these students can be educated in an environment where they’re working alongside each other instead of independently,” said Jimmy Ishee, the college’s dean. “We’re trying to create that environment here at UCA where those health care professionals are educated in an environment that they’ll be working in when they actually go out into the health care arena.” The third floor of the building will house the Nabholz Center for Healthcare Simulation. This lab will feature state-of-the-art equipment to provide a lifelike experience for students. The other two floors will have office space for faculty and staff and classrooms. The 80,000-square-foot, four-story structure will be located at Western and Bruce streets, and completed at a cost of almost $43 million. The project is paid for through a combination of bonds and donations made through a fundraising campaign.

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Heather Bound talks to her grandmother before her special pinning ceremony, presented by UAMS College of Nursing staff.

MAKENZIE EVANS

KATIE COX SEES PATIENTS THROUGH A MOTHER’S EYES

TWO UNCONVENTIONAL PINNINGS BY SPENCER WATSON For many new nurses, the unique pin traditionally given out just before graduation by colleges of nursing represents their true, symbolic entry into the profession. So it was with some dismay that two of this year’s UAMS College of Nursing graduates had to miss the official pinning ceremony May 15. Sarah Guarnieri missed because she was having a baby, and Heather Bound missed because a special relative was in the hospital. “I’d just had my baby two days before the pinning ceremony,” said Guarnieri, whose original due date had been May 20, two days after commencement. She knew ahead of time that things could get complicated, but she’d intended to make the pinning for her bachelor’s degree in nursing. “Pinning was the big deal to me,” she said. When the baby came early, Guarnieri posted pictures on social media with a graduation cap and smiley face emojis, wishing her classmates well and telling them she’d be there in spirit. Shortly after, she got a message from Dr. Leah Richardson, RN, who’d been one of her teachers at the college. “She sent a message asking if we could get together sometime to do the pinning,” Guarnieri said. “She offered to come out to my house, but I said we’d already be out and about on May 20 with a pediatric checkup, so I came to the college.” There, with most of the faculty, administration and her husband and new daughter in attendance, Guarnieri was pinned on what had originally been her due date. For Bound, the complications were more unexpected. “I live with and care for my grandparents, who are more like parents to me than anything. Starting in March, my grandmother be104 SEPTEMBER 2019

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gan having multiple strokes. On May 9, she had one that put her out pretty bad,” Bound explained. After that incident, Bound’s grandmother was in the hospital and unresponsive, unable to talk or eat. Bound called Leslie McCormack, clinical instructor, and explained the situation She asked to be excused from the pinning ceremony. About half an hour later, McCormack called back and asked if it would be OK to come pin Bound at the hospital with her grandmother. Emotionally, Bound said yes. “On the day we’d picked out, I went to the hospital with a few invited friends and family. I got a photographer to take pictures, because I wanted my grandmother to have those pictures if she should awake again,” Bound said. “I was in the hallway when the elevators opened, and pretty much the entire faculty of the College of Nursing was there. I can’t explain what that meant to me. It was pretty special to see all of them there.” “I think [her grandmother] knew it was happening. We’d been telling her for a few days what was going to happen, but we weren’t sure if it was registering, because she had been unresponsive. Then the day before, she kind of opened her eyes and spoke a little.” Bound said even her stoic grandfather shed a few tears, and still does today when he proudly tells the story. Most importantly, her grandmother—who has since woken up and started her recovery—got to be there for the ceremony. “On the day they came, I don’t know if she opened her eyes, but when I told her my teachers were there and were about to pin me, she started crying,” Bound said. “So, I think she knew what was happening.” A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

When Katie Cox welcomed her fraternal twins into the world in 2015, the babies were born with Long QT Syndrome, a heart rhythm condition that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats resulting in fainting spells, seizure or, in severe cases, even death. “[The condition] didn’t show up on any prenatal assessments, but the nursery nurse at Conway Regional noticed a drop in Carter’s heart rate and requested an EKG,” Cox said. “After identifying it as Long QT Syndrome, she was flown to ACH (Arkansas Children’s Hospital). Shortly after, (the other twin) John received an EKG and was diagnosed with Long QT as well. Genetics testing confirmed it.” The expertise of the nurse likely saved the infants’ lives and allowed the Cox family to take measures to bring the condition under control. “When they were released, they were given a 50 percent chance of survival to their first birthday,” Cox said. “They currently take medications three times a day to help control their QT interval and are doing well. We must carry two AEDs with us everywhere we go in case of a fatal arrhythmia, but they are getting ready to celebrate their fourth birthday.” Cox, who has been a nurse for 11 years and works for Conway Regional, knew from a young age that she wanted a career in health care. But the experience with her twins helped refine her nursing skills in ways no classroom ever could. “I feel it has been a help,” she said. “Instead of just seeing things through a nursing perspective, I can now also empathize with patients through a parent perspective as well. I understand their feelings and can better help meet their needs as they go through so many emotions.” “I have also learned patience and communication are key. It is important for me to understand that when faced with adversity, patients will have a wide variety of emotions and responses. It is important for me to listen and understand and guide them through these emotions. Being patient and having open communication helps tremendously.”


“I LEARNED TO ALLOW MYSELF TO FEEL THE EMOTIONS, BUT TO ALSO SHIELD MYSELF WITH HEALTHY STRESS-REDUCING ACTIVITIES AND TO SEEK GUIDANCE FROM A MENTOR.” —DR. SLOAN DAVIDSON, CHAIRPERSON, DEPARTMENT OF NURSING, UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK UAMS PROFESSOR EXPLORES LINK BETWEEN POVERTY AND HEALTH

CODY HOBBY INSPIRES OTHERS TO GET INTO NURSING Cody Hobby didn’t start out from a long line of nurses in his family, but since he’s been on this path, he’s making up for lost time. It all started while he was attending the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. “I was going to UCA where I was pre-med with biology and chemistry,” he said. “One of my brother’s girlfriends talked to me about [nursing]. I never really knew what they did, so I was like, ‘Oh, I might be interested in that.’” “I talked to one of my good friends at the time, and he said, ‘One of my friends is doing her nursing degree right now, I’ll give you her number and you can call her.’ So I talked to her and then I was like, yup, I think that’s what I want to do.” Hobby didn’t just find a new career path; he found a new life partner as the nursing student who talked to him about the profession later became his wife. After finishing one year at UCA, Hobby enrolled in National Park College’s nursing program, where he earned an associate’s degree, then headed to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro where he finished his bachelor’s degree and is now studying for a master’s degree as a certified registered nurse anesthetist. As he’s worked to complete his own education, he’s inspired many of his family members to get into nursing as well. Two of his younger brothers have followed in his footsteps. In addition, his wife, Aubrie, completed her RN training, as did her sister. He said having so many nurses in his immediate family is welcome support after a tough day, especially Aubrie. “I can tell her about my day and she is able to completely understand what I’m going through because she goes through the same every day,” he said. “A lot of times, patients and families don’t think how taking care of their family impacts your life and how you take it home. We carry the emotional burden of that as well. It’s a stressful position.” “I’ve seen a lot of death, more than I ever expected. I know that patients and their families, it’s a really stressful time for them, but it’s stressful for us as well.” Despite this, Hobby derives a lot of satisfaction from his chosen profession. “Knowing that you can be there for a patient when they’re at their absolute low and being able to comfort them and their family makes it all worth it,” he said. 106 SEPTEMBER 2019

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Just five years into what is today a 37-year nursing career, Leanne Lefler, Ph.D., associate professor with the UAMS College of Nursing, tried to go to graduate school for the first time. She failed due to the demands of her young family, but the questions she sought to answer through higher education never faded away. Years later, after working in cardiovascular, cardiac and intensive critical care units, she took another run at her master’s degree, earned it, and went on to complete her Ph.D. in Nursing Sciences. At last, she could tackle some of the questions about community health that had laid dormant for so long. “I wanted to do research that could help people,” she said. “I was very interested in wellness and promoting cardiovascular wellness in older adults. I also wanted to reduce disparities in populations of color and try to reach people where they are.” “I am especially interested in those that need the most help—the poor, the marginalized and rural older adults struggling with chronic illness.” Selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a Culture of Health Breakthrough Nurse Leader, she landed two grants to help teach about poverty, equity and the social determinates of health. With the support of the UAMS Offices of Educational Development and Interprofessional Education, she purchased a Poverty Simulation Kit as a teaching tool. “The simulation experience is an immersion into a life of poverty,” she said. “It teaches students and community members what it is like living in poverty and trying to take care of your health and that of your families.” In a recent pilot, about 70 interprofessional UAMS students took on the identities of families who are struggling with poverty and health. Students were subjected to situations where they could not feed their families or were evicted from their homes. She said the impact on them was profound, even though they knew it wasn’t real. “Our team hopes that we can help health care students internalize and integrate this information into their practices going forward,” Lefler said. “In this way, they can better care for all of their patients, especially the poor and marginalized.”

“ALLOWING A PATIENT TO DIE WITH DIGNITY WHILE GIVING THE FAMILY COMFORT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS WE AS NURSES CAN DO. WE HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE AN EMOTIONAL EVENT SO MUCH MORE BEARABLE FOR THE FAMILY WITH EVEN THE SIMPLEST OF GESTURES.” —KAREN BLUE, CHAIRPERSON, AASN PROGRAM AND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF NURSING, ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF NURSING

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Ask anyone who’s done it and they will tell you: Nursing is at once the toughest and most rewarding field anyone can enter. And many of them also say there’s nothing else they’d rather do. “I love my job and enjoy working with my co-workers and putting a smile on a client’s face,” said Kim Martin, RN, with Conway Human Development Center. “The most difficult challenge is that the population I work with does not always present with textbook symptoms. I feel I am good at assessing clients who can’t always tell you where they hurt or if they hurt.” The first step in reaching your goal is to make one. Weigh the different levels of nursing education, understanding that the higher you go, the longer the overall process will take and cost. But in the end, you will also be able to command more in salary and benefits for having the additional education. “Most challenges in nursing, I have noticed, are within yourself,” Martin said. “Nontraditional students should keep in mind they deserve to be there just as much as the traditional student. And for anybody, if you feel like you’re neglecting your family to get this education, just know it will be worth it in the end.” CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT (CNA) CNAs do not require a degree; candidates are required to earn a certificate and pass a competency exam, a process that can take as little as four to 12 weeks. Candidates are trained in basic infection control, taking vital signs and delivering personal care. In addition to working in hospitals, many CNAs work in nursing and residential care facilities. The range of actual health care jobs a CNA can perform is limited to wound dress108 SEPTEMBER 2019

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ing and taking vital signs, but the chance to interact with patients occurs daily. CNAs are not eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

the NCLEX-RN exam. While there are fewer of these programs than before, they can be found and are a popular option.

LICENSED PRACTICE NURSE (LPN) Students who want a fast route to the nursing field, may consider an LPN certificate. Generally attainable in one year and at minimal cost, LPNs get their foot in the door of the health care field quickly. LPNs are not eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN or for many of the entry level positions in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. This means their career options and earning potential are limited. Some schools offer accelerated “bridge” education programs allowing LPNs to advance to higher degrees.

ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN NURSING (ADN) Associate programs are a step between a high school diploma and bachelor’s degree. They provide a quick, relatively inexpensive path to qualifying for the NCLEX-RN exam and entering the nursing workforce. A high school diploma or equivalent certificate such as a GED is usually all that’s required to enter an ADN program. ADN coursework is not necessarily any easier than that in other programs, but as it focuses on medical fundamentals, students can complete the degree in less time, on average in two to three years. ADNs can be at a disadvantage in hiring compared to a nurse with higher-level credentials, which is why some ADN nurses enroll in RN-to-BSN programs.

