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Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Memorial Day Heritage ... Pass it along (05/22/14)
As the Memorial Day Holiday creeps closer and the mercury finally begins to rise after such a harsh winter, we all begin to lighten up a bit and begin thinking of summer fun. While breaking out the grill and finally hitting the lake, we, oftentimes, fail to take time to remember the intended purpose of the holiday...
Blue eyes and bank bags (10/18/13)
As a lifelong resident of the area, it is common to hear me tout the sense of community many feel living in the area. It wasn't until last week while meeting our new sales representative did I realize the scope of selflessness the members of this community can display...
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome ... three words of wisdom (10/02/13)
Over the last week I have gained a new respect for mothers of infants. One that will not soon be forgotten. I remember when my children were little I could cook, clean, take a shower and even move furniture around a few times a year with one of those bundles of joy on my hip or in one of the many devices that held them. I am not sure what changed in the last 22 years, but I assure you, something has...
SO TO SPEAK (07/17/13)
Dear Popcorn Button creator, In our lives we sometimes take things for granted, so I am writing you an overdue letter to commend you on your contribution to the technological age. I never labeled myself as techie or being dependent on any electronic device. ...
Evolution of a Class Reunion (07/10/13)
Visions of those cheesy high school reunion movies have been dancing in my head since I took the reins last month and decided to organize our (ugh, huh?) 25th class reunion. You see, I missed the first two because of those movies and the implications that the "show" was for those who had peaked in high school, not to mention my husband's utter hate for social functions that seem to be little more than a contest in 'one upping' each other...
Evolution of a Reunion (07/09/13)
Visions of those cheesy high school reunion movies have been dancing in my head since I took the reins last month and decided to organize our (ugh, huh?) 25th class reunion. You see, I missed the first two because of those movies and the implications that the "show" was for those who had peaked in high school, not to mention my husband's utter hate for social functions that seem to be little more than a contest in 'one upping' each other...
If a=b, who teaches 20 plus percent equals no? (06/26/13)
There are few things that make me angrier than credit card company tactics, including hidden charges written in microscopic text aimed at our youth. It seems as if the vultures feed on those who are already desperate for credit and, after they lure them in, they begin the slow process of killing their victims with outrageous fees and interest, sometimes as high as 29 percent...
The life of a high tech baby (06/12/13)
While the word evolution suggests a process that slowly takes place over many decades, or even centuries, one thing is for certain, evolution of baby items takes place over very few years and it seems as if the items my granddaugher has at her disposal make my daughter's baby items seem ancient and mine, quite frankly... prehistoric...
Preserve the Patriotism (06/05/13)
With the increasingly warm temperatures, many think the Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer fun, and often fail to reflect on the the intended purpose of the holiday. Among my fondest childhood memories are stories my late grandparents told, including the hardships my grandfather endured serving in the Pacific Islands in World War II. ...
Can we ever get off the Blue Bandwagon? (05/22/13)
At what point did it become acceptable or even common to publicize every less than key event in our lives in real time? My guess is, just like with other addictions, it took baby steps. Steps that began as more than one billion users climbed aboard the big blue bandwagon and joined the social media giant Facebook. ...
Count your blessings (05/15/13)
What a way to end a whirlwind week of ups and downs. From sitting in juvenile court for a school bullying case and witnessing case after case showing the heartbreaking effects of drugs on families, to the awe inspiring realization the fruits of my motherly labor are coming back to me. Mother's Day week has been a complete array of emotions and thoughts, much the same as motherhood...
Can social media destroy the legal process? (05/01/13)
Once upon a time there was the news -- the stuff a man with a tweed suit would bring us each night before supper on one of three television stations we chose. There was, of course, also radio news, and the fully enlightened received a daily or weekly newspaper. That was it, the ways we all got the news...
The Little Things (04/24/13)
Even though many of us have doubts as to whether Spring will ever come to the Ozarks to stay, others have begun making Summer travel plans, confident it is just around the corner. Last week was especially hectic as we worked to finish up a Summer travel issue for Avenues Magazine. Our recent travels for Avenues have brought back some memories of vacations I have taken over the years in the region...
Community visionaries promote area (04/17/13)
I have been asked many times by readers how I come up with topics for the columns and stories I write. My answer is always the same -- the people in my life and the community provide more content than I could hope to write in a lifetime. This last week was a prime example of my reason for having spent my entire life in this area, and never longed to live anywhere else...
Don't Blink (04/10/13)
Through the years, I have connected with readers through blogs and written columns about many events, including events that have affected me personally. My mixed emotions over my daughter's graduation, the deaths of my dear grandparents, and anguish at the empty nest my home had become were some not-so-happy chapters...
