• Panama Canal turns 100: A family affair

    On Aug. 15 the Panama Canal (which greatly enhances maritime trade by providing a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans) celebrates the 100th anniversary of its opening. The Tyree family has a multigenerational interest in this milestone. The U.S. Army generously sent my Tennessee …

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  • Meet the summer’s dumbest GOP white man

    Let’s wave bye-bye to July with a thigh-slapping salute to Curt Clawson, the Tea Party’s latest contribution to the U.S. Congress. Rarely has a Republican white guy evinced such cluelessness about Americans of a different race. You might know this story already; if not, get …

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  • Dating in the sixth grade hard for mom to stomach

    So, my 11-year old daughter came home from the Boys and Girls Club the other day and informed us she “has a boyfriend.” Yeah, you read that right, she is ELEVEN. Now I’d understand it if she was 16 or 17. Heck, I’d probably even …

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  • How’s that War on Poverty working out?

    After 50 years and $20 trillion, grand plan to eradicate poverty in the U.S. is a failure. In January 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson stood before Congress for the annual State of the Union address and declared a “War on Poverty.” Johnson had a plan …

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  • Former Indian reservation was site of Civil War battle

    This past weekend, descendants of the Harris brothers who first settled “Harris Bottoms” in the 1820s congregated to honor their ancestors. The second of the Stone County Driving Tour markers was installed as part of the reunion, located at the junction of 5, 9 and …

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  • Founding of UAMS is fascinating story

    In the 1870s, medicine was in a miserable state in Arkansas. Few doctors were available and the remote locations of many farmsteads and small towns made it difficult for doctors to reach patients. Worse still, there were no means to train new doctors in Arkansas. …

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  • A quest for good food

    After uprooting my little family and moving from the city back to a small town, I went into a little bit of shock when I went grocery shopping in the local markets. Years of study have led me to a lifestyle of clean eating, and …

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  • The lost sounds of summer

    Editor’s note: This column is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “An Apple Core, a Toilet: Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood.”    I long for the sounds of summer I knew as a kid. In the ’60s and ’70s, you see, most of our …

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  • Why customer service reps give terrible customer service

    “No ma’am, you cannot speak to my supervisor. No ma’am, I don’t even have the number for a supervisor. No ma’am, there is nothing you can do to improve this situation. I have total power over you via this phone line, and I am not …

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  • Recap of another great fair

    Today I want to say “thank you” to the Independence County Fair Board, county officials and certainly the good people of Batesville and all over the area for putting on such a wonderful county fair year after year. You people “get it.” You consistently bring …

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  • End torture — shut down the CIA

    Remember back in April 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on “60 Minutes,” angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it …

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  • Kids seeking asylum, find antipathy

    I might be the only syndicated columnist in the country who was raised by the state. So when lawmakers and public pontificators discuss the welfare of unaccompanied minors who’ve been dropped on our proverbial doorstep, I should probably speak up. I was a ward of …

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