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Cabot, AR

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Latitude: 34.972647 -- Longitude: -92.022329

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As of the census of 2000, there were 9,764 people, 3,601 households, and 2,823 families residing in the city. The population density was 415.6/km² (1,076.4/mi²). There were 3,762 housing units at an average density of 160.1/km² (414.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.87% White, 1.53% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.37% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. 1.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 3,601 households out of which 42.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.9% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.03. -- Source:

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Census Data for Cabot, Arkansas

Arkansas 2000 Census Population Profile Map

Cabot Arkansas United States
Population 15,261 2,673,400 281,421,906
Median age 32.3 36 35.3
Median age for Male 31.1 34.6 34
Median age for Female 33.4 37.4 36.5
Households 5,432 1,042,696 105,480,101
Household population 15,077 2,599,492 273,643,273
Average household size 2.78 2.49 2.59
Families 4,327 732,261 71,787,347
Average family size 3.14 2.99 3.14
Housing units 5,712 1,173,043 115,904,641
Occupied units 5,432 1,042,696 105,480,101
Vacant units 280 130,347 10,424,540

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Razorbacks trademark the Hog Call

Thanks to KARK for noting a Forbes article that the University of Arkansas has trademarked the Hog Call, the cheer that has been a part of Razorback athletics since the 1920s.

Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted registration of the sensory mark to the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas. The type of mark is atypical among commonly registered trademarks. Instead of it consisting of a word or design, it is a sound. Specifically, the University of Arkansas has received federal protection of Arkansas-influenced crowd cheers consisting of the “Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!” chant in conjunction with providing collegiate athletic and sporting events.

Logos, names, colors and the like are more familiar trademark territory than a sound.

The application for ownership of the trademark, submitted on July 26, 2013, had to overcome a USPTO examining attorney’s Office Action, which stated that “[b]ecause crowds commonly chant encouraging words at sporting events, consumers of the sporting event would not recognize the chant as a source indicator for the event.”

The UA responded with a video of former Athletic Director Frank Broyles leading a Hog Call.

Will other universities register chants?

Will the UA file an infringement action if somebody breaks out in a Hog call at a wedding, an airport, on a cruise ship or a River Market bar.

Has anybody ever used the chant in a way that the UA would view now as an infringement?

Funny business, this Jeff Long-era branding obsession.

I've sent some followup questions to the Athletic Department about imagined needs for such protection. One thought I had is whether this would apply to a trademark on use of the words in print, such as on a T-shirt. I think farmers hollered the words before the football team came along, but ....


I probably should have said I was joking about crackdowns on ad hoc hog calling at weddings and such. (I do wonder about standard use of the call on news station intros and the like.) But Kevin Trainor in the Athletic Department provides the following:

The University of Arkansas already owns a federally trademark registration for “Wooo Pig Sooie!”, Arkansas Razorbacks, University of Arkansas among others.

The new sound mark registration, the same as the previously registered trademarks and logos, cannot be utilized for commercial usage without permission or a license from the University of Arkansas. It does not pertain to non-commercial usage like fans calling the Hogs at games, in hotel lobbies, pep rallies and anywhere in the world for that matter. Those would not be commercial uses.

I would point you to a Jeff Long quote in the press release.

“These registrations are designed to protect the commercial integrity of a cheer that has been synonymous with the University of Arkansas since the late 1920s. To be very clear, these registrations do not apply and in no way prohibit all Razorbacks from Calling the Hogs as much as they can. Instead, they mark a proactive step to ensure the Hog Call cheer made famous by Razorback fans remains properly affiliated with the University of Arkansas and our great state.”

The news release, which came to me late in the day, said "The University of Arkansas is believed to be the first college or university in the nation to receive a federal trademark registration for its college cheer as a sound mark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. …. Other examples of registered sound marks include the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) chimes and the whistle introduction to the song Sweet Georgia Brown which is identified with the Harlem Globetrotters."

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Statewide alcohol sales vote needs 17,133 more signatures

David Couch, attorney for Let Arkansas Decide, which is seeking a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize retail alcohol sales in all 75 counties, said he learned from the Arkansas secretary of state's office that initial canvassing produced 61,000 signatures of registered voters.

