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Rex Nelson

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REX NELSON: Tale of two parks

William Frank Norrell loved south Arkansas, especially historic sites such as Arkansas Post. Born in August 1896 in the Ashley County community of Milo, he studied at what's now the University of Arkansas at Monticello but was then the Fourth District Agricultural School. Norrell passed the bar in 1920 and began his practice at Monticello. He was a leader in the local Ku Klux Klan, which was a powerful force in south Arkansas in the 1920s.

REX NELSON: At the post

The rain was coming down hard as we exited U.S. 165 and made our way to the Arkansas Post National Memorial. Tom DeBlack, the well-known Arkansas historian from Arkansas Tech University, was driving. Paul Austin of the Arkansas Humanities Council and I were trying to help him watch the road in the blinding storm.

REX NELSON: Reviving Capitol Avenue

After four years in Washington, D.C., as the bureau chief for the Arkansas Democrat, I moved back to Arkansas in late 1989. I needed to open a checking account.

REX NELSON: Steamboats to cyclists

We're at the corner of Natchez and Kate Adams streets. It's obvious from the street names that we're in a historic river town.

Lead photo

REX NELSON: Newly developed North Little Rock is done with derision

On a warm Tuesday in late February, Frank Webber shows a visitor through the North American headquarters of Orbea, a high-end bicycle manufacturer based in Spain.

REX NELSON: Completing the puzzle in downtown Little Rock

On the cover of today's Perspective section you'll find a story about the transformation of North Little Rock, especially its downtown and areas along the Arkansas River. The place Little Rock residents once derisively dismissed as Dogtown is-- shall we dare say it?--becoming hip. Meanwhile, some view the big brother on the other side of the river as stagnant. Indeed, job growth has been slow for the past decade, but a number of important pieces have come together in downtown Little Rock.

REX NELSON: Still’s musical world

"Composers are creative; makers," said Linda Holzer, a professor of music at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the coordinator of classical piano studies at the school. "They make music. They use melody, harmony and rhythm to create a world. It's a musical world, and it's shaped by what they know.

REX NELSON: The Price is right

There appears to be a renewed interest in Florence Beatrice Smith Price, a Little Rock native who became the first black female composer to have a symphonic composition performed by a major American orchestra.

REX NELSON: Those basketball fans

If you turn to the Sports section of today's edition, you'll find stories about the high school basketball state tournament games that were played Saturday. State tournaments took place last week at seven locations across the state. This week, 14 championship games--seven for girls and seven for boys--will be played at Hot Springs. There will be four games Thursday, four games Friday, and six games Saturday. I usually attend as many of the title games as possible.

REX NELSON: A place for history

It wasn't a surprise recently when the board of the Central Arkansas Library System renamed the Arkansas Studies Institute in Little Rock's River Market District after Bobby Roberts, the visionary leader who transformed CALS into one of the most innovative library systems in the country. Roberts retired in 2016 after 27 years at the helm. The former ASI, home of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Center for Arkansas History & Culture, will now be known as the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art.