NURSING CERTIFICATE Registered nurse certificate programs are shortened nursing education curriculum for students who already understand core nursing competencies and have completed other nursing training such as licensed practical nurses. Certificate programs for registered nursing students feature classroom work mixed with clinical experiences and generally do not result in an associate’s degree, but may provide college credit. They can be completed in as little as one year. NURSING DIPLOMA Nursing diplomas are another accelerated path. Programs generally require a high school diploma or equivalent, and can be completed in one to three years. Coursework covers the core of the nursing profession as well as more advanced courses that broaden students’ knowledge. A nursing diploma may be earned for less money than other training options and entitles the students to sit for A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (BSN) DEGREE It generally takes four years to earn a BSN, although summer classes can shorten that somewhat. Students pursuing BSN degrees are required to pass one or more prerequisite courses in their first and second year, such as pharmacology and health care ethics. Some schools offer an accelerated program that helps earn a degree faster. The curriculum focuses on a comprehensive introduction to the profession. Upon successful completion of the NCLEX-RN exam and licensure, BSN holders have a vast array of entry level jobs at their disposal, and during their career qualify for more advanced positions than ADNs or nursing diploma holders. From here, a nurse may enter the workforce or choose to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing or other grad-


uate-level credential, which further increases earning power and job options. MASTER OF SCIENCE NURSING DEGREE (MSN) A Master of Science in Nursing is a graduate degree that follows bachelor of nursing. Most MSN programs require a BSN for admission, though it is possible to find bridge programs that allow a jump from RN to MSN. The time commitment is generally two to three years to complete a master’s degree. Although it is an advanced degree that comes after several other steps in the education process, it is the entry level for the credentialing process for specialized professional practice positions, like advanced practice nurse or nurse practitioner. Nurses should approach master’s degree programs strategically, as the credential is not required for many roles in nursing, can be expensive to attain and is highly competitive. But if your goals include becoming a college educator, a nurse administrator or attaining your doctorate, a master’s degree is a must-have. DOCTORAL DEGREES The doctoral level is the highest level of education available in the field. Though some schools will accept students with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, most require applicants to

hold a master’s degree in nursing to enter a doctoral program. There are several doctoral degree paths a nurse can follow: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) delivers practice-based training on the clinical applications of higher-level nursing knowledge. These degrees emphasize areas that support nursing leadership, such as systems management, quality improvement and data-driven decision-making. DNP requires three to six years to complete with course content focused on statistics and data analysis, leadership skills, advanced clinical skills and nursing philosophy. A DNP degree allows one to become a nurse practitioner. Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) is similar to a DNP except where the DNP is a clinical degree, the Ph.D. is a research-focused degree. Ph.D. programs most often focus on original research and research methodology, with a final research project and defense of a dissertation. Unlike DNP graduates, Ph.D. graduates generally must pursue a post-graduate certificate to become a nurse practitioner. Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) is another research-focused doctoral degree. Its similarity to the Ph.D. program has led many colleges to discontinue DNS-track curriculum. This means the DNS is less common than it once was.

WHAT’S A NURSE PRACTITIONER? Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nursing professionals who operate at a very high level of medical competence. Nurse practitioners rank below physicians but higher than staff nurses when it comes to their level of training and the range of medical tasks they are authorized to perform. NPCs hold at least a Master of Science in Nursing degree, have passed the NCLEXRN exam and have an active license. Day-to-day duties that NPs are qualified to perform are many. A sample includes taking verbal patient histories; ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, including labs and imaging; prescribing medication; developing and managing treatment plans; diagnosing acute and chronic illnesses; and developing policies. Becoming an NP is desirable because of the higher rate of pay and increased job security. An NP is as close as a nurse can get to being a doctor without actually graduating from medical school. As such, health care systems look to hire NPs to help stretch medical services into more remote areas and will often pay a nurse’s education costs to increase the number of NPs on staff. What’s more, many nurses are able to complete NP training while still being employed full time.

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The rigorous nursing program at Ouachita Baptist University has its students in high demand in Arkadelphia.

TOP 10 NURSING SPECIALTIES, 2019

It’s All New! ARKTIMES.COM

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts nursing overall will see a 15 percent increase in demand by 2026, even higher in certain specialties. Nurse Journal released its annual list of the best nursing specialties, based on salary, work setting and demand. The following are the top 10 choices from that list. All salary data sourced from Indeed.com.

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1. CERTIFIED DIALYSIS NURSE What is it? A certified dialysis nurse assists patients suffering from severe problems with their kidneys. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $63,500/year

6. NURSE EDUCATOR What is it? Nurse educators combine clinical expertise with a desire to teach student nurses at schools, universities and colleges. Anticipated Growth: Up 19% by 2022 Average Salary: $65,000/year

2. LEGAL NURSE CONSULTANT What is it? A certified legal nurse consultant consults law firms on medical lawsuits. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $62,100/year

7. NURSE PRACTITIONER What is it? Nurse practitioners provide primary and specialty care, often working collaboratively with a doctor, although some states allow NPs to operate their own clinics. Anticipated Growth: Up 25% by 2022 Average Salary: $94,000/year

3. NURSE MIDWIFE What is it? A nurse midwife delivers babies and provides health care before, during and after the birth for both mother and child. Anticipated Growth: Up 31% by 2022 Average Salary: $79,000/year 4. NURSE ANESTHETIST What is it? A nurse anesthetist provides surgical patients with anesthesia and assists in other ways in the operating room. Anticipated Growth: Up 22% by 2022 Average Salary: $154,300/year 5. NURSE CASE MANAGER What is it? A nurse care manager monitors the progress of patients, suggests alternative treatments and evaluates their care. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $68,032/year

8. NURSE RESEARCHER What is it? Nurse researchers create reports based on analysis and research gathered within the nursing field. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $90,000/year 9. INFORMATICS NURSE What is it? Informatics nurses provide data on health care to doctors, nurses, patients and other health care providers. They also train others on updated IT applications. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $83,000/year 10. ENDOCRINOLOGY PEDIATRIC NURSE What is it? These nurses help children suffering from diseases and disorders affecting the endocrine system. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $81,000/year

“AS A NURSE, I HAVE LEARNED PATIENTS OFTEN APPEAR TO BE DIFFICULT WHEN REALLY THEY ARE JUST EXPRESSING EMOTIONS THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH AND ARE TRYING TO REASSERT CONTROL IN THEIR LIFE. IF YOU GIVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO VENT AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR INSECURITY, YOU ARE OFTEN ABLE TO ESTABLISH A BETTER RAPPORT AND A MORE THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP.” —KAREN REYNOLDS, APRN , HOMETOWN HEALTHCARE A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES


WHY I’M A NURSE MOM KNOWS BEST Fermin Renteria, clinical assistant professor with UAMS College of Nursing, was nearing his discharge from the U.S. Army Airborne infantry and plotting his next move. He’d become certified as an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic and was planning to attend paramedic school after his hitch was up. While home on leave, Renteria visited the home of his best friend from high school. While there, he got into a discussion about his future with his friend’s mother. The discussion was short, sweet and changed the course of Renteria’s life. “While discussing my post-discharge plans, my friend’s mother said ‘Yes, Fermin, you could go to paramedic school and when it’s hot or cold or raining or snowing you’ll be outside in it sweating, freezing, getting rained or snowed on. Or, you could go to nursing school and have a roof over your head, heating and air conditioning,’” Renteria said. “After spending most of the previous four years in the field getting rained on, snowed on, or hot or cold, that statement really struck a chord with me and I made the decision to go to nursing school. I have been a nurse for 20 years.”

“DON’T EVER HIDE A MISTAKE EVEN IF IT SEEMS SMALL TO YOU. IT COULD HAVE A LIFE OR DEATH IMPACT ON A PATIENT.” —SARAH FRANCE, RN, CLINICAL EDUCATOR, UAMS COLLEGE OF NURSING

“YOU WERE NOT TAUGHT EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED TO KNOW BY A TEXTBOOK AND A YEAR OF CLINICALS. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, ASK YOUR COWORKERS. WE ALL HAVE THE SAME GOAL AT THE END OF THE DAY: TO PROVIDE CARE TO OUR PATIENTS.” —KELLY CASTLEMAN, RN, EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, UAMS

MORE CALLING THAN CAREER Pam LaBorde, DNP, APRN, CCNS, clinical assistant professor with UAMS College of Nursing, describes her choice to enter the nursing profession as answering a calling, something that goes beyond a job. “I feel everyone is called to a certain profession and I am humbled to be called to the profession of nursing,” she said. “The joy of being a nurse stems from the many opportunities one has to make a difference in someone’s life, even if it is for a brief moment in time.” LaBorde described her vocation as rewarding and diverse, a role that has brought her into the lives of many people that she would have never met if she was not a nurse. During her career, she’s served as a nursing assistant, bedside nurse, clinical nurse specialist, nurse manager, staff educator and, her present role, clinical assistant professor. Each step, she said, was a deeply personal experience. “On a daily basis, you touch so many people,” she said. “Whether you are holding the hand of a critical patient, coordinating home care with family members or supporting new graduate nurses on their first day, you, as a nurse, are amazing and make a difference and shape the future of nursing.”

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ROOM FOR EVERYONE

WHATEVER YOUR BACKGROUND OR SKILLSET, NURSING HAS A PLACE FOR YOU BY DWAIN HEBDA

From left to right: Justin Owens monitors a patient at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff; a UA Little Rock student studies with a baby manikin; Jefferson Caraig of UAMS in Little Rock suits up for work.

DIVERSITY OF BACKGROUND

NURSES BRING A MOSAIC OF EXPERIENCE

Not every nurse takes a straight line into their career field. Many in the nursing ranks have taken the “scenic route,” and come with different educational and experiential backgrounds. For some, it’s just a question of trying several things before finding a home in nursing; for others, life got in the way of a degree and nursing was put to the side in favor of family or other obligations. Here are a few examples of people who found their calling in unlikely ways.

NEVER GIVE UP

Few individuals have had to overcome a scope of challenges like Maeghan Arnold, a doctoral student at the UAMS College of Nursing. Yet through all the bumps in the road, she remains steadfast in her goals. “I am doing well and am determined to obtain a terminal degree in nursing, serve graduate students in my current role as Adult/ Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner faculty and return to clinical practice when I finish,” she says. Her story begins at the University of Central Arkansas where, as an undergrad, her daughter was found to have fetal heart block while in utero. After a series of tests, imaging and one scary overnight in the hospital, the baby was born with a clean bill of health. To-

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day, Arnold is proud to say, she is an active, bright little girl. As for her nursing journey, however, Arnold’s path had just started turning uphill. “In graduate school, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a brain tumor the semester before I was to enter my specialty courses,” she said. “I had to withdraw for a year to complete chemotherapy and surgery for my breast cancer.” Despite this ordeal, Arnold returned to school with newfound determination to complete her studies to become a nurse practitioner. So strong was her resolve that when her brain tumor showed signs of change halfway through her specialty courses, she willed herself to finish before undergoing surgery. “I had a craniotomy with tumor resection five days after I finished my degree,” she said. During her doctoral studies, Arnold again faced disheartening news as last December doctors discovered her brain tumor had recurred. True to form, the sobering diagnosis only steeled her determination to reach her goal. While she admits there were times she had doubts about finishing her quest, persistence and hard work overcame all. “If you are determined to put the time in to studying and seeking help when you are unA SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

sure, you can achieve your goals,” she said. “We need hard-working, compassionate problem-solvers, at all levels of nursing. This is the most rewarding career I could have chosen, and I will forever be proud to say that I am a nurse.”

INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE

Even though he’s been a nurse for a short time, Jefferson Caraig stands out from many of his peer nurses. Besides his Spanish and Filipino heritage, he also holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and an associate’s degree in general studies. Despite being accomplished academically, he said his education in nursing has been a major challenge. “Most of the time we are taught in nursing school to be sensitive and understanding of a person’s culture,” he said. “Since I was not born and raised here in the United States, I needed to make sure that I am aware of the culture and traditions of people living here in the United States, which comprises the majority of the people we provide treatment to.” “Also, health care is somewhat different here from where I was born. Here in the U.S. we have access to almost all of the apparatuses we need to provide care, and our technology is advanced compared to my home country. I spend extra time learning all of the


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Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN to BSN (12 months online) BSN Traditional, 2nd Degree BSN Accelerated, LPN to BSN Associate of Applied Science in Nursing New Online LPN to AASN AASN Traditional, LPN to AASN (Jonesboro, West Memphis, Mt. Home)

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College of Nursing & Health Professions


SINDEE MORSE, MSN, RN; ACUTE APPLICATION MANAGER Conway Regional Health System I work in the field of nursing informatics, which promotes the health of people, families and communities worldwide through technology while disseminating information and knowledge. What’s your job? We are pulled in for expert advice on data entry for day-to-day operations and rules and regulatory changes. Our telephones constantly ring from all areas of the organization for help and advice. We are not just documentation for the nursing team, we are the documentation team for our organization. We are the glue that creates the workflow for all staff members to provide high-quality care. What’s the work environment? The atmosphere and personalities are great; stress levels come and go just like emergencies come and go to the front-line nurse. We have project deadlines and are looked at as saviors for all concerns. If an error or near-miss is identified, the informatics nurse is always at the table to review and identify opportunities for improving or suggesting ways to eliminate potential reoccurrences. What’s it like? We all love our job and it is extremely rewarding; however, at times we are looked at as someone in a closet working a desk job, 9-5. Our desk jobs come after working side-by-side with a new nurse helping her document her patient information. We have spent hours doing med passes with front-line nurses to help them adjust better to electronic health records. I could write a book of the unknowns that we do day-to-day, but the bottom line is, to be an informatics nurse doesn’t mean you walk away from patient care; you just deliver it in a different way.