The campaign needs 78,133 signatures to qualify for the November ballot, or 17,133 more.

The campaign turned in almost 85,000 signatures July 7, the product of paid canvassing that begin 30 days before. Several hundred were disqualified for facial failures and then checks for valid voters began.

The finding now means the campaign has 30 days to meet the 78,133 test. Canvassers have never stopped working on additional signatures.

About half the state is "dry," though nearly all counties have at least one private club outlet selling alcohol by the drink. The amendment would immediately allow on its effective date July 1, 2015 retailers to petition for beer and limited wine sales in grocery and convenience stores and also allow applications for retail liquor store permits, based on population.

Retailers are supporting the campaign, though financial contributors haven't yet been revealed in ethics filings.

Separate campaigns to call local option elections in Faulkner, Saline and Craighead counties are being funded principally by Walmart, which has contributed $1 million so far and Kum & Go, a convenience chain, which has contributed $50,000. No word yet on how the drives went in Saline and Craighead, where petitions have been submitted to county clerks. The Faulkner canvassing continues.

The secretary of state office is still in the process of reviewing the 64,000 signatures it said survived a facial review of a petition for an initiated act to increase the minimum wage. That measure needs 62,507 signatures of registered voters to make the ballot. At the alcohol campaign's failure rate of roughly 72 percent, it will need 16,000 more signatures to qualify. That canvassing is now in progress, too, a supporter told me. The minimum wage campaign has hoped for a higher rate of valid signatures because its canvassers went door-to-door for signatures, rather than relying heavily on heavily trafficked places such as Walmarts.

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Marriage equality comes to Oklahoma

federal appeals court has ruled that Oklahoma must allow same-sex couples to marry. It's the same court that earlier struck down Utah's ban.

The opinion has been stayed pending appeal.

As yet, there's no current disagreement among the circuits on this question, but many expect the U.S. Supreme Court to take a case anyway. It all boils down to Justice Kennedy. Is he ready to finish the job by fulfilling the explicit promise of the U.S. Constitution or not?

Perhaps Jason Rapert should call Sally Kernthe Arkansas native Oklahoma legislator and virulent anti-gay activist, and console her.

UPDATE: Disappointing news. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a stay of a district judge's order that Utah recognize marriages entered during a period between an order voiding a ban on same-sex marriage and a stay issued  by an appellate court. It's not a ruling on the merits. But it does it tip the court's hand on coming rulings on the merits?

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Savor the City again, during August

The fifth annual Savor the City kicks off Aug. 1 for Little Rock Restaurant Month, when eateries will provide discounts and specials to promote their chow.

In August, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau will begin posting participating restaurants and daily dish deals on its website and its Twitter page @LittleRockCVB. The month-long event lets folks try out some money-saving prix fixe deals at the Savor the City dining establishments and lets the chefs strut their stuff. Last year's participants included 1620 Savoy, Brave New Restaurant, Copper Grill, The Green Corner Store and Soda Fountain, Loca Luna and dozens more.


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Tomatogate: Pryor goes all in

OK, Extremist Republican Tom Cotton should have gone to the Pink Tomato Festival in Warren instead of rubbing elbows with Kochs and their ilk at a posh California resort. He's a heartless acolyte of the greedy silver spooners at the Club for Growth and bad news for the majority of people in Arkansas.

But ......

This is ridiculous. From the Pryor campaign:

LITTLE ROCK — Today, community leaders from Bradley County will participate in a conference call with reporters to discuss Rep. Tom Cotton’s decision to skip the annual Pink Tomato Festival, choosing instead to attend a secretive luxury retreat in California hosted by the out-of-state billionaires funding his campaign.

A spokesperson for Pryor’s campaign will moderate the discussion and provide previously unreported details about the historic billionaire summit.

A new television ad this week highlights how on June 16,rather than attending one of his congressional district’s most important annual festivals, Congressman Cotton jetted off to southern California’s St. Regis Resort to play golf and dine on filet mignon with the special interest billionaires funding his campaign.

WHO: Bradley Co. community leaders and Pryor campaign spokesman

WHAT: Discussion and Q&A about Congressman Cotton’s conspicuous absence from the Pink Tomato Festival.

WHEN: Friday, July 18 at 2:00 p.m. CT

Can we move along? There are greener issues to fry.

