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Author Archive

Memories From The Museum

Friday, July 8th, 2016

DrewCountyMuseumThe History of Drew County’s Tomato Industry – Part 2

At the end of the war many farmers returned home and cast their lots with the tomato industry.  By the early 1950s “pinks” ruled the markets.  An early pink variety that was grown in abundance was listed as the “Gulf State” variety.  The Drew County Tomato Growers’ Association was soon born so growers could work together to improve their marketing options.  (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, June 17th, 2016

ArkansasHouseGreetings!  So what is an MOU?  An MOU (pronounced as the three separate letters, m-o-u) is an acronym for Memorandum of Understanding.  (Government bureaucracy is filled with acronyms; I sometimes think it should count as a foreign language.)  Anyway Governor Hutchison has signed an MOU with the Arkansas Health Care Association that they will devise a plan to save $250 million over the next 5 years in the costs for meeting the medical needs of our seniors whether it is in nursing homes, home health care and\or managed care.  The “trick” will be to maintain quality of care and still make cuts.  It will be interesting to watch unfold. (more…)

Memories From The Museum For 06-15-2016

Monday, June 13th, 2016

DrewCountyMuseumI’ve had some interesting conversations the past couple of weeks about “rolling stores” and all of the favorite treats found therein – many of which survive today.  I thought you might be interested in some lists of “how far back” some of our favorite treats existed.

From The 1900s t0 the 1920s Baby Ruth, BB Bat Suckers, Beeman’s Gum, Bit-O-Honey, Butterfinger, Candy Cigarettes, Candy Corn, Caramel Creams, Charms, Charleston Chews, Cherry Mash, Chiclets, Clark bars, Cracker Jacks, Goo Goo Clusters, Heath bars, Dubble Bubble gum, Goobers, Lifesavers, Milk Duds, Milky Way, Mounds, Moon Pies, Mr. Goodbar, O. Henry, Reese Cups, Tootsie Rolls, PEZ, Zero, Hershey’s chocolate bars and many others.  Whew!  I’d imagine we thought in the ‘20s they only had candy canes and licorice like in the old westerns! (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Greetings!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day! We did! Mine started in Monticello at the annual celebration/ceremony held by the VFW chapter at the courthouse. The weather was accommodating and the program was excellent!

(more…)

Memories From The Museum For 06/01/2016

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

DrewCountyMuseumA couple of weeks ago, I wrote an essay about my memories of the rolling store of my youth along the Mississippi River levee in Desha County.  I asked for other remembrances and received a reply from Mary Lasiter about her memories of the rolling store in the Green Hill area of Drew County.  Our memories were so similar I thought you might like to read Mary’s story, so it is reprinted here with Mary’s permission.

Enjoy!! (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

ArkansasHouseAt long last the second Special Session of the 99th General Assembly was over when Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a five-year highway bill into law last Monday hours after it passed the Senate.  He said the next step for more highway funding should come as a result of a voter-initiated act.  (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

ArkansasHouseOur second Extraordinary Session of the 99th General Assembly began this week and it actually began with a surprise to most of us.  We’d thought this a highway funding session, but it turned out to be much more (about 14 items more) and some more contentious.

Before noon the first day, the House Rules Committee had advanced legislation, HB 1009 that could help bring $1 billion into the state over the next 5 years for highway improvements.  (more…)

Memories From The Museum

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

DrewCountyMuseumA little acclaimed story from Drew County history was brought to mind last week while I was attending a recent meeting of the Public Health Committee of the Arkansas House of Representatives in Little Rock.  A most interesting and kind gentleman whom I had just met asked about the state of the “Bottoms Baptist Orphanage”.

I recall hearing this term when we first moved to Drew County and wondering if it meant that some person from “the bottoms”, a local term referring to the Delta, might have founded the Baptist home.  However, research proved this to be untrue.

