Author archives: Dwain Hebda

Boom, Baby: Senior Arkansans Shaping Economy, Society

•••
here was a time when reaching retirement age meant slowing down and taking in the world from the sidelines. It’s not so anymore. Today’s seniors are cut from different cloth than their parents and exist in such numbers they continue to be a force to be reckoned with in virtually every element of daily life. “Which aspects of the economy, of society, of ge[...]

Human Trafficking in Arkansas: A Multi-Faceted Problem

•••
Every so often, Reagan Stanford picks up her cell phone to find a human trafficking victim waiting on the other end, someone who has finally aligned courage and opportunity to reach out for help through the National Human Trafficking Hotline. “All of the calls for social services that are for Arkansas come to me,” says the crime victims services coordinat[...]

I'll Fly Away

•••
The Ebby Steppach case approaches its two-year anniversary. By Dwain Hebda :: Photographs courtesy of Ebby's family he young woman, snatched from a west Little Rock park on October 24, 2015, peers from large black-and-white portraits on a living-room wall and smiles on flickering monitors tuned to social media sites or somber news broadcasts talking abou[...]

Dream Factory: NLR’s Regional Innovation Hub

•••
A Showpiece for Inventors and Entrepreneurs ouring the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock’s Argenta District is very much like wandering through an oversized toy box. In one corner rests a three-foot-wide Millennium Falcon scale model, constructed entirely of cardboard. In another, a row of 3-D printers stands in formation. Down a ha[...]

Find Ebby Jane: In Search of the Vanished

•••
n September 2015, Ebby Steppach packed her silver Volkswagen with everything she owned and drove off to live her own life. Time at home had become increasingly choppy as the spirited teenager chafed under what she considered the overly restrictive rules of her mother and stepfather. Almost exactly one month to the day after moving out, Ebby disappeared, l[...]

Gone Girl: The Disappearance of Ebby Steppach

•••
n a breathtakingly beautiful day in downtown Little Rock — as the press conference announcing a $50,000 reward for information on the disappearance of Ebby Steppach concludes — a phalanx of reporters splinters in all directions to get additional comments. Laurie Jernigan removes her oversized sunglasses and gazes calmly into the reporter’s camera lens. A [...]

The Golden Girl: Legendary Little Rock Restaurateur Hasn’t Missed a Step

•••
ook up the word “lair” in any dictionary and chances are Mary Beth Ringgold’s office will leap off the page. Tucked into a crow’s nest-type cranny in the cavernous Cajun’s Wharf, the room bursts with uniform catalogs, invoices, reams of reports, forms, vendor orders and copious miscellany. Personal photos elbow for wall space amid framed magazine articles an[...]