Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

07 Feb 2012 01:22


U.S.: The day the Plains shook: The New Madrid Earthquake, 200 years later

  • Set your watches: At 3:45 a.m. CST, it will have been 200 years since the strongest earthquake Middle America has ever seen. One of four major earthquakes from the 1811-1812 era, the New Madrid Earthquake (which averaged about 7.8 in magnitude) was felt hundreds of miles away and was so powerful that it destroyed the Missouri town that gives it its name. But could it happen again? Experts say it’s likely, and the damage could be far worse. “If another quake of the magnitude of the New Madrid Quake of 1811 should hit the region, it would be the worst natural disaster in American history,” Arkansas state auditor Charlie Daniels wrote in the 1990s. “Almost all of downtown Memphis would fall.” Is that enough to fret over, though? (Photo: 1904 photo of an earthquake fissure filled with intruded sand in Mississippi County, Missouri, originally created during the New Madrid Earthquake. Photo via USGS; see more photos here.) source

06 Jan 2012 10:06


U.S.: Ohio earthquakes may be man-made byproduct of “fracking”

  • These earthquakes were sitting there waiting to happen. We have triggered these earthquakes.
  • Seismologist John Armbruster • Discussing the recent string of earthquakes in Ohio. If you live in that state, you might have noticed up to a dozen small earthquakes since last spring. There hasn’t been a measured earthquake in the area ever until last March. Apparently, the disposing of waste water into the ground (during a energy-releasing process called “fracking”) may have flowed into an earthquake fault line. This same problem has happened in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. In Arkansas alone, 1,000 mini-quakes were measured. source

31 Aug 2011 11:28


Offbeat: Arkansas homeowner spots burglars — while flying overhead

  • Lesson of the day to burglars: Just because a homeowner isn’t home doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a killer home security system. Even if, in the case of Arkansas resident Steven Lynn, the “home security system” was totally unintentional and he was simply taking aerial photos of his home … in a plane. From a vantage point that allowed him to call 911 so the cops could arrest the two dudes attempting to steal his stuff. source

19 Aug 2011 16:53


U.S.: West Memphis Three aren’t so happy about having to admit guilt

  • Although I am innocent, this plea is in my best interest.
  • Jessie Miskelley Jr., one of the West Memphis Three • Explaining why he essentially pleaded guilty to get out of jail. It’s believed that the prosecution would’ve had enough evidence to convict them, so the plea deal was in their best interest — but none of the three seem to be happy about having to plead guilty to be free. As a condition of the plea deal, the trial will remain on probation for ten years, and if they re-offend they’ll have to go to prison for another ten years. So what do you think — was justice served? source

19 Aug 2011 01:47


U.S.: West Memphis Three might get out of jail with legal maneuver

  • When these guys went to jail, “the Black Album” was still on the Billboard charts and Henry Rollins was a constant fixture on MTV. Since then, the plight of Jessie Misskelley Jr., Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin — three teens convicted in the murders of three eight-year-old boys — has transfixed many, to the point that both Metallica (who lent a song to a documentary about their plight) and Henry Rollins (who made a tribute album to them) have come to their defense. They call them the West Memphis Three, and the evidence that sent them to jail is apparently shaky enough that they might see release on Friday, seventeen years later. Some highlights of the case:
  • The situation Three young boys —Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers — went missing and were later found murdered in a small Arkansas town. The suspects were arrested and tried on evidence many analysts consider weak, including a recanted confession by Misskelley. Echols received the death penalty; the others got life sentences.
  • The doubters Over the years, allegations of police mismanagement of the case, as well as evidence of other suspects whose stories were investigated poorly by police have led to doubters amongst legal experts, amongst family members of victims, and amongst celebrities like Rollins. For years, many local residents still remained convinced.
  • The unraveling After new DNA evidence came out in 2007, more family members of victims expressed their doubts. On Thursday, things finally came to a head. The three men may see release through a legal maneuver called the Alford plea, in which they claim innocence but admit that the state had enough evidence to convict them. source
  • » Too little, too late? Some remain unconvinced that the state is acting in a way that respects the wishes of either the victims or the three men still sitting in jail this evening. “There’s certainly no justice for the three men that’s been in prison or my son and his two friends,” said John Mark Byers, the adoptive father of one of the victims. “To me, this is just a cop-out from the state for not wanting to admit that they made a mistake.”

03 Jan 2011 11:16


U.S.: Another huge chunk of the animal kingdom dies in Arkansas

  • If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish.
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesperson Keith Stephens • Regarding the mysterious deaths of as many as hundreds of thousands of fish in the Arkansas River, which follows up the mysterious deaths of thousands of birds at the end of last week. So, we think we know which state Springfield is in, guys. source

02 Jan 2011 10:44


Offbeat: Other weird harbingers to ring in 2011: Falling blackbirds in Arkansas

  • 1,000+ blackbirds randomly fell from the sky source

11 Jun 2010 20:30


U.S.: To our friends camping in Arkansas: Thoughts and prayers, guys

300 people were camping along the Caddo and Little Missouri Rivers when the floodwaters got insanely high. 16 people were killed and dozens are still missing. source

09 Jun 2010 00:06


U.S.: From Blanche to Meg, it’s ladies night in the 2010 primary races

  • yes Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas survived a Democratic primary runoff against Lt. Gov.  Bill Halter to stay in the race in the fall.
  • no South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki “scandal target” Haley didn’t get enough votes to prevent a runoff – but she almost did.
  • yes Meg Whitman easily won the Republican primary in the California governor’s race. If you can call easily spending lots of your own money. source
  • » Still on deck: Carly Fiorina’s the likely favorite to win the Republican primary for the Senate in California, but it’s still to early to call that race. And Nevada’s Republican Senate primary – a.k.a. the fight to win Harry Reid’s seat – hasn’t been decided yet.

11 Apr 2010 09:48


Politics: The political climate in Arkansas so rough, “Democrat” off-limits

  • I’m complicated. I doubt you would like it very much if someone put a one-word adjective to describe you.
  • Senate candidate Bill Halter • Regarding his status as a “Democrat,” which is apparently too harsh of a word to call the progressive candidate running against incumbent Blanche Lincoln. Lincoln is facing it on all sides. Beyond Halter, eight Republicans are running for Lincoln’s seat in one of the more conservative states in the country. Lincoln, a centrist who voted against a lot of things Democrats hold dear, is holding a strong face, but it may not be enough to keep her seat warm. source