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Smart talk, Feb. 28

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The Huckabee tapes

Hanna Roisin, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, wrote an article for Slate, the on-line magazine, last week about her fruitless effort to obtain copies of videotapes of Mike Huckabee preaching while pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff and Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana.

The churches and members who had tapes refused to turn any tapes over. All insisted they had nothing to hide. But it seemed that Huckabee had suggested it'd be best not to comply with wishes of reporters — Roisin wasn't the first to inquire. Roisin was able to purchase one tape from eBay. So there might be a market for others not so protective of Huckabee's early sermons.

Roisin speculated that comments about women's role in the church, race and creationism might be behind Huckabee's reluctance to spread his good words. She also said his full-throated call to Christian service in the one tape might represent fear of a “queasy factor” among some who view it. “It's one thing to know a presidential candidate was a pastor; that sounds worthy and leaderlike. But it's quite another to actually hear him work himself up into a lather about committing to Christ and not back it up with a joke.”

Rocking and rolling

If you didn't catch any of the semi-final rounds of the Musicians Showcase (see page 24) at Sticky Fingerz, you've not only missed a wealth of great local music, you've blown a chance to flex your music trivia muscles. T-shirts, CDs, concert tickets have been up for grabs. Here's a sampling.

1. What song is Chelsea Clinton named for?

2. Who performed the first concert at Alltel Arena?

3. Name one of the eight members of Capitol Offense who's not Mike Huckabee?

4. Where was blue-eyed soul and country singer Charlie Rich born?

5. Name a Little Rock native who played on the Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers.”

6. What was the name of Johnny Cash's brother, who died tragically in a sawmill accident as a teen?

If these come to you immediately, make plans to attend the Showcase finals on Friday, March 7, at Revolution, where 607, Epiphany and One Night Stand, Brian Martin and the Circulators and Kyoto Boom will square off. Big prizes will be for the taking.

ANSWERS: 1) Joni Mitchell's “Chelsea Morning;” 2) Elton John; 3) Aaron Black, Marynell Branch, Gordon Caffey, Rick Calhoun, Teri Cox, Chris Pyle, Steve Pyle; 4) Colt, Ark.; 5) Jim Dickinson; 6) Jack.

He had text with that woman, a teacher

Arkansas got an introduction last week to a little-used law meant to regulate behavior between teacher and student, even when both are considered adults.

Melissa Monroe, 32, a married Bentonville High School math teacher, was charged with second-degree sexual assault and furnishing alcohol to a minor for an incident involving an 18-year-old student (and former member of the Bentonville High football team).

It is legal for a 32-year-old to have sex with an 18-year-old in Arkansas. But state law makes it a crime for a teacher to have sex with a student younger than 21. According to a police report, Monroe may have believed the student was “legal” because he was 18.

According to affidavits filed by police, Monroe's husband was away and she had been drinking and texting the student. Eventually, the student came over to her house, had sex three times and spent the night, the documents said.

Valentine's Day, Monroe sent a text message to a fellow teacher saying, “Help! I've made the worst decision of my life. And I don't know what to do.” The teacher turned Monroe in. Police said both the student and Monroe confirmed they'd had intercourse. A Gravette teacher was sentenced to seven years in prison recently for having sex with a 17-year-old student. But that student was considered a minor under the law. For purposes of alcohol consumption, a minor is younger than 21.

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