• A taste of something bubbly

    When I answered the phone, I recognized the voice on the other end as belonging to one of the executive secretaries at the university where I work. “Professor Howard,” she said, “I understand that you know Russian?” “I have studied it for two years,” I …

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  • A campaign full of treasure hunters

    From out of the green mist enveloping the campaign doldrums they come. Relentlessly. Doggedly. Cattedly. Trudging, blank-faced and soulless. Armies of cash-hungry zombies brandishing partisan pickaxes, shovels and crowbars, with only one goal rattling around their feverish brains. Campaign booty. Pieces of eight. Entire 8s. …

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  • Government overspending isn’t cool

    I’ll shut off my air conditioning if the government goes first. Maybe I better explain. Federal records say the United States recently completed the hottest spring since such record-keeping began in 1895. March, April and May average temperatures in the lower 48 states surpassed the …

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  • Lessons from a boiling frog

    If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it jumps out. But if you put a frog in cool water and gradually turn up the heat, the frog will boil to death without ever trying to escape. The same thing happens to …

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  • Ledge update

    LITTLE ROCK  —  A federal judge has stricken the Arkansas law that allowed students to transfer outside their home school districts. The ruling creates doubts for thousands of students and their families about which school they will attend in the fall. Legislative leaders are studying …

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  • 150 years ago: Order No. 17 made to protect

    It was quite simple. One hundred and fifty years ago, Arkansas was under attack by a foreign enemy of Northern soldiers now busily entrenching themselves into a fortified position on the Mississippi River in Helena. Meanwhile Thomas C. Hindman was busy organizing Arkansas’ defenses from …

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  • Private water companies partner with fracking lobby

    Two of the country’s largest private water utility companies are participants in a massive lobbying effort to expand controversial shale gas drilling — a heavy industrial activity that promises to enrich the water companies but may also put drinking water resources at risk. The situation …

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  • A look into the life of ‘Col.’ Morgan Magness

    Morgan Magness was born to Jonathan and Patsy Magness about 1797 in Davidson County, TN. When the family came to Arkansas in 1813, they purchased some of the richest bottom land in the county. Magness was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the county militia in …

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  • Grateful for a father who…

    School had just gotten out and my scout troop was working on putting together a campout. “Where’s Searle?” one of the boys asked. I looked around group and sure enough, Searle wasn’t there. That really surprised me. Searle was the perfect young man. He never …

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  • Bird rescuer hopes crow isn’t on menu

    Two crows were in the road. The older bird was dead; the younger, we’ll call him Frankie, was standing guard and wouldn’t budge. I moved the dead bird off the pavement hoping the little guy would follow. But Frankie, about three or four weeks old …

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  • Charge for profanity

    According to the Associated Press, residents of Middleborough, Mass. have voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 civil fine for loud, profanity-laden language in the downtown area and public parks. Yes, I know about slippery slopes, unintended consequences, …

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  • Enjoying life now

    I’m counting on last autumn’s funeral to help me put Father’s Day in the proper perspective. The day after Thanksgiving our beloved 14-year-old cat Mewsilla surrendered the last of her nine lives. My wife suggested that it would be a good father-son bonding experience if …

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