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Author Archive

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…)

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…)

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

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 – 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

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, 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

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hopefully the weather didn’t get too bad for you. Ours was great here! Maybe your family got to stay in, enjoy each other’s company and watch some football – or John Wayne movies on Encore Westerns!! Anyway I’d think you’d call it a happy holiday for the most part!
The “action” at the Legislature last week dealt with a rather lengthy meeting of the Health Care Reform Task Force on Tuesday. The time for decision-making is fast approaching and the options for changing how Arkansas will administer its Medicaid system have been narrowed down to two basic options. (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Greetings! Although last week seemed shorter there was still enough to do to fill in the hours.

For example, on Monday we had another lengthy Health Care Task Force meeting. One major point discussed was requiring all enrollees pay a little for their insurance; this would be somewhat like a co-payment. (more…)

Arkansas Legislative Report

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

What a wonderful fall week we’ve just finished. The only improvement might be 2-3 inches of rain!! (Some might desperately need more.)

Last week began with two days of Education Committee meetings. Monday was an especially informative one. On that day committee members in attendance traveled to Cabot, Arkansas, to see a new program functioning exceptionally well there. We were fortunate enough to visit their entire 7-12 programs and quite impressed with every aspect of their programs. However, a main goal was to observe their new “Cabot Freshman Academy”, a separate campus for ninth-graders to ease them into their transition to high school and their newfound maturity more successfully. Their subjects are a broad mixture of academic coursework and work skills classes to give students more opportunities to look at many different career choices. The day was a great opportunity to see such a differently structured setting. The student body was so well-behaved and seemed quite involved in their classes. Even their cafeterias seemed new and creative in their organizations.
We were all so impressed with the rather large district (@10,000 students – Pre-K through 12). I was especially proud of their energetic, innovative district superintendent, Monticello’s own Tony Thurman, now officially known as Dr. Thurman. Tony is doing a fantastic job and is a fine young man and a great credit to all, especially himself! We had a great visit. Both Monticello (his hometown) and Crossett have (coaching) ties to Dr. Thurman and he is “doing us proud”. (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, August 21st, 2015

What a week! After the “events” of the past two or three Mondays, I’m really rather anxious about next Monday. I’d enjoy a rain but another Monday like the last two? I hope not! I’m not a big fan of surprises and I really dislike being informed by being blasted out over something that was a complete surprise to me. I fear this may just be the beginning though.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Greetings! This week most of my news bites will be related to educational issues since my lifelong interests have always evolved around our children and their futures which I believe are dependent upon adequate education and training.

Some updated and newer educa (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Greetings!! I trust everyone had an enjoyable and appreciative 4th of July holiday weekend! We certainly did in my family.

Before the holidays though, I attended the annual SREB Conference on trending educational issues. (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

After much talk and many presumptions about a special session of the 90th General Assembly, the official ‘call’ came last week and we will begin our session on Tuesday, May 26. The agenda items for the Special Session are:
(more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Monday marked the last day for members to file bills for this session. Several committees are now meeting in the morning and upon adjournment of the session in the evenings as members hear testimony on the great numbers of bills still before us. (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Legislation is beginning to pick up speed at the Capitol as the General Assembly began its 5th week of the Regular Session. Our first order of business was to pass a resolution allowing us to extend the session to April 10th and come back on May 8th to correct any errors, address vetoes and take care of any unfinished business before adjournment.
(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Today, we wrapped up our 5th week of the Regular Session. On the House floor, members approved legislation to create a Diabetes Action Plan. Close to 10% of Arkansans have been diagnosed with diabetes. HB1267 would require the Department of Human Services and the Health Department to work together to reduce the incidence of diabetes in Arkansas and improve diabetes care.
House members also approved a bill that seeks to protect Arkansans from government policies that interfere with their right to exercise religion. HB1228 now heads to the Senate.

The House is set to reconvene on Monday at 1:30.

Daily Legislative Report

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

It was a busy morning in committees this morning as 12 bills were approved to bring to the House The Education committeee advanced a bill to require that cursive writing be taught in elementary schools. They also voted in favor of a bill to allow year-round schools to offer a 7 week vacation. The current break allowed is 6 weeks.

The Committee for Public Health, Welfare and Labor passed legislation to create a diabetes action plan. This would require the Department of Human Services to present a report to the legislature of the number of Arkansans with diabetes and the financial toll this disease has on our state. It would also identify ways to reduce its impact.
(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The 90th General Assembly began its 5th week of the Regular Session, Monday. The morning was filled with various meetings. Our first order of business in the session was to pass a resolution allowing us to extend the session to April 10th for recess and come back on May 8th for adjournment – if work progresses as planned.
(more…)

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Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

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