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Sick and helpless

ACORN, an organization that advocates for low- and moderate-income families, says it has found that nearly half (48 percent) of America’s private-sector workers have no guaranteed paid sick days, and more than three-fourths of low-wage workers have none. ACORN said it did a telephone survey of the nation’s top retailers and restaurants.

“Some of America’s best-known and most profitable companies deny even a single paid sick day to frontline hourly staff,” ACORN said.

The Little Rock office of ACORN said in a news release that the organization is calling on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require employers of 15 or more to provide seven paid sick days a year for workers to use themselves or to care for a sick family member. The group also is supporting sick-days bills in several state legislatures.

“It is outrageous that people have to fear losing their jobs or losing a day’s pay because they get sick,” Maxine Nelson, chair of Arkansas ACORN, said.

Blogging Arkansas

It’s a natural, you might say — a blog with articles about places to visit in Arkansas. The state Parks and Tourism Department has one cranked up. It’s not a bad place to look for weekend outings, even if it unavoidably has a bit of a PR feel to it. We don’t expect them to issue warnings about bad restaurants, crummy festivals and overrated entertainment venues, for example.

Still, we checked out The Travel Blog ( and found useful information on the new hiking trail around Lake Ouachita (including map); a haunted-house attraction in Eureka Springs; a ranch resort near Mountain Home, and lakeside dining in Hot Springs. Click it out.

Faces of history

Who was Florence Price? A new poster series, “Amazing Women Leaders of Arkansas,” published by the University of Arkansas Libraries, tells Price’s story and those of Sen. Hattie Caraway, aviator Louise Thaden, writer Charlie May Simon and basketball player Hazel Walker. The posters are being distributed free to teachers across Arkansas.

Back to Price: She was born in 1888 in Little Rock, and moved to Chicago in 1927 to study at the American Conservatory of Music and the Chicago Musical College. Her setting of Langston Hughes’ “Songs to the Dark Virgin” was critically acclaimed, and her symphonies were performed in Chicago, including her “Symphony in E Minor,” which was performed at the 1932 Chicago World’s Fair.

Posters are $25 for the general public. For more information, e-mail or call 479-575-5577.

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