“I FELT CALLED TO BE A NURSE. AFTER MANY YEARS AT THE BEDSIDE, I REALIZED I WANTED TO TEACH OTHERS TO BE NURSES. I LOVE TEACHING STUDENTS, WATCHING THEM LEARN, HELPING THEM CONNECT THE DOTS FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE AND WATCHING THEM SUCCEED.” —BRENDA TRIGG, DEPARTMENT OF NURSING DIRECTOR, OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY 114 SEPTEMBER 2019

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UALR nursing students train on the latest medical manikin technology in medical simulation lab.

additional things we have here in the U.S. that were not present in my home country.” At the same time, Caraig does not consider his differences to be a drawback in his job. Far from it, in fact. “Being different from most of my co-workers makes me stand out and get noticed very quickly,” he said. “It is a good area of opportunity to establish rapport between me and the patients. It seems like that is mostly how a conversation gets started, ‘Where are you from, because I can tell from the way you talk that you are not from here.’” “Whenever I encounter patients or their family who are intolerant of diversity, I always make sure to show them that I am there to provide the best care possible. I have encountered patients who treated me differently from other nurses in my unit because of my upbringing, but that didn’t change the way I treated and cared for them.” Now in his first year as an RN at UAMS, his advice to other nurses is simple: Hang in there. “Do not get discouraged. There were times when I felt like my distinctiveness and being different from the majority were working against me. I start doubting myself whether I made the right decision to venture into this field,” he said. “Keep an open mind. Stay humble. Respect others and remain nonjudgmental. Sometimes all you need to do is to give people the compassion and sincerity they expect, and you’ll gradually open their minds to the idea that diversity is beneficial to everyone.”

HEAD OF THE CLASS

Unless you knew her story, Kelsi Pomeroy looks like any other nursing student in the closing months of her education. But look a little deeper and you’ll discover nursing is just one facet of her pursuit of a career in health care. A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

“Nursing will be my second career; my first career is in biology research and I hold a master’s of science in biological science,” she said. “I chose nursing as a second career because I love medicine and science, but I also love interacting with people. Nursing is the best of both worlds.” Pomeroy said while the academic side of her nurses training has been aided greatly by her biological science coursework, other areas have been harder to accommodate. “At times, a second career student can be challenged emotionally. It can sometimes feel like you’re starting over at the bottom,” she said. “Differences in age between my fellow classmates and I can also make bonding more difficult because of the different stages in life. And, as nursing isn’t my first career, I have more financial responsibilities than the first time I attended college.” Pomeroy has overcome these challenges by seeking out a peer group with backgrounds similar to hers. She’s also continued working while attending nursing school. She praised UA Little Rock’s attention to diversity in their nursing program and the school’s accelerated curriculum that has hastened her progression. And, she adds, the experience has forced her to become an expert in time management. “My advice for someone wanting to pursue nursing as a second career is to go for it,” she said. “The hardest part about going back to school is making the decision to do it. It can be scary to make that leap of faith and make a career change, but it is completely worth it. Nursing is such a rewarding field and my experience as a student thus far has been amazing. “I’m not saying that it will be easy, but with hard work and dedication, it can be accomplished.”


GENDER DIVERSITY

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS For as many strides as nursing has made for older and ethnically diverse nurses, gender diversity is still a major issue. The percentage of men in the field of nursing hasn’t moved the needle much over the past 50plus years; according to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, only 2 percent of nurses were male in 1960 and that percentage is only 13 percent today. A study, commissioned by the American Association for Men in Nursing, found 70 percent of men said gender stereotypes were the top barrier to more men entering the field. This had led many schools to actively recruit men to the nursing profession and these efforts are starting to pay off. As low as it is, the percentage of men in nursing has grown faster in recent years. One state, Nebraska, even boasts more men than women in the profession at a ratio of three to one. Justin Owens, RN with Jefferson Regional Medical Center’s orthopedic/urology unit in Pine Bluff, is drawn to the team-first aspect of the work. Hearing him talk about his day is like hearing a star quarterback at a pep rally. “Our teamwork here is about as good as it

gets,” he said. “I’ve never worked in a place where the teamwork is as top-notch as what we have on our floor. I couldn’t be prouder of the nurses that I have the privilege of working alongside day in and day out. You best believe that when a patient is admitted to our floor, it is all hands on deck and we are ready.” Male nurses are coveted by health care systems because of physical strength required to move and lift patients and stamina to stay on one’s feet for extended periods of time. These are regular elements of a nurse’s day that are notoriously underestimated. “Our typical shifts are 12.5 hours, but of course, this isn’t a job where you can just clock out and go home just because the clock says it’s time to go,” Owens said. “Each time I leave, the patient should be left in better shape than when I got there, and sometimes that means staying over to do a little extra.” Male nurses are also valuable for the same reason bilingual nurses or other minorities are valuable—they appeal to a certain category of patients. Some male patients prefer to discuss certain physical issues with other men or are uncomfortable

with women inserting catheters and other such procedures. In fact, experts suggest more male nurses could help turn the tide on men seeking regular medical checkups and care, something they do in far fewer numbers than women today. As for long-held beliefs about men being less compassionate than women? Pure nonsense, Owen says. “My duty is to provide direct care to patients and their families on the orthopedic/ urology floor. I am responsible for being able to anticipate the needs of my patients in order to better help the physician with the plan of care for each individual patient,” he said. “In order to be successful in this environment, you must be able to communicate not only to the patient, but to family members as well. You must care about people, have compassion and be willing to put in the work to grow in your profession. “As a male nurse, people might not think that we can be very compassionate, but I have had quite a few patients tell me that they love it when they get a male nurse. So maybe the stigma is changing.”

The best way to measure a hospital is by looking at the people who choose to work there. We are proud of our dedicated nurses that work hard every day to fulfill our mission of providing high quality, compassionate health care services. • Market-competitive salary & benefits • Encouraging team atmosphere • High employee satisfaction & retention • Growing comprehensive health system • 10 nurses named to the 100 Great Nurses list • 3 nurses named to the 40 Under 40 list

For more information on joining our family of nurses, visit ConwayRegional.org or contact Caitlin Castellani, MSN, RN-BC at 501-513-5198 or caitlin.castellani@conwayregional.org.

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ETHNIC DIVERSITY IT TAKES ALL KINDS

Rani Simpson, RN, advises new nurses of all backgrounds: “Don’t let people mistreat you. You matter.”

Juan Reyes, RN, considers his heritage an advantage: “I take pride in being different.”

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The face of our state, like that of our nation, is changing. In order to provide the best possible medical care, health care professions must represent the populations they are serving. This has opened up opportunities for diversity across the board, including nursing. According to a scholarly article in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, the U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043. Hispanics and African-Americans are all expected to increase substantially by 2060; in fact, one in three Americans is expected to be of Hispanic descent by that time. The Asian population is expected to double over that same span. America’s melting pot has never been larger or fuller than it is right now. Compare those general population projections to current nursing populations: In 2008, there were about 3 million RNs in the U.S., 85 percent of whom were in nursing positions. Only 17 percent of the RN workforce were people of color. However, that mix is quickly changing. According to a different study by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, the supply of Hispanic RNs is projected to increase 83 percent between 2014 and 2030. Non-Hispanic black RNs are expected to increase 38 percent and all other non-Hispanic minorities are expected to grow 39 percent over the same period, all of which represents a faster growth rate than whites. Rani Simpson, RN, a graduate of National Park College in Hot Springs, is one of the new generation of nurses in this diversifying industry. Simpson, 31, is a traveling nurse with six years in the profession, having worked for CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs in the ICU and currently for Saint Mary’s Regional Health System ICU in Russellville. “Caring for people has always been important to me. At a young age, I remember watching my grandmother receive care from hospice nurses and knowing I wanted to work in health care,” she said. “My diversity has not presented any real challenges, thankfully. I have heard rude comments from patients and been told many stories regarding my ethnicity, but none of these have deterred me.” “I still get the same amount of comments and stories as I did when I began six years ago, but I just remember their thoughts and feelings are theirs, not mine. Their opinions don’t shape me. I take it all with a grain of salt.”

Simpson said she’s seen very few other African-American nurses in the ICUs she’s worked in, but has seen more men enter the nursing ranks, which she considers as important for diversity’s sake. Her advice to other aspiring nurses? Follow your heart, not the crowd. “Don’t be easily offended,” she said. “People can say what they want to, but you know who you are. If a situation becomes disrespectful and you feel uncomfortable, get a supervisor. Don’t let people mistreat you. You matter.” A 2016 diversitynursing.com article by Erica Bettencourt explained why diversity was so critical to patient outcomes. Bettencourt states diversity improves communication, helps build trust between patient and their health care team and makes the patient feel more comfortable. “A person who has little in common with you cannot adequately advocate for your benefit,” she writes. “If you have nurses who understand their patient’s culture, environment, food, customs, religious views, etc., they can provide their patients with ultimate care.” “I take pride in being different,” said Juan Reyes, a nursing student at UA Little Rock. “Thanks to those differences I have the privilege of speaking a second language and being able to help non-English speaking patients. Spanish and English are two of the top five most spoken languages in the world and I happen to be fluent in both.” Reyes, who is of Mexican descent, said UALR has been very welcoming and supportive of his diversity and he’s only had one negative encounter with a patient over his ethnicity. His advice to others who encounter such attitudes: Be a professional. “On the one occasion where I felt a patient was intolerant to my diversity, I handled it by providing the best care that I could,” he said. “I know some people are set in their ways and have made up their minds about those that are not like them. All I can do is do my job.” “The best advice I could give to someone going into nursing is to let all the negative comments roll off and to not get caught up in trying to change people with words. Rather, change their views with how you care for them because as it has been said before, they will not remember what you said to them but they will remember how you made them feel.”

IT TAKES A SPECIAL PERSON TO WORK AT A HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER. BUT YOU CAN’T PUT A PRICE ON THE FEELING YOU GET WHEN YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN A CLIENT’S LIFE. —JULIE WILHELM, NURSE MANAGER ARKADELPHIA HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER

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MICHELLE GONZALEZ, PH.D., CRNA, DIRECTOR, NURSE ANESTHESIA PROGRAM UAMS College of Nursing I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for over 20 years. When I was in my undergraduate nursing program, I was the only Hispanic student in the entire college, which was approximately 2000 students. Why nursing? I decided that I wanted to be a nurse when I was in high school. In my senior year, we had a career day and when the nurse presented, I decided right there that’s what I wanted to do. Also, my mother was diabetic and had frequent doctor’s appointments and interactions with health care. This made me more aware of how I could help people. How has diversity shaped your career? Because there was no one else like me in nursing school, I tended to make friends with other minorities. My closest friend was the only Italian in the school, we also had two men in our class, so the four of us became fast friends. Looking back on it, we had a unique microcosm consisting of one black male, one LGBT male, an Italian and a Latina. The benefits of my diversity included the ability to reach out to and connect with other minority students and develop great friendships in the process. What advice do you have for the next generation? Lack of opportunity isn’t the issue now that it was 30 years ago; our society has changed in its views towards others of diverse backgrounds. Today, there are grants and scholarships sponsored by a variety of communities ranging from single parents, LGBTQ, Hispanic females, Hispanic students, minority grants and more. The opportunities are there, one has to do the work to find them. I tend to look at people for who they are, as well as their contributions and insights. I tend to ask a lot of questions, particularly if I’m not familiar with the culture or customs. My frame of thought is, if I can increase my knowledge and awareness of people that are different from me, then I can extend that respect and acknowledgment and be an example for others.

“I LOST A STUDENT VERY EARLY IN MY PRACTICE AS A SCHOOL NURSE. I FOUND IT BETTER TO JUST BE AVAILABLE WHEN THE FAMILY NEEDED COMFORTING AND OFFER SUPPORT. SEEK OTHER HELP FOR THE FAMILY IF AND AS NEEDED.”

—UVITA L. SCOTT, RN, SCHOOL NURSE, BOOKER ARTS MAGNET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

“HUMBLE YOURSELF AND BE OPEN TO LEARNING.”

