250: The Blog

  250

250 is the Suite Number of the Governor’s Office at the Arkansas State Capitol. It also is the name of this blog, which goes beyond Governor Asa Hutchinson's press conferences and bill signings.

In the blink of an eye: Father, legislator give meaning to loss with Isaac’s Law

In the blink of an eye: Father, legislator give meaning to loss with Isaac’s Law

Press Shop | 08.27.2019

'Flashing Red, Kids Ahead': Stop When a School Bus Stops William Brian didn’t know the tall man who introduced himself at the funeral home, shook his hand, offered a word of comfort, and then cut straight to business that day in September 2004. “I need your help,” the man said. Mr. Brian didn’t know what to think. He was emotionally numb. Two days earlier, a young woman had driven her Jeep past the flashing red lights of a stopped school bus, and struck and killed Mr. Brian’s 9-year-old son, Isaac. So Mr. Brian...

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The birth of an editorial cartoon

The birth of an editorial cartoon

Press Shop | 07.11.2019

They had convened in the governor’s office – the 46th Governor of Arkansas and the Editorial Cartoonist for the state newspaper – for a chat and an informal presentation – the sort of meetings the governor frequently hosts. But without warning – which is how these things often happen – inspiration struck in the office, and thanks to Governor Asa Hutchinson, John Deering left with an idea and a sketch for another Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial cartoon. This wasn’t their first encounter. In 2016, Governor Hutchinson and Mr. Deering were among those on stage for the Roast and...

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July 4th: The sacrifice never ends (Blackhawk Down)

July 4th: The sacrifice never ends (Blackhawk Down)

Press Shop | 07.04.2019

For Sharri Briley, the Fourth of July is a day of sadness as much as it is a celebration. For Mrs. Briley and the thousands of other Arkansans who have lost a loved one who was fighting for the United States, the sacrifice never ends. Every day for the past 26 years, Mrs. Briley has walked through her life without the man she married for life. Every day from that moment in October 1993 when Somali soldiers shot down her husband’s Blackhawk helicopter in the Battle of Mogadishu, Mrs. Briley has lived out the sacrifice in the little details and...

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There’s more to Jimmy Driftwood’s ‘Battle of New Orleans’ than we knew

There’s more to Jimmy Driftwood’s ‘Battle of New Orleans’ than we knew

Press Shop | 06.28.2019

The “Battle of New Orleans” was Jimmy Driftwood’s most famous song, but the version most people know is only a little bit of the song as he originally wrote it. The topic is timely because Jimmy Driftwood’s birthday is in June. In a letter that Governor Asa Hutchinson wrote in his honor last year, the governor called Mr. Driftwood one of “Arkansas’s great writers, musicians, entertainers, and environmentalists.” As a school teacher, the governor noted, Mr. Driftwood wrote songs to help his students learn history, which helped preserve traditional folk...

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Welcome to Your Governor’s Office

Welcome to Your Governor’s Office

Press Shop | 07.11.2018

Old hands at the state capitol refer to the governor’s office simply as “250,” which is the office number for the governor’s suite on the second floor. Two-fifty is painted in gold at the top of the glass in the door that opens into the suite. Eighteen inches down, you can read the name – also painted in gold -- of the state’s highest-ranking elected official: Governor Asa Hutchinson, 46th governor of Arkansas. If you peer through the glass of 250, you will see Jennifer Siccardi, a lightning bolt of energy and happiness, seated...

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From one end to the other

From one end to the other

Press Shop | 06.20.2019

This is the pressure-washing job that would never end. At the end of April,  Josh Vance and Brad Staley cranked up the Secretary of State’s hot-water pressure washer, climbed into the basket of a hydraulic lift that raised them 70 feet into the air, and started cleaning the state capitol. This is not your weekend-warrior driveway-washing project. By the time they finished Phase 1, they will have washed enough Indiana limestone to cover the entire 100 yards at War Memorial and about a third of the gridiron at Razorback Stadium. In real-estate terms, that’s about an acre and...

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He even composes music about his beloved blackberries

He even composes music about his beloved blackberries

Press Shop | 03.01.2019

John Clark talks blackberries, eats blackberries, raises blackberries, breeds new varieties of blackberries, and writes scientific papers about blackberries. He has even composed music for the guitar in honor of the blackberry and performed it in the middle of his blackberry patch. Through the years, his research has made the blackberry patch less bothersome and more fruitful with varieties of thornless blackberries with large and sweet fruit. Dr. Clark, a native of Mississippi, does all this work as a distinguished professor and leader of the blackberry breeding program of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The program is...

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George H.W. Bush: “the most humble spirit … a gracious common touch”

George H.W. Bush: “the most humble spirit … a gracious common touch”

Press Shop | 02.08.2019

Governor Asa Hutchinson has met every president since Ronald Reagan, and he has the pictures to prove it. He has stood for photographs with Presidents Trump and Obama. In one framed photo on the west end of his office, Governor Hutchinson and Bill Clinton are shaking hands, and former Goverrnor Mike Huckabee is standing behind them.          The fireplace mantel holds a photograph of the governor walking and chatting with Ronald Reagan down the West Colonnade at the White House. President Reagan appointed him U.S. Attorney for the Western District of...

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10 governors later, Gettysburg College students see a different landscape in Little Rock

10 governors later, Gettysburg College students see a different landscape in Little Rock

Press Shop | 02.06.2019

The nine from Gettysburg peered out the governor’s window at the sculpture of the Little Rock 9, the historic Central High School students frozen in 1957 on the north side of the state capitol. Their recent visit to Little Rock was one of several stops in Arkansas, a journey intended to broaden their perceptions about the South. Sixty-one years ago, this window opened up on a landscape far different than their view in 2019. From this office in 1957, the state’s 36th governor called up the Arkansas National Guard to protect Central High from the ruling federal intervention. The U...

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The work of democracy: Governor presents bill to reporters, armed with pens, pads, tough questions

The work of democracy: Governor presents bill to reporters, armed with pens, pads, tough questions

Press Shop | 02.04.2019

The news conference was the sort of political event that Governor Asa Hutchinson enjoys. He convened it in the historic Governor’s Conference Room, where every governor since 1915 has conducted state business and made big announcements. His big announcement was the details of legislation that delivers on one of his significant campaign pledges. Legislators and leaders from several state agencies filled the conference room. The interpreter from the Arkansas School for the Deaf was in place to the right of the lectern. Television cameras stood in strategic places. The governor’s staff was broadcasting the gathering live on...

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