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Now City Director Hurst has a crime plan

Saw posts this morning (above and below) on the Twitter feed of Stacy Hurst, the Little Rock city director who's running as a Republican for state House in November against Democrat Clarke Tucker.

Two facts:

1) Little Rock arguably has a crime problem — most dangerous mid-sized city in the U.S., said a recent ranking.

2) Stacy Hurst has been a member of the Little Rock Board of Directors since 2002.

NOW, she has a crime plan? Don't blame an absence solely on state legislative failures. The city pays a lobbyist big bucks. Did he take a crime plan to the legislature?

REPEAT CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE: I've known Clarke Tucker since he was a child on account of various family connections. On talent and political philosophy, he'd be a promising candidate whether I knew him previously or not. But factor those connections into what I write here and dismiss it on that account if you choose.

Following are questions that I believe are unrelated to any personal connections. They were questions I was asking when Hurst, a recently declared Republican on account of encouragement from tycoon Warren Stephens, was the only announced candidate for a seat that has always been Democratic and currently represented by term-limited John Edwards.

I preface the questions by saying that Stacy Hurst has been an energetic city director. She does her homework. She devotes long hours to the task. She's supported by people whose opinions I value. She insists, too, that she'll be a moderate Republican who is more in keeping with the legislative district (reliably Democratic and progressive on everything from taxes to social issues in past elections) than the typical Republican state representative.

But ...

Would she provide the margin for the override of a governor's veto of an unconstitutional abortion ban? Would she record a roll call vote against a resolution endorsing gay discrimination? Would she have supported John Edwards when he delayed a vote on an anti-gay resolution in Legislative Council? Would she support a civil rights bill that protected gays from employment discrimination? Will she campaign on preservation of Obamacare in Arkansas? Does she agree with Leslie Rutledge, the GOP candidate for attorney general, that fighting the federal government and Obamacare is the top priority of the state's top attorney?

Finally: can she be an influential representative in a majority Republican legislature if she does NOT fall in line on such issues? To her credit, she has indicated to me she wouldn't support Republican Sen. Jason Rapert's idea to allow voters to remove judges, such as Chris Piazza, for the likes of his marriage equality decision. Even some Republicans recognize that's a perilous course.

I hope these questions are answered during the campaign. They are more meaningful to me than yet another cookie-cutter tough-on-crime pitch, particularly from someone who's led a city that hasn't made much headway on crime during her dozen years in office. (Mayor Stodola would disagree on the crime assessment. But Hurst must think there's a problem — or perception of one. Otherwise,  she wouldn't be trying to build a mailing list on the back of the idea.)

And, to mention a pet peeve, leadership is important. So far, Hurst has failed to declare a position on the terrible idea to put a MAPCO beer outlet and gas pumps a few hundred feet from the $70 million Robinson Auditorium renovation. Her last pronouncement seemed to indicate a hope the issue could be delayed past the November general election. It should have been killed by now. I keep being assured by various city leaders that the project is dead. But, if that's so, why is it still in play?

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Psych of the South: Suspension of Belief's "LSD" (1967)

Harold Ott is the founder and primary researcher of Psych of the South, a record label dedicated to unearthing rare Arkansas pop history.

In 1967, a North Little Rock group, The Villagers, released a cryptic early psychedelic record called “LSD” under the name Suspension of Belief. The song is a mix of non-sequitur lyrics, a haunting folk guitar ballad and orchestral sound clips interspersed throughout in an early example of sampling. When the group recorded it, they had no idea that producer George Whitaker, the owner of Zay-Dee records, would transform their psychedelic folk song into a swirling operatic wonder.

The Villagers began when guitarist Pat Barkley, along with her twin sister guitarist Pam, joined with drummer Clay Thompson and bassist Larry Shilling in 9th grade to play instrumentals. When the group entered North Little Rock High School in 1966, they added singer Billy Hayes. They played one of their first gigs at Fourth Street Junior High School, doing “Jolly Green Giant” at a school assembly.

Norman Snow was a classmate at NLHS, where he played football. He also did musical comedy and was friends with Thompson. Snow went to a rehearsal and they asked if he could sing “Walkin’ the Dog.” He pulled off R&B vocals like Mick Jagger and did a guest vocal that was a hit with the crowd. Instead of replacing Hayes, the group opted to have two lead singers.