—TERESA BROWN, LPN, STUDENT & EMPLOYEE HEALTH, UAMS COLLEGE OF NURSING

“THE FIRST YEAR IS ROUGH. MY ADVICE IS TO FIND A GOOD, SEASONED NURSE AND LEARN FROM THEM. ASK QUESTIONS AND DO AS MANY HANDS-ON SKILLS AS YOU CAN.” —STACY FITZHUGH, LPN, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

“IT IS NORMAL TO BE SCARED. THERE ARE GOOD DAYS AND BAD DAYS EVERYWHERE. YOU MUST PUT YOUR ENTIRE HEART INTO IT.” —FAITHE SUMMERS, RN, JEFFERSON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

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JANICE IVERS, NURSING & HEALTH SCIENCES National Park College I am Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences. I started out in nursing education after 10 years of bedside nursing. I quickly moved from a skills lab educator to a part-time clinical faculty member to full-time classroom/ clinical faculty and then later as RN Program director before taking my current role. Each step of the way, I learned more and more about nursing education and leadership. I loved every step. What’s your job? My day is spent planning, managing, organizing, prioritizing, reviewing and evaluating compliance of policy and procedures, content review and maintenance. I also keep up with requirements of ADHE, program- and college-specific accrediting body requirements and clinical affiliation requirements. I consider my division my team. There are 26 members, all grouped into smaller teams. We all work mostly daytime hours Monday-Friday. Ours is not a typical nurse schedule, for sure; faculty work 9.5 months out of the year and I work 11 months. What’s it like? You must be willing to work with others, have a high level of communication skills, advocacy, honesty, integrity and love people. At least five years of nursing experience is typically required along with a master’s degree, or higher, in nursing. The additional graduate level education certificate is really important to better understand curriculum development and design, assessment and evaluation. My job is very social and fun; you get to work with all different health care disciplines and see what is new and different in nursing education. There is a shortage of nursing faculty in the state of Arkansas, so consider this very rewarding career choice.

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Nursing welcomes people of all ages, as these National Park College students attest.

“IT IS OK TO STAND UP AND BE THE PATIENT’S ADVOCATE. AN ADVOCATE DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, IT MEANS YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE PATIENT’S BEST INTEREST IN MIND.”

DIVERSITY OF AGE

NURSING GENERATIONS LEARN FROM EACH OTHER Nursing is hard work, harder than most people realize. In any given shift, nursing taxes you in every way—physically, emotionally and mentally—only to do it all over again the next day. This why so many nurses describe their vocation not as a job, but as a calling, because it does demand so much of them that it becomes one with who they are. For this reason, it might seem that nursing is only for young people, but nothing could be further from the truth. The best teams include nurses with a diversity of age, expertise and experience. Lynn Braden, RN with the Outpatient Interventional Unit at Conway Regional Health System, has been a nurse for 34 years, in which time she has had a variety of roles in the profession. “Older nurses have many years of experience and are able to pick up small signs of problems before new nurses. We also have more experience starting IVs, especially on patients with difficult, small veins,” she said. “I have been a surgical ICU nurse, ICU nurse, same-day surgery nurse, radiology nurse, cardiology nurse, PACU nurse, GI nurse, charge nurse and outpatient unit nurse. “I am very good at starting IVs,” she added with a laugh. Nancy May, staff nurse at Jefferson Regional Medical Cener in Pine Bluff, came into the profession later than many at age 39 and has been a nurse for 23 years. She said helping less experienced nurses understand the art of nursing is a priority for her, the same as gaining new insights from the next generation. “Older nurses have experience and knowledge; younger nurses are more knowledgeable of computers,” she said. “I have tried to pass on to younger nurses the importance of caring for your patients, to think of them as someone’s family. I tell them to care for them the same way you want your family cared for.” 118 SEPTEMBER 2019

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—SARAH OVERBEY, RN PROGRAM FACULTY, NATIONAL PARK COLLEGE/PRN SURGICAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT, CHI ST. VINCENT HOT SPRINGS

“TRY TO MAKE CHOICES THAT BRING OUT THE JOY AND PASSION IN YOUR LIFE. GIVE TIME AND ATTENTION TO THESE THINGS BECAUSE YOUR PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH IS WORTH IT.”

—SHANNON FINLEY, SENIOR PATIENT SAFETY COORDINATOR/ADJUNCT FACULTY UAMS COLLEGE OF NURSING

“I SOUGHT OUT SEASONED NURSES WHO DID NOT MIND SHARING THEIR EXPERTISE WITH ME IN ORDER TO HELP ME GROW AS A NURSE. AS A NEW NURSE, GIVING RESPECT TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE FIELD FOR A WHILE GOES A LONG WAY.” —ANGELA MCJUNKINS, PRACTICAL NURSING PROGRAM DIRECTOR NATIONAL PARK COLLEGE A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

ASHLEIGH WIGGINS, LPN Arkansas Health Center I am 28 years old and I have been a nurse for two years. I work at Arkansas Health Center with a team of four CNAs, an LPN supervisor and an RN. I am also caregiver for my elderly mother. What’s your job? As an LPN, my job is to provide basic nursing care to patients while working under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor. I maintain records of patient histories, provide dressing or bathing assistance, administer medications, give injections and provide wound care. What’s the work environment? I work 12-hour shifts, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. At my workplace, it can become stressful if you don’t have good time management. Just like any hospital or long-term care facility, you need to be prepared for anything. Some days are harder than others. You also must be a team player, ready and willing to work with a melting pot of amazing nursing staff. If you are a positive person who is ready to learn, you will be successful. You have to have the heart to work in an environment like this. What’s it like? I like the family atmosphere of this job; longterm care can be emotionally exhausting, but it is worth it. When you can walk into a room, laugh with your CNAs and charge nurses and choose to have a good day, there is nothing better. I am pretty good at patient care; bedside manner has always meant a lot to me. To me, nursing is more than pushing pills and paperwork. I want new and seasoned nurses to know, it will never get easier—it’s not supposed to be easy being a nurse. With this profession, you learn something new every day, no questions are dumb questions. So, no it won’t get easier, but you will grow wiser, move faster and develop skills that you will have for the rest of your life.


SONDRA MCNATT, BSN, RN; SURGICAL STAFF NURSE Arkansas Children’s Hospital Nursing in an operating room is different from nursing in patient care areas. The operating room staff takes teamwork to a new level. You have the opportunity to work with various care providers who bring a level of diversity that surpasses what you could possibly imagine, which opens the door to learning something new and exciting every day. What’s your job? My job requires knowledge in sterile processing, infection control, patient positioning, prepping, instrument types and uses and understanding the surgical procedure, to name a few. Patient and team safety is always first priority. The operating room nurse has to be able to solve issues in a timely manner, coordinate the many care providers involved with the patient, and be able to maintain safety in an extremely fast-paced environment. The operating room nurse has to build a rapport with the patient and family in a short period of time. What’s the key to success in nursing? There are formal and informal mentors in all of our lives. Some people are passionate about the development of others and seek to influence and develop others. I have had many mentors over time. Some mentors helped navigate logistics of the system while others assisted on specific projects. The most influential mentor was the person who asked questions related to my interests and passions. These questions changed my view from accomplishing goals to becoming a leader in my field. What do you like about your job? Surgical nursing is fast-paced and always changing. The challenging but exciting part of surgical nursing is the team approach within the unit and other areas of the hospital to coordinate the care of the patient. Beyond that, I love pediatric nursing. Someone asked me a question years ago that led me to pediatric nursing. They asked, “When you walk into a room, what age group do you want to see?” I knew right then I always wanted to see children. It is an honor to be part of the patient and family’s health journey and story.

NURSING NEEDS YOU. Invest in yourself and begin a rewarding career in nursing. Financial aid is available. CHI St. Vincent may cover tuition and fees for qualified students. You can afford it but you cannot afford to wait any longer. Applications open in January.

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“BE WARNED, YOU WILL HAVE YOUR HEART TOUCHED. YOU WILL LAUGH WITH EACH ONE AND HAVE GREAT PRIDE FOR THE SMALLEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS.” —DEBI NOAH, LPN BOONEVILLE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Nursing school, like the profession itself, is a collaborative effort, as these students at the University of Central Arkansas demonstrate.

DIVERSITY OF WORKPLACE OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO Most people typically think of nurses as working in hospitals, however, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of work environments that are open to qualified nurses. Nurses work in a wide variety of settings from clinics to schools to correctional facilities. For some travel nurses, the environment can change every few months! Here are five work environments which you might not have considered where nurses report to work every day.

CORPORATIONS

Nurse coaches are LPNs or RNs who help consult people on choosing healthy lifestyles. Corporations hire these nurses as a resource to help maintain healthier employees, lowering absenteeism and reducing health care claims. Nurse coaches are teachers, leading workshops, seminars and one-on-one talks on various health and wellness topics. They may work for an individual company, or they may work for an insurance company who deploys the nurse coach to various client corporations. Another trend in corporate America is to provide an on-site health clinic as an employee benefit for workers and their families.

COMMUNITY HEALTH

Public health nurses interact with the wider community and may be employed by government offices, schools or community disaster relief organizations. Public health nurses are on the front line of health, often serving special populations such as low-income individuals and families, senior citizens or refugees. They may be deployed to temporary field clinics in the wake of a tornado or other 120 SEPTEMBER 2019

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weather event, provide health information via presentations in schools or administer immunizations to individuals and families at a free clinic.

SCHOOLS AND CAMPS

These health care professionals have to be ready for a little bit of everything, from bumps and bruises on the playground to flu shots to a camper’s stomach ache or exposure to poison ivy. Nurses are particularly vital to camps and schools that cater to special populations, who generally have additional physical, mental and medicinal needs, or helping diabetic students monitor their glucose. Schools and camps are appealing because the environment is usually good, medical “emergencies” are generally pretty tame and nurses often get to employ their teaching skills, too.

CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES

Working in a correctional facility is much like working in any other medical clinic, dealing with health issues from acute illness and injury to chronic diseases. People immediately think of working in the prison as inherently dangerous–and there are certain risks–but those who have done it say there are so many safeguards in place, they didn’t feel any more at risk than in other work settings. One distinct different is the many protocols in place to secure sharps and medications to prevent an inmate from taking it out of the infirmary.

MILITARY

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KATHERINE METZ, RN Patient Educator, UAMS The UAMS Patient Education Department provides direct education to assigned patients and/or their caregivers. We have a staff of four patient educators—two of these educators are nurses and two of them are master’s-level health educators. What’s your job? My specialty is medical surgical education and prenatal health. I teach group classes, provide bedside education to patients and family, design curricula and teach educational programs such as the Hip/Knee Academy and the Spine Academy. What’s the work environment? The work environment varies from slow to fast-paced. It’s a moderate stress level, especially in group settings when participants are not respectful of the learning environment. The typical hours of work are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and one monthly evening class. What’s it like? Just like any nursing role, this role requires patience, compassion and concern for the health and welfare of others. As a nurse patient educator, we play a critical role in health literacy. Once a patient is ready for discharge, educating the patient and his/her caregiver is very important to their healing process and recovery or to just give them the tools to maintain and improve their state of health. You must be flexible, a good communicator and learn to think outside of the box. People who work in this environment have the potential to transition into almost any teaching role in the health profession, such as staff education, clinical education, community health education and education in rural areas.


nurses work on military bases, field hospitals and aboard military ships. They also are often assigned to care for our veterans in VA facilities coast to coast. Military nurses fall into two categories – active duty and reserve. Active duty nurses are full-time in the military while those in the reserves are called upon only when needed, enabling them to have full-time careers. Reserves (Army, Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard) are required to train one weekend a month during their enlistment along with another two weeks of annual training, set in a variety of health care settings.

“LEARN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS WELL. PERSONALITIES DIFFER AND SOMETIMES CLASH. FIND TIME TO TAKE A PERSONALITY TRAIT COURSE. IT WILL HELP YOU BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW TO GET ALONG WITH PEOPLE.” —GLORIA CURNE, RN, ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY-MIDSOUTH

MICHELE DIEDRICH, DNP, MA, RN, NEA-BC; CHIEF NURSING OFFICER Baptist Health Little Rock One of the benefits of nursing is that you never stop learning, there are opportunities every day to expand clinical knowledge. It is important that education continue outside of clinical knowledge, and pursuit of a master’s degree provides that opportunity. Master’s-prepared nurses are expected to have excellent clinical skills, organizational skills, knowledge of health care policy, implementation of evidence-based practice and ability to lead projects or teams. Why should I consider a master’s degree? As a master’s-prepared nurse, the ability to have more job opportunities increases, including leadership or educator. Master’s-prepared nurses are also in a great position to complete the next level of education, including advance practice registered nurse, certified nurse anesthetist, or doctor of nurse practice. What are the practical benefits of a master’s degree? The demand for master’s-prepared nurses continues to increase, including the need for more nurse leaders. The starting pay depends on the title that is associated with the position held by the master’s-prepared nurse. As a general rule, most organizations have a clinical advancement program, which includes the ability to increase rate of pay with

A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

education level being a component of the clinical advancement. The same goes for job duties, which depend on the title associated with the position held by the master’s-prepared nurse. For instance, the nurse manager is a challenging position with a lot of demands as it is a 24-hour-perday responsibility, but there are also a lot of rewards. What was your personal educational experience? My journey as a nurse has been incredible from a clinical perspective and my education has truly been a life-long pursuit. I obtained my Associate of Science in Nursing in 1989; Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2004; Master of Arts in Healthcare Administration in 2006; and Doctor of Nurse Practice in 2017. As a nurse you never stop learning.

