Showing posts with label Arkansas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arkansas. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Powdery with a 100% chance of death

Sooooooey! You just can't make this stuff up.

I guess this just isn't a good stretch for broadcast personalities. Or, for that matter, their "friends," as we learn from all manner of Little Rock, Ark., media. Well, not so much from weatherman Brett Cummins' employer, KARK television, but from pretty much everybody else.

Like Arkansas Business, for example:

Authorities have interviewed Brett Cummins of Little Rock television station KARK-TV, Channel 4, multiple times since he was found asleep in a hot tub Monday morning with a dead man next to him, Maumelle Police told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Police have also spoken to Christopher Barbour, who owns the home where the body was found.

No charges have been filed against Cummins or Barbour, and police told The AP they are not treating the case as a criminal investigation.

Maumelle Police spokesman Lt. Jim Hansard says police have received preliminary results of an autopsy of 24-year-old Dexter Williams, who was found dead. He declined to release those findings, citing the ongoing investigation. A full autopsy report could be released later.
BUT WHY WOULD the cops want to interview the weather guesser "multiple times," you ask?

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has the criminological data for Monday, Sept. 5:

According to a police report, officers responded to 16 Village Way around 8 a.m. Monday and found the naked body of 24-year-old Dexter Williams lying on the floor of what was described as a Jacuzzi hot tub. Williams reportedly had what appeared to be a dog collar around his neck. It was connected to a silver chain.

The homeowner, identified as 36-year-old Christopher Barbour, told police Cummins had come over the night before with Williams. He said Cummins and Williams then began drinking and using illegal drugs, the report said.

Barbour reportedly told investigators all three men went into the hot tub, but that he left around 11 p.m. The next morning, Barbour heard Cummins snoring and then saw both he and Williams were still in the tub, which had no water in it, according to the report.

"After Brett awoke they discovered that Dexter was unconscious and his face was a different color," police wrote in the report. "He then explained that Brett screamed and became ill and left the bathroom and vomited on the carpet in the living room."

Cummins was not at the home when police arrived Monday morning, but he later returned and provided a statement, police said.

The station did cover the incident on its website and on its newscast, noting that Cummins was in the house, that no charges had been filed and that police were investigating whether drugs and alcohol played a role in the death.


"Our Meteorologist Brett Cummins was at the home at the time of the death and we felt we should share this with our viewers," a posting on the station's website,, said. "Brett will not be on the air as he is mourning the loss of his friend."

KARK anchor Bob Clausen read a similar report on the station's 5 p.m. newscast.

"Our thoughts naturally are with Brett and with the family and friends of Dexter Williams," he said.

I'LL JUST bet they are. So are the thoughts, at least, of newspapers around the world.

Because . . . one more time . . . you just can't make this stuff up.

P.S.: The most relieved town in America this week is Baton Rouge, La. Channel 33 there -- the city's longtime Island of Misfit Broadcasters -- was Cummins' last professional layover before making his way back to Little Rock and those lucky, lucky no-commenters at KARK.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Radio killed the radio star

It's amazing the things we just decide to throw away one fine day . . .

. . . with nary a thought on whether we have anything better lined up to replace them.

Some things, we throw away more than once.

THIS IS the only thing American radio excels at anymore -- tearing stuff up, then wondering why nobody's buying a perfectly good pile of debris. We've become a nation of bumpkins who won't sit down to a gourmet French meal because they don't serve ketchup and fries with that.

The radio execs are the ones picketing outside Chez Paris, carrying signs that say

As it turns out, the marketplace can arrange the second half of that demand.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Michael Dukakis was a piker

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According to authorities, Maurice Clemmons killed four Seattle-area cops and Mike Huckabee's political career.

That this guy was running around the country because the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate made him eligible for parole in 2000 is bad enough. That this is the second time people ended up dead because of Huckabee's lenient ways is immeasurably worse.

And someone in the national Republican Party needs to formally apologize to Michael Dukakis, whose Willie Horton moment was pure Amateur Night compared to Republican Huckabee's reign of error in Arkansas.

BECAUSE YOU can't make this stuff up, The Associated Press takes the story from here:
As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee had a hand pardoning or commuting many more prisoners than his three immediate predecessors combined. Maurice Clemmons, the suspect in Sunday's slaying of four Seattle-area police officers, was among them.
For a politician considering another run for the White House, Clemmons could become Huckabee's Willie Horton.