The band transformed again when the Barkleys heard a local group featuring bassist Bill McCumber and guitarist Ronnie Evans and asked them to join. McCumber and Evans had been in several groups together, including The Breakaways (featuring famed Arkansas author Robert Palmer on sax). McCumber and Evans were a couple years out of high school at the time. The Villagers (sometimes misspelled Villigers on purpose) replaced Shilling on bass with McCumber and added a second lead guitarist with Evans.

They played almost every weekend at the North Little Rock Youth Center. Their first set was a mix of popular tunes, but the second set was all Rolling Stones with Snow on vocals. There was a lot of competition between bands at the civic and youth centers, and having twin girl guitarists and two lead vocalists helped them stand out.

The Barkleys and Hayes were determined to write some challenging songs as the first wave of psychedelia began penetrating pop culture. They played all covers live, but wanted to make a 45 record and began experimenting with writing originals. Hayes was in charge of the lyrics and the Barkleys came up with a haunting guitar part, and so “LSD” took shape. Like many groups at the time, they imagined what a psychedelic experience might be like and came up with their own vision.

The Barkleys sought out the owner of a label, Zay-Dee records, that had recently produced a 45 for nearby Searcy group The Paragons. Zay-Dee was founded by George Whitaker and his wife Doris in Batesville, Arkansas. Whitaker was a rock ‘n’ roll DJ at KSEL in Lubbock, Texas, in 1962 when it was one of the biggest stations in the country. Doris was from Batesville, and when they moved there around 1963, Whitaker took a job at KBTA, the local radio station, as the studio and transmitter engineer.

Zay-Dee is named after a KSEL DJ named Zay Dee Whooten, the “Zay” being a contraction of Isaiah. Whitaker fell in love with the name, and used it first for his label and later as the name of his second child. In 1965, Whitaker’s father bought a radio station in Marianna, Ark., and asked his son to be general manager. Shortly afterward, the Barkleys called Whitaker and traveled across the state to work with him. They decided that the Villagers sounded a bit pedestrian for a psychedelic record, so they changed their name to Suspension of Belief. Hayes sang lead on both recordings.

The group got to the studio to find a small room covered in fish nets to hold down the sound dampening material. Thompson’s drums were set up right against the wall, and he kept getting his sticks caught in the nets, which made for some awkwardness and humor. They did several takes and were happy with what they heard. When the group left, Whitaker experimented and, without the group’s knowledge, wove in an opera recording while mixing the song. Whitaker did an excellent job of intertwining the two recordings along with sound effects to create an ethereal soundscape.

When the 45s arrived, the band was stunned. They thought the added bits drowned out their song and were dumbfounded. Shortly after, the group broke up, as McCumber and Evans wanted to play in more nightclubs and the twins wanted to focus on getting ready for college. Snow was a talented actor and scored a scholarship to Julliard. He went on to have a career on the stage and starred in the films "Manhunter" and "The Last Starfighter."

Whitaker moved back to Lubbock and released the final Zay-Dee record, by a group named Gabriel and the Seven Inch Reel. He continued with a career in radio and announcing, and is still active in the business.

A few years ago I got an email from my buddy Mike Dugo, who runs the garage rock-centric website He had been contacted by Rick Clark, who was working as the music supervisor for an independent film and was looking for obscure, southern `60s psychedelic music to license. Dugo put Clark in touch with me and I sent him a copy of my Arkansas garage rock compilation "Lost Souls Volume 1," featuring “LSD”. The film's director, Billy Bob Thornton, was interested in licensing this song in particular, so I put Clark in touch with Whitaker and finally found the Barkley twins and Hayes to get everything squared away. “LSD” appears in the film (“Jayne Mansfield’s Car," starring Robert Duvall) in a scene featuring Kevin Bacon.

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Arkansas unemployment rate continues to drop, to 6.2 percent in June

The state says the Arkansas unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in June, down from 6.4 percent in May. But the number of people working declined.


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Arithmetic for Arkansas legislators

News headlines this morning report
 that Arkansas prison officials think they need  up to $100 million for a new prison simply to accommodate the current prison population, which is expected to continue to grow. They'll also need $25 million to operate it.