“BEING CALM, LEARNING THE SKILL OF BEING AN ACTIVE LISTENER AND HAVING MOMENTS OF SILENCE CAN PROVIDE A MOMENT FOR THE PATIENT TO SHARE THEIR TRUE CONCERNS.” —JANET SMITH DNP, RN, ASSOCIATE DEGREE NURSING PROGRAM DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK COLLEGE

ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 121


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ARKANSAS COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY

YRS/PUBLIC PRIVATE

DEGREE OFFERED

LENGTH OF PROGRAM

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

AID DEADLINE

Arkansas State University - Jonesboro • 870-972- 4 yr public 3074 (nursing) • 870-972-3024 (admissions)

Traditional BSN, LPN-BSN, 2nd Degree Accelerated BSN, Online RN to BSN

varies

on campus housing for Jonesboro; off campus for online RN-BSN

July 1st; Online students pay apply year around

Arkansas Tech University, Russellville • 479968-0383

4 yr public

BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, RN to MSN

BSN-4yrs, RN to BSN-1yr, MSN-2yrs

on campus housing

varies

Harding University, Searcy • 1-800-477-4407, 501-279-4682

4 yr private

BSN, MSN FNP, Post Graduate

BSN 4 yrs; MSN FN - 2yrs, PG - 2yrs

on campus housing

February 1st

Henderson State University, Arkadelphia • 870-230-5015

4 yr public

BSN (traditional); RN to BSN online; RN to BSN online enrollment both fall and spring; LPN to BSN on campus; MSN online

4 yrs for the Traditional BSN and LPN to BSN on Campus; RN-BSN Online in 1 year (3 semesters)

on/off campus

June

Ouachita Baptist Univeristy, Arkadelphia • 870-245-5000

4 yr private, faith-based

Dual Enrolled RN to BSN Completer (Ouachita Baptist University and Baptist Health College Little Rock)

BSN-4 yrs

on campus housing at Ouachita first 4 semesters; commuter campus while attending BHCLR; off campus for final semester online.

Priority Dec. 1

Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia • 870-235-4040

4 yr public

BSN, Online RN-BSN Completion

4 yrs BSN, 1-4 yrs online RN-BSN Completion program

on campus housing

July 1st

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville • 479575-3904

4 yr public

BSN, RN-BSN (online program), MSN (online program), DNP (online program)

4 years for BSN, 3-5 semesters RN to BSN, 2 years part-time MSN, 3 years full-time / 4 years part-time post-BSN-DNP, 2 years part-time post-MSNDNP

on campus housing for BSN students

March 15th

Univeristy of Arkansas, Little Rock, Department of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-569-8081

4 yr public

BSN, RN-BSN Completion

7 semester BSN, 3 semester RN to BSN Completion

on/off campus housing

April 1st

University of Central Arkansas, Conway • 501-450-3119

4 yr public

BSN, RN TO BSN, MSN (Clinical Nurse Leader), MSN (Nurse Educatior with Clinical Specialty), Post-Master’s DNP and BSN to DNP (Family Nurse Practitioner)

BSN 4 yrs, RN to BSN 12 mos 100% online, MSN 5 semesters, 100% online, PMC varies, DNP 2yrs, BSN to DNP (FNP) 4 yrs part-time

on campus housing available

July 1st

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith • 479-7887841, 1-888-512-LION

4 yr public

BSN

4 yrs for BSN/Varies for RN-BSN

on campus housing

Priority Oct. 1st

University of Arkansas at Monticello • 870460-1069

4 yr public

AASN (LPN-RN), BSN, RN-BSN, LPN-BSN

2 to 4 yrs

on campus housing

contact financial aid (870) 460-1050

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-686-5224

4 yr public

RN to BSN, BSN, MSNc (APRN and Admin), BSN to DNP (APRN), DNP (Leadership), and PhD. Post Masters options available.

BSN generic: 2 full calendar years/ RN to BSN: 1 yr full time/ MNSc, DNP & PhD: students have up to 6 yrs to complete degree requirements.

on campus housing

varies, visit nursing.uams.edu. Click on Financial Assistance under Future Students

Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville • 870-780-1228

2 yr public

AAS Nursing

2 year

commuter campus

Priority April 15

Arkansas State University - Jonesboro • 870-9723074 (nursing) • 870-972-3024 (admissions)

4 yr public

D.N.P., M.S.N., B.S.N., AASN (LPN to AASN and Online LPN to AASN offered at A-State Jonesboro;Traditional and LPN to AASN offered at ASU Mid-South, and ASU-Mountain Home)

varies

on campus housing for Jonesboro

July 1st

Arkansas State University - Mountain Home • 870-508-6266

2 yr public

AAS in RN- LPN/Paramedic to RN

30 hrs pre-req courses, plus 1 yr LPN/Paramedic, Plus 1 yr RN

commuter campus

Nov. 1

Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus, Ozark • 479-667-2117

public

AAS in Allied Health-Practical Nursing and AAS in Registered Nursing

3 semesters-PN; 2 semesters - RN

commuter campus

Priority April 15

College of the Ouachitas, Malvern • 800-3370266 ext 1200

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN), Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (LPN/Paramedic to RN), Certified Nursing Assistant, Medication Administration Program

12 months

commuter campus

open

East Arkansas Community College, Forrest City • 870-633-4480

2 yr public

AASN

2 yrs

commuter campus

April 15th

Mississippi County Community College, Blytheville • 870-762-1020

2 yr public

AAS in Nursing

2 yrs

commuter campus

Priority April 15 - Rolling

National Park College, Hot Springs • 501760-4290

2 yr public

Associate of Science in Nursing (RN) traditional & LPN to RN, Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN)

2 yrs RN, 1 yr PN

commuter campus

open

North Arkansas College, Harrison • 870743-3000

2 yr public

AAS in Nursing-traditional. LPN, RN Bridge

RN-2 yr; RN Bridge-1yr; PN-1yr

commuter campus

Pell Grant June 30

Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville • 479-636-9222, 800-995-6922

2 yr public

AAS, RN

68 credit hours

commuter campus

June 1st and November 1st

Ozarka College, Melbourne • 870-368-2024 (Admissions) 870-368-2077 (Nursing)

2 yr public

Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing

12 mos

commuter campus; limited housing units available on campus

none

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Helena-West Helena, Stuttgart • HWH 870-338-6474 x1254; Stuttgart 1-870673-4201 x1809

2 yr public

AAS

63 credit hrs, 5 semesters

commuter campus

Federal and state deadlines observed.

Southeast Arkansas College, Pine Bluff • 870-543-5917

2 yr public

AAS: RN, Generic RN & LPN/Paramedic to RN. Technical Certificate: PN

PN-1 yr, Generic RN-5 Semesters

commuter campus

open

University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Department of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-569-8081

4 yr public

AAS/LPN to RN/BSN

4 semesters

on/off campus housing

April 1st

University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville • 870-612-2000, 800-508-7878

2 yr public

AAS-Generic RN, AAS-LPN-to-RN Online or Traditional, TC-Practical Nursing

AAS-Generic RN 16mos, ASS-LPN-to-RN 12 mos, TC-Practical Nursing 11mos

commuter campus

varies

University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana • 870-777-5722

2 yr public

Associate/RN; LPN (Hope); LPN (Texarkana) 12 months (excludes prerequisites)

commuter campus

July 15th

Baptist Health College Little Rock • 501-2026200, 800-345-3046

private, faithbased

diploma/PN, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/RN

RN traditonal track 3 semesters + general education courses PN 1yr. RN Accelerated 1yr (LPNs or Paramedics).

commuter campus

March 1st priority

Jefferson Reg. Med. Center School of Nursing, Pine Bluff • 870-541-7858

private

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

79 weeks

off campus only

none

public

Technical Certificate of Practical Nursing

13 months

commuter campus

Priority April 15th

Certificate LPN

11 mos

commuter campus

varies

BACCALAUREATE

ASSOCIATE DEGREE

PRACTICAL NURSING Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville • 870-780-1228

Arkansas State University - Beebe • 501-207-6255 public 124 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES


SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE

REQUIRED EXAMS

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Comments/Home Page Address

February 15th

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ASSET; HESI A2 Nursing Admission Exam or HESI LPN to ADN Mobility Exam

varies

Nursing programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. www.astate.edu

varies

BSN-ACT or COMPASS, TEAS, RN to BSN-None, MSN-GRE or MAT

BSN: Mar 1, Oct 1; RN to BSN: Mar 1, Aug 1, Oct 1; MSN: Ongoing

RN to BSN can be completed in as little as 1 year. Excellent Faculty. www.atu.edu/nursing

Rolling

ACT or SAT

Rolling

Quality nursing education with a focus on Christian service and professionalism. www. harding.edu

varies

ACT, SAT, or COMPASS

RN-BSN June 30 for Fall and Nov 30 for Spring

The school with a heart. Small classes. CCNE Accredited. www.hsu.edu

Priority Dec 1

ACT or SAT (OBU & BHCLR); TEAS (BHCLR)

Priority Dec 1 (OBU); April 15 (OBU & BHCLR)

Earn two degress in four years in this innovative, affordable program (AAS from BHCLR, BSN from OBU).

Priority March 15, Final August

ACT, TEAS at least 60%

BSN Spring: Jan. 15-Mar. 1 for Fall Admission, Sep. 10 - Oct. 31 for Spring Admission; RN-BSN Completion Program Aug. (prior to classes beginning for Fall Admission, Jan. (prior to classes beginning for Spring Admission)

www.saumag.edu/nursing

November 15th

SAT, ACT, GRE for the MSN and BSN-DNP

Varies

We offer generalist and advanced nursing degree programs to prepare nurses to meet the health needs of the public in an ever-changing health care environment. The DNP offers two options: family nurse practitioner and acute-geriatric nurse practitioner. nurs. uark.edu

February 1st

ACT/SAT for students with less than 12 credits.

Rolling

BSN completion for current RNs or recent graduates of an accredited nursing program. UA-Little Rock students can Ladder into the online BSN and graduate within 4 years. www.ualr.edu/nursing

February 15 - University Scholarships | March 9 - Foundation Scholarships

No entrance exam required for nursing major.

varies by program, see website for dates

Student-centered, NCLEX-RN 1st time pass rates are consistently above state and national average. All programs are CCNE Accredited. www.uca.edu/nursing

June 1st

ACT/Accuplacer

Oct 1st for Spring/ March 1st for Fall

RN-BSN is an Online Completion Program. Http://health.uafs.edu/programs/rn-to-bsn; health.uafs.edu

March 1st

Entrance

March 1st

Achieve your nursing goals with us. http://www.uamont.edu/pages/school-of-nursing/ degree-programs/

varies, visit nursing.uams.edu. click on Financial Assistance under Future Students.

TOEFL for int’l students, ATI TEAS V for BSN applicants.

