Featured Posts

<< >>

Thomas Rhett’s ‘Life Changes’ Debuts As #1 All-Genre Album

ALL ACCESS congratulates VALORY MUSIC CO. artist THOMAS RHETT and his team for a #1 all-genre album debut on “Life Changes,” which totaled 123,000 equivalent album units its first … more

Americana Music Association Unveils 14th Annual Honors & Awards Performers, Presenters

The AMERICANA MUSIC ASSOCIATION revealed its initial performer and presenter lineup for its 14th annual HONORS & AWARDS SHOW at the RYMAN AUDITORIUM, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th, hosted by … more

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Arkansas to become open carry state on August 15th

Arkansas will become the nation’s 45th open carry state on August 15th of this year. This result arises from the Arkansas legislature’s enactment of HB 1700, a bill sponsored by Representative Denny Altes (R – Fort Smith) which amended Arkansas Code § 5-73-120 (Carrying a weapon).

Police shooting inspires instant protest in Little Rock


Frustration over the Trayvon Martin case boils into a protest at 12th and Jefferson.
by David Koon

Nobody has to say it, but the timing couldn’t have been worse.

Two days after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of all charges in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, with black America boiling over with frustration about the justice system, a Little Rock police officer shot and killed 26-year-old Deon Williams near the corner of 12th and Jefferson.

According to a LRPD release, just before noon on Monday, Officers Grant Humphries and Terry McDaniel saw a Chevy Suburban on 12th Street that they believed to be stolen. (Officials would later confirm that the truck was, in fact, not stolen.)

When the officers pulled the SUV over, police say, the driver jumped out and fled. McDaniel pursued on foot, while Humphries took off in the squad car, trying to cut Williams off. As McDaniel chased Deon Williams into the backyard of a house on Adams Street, a gun fell out of Williams’ waistband, according to the police. When Williams stopped to pick up the gun and turned toward McDaniel, the police narrative says, McDaniel feared for his life, and fired three times. Williams, who was paroled in May after serving two years in prison on charges of possession of a controlled substance and robbery, was pronounced dead at UAMS at 12:17 p.m.

McDaniel, a black officer, has used deadly force at least once before. He fatally shot a man who pulled a gun on him when interrupted during a daytime home burglary on Thayer Street last year. The burglar had earlier fatally shot one man and wounded another at the home.

Information about the shooting spread through social media. At 1 p.m., someone tweeted that the person killed by the police had been an 11-year-old boy, shot nine times in the back. A crowd of angry people began to gather at the Hess gas station on 12th street, just across from the crime scene.

By 1:30 p.m., the biggest swell of the crowd had grown to at least 200, simmering under the July sun. Dozens more watched from the parking lots of businesses and the yards of nearby houses. Several of the protestors closest to the sidewalk, where the police soon lined up in a black wall of uniforms, held signs that called for justice for Bobby Moore, the teenage burglar who was shot by LRPD officer Josh Hastings in August 2012 as Moore tried to flee a West Little Rock apartment complex. Hastings’ manslaughter trial in the case ended in a hung jury last month.

As the protest grew, crowding into the rectangle of shade under the awning of the gas station, the clerk at the station came to the door, ushered the last customers out, then locked it behind them, followed by a set of heavy steel bars. Soon, the neon beer signs in the windows went out, along with the lights inside. A man came to the doors and tugged on them. Another splashed ice tea against the glass, then threw the can against the doors. Kids with cell phones filmed him, waiting for something worthy of YouTube to happen, but instead he just walked away in disgust, disappearing back into the crowd.

Overhead, a state police chopper circled the intersection of 12th and Jefferson at 300 feet. At the edge of the crowd, people cursed it, many of them screaming obscenities at the sky and flipping the bird with both hands, trying to telegraph their anger and frustration to the pilot.

Ernest Franklin, president of Say Stop the Violence, was there, sweating into a suit coat as he walked among the crowds of angry young people in tank tops and shorts. He said he had talked to police on the scene, asking them to close 12th Street to keep curious drivers from driving by. Soon after we spoke, the street was blocked to most traffic.

