Buzz is growing that former Arkansas Farm Bureau president Stanley Reed of Marianna is edging closer to a race as a Republican for U.S. Senate, despite a history of voting in Democratic primaries and backing some Democratic candidates, including the incumbent senator, Blanche Lincoln, he's now thinking about opposing.
He's telling friends he hasn't reached a decision, but to expect one by Thanksgiving. He's talked with national Republican figures in Washington.
One rumor has it that announced Republican candidate Curtis Coleman might leave the race and kinfolk and associates of Mike Huckabee now working for Coleman would move to a Reed campaign. A spokesman for Coleman says, however, that Coleman is in the race to stay.
Sidewalk of the stars
Remember when the old Metrocentre Mall featured sidewalks squares bearing hand and foot imprints of famous visitors to Little Rock? A few remain on display near the Main Street parking deck between Second and Third Streets.
A showier sidewalk display is heading this way. Butch Stone of Maumelle, the concert promoter and former manager of Black Oak Arkansas, has joined forces with the Peabody Hotel and the city of Little Rock for an Arkansas Entertainers Walk of Fame. A committee will meet annually to choose famous Arkansans from the arts (music, literature, film, art, etc.) for honoring with a bronze sidewalk award. An annual reception will honor the winners.
Stone says he hopes to begin the program in 2010 with seven initial honorees chosen from this list: Bill Clinton, Kris Allen, Billy Bob Thornton, Maya Angelou, Levon Helm, Johnny Cash, Black Oak Arkansas, Mary Steenburgen, Al Green, Ben Moody, Glenn Campbell, Alan Ladd, Conway Twitty, KT Oslin, Jimmy Driftwood and Charlie Rich. Stone predicts the event will draw national media and “some of the biggest stars in the entertainment business.”
Foot in mouth?
Mike Huckabee tells U.S. News and World Report that a foot problem had caused a recent weight gain. How many feet has he eaten, we wondered? Sorry for the bad joke. Huckabee blamed his weight gain — 25 pounds he said — to a foot injury that has curbed his running to three-mile outings from 10 to 12 miles daily. Huckabee, the author of a book about killing yourself with a knife and fork, should know that exercise alone isn't the key to weight control. He told U.S. News he was back on protein shakes to trim back to campaigning weight.
Hot Springs — which, by the way, has its own sidewalk celebrities — has another gimmick to draw a crowd this Saturday. Starting at 11:30 a.m., at least 250 young couples using text message clues will swarm over downtown looking for a hidden diamond ring said to be worth $12,000. The couples had to submit love stories to qualify. The event starts at Wheeler Plaza in front of the convention center. It's a promotion of the city's visitors bureau and a local jeweler.