RN to BSN: Jan. 1, Mar. 1, Jun. 1, Sept. 1, Nov. 1/ BSN generic: Mar. 1/ MNSc: Sept. 1 & Feb. 1/BSN to DNP: Feb 1/ PhD: Mar.1, Jun. 15, Nov. 15

conadmissions@uams.edu • www.nursing.uams.edu

Priority April 15

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER and PAX-RN

RN- March 31

ANC offers the RN, LPN, and LPN to RN programs of study. www.anc.edu

February 15th

ACT or SAT or COMPASS or ASSET; HESI A2 Nursing Admission varies Exam or HESI LPN to ADN Mobility Exam

The mission of the School of Nursing is to educate, enhance and enrich students for evolving professoinal nursing practice. Nursing programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. www.astate.edu

varies

ACT, ACCUPLACER plus HESI LPN-ADN or HESI EMS-ADN

Oct. 15, March 15 (ASUMH starts a second cohort in Summer 2020)

Application packet and program requirements online. www.asumh.edu

varies

PN: TEAS, RN: HESI

March 15th, October 1st-PN; March 15-RN

Clinical experience in hospitals of varying size, physicians’ offices and geriatric facilities. www.atu.edu/ozark

Fall-May1, Spring-Dec 1

COMPASS/ACCUPLACER for the PN Program & HESI for RN Program

2nd Friday in Sept. for Jan. admitance; 2nd Friday in Feb. for May admittance to RN program

www.coto.edu for additional information.

varies

ACT, ACCUPLACER / Nursing Pre-entrance exams

varies

Allied health program offering RN-Nursing degree (basic students, LPN completion). www.eacc.edu

Priority April 15

PAX-RN

March 31st

www.mccc.cc.ar.us

open

ACT, SAT or College Entry Exam & TEAS

First Monday in March

Options for LPN and new High School seniors. www.np.edu

June 15th

ACT, ACCUPLACER

varies with program

Northark’s students receive excellent healthcare education leading to rewarding careers in nursing. www.northark.edu/academics/areas-of-study/health-and-medical/index

April 1st

HESI A2

Track I: May 1st, Track II: Dec. 1st, LPN to RN: Nov. 1st

The college of the NWA community, member of Northwest Arkansas Nursing Education Consortium. www.nwacc.edu/academics/nursing. The NWACC Nursing program is ARSBN approved and ACEN accredited

April 1st

NACE test

Aug. 31/Spring entry (application window: Jan 1- Aug 31)

Providing life-changing experiences through education. www.ozarka.edu

none

Nelson Denny Reading Test 10th grade level and 55 on the ATI Critical Thinking Exam

June 1st

ACEN accredited. www.pccua.edu

none

ACT, COMPASS, PAX for PN,KAPLAN Admission Exam

Second Friday in March

Changing lives…one student at a time! www.seark.edu

February 1st

ACT/SAT/Compass for students with less than 12 credits.

Priority Application Deadline Feb 28/ Applications accepted until class full.

LPN/Paramedic to RN (1 year). Traditional AAS (2 years). Accelerated AAS (18 months). See above for BSN information. www.ualr.edu/nursing

March 1- High school Academic; July 15Others; Nursing Scholarship- Dec. 1

ASSET, ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER, and KAPLAN Nurse Entrance Test

TC-PN and AAS-Generic RN May 1; AAS-LPN-to-RN July 15

Prerequisite courses and KAPLAN entrance testing must be completed prior to entry into a nursing program. www.uaccb.edu

April 15 and November 15

ACT or ACCUPLACER or LPN license

August 31st

www.arnec.org, www.uacch.edu

varies

ACT or SAT; TEAS

RN traditional track/PN program: July 1st & December 1st , RN Accelerated: December 1st

www.bhclr.edu

none

ACT

Oct. 15 for Jan. class; Apr. 15 for June class. $35 application fee.

www.jrmc.org/schoolofnursing

Priority April 15th

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER and PAX-PN

PN-March 31st

Variety of clinical experiences. www.anc.edu

June 15th

ACCUPLACER and WONDERLIC

April 15 and November 15

Application packet and program requirements are online. www.asub.edu

A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 125


Arkansas College/University

Yrs/Public Private

Degree Offered

Length Of Program

Living Arrangements

Aid Deadline

Arkansas State University - Mountain Home • 870-508-6266

public

Technical certificate in PN

11 mos

commuter campus

varies

Arkansas State University - Newport • 870680-8710

public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing

11 mos

commuter campus

contact financial aid

Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus, Ozark • 479-667-2117

public

AAS in Allied Health-Practical Nursing

3 semesters

commuter campus

Priority April 15

ASU Technical Center, Jonesboro • 870-932-2176

public

LPN

11 mos

commuter campus

none

Baptist Health College Little Rock • 501-2026200, 800-345-3046

private

diploma/PN, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/RN

2 semester PN

commuter campus

Priority March 1st

Black River Technical College, Pocahontas • 870-248-4000 ext. 4150

2 yr public

AAS/RN, Certificate/PN, Certificate of Proficiency/Nursing Assistant

AAS/RN 3 semesters, Certificate/PN 3semesters, Certificate of Proficiency/Nursing Assistant 5 weeks.

commuter campus

contact financial aid office

College of the Ouachitas, Malvern • 800-3370266 ext 1200

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing

12 months

commuter campus

Spring-November;Summer-April

University of Arkansas - Cossatot, DeQueen and Nashville • 870-584-4471, 800-844-4471

2 yr public

LPN Technical Certificate, RN Associate of Applied Science

LPN DeQueen Day Program 11 mos, LPN Nashville Evening Program 18 mos, RN (transition from LPN) Nashville Evening Program 11 mos.

commuter campus

varies

Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute • Forrest City • 870-633-5411

public

LPN

LPN: 40 wks

commuter campus

Please call 870.633.5411 f or more information

National Park College, Hot Springs • 501760-4160

Public

Certificate in Practical Nursing

11 mos FT

commuter campus

none

Northwest Technical Institute, Springdale • 479-751-8824

public

diploma/PN

3 sem. & 1 Summer session (includes Pre-Reqs)

commuter campus

July 1/Fall, December 1/Spring

Ozarka College, Melbourne • 870-368-2024 (Admissions) 870-368-2077 (Nursing)

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in LPN, LPN-RN track offered

11 mos. track or 18 mos. track

commuter campus with limited hous- none ing units available on campus

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Helena-West Helena, DeWitt • HWH 870-338-6474 x1254; DeWitt 1-870-9463506 x 1511

2 yr public

Technical Certificate

42 credit hrs; 3 semesters

commuter campus

Federal and state deadlines observed.

University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College, 2 yr public North Little Rock • 501-812-2200

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing/PN

11-month traditional track/22-month non-traditional track

commuter campus

April 15 for upcoming fall semester

University of Arkansas Rich Mountain, Mena • 479-394-7622

2 yr public

Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing, Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing, CP in Nursing Assistant

11-12 mos

commuter or on-campus housing available in 2020

varies, contact financial aid office

SAU Tech, Camden • 870-574-4500

2 yr public

Technical Certificate

11 mos

commuter campus and on-campus

N/A

South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado • 870-864-7142, 870-864-7137

2 yr public

ADN,LPN

11 mos

commuter campus

June 1, November 1, April 1

University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology, McGeHee • 870-222-5360

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing

January to December

commuter campus

varies

University of Arkansas Comm. College at Morrilton • 501-977-2000

2 yr public

Practical Nursing (PN) Technical Certificate; Registered Nursing (RN) Associate of Applied Science degree

PN is 12 months; RN is 12 months after prerequisites are met

commuter campus

prior to semester

University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana • 870-777-5722

2 yr public

certificate/PN

10.5 or 12 months (excludes prerequisites)

commuter campus

July 15th

INNOVATION. AFFORDABILITY. IMPACT. Join one of the most innovative nursing programs in Arkansas – a partnership between Ouachita Baptist University and Baptist Health College Little Rock – and earn 2 degrees in 4 years. As part of the #1 PRIVATE COLLEGE IN THE STATE (Niche.com) and the LARGEST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THE STATE, your preparation for the workforce will be unparalleled.

NOW OFFERING: Dual Degree RN-to-BSN (AAS & BSN in 4 years) 1. 8 0 0 . D I A L . O B U // O B U . E D U / N U R S I N G

126 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES


Required Exams

Application Deadline

Comments/Home Page Address

varies

ACT, ACCUPLACER plus HESI A2

Oct. 15, March 15

Application packet and program requirements online. www.asumh.edu

varies

Accuplacer, ATI TEAS

August class (Newport/Jonesboro)-June 1, January class (Marked Tree)- Oct 15

Application packet and program requirements online. www.asun.edu

varies

TEAS

March 15th, October 1st

Clinical experience in hospitals of varying size, physicians’ offices and geriatric facilities. www.atu.edu/ozark

none

ASSET, NET

June 1 & November 1

Combines classroom instruction with clinical experience. Graduates eligible to take NCLEX.

varies

ACT or SAT; TEAS

Dec 1st & June 1st

www.bhclr.edu

April 15th

ACT or Accuplacer for BRTC Admission and NA Applicants; TEAS for PN Applicants, NACE for RN Applicants.

NA - Contact Nursing department, PN April 1 for following fall acceptance and October 31 for following spring acceptance, August 31 annually for following Spring RN acceptance.

BRTC: A college of vision. BRTC has a 95% plus boards pass rate. www.blackrivertech. org

Spring-November;Summer-May

HESI Entrance Exam

2nd Friday in Oct. for Jan. admittance; 2nd Friday in March for May admittance to PN program

www.coto.edu

April 1st

ACCUPLACER or ACT; TEAS for LPN; NACE for RN

LPN Day Program-De Queen: March 1st, LPN and RN Evening Program-Nashville: August 31st

Prerequisites required prior to admission. www.cccua.edu/MedEd www.cccua.edu

varies

ACCUPLACER

CRTI is currently in the process of merging with East Arkansas Community College. Call for more information.

www.crti.ar.tec.us

none

College Entry Exam, TEAS

First Monday in March

Do you want to make a difference? Then nursing is for you! www.np.edu

June 1/Fall, December 1/Spring

NET, COMPASS

November 1st

Bilingual scholarships available- www.nwansged.org

April 1st

PAX Test

April 1/Fall entry, November 1/Spring entry

Providing life-changing experiences through education. www.ozarka.edu

none

Nelson-Denny Reading Test 9th grade level and 47 on ATI Critical Thinking Exam

June 1st for fall admission and Oct. 1st for spring admission

www.pccua.edu

varies

ACT or ACCUPLACER and Kaplan Admission Test

April 15th

Call the Allied Health Advisor to discuss eligibility requirements. www.uaptc.edu/programs_of_study/nursing/practical_nursing.asp. Allied Health Advisor: 501-812-2745. Allied Health Administrative Specialist: 501-812-2834. www.uaptc.edu

Nov. 15 - Priority; Apr. 1 - Pending funds available; Foundation Scholarship Deadlines: Fall - Apr. 1 & Jul. 30; Spring - Dec. 1

RN: NACE; LPN: PSB and ACT or Accuplacer

LPN-March, RN-August

www.uarichmountain.edu

March 1st

ASSET. TEAS. Practical Nursing

March 31st

Two Applications required: admissions and nursing. www.sautech.edu

Priority April 1st

ACT, ASSET, or COMPASS

open

SouthArk: Where students come first. www.southark.edu

March 1st

ACT, Accuplacer, ASSET, COMPASS, or SAT - TABE and TEAS

Early October

Approved by Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Accredited by the Higher Learning commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

April 1st

TEAS, NACE

PN deadlines are Oct. 1 & Mar. 1; RN dealine is Aug. 31

Enrollment in PN program on Morrilton campus limited to 24 in spring semester and summer. Enrollment in RN program limited to 48 for classes beginning each January. www.uaccm.edu

April 15 and November 15

ACT or ACCUPLACER

May 1st and November 1st

www.uacch.edu

www.jrmc.org

Your life. Our commitment. Find your calling at Jefferson Regional! å ĩĹŅƶ ĹƚųŸĜĹč ĜŸ ĵŅųå ƋʱĹ ģƚŸƋ ± ģŅÆţ FƋűŸ±ƶ±ƼŅüĬĜüåرĹÚƶåʱƴå±ĹåƻÏåŞƋĜŅűĬƋå±ĵŅüƋ±ĬåĹƋåÚĵåűĹÚƶŅĵåĹƶĘŅ ŸĘ±ųå ƋĘåĜų ÏŅĵޱŸŸĜŅĹ ±ĹÚ ÚåÚĜϱƋĜŅĹƶĜƋĘ ƚŸţ‰åÏĘĹŅĬŅčĜϱĬĬƼ ±Úƴ±ĹÏåÚ ÆƚƋ ޱƋĜåĹƋ ÏåĹƋåųåÚØƋĘåųåűŸ±ŞĬ±ÏåüŅųƼŅƚ±ƋJefferson Regional!

Employer-Paid BCLS, ACLS, PALS & NRP

• • •

Competitive Pay



Flexible Staffing Potential bonuses of $4k-$12k

• • •

Additional compensation for BSN, MSN & other REXMSREPGIVXMǻGEXMSRW Clinic positions available ȓIIOIRHSTXMSRWEZEMPEFPI 3SȅLMVMRK153WJSVXIEQ nursing on 3 NE

• • •

,IRIVSYW'IRIǻXW Tuition Reimbursement Jefferson Regional Nurse Residency, a six month program providing clinical & classroom information for newly graduated nurses

Contact Jefferson Regional Nursing Recruiter at 870-541-7774 or by email at florygi@jrmc.org

Find A Career At Jefferson Regional School Of Nursing! You can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree in just 17 months at the Jefferson Regional School of Nursing! Simulation manikins and high-fidelity learning are just two of the many technology-based learning opportunities, and the close proximity to the hospital makes clinical training easy and convenient. Tuition assistance is also available. Application deadline for the January class is October 15, 2019! Call 870-541-7858.

