The news from Arkansas
Harry Potter Books Returned To Library Shelves.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Harry Potter series is back on library shelves in the Cedarville School District, following a federal judge's order to give students access to the popular books about the boy wizard.
A secretary at the rural Arkansas school district said Friday that superintendent David Smith instructed librarians to take the books out of a back office and return them to shelves.
The controversy began last June when Angie Harvey, the deputy Crawford County circuit clerk -- who had two children attending Cedarville schools -- filed a formal complaint with the Cedarville School District, saying that Harry Potter books are objectionable because they teach children "parents/teachers/rules are stupid or are something to be ignored." She also said the books teach "that magic will solve your problems. And that there are 'good witches' and 'good magic.'"
Following her June complaint, the school board decided to require students to obtain parental permission to check out the books, which were kept in a separate area of the library.
More than 190 million copies of the novels have been printed in at least 55 languages and have sold in more than 200 countries. Despite this isolated incident in Arkansas, the books have been applauded worldwide for encouraging children to be excited again about reading.
Fayettville Mayor Initiates Legislation To Make Alphabet More Simple, Easier To Understand.
FAYETTVILLE, Ark.- Fayettville Mayor Chuck "Dutch" Reynolds has asked the state government to consider his plan to reduce the physical number of letters in the alphabet from 26 to one, thereby making it more user friendly to the people of his state.
"They just got too many goddamn of them letters," said Reynolds speaking before the press last Thursday. "If you ask me, there's a ton of goddamn waste there. Christ, look at that whole "LMNOP" thing. When you sing that goddamn alphabet song, you go through them goddamn letters so goddamn fast -- 'h-i-j-k-lmnop." Cripes, how important can they be? And tell me 'K' don't make the same sound as 'C.'"
Reynolds believes that with his revised version of the alphabet -- which would solely consist of the letter "A" -- Arkansas school test scores would improve, and his state would experience a more productive workforce.
"First off, when the only answer on the test is 'A,' I'm pretty goddamn sure it's almost impossible to get it wrong," said Reynolds. "I know my kids wouldn't f--- it up. I don't think. Besides, all the good words start with 'A' anyways -- Arkansas…Apples…A shot of bourbon. Plus, since less time'd be spent in school working on learning those goddamn letters, more time could be spent learning how to fix cars and fix dinner and other important goddamn crap like that."
Reynolds ended his press conference by challenging the media to name the last time they used "that goddamn letter 'Q.'"
Dead Squirrel Found on Route 49. State I.Q. Now Lowered.
HELENA, Ark. - According to government officials, the death of a squirrel last Tuesday has lowered the median Arkansas state I.Q. by 11 points.
Chuck the Squirrel's flattened carcass, spotted on the left side of Route 49 about three miles north of Helena, was a significant loss to the state's I.Q. scoring and might result in a loss of some national funding.
"When you lose one of the brightest minds in the state, things like this are bound to happen," said Dwayne "Ripple" Johnson, head of the Arkansas Center for Adult Education. "We knew Chucky would go at some point, but we were hopin' it'd be of natural causes and not by trying to run 'cross the road. Especially that section of route 49. That's a tough stretch of road to make it across. You'd think he was smarter than that. But I suppose that's the curse of being so bright. Always tryin' to challenge the limits, y'know?
"It's sad," said Johnson. "I know a lot of people who looked up to him."
Johnson remains optimistic that state funds will not go away despite the loss.
"If we lose the money, well, I suppose we'll have to consider eliminating some of our scholastic programs. Like maybe eighth grade or something," said Johnson. "I just hope Chucky 'planted his seed' before he died, if you know what I mean. 'Cuz if there is a little Chucky out there, he'd be blessed with one of the best gene pools in the state."
Funeral services will be held next Thursday at 10 am the Helena Court House.
"For us, it's like when Einstein died," said Johnson.
Arkansas Naval Officer Sees "Gilligan's Island," Sends Rescue Ship.
TEXARKANA, Ark. - Jimbo Jackson has been trained to help people in need. Last Wednesday was no exception.
As the lieutenant colonel sat home flipping through the stations, he came across the opening theme of "Gilligan's Island."
"When I heard them singing 'bout the weather getting rough and that tiny ship gettin' tossed, cripes, I had to do sumthin'," said Jackson.
After watching the trapped islanders failed attempt to build a radio out of a coconut, Jackson placed an emergency call to his base in Texarkana and ordered a rescue mission to save the passengers and crew.
"Them people need our help," Jackson told the base. "And who in the hell knows what's on the other side of that island. Natives? Dangerous animals? Some guy with a jet pack?"
This is Jackson's second heroic effort to save people in need. In June of 2002, he made a similar call to save Aquaman after a Justice League episode where he saw Aquaman's leg trapped in coral. "I knew that dude couldn't stay underwater so long. He needed our help!"
English Drops To Third Most Popular Language in Arkansas.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ark. - Statistics released today show that English is no longer the second-most popular language spoken in Arkansas. The popular worldwide language now is third, trailing Drawl, which remains number one, and Pointing and Grunting, the new number two.