[page]

“I’ve asked them to get somebody down here other than the police officers,” he said. “Right now, the whole nation, no matter where you go, they’re mad at the police. We do understand that the police officers have to do their job, but people are out here looking for justice and to get justice served, whatever that is going to take.”

The police brought in more squad cars, running them in almost bumper to bumper in the eastbound lane of 12th Street. “Nobody goes into the crowd,” an officer standing in the street said, and the word went on down the line. One man taunted the cops, saying, “What if it was your kid going down the alley? Y’all ain’t perfect.” Another man shouted, “Fuck America! That’s how I feel.”

Asa Muhammad was standing at the corner of 12th and Jefferson, watching investigators work across the street. A member of the Nation of Islam, Muhammad was at the Pulaski Country courthouse during the Josh Hastings trial.

“The police brutality and the police actions toward our people is not justice,” Muhammad said. “It doesn’t take the police gunning down our people to make an arrest or stop a crime … one shot or a taser to the leg could take a man down, but not a deadly force bullet to his heart or in his back to kill him. They’re professionals. They have tasers. They’re taught to shoot a weapon. But unfortunately, just like Bobby Moore was shot, this gentleman was shot. Another loss for our community.”

Muhammad said a lot of the anger on display had to do with the economic conditions many blacks find themselves in. “If our economic situation was better, and our people were afforded jobs to do better for themselves, then the vast majority of this wouldn’t be. But unfortunately, in this area, the vast majority of the people you see are unemployed. That has a great effect on what’s going on.”

More cops came. A roaring line of black and white Harley-Davidsons. A lumbering SWAT truck. Dozens of cops stretched their line down the turn lane of 12th Street, just behind the row of squad cars. Someone threw a can of soda, which sailed over the line and landed in the street.

Schwanda Daugherty was there in the edge of the crowd. “This is a community thing,” she said. “I’m here to support them even though I don’t know the young man. We’re out here, we’re going to protest, we’re going to show that we care. … There’s a lot of frustration. It’s happening, and we want everybody to know it’s happening. It’s a racial issue. It never went away, and it’s never going away. But we’re going to stand up and fight.”

As the afternoon wore on, tensions rose. At times, the crowd pushed forward toward the patrol cars, at others, they shrank back to the shade. A woman tried to get others to hold hands and form a human chain along the street, but was ignored until she gave up. Another woman in a gray halter-top shouted over the angry din of the crowd: “All we are to them is monkeys and dogs.” Someone threw a brown bottle that thumped in the grass on the other side of the street. The helicopter buzzed overhead, forgotten now that there were plenty of terrestrial cops to hate.

[page]

Then, walking along the edge of 12th Street, supported by friends, came a sobbing woman named Shemedia Shelton. Shelton was the owner of the Suburban Williams had been driving, and identified herself as Williams’ wife.

“You didn’t have to kill him,” she screamed. “Trayvon wasn’t enough? You didn’t have to fucking kill him. You didn’t have to kill him. You didn’t have to fucking kill him.”

Chastity Duffy, the woman supporting Shelton, said that they’d just picked Williams up from Tucker Penitentiary two months before.

“He was just trying to do what was right for his wife and kids,” Duffy said. “He didn’t do nothing.” At Duffy’s elbow, clinging there, shambling along in the sun toward the protest, Shelton wailed variations on a single sentence: “Can anybody tell me what I’m supposed to tell my kids?”

The heat came down, broken by periodic clouds. For three minutes, a burly cop stood in the door of a cruiser and spoke into a loudspeaker, telling the crowd to disperse, that they were participating in an unlawful assembly, that they would be arrested if they didn’t comply, saying it over and over like a machine. The crowd roared back at him, drowning him out with taunts and curses. There was a sense that something was going to happen. Eventually, the officer on the loudspeaker stopped, his voice replaced by that of a man who said he wasn’t a police officer, that he wanted to lead them to a park where they could continue the protest, that there would be a candlelight vigil that night they could attend. The crowd clenched into a fist before him and shouted him down too. Though a peaceful vigil would be held that night at the State Capitol, that moment was too angry and hot for talk of peace.

