Arkansas Civil Rights

Milton Pitts Crenchaw
Butler Center For Arkansas Studios

Milton Pitts Crenchaw, a flight instructor who trained many of the U.S. military's Tuskegee Airmen, has died in Georgia. He was 96.

Crenchaw's daughter, Dolores Singleton, said he died Tuesday at Piedmont Henry Hospital near Atlanta after battling cardiovascular disease and pneumonia.

Singleton said her father, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, was among the last surviving instructors of the Tuskegee Airmen. They were the first African-Americans to fly combat airplanes in World War II.

A Confederate flag merged with the flag of the League of the South flag.
LOS

Tens of thousands of Southerners rallied this year in defense of an identity they believe is under assault: a veneration of a Confederate heritage. It’s difficult to parcel through just who comprises this movement but some say extremists within it are finding a voice.

Central High School
nps.gov

A new mobile app providing users with a tour of Little Rock’s civil rights history is launching Monday. The city of Little Rock partnered with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity to develop the app. It features information on 35 stops with stories of people and places important to Arkansas’s civil rights history. 

L.T. Simes
KATV, Channel 7 News

Longtime Circuit Court Judge L.T. Simes II has died in a Missouri hospital. He was 65.

Brown's Home for Funerals in Helena-West Helena says Simes died Saturday at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Simes was first elected in the 1st Judicial District in 1996. He served until 2009 when he was suspended by the Arkansas Supreme Court for violating judicial rules. He was re-elected in 2010 and remained in that role until his death.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is considering whether the state can claim sovereign immunity after the Arkansas Board of Education’s January takeover of the Little Rock School District.

In March, the Supreme Court issued a stay in a Circuit Court case after Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen ruled against the state's claim that it has sovereign immunity.

Judge Wendell Griffen at Truthful Tuesday on the steps of the state Capitol in 2014.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Nearly a month has passed since Arkansas’s governor called faith-leaders together to fill in the gaps in the state’s criminal justice system and now a new call, a fundamental critique of the system is garnering attention at a different summit.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman has this conversation with Pastor Wendell Griffin, also a circuit court judge, who is on a panel for the 9th annual Civil Rights Summit and Community Festival on Saturday. Events are from 10-3 at the Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center in Little Rock.

Arkansas League of the South Chair R.G. Miller (right) in Batesville in 2015 working alongside the loosely defined heritage movement to restore a Confederate Flag on a courthouse lawn.
facebook.com

National attention over Confederate imagery has subsided in recent weeks but a victory for flag advocates in Arkansas emerged this month and a battle over Little Rock's Confederate Boulevard remains.

A force behind the successful resurrection of a Confederate-era flag on the Independence Courthouse lawn in Batesville earlier this month is thanking the participation of the secessionist League of the South, which hopes to create a white, Christian nation. 

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Hillary Clinton promised a plan to cap the rising costs of prescription drugs and praised her husband’s and President Obama’s administrations in a speech before a raucous crowd at Little Rock’s Philander Smith College Monday.

UPDATE: The Washington County Clerk's office reports that voters approved the anti-discrimination ordinance 52.8 percent to 47.2 percent. 14,593 ballots were cast out of 49,634 registered voters. 

A northwest Arkansas city is getting a second shot at banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as voters weigh whether to challenge a new state law aimed at banning such local protections.

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