"It was in inevitable," one official said. "Pointing and Grunting has always been close. We anticipated it was going to pass English in 2005, so the timing is a bit of a surprise."
When asked about the continued domination of Drawl, Mountain View resident Clem Haskins, 48, said, "Well, y'all gotcha thingamabob 'bout sumthin' ain't makin' so sense fer sumthin' ifin he's sayin' sumthin' 'bout where's dat thing y'all been speakin' 'bout."
Another Mountain View resident, Dookie, 26, was excited about the growing popularity of Pointing and Grunting. He expressed his feelings by pointing to a newspaper sitting on a table, making a strange sound, and then spitting.
Pine Bluff Dentist Faints.
PINE BLUFF, Ark. - Local dentist Butchie Armstrong was rushed to the hospital as he began to work on an emergency patient from Michigan. He is listed in stable condition.
While in Pine Bluff on business, cell phone businessman Dwayne Freelander chipped his tooth on an olive pit. "It was really bothering me," said Freelander. "So I thought I'd have a local dentist look at it and see if they could just help me relieve the pain."
After finding Armstrong's name in the phone book, Freelander arrived at the dentist's office and sat down for Dr. Butchie to take a look.
"As soon as I opened my mouth, he fainted," said Freelander. "It was weird, like he'd seen a ghost."
When contacted at Pine Bluff Community General Hospital, Armstrong said, "Jesus Christ, all those goddamn teeth in there scared the living crap outta me. I've never seen nuthin' like that -- a whole mouth fulla choppers. Cripes, that's freaky!"
Dr. Armstrong hopes to be released late this afternoon. He says his new office policy is "No Out-of-Towners."
Trailer Park Resident Honored.
HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. - Witchie Titus, 37, of Heber Springs (trailer #11, subdivision #6) was recognized by fellow park residents last Monday as he correctly solved a puzzle on "Wheel of Fortune."
Twenty-three people attended the party, many of whom brought their own beer. The event was held in the common grounds area near the dumpster.
"I'm just so proud of him," said his wife, Hootchie, 26. "We wuz all sittin' there watchin' when he all of a sudden shouted out the answer. I damn near spit out my beer."
Titus solved the puzzle "COFFEE CUP" before the letter "C" was revealed.
"I ain't never seen nuthin' like it," said his Uncle Chootchie (trailer #14). "I always knew that boy had some smarts."
According to residents, Witchie had been watching the show for 11 years and this was the first time he had solved a puzzle prior to a contestant on the show. "One time he answered damn near the same time as the guy on the show, but that don't count," said his wife.
Titus says while he's never been able to answer a question on "Jeopardy," he can imitate the sound the contestants make with their hand buzzers "dead nuts on."
County Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty For Man Quoting Shakespeare.
EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. - A comment made by a local man could result in the state's first death penalty case in nearly two decades.
Johnny Broadsen, 33, is currently being held without bail after referencing "King Lear" to Ponch Nylan, 52.
"I think this is a clear-cut case," said assistant District Attorney, Jimbob Buchanan. "This kind of crap can't happen in these parts."
According to published reports, Nylan and Broadsen were walking down Main Street when Broadsen accidentally bumped into Nylan. Nylan immediately attacked Broadsen, knocking him to the ground, giving him two black eyes and a broken jaw. As Broadsen lay in a pool of blood, he reportedly said to Nylan, "Knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue."
"I couldn't even hit him no more," said Nylan. "I ain't never heard nuthin' like that. It just ain't right."
The case is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on July 14th.
"The guy's just a bastard," said Nylan. "I don't think I'll ever forget them words. I mean, I don't know what in the hell they meant. But still, I ain't gonna forget 'em. I hope they fry the suminabitch."
Family Dinner Conversation Turns Awkward As Teenage Son Asks the Inevitable Question.
FORT SMITH, Ark. - Last Sunday's family dinner at the Sustoski house got a bit uncomfortable when 13-year-old Willard said to Mabel, "I'm confused. Are you my momma or my sister?"
After a moment of silence, Willard's dad, CJ, 42, said, "Now y'see, life's funny, son. One day you think you got it all figured out and the next, your bitch wife leaves you for some slick car salesman.
"Being a man and all," CJ continued, "well, y'know son, a man has, um, feelings. Urges. So, y'know, I was sitting here all alone all by myself, just me and your sister and I dunno. There was sumthin' about the way she looked by the light of the TV when she walked by. She looked kinda purdy. So I says to yer sister, 'Want some beer?' and she she says, 'Sure,' and so then I says, 'Come sit next ta me,' and she says, 'Sure,' and well then, the next thing we know, here you are."
According to family members, Willard paused for a moment and said, "So then she's my momma and my sister."
"'Zactly," said C.J.
Sources indicate the rest of the dinner continued with much laughter and discussion over how fat that bitch first wife must now be.