UPDATE: Tiny Thai Place

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coverTiny Thai Place recently opened in the old Cowboys’ restaurant on U.S. Highway 278 west of Monticello.

“Thai Paul” Phurisri prepares everything from scratch as the “One Man Show” providing Southeast Arkansas with Thai food, so cook times often approach 30 minutes. Still people return to wait as he cooks to order for lunch and dinner, usually Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., then from 5-8 p.m. He also cooks Sunday for lunch.

The Thailand native can cook for 30-50 people an hour, depending on what’s ordered. Where he once changed the menu daily, now he features a regular menu with occasional additions.

C’mon in My Kitchen

Continue reading at SEARK Today.

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An easily accessible menu:

Tiny Thai Place Menu

Vivian Elane “Lanie” (Van Ness) Hemmert

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Grandma Andrews

Grandma

   Vivian Elane “Lanie” (Van Ness) Hemmert, of Inola, Okla., an 89-years-young woman who loved to sing for the Lord, died March 24, 2012 at home surrounded by her four sons.

   Born Dec. 2, 1922 to Roy Ferman Van Ness and Mary Elizabeth (Crook) Van Ness in Little Rock, she attended Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, served in the Order of the Eastern Star and worked in the family businesses at Van Ness Grocery and Market, Andrews and Sons Produce Market, and Vanness Pen, Shaver and Gift. Continue reading

Shriners: Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

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94 Divan4Shriners
aka: Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (click to access)
Encyclopedia of Arkansas 

   “To become a Shriner, a potential member must complete three Masonic degrees and a series of tests to become a “Master Mason.” The aspiring Shriner must then proceed through the rituals of the Scottish or York rites (both Masonic organizations that confer degrees on their members) and receive the Order of the Temple in the York Rite or attain the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. “

Arkansas Loses Trooper, Mason

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sr-cpl-sitton72-252x300   David Leroy Sitton Sr., an honorable man who served his community nearly his entire life, died Dec. 31, 2010. This Christian man from North Little Rock lived 72 years.

   Born July 1, 1938 to Haskell and Mattie Sitton in Harrison, he attended school in the Harrison school district, graduating from Harrison High School in 1957 following an All-District and honorable mention All-State career as a halfback for the Golden Goblins. Later that fall, he helped usher the Little Rock Nine into Little Rock Central High School as a member of the Arkansas National Guard, 151st AAA Battalion.

   “I felt a little scared because I had just graduated from high school and already I had such a big responsibility. Many people were screaming and yelling at the nine kids,” Sitton said during an interview with his grandson for the LRCH Memory Project. “It felt very strange trying to keep the Little Rock Nine from entering Central one minute, then trying to get them in another minute.” Continue reading

Thelma G. “Teegee” Talbot

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   Thelma G. “Teegee” Talbot, 91, of Little Rock died early Saturday morning in her sleep at St. Vincent’s Hospice Center.

   Born Sept. 17, 1918, in Malvern to Delora Jones and Sidney William Gordon, Teegee graduated from Little Rock High School at 14. As a member of the Dorothy Donaldson Dance Studio, she had the opportunity to dance in New York but opted to go to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

   A lifetime member of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church in Little Rock, she married John Allan Talbot Jr., son of Dr. John Allan and Nancy Rebecca Koonce Talbot, in April 1944 after “Jack” returned from World War II.

   Teegee taught shorthand, bookkeeping and typing at Little Rock High from 1937-1944 and at Cotton Plant High School from 1949-1955. She oversaw the bookkeeping department for Goodyear Tire in Miami Beach, Fla., from 1944-1948. She and husband “Jack” owned a general store at the front of the Pine Bluff Arsenal in 1948. She became the first employee of the UA Industrial Research and Extension Center in 1955 as a statistical research assistant. She was promoted to head librarian where she stayed until retiring in 1983.

   Teegee and Jack won many jitterbug contests. She loved fishing, camping and canoeing with her husband, and even went hunting with her grandson, but didn’t get a deer. She also enjoyed cross-stitching and needlepoint after Jack died. Continue reading

Tell Me, Who are You?

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Tracking the Unidentified Dead

Nobody knows the last thought that went through her head, but Little Rock homicide Detective John “J.C.” White knows the last thing was a bullet.

 

Have You Seen Me? -- Little Rock Police still want to know who this woman was. If you have any information, contact Det. John "J.C." White in homicide at 501-371-4660 or jwhite@littlerock.org.

Have You Seen Me? — Little Rock Police still want to know who this woman was. If you have any information, contact Det. John “J.C.” White in homicide at 501-371-4660 or jwhite@littlerock.org.

   She wore Arizona-brand carpenter jeans with a black leather belt and a large brown T-shirt. Over this, an extra-extra large dark blue windbreaker and jumpsuit pants while white-and-blue Reeboks clad her feet. A gold-and-silver link bracelet hung from her wrist. Standing between 5’3” and 5’7” with black hair and a nose broken earlier in life, the black woman could have been anywhere between 18 and 40.

   On a walk with its owner in August 2002, a dog uncovered her tennis shoes and bones face-down under a pile of pink insulation behind an abandoned-looking house at 2772 Reservoir Road. The first responding officer would have started the investigation by preserving the scene, especially any physical evidence that would lead to identification of the victim or a suspect.

   Dr. Cheryl May, a forensic anthropologist from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Criminal Justice Institute, estimated the victim’s body had been there for several months. Inventory of her various clothes would later help with educated guesses of her overall size.  Pictures of the scene show an apparently abandoned house, but crime scene investigators found nothing of evidentiary value like a bullet casing or murder weapon – though they did find more of her teeth.