Today I want to share briefly the story about the Bottoms Baptist Orphanage, more familiarly known in these times as the Arkansas Baptist Home for Children.  (more…)

Memories From The Museum For 05/18/2016

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

DrewCountyMuseumWhile scanning some of my magazines waiting to be inspired, or transpired, by a subject for this column, I came upon a picture of a 1940-50s “rolling store” that brought back a flood of pleasant memories of a young child being reared alongside the levees of southeast Arkansas between Cook’s Ramp and Big Island in Desha County.  (Likely they had rolling stores in Drew County too.) (more…)

Legislative Report For 05/18/2016

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

ArkansasHouseLast Monday began back at the Capitol where we officially gaveled out (sine die) the official adjournment of the 4th Fiscal Session.  Shortly thereafter we re-elected Speaker Jeremy Gillam to serve as the next Speaker for the 91st General Assembly. He will be the 5th representative in state history to serve two terms as Speaker of the House. (more…)

Museum Report

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Nearly every city has allegedly experienced a brush with a famous person whether he/she is “good or bad”.  Bonnie and Clyde reportedly once visited Monticello.  Tillar, a small farming community in eastern Drew County, also had a visit from legendary outlaws – the notorious James boys.
(more…)

Memories From The Museum

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

I would be remiss lest I honor Arkansas Boys State this year with a column.  Like its sister organization, Boys State is open to high school students who have completed their junior year in high school.  It takes place in the summer before the senior year and is a week-long adventure in civic education.  Boys State offers a practical, hands-on look at politics and government as students seek election at the state, county, and city levels and then engage in the governing process. Participants learn about the responsibilities of a wide range of offices, as well as the interaction between the various offices and the various levels of government. (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, May 6th, 2016

ArkansasHouseThe Fiscal Session rolls on and may be accelerating (or slowing) to its final conclusion.  It should (or could) finish this week or the next.  After Arkansas Works passed last week, there was a half-hearted effort from the Senate to override the Governor’s line item veto of a section of a law that would have ended his Arkansas Works program this year, but the motion from Sen. Bart Hester failed on a voice vote.  So, SB121 will fund the $8.4 billion Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services appropriation, which includes $1.7 billion for Arkansas Works and also funds other programs.  (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

ArkansasHouseLast Tuesday I had an unusual experience for this day and age.  The president of Union Pacific RR, Lance Fritz, and his “team” were making a tour of Union Pacific’s major locations in Arkansas.

(more…)

Legislative Report For 04/04/2016

Monday, April 4th, 2016

ArkansasHouseAfter nearly a year of studying issues to develop an acceptable health care plan in order to have a consensus on an exceptional replacement for the private option that will expire on December 31, 2016,  and after spending boocoodles on private, out-of-state consultants, the governor has announced the healthcare plan he favors.  A Special Session assumedly will be called and will likely convene at the Capitol for an Extraordinary Session, often times referred to as special session, to address changes to our state’s healthcare system on Wednesday, April 6th.

There will be two issues before us to consider. One piece of legislation will create the healthcare program that the Governor favors and is being called Arkansas Works. (more…)

Museum Report

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

While scanning copies of our older museum journals looking for information, I came upon an article about cooking and food preservation in the 1840s and thought it would be fun and educational to share some techniques and tidbits with you for your awe and amusement over the next few weeks!
(more…)

Museum Report – Easter Traditions Around The World

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Since this Sunday, March 27, is the day we celebrate Easter this year, I thought I’d share some more unknown traditions of the holiday around the world. Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection, is one of the two most important holidays in Christianity today. It has been called a move able feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21.

(more…)

Legislative Report For 03/23/2016

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

ArkansasHouseWe’ve completed another busy week inside the Legislature and are still dealing primarily with preparations for the upcoming special session and the fiscal session. However, some of our major committees did hold their regularly scheduled monthly meetings last week because much is still to be done before the special session – and before the 91st General Assembly meets in January, 2017.

(more…)

Legislative Report For 03/16/2016

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

ArkansasHouseWhat a week! We’re all lucky in southeast Arkansas (and Louisiana) if our toes aren’t webbed. We have certainly had more than our fair share of rain this week! I wish we could save it for those coming hot days of summer!

As stated last week Monday was a big D-Day (Decision Day) at the Legislature. After months of study, discussion and debate, the Health Reform Legislative Task Force voted 10-2, with 4 members abstaining, to endorse Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s version of the private option, known as “Arkansas Works.” (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

ArkansasHouseGreetings! I hope it did not rain the first of March (Tuesday) for two reasons. !. We need our gardens to dry so we can get our potatoes planted (March 3, 4, or 7th by the signs); and 2. Yesterday was Primary Election Day and rain may affect turnout to vote. I hope you made it to vote and I hope you voted for the best, most knowledgeable and capable candidate.
(more…)