A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 127

*** for Basic nursing education; Varies with previous coursework or nursing license; MSN program = 2 yrs

Scholarship Deadline


Choose the Best. Choose UAMS. Whether you’re looking for the right place to further your education or the right place to start your nursing career, UAMS is the best choice for you.

Arkansas’ most comprehensive nursing college ■ Baccalaureate Degrees – BSN Little Rock, RN to BSN*, RN to BSN/MNSc*, BSN to DNP

■ Advanced Practice Degrees - MNSc*, DNP*, BSN to DNP

Already a nurse and looking for the best place to work? Nurses are the heart of UAMS. Low nurse to patient ratios Market competitive salaries Tuition discounts at U of A System colleges for you and your family

■ Research Degrees - PhD*, BSN to PhD *Offered primarily online or through distance education

Visit nursing.UAMS.edu for Student Recruitment

Visit nurses.UAMS.edu for Nurse Recruitment


E H T IT’S Y T R PA HE T O T Y! T R A P UES BUS AS WE

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SEPTEMBER 2019 129


A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION BY OAKLAWN RACING CASINO RESORT AND VISIT HOT SPRINGS

Spa-Con Pop Culture & Comic Convention, September 2022. www.spa-con.org SEPT. 5-7

THE 14TH ANNUAL HOT SPRINGS MOTORCYCLE RALLY

Hot Springs Convention Center, 134 Convention Blvd. This is the largest motorcycle rally held annually in Central Arkansas. It offers something for every motorcycle enthusiast. The three-day rally includes plenty of vendors, two poker runs with a chance to win $2,000, an indoor bike show, a concert both Friday and Saturday night at the Bank OZK Arena, field events and bike games, and a parade through historic downtown Hot Springs. Mark your calendars now, take that vacation, invite your friends and remember to make hotel reservations early, they can become scarce. Order your rally tickets on or before Aug. 4 and receive a FREE Rally T-shirt. 

130 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

SEPT. 6

GALLERY WALK

Local art galleries. A continuous tradition for 25 years and counting, galleries stay open late for Gallery Walk on the first Friday of each month to host openings of new exhibits by local, regional, national and international artists. From contemporary to traditional art, the diverse offerings in this arts and cultural scene place Hot Springs at No. 4 among the 100 Best Art Towns in America. Galleries include Kollective Coffee+Tea, Dryden Pottery, Whittington Gallery/Studios, The Avenue in The Waters Hotel, Crystal Springs Mining Co. Gallery, Artists’ Workshop Gallery, American Art Gallery and Gifts LLC, Gallery Central, Legacy Fine Art Gallery and Justus Fine Art Gallery. 

SEPT. 6 - 30

MANGA HOKUSAI MANGA EXHIBIT

Emergent Arts, 341-A Whittington Ave. Opening Reception: 5-8 p.m. Sept. 6 at Circle Gallery at Emergent Arts. Manga comics and graphic novels, unique to Japan, come in a wide range of genres, including comedy, drama, horror and sci-fi. Manga has evolved in the 21st century; the link between Hokusai Manga and modern-day manga is not always visually evident, though the tradition remains strong in the pictorial storytelling. The event is free, and all ages are welcome.


SEPT. 20-22

THE 4TH ANNUAL SPA-CON COMIC & POP CULTURE CONVENTION

Hot Springs Convention Center, 134 Convention Blvd. Yeah! That’s right it’s back! Spa-con is our annual multi-genre entertainment and comic convention currently. It includes not only comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film, television and similar popular arts, but also a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres, including horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, web-comics and fantasy novels. This year brings Cybertronic Spree, Barry Bostwick & The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Michelle Harrison and so much more! www.spa-con.org

SEPT. 20

CYBERTRONIC SPREE IN CONCERT Hot Springs Convention Center, 134 Convention Blvd. Robotic rock ‘n’ roll band The Cybertronic Spree will be kicking off the 4th Annual Spa-Con with a concert on Friday, Sept. 20. It will also appear Saturday, Sept. 21, at 5 p.m. in a panel discussion: “Robot Rockers: Getting Used to Earth Instruments.” Concert admission is included in the price of a Spa-Con weekend pass. The option to purchase a stand-alone ticket to the concert is $10. www.spa-con.org

SEPT. 21

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

Hot Springs Convention Center, 134 Convention Blvd. Everyone does the time warp again at Spa-Con IV when Barry Bostwick, star of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” comes to Hot Springs for a guest appearance and screening of the classic movie at the comics and pop culture convention on Saturday, Sept. 21. Costumes are encouraged. This is an ages 18+ event.Tickets to the screening are included with a Spa-Con VIP, Weekend Pass or Saturday Day Pass. Admission to the screening only is available for only $10. www.spa-con.org

ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 131


A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION BY OAKLAWN RACING CASINO RESORT AND VISIT HOT SPRINGS

SEPT. 28

THE 10TH ANNUAL SEEDS OF PEACE COMMUNITY FESTIVAL

Near the Farmer’s Market on the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail Grow Together for Peace — Cultivate Respect, Safety & Dignity for All. Commemorating the International Day of Peace. 9-11 a.m. Sponsored by REGARD, Recognizing Everyone’s Gifts & Respecting Diversity.

Cliff & Susan

SEPT. 14

NORTHWOODS FULL MOON RIDE (Full Harvest Moon) Northwoods Trailhead , 300 Pineland Drive The ride will be a no-drop beginner- to intermediate-group ride. The route will depend on the skill level of the participants. We will spend around an hour on the trails. Meet at the trailhead at 6 p.m. and begin the ride by 6:30 p.m. It will be dark by the time we return to the trailhead. Sponsored by: Superior Bathhouse Brewery, Spa City Cycling, Parkside Cycle, Rave Grafix and Visit Hot Springs!

WELDON’S MEAT MARKET

Weldon’s deli has fresh cut meats and pie! 911 Central Ave., Hot Springs National Park, AR 71913. 501-525-2487.

SEPTEMBER AT OAKLAWN RACING CASINO RESORT SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Mondays: Monday Fun Day, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesdays: Catfish Dinner, 4-9 p.m. in Lagniappe’s Wednesdays: Girls Night Out, 5-9 p.m. Thursdays: Hot Springs Village Days, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Live Team Trivia, 7-9 p.m. in Pop’s Lounge Fridays: $10,000 Bust the Bank, 6-10 p.m. Party Pit, 8 p.m.–midnight Connect 4, 6-10 p.m. in Pop’s Lounge LIVE ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE POP’S LOUNGE: Every Friday: Talent Showcase with Cliff & Susan 7:30-11 p.m.

FALL INTO FLAVOR!

Every Saturday: The Pink Piano Show with Cliff & Susan 7:30-11:30 p.m. SILKS BAR & GRILL: Live music every Friday and Saturday 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Sept. 6-7 Aaron Owens Sept. 13-14 Mister Lucky Sept. 20 Dino D. & The D. Train Sept. 21 Josh Stewart Band Sept. 27-28 The Big Dam Horns 132 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

SLOTS, SLOTS, SLOTS!

Wednesdays, Red Hot SlotTournament, 7 – 9 p. m.

The kids are back in school, and pumpkins are gettig big, but all of us here in Arkansas know this simple truth — it’s still hot! But don’t sweat it! There’s no better way to cool off and enjoy a little fall fun than by taking a trip to Superior Bathhouse Brewery in Hot Springs National Park. It’s a great time of year to sample the new fall lineup along with year-round classics! Cheers to keeping things refreshingly cool in Hot Springs, no matter what the weather is doing. 329 Central Ave., Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901. 501-624-2337.


We Have The #1 Customers In The State! AROUND THE STATE:

SQZBX BREWERY & PIZZA JOINT SINGS

Open Daily at 11am 7 Days A Week

SQZBX specializes in brewing craft beer on site and creating some of the best pizza in town. SQZBX’s clean and simple brew style means it’s unobtrusive enough to stay out of the food’s way, too. 236 Ouachita Ave., Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901. 501-609-0609.

210 Central Ave. Hot Springs 501.318.6054

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH BEST DESSERTS BEST DOG FRIENDLY BEST GLUTEN FREE BEST HEALTHY BEST OTHER ETHNIC, BEST WINE LIST BEST RESTAURANT IN HOT SPRINGS

rolandosrestaurante.com

AROUND THE STATE: BEST VEGETARIAN

EST. 1988

ROLANDO’S IN AUGUST

Join Rolando’s VIP Club and get a half-price appetizer. Text ROLANDOS to 51660. Stay updated on exclusive offers! Rolando’s has Martini Monday, any liquor for $6.75, and Wine Down Wednesday on the patio, any glass of wine for $5 and a bottle for $20! 210 Central Ave., Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901. 501-318-6054.

BEST MEXICAN FOOD AROUND THE STATE (HOT SPRINGS) BEST MEXICAN FOOD (LITTLE ROCK)

Serving up the BEST MEXICAN FOOD in Central Arkansas year after year.

Little Rock • Benton • Hot Springs

lahamex.com

SINCE 1981

W

’S MEAT MARK N O D EL“QUALITY TELLS, QUALITY SELLS” ET BEST BUTCHER AROUND THE STATE

LA HACIENDA

We have 11 lunch specials from $6.25 to $8.99 and all made fresh just for you! Tuesday’s imported beers are $2.50 all day and on Wednesdays margaritas are $5.99. 3836 Central Ave., Hot Springs National Park, AR 71913. 501-525-8203

EVERYTHING IS CUT TO YOUR SPECIFICATION, AND WE’RE BIG ON CUSTOMER SERVICE! 3911 CENTRAL AVE. • HOT SPRINGS • (501) 525-2487 ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 133


WHAT YOU NEED THIS MONTH!

1. FALL FOR PRINTS Need a great print to add to that gallery wall this fall? Bella Vita has you covered with these Whitney Winkler prints on heavyweight paper, with added gold me-tallic accents. Bella Vita Jewelry, 501-396-9146, bellavitajewelry.net 2. COLORS OF FALL Come shop our beautiful napkins in all different designs/patterns to spruce up your table this fall. Napkins are sold in packs of four. Cynthia East Fabrics, 501-663-0460, cynthiaeastfabrics.com 3. HOG OUT We are football ready at Rhea Drug. Come shop clothing, tabletop and more. Rhea Drug, 501-663-4134, rheadrugstore.com 4. RAZORBACK READY The perfect GameDay look! These shirts look great paired with our denim jeans. Only at Mr. Wicks, your GameDay Hog Headquarters. Mr. Wicks, 501-664-3062, mrwicks.com 5. NOVEL IDEAS Coming this fall: New novels from Arkansas authors Trenton Lee Stewart, Emily Roberson and Mark Barr! Preorder your signed first editions today on the WordsWorth Books website. WordsWorth Books, 501-6639198, wordsworthbookstore.com

134 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

A special advertising promotion


Christopher Adams, 27, of Iowa City, Iowa, is a crossword constructor for mainstream markets (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and others) and for so-called indies — including his own website, where he frequently posts new puzzles free. In his spare time Chris hosts, writes and plays trivia at local bars. — W.S.