"In a primary between a law-and-order Republican and him, I think it could definitely be a vulnerability," said Art English, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. "It is very damaging when you have someone like that whose sentence was commuted. That's pretty high profile and very devastating and very tragic."

English said it's hard to avoid comparing the case to Horton, a convicted killer who raped a woman and assaulted her fiance while on release as part of a prison furlough program supported by Michael Dukakis when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Allies of former President George H.W. Bush ran ads criticizing Dukakis for his support of the program, undermining the Democrat's presidential campaign.


Huckabee's role in gaining the release of a convicted rapist, Wayne DuMond, was the subject of an attack ad during his presidential run. While Huckabee's predecessor, Tucker, reduced DuMond's sentence making him eligible for parole, Huckabee took steps almost immediately after taking office to win DuMond's release.

Two members of the state parole board said Huckabee pressured them to show DuMond mercy, while Huckabee publicly questioned whether DuMond was guilty of the rape of a teenage girl. During the presidential primaries, a conservative group aired television commercials in South Carolina featuring the mother of Carol Sue Shields, whom DuMond killed in 2000 after his release.

Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley, whose office opposed Clemmons' parole in 2000 and 2004, said Huckabee created a flaw in the Arkansas justice system by freeing the number of prisoners he did.
"(Clemmons) should have stayed locked up like the jury wanted him and we wouldn't even be having this discussion," Jegley said.

"I just have been figuratively holding my breath and hoping something like this wouldn't happen," Jegley said. "I just think that a lot of the people that were subjects of clemency during that period of time were some very dangerous people who didn't need to be let out."
IT USED TO BE that when someone screwed up badly enough, they'd publicly repent of their sins, put on sackcloth garments and cover themselves in ashes as a sign of penance.

It is no credit to our "advanced" society that messing up big time now -- at least for certain privileged castes -- is just a ticket to a big buyout . . .
or a cable-TV talk show.

Right, Huck?

SPLINTER. PLANK. EYE . . . Rev. Huckabee.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Our capricious, sadistic deity?

Meteorological horrors happen, and one supernatural entity or another ends up getting the blame. But the weather never does.

The pattern holds with some poor, grieving Arkansans trying to make sense of what one can't make sense of, as reported by The Associated Press:
Tonya Selken's home sat in a dip along a ridge on Dog Mountain, where they had a sweeping view of rolling horse pasture and the misty Ozark foothills in the distance. But she didn't choose these two of her grandfather's 210 acres just for the scenery.

This was one of several places the family mapped out for their protection from tornadoes. In the nearly 60 years since the family bought the place on Shady Grove road, they had seen several twisters hop over this spot and touch down harmlessly on the ridge beyond.

"She was in the house once when one went right over the top of her," said her father, Jerry Simpkins.

But on Tuesday, the family's luck ran out.

The 36-year-old letter carrier and mother of four was one of three Van Buren County residents killed in a monster storm that ground a path across the Southeast, claiming more than 50 lives in several states. Her husband Raymond, 38, and their 14-year-old daughter, Ellise, were also seriously injured.

Standing Wednesday amid the debris field of twisted metal and pink insulation, Carmon Lagunes struggled to grasp why God would take her sister.

"That's his wrath," she said, looking toward the wreckage. "For some reason, he's not happy right now and this is. ... Nobody understands God's will. I sure as hell don't understand it.

Said Anita Goodnight, the sisters' aunt: "God didn't do it. Satan did."

Looking around the valley, where locals raise cattle and cultivate shiitake mushrooms, it is hard not to marvel at the capricious of nature. As workers cleared toppled trees and replaced snapped power poles, cows grazed lazily beside barns whose tin roofs proclaim "Jesus Saves."
THE QUESTION is not "Why did God kill somebody with this big ol' tornado?" And it's not a lock that the devil had anything to do with it, either.

S*** happens. And so do bad, bad tornadoes and other deadly meterological phenomena.

If you ask me -- and you didn't -- the proper question is "Why did God permit nature to take its course in such a cruel manner?"

"Why did God, who knows all, choose not to grant a saving miracle in this case, when He has in others?"

The answer goes something like . . . beats me. God's will is a mystery, and so is the interplay between the awesome power of nature and the randomness of dumb luck . . . or dumb misfortune.

We don't understand it, and we never will. At least, not this side of eternity.