Reason: Prisons are already bulging with lifers and others with long sentences who won't be leaving prison any time soon. Add to that the rising population from get-tough-on-parolees initiatives Add to that the pronounced desire (particularly by the Republican majority) for tougher sentencing still. You do the math:

$100 million for a prison.

$25 million for operations.

A $100 million income tax cut proposed by Asa Hutchinson.

A Republican Senate majority's wish to kill Obamacare and end the hundreds of millions it ships into Arkansas each year.

The loss of millions in expenditures as rural hospitals fail.

The loss of millions in revenues from the last session's income and capital gains tax cuts that mostly benefitted the wealthiest Arkansans.

Republican congressional candidate's promise to slash federal spending, which comes back to Arkansas in greater volume than we send to Washington.

Bottom line: Deficits as far as the eye can see. Not in the budget, because that's not allowed in Arkansas under the constitution. But education, infrastructure, quality of life, growth. There WILL be blood letting.

PS — The answer isn't drug courts, which — if operated properly — don't really save any money, not with proper supervision and rehabilitation support.

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The dashing of the Arkansas Baptist College dream

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Jeannie Roberts has a great front-page article this morning about the mounting problems at Arkansas Baptist College.

Unpaid bills are piling up, according to lawsuits for nonpayment. Regulatory officials are taking a deep look at both the financial shortcomings and the business the college has done with related parties. The college offers no meaningful defense (only a hazy e-mail). It has refused detailed interviews with news outlets for months.

Arkansas Baptist has been every do-gooder's favorite feel-good story. A tiny, largely forgotten institution was transformed into a platform of hope for disadvantaged students by a charismatic president, Fitz Hill. Some philanthropists were charmed. Buildings rose. Students enrolled. It even fielded a football team!

The college continues to insist it merely has cash flow problems.  Which it says are not financial problems. If the revenue flow appears unlikely to ever catch up with the bills, you have a financial problem. When the cash flow is combined with self-dealing, it doesn't inspire confidence.

No longer can the college blame a couple of years worth of financial disarray on computer software. More than ever, it appears that more money has been spent — not always smartly or ethically — than could be covered by the federal money on which the college's survival depends. 

It's a shame. And if there's a believable explanation to the contrary, the college is long overdue in supplying it.

PS — I am told that I may be able to expect more from the college soon. Standing by.

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Bull Shoals police chief challenged in brutality case

The Baxter Bulletin provides detailed coverage of the trial of Bull Shoals Police Chief Daniel Sutterfield, accused of brutalizing a suspect in a domestic abuse case.

He took the stand in his own defense Thursday, perhaps not a good call given the report's account of how it gave the government a chance to highlight his checkered history — loss of a job for falsifying records; multiple workers comp claims; contradicted testimony about reports on the case at issue.

Sutterfield is on trial in federal court in Harrison for excessive force, falsifying statements and conspiracy. He Tased a suspect multiple times in responding to a domestic abuse report and also struck the man with a shotgun.

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Food Feedback Friday: Cool Summer's Day edition

With this unusually cool weather lately, I hope you all have been getting out and eating on some patios. I know we have. So, let's get on with our feedback.

Last week on FFF...

Kevin has officially become a Le Pops junkie: "And got my Le Pops card stamped to completion. Buy 10, get one free. So far, Kiwi Pineapple is my favorite." I've mentioned them before, but Steve has this to say about the meat pies at Maddie's: "I started with the braised ribeye and blue cheese meatpie. That was a delight, with a slightly sweet pastry crust enveloping tender meat with a wonderful bite from the blue cheese." Zara has some words for Cache: "Portions were small for price, everything took forever to come out, our tickets were messed up and I was pretty upset paying close to $40 dollars per person for splitting a salad and splitting an appetizer and 2 desserts. And I left hungry which made the night worse." Mordy lets us know about breakfast burritos from Jay's Pizza in the RIvermarket: "They use fresh made tortillas from Brenda's, crisp them up on the outside, stuff them with scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon and potatoes and serve with a side of pico de gallo and a pickled beet and onion relish. It was quite tasty way more than I could eat." Raven tells us about another great meal at Forty-Two: "I had a really nice take on the traditional Caesar salad at Forty Two. The 42 version featured polenta croutons which were a magnificent addition and really a treat."

