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by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | June 23, 2022 at 3:04 a.m.

100 years ago

June 23, 1922

VAN BUREN -- William Gregory, known as "Preacher Bill", and his father, Riley Gregory, were ordered held to the Grand Jury by Justice J.B. Paine here this afternoon on a charge of operating a still. Gregory and his father were arrested at the elder Gregory's home yesterday afternoon by Sheriff C.M. Bledsoe, Deputy George Roberts, and Chief of Police E. M. Barnwell. ... A still of a 40-gallon capacity, made of a kerosene barrel, was found near the spring house, not far from the reddenoe, officers say. Fifty gallons of mash was also found hidden in a bunch of brush not far from the still.

50 years ago

June 23, 1972

President Nixon today signed the omnibus $21.3 billion education bill which imposes a moratorium on new school desegregation busing orders by federal courts until all appeals have been exhausted. The President's approval of the bill apparently means that the Little Rock elementary desegregation busing plan may be delayed by appeals beyond this September. But the bill, which authorizes funds for a variety of programs ranging from elementary to graduate level education, also would permit use of federal funds by local school districts to implement old busing orders, provided the districts requested the money.

25 years ago

June 23, 1997

RISON --The Cleveland County sheriff says a derailment early Sunday just north of Rison posed little hazard to anybody and damaged only property. Sheriff Joe Paul King said 14 cars of a northbound Union Pacific Railroad freight train left the tracks just north of the Rison city limits a little after 5 a.m. The sheriff said no one was injured, and the derailed cars contained no hazardous materials. He said the derailed cars, which were carrying car parts and scrap copper, stayed mostly within the railroad right of way.

10 years ago

June 23, 2012

The state Supreme Court on Friday struck down as unconstitutional Arkansas' lethal-injection law, saying it gave too much discretion to the Arkansas Department of Correction to decide how executions would be carried out and which chemicals would be used. Lawmakers and the governor said they plan to write a new law in coming months. The 5-2 decision, which agreed with 10 death-row inmates who had challenged the law, said the Legislature "has abdicated its responsibility and passed to the executive branch, in this case the [Department of Correction], the unfettered discretion to determine all protocol and procedures, most notably the chemicals to be used, for a state execution." The opinion penned by Justice Jim Gunter said the law violated the separation-of-powers doctrine of the state constitution, which holds that none of the three branches of government -- the legislative, the judicial, and the executive -- shall exercise the powers belonging to the other two branches. It is the Legislature's power to prescribe how executions are to be done, but the law left too much to be decided by the department, an executive branch agency, without sufficient guidance from the Legislature, the court said.

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