Legislative Report

Monday, February 15th, 2016

ArkansasHouseIf I had to sum up this week in one word, I’d say “Education”. Four of our five days this week were filled with educational matters and meetings. Here’s a quick summary of the topics covered.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

ArkansasHouseGreetings! Recently Congress passed, and the president signed a Federal spending bill for 2016. Along with the many other programs funded, including the highway funding program, Congress agreed to increase funding in many educational areas affecting children. Highlights include: (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, February 5th, 2016

ArkansasHouseGreetings! I apologize to readers of the Ashley County Ledger in Hamburg because we are still having some sort of technical difficulties and they are not receiving my reports. We hope to have the problem solved by this week.
Meanwhile I hope you are keeping an eye on this highway funding situation. A special session will likely be called soon and I’d like your input before the fact.
According to the highway department, there are three things you need to know about highway funding in Arkansas:
1. Arkansas highways are in trouble, and major decisions about how to finance our failing highways are approaching. (For now).
2. Some “revenue neutral” funding options being proposed are treacherous, and will pay for highways by cheating us all out things like quality pre-K, social workers for abused and neglected kids, and textbooks for students.
3. Modernizing the gas tax is a responsible, common sense way to raise revenue that has been vetted in other states. Any increase to fuel tax should be paired with a measure to help working families keep more of what they earn. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

ArkansasHouseThis week also began in celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday as the Legislature and most government offices at all levels were closed Monday, along with select businesses and schools. Monday evening a special celebration occurred in Monticello at Trinity Full Gospel Church. The event drew a large crowd of enthused attendees who heard an inspiring, emotional sermon from young Edward Suber of the Selma area. Mr. Suber has a great career ahead of him should he choose to become a minister. Pastor Lorenzo Simmons’ congregation and all involved were most gracious hosts for the evening. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Greetings! This is actually the report for the week of the 13th because it failed to make it to the newspaper office on time – computer email problems – for last week’s paper. I’ll try to catch up next week!
Last week was a busy week in southeast Arkansas as Governor Hutchison made several stops in the area. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Greetings! Happy New Year! In this first legislative report of 2016, several new laws took effect on January 1st so I thought I should make you aware of some of the more far-reaching of them. They involve some aspects of everything from minimum wages to restaurant menus to tax brackets. Here follows some of the many that took effect at the beginning of the year.
(more…)

Legislative Report

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Greetings!! We’ve finished our work for 2015 this week and I’ll share some of it with you in the next couple of weeks. During the Regular Session earlier this year we passed legislation known as the Arkansas Health Reform Act of 2015. This established the Arkansas Health Reform Legislative Task Force.
(more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Much has been happening at the Capitol in preparation for the Christmas break which begins December 18. Last Monday I attended an advocacy group that will begin a new pursuit of funding for I- 69 in lieu of the new federal funding bill. Officials from Louisiana supporting I – 69 also attended to speak to their progress and encourage Arkansas.
It seems that funding will be the big stumbling block to the project. The Great River Bridge will come first and that’s a superproject in itself. I’ll keep you posted. There were representatives from nearly every county in Southeast Arkansas. Besides the Monticello folks, I saw many from Ashley, Chicot, Bradley, Jefferson and several others. (more…)

Citizen’s Bank

Citizen's Bank

Custom Truck / Spee-D-Lube

Custom Truck / Spee-D-Lube

The Computer Guys

ASFCU

ASFCU

City Drug

City Drug

Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

Razorback Body Shop

Razorback Body Shop

A.J. Huffman

Mt. Tabor

Life Share

Arkansas AG

Western Sizzlin’

Western Sizzlin'

Cash Saver Food Outlet

Cash Saver

Ray Ryburn Real Estate

Monticello Animal Clinic

Monticello Animal Clinic

Monticello Realty

Monticello Realty

UAM

Be A Weevil

Holiday Inn Express

The Guest House

The Guest House

Jerry Cruce Stump Grinding

Mr. Bug

Mr. Bug

Reggie’s Lock & Key

Reggie's Lock & Key

Greenscape Nursery

Greenscape Nursery

NorthSide Baptist Church

Northside Baptist Church

Drew Farm / Drew Outdoor & Casual Wear

Advantage Flight Training & Service

Advertise With Monticello Live

Ashley County Medical Center

Ashley County Medical Center

Farmer’s Insurance

Cass Martin Realty

Cass Martin Realty

Malco Theater

Union Bank 2

Atlas Foundation Repair