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Channel 7 Reporter's Drone Use Being "Looked Into" by FAA

Well it seems the use of a drone to get overhead views of tornado damage over the weekend has come to the attention of the FAA.  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports today KATV photographer Brian Emfinger's use of his own private drone to cover the aftermath of the storm is being investigated by the FAA.  

“It’s always in the back of my head, ‘How could I use the drone to get shots that other people don’t have?’” said Emfinger, who had been chasing the storm from the moment it touched down. “The thing about the aerial is, for people who have been impacted, it’s one thing to have ground shots but it really gives a sense of perspective about how bad it is. And if people know how bad it is, people can help.”

What does KATV news director Nick Gentry have to say:

“Brian went out to use it last night because we knew we needed some pictures to show the damage,” Gentry said. “It gave great perspective of how bad the damage was in Mayflower.”

The paper reports KLRT used drone services provided by Tim Trieschmann, owner of The Shot Above to get aerial footage of the devastation.  

KTHV Lone Little Rock Station Left in Wall-to-Wall Coverage

As of 1pm KTHV/Channel 11/Little Rock is the only Little Rock station still in wall-to-wall coverage.  KARK and KATV have both transitioned back into regular programming.  Channel 11 has anchors Denise Middleton and Alyse Eady at the anchor desk along with all the station's reporters, in addition to others from 11's sister stations. 

Just making an observation, Denise and Alyse seem to be handling the anchoring duties pretty well.  I have not seen Alyse miss a beat all morning. 

Sister Stations Assist With Coverage

Gannett has brought in sister stations to help with coverage.  Sebastian Robertson from WFAA/Dallas/Fort Worth has been brought in to help out KTHV with its wall-to-wall coverage of the aftermath of Sunday's tornadoes. UPDATE:  A reporter from Gannett's Atlanta, GA stations WXIA is also in the state assisting with coverage. A reporter from KHOU is also in town assisting. 

Just a little tidbit when I was looking on WFAA's webpage for info I found  a couple of former Little Rock and Shreveport reporters/anchors working for the Dallas station.  Former KATV'er Carla Wade and formerKSLA/KTBS/Shreveport sports anchor Ted Madden work for WFAA.

Viewers Upset Over Video of Reporter Returning Photo to Storm Victim

KARK/Channel 4/Little Rock seems to be catching some flack on its facebook page for a report it aired this morning while on the scene in the tornado ravaged area of Arkansas.  Earlier today KARK/KLRT reporter Susanne Brunner and her photographer came across a picture of what wound up being of the daughter of a Mayflower resident.  Brunner and the photographer returned the photo to the owner who was very grateful for the discovery.   
Watch the video below

LR Stations Provide Wall-to-Wall Storm News

Little Rock tv stations have been wall-to-wall tornado aftermath coverage this morning.  I am not sure if they all waited til their morning programs began at 430 this morning to begin the coverage of the devastation of yesterday's storms. 

 KTHV had evening anchor Dawn Scott up and at'em this morning in the storm damaged area along with other reporters from the station.  KATV had a number of their morning show people in the area as well, as did KARK.  As of 9am wall-to-wall coverage continues as more information becomes available concerning the overnight storms.

KATV Sues Another LR Network After Hiring Former Reporter

Little Rock is becoming quite the city with media lawsuits.  Arkansas reports KATV/Channel 7/Little Rock is sueing the Soul of the South Network for hiring former reporter Katherina Yancy. reports Yancy left her job at KATV April 1st.  The article says the station met with Soul of the South executives concerning their hiring of Yancy.  According to the lawsuit Soul of the South execs told KATV GM Mark Rose the reporter's return to KATV wasn't going to happen.   

Yancy was under contract with KATV through January 2015.  Seems KATV is anticipating her return as the station hasn't hired a reporter to replace her. 

New Anchor Named for NWA Newscast

This from the tip jar:

Laine Baker will be the new host of the FOX24 News Edge on KFTA/Channel 24/Fort Smith-Fayetteville after the recent departure of long time host Brad Reed. She will anchor the weeknight newscasts at 5:30 and 9:00. Laine previously was a co-host on KNWA Today.