Police Chief Stuart Thomas appeared, along with City Manager Bruce Moore, both standing in front of the Family Dollar store across the street. Behind them, the shooting investigation started to wrap up. Police tape came down. A flatbed came for the Suburban Williams had been driving. Soon, the line of Harleys fired up and roared away, followed by most of the squad cars, some making a slow U-turn in the street.

Across the street, Chief Thomas spoke to the press, pulling further back when the chants of “fuck the police” became loud enough for the mics to pick them up and spoil a quote. “As we were working the case, a lot of information got out,” Thomas said. “People were a little bit misinformed about the circumstances … it just kind of built up from there. There are a lot of other issues at play, both locally and nationally.” A minute later, someone shouted “Look out!” as a full plastic bottle came out of the crowd, over the street, and over Thomas’s head — a hail-Mary lob that would have done any quarterback proud. The bottle splattered eight feet away in the parking lot, next to a snarl of police tape.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said of being the target of the bottle. “It’ll calm down when we’re out of here.”

Soon after, the last of the cops pulled away, and the crowd soon did as Thomas had predicted. By the time the TV stations did their 5 p.m. live shots from the corner of 12th and Jefferson, there was just a single man in a white T-shirt, holding a sign. Once the cameras turned off, he disappeared, too.

Standing on the corner, watching people buy gas at the Hess station and 12th street roll full of cars again, it was hard to believe the anger of the day had ever happened. Then a woman pulled up to the herd of TV trucks and rolled down her window. “What is it,” she asked, “open season on black people?”

[ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Country Radio Hall Of Famer Dr. Bruce Nelson Passes

ALL ACCESS extends condolences to family and friends of COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME member DR. BRUCE NELSON, following his SUNDAY (2/25) passing. NELSON had announced a battle with throat … more

Author Willie Johnson to appear at 2018 BHM Black Author’s Fair

Are you ready to do whatever it takes to live up to your potential? Your attitude is everything. Willie Johnson shows how to launch yourself in a new path of self-discovery filled with a new vision in his new book, Be Amazing, now available at local booksellers and Amazon.com.

The book has a collection of step by step guided reflections on how to change your life, with a foreword by Simon T. Bailey.

Get your copy on Amazon, or meet Willie in person at the 2018 BHM Black Author’s Fair from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26 at ALLPS School of innovation (2350 Old Farmington Rd, in Fayetteville.)

Paid AdvertisementThis post paid for by the businesses represented above. If you’d like to advertise your business in a future promotion similar to this, call Dustin at 479-387-1002 or send us a message.

TOP STORIES: India opens canteens to feed urban poor

India’s urban poor face an unending struggle to meet skyrocketing costs of living. To solve one of their basic needs, the southern city of Bengaluru is operating canteens that are similar to soup kitchens in the West.
(Story: Deutsche Welle)

COLUMNS AND OP-ED: The school-to-prison pipeline punishes black and brown kids for being young and poor

TOP STORIES: Moscow mired in Syria as Putin’s game plan risks a deadly ending

(Audio: Guardian)

TOP STORIES: UN Security Council calls for ceasefire in Syria

The United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution calling for a 30-day cease-fire in Syria, following one of the bloodiest weeks of aerial bombardment in the war that has devastated the country.
(Story: NPR)

Changes coming to longterm vision for Rolling Hills Drive

Andrew Garner (right), the city’s planning director, speaks to residents at a public meeting held inside Rolling Hills Baptist Church on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The longterm vision for Rolling Hills Drive may soon change.

City planners next month are expected to recommend an amendment to a master planning document that’s been on the books for at least seven years.

The change would ensure Rolling Hills Drive remains a two-lane roadway, despite its current classification, which calls for an eventual four-lane boulevard.

Rolling Hills Drive was labeled a “Principal Arterial Street” in the city’s Master Street Plan, which the City Council adopted in July 2011 as part of City Plan 2030. The plan is used in conjunction with the Master Trails Plan to help guide long-range traffic planning.

