Author

Sonny Albarado

Sonny Albarado

In his nearly 50-year career, Sonny Albarado has been an investigations editor, a business editor, a city editor, an environmental reporter and a government reporter at newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. Most recently, he retired from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after serving as projects editor for 12 ½ years. He got his start in journalism as editor of the Nicholls Worth, the student newspaper at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1973. Nicholls awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2014.

Federal judge declares parts of state election law unconstitutional

By: - October 2, 2022

Six parts of Arkansas election law are unconstitutional and “impose a severe burden” on “new political parties” seeking to get their candidates on election ballots, a federal judge ruled on Friday. U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker wrote in an opinion and order that the Libertarian Party of Arkansas met its burden of proof in […]

Voters will decide recreational marijuana amendment, Arkansas high court rules

By: - September 22, 2022

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters can decide in November whether to make recreational marijuana legal in the state. In a 20-page decision written by Justice Robin Wynne, the high court concluded 5-2 “that the ballot title at issue is complete enough to convey an intelligible idea of the scope and import of […]

Group starts search for 100,000 Arkansans removed from voting rolls as general election approaches

By: - September 15, 2022

A civic group headed by state Sen. Joyce Elliott launched an effort this week to contact more than 104,000 Arkansans “who may have been inappropriately removed from the voting rolls since 2020” to try to get them registered to vote. Arkansas’ method of striking registered voters from county voting rolls is “inconsistent and outdated,” the […]

Legislators OK additional $124M in recovery funds for schools

By: - August 26, 2022

The state Department of Education received legislative approval Friday to disburse $124.3 million in federal emergency relief money to 36 more school districts. The Arkansas Legislative Council accepted a report from its Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review subcommittee to authorize spending for 35 districts and suspended its rules to add a 36th district — Rector, […]

Crawford County sheriff says deputy received concussion in melee

By: - August 25, 2022

Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante on Thursday said one of his deputies suffered a concussion Sunday during the arrest of a suspect that was filmed by a bystander. The citizen video doesn’t show deputy Levi White being injured, but it did capture White, deputy Zack King and Mulberry police officer Thell Riddle striking the suspect […]

Legislative committee OKs salary bump for Arkansas PBS chief

By: - August 24, 2022

The personnel committee of the Arkansas Legislative Council unanimously approved a salary increase to $180,000 for Courtney Pledger, executive director and CEO of Arkansas PBS. That amounts to a $27,418 raise over her current salary of $152,582. John Brown, chairman of the Arkansas PBS Commission, told committee members Wednesday that the network’s programming quality had […]

UAMS gets $3.4M grant to study radiation effects on human immune system

By: - August 24, 2022

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has received $3.4 million to study injuries caused by radiation exposure from a nuclear accident or bioterrorism, according to a press release.  The funds come from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health and will be used to study possible […]

Madison County Record receives award for “courage, integrity and tenacity” for Huntsville coverage

By: - August 24, 2022

An Arkansas weekly newspaper, its publisher and staff are winners of the 2022 Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, integrity and tenacity in rural journalism from the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky. The Madison County Record, publisher Ellen Kreth, general manager Shannon Hahn and Celia Kreth, the […]

A woman and a man seated at a table with TV microphones in front of them.

Crawford County residents say deputy in beating video attacked them

By: - August 23, 2022

Two Crawford County residents on Tuesday shared details of beatings they say they received at the hands of a sheriff’s deputy who can be seen in a video taken Sunday morning of officers subduing a man at a Mulberry convenience store. During a live televised press conference, Teddy Wallace and Tammy Nelson of Rudy identified […]

COMMENTARY

The dwindling local news environment makes us all less informed

By: - August 23, 2022

(This commentary has been updated to reflect new information. See editor’s note at end.) People have a right to know what their government is doing in their name. As the editor of a small weekly newspaper in Louisiana in the late 1970s, I helped uncover insider dealing by a city commissioner and regularly covered a […]

UAMS partners with UCLA, Howard to improve health, longevity in impoverished areas

By: - August 19, 2022

A UAMS project aimed at improving the health of medically underserved people in the Arkansas Delta is expanding its outreach in partnership with UCLA and Howard University researchers. Both the Arkansas project and the UCLA/Howard project seek to gather data on health needs and outcomes as well as provide information and resources to “historically marginalized […]

School safety panel proposes hardening schools, improving mental health response

By: - August 17, 2022

The Arkansas School Safety Commission adopted a dozen recommendations Tuesday aimed at hardening schools against intrusion and making sure staff and teachers are trained to respond not only to physical threats but also to students in mental distress. Commissioners voted to recommend that school campuses “should always have armed personnel when staff and students are […]