ANAGRAMMAR

BY CHRISTOPER ADAMS / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS

1 2 3 4 5 1 Moth attractors 6 Rescue site for a polar bear 10 “Hold it right there!” 19 14 Word with grand or identity 19 Netflix crime drama set in a small town 23 in Missouri 20 “Hahahahahaha!” 28 21 Blacken on the barbecue 22 Sun: Prefix 23 Change, as a hotel lock 33 24 Aura 27 Weasley family owl 37 in the Harry Potter books 28 “You wish” 40 41 30 It’s SW of the Pyrenees 31 “Give me an example!” 33 Designates for 47 a specific purpose 35 Big things in 54 55 D.C. and Hollywood 36 Source of the line “A Jug of Wine, a Loaf 60 61 of Bread — and Thou” 37 Real nostalgia trip 65 40 Mobile 42 Mao-____ (Chinese liquor) 43 L.G.B.T. History Mo. 71 44 Bite-size chocolate candy 47 Home for 75 doves and pigeons 48 Home for herons and egrets 81 82 50 “In case you didn’t hear me … ” 87 52 Group on the dark side of the Force 54 “Alas!” in Austria 91 55 Generally speaking 59 Not only that but also 100 60 Pompous pronoun 62 Vicuña product 104 105 63 Eye-catching print pattern 65 Creature slain in the Mines of Moria by Gandalf 110 111 66 “A Little Night Music” composer 115 70 Award for technological development since 1995 71 Shed, as feathers 118 73 Individually 75 Sometime collaborator with William Shakespeare, per the Oxford University Press 120 Bounty hunter shot 81 Deepest lake in the by Han Solo in “Star Wars: A U.S. after Crater Lake New Hope” 83 Place where musical talent may be wasted? DOWN 84 Assembly 1 One-named singer 87 Burns, in a way with the 2017 No. 1 album “Melodrama” 89 Comics debut of 1963 2 Longtime Hyundai model 90 Important topic in golf instruction 3 God, with “the” 91 It’s all downhill from here 4 First words 92 Easy way that 5 Business with might lead to error perpetually high sales? 99 Printing measurement 6 Glassy-eyed look 100 Dead letters? 7 CPR administrator 101 “It’s bulls and blood, 8 Malek who won a Best Actor it’s dust and mud,” per Oscar for “Bohemian a Garth Brooks hit Rhapsody” 102 Enthusiastic enjoyment 9 Dimwit 103 Miss, say 10 Easily split rock 104 Girl’s name that’s also 11 Which train goes a state abbreviation to Harlem, in song 105 Some laughable language mistakes — 12 Something to as found literally (in consecutive letters) dip in the water in 24-, 37-, 55-, 75- and 92-Across 13 Wedding agreement 109 Small, rectangular candy 14 Title movie 110 Cocktails with gin, vermouth and role for Jim Carrey Campari 15 “I found what 112 Gave the pink slip you’re looking for!” 113 Organism that 16 Jane Jetson’s son grows on another plant nonparasitically 17 Shrek’s love 115 Bening with a star on the Hollywood 18 “For rent” sign Walk of Fame 25 Beehive State bloomer 116 Statistician Silver 26 Occasion for a 117 Dog to beware of high school after-party 118 Angioplasty inserts 29 “… ____ mouse?” 119 Big 12 college town

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32 Org. in a 74 Like the verb “to be”: Abbr. 90 Propping (up) 1976 sports merger 75 Purchase for a celebration 93 Lead role in “Chicago” 34 Be on the court 76 Stable period 94 Nov. 13, e.g. for tipoff, say from Augustus to 95 ____ school 36 Précis Marcus Aurelius 96 Baby shark 38 Bouillabaisse base 77 Man, to Marcus Aurelius 97 “Days of Grace” 39 Myriad 78 Barely scratches (out) memoirist Arthur 40 Drink stirred with a spoon 79 Traitors 98 Corvette roof options 41 Kind of alcohol 80 Pulitzer-winning 105 Women’s rights used as biofuel W.W. II journalist pioneer Lucretia 45 It borders the Suez Canal 81 Russian rulers of old 106 End-of-semester stressor 46 Premium movie channel 82 Discovery of 107 Chapeau site penicillin, e.g. 47 Keto diet no-no 108 Bicker (with) 85 Built up gradually 48 “The Jungle Book” boy 111 Kylo of the 86 It’s skipped in the 49 Chopped down “Star Wars” films Gregorian calendar 50 Place reached by boat 114 Charlemagne’s 88 Some trackdomain, for short 51 University in and-field training downtown Philadelphia 53 ____ Amendment, controversial 1976 Congressional measure ANSWERS TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE R A P E A G E R S C A M C A C A O 55 Stunned … just stunned A P E S A G A V E K A L E A T O L L 56 Alteration of a video I S T H I S A B A D T I M E R L E M M E D E P O S I T S D U M P S L I M B S game, in gamer lingo R E N E E T E R A H I P P O 57 “I like that!” A B O R T S W O R K S F R O M H O M E R D E J A T H A I K R O N O S E N O 58 Chesterfield or reefer E L E C T I S L A M E W E S H A N G 61 Sleeve opening P I C K U P T H E P A C E R V A L U E T E T L A M A P U L P T H A T S I T 64 What keeps athletic tape from C I T A D E L O R P H E U S sticking to the skin R I P O P E N N E A T O R A L O D E E T H O S W A T C H Y O U R T O N E R 66 “Go ____ Watchman” (Harper A P O P E D A M L E E R S S H I E R Lee novel) C R T S T E R E O S E T S G O R E 67 Target of a spray T O O K T H E P L U N G E R W A R N E D B E R E T T O E S S A V O R 68 One of two in S O R E R H E L E N C O D E W O R D “The Grapes of Wrath” G I M M E F I V E S E C O N D R U L E R O R B I T E D I T V O C A L P L A N 69 Film-rating org. T E S T S E E L S A D O R E S R O 72 “For shame!”


MARKETPLACE FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHER-TURKISH

(Little Rock, AR): Teach Turkish Lang. courses to sec. school students. Bachelor in Turkish Lang or rltd fld + 1 yr exp as Turkish Lang teacher at mid or high sch. Mail res.: LISA Academy, 10825 Financial Centre Pkwy, Ste 360 Little Rock, AR 72211, Attn: HR Dep., Refer to Ad#ME.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is seeking an Assistant Professor – Urology in the Little Rock, AR metropolitan area. TEACHING DUTIES Teaching medical residents, fellows and students regarding urology. CLINICAL DUTIES: Surgical and medical treatments of diseases that affect the genitourinary tract including kidney, urinary bladder, adrenal glands, urethra, male reproductive organs and male fertility. REQUIRES: A successful applicant must have a MD or foreign equivalent, such as MBBS. They must have completed five (5) years (60 months) Urology, or related Residency Program. They must also have a license to practice medicine in the State of Arkansas. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Stand: Frequently Sit: Frequently Walk: Frequently Bend, crawl, crouch, kneel, stoop or reach overhead: Occasionally Lift and carry weight: 11 - 25 lbs Push and pull weight: 11 - 25 lbs Use hands to touch, handle or feel: Occasionally Talk: Frequently Hear: Continuously Taste or smell: Occasionally Read, concentrate, think analytically: Continuously Physical Environment: Inside Classroom Setting Inside Laboratory Environment: Inside Medical Facility Environment Noise Level: Moderate Visual Requirements: Color discrimination Far visual acuity: Near visual acuity Hazards: Biological Chemical: Fumes/Gases/Odors/Sharp objects/tools UAMS is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and is committed to excellence. Applicants should apply online at http://jobs.uams.edu/ job number 61710

136 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

CHI St. Vincent seeks Program Analyst for position in Little Rock to support planning and implementation of new initiatives and delivery models. Requires MS in Health Care Admin and 1 yr exp. Submit resume to kbloodsaw@ stvincenthealth.com.

SUZANNE MICHELL & UNCLE FRED WILSON

San Damiano Ecumenical Catholic Church

Our latest album and Fred’s book located in Arkansas and featuring Arkansas musicians.

The open, thinking, healing, welcoming faith community you’ve been looking for.

The book(s) are available from Amazon. grtfred2000@gmail.com

Come and see. Mass Saturdays • 5:00 PM 12415 Cantrell Road Little Rock 501-613-7878 LRCatholic.org

TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION, CALL LUIS at 501.492.3974 OR EMAIL LUIS@ARKTIMES.COM


Arkansas Times local ticketing: CentralArkansasTickets.com

UPCOMING EVENTS SEP

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LASPALMAS.RESTAURANTS

One of a Kind Arkansas Buffalo Rug

12 SEP

27 & 28

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South on Main Jackie Venson The Mixing Room Preservation Conversation: The History of UAMS at its 140th Birthday by Tim Nutt Four Quarter Bar Supersuckers

29 OCT

Clinton Parking Grounds

OCT

Argenta Main & Maple 4th Street Block Party Headquarters R&B Cook Off!: Rhythm & Blues, Ribs & Butts BBQ Competition

OCT

The Mixing Room Preservation Conversation: Historic Hardware with Mike Smith

OCT

Bus Trip Arkansas Times Blues Bus to the King Biscuit Blues Festival

5

10 12

Kaytee Wright 501-607-3100 kaytee.wright@gmail.com

South on Main A Rowdy Faith :: SOMA After Dark

Four Quarter Bar Agent Orange w/ Turbo AC’s

5

You won’t believe how soft this tanned, Arkansas buffalo hide is. Very durable, perfect for either a rug or even a bedspread. A friend has one in her ultra modern downtown tower condo. We have ours in our log cabin. It works in a surprising variety of home or office environments. $1,400 Buy Direct From the Farmer!

The Weekend Theater The Rooster Rebellion

2019 World Cheese Dip Championship

Go to CentralArkansasTickets.com to purchase these tickets and more! Arkansas Times local ticketing site! If you’re a non-profit, freestanding venue or business selling tickets thru eventbrite or another national seller – email us phyllis@arktimes.com or hannah@arktimes.com – we’re local, independent and offer a marketing package!

LOCAL TICKETS, ONE PLACE ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 137


THE OBSERVER

Testimonials

T

he Observer tries as we can to be a sponge of memory, doing the hardest thing to do in this speedy old world: to slow down and actually see things, for a change. That is especially so when it comes to The Observer’s family. Yours Truly is a romantic, but also a realist. We know that someday we must be parted, one way or another, so we try to make sure to truly and fully experience the moments we have together. Spouse’s Great Aunt Lola died Aug. 1 at the age of 95. She never married, and had been a second-grade teacher in the Pulaski County Special School District for over 35 years before her retirement long, long ago. To give you an idea of how long 95 years is: If Junior manages to live to 95, they will lay him in the clay in 2094, a year so distant that his Old Man’s analog, three-channel mind can’t even comprehend it. He told us the other day that he’s going to try his damnedest to live in three centuries. If anybody can do it, we’d bet on him. Spouse’s mother, who lost her husband a few years back, has spent the last year or so living with Lola in her neat little house over in Mabelvale, helping her do her shopping and keep up with the newspaper when her eyesight got too bad to take in the splendor of the shittiness that is Donald Trump, a man she disliked with a passion usually reserved for dog thieves, even though she, with her perfect handwriting and perfectly modeled manners, would never lower herself to hate even him. The Observer, who has hate enough for that fool for the both of us, liked that about Lola quite a bit. She also never missed an issue of the mighty Arkansas Times, either, God

138 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

bless her, though we’re sure our ads for Cupid’s Lingerie of recent years made her skip the entertainment section entirely. By the last weeks of July, it was clear that the end was near. Back before she went from bad to worse, went into hospice and then came back out because she wanted to leave from home, Lola had predicted she would die in July. Spouse and Her Man would later speculate there was, as with most things in Lola’s life, a perfectly rational reason for this. If a teacher died in July, we reasoned, the kids would never have to be told of it. They would start in the fall to find that a teacher had simply up and moved on to another school, maybe a school with the best and brightest and most well-behaved children, all with polished apples shined just for her on the corners of their desks every morning. That, Spouse and I decided, was maybe the source of her hope to leave this world in the summer: that some part of Lola was still, at the end, thinking of the only children she would ever have. Junior was home from college, and the last evening before Lola died, he and Spouse volunteered to go over and spend the night at Lola’s house with Lola and the grandmother whose name is Debra but who Junior still calls “Coco,” even though he towers over her like Hagrid menacing an elf. One of these days, his old man is convinced, he’ll begin carrying his ruddy-cheeked Irish grandmother around in his pocket for safekeeping. The night passed as uneventfully as a deathwatch can, Lola pretty much out for those last few days, fading and ebbing, never really regaining consciousness. The next day, when The Observer saw Coco again, she told us a story about the previous night. She’d

heard Lola talking in her sleep, and had gotten up to go check on her in the dark house. When she went into the bedroom where Lola lay sleeping, she found Junior already there, sitting silently by the bedside in a straightback chair, holding the old woman’s hand in the dark, reaching across the great gulf of time and experience and life and all the rest that separated them to find the thing common to both as she worried through the last of her bad dreams. Shortly after Coco told us that story, The Observer had to go find a place to be alone, so people wouldn’t see me thumbing back tears about all of it: Lola’s last night, life and death. Mostly, though, it was joy about the son that boy’s mother and the dope blessed to share her life had raised: the kind of man who would rise in the dark in a silent house and go to the bedside of a dying woman, to hold her hand to ease her way through. Lola passed the next day, in a sunny room of her little house in Mabelvale. We buried her on a Saturday on a hillside out Chicot Road, next to her mother and father and the brother Lola had cared for after he came home broken from World War II, never wholly himself in body or spirit again. Junior was a pallbearer, wearing a pink carnation that matched the pale roses on her coffin. At the service, former students rose to give testimonials to her kindness, her belief in every child, her love for them. One man, wearing a suit that probably cost more than The Observer’s entire wardrobe combined, choked back tears as he told the assembled that once, when he was a poor and illiterate boy from nowhere and nobody, Lola had saved his life. And the people said, Amen.


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SEPTEMBER 2019 139


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