He who laughs last, may not have read the warning label (04/03/13)
I must admit, I am a label reader. On more than one occasion, I have laughed at weird warning labels on products thinking that, at some point, someone must have done something to require it to be there in the first place. Never would I have thought I would contemplate calling a company myself to request that a warning label be put on a product. ...
How many wake up calls do you need? (03/28/13)
I am extremely proud to have lived in this small rural area my entire life. One of the best reasons to live here is, the community's willingness to lift neighbors up in time of need. Recently I wrote a story about a school bullying incident that happened in my home town of Cave City and, to be honest, I have been sickened and shamed by the community reaction to such a terrible incident that was captured on video...
Reality TV.. Not My Reality (03/20/13)
As a self proclained news junkie for nearly a quarter of century, the things people do rarely surprise me, neither do the things that show up on my television screen. I can roll with just about anything, from Criminal Minds and its grotesque methods of murder, to parading out and promoting an obese lifestyle on Here Comes Honey BooBoo. ...
The Curious Case of Harvey the Pop Tart Terrorist (03/13/13)
Hello Harvey. What brings you to our show tonight? Little Harvey raises his head in pride and puffs out his ten year old chest as he smiles for the cameras and quickly answers ... "Conan, you see, I was the first seven year old to terrify my teacher with a gun, one I artistically gnawed out of a purple pop tart. ...
Bringing the past to present (03/06/13)
I suppose living in the Sharp and Fulton County areas my entire life, I never thought of myself as a piece of the history of the area. Given I have gotten to know a lot of people through years, but imagine my surprise when on a state Facebook page a photo of a store in which my family used to purchase staples as a child was featured as part of "Historic Arkansas." This made me re-think an original idea I had for new features in the newspaper...
Serving in a new capacity (02/20/13)
It seems as if it were only yesterday that I was fussing about the two hour drive from Areawide Media's Salem office to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro for classes two days a week, after I got my first job doing what I love, graphic design and writing...
Fulton County man facing murder charge in Ash Flat shooting (01/08/13)
A full-scale manhunt on Saturday, Jan. 5 led to the arrest of Christopher Bryant of Glencoe for the shooting death of a Batesville man. The manhunt for Bryant, 24, began in the early morning hours and continued into the afternoon. All area law enforcement officers initially concentrated on the area where the shooting occurred, near Mark Martin Chevrolet in Ash Flat...
Armed robbery suspect apprehended inside wall (01/08/13)
Seventeen days after allegedly committing an armed robbery in rural Hardy, a suspect, Jason Madrid Jones, 32, was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at a residence in Ozark Acres. Jones was charged with Aggravated Robbery. According to a news release from the Sharp County Sheriff's Department, officers responded to a tip that Jones was hiding at the Bonnie Cantrell residence. ...
Man accused of cattle thefts extradited back to county (01/08/13)
Nearly a year after pulling out of the Ash Flat Livestock Auction with a load of purchased cattle, Ron Shepard was extradited back to Sharp County on Jan. 2 to face charges of stealing the cattle and bilking the Ash Flat Livestock Auction out of $1.35 million...
One seriously injured in Highland accident (01/08/13)
A two vehicle accident in Highland on Dec. 27 resulted in serious injuries to a Hardy man. According to an accident report from the Highland Police Department, Kathleen E. Gillihan, 52, of Cherokee Village was traveling eastbound on Highway 62/412 in the center lane when she attempted to make a left turn onto Highway 175 in her 2003 Chevrolet Pickup, and failed to yield the right of way to Dennis Lukehart, 52, of Hardy...
Year in Review Part 2 (01/08/13)
As farmers struggled with a record breaking dought, the second half of 2012 began with another farm story -- startling news about a cattle buyer accused of a big theft. In a case that is updated in today's newspaper, an Illinois man was extradited back to Sharp County on June 4 by authorities to face charges of theft of property by deception, for allegedly writing over $120,000 in bad checks to the Ash Flat Livestock Auction. ...
I believe there are angels among us (12/19/12)
I am always amazed that, even with the most evil incidents imaginable, there is still good in the world and, for me, last week, was proof of that struggle between good and evil. I am always amazed at how our lives can be put into perspective so quickly, and how angels present themselves at the most inopportune times. ...
Bomb threat turns out to be a hoax (12/19/12)
Word of the terrible loss of innocent lives in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, made many of us thankful a school safety scare on Dec. 11 was just that -- a scare. On Dec. 11, four high schools took no chances as law enforcement and other public servants responded to a call that there "was three bombs in the high school."...
Santa visits area nursing homes (12/19/12)
Veterans at Eaglecrest, Ash Flat Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the Spring River Therapy and Living Center in Salem got a special early visit from Santa on Dec. 17. Jack Lowe, President of the Cherokee Village Business Association and board member of the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce served as Santa along with his elves from the Highland Elk's Lodge...