The document includes a vision for future streets and also makes recommendations for changes to current streets as the city grows. While some parts of the plan may never come to fruition, others are put into action when new developments spring up around town.

City staff turned their attention to Rolling Hills last year when a nearby property owner requested a rezoning for about 10 wooded acres near the intersection of Rolling Hills Drive and Old Missouri Road.

A closer look at the plan revealed the Principal Arterial classification for Rolling Hills, which is a label given to a road designed to carry high volumes of traffic with access primarily coming by way of cross-streets rather than individual curb cuts. But that’s not all. The plan also shows a future extension of Rolling Hills leading east from Old Missouri Road to Old Wire Road near the intersection of Crossover Road.

The requested rezoning was passed unanimously in July with no public comment, but a second rezoning proposal for about 22 adjacent acres has sparked the interest of many nearby residents who want to know what exactly to expect for both the existing and future Rolling Hills drives.

A signs notifying residents of possible changes to Rolling Hills Drive stands near the intersection of Old Missouri Road. A similar sign is planted near North College Avenue.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

Mayor Lioneld Jordan, along with Ward 3 City Council members Sarah Bunch and Justin Tennant, stood alongside city planning staff during a public meeting held Thursday evening at Rolling Hills Baptist Church to meet with a roomful of curious neighbors.

City planners said after looking at traffic counts and studying the area further, the Master Street Plan’s vision for Rolling Hills was probably overkill.

Staff showed residents several options for how the Master Street Plan could be amended to ensure Rolling Hills Drive stays in character with the existing neighborhoods while also accommodating for the eventual development of the wooded area on the east side of Old Missouri Road.

Andrew Garner, the city’s planning director, said his department plans to recommend Rolling Hills be downgraded from a Principal Arterial to what’s called a Collector Street. The classification is given to streets that collect traffic from smaller residential streets in neighborhoods and facilitate traffic movement towards an arterial system. Collectors can vary in width and function, but may only include a third lane when warranted at certain intersections.

Downgrading the existing roadway could mean the street stays exactly as it is today. At most, Garner said, the sidewalks could be widened a bit to current city standards using whatever right-of-way the city already owns.

What happens with the extension could be drastically affected by the downgrade, however. Options include re-aligning the extension or even removing it from the plan.

The property owners seeking a rezoning of the wooded land would rather the extension be struck from the plan altogether so as to give more freedom for future development of the property. Staff said Thursday they’re still not sure what they prefer, but made it clear that some type of street system must eventually be designed to accommodate whatever is built on the land.

Last year’s rezoning cleared the way for a mix of residential and small commercial uses abutting Old Missouri Road.

If approved, the remaining undeveloped land behind Butterfield Elementary School would be rezoned as Neighborhood Conservation. The zoning is a single-family designation, but allows smaller lot sizes which could mean a slightly higher density than the four units per acre maximum of the current zoning (think The Cottages at Old Wire or the more recent Mission Heights).

The latest rezoning is on the agenda for the March 6 City Council Meeting. The amendment to the Master Street Plan, however, will first need a recommendation from the Planning Commission before heading to the council. The commission is expected to take up the issue on March 12. Both meetings take place at 5:30 p.m. in room 219 of City Hall.

First-Time CRS Attendees Offer Feedback In This Week’s ‘Try The ‘Ville’

Every year, COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR (CRS) awards three RUSTY WALKER SCHOLARSHIPS, offering airfare, full CRS registration, and hotel for industry pros who have never attended CRS before. … more

WWOF/Tallahassee PD ‘Big Moose’ Set To Depart

ADAMS RADIO Country WWOF (103.1 THE WOLF)/TALLAHASSEE, FL PD/afternoon host GREGORY "BIG MOOSE" JUSZCZYK will depart the station effective FRIDAY, MARCH 9th for a soon-to-be-named … more

George Strait Sets Final 2018 Dates For December In Las Vegas

Country icon GEORGE STRAIT has set FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7th and SATURDAY DECEMBER 8th at T-MOBILE ARENA in LAS VEGAS for his final two shows of 2018. Joining "The King Of Country" both … more