   “Once you’ve exhausted everything on the scene, hopefully by then you’ve got her identified. And we just haven’t even gotten to the point of getting her identified yet,” White says. “We don’t know where to start. We got initial phone calls about what could have happened, this, that and the other, but in following up on that information, we always found out that the person who we thought that might’ve been killed was actually alive. Therefore that lead has been exhausted, so we move on to the next. At this point we just don’t have anything, we don’t have anything whatsoever. It’s frustrating, very frustrating.” Continue reading

Students Visit the Big Apple

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Outside the chapel -- Alumnus Chester Johnson (right) tells UAM journalism students (from left) Danielle Kloap, Michael Ford and Linna Jones about St. Paul's Chapel. Giving up half of his Saturday to answer questions and show the group around, Johnson also treated the group to lunch followed by a trip to Wall Street and Battery Park. (photo by Sitton)

Outside the chapel — Alumnus Chester Johnson (right) tells UAM journalism students (from left) Danielle Kloap, Michael Ford and Linna Jones about St. Paul’s Chapel. Giving up half of his Saturday to answer questions and show the group around, Johnson also treated the group to lunch followed by a trip to Wall Street and Battery Park. (photo by Sitton)

   Thanks to the generosity of the New York Times’ American Democracy Project and an anonymous donor, five students from The Voice, the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s online news source, visited New York City over Spring Break to attend the College Media Advisers spring conference, preceded by Media Pro Workshops with professionals from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and Associated Press.

   Michael Ford, a senior journalism major from Crossett; Danielle Kloap, a junior journalism major from Vilonia; Linna Jones, a junior English/journalism double major from Gould; Michael Thomas, a junior minoring in journalism and recently elected as president of the Student Government Association; and Chief Photographer Latoya Shelton of Little Rock accompanied student publications’ adviser Ronald Sitton, assistant professor of journalism, on the trip.

   Of the five students, four had never ventured north of Missouri; one had never flown in an airplane. Yet each was excited about the opportunity to visit a place seen on TV screens and in the movie theaters. Continue reading

American Democracy Project Encourages Civic Participation

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Conference coordinator Michael Ross, Kennesaw State University’s associate professor of middle grades education (middle), speaks with students at the conference. (Photo by Dustin Wheeler, Western Carolina University)

   As the holidays begin, the political primary season waits just around the corner. Once again, commentators question whether younger participants might make a difference in the next general election. Many contend younger participants must get involved in the process for democracy to truly work, but younger voters historically refuse to vote in large numbers.

   Yet over two days in the fall semester, more than 50 college and university students started their involvement by participating in the third annual conference of the American Democracy Project’s Southern Consortium at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga. Conference coordinator Michael Ross, KSU’s associate professor of middle grades education, confirmed that 81 people – 51 students and 30 faculty or staff members – registered for the conference.

   ADP seeks to produce graduates who understand and are committed to their roles as citizens in a democratic republic. Currently, 228 institutions in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities participate in the project.

   “How can we drive the commitment to civic engagement to the core of the academy?” KSU’s Provost Lendley Black asked a room full of college and university students, professors and administrators prior to Associate Dean Michael Heard introducing the Alabama circuit judge who ruled against the Ten Commandments’ Judge in the late 1990s. “Too many students see citizenship as an on-again, off-again activity.”

Alabama Circuit Court Judge Charles Price tells a crowded room about his decision that a depiction of the Ten Commandments was unconstitutional. Price received death threats following his ruling.  (Photo by Dustin Wheeler, Western Carolina University)

Alabama Circuit Court Judge Charles Price tells a crowded room about his decision that a depiction of the Ten Commandments was unconstitutional. Price received death threats following his ruling. (Photo by Dustin Wheeler, Western Carolina University)

Adjudicating Democracy

   “Alabama Circuit Court Judge Charles Price provided insights into continuous citizenship during a plenary address to the ADP-South conference. Price’s ruling that the courtroom display of the Ten Commandments was unconstitutional brought death threats but earned him both the Wiley Benton award, honoring the lawyer of the Little Rock Nine, and the John F. Kennedy Profile of Courage, which chose Price as Alabama’s first black recipient.

   “I respect people of faith for I am one of them,” Price said. “As a judge however, I will do what is legal and what is right.” Continue reading

Honky-tonk a Natural Fit in Arkansas

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autoharpooncover   Dubbed the “Kings of Little Rock Honky-tonk” by local musician Kevin Kerby, The Salty Dogs are promoting their new album “Autoharpoon,” a 12-song compilation of new and used cuts that fits like your favorite T-shirt.

   The band’s second full-length offering provides another welcome reprieve from the slicked-up Nashville sound dominating the country music airwaves. Brad Williams provides lead vocals, plays lead guitar, acoustic guitar and mandolin, and writes the vast majority of tunes played by The Salty Dogs. Bart Angel plays drums and percussion, pairing with Mike Nelson on bass to form a formidable rhythm section. Local legend Nick Devlin rounds out the quartet on electric guitar, lap steel and autoharp. Angel and Devlin often provide backing vocals.

   An independent label out of Colorado that that focuses on traditional country, country rock and a couple of bluegrass bands, Big Bender Records picked up The Salty Dogs in February, providing full distribution so that country music fans can grab the album at Best Buy, Sam Goody’s and iTunes. Of course, the album can also be found on the band’s Web site and MySpace page, or by emailing Miles of Music.

   However, don’t think the band intends to change to attract the major record labels.

   “I think if the opportunity came available where we could do something else, we’d have to think about it long and hard,” Williams says. “I don’t see us beating any doors down (to land a contract from a major label).” Continue reading

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