National News Organizations Challege Ban On Drones

Well this story is hitting home as with all the talk about KATV photographer Brian Emfinger's of a drone to get footage of tornado devastation in central Arkansas last week.  At least a dozen national news organizations have filed a brief with the FAA challenging the decision to ban the use of drones by commercial news gatherers.  

"The FAA's position is untenable as it rests on a fundamental misunderstanding about journalism. News gathering is not a 'business purpose.' It is a First Amendment right," the brief said.  

The FAA said in a statement late Tuesday it was concerned that the NTSB judge's decision "could impact the safe operation of the national airspace system and the safety of people and property on the ground."

What I wonder is, is Brian Emfinger "off the clock" when he is operating his news gathering drone.  If he is acting as a freelancer that maybe within being legal BUT if he is on the clock and wearing his KATV hat he could be in HOT water.  Is he selling the video to KATV?  Does he give the other stations equal opportunity to "purchase" the video...or does he give KATV the exclusive?...Just some questions to think about.  

And then comes this story today of a drone with a camera slamming into a skyscaper in St Louis.

2013 Arkansas Associated Press Winners Announced

Winners of the Associated Press news awards have been announced.  Arkansas reports the following results:

KATV won first-place awards in the categories of spot news, enterprise or investigative, elections and politics, documentary, continuing coverage, sports coverage, sportscast, weather segment, non-spot photography and website.

 KTHV-TV, Channel 11, took the rest of the TV first-place awards in the categories of non-spot news, feature and spot photography

KHBS/KHOG-TV, Channels 40/29 of Fort Smith and Fayetteville took a first-place award for newscast.
And this year's AP television sweepstakes winner was KATV/Channel 7/Little Rock.

KATV Photog Hocks Drone Tornado Destruction Video

Hmmmm....did anyone else pickup on this?  Seems KATV photographer Brian Emfinger is hocking his drone shot video for sale.  A comment on TV Spy pointed this out.

Severe Weather Coverage MIA Sunday as Storms Blow Through...

I guess regular programming was just to more important to covere severe weather Sunday night.  Tornado warnings were in effect during the early evening for the Texarkana area..and yet not one station covered the warnings. An emailer says KMSS/Shreveport did cover it.....  Channel 12/KSLA/Shreveport did in the last minutes of the storm as it was moving out of the Texarkana area.  Channel 6/KTAL and KTBS/Channel were both MIA..even on the internet.  I was surprised as KTAL in the past had done a great job covering storms on the internet.

And should we talk about the Little Rock stations?  Everyone except KTHV/Channel 11 missed the boat.  Tornado warnings were issued for the metro area around 9 or so...Channel 11 broke in with coverage and stayed with it until their newscast time.  I had to wonder where Channel 4's "Arkansas' Weather Team" was...they surely weren't on the air.  I will say I can't speak about what KLRT did as I don't receive KLRT.  I guess a pageant and a basketball game I think it was, was more important than giving out tornado warnings...

I stand corrected that some of the above mentioned stations did break in for a mention or two.  Was just spotty coverage.

Nexstar Unloads Shreveport Station

Nexstar Broadcasting announced today it is selling its Shreveport Fox station KMSS/Channel 33. TV Spy reports Marshall Broadcasting Group will buy KMSS along with 2 other Nexstar stations in Odessa-Midland, Texas and Quad Cities, Iowa for $58.5 million. 

 Marshall Broadcasting Group, Inc. is a newly formed minority owned media entity owned 100% by Pluria Marshall Jr. Marshall is currently the president and chief executive officer of Equal Access Media Inc., which owns several newspapers serving African-American and minority communities, including The Texas Freeman and Houston Informer Newspapers, The Los Angeles Wave Newspaper Group, and the Los Angeles Independent Publications Group. In 2011, Mr. Marshall founded Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions, a media rep firm that assists advertisers and agencies in marketing products and services to multicultural audiences by providing marketing services, including promotions, grassroots marketing, advertising placement and custom content creation.

Nexstar purchased KMSS from CCA Stations in April 2013

Shreveport Reporter Moving to Memphis

This from the tip jar:

Sasha Jones is leaving KSLA TV Shreveport to join WMC TV Memphis (also a Raycom station).

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