Pack Rats store to host open house in Cave City (12/12/12)
The appeal of using vintage items to decorate has taken off like wildfire in the last few years, thanks, in part, to television shows that highlight repurposing and utlizing old pieces in stylish settings. Pack Rats, a new store in Cave City, features unique hard to find interior decor items. Sisters in law Charlotte and Wyndi Ratliff have used their talents of finding hidden treasures to create a store offering items as unique as their decorating tastes...
Salem native contributes to book on Best-Seller list (12/12/12)
A former Salem High School athlete with many friends in the area is using his business experience to help others through a new book which is doing well on Amazon's best seller list. Nate Miller, a 1988 Salem graduate, is an author, professional speaker, entrepreneur and healthcare executive. ...
Service honors last county man that survived Pearl Harbor (12/12/12)
Tammy Curtis Staff Writer An unseasonably warm morning made it more comfortable for those who attended a Sharp County ceremony at the Spring River Bridge in Hardy on Friday, Dec. 7, commemorating the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. ...
A survivor's tale of Black Friday (12/05/12)
I am a survivor. I made it home in one piece from Black Friday. In a column before B.F., I suggested a number of steps I follow that others could try to have a successful shopping trip. Disregard them -- throw them out. I found this year was a whole new ballgame...
A survivor's tale of Black Friday (12/04/12)
I am a survivor. I made it home in one piece from Black Friday. In a column before B.F., I suggested a number of steps I follow that others could try to have a successful shopping trip. Disregard them -- throw them out. I found this year was a whole new ballgame...
Ash Flat Angels (12/04/12)
A float full of angels was one of the many entries that made their way down the newly paved five-lane highway for the Ash Flat Christmas Parade on Dec. 1. For winners and more photos of the parade, see next week's edition of the Villager Journal.
Cave City to attempt further restrictions of alcohol sales (12/04/12)
In one of the most controversial ballot initiatives Sharp County has seen in years, residents were split on the Wet-Dry issue on the Nov. 7 ballot, with those who favored alcohol sales winning by a slim margin -- 3,884 to 3,456. The police chief in a Sharp County city who did not want the issue to pass has proposed putting additional restrictions on the sale of alcohol beverages in Cave City...
Building bridges to the future: County crew works hard in 2012 (12/04/12)
Facing tremendous damage over the past three years to its road and bridge infrastructure, Sharp County has benefited from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds and grants to make repairs and improve roadways. Sharp County Road Superintendent Dan Melbourne said many 2012 road and bridge improvements have been made, thanks to funding from FEMA, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, and stimulus grants administered through White River Planning and Development. ...
Pearl Harbor Day Remembered (12/04/12)
For nearly 71 years, veterans around the country have gathered on Dec. 7 to remember the day that would forever impact their lives -- Pearl Harbor Day. As these men and women veterans age, ceremonies in hometowns across America continue, but with fewer and fewer in attendance each year...
Black Friday gluttons set to go (11/23/12)
Instead of writing a Black Friday for Dummies handbook, the thought of writing one for those smart enough to remain on the couch consuming that last slice of pumpkin pie has entered my mind more than a few times over the years. It is inevitable, however, that human nature defines our innate ability to, like a beagle seeks out squirrels, sniff out a bargain. ...
Local stores prepare for Black Friday sales (11/21/12)
This year, the official kickstart of the holiday season will began just hours after the last turkey and dressing settled and the pumpkin pie was put back into the refrigerator. So whether or not you plan to take part in the scavenger hunt many deem Black Friday this year there are many local options that will save residents both gas and those dreaded black toenails from being ran down by misguided shopping carts...
County deputies graduate from academy (11/21/12)
Two officers of the Sharp County Sheriff's Department graduated from the Black River Technical College Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pocahontas on Nov. 16. Jimmy Bennett and Mary Louise Wanley were two of the 43 who completed the comprehensive thirteen week program at the academy. Law enforcement officers are required to complete the training within one year of employment...
"Wet" group dissolves, citing "Mission Accomplished" (11/21/12)
After six years of hard work and a few setbacks collecting signatures to allow a wet/dry vote on the Sharp County ballot, Save Energy Reap Taxes, a 501C3 organization, dissolved on Nov. 14 citing, "Mission Accomplished" as the reason. Organizer Ruth Reynolds and nine other Sharp County residents -- people with personalities and beliefs as different as night and day -- accomplished something that hasn't been done in the county in nearly 70 years, making the dry county wet...
Highland chooses site for building (11/21/12)
Members of the Highland City Council finally settled the controversy on a location for a new city maintenance building at its Tuesday, Nov. 13 meeting, but not until after a lengthy, heated discussion between members of the council and residents opposed to building the facility behind the fire station...
