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Author Archive

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.

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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!
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Memories – The History of Valentines Day

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Valentines dayLet’s look briefly at the history of Valentine’s Day. It is shrouded in mystery. We know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains examples of both Christian and ancient Roman traditions, but who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this holiday?

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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.
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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.
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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…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Although Arkansas’s population ranks 32nd nationally, we have the 12th largest highway system in America. Arkansas’s public roadways are made up of nearly 100,000 miles of state highways, county roads, city streets and the bridges that connect them.
Ensuring that our highways meet the ever growing needs of Arkansans is an evolving challenge. Therefore, in order to consider the latest highway funding challenges, the governor created a Working Group on Highway Funding by an Executive Order in April of this year. The group has been meeting monthly since August (4 times?) to develop strategies to increase highway funding in the state. The group is composed of members of the Arkansas House and Senate transportation committees, designees from state agencies and commissions, and individuals with knowledge of the transportation and finance industries. (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…)

Legislative Report – Zhilka Update, DHS, Lottery, & Insurance

Monday, October 26th, 2015

capitolThis week the issues focused chiefly on the Legislative Council committees and the adoptions of their reports, health care news, educational issues and the Arkansas Lottery Commission.

However, first I need to go back to an item from last week. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has finally approved air pollution permits for two full-scale biomass plants in South Arkansas, (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.

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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

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Overall, it has been a quiet week at the Capitol because many legislators were involved in helping with Girls State at Harding University or Boys State at UCA. I felt so honored and privileged to be at Girls State again because I have always felt honored and privileged to be a Girls State girl in my high school days. I have been going to help the last few years and really enjoy the camaraderie and meeting all those precious young ladies. We had 18 girls attending from Ashley and Drew counties and I met a great many of them.
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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:
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Holiday Inn Express

Mt. Tabor

Life Share

Western Sizzlin’

Western Sizzlin'

A.J. Huffman

L&J Body & Glass

L&J Body & Glass

Cash Saver Food Outlet

Cash Saver

Ray Ryburn Real Estate

Monticello Animal Clinic

Monticello Animal Clinic

Monticello Realty

Monticello Realty

The Guest House

The Guest House

Mr. Bug

Mr. Bug

UAM

Be A Weevil

Happy Thoughts Booth 236

Happy Thoughts Booth 236 Market Place

Reggie’s Lock & Key

Reggie's Lock & Key

Greenscape Nursery

Greenscape Nursery

Drew Farm / Drew Outdoor & Casual Wear

Auto World Of Cabot

Auto World Of Cabot

Farmer’s Insurance

Cass Martin Realty

Cass Martin Realty

Malco Theater

Mullis Insurance

Sammy Mullis Insurance

Union Bank 2

Custom Truck / Spee-D-Lube

Custom Truck / Spee-D-Lube

City Drug

City Drug

Gibson & Keith

Advertise With Monticello Live

The Computer Guys

Farm Bureau

Corner Express (O&M Oil Co.)

Corner Express

Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

Razorback Body Shop

Razorback Body Shop