by Max Brantley
* DICKSON STREET LOSS: Fayetteville's Dickson Street "lost a piece of its soul," the Fayetteville Flyer reported today. Bruce Walker died in a fire in his Flying Possum Leather shop, a fixture on the strip for three decades.
* LR SCHOOL SEARCH: The Little Rock Board of Directors has been invited to a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at the
Willie Hinton Community Center Little Rock school offices to discuss the search for a Little Rock School District superintendent. A full schedule of meetings and links to other information about the superintendent search can be found here.
* SCREW THE WORKERS: Another from the legislative last-filing-day house of horrors: A bill to override judicial decisions that gave people workers compensation for injuries suffered while on break or arriving for work. Pee on your own time, buddy boy. A workers comp lawyer says this could be even worse than it appears, perhaps returning the whole of workers comp law to about 1993, a nearly medieval posture for workers. Can they really jam companion bills out of House and Senate instantly and screw workers to the wall overnight? Ask your favorite teabagger if he or she supports workers or corporation?
* JON HUBBARD IS UNHINGED: His recent heart attack scare hasn't deterred the Jonesboro Tea Party Republican state rep. from heaping the legislative bin with lots more angry legislation. It's often about punishing immigrants and people who help them, but also about sending tax dollars to home schoolers and lots, lots more craziness. Check it out.
* STEEL RAIL NEWS: Little Rock won. It will be the final stop by a Union Pacific train pulled by a steam locomotive May 29-June 9. Final details on the Little Rock Express still to come. Read on.
The Little Rock Express will depart May 29 from Kansas City, Mo., and conclude June 9 in Little Rock, Ark., as part of Union Pacific’s Great Excursion Adventure - You Route the Steam contest. More than 175,000 votes were cast for four different routes, with the Little Rock Express defeating the Tuscola Turn, Baton Rouge Rambler and Boise Express.
As a result, Union Pacific’s legendary No. 3985 Challenger steam locomotive will make a goodwill tour starting in Kansas City, heading east through Jefferson City, Mo., and St. Louis before turning south en route to Little Rock. Details regarding the numerous steam locomotive stops will be announced soon.
Five individual winners and their guests will ride on the train for a leg of the tour. The individual winners were determined based on the number of points they earned by gathering referrals via Facebook or Twitter. The winners are:
• Shad Pulley from West Jordan, Utah
• Skip Waters from Dallas
• James O’Connor from Willowbrook, Ill.
• Nick Benson from Eagan, Minn.
• Kevin Mucha from Villa Park, Ill.
Pully was the grand prize winner, earning him the title “Honorary Engineer” and the opportunity to ride in the steam locomotive cab.
Contest participants who voted for the Little Rock Express will be entered into a drawing for the opportunity to ride a brief segment of the tour. As stated in the contest rules, no tickets will be sold and general public train rides will not be available as part of the tour.
Fans can keep up with the latest Little Rock Express information via Facebook at www.facebook.com/unionpacific or Twitter at www.twitter.com/unionpacific.