• Jesse James: Robin Hood and murderer

    The Old West is here: Arkansas, Missouri and portions of Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas; it is Stone County. “The Last Picture Show,” written by Stone County Beckham/McMurtry family descendant Larry McMurtry and turned into a movie in 1971 (nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two) …

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  • Armed posses protected rural areas

    The end of the Civil War, unfortunately, did not bring true peace to the land. Incidences of mob rule, shootings and stealing continued across Arkansas and other states well into the 1900s. Old feuds were rekindled throughout the Ozarks, causing governors to call out the …

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  • Crystal ball predictions for 2016

    It says here that Jeb Bush has the best shot at the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, while Hillary Clinton might not be the Democrats’ candidate, and if she is, she’s no sure thing. Picking a president has become a tedious and expensive non-stop exercise. …

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  • Put it on the ballot

    There sure has been a lot of hoopla lately in the local news all over the wet-dry issue facing Independence County. Lately it’s been the subject of great debate and I use that term loosely because in my opinion, the art of debate is dying …

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  • 2014 State of the City Address

    Tonight I come before you to deliver my State of the City Address. When I became your mayor in January of 2007 the challenges confronting our city were much different than I had imagined. Decades of neglect and complacency regarding our water and wastewater infrastructure …

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  • A plea from a dieting cookie addict

    We must stop them. We must stop the millions of Girl Scouts who are, right this moment, preying on a helpless public, making us buy and consume calories we don’t need — at the rate of one or two rows of cookies at each sitting. …

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  • Union forces paused to celebrate George Washington’s birthday

    One hundred fifty years ago, Union forces in Little Rock celebrated President George Washington’s birthday by putting on display a pass and review of the Third Arkansas Cavalry (U.S.). According to the National Democrat newspaper, following “a salute of 13 guns by Vaughan’s Battery announced …

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  • Don’t like food stamps? Raise the minimum wage

    Say you’re philosophically opposed to food stamps. Let’s say you feel better about yourself by calling those who’ve hit hard times freeloading parasites. Suppose the very idea someone somewhere may be cheating the system is enough for you to support snatching all subsidized sandwiches out …

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  • Former local resident was state’s first lt. governor

    Calvin C. Bliss was one of the thousands of Arkansans caught in the chaos of the Civil War and Reconstruction, but he came to Arkansas as an educator and became the state’s first lieutenant governor. Bliss was born in Vermont in 1823. As a young …

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  • First Arkansas cartoon in 1852

    William “Bill” Quesenbury, who pronounced his surname “Cushenberry,” was a writer, printer, soldier, poet, artist, and the state’s very first cartoonist. Born on Aug. 21, 1822, in Crawford County, Quesenbury attended school in Fort Smith and college in Bardstown, Ky. His first job was writing …

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  • No, there’s not a new national anthem

    Just like millions of Americans a few weeks ago, I got totally caught up in the Super Bowl craze. Granted, it wasn’t my beloved Chicago Bears playing, or my husband’s favorite, the Dallas Cowboys, but still, there’s nothing like three hours of football, complete with …

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  • SI swimsuit issue

    Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!,” available at amazon.com.   It disgusts me more every year. I speak of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which is published the …

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