Reflections for Veterans Day (11/08/12)
As Veterans Day approaches, our hearts go out to the families of soldiers serving at war a world away from the warm safety of their homes and arms of loved ones. Our thoughts are also drawn to the sacrifices of the families who remain at home, waiting on their safe return...
Sharp County Election Results (11/06/12)
Besides the Presidential Race, Sharp County residents also voted on a United States Congress seat, a State Senate as well as three state House seats. At the county level there were races for both County Judge and County and Circuit Court Clerk and two JP races as well as several city council seats were also up for grabs. ...
The perpetual campaign (10/12/12)
Enjoying time with family and friends without unwanted interruptions is something that most families would love, but thanks to what seems to be a perpetual campaign cycle for every type of political office from alderman to determining the next president, slogans, ads and signs are slammed in the faces of America at every turn...
Children enjoy fire department visit (09/13/12)
A child's first sight of a firefighter should not come in an emergency situation, such as a fire at their home. Ash Flat Fire Chief Stacy Horton, and Adam Bates took the opportunity on Sept. 6, to visit a local daycare to familiarize children with firemen and their duties...
No where to cut.. Fire chiefs speak with alderman (09/13/12)
On Sept. 6, Highland Alderman Larry Allen called a meeting of the Quad Cities fire chiefs to discuss the possibility of consolidating some services ,in an attempt to save money without raising taxes or cutting personnell. Cherokee Village Chief Mike Taylor. Highland Chief Kal Dienst and Ash Flat Chief Stacy Horton joined Allen in a discussion about options...
Ruth Reynolds... The woman behind the signs (09/13/12)
Ruth Reynolds may not be a household name in the area, but most know the woman with the "Let's Get Wet" signs. Reynolds spearheaded the effort to get a Sharp County wet/dry vote on the fall ballot. . Few know who she is or her background other than her quiet presence displaying her roadside signs or collecting signatures for the initiative...
A new ostrich for the nest (08/17/12)
Most of my readers have shared the roller coaster of emotions I have undergone in the last two years, through my blogs and editorial columns. From my 40th birthday to my daughter's graduation and marriage, the death of my grandparents, to the reality that my baby boy will be leaving for college in less than a year, many changes have happened in what seems like a flash...
Making memories on Memorial Day (05/31/12)
With the increasingly warm temperatures, most think of the Memorial Holiday as the beginning of the summer fun, but fail to take time to remember the intended prupose of the holiday. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. ...
Planning a wedding -- A man's point of view (03/14/12)
The joy of planning a wedding is something girls dream of as soon as they are big enough to make toilet paper veils. Thanks to fairy tales like Cinderella, there are actually girls who believe a handsome prince will rescue them on a white horse and they will, in fact, live in a castle happily ever after. ...
A good lesson learned (02/09/12)
The blessings of friendship is one of the greatest things in life. After conquering the "first anniversary of my 39th" birthday a few years ago, and going through the normal anxiety about getting older -- wrinkles, inevitable changes and perception of middle age -- the passing years have since flown by. I have maintained a smile and a somewhat good attitude about life but, in all fairness, I can not take the whole cake for that one...
The End of an Era...Death of a Soap Opera (01/19/12)
Soap Operas are still an addiction for many, who can easily recite three years worth of plots on their favorite soap opera. For years, many have taped, DVR'd and watched the Soap Network -- after hours -- to catch a glimpse of their daytime soap operas in the evening. ...
Technology: A Verbal Communication Breaker (11/03/11)
Technology is something that reaches almost everyone in one way or another, from the Internet and cell phones, to digital satellite television, navigation systems and other items that make our lives easier, but when one examines this, can the cost be weighed in loss of human interaction?...
Let Them Think Outside the Box (09/21/11)
As children, most of us can remember wanting to look like everyone else, wearing "fashionable" clothing and having the latest hairstyles. This just seems to be in the natural progression of things. But, what about the children who do not want to fit into society's "norm?" Should they be labeled as misfits or odd balls just because they think outside the box? After all, isn't that one of the things that breeds creativity and individuality?...
Social Security or Insecurity (08/09/11)
Other than the obvious need for a hospital, one of the most discussed issues in the Sharp County area appears to be the fate of Social Security. A large concentration of retired people, many who depend on Social Security for their livelihood, are terrified of possibly losing the money they need for vital things such as medicine...
Snap every chance you can (05/24/11)
A picture that is... My entire life I have always loved pictures and, until last week, I suppose they were something I never really gave a lot of thought to. I just snapped and flashed away. My grandmother's recently diagnosis of terminal cancer has brought many things in my life into perspective but, still at that point, the role photographs play in our lives wasn't one...
Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor
So to speak